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educate me - blades versus cavity backs


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I think as a general rule, the club pro was wrong.  Having said that there is some things to ponder.  In my experience, it can be harder to hear/feel where exactly on the clubface you are hitting the ball.  Big misses are easy for me to feel, smaller misses are pretty hidden with a lot of GI/SGI iron heads.  Most GI/SGI iron are designed with lower COG to help launch the ball higher and often with more offset to help with launch.  For people that have swing flaws, or have swing speed issues this can definitely be a asset.

Going back to the feel thing.  With my 714mb's its pretty easy to feel exactly where my contact is on the face.  However, now that we know where on the face we are missing...do we know how to properly correct it???

Some people...or maybe many people seem to have some kind of preference as to the shape, size, topline etc of a club.  If you are one of these kinds of people then this can play a role as well obviously.  Personally this has no effect on me, but it seems to on others...

My personal experience tells me that I seemed to hit a few more shots with my GI irons that appeared to be "dead" straight in ball flight.  As in path and face angle the same.  With my blades most every shot has some kind of slight curvature to it.  This could be contributed to iron head design.  But not definitive.  I will also say that i can miss hit ANY club, iron head ect and make it hook and slice impressive distances...One of the joys of finding close to the middle of the clubface most of the time, but sometimes having face angle and path not well aligned at all :) .

Hits off the toe are worse with the blades.  But i was actually surprised that the isn't as big as i expected.

I would say that there are probably 100 other things that could be improved upon for your golf game as long as your iron specs fit you fairly well before club head design came into play...

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It's nonsense. They're probably some of the best clubs for your game right now. Muscleback irons have their virtues, but the added distance, ease of launch, and forgiveness of game improvement irons a

Improvement is all about feedback and there are plenty of other options to get feedback besides playing blades. The easiest is to buy some dr scholls foot powder, or a dry erase marker and color the

I currently play Adams CMB but my first irons were hand- me- downs Snake Eyes MB including a 2-iron. My everyday work involves lot of metal component dynamics, strength of material, metallurgy, applie

You can work the ball the same amount between Cavity Backs and Muscle Back irons. Believe me, I've hooked the ball just as much left  with GI clubs as I do with my MP-59's.  GI clubs with the larger sweet spot increase MOI and will keep the loss in ball speed minimal from mis-hits. It does not significantly effect the curve of the ball on a mis-hit.  If you hit the center of the club then it doesn't matter if it is blade or cavity back.

The testing that I posted indicates that curvature is affected. A mishit with a blade will be significantly shorter, but straighter. A mishit with an SGI will be longer but also farther offline.

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The testing that I posted indicates that curvature is affected. A mishit with a blade will be significantly shorter, but straighter. A mishit with an SGI will be longer but also farther offline.

That doesn't sound quite right.  If its alleged that its easier to intentionally curve the ball with blades due to more mass centered behind the ball, why would that reverse when you're doing it accidentally?

Perhaps the SGI irons are off line by a smaller angle but a larger distance simply due to how much farther they flew?  But if that's the case, it's not the curvature, its just the magnitude.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by colin007

The testing that I posted indicates that curvature is affected. A mishit with a blade will be significantly shorter, but straighter. A mishit with an SGI will be longer but also farther offline.

That doesn't sound quite right.  If its alleged that its easier to intentionally curve the ball with blades due to more mass centered behind the ball, why would that reverse when you're doing it accidentally?

Perhaps the SGI irons are off line by a smaller angle but a larger distance simply due to how much farther they flew?  But if that's the case, it's not the curvature, its just the magnitude.

I'm not sure that a blade is easier to curve left/right than a GI or SGI club, in my experience it is just easier to hit them lower , when needed.

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I'm not sure that a blade is easier to curve left/right than a GI or SGI club, in my experience it is just easier to hit them lower, when needed.

I don't think it is, which is why I said "allegedly."

And I hit my i20's pretty high when I hit them well ... but also find it extremely easy to hit them lower when its necessary.

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Originally Posted by Lihu

I'm not sure that a blade is easier to curve left/right than a GI or SGI club, in my experience it is just easier to hit them lower, when needed.

I don't think it is, which is why I said "allegedly."

And I hit my i20's pretty high when I hit them well ... but also find it extremely easy to hit them lower when its necessary.

I should pull out one of my son's old i20s irons and see what the difference really is between my 7i and the i20 7i. The shafts will probably affect the results, but I can get some idea from the stock Ping stiff shaft. . .

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That doesn't sound quite right.  If its alleged that its easier to intentionally curve the ball with blades due to more mass centered behind the ball, why would that reverse when you're doing it accidentally?

As you know and as we've said before GI irons are no more difficult to "shape" when hit on the sweet spot than the most blade-like of clubs . GI irons are great with getting the ball up in the air, and on helping to reduce the error caused by mishits due to their higher MOI. Obviously nobody good "shapes the ball" by mishitting the ball (missing the sweet spot).

On average, the blade will launch the ball lower, may only be a couple degrees but a GI iron or even an i/AP type club has a lower CG that forces the ball up.

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As you know and as we've said before GI irons are no more difficult to "shape" when hit on the sweet spot than the most blade-like of clubs.

Yes and no. If you consider feel an important component of practicing and shaping a shot, a typical blade offers slight more feedback than something oversized and perimeter weighted. Part of this also depends on how you shape those shots etc. A draw, a fade, a low shot, etc. is technically a mishit when you compare the angle of the clubface to swingpath and target line; they are slight "mishits." It is not about the executing the shot you have, but how you practiced it. On a machine, it doesn't matter. But in the hands of person trying to create a certain amount of muscle memory, the slight differences between clubs can be important, but it is not a 10 stroke kind of importance. A 20 handicapper doesn't need to worry about shaping the ball. Their objective should be the opposite - getting the shape out of their shots. I will also say, that the difference is not inherently blade vs. game improvement. There are some blades that have terrible feel and there are some cavity-back, perimeter-weighted ones that give really good feed back. There is something to said that under the USGA handicap system a scratch golfer hits the ball 250 down the middle. You can be a really good golfer without being able to play a draw or a fade or not even hitting the ball very long. Your friends might call you boring, but you will also be taking their money every weekend.

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Yes and no. If you consider feel an important component of practicing and shaping a shot, a typical blade offers slight more feedback than something oversized and perimeter weighted.

@JoePete , you can't bold the part @mvmac said then say "Yes and no" especially if you're talking about "feel."

Part of this also depends on how you shape those shots etc. A draw, a fade, a low shot, etc. is technically a mishit when you compare the angle of the clubface to swingpath and target line; they are slight "mishits."

No, they aren't mis-hits. Mis-hits are shots that don't hit near the where the CG projects through the clubface.

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@JoePete, you can't bold the part @mvmac said then say "Yes and no" especially if you're talking about "feel."

Allow me to clarify: I was responding @mvmac 's statement "As you know and as we've said before GI irons are no more difficult to "shape" when hit on the sweet spot than the most blade-like of clubs ."

I'll skip over the presumptive nature of the statement and point out that "when hit on the sweet spot" is passive - we don't know what or who is doing the hitting. If you are are talking a machine, then yes, there is no difference in shot shaping capability, as the design of the club head is largely irrelevant. However, if you are talking a human being, the feedback the club gives someone during the course of practice becomes integral to being able to consistently recreate a shot of specific shape, and hence the second part of initial statement "no."

No, they aren't mis-hits. Mis-hits are shots that don't hit near the where the CG projects through the clubface.

Center of gravity projecting through the clubface ... I am not sure I follow this. You can draw an infinite number of lines from the center of gravity through the clubface. If I hit a ball off the toe, I can still draw a line from that point of contact through the center gravity. I think you left something off that definition. But my reference to "slight mishits" to describe draws and fades is that in order to induce the corresponding spin, the ball has to be struck slightly off center (i.e. left or right of the vertical axis). It is possible for that contact to be made on the center of percussion (i.e. sweet spot). Example: the out-to-in pull-fade that feels absolutely flush. In such circumstance, regardless of the club used, you're not going to get a lot of feedback. However, for those who choose to work the ball by having an open or closed clubface at impact, the effect is in addition to initial contact being slightly left or right of the vertical axis of the ball, you are also hitting slightly left or right of the center of percussion. That becomes the feel issue. Maybe that explains my points better.

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^^^ Not for me it doesn't... I would think the objective would be to try and hit the sweet spot every time. Nobody tries to work the ball by hitting slightly left or right of the sweet spot. That would be ridiculous. Control draws and fades with your path, not with opening or closing the face at impact, which is virtually impossible.
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Criminey! Physics of a blade vs GI? Whatever Erik or Mike say. Feel? Whatever anybody says. Done.
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I'll skip over the presumptive nature of the statement and point out that "when hit on the sweet spot" is passive - we don't know what or who is doing the hitting. If you are are talking a machine, then yes, there is no difference in shot shaping capability, as the design of the club head is largely irrelevant. However, if you are talking a human being, the feedback the club gives someone during the course of practice becomes integral to being able to consistently recreate a shot of specific shape, and hence the second part of initial statement "no."

It doesn't matter who or what is hitting the shot. How the shot feels doesn't effect how the ball curves. All the ball cares about at impact is clubhead mass, the direction of the center of mass, the location of the center of mass, and the angle of the face.

If you hit a shot, center contact, with a face 2* right, path 4* right, the ball will start right of the target and draw, regardless whether it's a GI or a blade. Off center hits will bring gear effect more into play. GI irons will tend to curve less because of the higher MOI and low CG, they're more "resistant" to gear effect.

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Quote:

^^^

Not for me it doesn't...

I would think the objective would be to try and hit the sweet spot every time. Nobody tries to work the ball by hitting slightly left or right of the sweet spot. That would be ridiculous. Control draws and fades with your path, not with opening or closing the face at impact, which is virtually impossible.

You are only dealing with half the equation. The sweet spot (center of percussion) is only half the issue. It depends where on the ball you hit (left or right of vertical axis). Ultimately what you are trying to do is impart a predictable degree of spin on the ball. Now if you prefer to change your swing path to a degree where you hit the ball flush (i.e. on the sweet spot) just the right amount left or right of the ball's axis, fine. But you can also maintain a consistent swingpath, and instead opt for an open or closed clubface. If the clubface is open or closed, you are in fact hiting the ball slightly right or left of the center of percussion (i.e. sweet spot). As to whether to do so is "virtually impossible" I would disagree. I tend to think the easiest way to hook a ball, for example, is to address it with a closed clubface. Even if when you get into instruction for drawing, like "right palm facing down" etc, this basically amounts to closing the clubface at impact. Whatever the case may be, if you are someone who is conscious of the clubface when you are trying to work the ball, playing -  and most importantly practicing - with clubs that give you the right feel for those slightly off centered hits is valuable. Again, it is about muscle memory and the feeback becomes important, not for the one time you try the shot, but for all the times you have practiced it leading up to that point. If you don't want to move the ball or prefer to do so strictly based on swingpath, then feel is not as important to you likely.

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Originally Posted by JoePete

Allow me to clarify: I was responding @mvmac's statement "As you know and as we've said before GI irons are no more difficult to "shape" when hit on the sweet spot than the most blade-like of clubs."

I'll skip over the presumptive nature of the statement and point out that "when hit on the sweet spot" is passive - we don't know what or who is doing the hitting. If you are are talking a machine, then yes, there is no difference in shot shaping capability, as the design of the club head is largely irrelevant. However, if you are talking a human being, the feedback the club gives someone during the course of practice becomes integral to being able to consistently recreate a shot of specific shape, and hence the second part of initial statement "no."

What's presumptive?

Also, what Mike said was accurate. You can't say "yes and no" to that. It has nothing to do with hitting the ball toward the heel or toe, and your earlier description of a mis-hit as being a shot with curve is incorrect: nobody classifies that as a "mis-hit."

Center of gravity projecting through the clubface ... I am not sure I follow this.

Then… I'm not sure you're cut out to discuss this. Just being honest (and direct)…

If I hit a ball off the toe, I can still draw a line from that point of contact through the center gravity. I think you left something off that definition.

Nope. If you're hitting out at the ball slightly, the CG projects through the clubface just a teeny tiny bit toward the toe.

But my reference to "slight mishits" to describe draws and fades is that in order to induce the corresponding spin, the ball has to be struck slightly off center (i.e. left or right of the vertical axis).

That's incorrect.

It doesn't matter who or what is hitting the shot. How the shot feels doesn't effect how the ball curves. All the ball cares about at impact is clubhead mass, the direction of the center of mass, the location of the center of mass, and the angle of the face.

If you hit a shot, center contact, with a face 2* right, path 4* right, the ball will start right of the target and draw, regardless whether it's a GI or a blade. Off center hits will bring gear effect more into play. GI irons will tend to curve less because of the higher MOI and low CG, they're more "resistant" to gear effect.

Yup.

You are only dealing with half the equation. The sweet spot (center of percussion) is only half the issue. It depends where on the ball you hit (left or right of vertical axis).

Not nearly as much as the face to path relationship.

Furthermore, nobody works the ball by intentionally mis-hitting it toward the toe or heel.

Ultimately what you are trying to do is impart a predictable degree of spin on the ball. Now if you prefer to change your swing path to a degree where you hit the ball flush (i.e. on the sweet spot) just the right amount left or right of the ball's axis, fine.

That also doesn't happen. Where you contact the ball relative to a vertical line is simply a result of the clubface orientation; it has nothing to do with the path.

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It doesn't matter who or what is hitting the shot. How the shot feels doesn't effect how the ball curves. All the ball cares about at impact is clubhead mass, the direction of the center of mass, the location of the center of mass, and the angle of the face.

If you hit a shot, center contact, with a face 2* right, path 4* right, the ball will start right of the target and draw, regardless whether it's a GI or a blade. Off center hits will bring gear effect more into play. GI irons will tend to curve less because of the higher MOI and low CG, they're more "resistant" to gear effect.

I agree the design of a clubhead has no bearing on the physics. However, it can have a bearing on someone learning how to use those physics. We are not Iron Byron. If I am trying to get a sense of what I have to do with my swing to draw a ball 10, 20, and 30 yards, the feedback off the clubface (i.e. feel) is important to my being able to dial in those differences.

"If you hit a shot, center contact, with a face 2* right, path 4* right," Two degrees open to swing path, which is already four degrees open to target? and that is supposed to draw the ball? You have to have explain your shorthand here - or maybe you mean 2 degrees open and four degrees closed? Also, I am not sure you are using the term "ge ar effect" in its typical sense. For irons it's almost non-existent as the center of gravity on an iron is typically almost on the clubface. If anything most blades are less susceptible to gear effect than game-improvement irons because the center of gravity is closer to the face with a blade. If you are familiar with Dave Tutleman's work, he has a good explanation of gear effect:

http://www.tutelman.com/golf/ballflight/gearEffect.php

Whether you are talking blades or game-improvement irons, I don't think the factor here is gear effect but moment of inertia. Most game-improvement irons move the weight to the perimeter, away from the center of gravity. This makes them more resistant to twisting on an off center hit (i.e. high moment of inertia).  If the ball spins left or right, its more that the ball was not struck on its vertical axis (you have induced spin) . As to where the ball goes off the clubface (before it starts moving), a high moment of inertia (game improvement club) will help slightly as the clubface won't twist as much, and you should also get more length as compared to a more twisting clubhead (i.e. lower moment of inertia).

Circling back to the original post, one clubhead vs. another is not going to turn a 20 handicapper into a 10 handicap, but in the hands of someone who wants to practice particular shots so that they can play them, I do believe that the increased feel you get for where that ball hits the clubface is important feed back, but that is not to say it is necessary in order to become a low single-digit player and neither is every blade design better than every game-improvement design in that regard.

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[Snipped your rather extensive response]

I will just offer some points of reference:

Google "presumptive fallacy"  -  any time someone starts "as you know" "as we all know" etc. it engenders a logical fallacy.

As to our differing definitions of mis-hits - it is again employing the presumptive fallacy to say "nobody" uses my terminology. Moreover whether I say intentional mishit, and you say draw, does it really matter?

As far as "center of gravity projecting through the club face" thing, I think I politely asked you to clarify a rather vague reference; Your response of my not being "cut out to discuss this" is, again, a fallacious argument (ad hominem). I will just leave you with this one business tip - if you are trying to establish yourself as a teacher of the game, you might want to work on your delivery a little bit. You're probably a great guy, and maybe you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed, but especially in a forum like this this, you never know who is on the other side, what their credentials are, or what their connections may be.

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