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Snipehook16

Are blades only good for shaving??

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So I wanted to get people's opinion on bladed irons. Is there a point anymore to use blades? Or does today's technology make them obsolete? I know blades are hard to hit and if you don't pure them every time it's going to hurt you. But say for someone who does hit the ball on the center of the face 99% of the time, are they really that much better? I forget what irons he was using but I know a while back Luke Donald wasn't even using Mizunos MP-4s, he was using the set a step down. For someone his caliber you would think he could hit the ball with a dime welded to a shaft. But oh boy are they such a beautiful sight behind a golf ball!

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Hi

I started with blades in 1985 as there was little else around unless you could afford ping. My second set that year was Ben hogan apex 2 from the 70s. I got pretty decent then gave up golf for 20 years. When I returned I got some big berthas could not stand em so went back to hogans ( which I kept) still no good then got some lynx predator handicap went from 21 to 15 in six months. 

I got a set of mizuno tzoid pro 2 and handicap dropped to 11. I now have set of titliest zm forged and I absolutely love em. Yes a bad shot is bad but I think you don't have to be pro or near pro standard to enjoy blades.In short if you like the look of them behind the ball and through the ball then stick with blades or cavity whatever you fancy.

I personally do not think any club will improve my game it's about being comfortable and sticking with what you've got and like. I like blades so I use em despite fellow gofers saying they are "only for low handicaps" which I hear all the time.

What do you use or try?

 

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So IMO, if there are easier options to hit that can produce similar results, why play blades? 

I had a set of Titleist 710 Cavity Backs and sold them for blades. Simply because they looked cool, and "all good golfers play blades". Well, I wasnt as good a ball striker that I thought I was. I now play AP2's and my handicap is as low as its ever been. For guys like Jordan Spieth and Luke Donald in your example, if they hit it pure most of the time, why risk that 1% where you dont pure it and the blade iron leaves you 15 yards short of your target and in a creek/hazard. 

The technology in irons today is incredible for hitting high shots while still being able to work the ball plenty. Im not knocking anyone who plays blades, because that is impressive. It all comes down to preference.

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Some of the newer blades have some help built into them. The iBlades do for sure, but I think if you want help built in then you'll have to go with cast options instead of forged. I have to say though, you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between a forged blade and the iBlade when it comes to "feel" and sound.

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1 minute ago, Jeremie Boop said:

I think if you want help built in then you'll have to go with cast options instead of forged.

This isn't even true anymore. A lot of manufacturers are using forged multi-piece construction to build their higher end lines. Basically they forge the individual components and then weld them together.

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Just now, billchao said:

This isn't even true anymore. A lot of manufacturers are using forged multi-piece construction to build their higher end lines. Basically they forge the individual components and then weld them together.

Interesting, good to know.

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I think this just comes down to the end users expectations, results and wants.  Blades look awesome but I just broke 90 for the first time the other day playing a set of yardsale chunky nike NDX's.  While my tour cavities (which are very blade like) were at home. Was it the arrows, No, but i had less toe, heel, mishits, and misses tended to be long or short and not left to right.  My good shots were about target and not feel.  On the other hand I have a random six iron that is a wilson staff dynapower tour staff that is absoulutely mint that i lucked out and was included in some garage sell clubs that i picked up once.  The club "feels" unreal, I sometimes hit balls with it just for the sake of hitting balls with it.  So i think that its really up to you.  Im chasing scores at the moment and not feels.

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19 minutes ago, Jeremie Boop said:

The iBlades do for sure, but I think if you want help built in then you'll have to go with cast options instead of forged.

I dont actually think of the iBlades as real blades. They look like they have a lot of "help" in them. When I think of blades I think of Mizuno, Titleist, Ben Hogan's, Taylormae.

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I wouldn't say they are necessarily obsolete because there are people who like playing them though they are a bit tougher to hit but are very rewarding in terms of feel when you do hit them well. I'd say its similar to people wanting a traditional 6 speed transmission in a sports car vs one with a PDK. At the end of the day 99.9% of golfers are playing it out of enjoyment so you might as well play with clubs you want most.

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I have been kicking around the idea of playing with an old set of blades that I have laying around. Like legit tiny blades.

blades.JPG

The only problem is the 8 iron is missing from the set I have. No clue where it went. I completely expect the round to be bad, but I'm just curious how bad. I'm sure I'll be hitting 2 clubs more for distance at least lol.

6 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

I dont actually think of the iBlades as real blades. They look like they have a lot of "help" in them. When I think of blades I think of Mizuno, Titleist, Ben Hogan's, Taylormae.

I guess I can see your point. I still consider them a blade because of their profile and overall look. That and they don't have nearly the help that my Ping I's have.

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4 hours ago, rap5000 said:

What do you use or try?

 

I just traded my Titleist 716 CB for a left over brand new set of Mizuno MP-4s. I only buy slightly used clubs and have never been properly fitted for clubs so when I bought the Titleist the shaft was way too weak for me. Just having a baby I can't afford to reshaft my set so when I was at Golfsmith I saw a 'only hit in store' set with the shafts I was fitted for so I traded for them. My first set of adult clubs were MP-33s so I'm not brand new to blades.

54 minutes ago, kpaulhus said:

I dont actually think of the iBlades as real blades. They look like they have a lot of "help" in them. When I think of blades I think of Mizuno, Titleist, Ben Hogan's, Taylormae.

I hit the iblades...they feel nothing like a true blade at all. A blade HAS to be forged or I don't think it can be classified as one. Compare the ping to a Mizuno.....HA no chance ping.

54 minutes ago, JxQx said:

I wouldn't say they are necessarily obsolete because there are people who like playing them though they are a bit tougher to hit but are very rewarding in terms of feel when you do hit them well. I'd say its similar to people wanting a traditional 6 speed transmission in a sports car vs one with a PDK. At the end of the day 99.9% of golfers are playing it out of enjoyment so you might as well play with clubs you want most.

 I don't consider it "driving" if you aren't shifting yourself :-)

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The feel between my Titleist CB and my Mizuno is like night and day. Is this the blade doing that or is this because Mizunos clubs feel like butter? I haven't hit a club that feels better than the MP-4.

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1 hour ago, kpaulhus said:

I dont actually think of the iBlades as real blades. They look like they have a lot of "help" in them. When I think of blades I think of Mizuno, Titleist, Ben Hogan's, Taylormae.

Agree.

They are called "i" blades for a reason. Thin topline, compact head, not much offset but with more technology (high MOI, "thin" face") than a traditional muscle back. Same thing with the PXG irons (even the tour ones), even though they don't have a visible cavity they aren't "real" blades.

@Snipehook16, good players that use blades like them because of their profile at address, it's easier to control trajectory and they provide lots of feedback. Yes it's important to hit it in the center most of time otherwise you're going to notice a drop off in distance. Also helps to have the ability to create some speed. Luke Donald actually went back to musclebacks this year, the Mizuno MP-5. 

 

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@mvmac yes I heard he went to the blades this year (or whenever the 5s came out), that's what I like to see. Do you know anything about the 5s? I heard they are "easier to hit" in the blade category, well easier than the 4s. Is this true? Or is a blade a blade no matter what channeling or how they shape the muscle.

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54 minutes ago, Snipehook16 said:

 I don't consider it "driving" if you aren't shifting yourself :-)

Agreed!

I was just looking at the MP-4s, MP-5s and Titleist 716 MBs last night. Looking to make the transition into one of those sets after I get the chance to hit them all.

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@JxQx I have the MP-4s and they are money! The MP-5s I haven't hit before but I'm sure they are the same, Mizuno knows how to make a forged iron. I hit the Titleist the day I got the 4s and they felt good, but not like the Mizunos.

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11 minutes ago, Snipehook16 said:

@mvmac yes I heard he went to the blades this year (or whenever the 5s came out), that's what I like to see. Do you know anything about the 5s? I heard they are "easier to hit" in the blade category, well easier than the 4s. Is this true? Or is a blade a blade no matter what channeling or how they shape the muscle.

Yes the center of gravity is a little lower compared to the MP-4's and the topline is a little thicker to "hide" the thicker muscle. They are basically between a Mizuno classic blade and a player's cavity back (MP-64). Shape of the muscle and channeling can make a difference but overall performance is going to be similar. If you want a blade looking iron with forgiveness the i blades are the best way to go. Blades will never be obsolete because good players like playing them and they look cool. You'll probably see more "tech blades" like the PXG and Titleist T-MB irons. 

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10 hours ago, Snipehook16 said:

So I wanted to get people's opinion on bladed irons. Is there a point anymore to use blades? Or does today's technology make them obsolete? I know blades are hard to hit and if you don't pure them every time it's going to hurt you. But say for someone who does hit the ball on the center of the face 99% of the time, are they really that much better? I forget what irons he was using but I know a while back Luke Donald wasn't even using Mizunos MP-4s, he was using the set a step down. For someone his caliber you would think he could hit the ball with a dime welded to a shaft. But oh boy are they such a beautiful sight behind a golf ball!

IMO, blades have an advantage for a good ball striker over more "forgiving" technology in the following ways:

  • They keep you sharp. When you can get away with a mishit on a game improvement iron, and get less feedback overall from the club about how you're hitting, your ball striking tends to get sloppy, and even the most forgiving iron in the market will eventually be unable to keep it straight and down the line. Blades tell you when you screw up, even if they have some technology to help you out a little with toe hits.
  • Blades are more workable. Extreme cavity weighting is like having training wheels on a bike; they'll keep you upright, but they keep you upright. Game improvement irons can't tell the difference between an intentional fade to work the ball around a tree, and an accidental slice while aiming down a wide open fairway. The assumption made in the design and the target market of a GI is that any mishit is accidental. The engineering of a blade assumes you know what you're doing.
  • Blades have better craftsmanship and factory QA. Better ball strikers tend to play more blade-like irons, and better players demand better quality in their equipment, so the manufacturers pay extra attention to detail in the design and construction of low-cap blade irons. 30-cap casual players just want to get the ball downrange, and they also tend to be more budget-minded since they don't play/practice every day, so GI heads tend to have looser manufacturing tolerances and less expensive shafts, the effects of which are largely buried in inconsistent swing mechanics of the average hacker.
  • Most blades are forged, allowing greater tweaking by clubsmiths to your exact specs. Want your 9-iron 5 degrees stronger, or weaker? With a harder, more brittle cast club that's really asking a lot of the clubhead's ability to bend, but for a forged iron that was made by pounding on a blank block of iron, no big deal really.
  • Blade doesn't necessarily mean blade anymore. When people think "blade", their grandfather's set from the '50s usually comes to mind; thick "muscleback" clubheads, weak lofts, dime-sized sweet spot, no sole, if you don't hit it absolutely perfectly you will pay. No longer, really. Irons built as "blades" for the low-cap, scratch and tour pro market still incorporate some of the innovations available in mid- and high-cap irons. Cavity-style weighting (usually called "cut-muscle") to increase MOI, a lower CG for higher launch, in turn allowing a stronger loft for better distance, a thinner face with elastomer tuning ports, and a thicker, rounder sole for better turf interaction. All of these innovations of the last 25 years or so can be found on the modern "blade" iron, just not anywhere near the degree that cast-head GI irons have them.

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