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Sean_D

Buying New Irons

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Today I'm going to start hitting clubs with the intent to select a set for purchase. I have been researching this for quite a while now and I have made a few decisions going into this purchase. I also went through a Taylormade demo day fitting at a local course about a week ago and learned a few things about what works for me. At the demo day, the Taylormade fitter fit me into a P790 head with a True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 shaft with S300 stiffness.

With that information in mind, I'm going to go to the superstore to pick out my new set of irons. Here is my process.

Through research, I have narrowed the field down to a short list which includes: Ping i210, Ping i500, Callaway Rogue Pro, Titleist 718 AP3, Taylormade P790, and Srixon Z585. Using the Ping fitting chart, I have determined that my clubs should be 2 degrees upright and about +1/2" in length.

At the superstore I am able to take three clubs at a time to their hitting bay to test out. I plan on having them assemble each of the clubs on my short list with the TT Dynamic Gold 120 at 2* up and hit each of them to determine which one I like best.

Once I have done that, I am going to have a full trackman fitting done to see what the recommendation is from that fitting.

Then I will compare the club I like best vs. the club recommended from the fitting (hopefully it will be the same club with maybe a different shaft and/or loft, length.

Then order the clubs and begin the waiting period.

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15 minutes ago, colin007 said:

Do irons have standard lie angles across brands?

That is a great question, and one I didn't think to ask or research. I'll have to ask when I get there.

 

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@Sean_D  You will want to keep track of the relative differences in the lofts, lies, and lengths, of the clubs you demo.  There is enough variation that a 5 iron, in one set, might represent a 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 in another.  Happy hunting and good luck.

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5 minutes ago, Piz said:

There is enough variation that a 5 iron, in one set, might represent a 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 in another.  Happy hunting and good luck.

You're being kind.  the last demo I hit i was so excited at how much longer they hit.  I looked up the lofts and jsut that was a full 4 degrees different (full iron, more than that for some).

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22 minutes ago, Piz said:

@Sean_D  You will want to keep track of the relative differences in the lofts, lies, and lengths, of the clubs you demo.  There is enough variation that a 5 iron, in one set, might represent a 4 1/2 or 5 1/2 in another.  Happy hunting and good luck.

I've already done that bit of research. One of the main reasons I chose the sets I did is because the lofts are very close or equal to the lofts of my current set. I really wanted to be sure any distance gains were not due to strong(er) lofts but to other design elements or fitting. I already know my current set is too flat, too light, and perhaps too short. Hopefully matching those criteria to my swing/body will help me eliminate my fat mishit.

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With your handicap, I would strongly suggest looking irons that have more game improvement features than the ones you're looking at now. I have Rogue Pros, and they can be pretty punishing on mishits. I would image that a lot of the other clubs on that list are similar. In fact, I tried several of them, and they will be punishing for you.

If you're okay with a couple of pretty awful shots per round, then feel free to ignore my advice.

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I just started with GHIN and have stopped entering scores into the app where I tracked my handicap. My current differentials in GHIN suggest my handicap will be around 17 when I get enough scores entered. I started the year at 38 and will finish at least 20 strokes lower. I have been taking lessons all year and my swing is much better than my handicap would suggest. I am looking for irons I can "grow into" so I am willing to get something that might be a little bit difficult to hit. I am certain I'll get there soon enough. I hit the P790s (from the demo day fitting) exceptionally well and carried the 7 iron ~160 yards. I found it much easier to hit consistently than my current 7 iron. But if I get to the shop and find those clubs impossible to hit well, I am not above changing my mind and buying something different or nothing at all.

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38 minutes ago, Sean_D said:

I just started with GHIN and have stopped entering scores into the app where I tracked my handicap. My current differentials in GHIN suggest my handicap will be around 17 when I get enough scores entered. I started the year at 38 and will finish at least 20 strokes lower. I have been taking lessons all year and my swing is much better than my handicap would suggest. I am looking for irons I can "grow into" so I am willing to get something that might be a little bit difficult to hit. I am certain I'll get there soon enough. I hit the P790s (from the demo day fitting) exceptionally well and carried the 7 iron ~160 yards. I found it much easier to hit consistently than my current 7 iron. But if I get to the shop and find those clubs impossible to hit well, I am not above changing my mind and buying something different or nothing at all.

That's great, but I would still suggest a more game improvement iron than the ones you're looking at. I literally just switched from Rocketbladez, which are pure game improvement irons really, to the Rogue Pros. I could easily keep playing the Rocketbladez, even at my handicap. I get the idea of growing into your irons, but that's not really something you need to do.

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50 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

That's great, but I would still suggest a more game improvement iron than the ones you're looking at. 

I have to agree.  When I was buying I LOVED the look of the Ping I model, I think it was then the I20.  THAT was how a club should look to me.  Couldn't hit them and I have an above average game. Went for GI irons and never regretted.

If the GI look totally puts you off, I think Mizuno JPX and Titleist AP1 do a better job of looking like a players iron.  But I certainly wouldn't buy without trying some GI irons first - may surprise you

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On 12/14/2018 at 1:01 PM, colin007 said:

Do irons have standard lie angles across brands?

No.  I'm 2* upright with Mizuno, but less with others, and more with others as well.

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On 12/14/2018 at 12:44 PM, Sean_D said:

Today I'm going to start hitting clubs with the intent to select a set for purchase. I have been researching this for quite a while now and I have made a few decisions going into this purchase. I also went through a Taylormade demo day fitting at a local course about a week ago and learned a few things about what works for me. At the demo day, the Taylormade fitter fit me into a P790 head with a True Temper Dynamic Gold 120 shaft with S300 stiffness.

With that information in mind, I'm going to go to the superstore to pick out my new set of irons. Here is my process.

Through research, I have narrowed the field down to a short list which includes: Ping i210, Ping i500, Callaway Rogue Pro, Titleist 718 AP3, Taylormade P790, and Srixon Z585. Using the Ping fitting chart, I have determined that my clubs should be 2 degrees upright and about +1/2" in length.

At the superstore I am able to take three clubs at a time to their hitting bay to test out. I plan on having them assemble each of the clubs on my short list with the TT Dynamic Gold 120 at 2* up and hit each of them to determine which one I like best.

Once I have done that, I am going to have a full trackman fitting done to see what the recommendation is from that fitting.

Then I will compare the club I like best vs. the club recommended from the fitting (hopefully it will be the same club with maybe a different shaft and/or loft, length.

Then order the clubs and begin the waiting period.

I'd buy two sets...

1.  A set of old blades on the cheap (practice with them, and your ball striking will improve).

2.  JPX 919 HotMetal or Ben Hogan Edge Irons.  The Hogan Edge's are about the finest new forged clubs you can find for the money.  It's all factory direct so the prices are more than reasonable.  Great clubs, too!

Myself, I'm 1.5 to 2.5* upright depending on brand, and a +1 inch in length as well.  Also, what is your normal shot pattern and do you prefer a heavier or lighter feeling club?

 

On 12/14/2018 at 3:18 PM, Sean_D said:

I just started with GHIN and have stopped entering scores into the app where I tracked my handicap. My current differentials in GHIN suggest my handicap will be around 17 when I get enough scores entered. I started the year at 38 and will finish at least 20 strokes lower. I have been taking lessons all year and my swing is much better than my handicap would suggest. I am looking for irons I can "grow into" so I am willing to get something that might be a little bit difficult to hit. I am certain I'll get there soon enough. I hit the P790s (from the demo day fitting) exceptionally well and carried the 7 iron ~160 yards. I found it much easier to hit consistently than my current 7 iron. But if I get to the shop and find those clubs impossible to hit well, I am not above changing my mind and buying something different or nothing at all.

Didn't read this until just now.  You might want to wait a little bit more and check out the Hot Metal Pros when they are released.  Basically a HotMetal but with a thinner topline, smaller head, and reduced offset.  You can even do a combo set of HM Pros in 4-6 and 919 Forged in 7-PW/GW.  I'm leaning this way for my 2nd set.  

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1 hour ago, Reef Donkey said:

A set of old blades on the cheap (practice with them, and your ball striking will improve).

I get the implied reasoning here but this is largely a waste of money. Get the irons from the process he has listed and perhaps a launch monitor that at least tracks ball speed accurately. That will measure your striking ability to a number you can even quantify and keep track of. I use gc2 but I hear that the swing caddy at least does ball speed well which is really all you’d need. 

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So I hit all the clubs in my original post last week. I couldn't hit the Callaway Rogue pros well at all, so I eliminated those first. In the end, I hit the Titleist AP3s the best, the TM P790s and Srixon Z585s after that. All in all, I didn't hit any of the clubs much better than I hit my current set of irons. 

I decided to get a full trackman fitting and I am including the Ping G400 and Titleist AP1 in my quest for new clubs. I have found that off-the-rack clubs are generally too light for my swing, so I am looking forward to trying the two Titleist clubs, the P790, and the G400 in my fitting with heavier shafts and proper lie angles. 

I appreciate all the advice, even the stuff I generally don't agree with. You have all given me much to think about, and your input will certainly help me end up with the clubs that work best for me and my swing.

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I completed the Trackman Fitting yesterday and I am amazed at the difference a properly customized club makes. I started the fitting with AP3, P790, AP1, and G400 as the contenders. During my warm up I was hitting the 7-iron around 135 carry (I don't remember which club I was using) and that is about how far I would normally hit my off-the-rack Cobra Bafflers.

We started out looking for the head which provided the best ball speed and spin. The AP1 spun too much and had the slowest ball speed, so it was eliminated first. As we progressed, the P790, AP3, and G400 were all very close in ball speed, but the P790 had the least optimal spin, so it went next. The AP3 and G400 performed almost identically. I liked the sound of the AP3 better and I liked the feedback the G400 gave on mishits better. When both were struck well the fell was very good with both. I liked them both a lot, and decided to go with the Ping G400 because they are significantly less expensive.

My fitter also wanted me to hit the Callaway Rogue. I have read a lot about how people feel about the look of a golf club and thought they were crazy... until I saw Callaway Rogue. I absolutely hated everything about how that club looked. Way too fat, too much offset, and the color even bothered me. I hit one ball with it and handed it back... This is not the one!

During clubhead selection, I was still hitting around 140 yards carry with a couple of outliers that would pop out to 150+.

Then we started switching shafts... and that is when things started to improve dramatically. Through changing the weight, length, and profiles of the shaft, I started consistently hitting the ball in the center of the clubface. I didn't hit a single fat shot (one of my main misses) and I consistently started carrying the ball between 160-165 yards right down my target line. My dispersion tightened up and the impact tape looked like it had a single ball impression.

I ended up ordering the G400 with the AWT 2.0 shaft, Green dot and +1/2" in length with a midsize grip. My clubs should be here just after the 1st of the year. I am excited for them to come and I don't even want to hit current clubs any longer. 

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback, I don't think I would have ever considered G400 before starting this thread. I was skeptical about the Trackman fitting and hesitant to shell out the cash for one, but I am glad I did. I will not buy clubs without doing on again. It made a 30+ yard difference in my 7-iron, and I am confident that as I improve my swing, I will see the results more quickly in my ball-flight.

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20 minutes ago, DeadMan said:

Ping makes good clubs.

I play Ping and love them. On my second set in the last 12 years.

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