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Can "game Improvement Irons" Hurt Your Game?


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#1 PapaBravo

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 11:00 AM

My first set of "decent" irons were the Hogan Apex forged mb/cb combo's, which had a rather thin top-line, not much offset and didn't have too much distance. I loved these clubs, and only retired them when I got a chance to purchase some Mizuno Mp-52's cheap with only a couple of rounds on them. As a "social golfer" I steadily saw a drop in my scores, and managed to work my way down to an "unofficial" 11 handicap in my casual social group. I took a big break from the game to overcome a significant side injury and to concentrate on a different sport that I was at a National competitive level at. I then returned about 2 years ago, and resumed playing with my mp-52's. I was generally scoring in the mid 80's, only a few strokes more than before, but was still able to visualise and execute the majority of the shots required around the course with my irons.

 

At the start of this year, I decided to invest in basically an entire new kit. Given my swing had slowed down considerably from previous years, I decided to invest in some Taylormade M2 irons, to try and get back some lost distance and protect myself from the fear of overswinging and hurting myself again. I also decided to get off my ass and get a golflink handicap so I could play in the ISG OOM and meet all of you guys for the first time.

 

My 3 card rounds were all with the new m2's and blatantly, I had absolutely shocking rounds. At the time I put the results down to the conditions being quite tough, and also my home course Yarrambat playing much more difficult from the very back tees. For the first time in a long time, I was constantly pulling out irons longer than my 7iron to get to the greens, and my game basically imploded. I couldn't hit a GIR to save myself, with anything I tried to fade either resulting in a significant pull or push slice, and anything I tried to draw guaranteed to pull hook. Alignment was horrid, contact was inconsistent, and whilst the good shots had the distance, the bad shots were so thin or fat that I had reached a point where I didn't know how far I was going to hit any given shot, and I didn't know which side of the course I was hitting to. I feel embarrassed to admit that my first ever official handicap was in the low 20's, and I had lost the ability to play this game.

 

Out of desperation, I played a casual solo round at Growling frog on Saturday, and had a bit of a Frankenstein theme going on in the bag, Using my old hogans from 9-6iron, and using the m2's from 6-4, because of the much stronger lofts. Unfortunately I had lost my old 5iron, so this was my only choice to kind of have the irons form somewhat of a set.

 

All of a sudden, I had my old game back. I was able to set up for a draw and the ball would actually draw not duck hook. I was able to set up to go high or low and the shot result was what I would expect. I hit every par 3 in GIR playing off the very back tees, I was able to chip with my short irons again without fear of it running off the green, and I actually enjoyed the game again, because I was playing to the standard I expect myself to be able to play at. I carded an 82 off the very back tees on a course that I have a tenancy to struggle at because it requires the player to remain on the fairways for the round and have the feeling of being excited for golf again.

 

Now it's probably way too early to tell myself "I'm back in form" and may have just had a round where things went right for once, but the confidence and enthusiasm generated by going back to a more bladed style iron can't be ignored. For the first time this year, I was able to feel the game again and trust the shot I saw in my head. I found another full set of the same hogans on Gumtree, picked them up last night, and can't wait to give the "new" sticks a hit this weekend.

 

This little story raises a question to ponder. Are game improvement irons purely of benefit to a very high handicapper to help them with the basics of hitting the ball in the air, and more importantly, can these style irons actually significantly hurt someones game who has a fundamental understanding of how to hit a golf shot? Does all of the "technology" that goes into lower CG, more forgiving on mishits actually hinder a golfers ability to actually play the game?

 

Is all of this in my head, or can Game Improvement Irons significantly hurt your game to this extent?

 

 


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#2 OldBogey

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:22 PM

Of course it's all in your head.

 

But were the M2 irons properly fitted or just off the rack?

Why not use the MP52s? Or did you sell them?



#3 PapaBravo

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 12:50 PM

M2's were fitted and also tuned/adjusted marginally after the first round I played.

 

I got rid of the mp-52's because I thought at the time I wouldn't ever gain back the swing speeds I previously had and couldn't get them high enough anymore when I needed to. In hindsight I probably should have kept them, but when I sold them I was able to get an M1 driver which I absolutely love. Hogans are very similar I feel, but perhaps a touch more forgiving in the longer irons in comparison.


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#4 pom

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:07 PM

I cannot see how Game improvement irons would make that much difference to your game  I could believe that you may lose a little distance , emphasis on little, but game improvement irons are designed to give the longer handicap golfer a bigger sweet spot so I cannot see how this would contribute to more mishits to a better golfer.

 I would be interested to know what sort of distance You expect to get out of a 7 iron & how much diistance you lost on all the clubs.

 I have a mate who got a full set of clubs fitted to him by a reputable retailer. He has just bought another set, from another retailer, that are radically different in the settings & he is much happier with the way they play. The first set were nowhere near correct for his body size or his swing. The fitters do get it wrong sometimes.


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#5 PapaBravo

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:24 PM

I cannot see how Game improvement irons would make that much difference to your game  I could believe that you may lose a little distance , emphasis on little, but game improvement irons are designed to give the longer handicap golfer a bigger sweet spot so I cannot see how this would contribute to more mishits to a better golfer.

 I would be interested to know what sort of distance You expect to get out of a 7 iron & how much diistance you lost on all the clubs.

 I have a mate who got a full set of clubs fitted to him by a reputable retailer. He has just bought another set, from another retailer, that are radically different in the settings & he is much happier with the way they play. The first set were nowhere near correct for his body size or his swing. The fitters do get it wrong sometimes.

 

Hi Pom, thanks for the reply.

 

I'm sorry for the confusion, I gained far too much distance with the m2's in comparison to older irons. A Normal 7 iron for me is about 135 carry at anywhere between 5800 and 6800 rpm total spin. The m2 7 iron was behaving like a 5.5 iron, with 4500rpm and carrying 155m.

 

I'll also clarify, straight shots were reasonably fine with the m2's but for me it's much harder to square everything and hit straight every single shot than it is to set up and hit little draws and fades. It was with the set up to draws that (for example) I was getting massive blocks right or pull hooks in the ball flights and whilst they were supposed to give more forgiveness, seemed to have the complete opposite effect for my game.

 

I hope someone can make sense of what I'm trying to say.


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#6 Itchy4Scratch

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:31 PM

Hi Pom, thanks for the reply.

 

I'm sorry for the confusion, I gained far too much distance with the m2's in comparison to older irons. A Normal 7 iron for me is about 135 carry at anywhere between 5800 and 6800 rpm total spin. The m2 7 iron was behaving like a 5.5 iron, with 4500rpm and carrying 155m.

 

I'll also clarify, straight shots were reasonably fine with the m2's but for me it's much harder to square everything and hit straight every single shot than it is to set up and hit little draws and fades. It was with the set up to draws that (for example) I was getting massive blocks right or pull hooks in the ball flights and whilst they were supposed to give more forgiveness, seemed to have the complete opposite effect for my game.

 

I hope someone can make sense of what I'm trying to say.

Possibly check the lie angles again, hooks can be caused by them being too upright and the block can be a compensation. 

Secondly, clubs with offset are designed to fight a slice so if your normal shape is a draw then clubs with large offsets might not be the best idea. 


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#7 PapaBravo

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:48 PM

Secondly, clubs with offset are designed to fight a slice so if your normal shape is a draw then clubs with large offsets might not be the best idea. 

 

that probably hits the nail on the head. I think the offsets played huge into my alignment issues, and I was desperately trying to adjust my set up to get the ball to do what I was expecting it to do. I'm not someone who can just turn the brain off and try to hit everything straight, I want to see the ball fly in the same way I see it in my head before the shot and very rarely is that just plain straight and high, unless I'm looking for a cut.

 

I did have the lies checked with the impact board on 2 separate occasions, by 2 separate professionals, but each time the markings on the club bottoms were very neutral and so I was assured they were correct.


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#8 Itchy4Scratch

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 04:52 PM

that probably hits the nail on the head. I think the offsets played huge into my alignment issues, and I was desperately trying to adjust my set up to get the ball to do what I was expecting it to do. I'm not someone who can just turn the brain off and try to hit everything straight, I want to see the ball fly in the same way I see it in my head before the shot and very rarely is that just plain straight and high, unless I'm looking for a cut.

 

I did have the lies checked with the impact board on 2 separate occasions, by 2 separate professionals, but each time the markings on the club bottoms were very neutral and so I was assured they were correct.

If you aren't confident in the clubs then they definitely aren't right for you, in my opinion. Looks have a lot to do with that. 

I know I couldn't play shovels like the M2 these days. 

There are plenty of other clubs out there these days that offer forgiveness without looking like a sledgehammer. 
 



#9 PapaBravo

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 05:36 PM

I know I couldn't play shovels like the M2 these days.

 

Can I ask, is that conclusion purely a visual thing, a feel thing or do you feel as though there is something about their characteristics that would impact your game? Would you expect your scores to be worse if for one reason or another you were forced to play something like an m2 set?


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#10 Phil Mycrackin

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 06:01 PM

Clubs are like women, I would only pay money for ones I like the look of.
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#11 Itchy4Scratch

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 06:02 PM

Can I ask, is that conclusion purely a visual thing, a feel thing or do you feel as though there is something about their characteristics that would impact your game? Would you expect your scores to be worse if for one reason or another you were forced to play something like an m2 set?

Visual. Looks inspire confidence, confidence inspires results. 



#12 hack2489

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 08:16 PM

Total hack here PB, but, a few thoughts, for all the $0.02 they could be worth:

 

- offset jumped to my mind as I read your OP

 

- the other big one is shaft flex, and

 

- dare I say it, the combination of both.

 

While your lie angle is fine, it sounds like the club path is fighting the face angle. Either a timing issue with the offset or shaft flex, or both.



#13 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 08:22 AM

Sounds like the std lofts on the M2 irons have been tweaked (7 iron 155m when you're used to 135m) so TM can do its usual claim that they are the longest irons in the history of the universe.

 

So jacked up lofts to gain distance, and a large offset to me sounds like either low boring "pull shots", or big cuts would be the result depending on when the clubface contacts the ball (the offset would be throwing out the natural timing of the clubface rotation in your swing).

 

In order to tame the offset (this has been my experience back in the day) you really need to focus the eyes, not on the back of the ball, but on the front of it when about to swing, eg trying to ensure the clubface is delayed just a touch before turning over (offset compensation).

 

If you can't get used to a big offset though, it might be time to go back to something with minimal offset so that you can consistently deliver the clubface square to the ball.

 

Just my thoughts ..... :)


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#14 PapaBravo

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 10:23 AM

Yeah the consistent theme here is the offset was causing alot of my issues, and I totally agree looking at it.

 

I have come to the conclusion that I would rather not continue to adjust my swing and alignment to attempt to compensate for the m2's. I would rather go back to a club with minimal offset so I can go back to feeling more in control of what the ball is doing.

 

So I have the Apex FTX set I picked up on Sunday down with Ethan at Yarrambat today. Swinging a club at 7am isn't really my cup of tea, but he explained that with my swing, I need these clubs to be adjusted 1 degree flatter than they were. He is also making sure all of the lofts are reset to stock, and I am installing fresh new grips on all of the clubs to make them feel like new again.

 

It will be nice going back to the type of club that I learned the game with, and hopefully get back to playing good golf with my irons on a consistent basis. I had forgotten how good contact feels with forged clubs, and I am confident I have no use for a chunky offset game improvement iron ever again.


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#15 Can Break 80

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 04:24 PM

Papa

no wonder you hit TM irons further as GPJ says look how lofts of clubs have changed.

 

iron              1970     1990         2015     M2 irons     hogan

 

4                  28          25            20.5         19              23

 

5                  32         28           23             21.5             26

 

7                 40         36              31           28.5             34          


Edited by tour grinder, 04 July 2017 - 04:26 PM.

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