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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
PB, I think that you firstly have to look at the major differences between the 3 sets of clubs that you've used over the past few years.
Both the Mizuno's and the Hogans are forged with small to semi cavity backs, less offset, heavy high kick point steel shafts and modernish normal lie and loft. They are shorter lengths than the M2's with probably standard grips.
Not only the look at setup but the work-ability differs enormously. The M2's are designed to launch even though they are alot stronger lofts and longer clubs by an 1" or so.
The combination of light-weight steel that says stiff flex but really plays more like regular flex can be a big spin problem.
For instance, the reliability and stability of the old Dygold shafts and the normal loft gave you back-spin, which translates into accuracy and feel.
Being a bit closer to the ball at address lets you swing the club how you want and helps with solid ball striking and consistent, centered contact. I've worked on a set or two of the M2's now and can say that the feel via swing-weight is different, alot lighter compared to standard Mizuno's and Hogans.
As Itchy said, "if it looks good to your eye", that's part of the battle negotiated.
Being in control of how the ball flies and reacts is a great start, regardless of how you are playing on any given day.
I wonder how the M2's would go if they were setup with your old shaft the old length, flex and lie/loft ?
It's a huge jump to go from 125 gram shafts to the typical modern offerings at 85/90 grams !
So go back to the clubheads that you like and if it's then about distance loss, then maybe come down a half or full flex ?
To answer your question, yes going to GI clubs can be the wrong move for some people.
Standard GI off the shelf clubs are quite often not the solution but a well thought out fitting might make a great blend to go forward with GI heads and middle of the road weighted shafts in the correct flex !