Should Your Irons Really Match?
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy
Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've written before about the performance qualities of irons, the effect of weight distribution, offset, shaft, etc. And in a few articles of some time back, I opined that I thought more golfers should play modern blade irons than the industry at large would recommend. In other words, I'm supportive of the idea that "you're not as bad as the other companies think you are." I still get emails weekly from golfers who've discovered that logic of mine and have found that their game really began to improve when they did try that move to blades.
In one of those articles I suggested that you start with the short irons. Borrow the 8-, 9-irons and pitching wedge from a friend who plays a modern blade, and see just how much difference it can make in your trajectory and distance control. Again, I’ve heard from many players whose eyes were opened by this experiment.
I’m revisiting this topic today because of a question from Jason, who asked:
"This idea of going from blades to full cavities in one set is something that really makes sense to me (like the NIKE Vr Combo). I was wondering what your take was on this ‘new’ idea for an iron set. Is it a good idea to have ‘different’ irons through your set? And is this something that could really help the average golfer?"Well, Jason, this idea isn’t really all that new, as it has been tried by many golf companies over the years without really catching on. In my opinion, that is a marketing problem. On the one hand, they’re saying this is really good, but they then “hedge their bet”, by making bigger and bolder claims for their full cavity sets. We’ll see if NIKE cracks the code and others re-introduce this type of set make-up. My money is on “no”.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it on your own. Think about your iron set for a bit. How dissatisfied are you with the performance you get from your middle and long irons? (In fact, how many times a round do you even hit shots with less than an 8-iron?) How does that compare to the satisfaction you have with your short iron play? My bet is that you’ve figured out that you’re not hitting your short irons as close as you think you should, but since those are not sold separately, you’re shopping for an entire set of irons that shows promise of helping that part of your game.
My advice is to examine your iron play before you ditch your entire set for something new. If it’s only your short irons that you are trying to improve, why not just get new short irons in a modern blade style? You can have a custom clubmaker build you an 8-, 9- and PW only. They could easily be made to blend seamlessly with your cavity-back middle irons, starting at the 7-.
Or here’s an even more novel idea. Why not have him also examine your wedges and craft those new short irons and “re-craft” your wedges to give you a really matched set of scoring clubs, from 8-iron through your highest lofted wedge? Your middle irons don’t match your hybrids . . . why should they match your short irons?
While I’m a very traditional guy, I’m not one to follow convention for convention’s sake. If you can find a way to hit better golf shots with the clubs that are giving you trouble, experimenting is half the fun.
Let me know what direction you take, Jason, and you’ve won a new EIDOLON wedge for asking. That might be a good place to start with your new experiment, huh?
* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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I was an 11.5 handicap and I had been talking about the new victory reds when they first came out. I thought they were sweeeet. Well my wife overheard me and for xmas she traded my set in for the VR Blades. I was scared to death when I opened the gift. To make a long story short I wanted my old set back at first but now I am an 8.5 and love my VR's.
Jerry in Scottsdale
I have been playing with Nike Pro Combo's for at least 6 years the 8 through wedge are blades, I'm an 8 hand and love the feel I get with my short irons. I have thought about updating my set but have not found anything that has the same feel with the short irons now it appears I need to look at the new Nike VR's.
I started playing Mizuno blades when I was around a 19 hdcp and am down to 7 now. I tried several types and popular models when I switched from Tommy Armour 845 cavity back to the Mizuno MP14. I found I did not lose the distance on mishits that the cavity back pundits claim. I did however get more feedback on mishits. They did not feel as sweet. In my mind, that is a good thing. I want to know when I don't hit it in the middle of the club. Another thing is when they are hit in the sweet spot it feels so good!! I have been with Mizuno blades ever since and now play the MP69. I doubt I will ever go back. I think the reason cavity backs are marketed more is because they are more economical to produce and the manufacturers gain more of profit margin on the sales of those clubs. Just my opinion though!
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