Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why Do People Play Blades?

I was a junior in college when I decided that I'd become that guy you see at the range. Decent golfer, nothing special, but sports a set of blade irons as he's working on controlling that 7-iron.

Recently, I ordered my first set of irons since the college days, partly because I wanted to get something new and partly because my pitching wedge grooves were so worn down you could see your reflection in it.

I settled on the Titleist AP2 irons with 6.5 Project X shafts in them. So far, I'm loving the new clubs, and noticed something while teeing it up recently with some buddies. The mishits still fly. The fly far and fairly straight and if you catch one a little thin, your hands don't hurt so bad you wish you were an extra in the opening scene of "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves."

So, my question is this ... why do people still play blades? I know that only a few guys on tour still go with the old school irons, but isn't using blades similar to pulling out a Big Bertha driver or playing 18 holes with a Tour Balata? That technology is history and using something like that makes little to no sense. Also, if your argument is "you can work the ball better," I don't want to hear it. Working the golf ball with the AP2's is just as easy as with my 690 MBs, so that is moot.

Have you ever used blades? If so, how long did they stay in the bag?


niel said...

Been in the bag for 7 years. They just look too good. I've been trying to find a new set that suits my eye, but haven't found any yet.

John said...

Aren't the vast majority of golfers - a group which I freely admit includes myself - not good enough to hit blades?

Well, I mean, they're certainly WELCOME to hit blades, they're just not good enough to see any benefit from it, if the blades wouldn't actually detract from their game.

Personally - and bear in mind that I am terrible - my irons go exactly on the line I want maybe one time out of five. If I switch to blades what does that jump to? One in ten? Twenty? I have enough trouble working with the size of the numbers required to compute my golf scores as it is, I can't think what they'd shoot up to if I switched to irons that were markedly harder to hit.

Jay Tierney said...

Technically AP2 irons are blades, but I get your point. I switched to the AP2's last year and love them, leading me to wonder why anyone would play any other iron? No surprise they're now the most common set on tour.

ZC said...

I'd been considering making the jump to the AP2s as well. Good to see people happy with them and recommending them to others.

Shane B. said...


They are awesome. Absolutely awesome. Titleist should hire me for a TV spot where I just hug my iron for like 25 straight seconds.

Jay Tierney said...

The thing I like about the AP2 irons is they force me to swing smoother... which took a little getting used to at first, but only the sixth round I played with them I beat my all-time best score by three shots. I'm wondering how golfers with a handicap above the single digits feel about the AP1's, as obviously the AP2's aren't for everyone.

One-Eyed Golfer said...


Great topic. Our golf store in Catonsville (very close to 'the land of pleasant living') stocks Mizuno & Titleist blades. You would be shocked to find the number of guys walking in off the street wanting blades, steel shafts & stiff flex. I know they do not know their swing speed, so I ask how far they their 5-iron and then their 8-iron. I do not know you from Adam, but I am guessing you are over 200 yards with the five iron and at 165-175 with the eight. These guys tell me 165 with the five and 140 with the eight and I put them on the launch monitor. I don't need to do a full procedure to show them their swing speed is 80 mph. I have on occasion refused to sell a set of clubs I knew to be 100% wrong.

John said...

So, wait, you're saying that golfers should... use the equipment that is right for their game?

Well, I don't know if we can trust shocking ideas like that.

Shane B. said...

One-Eyed (and John),

It is incredible that certain people are still so set on buying off the rack.

I'm a left-hander, so I have a harder time finding exactly the clubs to fit my game, but the fact that people just go in a store and buy a club is incredible.

Take advantage of what is out there, eh?

David said...

I have a set of Ben Hogan Apex clubs that I keep in the trunk of my car and I occasionally hit them at the range. It helps a bit for ball striking but mainly it's a confidence booster - striping the Hogans feels so good.

I can definitely understand the mindset of middle/high handicappers wanting to hit blades - ego, I want clubs I can grow into, etc. - but, like you guys have said, I can't believe you would ever buy a set off the rack...

@Jay Tierney - AP2s are cavity backs but are a "players" club

mustang said...

People still play baldes becuase they didnt buy them look good on the range, but because they control them better and don't mishit like you describe you often do. In your case, you are smart to move more to a game improvement club. Bottom line, different clubs work better for different skilled players,

but don't be confused that since you seem to want to play blades but tend to struggle without a more forgiving club, the rest of the world must need them too.

good luck and enjoy your new sticks