This new take on blade irons is a Cool Golf Thing

'Forgiveness' might be overrated.
Blades should never go out of style, especially in light of some new thinking about their playability.

For the near-decade that I've used them, I've taken pride in being a golfer who is (or at least feels) skilled enough to use blade irons. Blades have accounted for a tiny portion of iron sales for years, but nevertheless almost every OEM worth its billets makes a set, mostly as an aspirational item that appeases the purest of ball-strikers and plus-fours-wearing, mustache-twirling traditionalists within golf's already traditional demographic.

But it turns out blades may not be obsolete after all, and I'm not nearly as special as I thought. I watched a video posted this week by Mark Crossfield, one of YouTube's best when it comes to golf equipment content. The task: compare a 1980s-era blade iron to a contemporary "chunky" game-improvement iron of comparable loft by hitting 40 shots with each on his at-home launch monitor and analyze the results. Crossfield found something strikingly counterintuitive: the blade iron performed more consistently than the chunky one in several ways, including on slight mishits. In a more qualitative video shot last year, fellow club-reviewing Briton Rick Shiels took a new set of Wilson Staff blades to a course and invited golfers of varying handicaps, who had never before considered hitting blades, to give them a try. All seemed surprised at how hittable they were relative to what they'd heard and read.

Does this mean game-improvement irons are bogus? No; Crossfield and Shiels' respective explorations are notable but not definitive. Furthermore, some golfers genuinely prefer hitting them. Confidence is as important as anything in golf, and if a chunky iron gives you confidence, you should hit it. The truly compelling and provocative implication of Crossfield and Shiels' respective investigations is that if you're not an elite ball-striker, it needn't disqualify you from hitting blades. They're not so scary after all.

Who knew wires could be so comfortable?
1 Min Read

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
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I play Apex MB and for me it's all about distance control. With cavity backs I was 155-170 with an 8 iron. Now it's about 155-160 and I shoot lower scores. And what's funny is that once you get used to them other clubs look bulky. Not for everybody but they work for me.

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I may get ridiculed for saying this but I am a +18 handicap that plays blades. I bought a set of Titleist 690mb a few months back and have been able to get out for a good 10-15 times this season so far using the blades. I was shamed when I bought these clubs but it was because of my handicap and the idea of "why make the game harder for you than it already is?" Honestly I have found a huge improvement in my ability to hit an iron shot since switching to the blades. To be clear, my iron game has not been the reason for the poor handicap it is more the driving and shots around the green that screws me over. But I bought these blades because I loved the sound they made, loved how clean/sharp they looked, and to be honest I felt confident over top of them. I get really punished for my bad shots but the good shots are rewarding. I just found that with a smaller club head and less room for error I have fine tuned my iron game to where I want it. I have switch back to my Ping G5s once in awhile and I find that I'm hitting those better than I ever had ever since I practiced more with the blades. Only downside is that I don't get the distance that I can get with the blades when I am striking them well. But to each their own, I just wanted to add the opinion of the recreational golfer.

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I am a 75+ year old and play with a set of Mac Gregor Tourney blades_12C2W22_Mac Gregor Response _ 2 Medium steel shaft, given to me in 1980 by a family who's father had passed on and said these should be passed to me. I started using them but found it a little different to my other set of clubs. I kept at it for a couple of weeks and found I was hitting the ball cleaner and a lot more straight. I cannot hit a long ball but keep it within a degree or three of my aim. I never have a problem finding my ball and have not bought a ball in the last ten years. I find them. I play at least twice a week all year round, and two to three times in the Summer. Blades are great and feel is the confidence of the effort. Cheers. Hit em high and watch them fly.

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Hi Tim,
Ask any physics Professor - “what is the optimum shape for maximum energy transfer from a moving inclined striker to an inert sphere”, and the answer will be - “a triangle “. The “blade” is a modified triangle. As is a mallet putter head.
As was alluded to in the video, everything else is/has been simply hype - whose sole purpose is to sell new clubs...!
Included in the hype were;
Sweet spot size - thee is no “size” ! The sweet spot is the dynamic center of that club —- it’s the size of a pin point
Weight distribution is valid - lower weight/ higher flight - but - truly minor amounts, given parameters inherent with “normal “ club head weights. And was addressed in different muscle designs.
Etc, etc, etc... obviously, we can do this all day. Point being - the blades were never “harder” or “easier” to hit - the difference was/is perception on the part of the golfer - a perception created by many millions of dollars spent to SELL COLF CLUBS ! ( not improve golfers scores).
The above is the tip of the proverbial iceberg...
Thanks,
Jeff

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I’m in my early 70 and have played to a plus 2 and now a 4 but have retained playing blades from just about every manufacturer in the market. To me it starts with the appeal of the club in the bag and at address. If it doesn’t look good then I have a zero chance of hitting it solid. It’s vital to have the correct shaft matched up to your swing in that beautiful iron.

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Yes! Do more of these! I’ve been persuaded to buy today’s bulky new irons instead of hitting my blades. Now I understand why I’m not as consistent as I used to be! Just the other day I was 150 yards out to a center pin from the middle of the fairway, grabbed an 8 iron with the idea of nice and smooth routine 8 iron and the ball ended up about 30 yards further! Just nuked it out of nowhere! Think I’m going back to my blades!

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Liam, of Golf Blogs UK, posted his full iron fitting just before the lockdown and he ended up hitting the blades better than the GI irons, So he went with blades. I love my blades.

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This new take on blade irons is a Cool Golf Thing