Should High Handicappers Use Blades – Will They Help You Improve?
Blades are the old school style Irons, before all this technology was developed, everyone played with Blades, from beginners to professionals.
Blades are difficult to hit, the sweet spot is very small making them unforgiving, and you need a fast clubhead speed to get any distance out of them.
Game Improvement Irons were invented to help beginners and high handicap golfers hit more consistent and longer shots.
The technology built into the Game Improvement Irons are there to make the sweet spot larger, this makes the Iron more forgiving and helps hit the ball further without you hitting it harder.
What Exactly Are Blades?
Blades are Irons that are forged from a piece of steel. The Iron itself usually has no technology built into it making it very unforgiving.
This Iron shape has a short blade length and a thin top line. The purpose of this is to provide the player with the most workability as possible.
Someone that is looking to play these Irons isn’t worried about forgiveness and would rather have the ability to work the ball.
The forged material gives off a super soft feel with exceptional consistency in distance control, however there is a trade off in forgiveness.
Should High Handicappers Use Blades?
We recommend High Handicappers to stay away from Blades, the game is hard enough, there is no reason to make it harder by playing Blades.
The technology built into modern day Game Improvement Irons are there to help you, so why not take advantage of that, and make the game easier.
The game will become much more enjoyable, and your handicap will improve much faster than if you were playing with Blades. Once your ability improves then you can decide if you want to play Blades or not.
Will Playing Blades Make You A Better Player?
The only thing Blades will do is force you to strike the ball better, the issue is when you are a high handicapper it is difficult to do this.
Without practice and loads of hours put into improving, it will be difficult to strike Blades well.
If you aren’t able to generate enough speed and strike the ball consistently well, Blades will ultimately make you play worse.
What Handicap Player Should Be Playing Blades?
Unless you are a 5 handicap or less we don’t recommend you play Blades.
Generally someone that has a handicap of 5 or less has the ability to strike the ball well enough and generates enough speed to play Blades, but saying that there is still no reason to Blades if you are a 5 handicap or less, there are other alternatives that can still benefit your game.
Why Do Pro Golfers Use Blades, And Do All Pros Use Blades?
Like we mentioned above, you need to be a good ball striker and be able to generate enough speed to hit Blades, all professionals are able to do this, however not all professionals play Blades.
They don’t play Game Improvement Irons either, they play a slightly more forgiving version of a Blade called a Semi Blade or Muscle Cavity, these Irons still have the same characteristics as a Blade but will have a little more forgiveness.
The Semi Blade is the most popular style Iron professionals use. The ability to still work the ball as well as with a Blade and slight forgiveness, appeals to the professional much more than the traditional Blade.
Tips For How To Hit Blades
The best way to hit a Blade is to hit down on the ball, the one reason Blades don’t work for higher handicap golfers is they hit the ball on the up or take no divot.
You are to have a negative angle of attack when striking a Blade, this will cause you to compress the ball and generate good ball speed, without doing this the ball won’t get up in the air and it fall short of the target.
Can High Handicappers Use Forged Irons?
Yes they can. Forged Irons feel much better than Cast Irons, so manufacturers have been able to develop some irons that are Game Improvement but still Forged.
The TaylorMade P790, Callaway Apex Forged and Titleist T300 are all examples of Game Improvement Forged Irons.
Do Blades Hit The Ball Further?
No Blades will go the shortest out of all Iron styles. Firstly there is no distance orientated technology in the Irons.
Secondly the lofts on the Irons are much weaker than modern Irons, this will cause the ball to go higher and spin more, making it go shorter.
Why Do I Hit Blades Better Than Cavity-Backs?
There are a few reasons, the first being the look, head shape and size, these factors could suit your eye better, subconsciously making you strike the ball better.
Check the length, loft, lie angle and swing weight. These can all play a role in you hitting a club well or badly, even if they are Game Improvement Irons. Having these factors right for your swing can make a huge improvement in your ball striking.
How Can I Get Better At Hitting Blades?
You need to generate enough speed and have a negative angle of attack, if you have these two things right all you need to do is practice.
Should A Mid Handicapper Use Blades?
I do not recommend Mid Handicapper to use Blades, there are far better alternatives out there if you are looking for something that looks like a Blade.
There just isn’t enough forgiveness for your ability, going with something slightly more forgiving, but still with the ability to work and shape the ball is the way to go.
Best Blades For High Handicappers
This goes against what we are saying, but some of you are stubborn.
If you do want to go along this route we recommend going for a Muscle Back, these are still Blades, but not your traditional Butter Knives.
TaylorMade P7MB Irons
The P7MB from TaylorMade has your Tour Inspired Shape, the narrow sole and clean look at address shouts out Traditional Blade. The Muscle Back allows them to move the CG slightly for optimum performance.
They use a 1025 carbon steel, forged using a 2,000 ton press, smashing it 5 times. This provides a solid and incredibly consistent feel.
The machined face and grooves gives you precision and the ultimate quality you would be looking for in a Blade Iron.
- Traditional Blade style
- Forged from 1025 carbon steel
- Incredibly consistent
- Optimized CG
- Narrow sole and clean look
- Expensive compared to Game Improvement Irons
- Not very forgiving
Overall Score: 94/100
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Recommended Irons For High Handicappers
Mizuno JPX921 Irons
The JPX921 Hot Metal Irons are Mizuno’s fastest ever clubs, the incredible ball speeds and straight ball-flight give you unbelievable control and landing angles.
This is the 3rd generation of this model, over the years they have tried and tested everything and have come out with this beast, the unique face geometry gives you additional ball speed.
- Very Forgiving
- Has a unique face geometry for fast ball speeds
- Cheaper price range
- Big sweet spot
- Can look chunky to some
- Harder feel compared to Blades
Overall Score: 93/100
Check Out More Reviews Here:
Ping G425 Irons
The Ping G425 Irons are one of our favorites, it does however come with a hefty price tag compared to others in its category.
They use heel and toe tungsten weighting to make the MOI on this Iron extremely high. The G425 Iron has a variable-thickness face, they use a Hyper 17-4 stainless steel, this gives metal wood style ball speeds for higher and longer shots.
The G425 Iron at address looks unbelievable, it’s not too small but doesn’t give that chunky look either, Ping have found the perfect in between.
The high MOI, clean and compact look is very pleasing on the eye. It also has a Multi Material Badge at the back of the club, this is a three piece system that is there to dampen the sound and produces an incredible feel when struck.
- Very Forgiving
- Three Piece dampening system
- Hyper 17-4 stainless steel
- Looks great at address
- High MOI
- Expensive for a Game Improvement Iron
- Hard feel compared to Blades
Overall Score: 95/100
Check Out More Reviews Here:
All in all, you can play whatever Iron you like, you need to decide if you want to make the game easier for yourself or not.
To be able to use Blades you need to be a good player that generates a lot of speed and has a negative angle of attack. You also need to be someone that puts a lot of time into practicing. This is because the Iron is not forgiving at all.
Going with an Iron that is right for your game can dramatically improve your scores. At the end of the day isn’t that what we all want?
I feel you need to put your ego aside and play clubs that are right for your game. Go for a fitting and test out a variety of brands and styles.
This will give you the best indication of how they perform for you, and then you will be able to make your decision.
Aidan Lehane here, I’m a Mid-low handicap golfer who has made tremendous progress in breaking 90 in just over 1 year of playing golf seriously.
I get out to the course or range as often as possible and review all the equipment I’ve come across on this blog.