Justin emailed me a link to this guys site…some good stuff here
This from Barry O Brien thread…
Forged Blade Irons
This is a letter from a recent convert from cavity backs to forged blades:
"In 1995, I followed the herd and purchased a new set of MacGregor VIP O/S irons. After playing these clubs, I felt that my swing did not improve. In the last six months, I purchased from Barry a set of 1964 MacGregor CF 4000 M2 forged blade irons, had them rechromed and regripped and wow… what a difference! Comparing and contrasting my forged blades to the cast oversized irons is surprisingly easy, considering that I am not an expert on swing mechanics or club design.
PLAYABILITY: FORGED V. CAST
Upon setup, the blade is compact and looks like a golf club, not a small shovel. The O/S iron gives a false sense of security because it appears that all you have to do is swing and you will hit the ball solidly because of the huge mass behind the ball. When striking the ball with the forged blade, I feel I can groove my swing because when I strike the ball correctly, I feel the “pinch” between the ball, club and the turf. The ball flight is very consistent, low and boring. On a mishit, the ball is very inconsistent, so as a teaching mechanism, the forged blade is far superior to a cast cavity back O/S iron. Since golf is a game of feel, a blade will, if you are attentive and care to improve, allow you to pinpoint what a better swing feels like. The O/S iron is easier to hit, but that is regarding all swings, bad and good. They feel the same. Bad swings feel ok, but the result is bad. Good swings feel ok. The result is that grooving a precise swing is much more difficult.
For the weekend golfer, of which I am a member, I can improve more quickly playing a forged blade, because I now know how a “good” swing should feel. The pros have already achieved a precise swing, so they can play any club they choose with great results. I have already bettered my average score by 2 strokes. It is a small victory, but I only intend to get better and better. To me, it’s not close, a quality set of forged blades are far superior to cast or forged O/S irons.
Marketing has dictated the clamor for these wannabe irons."
- Aparicio Isaac email@example.com
I had contacted you last December for some info on a set of '72 Hogan Apex 2-9 iron blades I picked up used for $30 at a local golf store. Just thought you might be interested in how things turned out this spring once I finally got the chance to hit the clubs.[/i]
I used the Hogans only a couple of times in April, but hit them surprisingly well - well enough that my Big Berthas started to feel pretty clunky and I figured I was ready for more of a player’s club. So I traded the Bertha’s in on a set of 2000 Top-Flite Tour Pro Grinds which still have some foregiveness but much less offset and a cleaner set up than the Callaways. These clubs turned out to pretty sweet, so I now have set up two bags, one with my usual woods and wedges and the Top-Flites and the second with the Hogans, a Producer Driver and 3-wood and a Radial 5-wood ($10 bucks each from the same golf store) and an old Ram PW and SW. This gives me an A set for regular play and a vintage set to use when I get bored and to work on grooving my swing.
All was well in the world until this past weekend. I was playing well enough and was still in love with the new Top Flites that I really only used the old Hogan set once in the past three weeks. We have an open penny ante Skins Game at my course starting at 6 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday morning that I show up for now and then even though I’m most often an also ran against the better players at the course. Over the long weekend I played all three days, shooting identical 83’s with one birdie and no skins the first two days - pretty mediocre, even for me. On Monday, just for fun and seeing as how I wasn’t winning anything anyway, I stuck the 2-9 Hogans in my bag instead of my regular 3-PW and then kept my usual woods, gap wedge and sand wedge. Surprisingly, I shot my best round of the year with a 77 and 3 birdies. I hit the irons amazingly well and I don’t think I hit one bad shot with them. Never once felt the famous “Hogan sting”.
Just thought a devoted vintage blade lover like yourself might be interested.
This is a collection of posts from the rec.sport.golf newsgroup. You can also look them up at Dejanews. I have been involved in many heated debates about the merits of forged blades versus cast perimeter weighted clubs. Comments with an = in front were written by someone else. My replies are in italics.
As usual, the majority is caught up in the marketing blitz. Of course the manufacturers want to convince everyone that their cavity backs are more forgiving – it’s a hulluva lot cheaper to manufacture cast heads than forged heads!
Forged blades will make you a better golfer.
= =that’s just your opinion. a majority of golfers are
= =better off without blades.
= That is because a majority of golfers are 12 Hcps and higher!!! =
[i]The majority of golfers are 12 hcps or higher because they play cavity backs!
They want the quick fix. If they played blades and worked on their swing instead of trying to buy one, they would be single-digit! Hogan said that anyone without a physical handicap was capable of shooting in the 70s. (“Of course, if it’s any hotter than that . . .”) That’s easy for Hogan to say, but it’s true! Blades will make you a better golfer.
Cavity backs might (slight chance) make a very slight mishit into a minimally better shot. Blades will make you hit fewer mishits. Would you rather have a club that forgives your mishits or would you rather not even need forgiveness? As I’ve said before, if I was going out to play one last round of golf and had to use a set I’ve never tried before, I would probably pick a popular cavity back (Mizuno Titanium).
If I plan on playing golf the rest of my life with a goal of continuosly improving, I wouldn’t consider anything but blades. At the bare minimum, every golfer should have a blade 5 iron that they take to the range once in awhile for a real learning session. Even better, have a spare set of blades that you break out and actually play with once a month. Best yet, play strictly with blades. This is the secret to becoming a better golfer.
One last thing: some people are gonna say, “That’s Bullsh*t! I had blades and they sucked and I got cavity backs and they were great!” Well, I have to reply, “That’s a pretty exacting scientific experiment you performed there on golf club design performance characteristics!” :>)
The number one priority in finding the set of golf clubs that will work the best for any individual is finding a set that fits their swing. The number one priority in finding the set of golf clubs that will work the best for any individual is finding a set that fits their swing. The number one priority in finding the set of golf clubs that will work the best for any individual is finding a set that fits their swing.
a 30 yr old set of classic forged blades that fit your swing will perform better than any cavity back club that doesn’t fit your swing.
My only controversial contention is that a good forged blade that fits your swing will do better things for your golf game than a cavity back that also fits your swing.[/i]
Another letter from a blade convert:
Subject: Just an FYI… on your ‘blades versus cavity back’ theories…
…and since you probably get a truckload of them I’ll be brief.
I used a set of pings and titleist dci’s (original gold triangle offsets with graphite shafts). One day I nabbed a set of forged Walter Hagens (the new cavity backs) with steels rifle shafts and switched to playing them exclusively.
I learned that if you don’t swing a club consistently, you’ll suck at golf. Doesn’t matter what club type you use.
If you hit a cavity back anywhere on the face, it’ll sound the same. If you hit a forged blade dead center it’s like hitting a ping pong ball with a sledge hammer, you’ll not only feel the difference, everyone within three tee boxes will hear the difference.
Oversize anything in irons is for golfers that want to consistently remain 20 plus handicappers.
You can’t ‘ding’ a good chrome forged blade by hitting a ball out of a sand trap. (ever seen a good set of pings that hasn’t been abused yet looks like it’s been dragged across the pavement?)
Every forged blade made between 1972 and 1988 will ALWAYS be superior to ANY new oversize whatever metal type club ever made.
The only cavity back that was every worth a shit was outlawed by the USGA because they were worth a shit (Ping Eye 2’s with square grooves).
If you spend more than 5 bucks a club on a cavity back iron, you’re wasting money. You should be buying 4 dollar golf balls and hitting them into the creek and saving money that way…
Hi Barry ,This is Mike , looking for the 1966 PC5 9 Iron and E. Thanks for getting back to me it is most appreciated. If you’ve got a 9 great! Since I emailed you last I’ve picked up another set missing a few. If while your rummaging and you happen to see a 1970 ( I think ) 1+ bounce sole E wedge & 3 Iron w/ stiff and also a stiff shaft as my 5 iron shaft is bent . These 1+ bounce soles have slazenger on the bottom. but that would not be as important as the stiff shafts, i.e. these are to be used. These clubs are Great I can’t believe them I have yet to master a round with them, but I leave the range feeling like a god, well how’s just shy of a god . It’s been inspiring that these old clubs that a friend of mine willed to me , that sat in the back room till my son dragged them out , then I found your web site .It’s been an adventure it started out I just want to dump these things and now the corner of my living room has become a shrine to Ben, their are two more victims up here in canada. Thanks mike
I came upon your website today to discover that your position on forged blade-vs-cast
cavity back irons is EXACTLY what I’ve been telling people (usually as I’m taking $ from them on the 18th green) for years…
A very, very wise man & dear friend of mine once gave me a priceless piece of advice that has served me well for a long time; I was trying to figure out why a certain individual was telling me something I knew in my heart was wrong; and this individual had no reason that I could ascertain for lying to me… and my dear friend & mentor made it clear in one invaluable sentence: “Follow the money.” He was right. Why do you think the Club companies are so eager to sell you the latest & greatest etc.? Why cast over forged? Why matalwoods over persimmon/maple? BECAUSE IT’S COST-EFFECTIVE FOR THEM. It’s got NOTHING to do with you or your scores or how you play. All you are is the sucker keeping the lights on at the club companies by buying the latest get-good-quick bullshit story that some scammer at an ad agency dreamed up. It’s easier & cheaper to cast clubs by the thousands in foundries overseas; it requires so many fewer hand operations, the materials can be purchased in tremendous volumes at cheap prices, and the workers get paid an amount per week that won’t get you a decent lunch in midtown Manhattan. That is the real story. I have a set of 1987 Titleist Tour Model “Box Blade” irons, an Acushnet “Finalist” SW, and a set of Ping “Zing” laminated maple woods. I practice a little, and when I play, I concentrate, think, and try to execute. And that’s where golf really exists. But let’s keep it our little secret…don’t tell all the chumps with the clubs that look like they belong in the bar scene in the film “Star Wars”… Admire all their new stuff on the 1st tee, and take their money on the 18th green. DC