There’s a reader of mine who was a former club designer for one of the major OEM’s and is now a consultant for another OEM. He told me that they had tests showing the same results, except that they did it with a few different OEM’s muscleback and CB irons and some OEM musclebacks did much better on mis-hits off the toe than other MB’s. But all of the MB’s showed much better performance and dispersion when struck in the sweetspot. At the time, he wanted to get the company to build a MB that would perform best off the toe and market these findings, but since it was in the middle of the Ping Eye 2 craze and you could build a cavity back made from cast stainless steel for much less than a MB made from forged carbon steel, they went the CB route.
This topic is another reason why scientists need to be taken with a grain of salt, because unless they are really good strikers themselves, and have a proper understanding of the golf swing, they are again missing a key element here… and that is hitting vs swinging.
There is a huge difference between the effect of off center hits between firm and aggressive hand action through impact (hitter) and light grip pressure dead hand stuff of a swinger.
Swingers need to be much more concerned about off center hits than hitters because they are going to have to deal with much more clubface impact torquing due to the nature of passive dead hand impacts.
Most club designers nowadays seem to think all golfers are swingers… when in fact gear should be designed very differently between the two opposing protocols.
So true. Just today I noticed twisting of club on any toe hit (I use MB) while I was experimenting with swinging today at range since I was having a bad day striking and I still conclude I just don’t like swinging for all its complexities. I have to admit watching a good swinger (Kaymer current fav) is a thing of beauty with smoothness and effortless looking power, but I quickly realized I had to start remembering all the details of “light” “Loose” “tempo” .
This reminds me of again the mass of contradictions of swing instruction. LIGHT grip pressure is the one most advocated often (Sam Sneads hold it like you would hold a bird comes to minds) and as you say they should design clubs for different protocols, there really needs to be some sort of divide in advice for instruction. I have wasted many hours trying to get to work common advice I heard all over the web and in books (both overwhelmingly biased towards “Swing”) when I have learned now that it DEPENDS on individual preference/protocol plus body. No where do I ever remember seeing something like “warning, this is for those only working on popular swinging method and every day will be different if anything is even a little off”…
Over at Golfwrx there was a post about Augusta winners of the past and what kind of irons they used. Considering the small landing spots on the greens and compared to the spray patterns of Cavity backs - not a big suprise here that blades rule Augusta (there is of course the odd exception to the norm here and there…)
2010 - Phil Mickelson - X-Prototypes, I’ll give it to blades, but he did have an X-Forged 4i.
2009 - Angel Cabrera - Cavities
2008 - Trevor Immelman - Cavities
2007 - Zach Johnson - Cavities
2006 - Phil Mickelson - Blades
2005 - Tiger Woods - Blades
2004 - Phil Mickelson - Blades
2003 - Mike Weir - Cavities
2002 - Tiger Woods - Blades
2001 - Tiger Woods - Blades
2000 - Vijay Singh - Blades
1999 - Jose Maria Olazabal - Blades
1998 - Mark O’Meara - Cavities
1997 - Tiger Woods - Blades
1996 - Nick Faldo - Blades
1995 - Ben Crenshaw - ? (Blades Walter Hagen picture in the vault of clubs) TM…
So just in case you guys plan on dropping some off at the bookie - make sure you check the pros bag first
Any one of those guys could have played blades and done fine also. The biggest problem with the cavity backs is that then will slow down the rate of your improvement. I am sure every one of those guys that won with cavities has spent a lot of time also playing blades at some point.