My first year of ABS and 1990's and 80's blades

Yesterday marked my first year with ABS and I decided to see what I could do with modern gear :question:

In my game yesterday I borrowed the assistant pro’s Irons, some sexy 50th anniversary Vega forged cavity muscle backs with some stiff Black Gold shafts, popped in a G10 driver into the bag and went to play. What followed was the best golf I have ever played and have to say the results were nothing short of amazing. I hit SO many shots close, highlights being a 4 iron to 3 feet for a 2 on a tough par 3 and a tap in eagle after a 6 iron approach from heather. I ended up with 3 birdies and an eagle, missing very closely from 10ft and in on 4 other occasions. :open_mouth:

Practising with old gear has helped my game, along with the ABS modules. Modern gear IS easier to hit, but only if you have something to COMPARE it too.In my bag now as my practice irons and woods I have some Hogan Apex’s 6" flat with X100’s in, and 1 3 and 4 wood Cleveland classic persimmons. I can’t hit them well or even that far as the shaft is so strong, but it teaches me WHERE I need to get to. It has been real hard at some points wondering what modules were doing, especially if the way I was swinging was not using the module. It has been tough hitting in 1-3 clubs more than friends I was playing with but I always have the end goal in mind, Module 11. :ugeek:

I have never hit it as well as I did yesterday. I am serious when I think that amateur golf might not be for me and that I may well play local sectional stuff when I finish this course, it is THAT sensational the lightbulbs that go off as I have progressed. I have never seen clearer where I was, and where I need to get to with my own game. ABS has given me a deep knowledge of golf and my own swing, so a big thank you to everyone who contributes on the forum and Lag obviously. I will raise a beer to my first year of ABS tonight, and I wonder where I will be in a years time.


Congratulations Gareth - inspiring stuff and I’m really delighted to hear about your progress. Well done mate! :smiley:

Cheers, Arnie

Way to go WD ! I like the way things sound down the road, and look forward to getting there.

score 1 for frying pan drivers and cavity backs eh?

:smiling_imp: :laughing:

Congrats WD. I’m happy for you especially for the sensational feeling you got going on

Now now Styles!!!

Let me ask you… in your quest for scratch have you gone to hybrids thru the 6-iron, super game improvement from there into the 9, and then a 5 wedge system? I think they make those sets now. :wink:

If not… why not?


is that a bite robbo? :smiley:

actually, i’m planning on getting my TP9s reshafted with Nippon 985 shafts as trackman proved to me that the project x shafts I have are too heavy for me.

Poor Styles! He makes a good point though. If you play ONLY old school courses with ONLY old school gear in maybe 1 or 2 old school gear tourneys you are in golfing exile. Some revel in the exclusivity of isolation. Of course if you aspire to compete in serious competition such isolation is impossible. Hence the two set approach. I choose to play a shorter course with old gear for fun an fine tuning. But if there is some cabbage at stake, or my name will appear next to a medal score I put the frying pan back in the bag. I like the blades so they stay!

I think my point was missed somehow. I was playing like a dick with modern gear before this course. Proper old school gear has given me back the feel along with the modules. I didn’t play so well the next day, and when I tried to hit a 50’s Apex 2 iron that afternoon it took some time to get back to flushing it.

I see both sides of this but I’d not really call the Vega cavity a Callaway Diablo cavity, there is actually a sweet spot and not a sweet area lol :laughing:

Playing old gear makes you hit modern gear better, simples

Styles knows it was a bit of a “gig” on my part. Styles… I would be interested in how TM directed you to lighter-weight shafts. Was it just part of a fitting session?

I agree with bobscottjnr on most points, but I still can’t go to the 460cc heads, just too damn big and light for me. I use an old 7.5 degree 983E (380 cc’s I believe with a 90 gram X shaft) and Hogan PC’s for most of my casual and competitive play. The irons play about a club shorter but we all know that doesn’t mean much.

WD… I totally get what you’re talking about with practicing with the older stuff and how it can translate when using more current gear. I don’t know what lie angle you’re using, but how did you get around that with the borrowed set? If I look at irons that are less than 4 flat all I can see is a bunch of heel heavy hook shots coming.

Funny thing - the 5 deg I flattened my irons caused me no problems with full shots, but chipping around the green, boy, I still haven’t been able to adjust for direction.

There is an old trick we used to use out on tour, and that was to go upright with the shaft with the toe down… especially in heavy rough… this would minimize the drag of the clubhead through the taller grass…

By bending your irons flat, you can get even less drag through rough than standard lies… so another way to work this into your favor… you can asks Bradley about this, because I remember seeing him use that shot on the odd occasion he would miss a green!

If you don’t have rough, or you simply have a clean lie, then you can go at it either way… flat or upright…

what Lag said works well for those heavy fluffy lies… stand close…shaft upright so toe gets down and heel gets raised… the toe being the main part of the club that then gets thru the grass and it cuts into the grass better and pops the ball out and minimizes the hosel area getting caught up in the grass
This shot I found works really well in bermuda rough…and is also in tune with what Lag talks about by having his sand iron more upright in lie angle than his other clubs

robbo, email me at


don’t want to hijack WD’s thread


Are you saying that you will turn pro soon?


                  well done and the skies the limit!  this course is unbelievable and the result speak for themselves. follow your dream if thats what you want and BTW ill be joining your level soon!

Hey Two…

Absent rough, don’t you tour guys do a “toe-down” chip when the nerves are a little spotty and the pin is close?

Also, saw some of 3Jack’s blades and the leading edges were razor sharp…do you think that was the thinking in design back then…to help cut through the rough a little. :slight_smile: RR

Is my long term goal to turn pro?

Yes, I will be losing my amateur status due to some other things I am doing in the future anyway but I do intend to turn pro and see where it takes me. I have no other intention other than getting to module 11, working hard on my fitness, mental game and short game and see what happens playing tournament golf. Starting small I will get to where I am meant to.

I would say that module 11 is a way away at the moment as is turning pro. If I continue to have days like I have had since starting this, why not?

But can ABS and all the other things I am doing help me achieve it?


:sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

Again WD, I think it is great what you are doing.

Got some questions: Does your wife also do the modules, and can you beat her yet ? ( isn’t she a really good glfer also?)

wow, thats some advert for ABS.

So are you playing off plus 4 now? I seem to remember that was what Lag advocated as the number you need to be round your home track to stand a chance on the circuit. Thats really amazing stuff. I imagine you were making good money as a dentist, are you that confident in your game thanks to ABS that you are giving all that up?

What a great story!

If you only use modern gear as a crutch, because your golf swing is flawed to the point you can’t hit the old stuff… you will severely limit your improvement.

This manifests itself in so many ways… for instance. If you are hitting balls on the range with say a persimmon driver, you are much more likely to spend a few extra hours working on your technique and fine tuning your golf swing because you are getting valuable information into your coconut. If you are sky popping drives, duck hooking, or skulling a persimmon, I suspect you will spend the time to straighten this out, and TUNE IN to striking it on the insert, or better yet, between the four screws.

Now if your session is only with the frying pan, you swat a few out there, roll your eyes, and go in quickly for a scooner.

You can make arguments about the direction of the game and gear, rules and technology and all that…

But there is little argument that if you can flush the classic gear properly, you are creating a better dynamic situation within the body for more sophisticated ball control, and overall better striking than if you only use or practice with modern gear that limits the response and feedback relayed to your brain.

PROPER feedback is the lifeblood for improvement.

And I have little doubt, that on a golf course that is a true test of shotmaking skills, which one might find on the classic courses, where you have to hit the ball into a tight fairway or else add two strokes to your scorecard, and also be required to play a variety of iron approaches varying in shape and trajectory, the classic gear would be the better choice for a more refined player.