Playing vs. Practicing

Dear All,

Right now I have an old school set of ben hogan blades and persimmons. I mostly use these for driving range work and the 2 iron for the impact bag.

The set I generally use on the course has a frying pan driver, a couple hybrids :astonished: , and a 2001 set of Macgregor VIP blades bent four flat and lead taped to increase swing weight.

Given that I am in ABS for the long haul–about to go into module 3–and Lags feelings on the effects of lightweight grapefruit drivers on the swing, do you think playing with the modern set will inhibit my ABS swing. Put another way, should I be building the new swing exclusively on the old school blades (5 flat from old standard) and persimmons?



I think as you increase your commitment to the program, you’ll find the modern, lightweight gear just won’t cut it. That said, I understand where you’re at. I practice and play almost exclusively with blades and persimmon now. And then, I’ll put my modern driver and hybrid in the bag and hit them. What I find is that, unless they are taped up and weighted heavily, I can’t control the club; and they’re not flat or stiff, and most importantly, I have no feel in my hands; and I feel like I just ate a stick of cotton candy and I’m empty and jittery.

Also, it’s really not an ABS swing, per se; but rather (lowercase), an advanced way to strike the ball. I think of Lag as a rosetta stone, a translator of a champion’s swing that has been compromised, mutated and forgotten over these many years. Will lightweight, modern gear inhibit your ABS instruction? If you stay true to the program you will be hitting shots with a thump and a thud with gear others will marvel at and wonder how they went so wrong with the plastic, lightweight metal that betrays them at every turn.

I, as someone who is looking to compete at a high level locally, need to play with the modern stuff. I really like practicing with persimmon, however. I have been dramatically altering the specs of my equipment, though. I will post what I’ve done to my driver when it’s finalized.

I think that modern equipment built to better ABS specs can be used for play if you need it to be competitive (I’d never have a chance of winning a tournament with persimmon playing against modern gear), but refining your skills with the persimmons is way more effective. If I go hit my persimmons, my frying pan G15 is stupid-easy to hit. If I go too long without them, it gets tough to hit the modern stuff (like lag talking about when he played Eye 2’s for a while in the LTLGM thread).

I play 1960’s Hagen Ultra’s, 1-3-5 persimmons. I also carry a frying pan just so I dont get to many wierd looks and people assume my 1 wood persimmon is a 3 wood and people dont think I’m special. Past 3-4 months I have been using my persimmon with fairly decent results…But.

Rocked up to my first official golf comp at 7am sunday, heaps of people watching and I was so nervous I had to pull out the frying pan. Simply because I know i will make good contact and at least hit it half straight.

I usually cream the persimmon, but they are easier to misshit. And I didnt want to shank or sky one infront of the gallery.I ended up playing the rest of the round with the frying pan, Simply because I smoked the 1st one down the middle and kept the roll going…For me personally I find I hit titanium or persimmon just aswell as each other if I apply correct ABS on the course. unsure if its hurting my game…

For me, I really notice the difference that persimmon makes on your swing. You can’t get sloppy with mechanics with persimmon for very long or you’ll hit bad shots. Problem is that if I’m playing to shoot the best score I can, I’m leaving too many yards out there and too many strokes with persimmon.

I think it’s very helpful to practice with persimmon a lot. I tend to limit my driving range practice with the titanium driver. I’ll probably get in about 10-20 swings with it, just to get the feel. But persimmon helps me not lose what I’ve been working on.

I think you’ll start to establish that type of feel of persimmon forcing you to take good swings and titanium being more effective results wise, but being damaging swing wise. Eventually I started to understand that and feel that and now I’m more conscious with titanium…but when I’m a little off I can’t quite notice it like I would with persimmon. So, there’s still some learning curve there.

I carry a hybrid, but with a steel shaft. It’s only one hybrid. I find the long irons important. My setup is:

Driver: Adams Speedline (graphite shaft) 9.5* loft
3-wood: Cleveland Hi-Bore XLS (graphite) 15* loft
3-hybrid: Mizuno Fli-Hi CLK (steel) 20* loft
3-PW: Blades (I’ve got about a dozen different sets)
SW: Titleist Vokey 54*
LW: Cleveland BeCU 60*

I’m not down on a hybrid because I find them to not be much different from an old 5-wood. I just think when we start using multiple hybrids we get in trouble. I use mine in large part because it can be used off the tee on tight par-4’s and go 30 yards longer than my 3-iron. I do find that 3 and 4-iron is very crucial to understanding how to become a better ballstriker.


Thanks everyone. Good to hear everyones plans. You will have to post those driver specs jrich.

Since it will be a while longer in ABS before I strike decently, I am going to focus on hitting the persimmons and blades most of the time. Once I start flushing these, I will pull the more modern clubs for longer courses.

Like TSdean implied, its all about good mechanics that will help you hit both!


On a further note of play v practice.

I find im starting to struggle a bit on par 3’s with old gear.
Social rounds are fine, but in comp the markers are alot further back. There are 3 par 3’s at roughly the 185-200m mark.
my hagen ultra 3 iron Im lucky to hit 180m on a flushed shot being weaker loft and shorter club. In the past I would have hit my 4-5 iron cavity backs. not to mention if i misshit one it’s lucky to carry 140m.
My next club is a 3 wood persimmon, but im not as confident with pin accuracy with a wood or holding the green.

Im almost at a point of buying a modern 3 iron for these 3 par 3’s. As I’ve been short on every occasion.

What do you guys do in these situations? learn to hit a 2 iron? get my hagens loft bent down a bit?

Might be good to carry a 5 wood. At least in the meantime. As your golf swing improves, so will your need for proper gear.
It is only to your benefit to learn how to strike long irons and persimmon, as mentioned here on this thread, it’s easy to go back to the bigger headed driver. But over time, I don’t think you will need a driver head that big. I personally can’t imagine how that could possibly help me in anyway having a head that big. It would be like trying to ride on a tricycle in a bike race. Even if I played modern gear, I would use a head much smaller. The physics of it is not difficult to understand.
Long, light, and a bigger head to allow for the lack of precision you are going to have. But given that, I would still not need a 450 cc head even at 46 inches.