What to use in the modern age?

I still play a lot of tournament golf here in Germany and go back and forth between muscle back and cavity back blades, sometimes playing a mixed set. After a little more work on the drills, I hope to be permanantly on the MB’s. Persimmon comes out on Sundays at my home club. Love hitting them, but definitely notice the difference in distance.

I hate the light feel of modern Drivers, but on most of the courses I play, sadly, distance is more important than accuracy.

What I’m wondering is if there might be a compromise, say a smaller metal head, such as a TaylorMade 510, shafted with heavier graphite or maybe even steel. Any thoughts on a way we can have a club that helps us swing the way Lag is teaching us, but still takes advantage of todays technology? The best of both worlds.



I’m sort of in the same boat. Hard to find steel shafted titanium headed drivers but they are out there. I’m now using a Titleist 983e (380cc’s or so) with some lead tape on it to get it into the d3-d4 swingweight range (though it is graphite shafted). It doesn’t feel bad at all, but it’s still a bit different than persimmon in steel. If I wanted to step a little further back in time I might consider a 975d (of which I have a couple but again both in graphite). The smaller heads are much more appealing to me and the weighting beats the heck out of any of the 460cc’s I have.

I’ll probably keep looking for a sub-400 cc head with a steel shaft on ebay just to see how it performs. I’m willing to give up a few yards for the extra control but I just won’t know just how it performs until I can test it out.


If you’re going to use a titanium driver with a steel shaft, why not go ahead and try using a persimmon driver, at least to try out? If you haven’t hit one in a while, it’s much less difficult to hit the sweetspot than you think. I would venture to say it’s actually easier since the shaft is so much shorter (43" - 43.5")


Persimmon drivers are a fairly regular part of my range time… I find it to be an excellent training club (for many of the same reasons that mb irons are). I’ve used a persimmon driver in actual rounds twice over the last 3 weeks. The first time was simply to do it and “see” where my game/swing was. I got paired up with 3 guys I didn’t know who were playing the blue tees (one up from the back). I found I could hold my own from that set of tees. The next time I used it was with my regular weekend game which we play from the back tees. I forgot to put my normal driver in the car and only had the persimmon one I had been using in practice. The longer course yardage playing from the backs with persimmon was just too much, and I found myself reaching for a little “extra” each time with the typical results that go with it. Lost most of my bets that day. :frowning:

I have aspirations of getting to the point where I can actually win some local events with persimmon… I’m just not quite there yet. I’m thinking a steel shafted ti driver might bridge the gap until I’m ready. I’ve quit chasing the long ball but I think you still have to move it out there a “reasonable” length (with really good accuracy) in order to compete.

I do agree with you… if you haven’t tried persimmon on the course you need to.


Ah, I see where you’re coming from now. For me, I can’t bring myself to go back to hitting titanium. However, based on the set-ups you suggested earlier, I don’t see those traveling appreciably farther than your persimmon set up, especially the 975D, as this was before companies started pushing the COR on drivers and you can’t go much longer than 44" in steel or it will feel like you’re swinging a Momentus.

If you’re looking for something smaller in titanium, try and find an R500 TP or a TM 300 Tour. The 300 Tour was considered the “Holy Grail” by many people on forums for a while, and they’re not at all expensive anymore on eBay because the demand has plummeted.

If you want something brand new, definitely go with a Nakashima NP1 380cc, if you can find it. That’s the best feeling titanium driver on the market, IMHO. (That and the r7 425 tp tour issue that I have which was hot melted)

Also, you might want to try a persimmon with a graphite shaft @ 44" if you want that little extra au jus off the tee if you can find someone to build one for you. Remember that the shaft will require tipping because the persimmon head is much heavier than a titanium head, but the persimmon would also allow more customization in terms of swing weight.

The best shaft (in my opinion), if you did that, would be a Diamana Blue Board in the 83 gram weight, However, that’s a pricey shaft, so I’d try and find a pull-out on the Bay, or go for another smooth feeling, heavier shaft.

Best of luck, but I’d stick with the Good Wood :laughing:


Good inputs…much appreciated. I currently use a Titleist 983e (a 385cc head) in graphite. I like the smaller head and it’s a low spinner which is good for me. I’ll have to be on the look out for a Nakashima head.

When you mentioned graphite and persimmon I realized that I had purchased a Hogan Apex driver that first year they came out with graphite so I tracked it down. I think Kite used the same model… very shallow faced and very pretty. I can’t imagine the shaft is all that great, but it is an Apex 4 (gold colored) so I may have to give it a spin. I don’t think it ever saw much action as good as it still looks.

The persimmons I tend to use are both Hogans with apex 4 steel shafts. One is a speed slot, the other a backweighted apex. For some reason the speed slot feels “looser” than the apex and I have to wait more on it.

btw… I carry a persimmon 3 and 5 wood. Dumped my hybrids and never could find a modern 3w I like.

Thanks again for the inputs.


I found a quote right up Lag’s line of thought by Nick Price

“With perimeter weighted clubs, considering my shots on a scale from 1 to 10, I know I wouldn’t hit a shot worse than a 6, but because of the club’s resistance to subtle influences I may want to impart, my best shots wouldn’t be better than an 8 or a 9.
With blades, my bad shot might be as bad as a 3, but my best shots would be 10’s, and the difference between 8 and 9’s and a 10 at the top end of the scale is the difference between winning and losing a major championship”

Cool, Robbo! Glad to help.

You may want to try and get that Apex re-shafted if you like it enough. Post pics if you get a chance - I’d like to see what that it looks like!


These aren’t the greatest pics but they should give you an idea.hoganapexshallowtop.jpghoganapexshallowface.jpghoganapexshallowbottom.jpg

I suspect you could stack 2 of these on top of each other and have room to spare when compared to one of Lag’s Tony Penna DEEP face drivers!

I took this to the range this evening and hit several really nice drives with it. Unfortunately it’s a bit too light (about D-1). My irons are set up at D-9. When going from irons to hitting this it takes a ball or two to get “adjusted”, and as you know you usually don’t get 2 cracks at it on the course.


You could have weight added under the sole plate, but the extra weight in the head will make the shaft play whippier.


blogs.golf.com/equipment/2009/12 … ivers.html
This is the link to the new Nike STR8-Fit driver which can be adjusted to 32 different combinations of loft, lie and open square or close face. Is this allowed for amteur/professional competetion. I know Phil Mickelson uses two different drivers at times but he gives up a club. This is like carrying 32+13 = 45 clubs in the bag.

As long as it’s not readily adjustable (eg no dials, levers) and it’s not adjusted during the round, it’s fair game.

I’d rather buy 10 sets of blades for that money… Ok, make it nine plus a Penna Driver :smiley:

If you swing the club properly, you can hit just about anything that resembles a golf club… even a hickory stick…

Truer words never spoken— yet by the golf industry we are led to believe we are all hackers and need the latest and greatest golfing tool to make us better (and poorer!!)

It is amazing that everyone at my club -everyone- 100%- pick up my clubs and waggle them and say “WOW- look how small that head is. It sure looks nice, but I could never hit that”
Well of course you can hit it–all you need is a club head big enough for a ball to fit in it and you are armed and ready to go

Everybody things CLUB is the key to golf when it is in fact as we all know- SWING that is the main ingredient and alas that has been thrown out the window with society’s thinking

It would be very interesting to find a time line in the manufactures 'NEW" club model coming out. Pretty soon it will be once a month. The question will be," Do you have the new Pings?" The answer will be, “Ya I got the G147s last week, but I’ve already got the G147As on order. Should get those new improved babies next week”. Man - at some point they’re gonna wear all the hamsters out, and the wheel will just quit spinning. How many CEO’s do you think are hitting blades. All those golden parachutes falling. and not a good swing to be seen.


The good news with most of today’s clubs is that they have a ton of available custom fitting options. If you want some blade muscle backs made by say, Mizuno, and you want a KBS Shaft, but a D-6 swingweight, well, you usually can get that. And even if the QC by the OEM is a bit off, if you have money, you can just check the specs yourself or with a clubfitter and fix what isn’t right. I tried Mizuno’s ‘Shaft Optimizer’ and liked it.

For those who don’t know what it is, Mizuno has an electronic attachment to one of their 7-irons and it will measure things like clubhead speed, shaft droop, etc. and you just punch the numbers into the Mizuno software program and it will recommend what type of shaft you can use from just about every shaft manufacturer.

For instance, I am interested in the KBS shafts and it said I needed a stiff flex KBS shaft that is softstepped once. Wanting to experiment with it I put one KBS shaft, stiff and softstepped once, and put it in my 6-iron and I must say I’m quite impressed with it.

While I like many of the tradition blade designs, they certainly didn’t have the fitting options that today’s blades have.


Welcome 3Jack,

Personally i don’t beleive anything that i am given any more.

A few months ago i bought a club from a custom fitter that i asked to be made at D5, when it arrived it was D1.

A friend of mine recently bought a new set of Mizuno blades and asked for them to be standard lie, when they arrived he said they looked a bit upright, when he tested them on my bending machine, they were all about 3 degrees upright.

Unless you can test the stuff yourself, i would be wary.


Very true, although I find a QC of today’s OEM’s better than it was 10 years ago. My clubfitter basically checks the lies and lofts right in his shop and just shows me so he can verify what I want. I had a Mizuno putter that was supposed to be 3* loft and it was actually 4.5* loft and the lie angle was off as well. Definitely don’t take the company’s word for it even if you get custom fitted. And consider getting a lie and loft gauge yourself.