Blades were always said to be the iron for professional golfers because they have a better feel to them and have more control compared to cavity backs. In this post, I’m going to be sharing my thoughts on whether or not mid handicaps can use blades.
I’m a mid handicap myself and I do think mid handicap golfer can use blades. I prefer the compact head size of a blade or muscle back iron over the bulkier game improvement irons out there. They definitely aren’t as forgiving and probably won’t perform as well but if you like the way they feel and aren’t worried about becoming a scratch golfer then why not use them.
I used a muscle back iron for a number of years but recently switched to a forged cavity back. My favorite is the Callaway Apex CF16 or Mizuno JPX 919. They don’t have the same solid feel to them as a blade would but they’re much more forgiving and have helped lower scores. You can see an on the course demo of a mid handicap using blades below:
What Are Blades?
If you don’t know, blades are the irons you’d see the pros use way back in the day. They’re a solid chunk of steel with no cavities or hollowness in the back. They have a much smaller sweet spot and are more compact than your newer game improvement iron.
An example would be the Wilson Staff Blade. It looks quite a bit different than most of the irons on the market and is thinner and more compact. The weight of the club is more evenly distributed across the face and the center of gravity is higher compared to a cavity back.
Some people grew up with blades and are comfortable swinging them. Some people like the feel at impact. Some people feel like they have more control over them. The reason I like them is that I get a lot of feedback on mishits and can use that info to improve my game. It can be tough to tell on a cavity back where you went wrong.
The Benefits Of Blades
The first benefit to a bladed iron is that they feel awesome when struck purely. The sweet spot is much smaller but if you can hit it there’s no better feeling in golf. When you don’t strike it pure it feels pretty bad though. Game improvement irons feel pretty solid no matter where you hit them so it’s a bit tough to figure out where you’re going wrong.
The next benefit would be they’re higher spinning compared to a cavity back. This will help better players shape the ball around (draw and fade) and give them more stopping power on the green. You can still draw and fade the ball with a cavity back but I think a blade will give you a little bit more control.
The final benefit is that a bladed iron is lower launching. This is going to be good if you’re playing in the wind and want to keep the ball down. It’ll also give some players a bit more distance (not likely for higher handicaps). Those are the main benefits I found in using a blade.
The Cons Of Blades
The first (and biggest) con to using a blade is that there’s almost no forgiveness. You need to strike the clubface pure and in the exact right spot every time. Most average players rarely hit the center of the clubface and if they use a blade then they’ll get into all sorts of trouble. You’ll get slices, hooks, and a lot of low slap shots.
The second con would be the lower distance (especially for mid to high handicaps). This might not be a problem for a scratch golfer but the average player needs all the height and distance they can get. Blades are lower launching and that’s going to hurt a lot of people’s distance. If you don’t strike the club pure then you’re distance will suffer big time.
The final con is that they’re usually more expensive than a cavity back. A lot of blades or muscle-back irons are well over $1000 (you can find some that are cheaper). Most people aren’t going to spend that on a set of irons. I don’t know the reason for this but it’s probably not worth it if you’re only out a few times per year.
Should You Use Blades?
If you’ve read this far and are still asking if you should use blades I think it all comes down to your preferences. The only reason I’d recommend going with a blade is if you’re a scratch golfer or you like the way they feel at impact.
If you like the way they feel and aren’t worried about playing your best golf then go for it. I think the majority of golfers would benefit from using a cavity back iron but it’s really going to be up to you.
Cavity backs are normally a bit cheaper, are easier to hit, and will probably give you the most distance. They just don’t feel as good as a muscle back in my opinion. You can check out my favorite irons by clicking the link below.
Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!
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