Opinion on Iron Upgrades

I'm an 11 handicap, play on average about four rounds a year.  I'm 30 and have played the same clubs since the 7th grade.  I believe they were just like a Golfsmith house brand and they are basically shovels.  I've got my eyes on some AP2's but I'm curious for people's opinions about the CB's.  Everything about my handicap and frequency would lead me straight to the AP2's, but I'm wondering if I start playing more would I possibly "outgrow" the AP2's?  I guess it's a little unclear to me what exactly the negative attributes are of playing the CB's if your game isn't necessarily up to the standard you'd expect.  Do you all think it would be frustrating to lose some of the increased forgiveness of the AP2's if I went with some CB's?

Sorry for all the questions, but thanks for any advice.

Jared,

 

The upgrade is really going to help not to mention the new technology and making sure the clubs are properly fit to your swing. I am sure that your body and swing have changed since the 7th grade and so should your clubs. Playing only a few rounds a year is going to be very hard to grove a swing and constantly hit the sweet spot of the club so giving up the forgiveness of the AP2's for the CB's would be a reason to stick with the AP2's. As far as outgrowing the AP2's I think that we must remember that some of the best players in the world hit the AP2's to make a living on the best tour in the world, so they must be good. The bonus of the CB's for me is the ability to work the ball when necessary when I had a little more trouble with working the ball with the AP2's and that is where I would consider the difference between the two.

Only 4 rounds a year - averaging low 80's with 18 year old house brand knockoffs?  ....I wouldn't change a thing.

But if your are determined to update your equipment, play a couple of rounds, and schedule a time with a fitter.  A good fitter will watch your current swing and he might suggest only AP2, AP2 or CB, or AP2 or MB.  At some point, one of the 3 will be the most consistent for ease of hittng and directional/distance stability.  Go with that one.  If you hit the CBs or MBs too far off, either your or the fitter will go with the AP2 . 

Happy hunting.  You didn't mention drivers or fairways, if those are 18 years old, these will also be a dramatic improvement.

Don O

Only 4 rounds a year - averaging low 80's with 18 year old house brand knockoffs?  ....I wouldn't change a thing.

But if your are determined to update your equipment, play a couple of rounds, and schedule a time with a fitter.  A good fitter will watch your current swing and he might suggest only AP2, AP2 or CB, or AP2 or MB.  At some point, one of the 3 will be the most consistent for ease of hittng and directional/distance stability.  Go with that one.  If you hit the CBs or MBs too far off, either your or the fitter will go with the AP2 . 

Happy hunting.  You didn't mention drivers or fairways, if those are 18 years old, these will also be a dramatic improvement.

I actually played with a couple sets of Golfsmith house brand irons between 2006-2011 (P2 player irons in standard lie angles and lengths and constructed a set of Snake Eyes Q3 irons that I tweaked to fit).  Also constructed some hybrids (Q5 31*, Q4 39*, Q3A 38*) and they worked well.  It is a good way to "test the waters" before dropping $2000+ on a name brand golf set.  If one is on a budget, sometimes house brands or clones do the trick (I had some clone hybrids that I used for almost 2 years and they actually out-performed G10s).

I also played with a set of X31 irons between 1979 - 2006.  My dad had them custom fit in 1967.  He also played with a set of Apex irons for 25 years.

Sometimes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but go with the suggestion of AP2s, CBs or MBs.

Well....I did not see this coming.  I went and did my custom fitting today and needless to say I kind of got turned on my head.

First off, the guy said he'd actually recommend the RBZ irons based on my swing characteristics.  I told him, for financial reasons, it's more beneficial for me to get Titleist irons (I know a guy).  He then went on to say that based on how I hit the ball, the AP2 is the last club Titleist makes that he would recommend.  My launch and spin are so high by themselves that when I hit an AP2 I'm basically doubling down and just killing distance.  An RBZ 7 iron was flying farther than an AP2 6 iron would roll.  The spin on the RBZ at launch was about 6400 compared to 7800 for the AP2.  He said my best chance at Titleist clubs was an MB with a Project X 6.5 (stiff and heavy to reduce spin) and I need to switch to a Pro V1x.

I spent about 25 minutes hitting that MB 6 iron and I'm not going to lie, it felt pretty sweet.  At the same time, there was one or two I toed and I could tell, it certainly didn't go as far.

Since this is a Titleist site I bet I know which way people will lean, but what do you guys think, take the plunge and play the blade?  I'd be signing up for 165 yard 6 irons, which is about where I am now.  I think I'm ok with that.  I'd love to hear from people who didn't think they could play a blade and wound up with them.

Tough to give exact advise without seeing the swing and trying to determine if that is where some of the "extra" spin is coming from. 165 yards from a 6 iron is pretty average for a good amateur, so I would not fell like you would be giving up anything.

As a fitter, I can tell you that I have never fit a 10+ handicap for the MBs. Over time you will need to play and practicce more to enjoy playing with them. I personally use a combination set of CB (4, 5, & 6) and MB (7, 8, 9, PW). This works well for me as I get the forgiveness on the longer irons and the workability on the shorter ones.

The other thing to remember is that there really isn't a standard for lofts in irons. It is possible that the RBZ 7 iron is pretty close to the AP2 7 iron in loft.

A bit higher spin rate on the irons isn't necessarily bad. As long as you hit the ball with the proper trajectory, the extra spin justs gives you more stopping power on the greens. Again some of this comes from your swing path and some from the club.

I would lean towards the AP2 for an infrequent player. They will give you the ability to enjoy "playing" the game without having to "work" at the game.

Found a great middle-ground today.  Went back to the range and hit a CB with the Project X 6.0 in it.  I started off with the 5.5 and it just seemed a little soft.  I went to the 6.0 and it felt great.  I spent an hour going back and forth from the CB 6 to the RBZ 7, about 20 balls at a time with each.  At the start they were both clean and smooth.  I felt like the CB was smoother on my hands through the divot.  The divot on the RBZ felt more clunky/heavy (it had an RBS R-flex).  I specifically wanted to keep hitting until I got tired and my swing got lazy (it was 96 degrees when I was out there).  Once I got tired and lazy I expected the RBZ to be a little more forgiving but I never felt that to be the case.  When I would have a mis-hit they were of the thin variety, not the hosel or toe variety.  I also feel like the trajectory was more of what I was looking for.  The RBZ seemed prone to ballooning like the AP2 would do, although not as bad.

I think I have a winner.  Thanks for all the help guys.

The AP2s would be my pick. They're better looking and just as workable than the CBs. Best of all, they're way more forgiving than the CBs. You will absolutely be frustrated with the lack of forgiveness with the CBs. The AP2s are relatively forgiving for the most part.  And no, you won't outgrow the AP2s. Some of the top players on the PGA tour play AP2 irons.

Thanks for the input.  I hit the CB 6 iron really well but I think I'm going to wind up going combo CB/AP2 where the 4, 5, and maybe 6 are AP2's.  I agree with everyone's notes about the AP2 forgiveness, but my ball flight was just really not good with that club.  That's kind of the debate in my head about the 6 iron.  I went to the fitter for his opinion and he said absolutely do not get low iron AP2's.  I guess I need to decide where "low iron" stops, 6 or 5.