As many new players enter the golfing arena, there is an important aspect of buying golf clubs that should not be overlooked. Construction of clubs experienced a paradigm shift when Ping’s founder, Karsten Solheim developed the concept of forgiveness by introducing perimeter-weighted irons. This is just one instance that launched a whole new area of marketing to address the needs of the ‘casual golfer’. I often wonder if buying forgiving clubs is the wisest avenue for new players to develop a solid and consistent golf game. Or should they focus a bit more time on developing their unique golf swing.
Forgiving clubs have a specific design concept that I noticed in my research. I found a specific article that ties them all together. This list from Golf Sidekick makes sense to me:
- Contain 5 iron through to pitching wedge
- Have an offset hosel
- Are cavity backed
- Have perimeter weighting
The article also lists the top forgiving clubs of 2020, you can check those out if you are interested in seeing which clubs made the list. Interestingly, the clubs I purchased last year did not make the list…..go figure.
Does forgiveness make bad shots go away? No. Improving your swing, making better contact with the ball, is the only way to make bad shots rare. But forgiveness can make that slice a little less severe; it can make a shot struck off-center travel almost as far as one with perfect contact; it can help get a ball a little higher in the air.liveaboutdotcom: Forgiveness In Golf Clubs: What It Means – https://www.liveabout.com/forgiveness-term-1564149
I am in favour of new players buying a forgiving set of clubs. I think it will help them enjoy the game more with less frustration. Hitting better shots, even though their swing is not grooved, helps with the mental side of learning golf and that is always a good thing. The only suggestion I would make for anyone buying new clubs is to invest in a fitting. I have said this many times in the past and I stick to this advice as the golf standard. Nothing worse than buying a set of clubs you cannot hit, forgiving or not!
A point of note, I am not an expert on when is the best time for you transition from forgiving clubs. This is a point in your game of when to make that decision. I know for me, it happened when I broke 80, 90% of the time. Since moving to more of a players club, I have steadily (albeit slowly) lowered my handicap. The clubs helped tremendously and my new Mizuno MP 20 have added an additional level of confidence to my play. Now, I am hoping to play these clubs until I am at least 65 or so….. 😉
Using forgiving clubs is a good thing. However, I do not think it should be a replacement for improving your swing. I am not here to tell you what to do, but offer a suggestion that working on your swing will help far greater and be less expensive than buying new clubs all the time.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
6 thoughts on “Buying Forgiving Clubs”
Jim, amen on the priorities for game improvement. The carpenter builds the house, not the tools.
Exactly Brian, Exactly!
With (according to Titleist) over 70% of tour pro’s playing cavity back irons today, I would answer your question as to when they may be the right choice only one way. When they are the best club for your swing. That’s the ONLY right answer. Your Mizuno’s are beautiful clubs, but unless you tried all the clubs on offer, they likely aren’t the best club for you. They were fitted to suit your swing, sure, but that doesn’t make them best. It just makes them as good as your going to get from that club.
A fitting is what we make of it as much as it is only as good as the fitter. If, going in, we have some preconceived notion we refuse to leave at the door like I want a Mizuno blade to use your last purchase as an example, we are going to fail to get the best clubs possible for us almost surely.
The only way to go about a new set of clubs that makes sense from a standpoint of getting the best tools we can for our money is to try them all. A blade may be the best option, but with so many tour pro’s moving to cavity backs or hollow body designs, it’s not logical to think we are among the very few who would find more benefit from a blade than any other type of club.
You are making a valid point. In my case, I selected 7 manufacture 7 irons. I hit 5 balls with each. Chose the top 3 and hit balls after that with a launch monitor. That is how I arrived at my new irons. But, you are right about an open mind produces the best results in a fitting.
I did kind of cheat in using your new Mizuno’s as the example. As you said, you hit 7 different 7 irons and that’s a big difference from just going in and saying I want this club, fit it for me. Sorry.
Personally I both look forward to and dread my next fitting. It’s going to be a long day. Club day will be here in a couple months and I’ll be able to hit lots of heads with different shafts and basically try them all and get trackman numbers right on the spot by just migrating from tent to tent. That’s almost a fitting. Except for the fact that not all shafts will be out for us. But I’m thinking that choosing the club to get fitted on by hitting up every tent at the show will narrow the search to the right head at least. And of course the dread comes from the bill when I decide. lol
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All.good about my Mizuno fitting. I actually commented for other readers, your point is a good one.
Sounds like you will be a kid in a candy store during club day. Let’s us know how things go.