Every cloud has a silver lining. On one fateful July morning earlier this year, when somebody decided to steal my beloved clubs from the boot of my car, this age-old idiom was admittedly not the first that sprung to mind. Yet, following months of police calls and insurance forms, a new and thoroughly different turmoil emerged: should I go for blades or cavity-backs?
As a low single-figure golfer, blades have always appealed to me. My previous irons, Mizuno MP-67s, were superb. They were stunning to look down on, and gave the sort of silky feel that you just don’t get from thicker, cavity-back irons. However, following my insurance payment and persistent visits to the local driving range, I opted for a more forgiving, slightly less traditional blade-like set of Ping S57s.
At this point, I must point out that I love my new irons, and they have without doubt improved certain elements of my game. The added consistency of distance control was immediately noticeable, as was the increased length of individual iron shots. I have shot a new personal best round, and feel my general game is in a very good place moving into next year. Yet there still is a nagging unease.
It all boils down to one thing, the scourge of mankind: pride. They are certainly more forgiving than what I’m used to and in a rather twisted way, I have the odd fleeting thought that I am in some way ‘cheating’! Aesthetics are also an issue. The Ping’s look fantastic, no doubt about it; yet my bag simply does not look or feel right without a sparkling set of the most traditional blades gleaming back at me.
The vast majority of you will probably discount me as ridiculous; indeed there are many top notch Tour pros who posses far more ability than myself, who have also made the switch from blades to cavity-backs. Yet personal pride is very difficult to dismiss. Yes, my golf scores may be improving; but do I really, genuinely feel like a better player – the jury is still out.