I have added one level of classification. For me, “Player’s Blades” come in two sizes: tiny and small. I think it’s important to identify the most compact muscle back iron head in the world. That’s the one you choose to test your ball striking to the max. The Miura “Baby Blade” is in a class by itself – the perfect manifestation of a muscle back blade. It is a class of one.
The Miura Tournament Blade and the Vega MB-01 are a bit bigger. These two models present a perfect head to head comparison to understand differences in feel between Miura and Vega. (You can set that test up for yourself at the Golf Lab.)
The most important “forgiveness” factor in iron head design is size. The bigger the iron head, the easier it is to hit. But there is a point when the iron head is “too big”. You will know – it looks and feels awkward. A good test is to practice short chips and pitches from deep rough around the green. When you can’t get the club head cleanly on the ball, it is too big.
I group iron heads by size because that’s the best common denominator for “skill level”. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that cavity-back designs are always easier to hit than muscle back designs, my experience with customers tells me the opposite can also be true.
A player who wants to understand how weight distribution affects ball flight can set up a test among heads with high, medium and low centers of gravity. For example: In the “player’s blade” class, matching a MacGregor 985 against a Miura Tournament Blade and a Vega VC-01 is the ultimate test of high, medium and low center of gravity in an iron head.
“Super Player’s Blade” – the tiniest, most compact muscle back blade. If you have the skill, this is the ultimate size and shape for solid feel and maximum control over ball flight. Very low to zero offset.
Miura Baby Blade “1957” – “smallest, most compact in the world.
Miura Tournament Blade
MacGregor Customs – 1970-1990
Maruman Conductor (Miura Forging)
“Player’s Blade” – Plenty of challenge for good players.
Titleist “T” (Tiger) Stamp 1991
Bridgestone J-36 blades
Bridgestone J-33 blades
Mizuno MP 33, 37
Mizuno MP 14, 29
Wilson Staff 1969
Wilson Staff 1963
“Midsize Blade” – The “sweetspot” for forged iron shape and size.
Bridgestone J-33 CB
Bridgestone J-36 CB
Hogan GCD Forged
Game Improvement Blade – This is a completely new category. Who has ever heard of “game improvement forged blades?”
Miura “Passing Point”
Bridgestone “Joe Blade”
“Souped-up Irons” – A new category. Space-age clubs, oversize for maximum forgiveness, every trick in the trade for balance.
Mizuno 990 “Pro Series”