It was quite evident at this years Japan Golf Fair that the muscle back was having a trendy revival. Japan is very fickle when it comes to trends and whats hot can come and go with the snap of a finger. While pretty much all Japanese brands design their golf clubs with the Japanese market in mind, this does not stop our hardcore overseas customers from nitpicking and wishing for a better muscle back every year. While Japan continues to pump design and technology into its irons for more ease of use more distance and more all around performance, it seems they have also decided to take a step back and bring back the blade the way it should be. And what exactly is the way a blade should be? According to many of the enthusiasts on TSG, clean, compact, boxier and less offset.
I took pictures of 5 different sets of blades all new for 2013. I would have included the Yamaha Tour Model which as you all know is a blade this year but its already sold out so there isn’t so much reason to put it here. There are still other blades that are current but most of us have seen them before including the Romaro Pro Forged (in the slide above), the Epon AF-Tour, and the Yururi Flat Back Blade to name a few. Keep in mind I did not take these pictures with the original intention of putting them side by side for comparison as that would be difficult to do with all the different lighting in each booth and with all the pictures not being to scale. So when looking at the images below do not compare them for size. This is more for design and shape though the angles may not always be the same. I also apologize as in some cases I missed focused and did not know till I got home.
Tourstage X-Blade 909 Limited
Maruman Conductor Pro-X
All 5 models are reasonably compact and have sharper faces with less offset. The Maruman appears to have the most offset with the Tourstage the least (though the Srixon may be close but I screwed up the focus on that one). Based on my personal tastes I really like the back muscle of the Fourteen, very clean and classic and minimal stampings. Best looking from up top and front on for me is the Tourstage X-Blade 909. Not only does the 909 have the straightest neck and that butter knife look, its toe has the best shape in my opinion. The thing about irons and any golf club for that matter is that when it comes to looks, its always very subjective and personal. One persons cup of tea is not always another’s.
So which blade looks the best to you?