Why a recent Tour winner thinks blade irons are ‘too difficult’

April 11, 2020
kevin na callaway

If you’re good enough to own a PGA Tour card, then you possess the chops to handle a traditional blade iron. That’s the general assumption from weekend golfers when it comes to the best in the world. Surely everyone is playing the smallest iron profile available.

Except not everyone wants to use a tiny blade that lacks any semblance of offset.

During a recent chat on GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcastCallaway staffer Kevin Na admitted blade irons aren’t his cup of tea. You read that right: a four-time PGA Tour winner is openly championing for forgiving cavity-back irons.

“I can’t play a blade,” Na said. “It’s too difficult, and I’m a pro golfer. I think a blade goes shorter. Off-center hits aren’t going to perform as well as cavity-backs. I don’t see a reason why you’d want to play a blade. I really don’t. I played blades in my early 20s, maybe one year — when I was dumb. But I’m wiser now and play a cavity-back.”

Na’s iron of choice is Callaway’s Apex Pro 16, but with the goal of embracing the perfect blend of workability and forgiveness that most better-player irons possess, he opted for a slightly larger Rogue Pro 4-iron at the top of the set.

“In the longer irons, I even look for more — I don’t want to say a high-handicapper club — a more forgiving club,” Na said.

What can be learned from Na’s advice? If you’re a strong mid-handicapper with aspirations of breaking 80 for the first time, don’t think the route to a better game requires you to play a smaller iron profile when the handicap drops.

Instead, embrace Na’s philosophy and play an iron that blends forgiveness with a better-play iron profile. Callaway’s Apex Pro is a perfect example. Bottom line: You don’t need to play a blade to feel like a single-digit stick.

To hear more gear insights from Jonathan Wall and True Spec’s Tim Briand, subscribe and listen each week to GOLF’s Fully Equipped podcast: iTunes | SoundCloud | Spotify | Stitcher