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A MONUMENTAL EVENT IN MY GOLFING "CAREER"

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  • A MONUMENTAL EVENT IN MY GOLFING "CAREER"

    The reason I became interested in my golfing hero Ben Hogan all started when I was 13 years old and got my first set of men's clubs. That was 39 years ago and they were my Dad's old Ben Hogan Power Thrusts (same irons as JFK!). He re finished the woods and got new grips for me. Ever since then the only iron that has been in my bag are Hogan's. About 10 years ago now I started getting my woods and later hybrids made for me by club builders. I quickly realized that component golf equipment was the way to go in terms of quality of assembly and value for the dollar. Being someone who had worked in many capacities in the golf industry I started to see what OEM equipment was becoming more and more about marketing and advertising than it was about design and performance.

    In the defense of OEM manufacturers they had engineered themselves into the corner by pushing the limits of club manufacturing causing the applicable governing bodies to step in and limit size, spring board effect etc. Being an old man I have seen the progression of persimmon to stainless steel to titanium to oversized heads and for that wonderful decade or two in the 80's and 90's companies like Taylor Made and Callaway were truly making some new products that were true to their claim of making it easier to hit the ball further and straighter. That era ended when the rules changed.

    Anyway I came to realize this about 10 years ago and started getting my equipment made for me by local club builders. I can confidently say that I will never buy another brand name piece of golf equipment again. KNowing a little bit about the manufacturing process and the mark ups at the retail level and the quality of materials used (most the watered down shafts put in the off the shelf drivers) I can say that when you buy brand name equipment from retailers you are not getting what you think. Now....you can pay a whole lot more and upgrade but then you are paying too much compared to what you get.


    As someone who has worked in the industry and has tested most of what's out there I would say to check out some component companies stuff before making your final choice regarding equipment. There are actually a lof of choices out there (besides PGX...lol) and lots of guys in GTA and on this forum that can help you out.So next week I am getting a new set of clubs. ALL of which will be component. My choice is Alpha Golf.

    It will be weird looking down when making my club selection and not seeing those big red numbers on the sole of my irons (you Hogan guys know what I mean) but hitting the clubs I am purchasing is all the proof I need to move forward with my decision. So I am going with the Alpha C2 Fly head. An offset deep cut cavity 1020 forged head. My driver is the C8304 tour....non adjustable, fairway woods V5 hi COR titanium and hybrids C830. Wedges are my last set of Snake Eyes 675WB (the softest forged heads they ever made and one of the last designs by Tom Wishon before he went on his own).

    As I said it will be different not having my trusty Hogan irons with me but time marches on. I know at least some of you fellow golf nuts understand what it's like making changes when you are used to something. THanks for letting me rant and do yourself a favour and have a look at component heads and local builders for your next set. Avoid paying too much for sub standard equipment. Here's a link for my irons.

    https://www.alphagolfclubs.com/produ...ly-forged-iron
    WHAT SITS ON MY CLIC-GEAR
    Alpha Golf C830.4 SP700 Plasma Tour 1wd 10.5* Platinum 45gr 45""

    Alpha Golf Version 5 3wd 15* Platinum 65gr 44"
    Alpha Golf C830 19* & 22* FST 90 "R" 41.5" & 40.5"
    Hogan Apex Edge Pro 3-5-E FST "R" 90 +1/2"
    Snake Eyes 52* 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
    Snake Eyes 60* (58*) 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
    Heavy Putter A1 33"
    Bushnell V2 Range Finder
    Wilson FG Tour
    " The secret is in the dirt "....... Ben Hogan

  • #2
    Have you been fit yet? What shafts are going in your irons
    M2 D-type 9.5 accra CS1 60
    Ping Rapture 13* hzrdus yellow 63
    Ping i25 18* accra CS1 70
    TM M2 tour 4-9 NS Pro
    Cally X-Forged 48, 52, 58, 64 Pro Modus3 105
    Nike method MC3i

    Osprey Valley Century Club
    100 holes - May 2, 2016

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Pingnut View Post
      Have you been fit yet? What shafts are going in your irons
      I am putting in the Alpha Platinum 60 grams. I am getting them built at Unison GOlf in St Catharines. I was completely surprised that a shaft that light has that much control. He fits by frequency.....CPM's. We all know that CPMs have been used for a long time in fitting. I like this way as you don't have to build to a given swing weight or flex. Anyway he built me a sample 5 iron and it is absolutely the best iron I have ever hit.

      https://www.alphagolfclubs.com/produ...num-iron-shaft
      WHAT SITS ON MY CLIC-GEAR
      Alpha Golf C830.4 SP700 Plasma Tour 1wd 10.5* Platinum 45gr 45""

      Alpha Golf Version 5 3wd 15* Platinum 65gr 44"
      Alpha Golf C830 19* & 22* FST 90 "R" 41.5" & 40.5"
      Hogan Apex Edge Pro 3-5-E FST "R" 90 +1/2"
      Snake Eyes 52* 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
      Snake Eyes 60* (58*) 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
      Heavy Putter A1 33"
      Bushnell V2 Range Finder
      Wilson FG Tour
      " The secret is in the dirt "....... Ben Hogan

      Comment


      • #4
        I play Alpha irons, hybrids, and Driver. They have a club maker's personalized branding on them but they are Alphas. Work great for me. Every once in a while someone will look at them and ask what they are but never get into any details.
        Aim at nothing and you will hit it every time.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you for your informative post. Execuse my ignorance , but do you mean if you buy a Mizuno MP iron , or a Titleist AP2 iron from a retailer, you are "not getting the real thing". Are they sub standard in some way , is a pro using the same brands getting a "better version" of the same product?. I understand the upgrade in shafts are different, but is the golf buying public getting inferior products and how so?.
          MICK12

          Comment


          • #6
            The new sticks sound like winners,play well brother.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mick12 View Post
              Thank you for your informative post. Execuse my ignorance , but do you mean if you buy a Mizuno MP iron , or a Titleist AP2 iron from a retailer, you are "not getting the real thing". Are they sub standard in some way , is a pro using the same brands getting a "better version" of the same product?. I understand the upgrade in shafts are different, but is the golf buying public getting inferior products and how so?.
              The reality of 99.9% of all golf equipment is this. The heads are manufactured in probably China or Japan for the high end forgings. The only thing that matters with club heads is the tolerance levels the manufacturers demand from that. When you buy OEM equipment you are also paying for that companies advertising and tour endorsement contracts. The pros equipment is obviously tweeked to their individual needs. They are not sub standard they are at the same level of components or should I say components are the same as OEM in terms quality.

              It is 100% true when you buy say a Taylor Made driver off the rack you are not getting the same shaft as if you bought the same shaft separately. The Fujikara Speeder you buy from say Golfworks is a better quality than the Fujikara Speeder shaft TM sources for its retail inventory. THat has been told to me by reps for the applicable companies when I worked in retail golf.

              Another thing that could happen....maybe yes or maybe no is because of manufacturing tolerances you may not get exactly what you think you are. For example if a manufacturer (and most of them state this) has a tolerance of +/- 1* of loft in their heads and you get a 6 iron that is 1* weak and a 7 iron that is 1* strong instead of 4* loft separation between the 2 clubs which is what they should be you are only getting 2.

              With a good club builder (and builders on this forum please give your 2 cents worth) every head should be weighed, and lofts checked before assembly. With custom built clubs a quality assembler will also weight and check flex on all shafts. This is what the OEM trucks do that follow the pros around. You don't get that with off the rack sets, regardless of the name on it.

              I like many OEM clubs. Mizuno has some of the nicest forgings out there as an example. What I am saying is IMO component heads that are assembled by a quality club builder will be more consistent in their assembly for the same or even less money. Take any high end OEM club and compare it to a high quality component head and there is no difference. The other thing that you get with a club builder is more personalized service and you are supporting a local business vs. a large faceless corporation.

              Go check out some quality component heads like KZGs or Nakashima even the heads that GOlfworks carry are very nice. There are more options than GT, GOlftech or any of the other traditional retail outlets.
              WHAT SITS ON MY CLIC-GEAR
              Alpha Golf C830.4 SP700 Plasma Tour 1wd 10.5* Platinum 45gr 45""

              Alpha Golf Version 5 3wd 15* Platinum 65gr 44"
              Alpha Golf C830 19* & 22* FST 90 "R" 41.5" & 40.5"
              Hogan Apex Edge Pro 3-5-E FST "R" 90 +1/2"
              Snake Eyes 52* 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
              Snake Eyes 60* (58*) 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
              Heavy Putter A1 33"
              Bushnell V2 Range Finder
              Wilson FG Tour
              " The secret is in the dirt "....... Ben Hogan

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you for your info. I was really let down this year by a very popular QEM. ( a huge name brand). I decided to go for a fitting by their rep, got fitted, bought the irons and a Driver. When I got the irons something just "felt wrong", i was hitting huge "moon balls and hooks" Took them to a club fitter I know , not at the retailer where i bought them, and he said the shafts were all wrong, not even the stiff I ordered but "senior shafts were installed!! Long story short I had someone else re shaft them, the OEM would not do a thing for me. When I asked the fitter about this , he stated he "sees this all the time" , people go get fit, lay down almost 2K,,and all the specs are wrong when the clubs come in. Seems quality control is not taken seriously anymore, and no one cares. I will definitely check Alpha Golf out. Thanks again for your info. I think PING would be okay as they take fitting serious, but they just dont fit my eye.
                MICK12

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Mick12 View Post
                  Thank you for your info. I was really let down this year by a very popular QEM. ( a huge name brand). I decided to go for a fitting by their rep, got fitted, bought the irons and a Driver. When I got the irons something just "felt wrong", i was hitting huge "moon balls and hooks" Took them to a club fitter I know , not at the retailer where i bought them, and he said the shafts were all wrong, not even the stiff I ordered but "senior shafts were installed!! Long story short I had someone else re shaft them, the OEM would not do a thing for me. When I asked the fitter about this , he stated he "sees this all the time" , people go get fit, lay down almost 2K,,and all the specs are wrong when the clubs come in. Seems quality control is not taken seriously anymore, and no one cares. I will definitely check Alpha Golf out. Thanks again for your info. I think PING would be okay as they take fitting serious, but they just dont fit my eye.
                  Sorry to hear about your experience Mick12. Unfortunately this happens more often than it should. When I worked retail golf I was one of the "go to" guys for fitting. I also did a bit of pro shop stuff to the point I could glue a shaft it but we didn't have the equipment for testing flex etc. I am surprised that a rep fit you so poorly, normally they are better than that. But the OEM club companies are hiring cheap labour these days, some of the reps now are summer hires who essentially go to demo days and service retail accounts. NOt to bash the OEM's but someone brought a brand new TM driver 3-5 wood into my guy for new grips. So he was interested in what it would spec out at. He put the clubs in his frequency analyzer and couldn't even get a number, meaning the shafts flexed all over the place and had no consistency. The guy paid $900 for the 3 clubs and like you said trying to complain to the company will get you a bunch of nothing.

                  To not seem biased I will say that 99.9% of the f#*& ups with custom built clubs is the shaft. Most heads are very well made these days and fall well within the tolerances of the manufacturer. I am sure the guy who fixed your clubs and confirmed my statement will also say is that finding the correct shaft is the absolute most important part of the fit. Shafts these days are very complicated. It's not like the old days where you had a couple of choices, now there are many companies making many different kinds of shafts in many different weights.

                  The one thing as a general rule is that most companies are making lighter and better shafts which is a good thing. It used be that if you wanted a stiff flex you also had to get a heavier shaft. THat is not the case anymore. At 52 I am definetly loosing club head speed and strength. I can still swing my driver around 100 mph maybe a bit more but gone are the days I once had at the 115-120 bracket.

                  Ten years ago having a 60 gram graphite shaft for even a mid level club head speed would have been unheard of but the shaft companies continue to improve their tolerances. There is simply to many choices now for the average person to be able to process. This is why a builder who knows the products will build you a set ideally for you.

                  As an example my assembler only works with FST steel and the Alpha series graphite. He knows this product, has tested its consistency and knows how to cut them to meet each person specs. Each builder will probably have their "favourite" one they like to work with.

                  i didn't post this to plug my choice of heads and to be honest I went with Alpha because it is the line this builder works with and the fact I have been hitting the sample head for almost 2 years now. As you can probably tell I have never liked change in my equipment. Playing Hogan irons with Apex shafts for 30 years (my last 2 sets I had E21 shafts and FST shafts) I became used to what I was playing. I am switching simply because these heads combined with the shaft is the best performing club I have ever hit. Regardless what you chose that's what you get from a knowledgeable builder.
                  WHAT SITS ON MY CLIC-GEAR
                  Alpha Golf C830.4 SP700 Plasma Tour 1wd 10.5* Platinum 45gr 45""

                  Alpha Golf Version 5 3wd 15* Platinum 65gr 44"
                  Alpha Golf C830 19* & 22* FST 90 "R" 41.5" & 40.5"
                  Hogan Apex Edge Pro 3-5-E FST "R" 90 +1/2"
                  Snake Eyes 52* 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
                  Snake Eyes 60* (58*) 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
                  Heavy Putter A1 33"
                  Bushnell V2 Range Finder
                  Wilson FG Tour
                  " The secret is in the dirt "....... Ben Hogan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Interesting.My brother , who LOVED Ben Hogan still plays old Hogan Apex, or as he calls them "the REAL Hogans". He will not buy any newer Hogans as he said "Mr Hogan demanded quality and my irons were built when he was still involved", he will never give them up and hits them good. Anyway, I was told by my fitter who spoke to the company that the rep ordered them correctly, but they were assembled wrong, this was done in Mexico according to the OEM, (not sure thats relevant ) , and even though they admitted the mistake as my fitter spoke with them, they would not do a thing or cover cost to put proper shafts as ordered installed. Like you said, my fitter told me this happens all the time. Suffice to say, I will never buy another product from them. (Except maybe their balls even though I dont want to-need to find a new ball !! ).. I will check Alpha out for sure, St. Catherine's is a hike for me, so I will hopefully find a builder that deals with them in GTA or East. Thanks for your information.
                    MICK12

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just a general question to the two of you and the board in general. I see many of us here rely on CPMs and use that as a measure to gauge the true stiffness of a shaft, which is absolutely 100% the only way to know for sure.

                      However, I have seen TourIQ and others state that they need a CPM to read out exactly 250 (for example, or 250 +/- 3CPM), but how does one actually ascertain that this is the exact CPM needed. Case in point, I did a reshaft on an M2 5i over the weekend with a KBS Tour. Looking at the tipping instructions there are a range of tip trimming options from 2 and 2/16ths to 5 and 2/16ths seen here: https://www.golfworks.com/images/art/KBSTRIMMING.pdf

                      First off, how am I supposed to know which of these is best for him, even based on swing speed, let's say he swings the 7i at 83mph, which is low-middle of stiff, do I go 2 and 2/16ths or 3 and 2/16ths? Further, he brought the shaft in to us, so I can assume he had the other shafts in his clubs, but how can I be sure what his other clubs are if he didn't bring them in and wants it picked up tomorrow for his game? Do I go soft, do I go stiff? I ended up just tipping it 3 and 1/2 (basically right in the middle) and then installed. Do you have a set of blanks and then tip trim each to the flex and CPM so you have 4 shafts in reg, stiff, and X to try? If so, why? Why tip a Regular to 5.0 and 5.5 when you have stiffs that can do the same thing? Conversely, why have the soft stiffs when you can just use a "stiffer" regular, which is coincidentally probably going to work out better due to its lighter weight profile? Case in point, in 13 years of fitting I cannot remember a single time I have ever fit someone into an R300 (130g regular flex).

                      I guess the crux of my question is this: How do we know what CPM is actually work best for us? It seems like it is just a fancier way of just using the shaft and head that performs best. I have no freaking clue what the CPM of my driver shaft is (and no way to test it). How would I know that if I had something, say 6 CPMs stronger that it would work better, or far worse for me?

                      I really would like a non-sarcastic/accusatory answer to this, because in all the years I have done fittings, and been trained by many hobbyist and legit club builders, not one person has been able to explain to me my question. So again, apart from trial and error, which is essentially the meat and potatoes of a fitting anyways, and doesn't require minute changes here and there, how does someone know exactly what CPM is going to work for them? How can this then be applied to the rest of their sets going forward? What happens if their swing changes and they load the shaft differently, or have a different attack? Lastly, let's say that I try my driver shaft in store and it works for me, does it really matter if it CPMs out to regular when it says stiff on it? I see this thrown around here and on GolfWRX a lot that they brought their clubs to get blue printed and the shafts say X or Stiff or whatever and they actually CPM out to ladies' flex....who cares? Most CPM machines only measure the butt frequency of a shaft (and many have extremely soft butts to feel better). So how is that a true measure of a shaft when the WHOLE shaft needs to be CPM'd for it's flex profile, yet many club builders only do the butt end and start ranting and raving about tolerances when they didn't do their job correctly in the first place?

                      Thank you.
                      Ping G30 LS 9* - Ping Tour 65 'S'
                      Taylormade R15 TP 17* - Graphite Design MJ 6X
                      Nike Vapor Flex 20* hybrid - ATTAS 4U 7X
                      Adams 9031 23* - ACCRA Dymatch 2.0 M4
                      Mizuno JPX900 Forged 6-PW - C-Taper Lite 'S'
                      Miura 50* - Aldila RIP 115 'S'
                      Engage Toe Sweep 55* - Dynamic Gold
                      Engage Square Sole 59* - Dynamic Gold
                      Bettinardi Inovai 3.0

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I take my retail-bought golf clubs ( Mizunos for me ) to a quality builder ( TLT-Dan ) , discard the stock shafts, and have them rebuilt with parallel tip shafts that are measured & assembled to Dan's high level of consistency.


                        ^^^ PhatChrisRules: I too have many general rhetorical questions about the fitting process.

                        Why is a 6i (or 7i) the only club in the fitting cart ?
                        How often does one actually hit a 6i or 7i in the course of round ? ( today's round had me never reaching for a 6i or 7i )

                        Are the standard length increment of 1/2" per club, and lie angle change of 0.5* ideal for everybody ?
                        ( yes I am a TLT convert , but have some of my own thoughts on further tweaking Dan's standard build for my next set of irons from him )

                        Why only hit a lie board with your 6i ?
                        Why not do this for every club in your bag ?

                        Why only put impact tape on your 6i ?
                        Why not do this for every club in your bag ?

                        What about the standard length of a 38" 5i ?
                        Certainly if one is taller or shorter, then a change is obviously needed.
                        But what if I am of "average" size but prefer to stand taller than average, or bend over more than average ?

                        One may have better success with a Constant Weight, or Ascending Weight type of shaft.

                        The amount of fitting permutations is endless, if one had an endless budget and time to get fully fully optimized for each club.

                        I am a believer that the number on the bottom of the iron, or the CPM "number" measured of the shaft is mostly meaningless.
                        Whatever works for you, works, and much of it is trial & error.
                        In optimizing Driver ball flight, than surely launch angle and spin are very relevant numbers.
                        For irons, I am more concerned about dispersion and consistency/repeatability of contact, vs max length.

                        I am no golf natural, and have worked hard to become a pretty good & consistent golfer.
                        I take a vested interest in the evolution of tweaking my equipment to suit my available skill & game.
                        Much of it is trial and error, and some of it is measurement.
                        ( But it is nice knowing I have a full set of irons & wedges built with great consistency as my foundation )


                        ~ Andy
                        WITB:
                        Cobra King LTD with Attas 5 GoGo 60S
                        Callaway 816 14* with Kurokage TiNi 50 Stiff
                        Titleist 915HD 17.5* with Diamana S+ 70S
                        Mizuno JPX-900 4-GW with Accra 110i, TLT built by Dan
                        Nike VR Pro 54/60 with Accra 110i, TLT built by Dan
                        TM Ghost Spider 33" SuperStroke Flatso 3.0 CC

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ARL67 View Post
                          I take my retail-bought golf clubs ( Mizunos for me ) to a quality builder ( TLT-Dan ) , discard the stock shafts, and have them rebuilt with parallel tip shafts that are measured & assembled to Dan's high level of consistency.


                          ^^^ PhatChrisRules: I too have many general rhetorical questions about the fitting process.

                          Why is a 6i (or 7i) the only club in the fitting cart ?
                          How often does one actually hit a 6i or 7i in the course of round ? ( today's round had me never reaching for a 6i or 7i )

                          Are the standard length increment of 1/2" per club, and lie angle change of 0.5* ideal for everybody ?
                          ( yes I am a TLT convert , but have some of my own thoughts on further tweaking Dan's standard build for my next set of irons from him )

                          Why only hit a lie board with your 6i ?
                          Why not do this for every club in your bag ?

                          Why only put impact tape on your 6i ?
                          Why not do this for every club in your bag ?

                          What about the standard length of a 38" 5i ?
                          Certainly if one is taller or shorter, then a change is obviously needed.
                          But what if I am of "average" size but prefer to stand taller than average, or bend over more than average ?

                          One may have better success with a Constant Weight, or Ascending Weight type of shaft.

                          The amount of fitting permutations is endless, if one had an endless budget and time to get fully fully optimized for each club.

                          I am a believer that the number on the bottom of the iron, or the CPM "number" measured of the shaft is mostly meaningless.
                          Whatever works for you, works, and much of it is trial & error.
                          In optimizing Driver ball flight, than surely launch angle and spin are very relevant numbers.
                          For irons, I am more concerned about dispersion and consistency/repeatability of contact, vs max length.

                          I am no golf natural, and have worked hard to become a pretty good & consistent golfer.
                          I take a vested interest in the evolution of tweaking my equipment to suit my available skill & game.
                          Much of it is trial and error, and some of it is measurement.
                          ( But it is nice knowing I have a full set of irons & wedges built with great consistency as my foundation )


                          ~ Andy
                          Dan is a quality builder and very knowledgable
                          WHAT SITS ON MY CLIC-GEAR
                          Alpha Golf C830.4 SP700 Plasma Tour 1wd 10.5* Platinum 45gr 45""

                          Alpha Golf Version 5 3wd 15* Platinum 65gr 44"
                          Alpha Golf C830 19* & 22* FST 90 "R" 41.5" & 40.5"
                          Hogan Apex Edge Pro 3-5-E FST "R" 90 +1/2"
                          Snake Eyes 52* 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
                          Snake Eyes 60* (58*) 675WB FST 90 "R" +1/2"
                          Heavy Putter A1 33"
                          Bushnell V2 Range Finder
                          Wilson FG Tour
                          " The secret is in the dirt "....... Ben Hogan

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by ARL67 View Post
                            I take my retail-bought golf clubs ( Mizunos for me ) to a quality builder ( TLT-Dan ) , discard the stock shafts, and have them rebuilt with parallel tip shafts that are measured & assembled to Dan's high level of consistency.


                            ^^^ PhatChrisRules: I too have many general rhetorical questions about the fitting process.

                            Why is a 6i (or 7i) the only club in the fitting cart ?
                            How often does one actually hit a 6i or 7i in the course of round ? ( today's round had me never reaching for a 6i or 7i )

                            Are the standard length increment of 1/2" per club, and lie angle change of 0.5* ideal for everybody ?
                            ( yes I am a TLT convert , but have some of my own thoughts on further tweaking Dan's standard build for my next set of irons from him )

                            Why only hit a lie board with your 6i ?
                            Why not do this for every club in your bag ?

                            Why only put impact tape on your 6i ?
                            Why not do this for every club in your bag ?

                            What about the standard length of a 38" 5i ?
                            Certainly if one is taller or shorter, then a change is obviously needed.
                            But what if I am of "average" size but prefer to stand taller than average, or bend over more than average ?

                            One may have better success with a Constant Weight, or Ascending Weight type of shaft.

                            The amount of fitting permutations is endless, if one had an endless budget and time to get fully fully optimized for each club.

                            I am a believer that the number on the bottom of the iron, or the CPM "number" measured of the shaft is mostly meaningless.
                            Whatever works for you, works, and much of it is trial & error.
                            In optimizing Driver ball flight, than surely launch angle and spin are very relevant numbers.
                            For irons, I am more concerned about dispersion and consistency/repeatability of contact, vs max length.

                            I am no golf natural, and have worked hard to become a pretty good & consistent golfer.
                            I take a vested interest in the evolution of tweaking my equipment to suit my available skill & game.
                            Much of it is trial and error, and some of it is measurement.
                            ( But it is nice knowing I have a full set of irons & wedges built with great consistency as my foundation )


                            ~ Andy
                            Hi Andy,

                            I will try and answer your questions as best as I can. In some instances if I don't know, I will say as such.

                            1) A 6 or 7 iron are the most used in the demo carts because they are considered the "middle iron". They are sort of universally accepted as easy enough to hit that even your weakest players can hit the middle of the club at least 50% of the time with them. I fit a lady last week that had only had 1 lesson and played golf for less than a year and she still hit the Steelhead XR in the middle/around the middle of the club about 50-60% of the time. Further, due to the way sets are typically sold now (4-AW in most cases), the 7i is literally the exact middle iron in these sets. I can't say for certain how often someone would hit their 7i and 6i on the course, as that is going to depend on the tees you play and your particular course set up. I find myself reaching for my 6i/7i a fair bit as that is my 177-160 club range, which is the vast majority of par 3s, and second shots into par 4s for me on most courses that are around 6-6600 yards in length.

                            2) I wouldn't say it is ideal for everybody, no. However, I do have some faith in equipment engineers since they have PhDs in engineering, math, and physics. Further, why would the manufacturers purposely build clubs that are to the detriment of the majority of players? How long do you think they would be in business if their clubs made people play worse? I would guess maybe 5 years, at best. The OEMs design clubs for the fat 50% of the parabola, there are going to be people that are in the minute portions at either end that make up outlier 25%, and still even 25% more that will not fit under the curve at all. Play what works best for you. I just know that doing fittings for a long time and seeing a lot of different player types and skill levels, that I have sold only 1 set of SL irons (yes I know they are different from TLT), and the SL sets are too distance erratic in the short irons and are virtually impossible to elevate in the 5 and 4 irons. I always encourage people to play what is best for them, be it a traditional set, a TLT set, a SL set, or what have you. You have to play what is comfortable to you. I have fit 6'4" people into standard clubs because longer clubs, even though it is ideal for them, felt strange and they couldn't do it. Conversely, I have fit shorter people into longer clubs because they feel better to them. People all swing the club differently, it doesn't matter to me what the end result of length and lie is as long as you hit the middle of the club.

                            3) You should never be fit with a lie board except in extreme scenarios. Dynamic fitting (line drawn with a sharpie on the ball) coupled with a launch monitor/full flight range is best. Hitting into a net with no visual launch data is absolutely useless. To expand on this further, there is a lot of emphasis placed on lie angles and they don't really matter too too much in the grand scheme of things. A properly struck golf shot hits the ball first before the club even touches the ground. So why do we worry so much about what the club is going to do when it touches the ground? Surely if you've hit the ball first, the ball flight is only being influenced by the club path and partially the face angle; the lie angle plays almost no part in which direction the shot flies UNLESS you are hitting the ground first...in which case you aren't hitting the ball properly anyways so it shouldn't fly straight. We also do do this with every club in the bag if you ask. But again, your swing is your swing. 9.5 times out of 10, if you are 1* flat in your 4i, you're going to be 1* in your LW. But it shouldn't matter anyway because you're hitting ball first anyway right? As for taping up all the clubs, you are well within your right to do so, but I don't see the point. Your swing is your swing, if the shaft and head are working well for one club, they should work for the rest. I can see how this can backfire. I have had many people compare a 5i and 7i of two different sets and end up having the 5i in one set working better but the 7i in the other set works. Now what do you do? Say club 3 doesn't work at all. Now what? A hybrid? A 7 or 9 wood? What if they are die-hard iron fans but they can't hit a driving iron? We can mix and match I guess but it isn't ideal.

                            4) For height and swing path and length "comfort" see point 2.

                            5) Yes, which is why we try different shafts during a fitting. As I've illustrated, and has been discussed before, a shaft is only for feel. An ascending weight shaft or a constant weight shaft have no bearing at all on ball flight...or at least we cannot predict what is going to happen to the dynamic loft, spin loft, or swing path (which is what creates ball flight) until we put a club with a certain shaft in someone's hands. Maybe it'll change the flight and it'll do what it is supposed to do, maybe it won't. There are no guarantees.

                            6) I agree with you but don't see your point. The fitting permutations are endless and we can always be in a constant hunt for better. However, there comes a point in the search that you have to realize that it is the player, not the club. I see it every day I'm at the store. I see the same people week after week, month after month, year after year in the constant hunt for something better. No club is a magic wand. Find what works best for you and buy it, or don't. If you don't and you are continually looking for that extra 5 yards or that club to hit that perfect draw but your path is outside in, I have no sympathy for you and don't waste my time helping anymore. I see some guys coming back with the same driver or iron set every year for the past 3-4 years still hunting for that illusive club that is miraculously going to get them an extra ____ number of yards. Golf is a game that relies on physics; if your natural abilities make the club do one thing, the resultant action of the ball is known. You can't break this cycle until your break the habit that is causing the problem.

                            I hope this has answered some of your questions!
                            Last edited by Phatchrisrules; Aug 16, 2017, 03:17 PM.
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