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Check lofts, not the number on the bottom of the club

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  • Check lofts, not the number on the bottom of the club

    We all know that there are no standards for shaft flexes. One manufacturer’s R may equate to another manufacturer’s A or S. Similarly, there are no standards for lofts. I never realized that there would be huge differences within the same manufacturer. I was looking at the website for Epon golf, a manufacturer I had never heard of. They have 7 different iron models. All but two models have different lofts throughout the set. Amazingly, one model’s 9-iron is 44 degrees while another model’s 9-iron is 34 degrees! That is a HUGE difference, about 2 1/2 clubs different. Do your research before buying new clubs.

  • #2
    Even better, get fit before you buy. Loft doesn't matter it is all about the dynamics you bring to impact. Someone who is person who delivers a lot of dynamic loft at impact, like a flipper or someone who is shallow will tend to need stronger lofted irons because they will launch the ball too high with too much spin. Conversely, someone who tends to deloft a lot at impact will tend to gravitate to more loft. This day and age, the average PGA Pro is about 4* delofted at impact, while the average amateur is about level at impact.

    I like to flip misconceptions like these on their head a bit. Let's pretend you are shopping for a driver and you hit the middle of the head every single time and hit the middle of the fairway every time. You are looking for a new driver because yours broke. You generally are a high spin, high launch player. Are you buying a 13* driver or a 9* driver?

    Just like drivers, irons have an optimal launch and spin window as well. For a 6i, off of a mat indoors, that is 16* launch and about 5000 RPMs of spin. Outdoors that will translate to around 6000 RPMs of spin and a little flatter flight, just like what we see on the PGA Tour Averages. So it is much better to fit someone for their launch and spin needs than it is to get too hung up on buying a set of clubs because the lofts are traditional or not.
    Taylormade SIM
    Cobra Speedzone Tour Big 12*
    Ping G425 Fairway 16.5* and 22*
    Callaway Apex Pro 2021 26*
    Cobra RadSpeed OneLength 7-AW
    Vokey SM8 52/55/59
    Bettinardi Prototype

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    • #3
      I agree Lionworld. I heard that this is how club manufacturers over time have learned to give the illusion of longer distances.

      I don't think it would apply as much to to woods and hybrids as you would usually see the loft on those clubs and so you know you're hitting a 15 degree 3W - plus, you can usually adjust the loft on your driver to whatever works for you.

      For irons it's a bit trickier since the lofts vary between makers / models for a given club number. I would go one further than your "check the loft, not the number" suggestion. And that would be, know your carry distances. If you need to carry a distance of 150 yards, pick whatever club does the job....forget the loft and the number.

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      • #4
        It would be simpler if the manufacturers just put the loft on the bottom of the irons, not the numbers. But then that might eliminate the marketing about distance?
        I certainly agree about knowing your average distance for each club. Many players use their "one off" max distance and can't figure out why they came up short, and most of the trouble around greens is in front half of the greens.

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        • #5
          https://www.spargogolf.com/blogs/blo...-get-technical

          Interesting article showing different lofts of 7 irons or various makers and models of irons. The article is a few years old but interesting read. Final conclusion is to not get fooled by manufacturer's claim of "improvements" when they just made stronger lofted club from previous year's model.

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          • #6
            I thought there really was evolution in iron design that made it possible for most players to hit a less lofted club better. Cavity backs and shifting weight and COM and MOI and springy faces and other stuff all come together to make a 34* club easier to hit.

            So if your old school 7i was 34*, your modern one could be 28* and would (ta da!) go farther.

            Anyways, all I really want is a set with consistent gaps that I can hit consistently, and cover a good range of distance - like 130-230 yds would be nice - and they go where I want them to, more or less.

            Numbering them from 3-9 (and PW, 'cause a 10i would just be confusing ) makes it simple. Whatever lofts do that are good with me.
            "Confusion" will be my epitaph
            ...Iggy

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            • #7
              In the spring of every year, I take my Mizuno irons to a trusted club-fitter to have them set to Mizuno's specs. I print out those specs (lie and loft) and take them to the fitter so that he knows what adjustments to make. I also ask him to record the measurements "as received" and what he adjusted them to. It would be simpler if the loft was stamped on the irons instead of a relatively meaningless club "number".
              (btw, I think it was Macgregor that actually made a 10 iron in their sets - now we have a gap wedge)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by rulie View Post
                In the spring of every year, I take my Mizuno irons to a trusted club-fitter to have them set to Mizuno's specs. I print out those specs (lie and loft) and take them to the fitter so that he knows what adjustments to make. I also ask him to record the measurements "as received" and what he adjusted them to. It would be simpler if the loft was stamped on the irons instead of a relatively meaningless club "number".
                (btw, I think it was Macgregor that actually made a 10 iron in their sets - now we have a gap wedge)
                Just curious.....how much does regular playing an iron affect a club's loft over time? I assume that all irons would be "affected" similarly. Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to just to get updated carry distances and move on?

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                • #9
                  When I went to see PhatChris at TXG . . . I mention that I pretty much hit my 5/6/7 the same distance . . . after checking them, they were pretty much all the same loft. So he adjusted all the loft to have some consistency . . . He started with the 7 and went up and down . . . 4 to PW . . . made a great difference . . .
                  If you think it's hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball.

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                  • #10
                    A step further than getting your lofts checked is to do gap fitting.
                    Just because your heads may have precise degree spacing doesn't mean they will perform ( for you ) with exact yardage separation. Each head's CoG, where you typically strike the face, shaft anomalies, one's tendencies to perhaps overswing on longer irons, etc, all contribute to the clubhead speed, impact location, and efficiency ( smash factor ) of your shot. And of course the ball you use.

                    This all takes time in a quality Sim, and best to adjust and repeat over a few Sim sessions to account for your day-to-day swing changes. A great winter project. I am fortunate to have easy access to a friend's GC-Quad and my own bending setup at home. For me the number on the bottom and even the measured loft is meaningless -> I look at what the GC-Quad tells me. Then in the real world off grass things might be different with turf interaction.

                    Last year I also came to the realization that I didn't have enough spin, launch was a bit too low, and descent angle a bit too low. These are the things we "ignore" for the sake of chasing distance. I found a set of Players-Distance irons ( latest T200 ) that give me good distance, but with high launch, and better spin, however there is a sacrifice in feel -> I can live with that.

                    Life was simpler when I didn't know anything about golf, just get some irons and go play with what ya got
                    ( of course I really sucked back then before I got the golf bug ).
                    WITB: Sun Mountain 5.5LS
                    Titleist TSi2 11* with Ventus Red Velocore 6
                    Titleist TSi2 15* fairway with Evenflow White 65

                    Titleist TSi2 21* and 24* hybrid with Evenflow White 90
                    Titleist T200 5-GW with Steelfiber i95cw
                    Cleveland RTX4 54* & 58* with Steelfiber i110cw
                    Seemore Platinum M7 Tour with SS Flatso 3.0
                    Set #2: MP-18 MMC 5-PW with Steelfiber i95cw

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                    • #11
                      Was working on a couple sets for a player recently. He wanted them extended and bent upright based on his fitting. I asked what clubs he used to get the fitting done. He didn't understand why. When I showed him that one of his sets had lies that were already 1.5 degrees more upright than the ones he was fitted on he got it.

                      To tag onto Andy's post, most golfers have compressed yardages as they get into their lower lofted irons. Ie: the distance gap between, say their 4/5/6 irons will be tighter than between their 9/8/7. Often this is simply because they cannot elevate the ball enough with these longer and lower lofted clubs. IMO, these are the clubs where gapping based on yardage not loft is most warranted.

                      "Don't cry because it's over, Smile because it happened "

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                      • #12

                        No Pro wants to relearn his yardage. When Pros switch to a sponsor's Latest and Greatest, I am very confident that his former spec's are copied.
                        things change

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                        • #13
                          Hogan had clubs for a while with only the lofts stamped on the head, but it looks like they've gone back to traditional numbering. I guess golfers can't get used to not seeing them.
                          WITB:
                          - Titleist TS3 (Fujikura Ventus Blue 6x)
                          - A-Grind 3 Wood (Fujikura Ventus Blue 7x)
                          - A-Grind Utility Proto 18 degrees (ACCRA TZ6)
                          - Mizuno MP-20 HMB 3i
                          - Mizuno JPX-919 Tour 4-PW
                          - Mizuno T-20 56 & 60
                          - David Whitlam SPI3 Limited Edition

                          Backups:
                          - PING S59 3-PW (Rifle Project X 5.5)
                          - Nike Forged Blades 3-PW
                          - Geotech P.Blade 3-PW
                          - Scotty Cameron Newport II Pro Platinum
                          - Scotty Cameron Phantom Futura
                          - David Whitlam Little Dog

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Weirfan View Post
                            Was working on a couple sets for a player recently. He wanted them extended and bent upright based on his fitting. I asked what clubs he used to get the fitting done. He didn't understand why. When I showed him that one of his sets had lies that were already 1.5 degrees more upright than the ones he was fitted on he got it.

                            To tag onto Andy's post, most golfers have compressed yardages as they get into their lower lofted irons. Ie: the distance gap between, say their 4/5/6 irons will be tighter than between their 9/8/7. Often this is simply because they cannot elevate the ball enough with these longer and lower lofted clubs. IMO, these are the clubs where gapping based on yardage not loft is most warranted.
                            Probably a lot of off the rack sets could be upright to subtly help over the top slicers.
                            G410 Plus 10.5*
                            G25 4W 16.5*
                            G400 7W 20.5*
                            G400 3H & 4H 19* & 22*
                            G400 5 - UW
                            Glide 3.0 54/14 WS, 58/10 SS
                            SeeMore DB4 Nashville (303 milled)
                            Anser TR 1966

                            Mr. Ping Hooferlite bag

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by marc757 View Post
                              Hogan had clubs for a while with only the lofts stamped on the head, but it looks like they've gone back to traditional numbering. I guess golfers can't get used to not seeing them.
                              Cleveland UHX irons have the number and loft stamped on the heads, looks really good.
                              Suppose the issue would be if you bend them.
                              G410 Plus 10.5*
                              G25 4W 16.5*
                              G400 7W 20.5*
                              G400 3H & 4H 19* & 22*
                              G400 5 - UW
                              Glide 3.0 54/14 WS, 58/10 SS
                              SeeMore DB4 Nashville (303 milled)
                              Anser TR 1966

                              Mr. Ping Hooferlite bag

                              Comment

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