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Why only one iron fitted?


Mr_Theoo
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So I've actually wondered this for a while, during fittings for irons why are they only done with a 6 or 7 iron? I understand the idea that they are usually in the middle of the set and usually the easiest to hit, but you buy and play with 8 irons. Wouldn't it make sense to hit the long, mid, and short irons when getting fitted?

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic 10.5 set to 9.5 w/ Tour AD-DI 44.5

FW:   :cobra-small: F6 baffler set at 16º

Hybrid:  NONE
Irons:   :taylormade-small:  3i 2014 TP CB  4-PW 2011 TP MC w/ TT S400

Wedges:   :nike-small: 52º :nike-small: 56º  :edel-golf-1: 60 º w/ KBS C-Taper XS Soft-stepped

Putter:   :ping-small: Sigma G Tyne 34 inches Gold dot

 

 

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I won't do a fitting anywhere unless it's a full set fitting.  Which is why I build my own irons and take them to the store that a buddy works at to hit off a lie board and then him and I go through and adjust each iron individually till it's on spec.   Generally, though, you can just about bet your money on it when you get one iron, regardless of what it is, spot on, I'm going to be in 1* lie angle increments up or down from that baseline.  We still do each iron individually though.  Manufacturer specs are all over the place and it, to me, is pointless to only hit 1 iron and bend everything based off that single iron.  If the lies are off from the factory, your whole set is JACKED.  That's why he's also the ONLY employee that's allowed to do any alterations to my irons (well that and he's the only one there that's never marred a hosel because he tapes every hosel and sole before putting them in the machine to ensure no markings).

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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But even when you're trying irons out you usually only hit a 6 or 7 iron. Just seems odd to base such a huge part of your bag on how you hit one iron when you will need them all to play well.

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic 10.5 set to 9.5 w/ Tour AD-DI 44.5

FW:   :cobra-small: F6 baffler set at 16º

Hybrid:  NONE
Irons:   :taylormade-small:  3i 2014 TP CB  4-PW 2011 TP MC w/ TT S400

Wedges:   :nike-small: 52º :nike-small: 56º  :edel-golf-1: 60 º w/ KBS C-Taper XS Soft-stepped

Putter:   :ping-small: Sigma G Tyne 34 inches Gold dot

 

 

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It's a product of cost control. Take the Mizuno cart for example (I think it is the most comprehensive cart of all the OEM carts), I pay for every component in the cart, I get to return at them at the end of the season, but any piece that goes missing is on me. So I would have to carry three weight heads for every model 3-PW or 4-AW, and then about fifteen to twenty shaft options in each length as well, it's just not a feasible solution for a shop to spend that much on demo inventory. Even the Callaway Performance Center at Neshanic (New Jersey) doesn't have every club in every set for fitting and they only deal with their own products.

 

Now it is perfectly reasonable for you to have your clubs checked after getting them to ensure that each lie angle is correct for you after they arrive, but to do it beforehand would be too impractical for the shop to do. For most, using a base club in the middle of the set and extrapolating that through the set has been a common practice for most fitters.

Ping G410 Plus Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Ping G410 LST 3 Wood Oban Tour Prototype V430
Titleist U500 3 & 4 Oban Kiyoshi Purple Tour Reserve
Titleist 620 MB 5-9 Oban CT 125
Titleist Vokey 47* Oban CT 125, 51*, 55*, and 59* Shimada Tour Wedge Black
Bettinardi Studio Stock SS28

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I believe it is one of the downfalls of fitting for irons.  Since you're fitting with 1 club, odds are that club will end up being your 'best club in the bag.'  Either that or the club next to (i.e. fitted with a 6-iron and your 7-iron or 5-iron becomes your best club in the bag).

 

If you subscribe to MOI matching and balancing your irons, you start to see the flaw in this type of fitting.  The long irons have a higher concentration of its mass in the shaft, causing the ball to launch even lower and spin less.  The short irons have a higher concentration of its mass in the head, causing the ball to launch even higher and spin more.

 

I believe if golfers did a fitting using only a 3-iron, they would find that they would be fitted for lighter shafts.  Conversely, if they did a fitting using only a 9-iorn, they would be fitted for heavier shafts. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3JACK

Author of Pro Golf Synopsis. The Moneyball approach to golf strategy and analysis.Driver: Wishon 919THI, 10° loft, UST Mamiya VTS Red 7x, 44-3/8” long, 2,825 kg/cm^2 MOIGONZO WOOD: confidential2-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 17° loft, 40-7/8" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)3-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 20° loft, 40" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)4-6 iron: Wishon 575MMC (CB)7-PW: Wishon 575MMC (MB)SW: Edel Golf driver grind, 52° loft, 16° bounce, Nippon WV 125 shaft.LW: Edel Golf Digger Grind, 60° loft, 27° bounce, Nippon WV 125 ShaftPutter: Edel Golf Columbia Custom Made, 35" long, 72° lie angle, 3° loft. Ball: Titleist Pro V1xGrips: PURE Grips P2 Wrap (red)Shoes: FootJoy Dry-Joy (black, size 14)3Jack's Golf Blog - http://3jack.blogspot.com

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I believe it is one of the downfalls of fitting for irons.  Since you're fitting with 1 club, odds are that club will end up being your 'best club in the bag.'  Either that or the club next to (i.e. fitted with a 6-iron and your 7-iron or 5-iron becomes your best club in the bag).

 

If you subscribe to MOI matching and balancing your irons, you start to see the flaw in this type of fitting.  The long irons have a higher concentration of its mass in the shaft, causing the ball to launch even lower and spin less.  The short irons have a higher concentration of its mass in the head, causing the ball to launch even higher and spin more.

 

I believe if golfers did a fitting using only a 3-iron, they would find that they would be fitted for lighter shafts.  Conversely, if they did a fitting using only a 9-iorn, they would be fitted for heavier shafts. 

 

3JACK

 

I wonder if there is a way to do a long-mid-short iron fitting without raising cost too much which is why PGA_09 said they only use the one iron?

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic 10.5 set to 9.5 w/ Tour AD-DI 44.5

FW:   :cobra-small: F6 baffler set at 16º

Hybrid:  NONE
Irons:   :taylormade-small:  3i 2014 TP CB  4-PW 2011 TP MC w/ TT S400

Wedges:   :nike-small: 52º :nike-small: 56º  :edel-golf-1: 60 º w/ KBS C-Taper XS Soft-stepped

Putter:   :ping-small: Sigma G Tyne 34 inches Gold dot

 

 

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Think about your costs, too. Take how much money and time a fitting costs for just the 6i, and times that by 7-9 (depending on how many irons you buy). Sets of irons are already expensive... why incur even more costs when the majority of golfers wouldn't even notice a difference?

 

When it comes to irons, it's usually a good idea to maintain a uniform pattern amongst the set.

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I wonder if there is a way to do a long-mid-short iron fitting without raising cost too much which is why PGA_09 said they only use the one iron?

It would add a good bit of overhead that I would need to pass along to the members, the Mizuno set up as is requires me to sell five to six sets to cover the cost of that, if I were to triple the investment, I would either need to charge more and not apply the fitting fee towards a purchase, or drop a manufacturer that I carry. If I drop someone, I then face the chance of having any member who wants a product from that company going somewhere else and I get nothing. It just isn't a good business model for a smaller shop to try and get that in depth with one company.

Ping G410 Plus Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Ping G410 LST 3 Wood Oban Tour Prototype V430
Titleist U500 3 & 4 Oban Kiyoshi Purple Tour Reserve
Titleist 620 MB 5-9 Oban CT 125
Titleist Vokey 47* Oban CT 125, 51*, 55*, and 59* Shimada Tour Wedge Black
Bettinardi Studio Stock SS28

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I could not agree more.  As a former club fitter and a serious amateur golfer, 3 HCP,  I always felt that fitting with just one club was risky at best. I beleive that we swing the short, mid and long irons on a slightly different plane with a slightly different swing and that we should be testing all three types of clubs to get the truest and best fit.

 

Last year I was fitted for a new set of TM Blades and the shaft used for the fitting was parllel tip KBS and it felt rather good at the range and on the course yet the shaft shipped with the new set was a taper tipped shaft which resulted in a completely different club feel, kick-point, swing weight and balance.

 

I just bought a new set of Cobra AMP Cell Blades with the Rifle Projext X 5.5 Shaft and the PW to the 7 Irin feel great and go a club + longer.  The 6 to 4 iron do not quite feel the same or have the same kick on every swing but they do go when I hit it pure.  By the way the Cobra AMP Cell Forged Blades are the best feeling club that I have ever hit.  No onder Ian Poulter playes them.

 

Kenardo

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Here's the major problem I see with fitting with just 1 club.  Below is a set of swingweight matched irons and the weights of the different components (head, shaft and grip)

 

balance 1.png

 

This is the typical way the irons are built.  The shafts have descending weights because as they get shorter, the club gets lighter.  Conversely, the heads are built with ascending weights.  As we see, the % of shaft+grip weight to head weight changes.

 

With the 3-iron, the % is much higher than say the Pitching Wedge.  That means with 3-iron has a higher concentration of its mass in the shaft than the PW.

 

The 3-iron already has a low loft, so more mass in the shaft will cause the ball to launch even lower.  Conversely, with the PW, the mass is more concentrated towards the head.  The PW already has a high enough loft and doesn't need that extra launch and spin rate.

 

So if we are fitting with a 6-iron, a good fitter will find the right shaft for the golfer.  Not only bend profile wise, but weight wise.  However, they are only finding the right shaft weight for that 6-iron.  When we move further away from the 6-iron, the concentration of the club's mass dramatically changes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3JACK

Author of Pro Golf Synopsis. The Moneyball approach to golf strategy and analysis.Driver: Wishon 919THI, 10° loft, UST Mamiya VTS Red 7x, 44-3/8” long, 2,825 kg/cm^2 MOIGONZO WOOD: confidential2-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 17° loft, 40-7/8" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)3-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 20° loft, 40" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)4-6 iron: Wishon 575MMC (CB)7-PW: Wishon 575MMC (MB)SW: Edel Golf driver grind, 52° loft, 16° bounce, Nippon WV 125 shaft.LW: Edel Golf Digger Grind, 60° loft, 27° bounce, Nippon WV 125 ShaftPutter: Edel Golf Columbia Custom Made, 35" long, 72° lie angle, 3° loft. Ball: Titleist Pro V1xGrips: PURE Grips P2 Wrap (red)Shoes: FootJoy Dry-Joy (black, size 14)3Jack's Golf Blog - http://3jack.blogspot.com

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Here's what a 'balanced' set of irons would look like:

 

Balance 2.png

 

 

 

 

3JACK

Author of Pro Golf Synopsis. The Moneyball approach to golf strategy and analysis.Driver: Wishon 919THI, 10° loft, UST Mamiya VTS Red 7x, 44-3/8” long, 2,825 kg/cm^2 MOIGONZO WOOD: confidential2-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 17° loft, 40-7/8" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)3-Hybrid: Mizuno Fli-HiCLK, 20° loft, 40" KBS Tour Hybrid shaft (stiff)4-6 iron: Wishon 575MMC (CB)7-PW: Wishon 575MMC (MB)SW: Edel Golf driver grind, 52° loft, 16° bounce, Nippon WV 125 shaft.LW: Edel Golf Digger Grind, 60° loft, 27° bounce, Nippon WV 125 ShaftPutter: Edel Golf Columbia Custom Made, 35" long, 72° lie angle, 3° loft. Ball: Titleist Pro V1xGrips: PURE Grips P2 Wrap (red)Shoes: FootJoy Dry-Joy (black, size 14)3Jack's Golf Blog - http://3jack.blogspot.com

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3 things

 

1. Great thread, I've always wondered the same thing.

 

2. Welcome kenardo please stick around.

 

3. I'd like to hear more about Ritchie's theory particularly if this is what he plays and has fit people to. It makes sense to me.

Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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I should clarify my stance since I never really did. I agree that all clubs should be fitted, I was just explaining why it isn't fiscally reasonable to expect a shop to be able to do this. When I got my set last year, I hit every iron at the ECPC in Carlsbad and then when I went back to the KBS shaft I went to the nearest Callaway Performance Center to have them dialed in again.

Ping G410 Plus Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Ping G410 LST 3 Wood Oban Tour Prototype V430
Titleist U500 3 & 4 Oban Kiyoshi Purple Tour Reserve
Titleist 620 MB 5-9 Oban CT 125
Titleist Vokey 47* Oban CT 125, 51*, 55*, and 59* Shimada Tour Wedge Black
Bettinardi Studio Stock SS28

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The thing is, if you built a set of clubs with the same shaft to head weight ratio, I have a hard time believing they would feel good. On a swing weight matched set, for me, if the 3 iron is where it feels the best to me, which is about D 4-4.5ish with C Taper shafts and grips on, the shorter clubs feel too light. When I add head weight to the PW to make it feel right, I end up liking right around D 8. When you do the math for the difference in length to apply a sloping swing weight through the set between those two, it falls almost exactly on the slope an MOI matched set would be. That can't be a coincidence. That was not done by calculating what it would be. That was just experimenting with weight until it felt right.

 

That consistent feel through the set, to me anyway, is far more important than keeping a shaft to head ratio the same. Does it make the long irons launch low and the short irons high? No. The shafts get stiffer as they get shorter. That makes them more tip active in long irons than short irons. That flex profile will affect the launch conditions far more than what the shaft to head weight ratio is. I would be curious to see how a set built like that would feel. I would be shocked if they felt anywhere near consistent.

 

I only have a few rounds in with this set of clubs and these shafts and now we have snow. :-( But last time I was out, I was stopping balls on a dime with short irons instead of spinning them back off the green like I did all too often with my KBS Tours. Were the long irons too low? No way. I had 190 to the pin on a hole. In warmer weather I would have hit a 5i. But I hit a 4i instead. Nice high flight, pin high, maybe 5 feet left and the best part? It stopped maybe 18 inches from the pitch mark.

 

I think it's more important to get the feel of the clubs right for overall weight for each person and especially find the right shaft. I would not have the results I'm getting with any another shaft that I've tried so far anyway. I don't think the shaft to head weight ratio changing through the set is hurting my ball flight one bit. But that's just me.

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I should clarify my stance since I never really did. I agree that all clubs should be fitted, I was just explaining why it isn't fiscally reasonable to expect a shop to be able to do this. When I got my set last year, I hit every iron at the ECPC in Carlsbad and then when I went back to the KBS shaft I went to the nearest Callaway Performance Center to have them dialed in again.

I totally understood and appreciated your point.

Taylor Made Sim2  10.5 (Opened 1 click) Ventus Blue 5  R flex

Ping G410 5-9 wood  Alta 65 R flex

Wilson D7 forged 6-GW -  Mamiya recoil 460 R flex

Edison Wedges 54 and 59 KBS Tour Graphite 80's

EVNRoll ER 5

Titleist Pro VIx optic yellow with revkev stamped on them

Tour Exotics 3 wood is in the bag because we are allowed 14 clubs.  It's a great club for pulling balls out of the water or from bushes - you never want to put your hand into anything in Florida unless you are absolutely certain that it's safe.  There are rare wind conditions when I might hit it off the tee on a few holes that I play.  

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I should clarify my stance since I never really did. I agree that all clubs should be fitted, I was just explaining why it isn't fiscally reasonable to expect a shop to be able to do this. When I got my set last year, I hit every iron at the ECPC in Carlsbad and then when I went back to the KBS shaft I went to the nearest Callaway Performance Center to have them dialed in again.

 

Did you find much difference in getting them dialed in using all the irons as opposed to using just the one iron?

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic 10.5 set to 9.5 w/ Tour AD-DI 44.5

FW:   :cobra-small: F6 baffler set at 16º

Hybrid:  NONE
Irons:   :taylormade-small:  3i 2014 TP CB  4-PW 2011 TP MC w/ TT S400

Wedges:   :nike-small: 52º :nike-small: 56º  :edel-golf-1: 60 º w/ KBS C-Taper XS Soft-stepped

Putter:   :ping-small: Sigma G Tyne 34 inches Gold dot

 

 

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I don't fit myself off of a lie board, I like to look at ball flight and then adjust the clubs to get the flight that I want as a result, I have always played my longer irons 3 flat and from 6 iron down 4 flat. I did end up with some slightly weaker lofts in the shorter clubs so that I was hitting my comfortable distances with a flight that suited my eye. Swing weights all are D-3 at standard length with standard grips.

Ping G410 Plus Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Ping G410 LST 3 Wood Oban Tour Prototype V430
Titleist U500 3 & 4 Oban Kiyoshi Purple Tour Reserve
Titleist 620 MB 5-9 Oban CT 125
Titleist Vokey 47* Oban CT 125, 51*, 55*, and 59* Shimada Tour Wedge Black
Bettinardi Studio Stock SS28

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