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Maltby Playability Factor - which irons are easiest to hit


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I don't care how easy a calculator says it is to hit a club.... If it doesn't feel better than my current gamers, I'm not even going to think about it

 

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My exact sentiments also

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Wilson Staff JP II 56* shaft unknown

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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Like anything else the chart represents a starting point. Different swings, different eyes, different ears may produce different results.

 

Many fitters/builders use it as a guide.

 

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And Ralph Maltby is a engineer and he does base his MPF off of the basic engineering design with regards to sole bounce COG etc. And exactly like you said everyone is different. I refer to it as a general guide sometimes. One thing it does not take into consideration because there are literally 1000s of combinations is the playability factor with different shafts and weight distribution. 

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Driver Homna  G1- X Stock Homna Regular shaft

4 wood Adams Tight Lies 

5 wood Adams Tight Lies 

24* Hybrid Adams A 10-OS Pro Launch Red R

Irons 5 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW- Wilson Staff JP II 56* shaft unknown

Putter 1997 Santa Fe rusty as heck

 

 

 

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HAHAHAHAHA

 

I like Pings. I currently play the i20 irons, but according to the MPF they are Conventional irons. Maybe I should play something a little more forgiving. Well, I could play the Game Improvement Ping S55, or S56, or S57, or S59. Since I am really old, maybe I should play something with a lot of forgiveness like the Super Game Improvement Ping S58. That will improve my game. {end sarcasm}

Yes... I'm trading in my Karsten irons for the SGI 58s as well

 

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  • 11 months later...

Like anything else the chart represents a starting point. Different swings, different eyes, different ears may produce different results.

 

Many fitters/builders use it as a guide.

 

Sent from my VS986 using MyGolfSpy mobile app

 

This. The benefit of what Maltby does is it provides measurements you don't normally get from manufacturers. The final "MPF" number he gives is his own formula, which may or may not matter for an individual. You can argue that the formula benefits his designs, or that he designs to the formula (chicken/egg). In the end what matters is identifying the properties that matter the most to you and your game, and comparisons with past favorite designs helps with that. At that point you can ignore the final number and look at the specific measurements.

 

The formula gives a very high weight to "C-dimension", which is how far away from the centerline of the hosel the horizontal sweetspot is. It also gives very high weight to how low the COG is. These factors benefit people who don't have the traditional "slightly heel side" and "shaft lean, compressed" impact that the best players tend to have. Those players will feel like they have trouble flighting the ball down or won't like the feel of a club with too low, too toe-ward sweetspot.

 

If you hit more toward the toe, more toward the bottom, lack shaft lean at impact, like many many average players, those measurements will benefit you. The club will launch better and feel better because the sweetspot matches your impact pattern better than a "low MPF" club.

 

I know from experience that if the club has a C-dimension of 1.2-1.3 and a VCOG of around .7-.75, I will like the club. This has been true going all the way back to the Macgregor 1025M blade, and I can look at irons I didn't like or didn't last long in my bag and those I consider my favorite sets and it is consistent.

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This. The benefit of what Maltby does is it provides measurements you don't normally get from manufacturers. The final "MPF" number he gives is his own formula, which may or may not matter for an individual. You can argue that the formula benefits his designs, or that he designs to the formula (chicken/egg). In the end what matters is identifying the properties that matter the most to you and your game, and comparisons with past favorite designs helps with that. At that point you can ignore the final number and look at the specific measurements.

 

The formula gives a very high weight to "C-dimension", which is how far away from the centerline of the hosel the horizontal sweetspot is. It also gives very high weight to how low the COG is. These factors benefit people who don't have the traditional "slightly heel side" and "shaft lean, compressed" impact that the best players tend to have. Those players will feel like they have trouble flighting the ball down or won't like the feel of a club with too low, too toe-ward sweetspot.

 

If you hit more toward the toe, more toward the bottom, lack shaft lean at impact, like many many average players, those measurements will benefit you. The club will launch better and feel better because the sweetspot matches your impact pattern better than a "low MPF" club.

 

I know from experience that if the club has a C-dimension of 1.2-1.3 and a VCOG of around .7-.75, I will like the club. This has been true going all the way back to the Macgregor 1025M blade, and I can look at irons I didn't like or didn't last long in my bag and those I consider my favorite sets and it is consistent.

One of the best analysts of MPF numbers I have seen.

 

 

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Driver - Ping G410 Plus 10.5 - Ping Tour 65 Stiff

4 Wood - Callaway Rogue - Project X Evenflow blue 6.0

Hybrids - Titleist 818 H2 -  3(c-1) and 4(c-4) - Tensei CK Blue 70 stiff

Irons - Callaway Apex  CF 16 5-AW - True Temper XP 95 Steel Stiff

Wedges - Ping Glide 54 SS, 58 TS

Putter - Edel e1 Torque balanced

Indianapolis

5.5 Index

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  • 1 year later...
On 1/10/2018 at 6:06 PM, mooremikea said:

One of the best analysts of MPF numbers I have seen.

 

 

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Good analysis.  I find the guide useful.  20 points here or there doesn't really make a difference, but the general categorization of irons I have found to be pretty accurate.

Driver:  :ping-small: G410 Plus, VA Vylyn 75 Four
Woods: :cobra-small:F8 3 wood
Hybrids: :cobra-small:F8 17*, :callaway-small: XR 22*, 25*
Irons: PXG 0211 6 - GW
Wedges::ping-small: Glide 2.0 Stealth 54/14, Zing LW
Putter:  :ping-small: Sigma G Craz-E

Leupold GX-4i3

Penalty Box: :EVNROLL:ER7, :ping-small: G25 irons

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On 1/13/2017 at 4:16 PM, PlaidJacket said:

This is all new to me. One thing I did notice in the rating is that Maltby says the Ultra Game Improving category is becoming more popular with tournament pros. Really?

Check out some of the long irons in the Pro's bag. Lots of Wide soles

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  • 1 year later...

From my experience this rating scale is fairly accurate. And it can assist you in finding some gems that you wouldn't otherwise look at. Example being, I bought a set of Powerbilt TPS irons that were rate in the 900s. They are some of the sweetest, easiest to hit clubs I have ever used. My wife's Callaway Big Bertha circa 2004 irons are rated slightly higher and they are slightly easier and sweeter than the Powerbilt to me. My personal clubs, Ping Zings are great, but aren't as easy to hit, hence the lower rating which is in the high 700s. As someone had mentioned before about Maltby clubs being rated the highest, I think he may have designed his clubs according to this equation that yields more forgiving clubs which I would imagine many manufacturers would attempt to achieve I'm some fashion. So it makes sense to me.

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On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2020 at 5:52 PM, thegolfclubdoc said:

From my experience this rating scale is fairly accurate. And it can assist you in finding some gems that you wouldn't otherwise look at. Example being, I bought a set of Powerbilt TPS irons that were rate in the 900s. They are some of the sweetest, easiest to hit clubs I have ever used. My wife's Callaway Big Bertha circa 2004 irons are rated slightly higher and they are slightly easier and sweeter than the Powerbilt to me. My personal clubs, Ping Zings are great, but aren't as easy to hit, hence the lower rating which is in the high 700s. As someone had mentioned before about Maltby clubs being rated the highest, I think he may have designed his clubs according to this equation that yields more forgiving clubs which I would imagine many manufacturers would attempt to achieve I'm some fashion. So it makes sense to me.

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I've spent a lot of time comparing the MPFs, my non-scientific testing, and MGS/member reviews and I will say the MPF ratings are not the bible. However, the measurements are good if you know you want an iron with a low COG or high MOI, etc. I got a set of Callaway X-20s new in 2008 and will say that they are certainly very forgiving and "playable" and Maltby's MPF reflects that with a score over 1000. However, are they the best iron for everyone? No. I replaced that set with a used set of 2007 Callaway X-Forged irons and will say I became almost immediately more accurate with my irons, but I gave up some forgiveness. I feel like the full "playability" of irons and woods has not yet been fully or truly quantified by anyone yet. It's partially because golf is very feel based as everyone is different but it's also because there are difficult to measure dynamics in the swing that are difficult to identify and capture. Theoretically, Maltby's methods should be rock solid as they are based on math and the principles of physics but math doesn't capture the full story behind golf clubs. If it did, every club would be built using Maltby's principles that drive the MPF. 

I think a few of the big reasons, the MPF isn't the gospel is because every time you add MOI, blade length, and reduce the COG well below 0.84", you give up feel. A Callaway Big Bertha iron and Titleist MB blade will perform the same on a simulator all things being equal. However, when you put that club in human hands suddenly feel comes into play. You put a Big Bertha iron in the hands of a golfer and they will hit consistent shots. However, if you put that Titleist MB blade in their hands, and they will probably hit shots with more variability, but that variability will include shots more accurate than any from the Big Bertha. I don't have anything to back me up but I think it is because the more compact club heads provide much better feel for exactly where it is in the swing. I think when you make a club head wider and longer, you lose your ability to sense exactly where the club head is in the swing.

I think if you were to add a measurement of the clubhead's volume and insert that into the MPF, you could potentially gain the elusive thing that is missing from the MPF, which is feel.

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I've spent a lot of time comparing the MPFs, my non-scientific testing, and MGS/member reviews and I will say the MPF ratings are not the bible. However, the measurements are good if you know you want an iron with a low COG or high MOI, etc. I got a set of Callaway X-20s new in 2008 and will say that they are certainly very forgiving and "playable" and Maltby's MPF reflects that with a score over 1000. However, are they the best iron for everyone? No. I replaced that set with a used set of 2007 Callaway X-Forged irons and will say I became almost immediately more accurate with my irons, but I gave up some forgiveness. I feel like the full "playability" of irons and woods has not yet been fully or truly quantified by anyone yet. It's partially because golf is very feel based as everyone is different but it's also because there are difficult to measure dynamics in the swing that are difficult to identify and capture. Theoretically, Maltby's methods should be rock solid as they are based on math and the principles of physics but math doesn't capture the full story behind golf clubs. If it did, every club would be built using Maltby's principles that drive the MPF. 
I think a few of the big reasons, the MPF isn't the gospel is because every time you add MOI, blade length, and reduce the COG well below 0.84", you give up feel. A Callaway Big Bertha iron and Titleist MB blade will perform the same on a simulator all things being equal. However, when you put that club in human hands suddenly feel comes into play. You put a Big Bertha iron in the hands of a golfer and they will hit consistent shots. However, if you put that Titleist MB blade in their hands, and they will probably hit shots with more variability, but that variability will include shots more accurate than any from the Big Bertha. I don't have anything to back me up but I think it is because the more compact club heads provide much better feel for exactly where it is in the swing. I think when you make a club head wider and longer, you lose your ability to sense exactly where the club head is in the swing.
I think if you were to add a measurement of the clubhead's volume and insert that into the MPF, you could potentially gain the elusive thing that is missing from the MPF, which is feel.

Unfortunately, I don’t think you can quantify looks or feel. What feels good to one player may feel terrible to another. People talk about feeling the club through the swing. No matter what I have tried, I cannot feel the club through the swing. I feel impact and that is the only way I can assess feel.
As for how a club performs that also unique for each golfer. Club design properties influence how the club rotates and how it moves throughout the players swing.

I swing a lot of differently golf clubs during the year and I really can’t tell them apart other than by how they perform which is influenced by physical design features. People always talk about “feel” and I readily admit that I am biased and believe feel and mechanics are very closely tied together....Mechanics help you train feel. You can’t just start with feel.
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Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :titelist-small: TS3 15* set  to 16.5* w/Project X Hzardous Smoke
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 816H1 19* set at 18* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  21*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
               :titelist-small: 915H 24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :cleveland-small: 588 54-14, 58-12
Putter:  :odyssey-small: Ten S      Backups:  :bobby-grace-1: 6330,   :EVNROLL: ER2.2,  

 

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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1 minute ago, cnosil said:


Unfortunately, I don’t think you can quantify looks or feel. What feels good to one player may feel terrible to another. People talk about feeling the club through the swing. No matter what I have tried, I cannot feel the club through the swing. I feel impact and that is the only way I can assess feel.
As for how a club performs that also unique for each golfer. Club design properties influence how the club rotates and how it moves throughout the players swing.

I swing a lot of differently golf clubs during the year and I really can’t tell them apart other than by how they perform which is influenced by physical design features. People always talk about “feel” and I readily admit that I am biased and believe feel and mechanics are very closely tied together....Mechanics help you train feel. You can’t just start with feel.

I agree that you can't fully quantify feel. I would say the way I described feel above isn't necessary the literal feel of the club the swing but you're ability to feel confident that you know exactly where the ball is going to go while you're swinging. I think it's more of a subconscious trait or perceived trait of the golf swing. My support for my feelings on how more compact club heads help is the ever growing product offerings that allow you to blend your sets. Most OEMs now offer blendable sets with the most recent being Srixon. I think the crawl towards blended sets going mainstream is that designers understand there is something to be gained from a more compact head. I haven't seen any written research on why this is though.

I did some digging in Maltby's Complete Book of Golf Club Fitting & Performance and found Maltby kind of goes into what I'm trying to describe on page 642, but even he calls it a mystery. He does note that there are feel differences when swing club heads with varying mass and dimensional properties but he doesn't really dive into it. I think this is an area that could be potentially quantified but to a limit. Ultimately everyone has different preferences and perceived feel but the trends in the types of clubs being manufactured today should give some insights that there is some consensus in the golf community on what works. This is a very nebulous area and I think it is what still makes golf a curious adventure for many. I think most of the progress made in iron designs has been mostly trial and error. I believe computers benefited this process enormously in the '90s as there have been many good designs since then and not many irons produced prior to the '90s have retained popularity outside of maybe Pings.

I think that as golf manufacturers better understand how to model the dynamics of the golf swing, we will continue to see improvements regarding the dimensional properties of clubs throughout sets of irons. I don't expect any paradigm changing technology or design changes but I do expect solid improvements. I think the Ping i15s I play now embody much of my thoughts about golf clubs. The set from 4 - G is very progressive with more compact less offset heads on the shorter clubs and progressively larger and more offset longer clubs. 

I think what we are seeing with many club designs today is companies trying to make their clubs with mass and dimensional properties that offer the best blend of forgiveness and perceived feel. That is why when you look at MPF ratings on new clubs, they actually tend to be lower, even on many of the Maltby designs. 

This post got very windy, my bad.

 

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