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bonvivantva

Do wide soles hold you back?

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I used to play Mizuno MX-17s that had a pretty wide sole.  I broke my 9i after about a decade, and started playing my dad's old JPX900s for the time being.  For the past three years, I've been working on an OTT swing path issue.  With the MX-17s, when I was really struggling with path, a 7i might go about 140 yards (10 yards short for me).  I'd be hitting the ball chunky, and leaving it a little short.  The obvious solution is to improve my swing, but I found that quite difficult.  The easier solution was to swing harder and aim a little right.  I'd still chunk, and swinging harder usually mean a loss of control and consistency, but I could gain those 10 yards back.

With the JPX900s, that didn't work.  They have a visibly narrower sole.  I think that when I swing harder with an OTT chunky swing, the club digs harder and the ball definitely doesn't go farther.  This forced me to fix my path.  There was no other option available.  Either come from the inside or lose 10-20 yards.  So for a week or so I tried restricting my hip turn, slowing my hips, etc., and finally I was able to sway less and rotate my hips differently (less counterclockwise and more along the path line), and something clicked and I started hitting the ball great.  Honestly only two things changed.  I was able to hit the ball more frequently, which I think possibly had the greatest influence on my improvement, but also, those skinnier clubs wouldn't let me cheat so I had no choice but to really fix my path.

What do y'all think?  I think wide soles help you play OK golf, but I also think they allow you to avoid really fixing your swing.  Thoughts?

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Boy... that's a lot to unpack. Swaying, chunking, swing path, slowing hips, restricting hips, swinging harder, hitting the ball more frequently (as opposed to whiffing?) Not sure about playing a wide-sole iron as I don't play them. Perhaps someone else can figure this out. Sorry, I'm no help.

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Golf clubs don’t fix people’s swings.

Lessons do.

Golf clubs with wide soles will help make your misses end up in a better spot.

That doesn’t hold anyone back.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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A lot going on that you're trying to fix with a band-aid .... swinging harder with a significant swing flaw is a recipe for trouble.   My suggestion is to go take a lesson or two.    Without seeing a video of your swing, however, is simply guessing.  

Clubs don't fix your swing, nor will they prevent you from fixing your swing, IMO.

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Find a pro online or in your area and work with them. There’s an instructor or two on here but for the most part asking swing advice on a forum or Facebook group is going to yield all kinds of info and the vast majority of it wrong or addressing symptoms vice causes.

 

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2 hours ago, bonvivantva said:

I used to play Mizuno MX-17s that had a pretty wide sole.  I broke my 9i after about a decade, and started playing my dad's old JPX900s for the time being.  For the past three years, I've been working on an OTT swing path issue.  With the MX-17s, when I was really struggling with path, a 7i might go about 140 yards (10 yards short for me).  I'd be hitting the ball chunky, and leaving it a little short.  The obvious solution is to improve my swing, but I found that quite difficult.  The easier solution was to swing harder and aim a little right.  I'd still chunk, and swinging harder usually mean a loss of control and consistency, but I could gain those 10 yards back.

With the JPX900s, that didn't work.  They have a visibly narrower sole.  I think that when I swing harder with an OTT chunky swing, the club digs harder and the ball definitely doesn't go farther.  This forced me to fix my path.  There was no other option available.  Either come from the inside or lose 10-20 yards.  So for a week or so I tried restricting my hip turn, slowing my hips, etc., and finally I was able to sway less and rotate my hips differently (less counterclockwise and more along the path line), and something clicked and I started hitting the ball great.  Honestly only two things changed.  I was able to hit the ball more frequently, which I think possibly had the greatest influence on my improvement, but also, those skinnier clubs wouldn't let me cheat so I had no choice but to really fix my path.

What do y'all think?  I think wide soles help you play OK golf, but I also think they allow you to avoid really fixing your swing.  Thoughts?

More bounce/ wider soles benefit diggers. Chunky swings come from having the club bottom out early. 
 

As for wide soles helping or hurting that depends on the golfer and don’t necessarily avoid fixing a swing flaw. I know low digit handicaps that play wide sole clubs with no issues 

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After playing my C300's for a couple of years, I picked up my G20's for a quick range session. I couldn't believe how clunky they looked and definitely didn't hit them as well as my C300's


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I must not have done a very good job explaining myself with the original post.  

Maybe this will clarify.  With my old forgiving clubs, I could hit the distances I thought I should be hitting by swinging harder.  With my new less forgiving clubs, swinging harder made things worse, so I was forced to change things like path and where the club bottoms out.  The conclusion I drew was that forgiving clubs make it easy to play mediocre golf with a flawed swing.  Less forgiving clubs don't mitigate your flaws as much, so you're forced to address them.  Just curious if anyone has had a similar experience, or if anyone disagrees with my logic.

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Yes more forgiving clubs make golf easier because the penalty for a bad shot is at as bad as a less forgiving club that’s the purpose of forgiving clubs. Swinging harder in golf is a bad move. I doubt you will find an instructor anywhere that says swing harder. Swing faster yes, harder no.

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.  The conclusion I drew was that forgiving clubs make it easy to play mediocre golf with a flawed swing.  Less forgiving clubs don't mitigate your flaws as much, so you're forced to address them.  Just curious if anyone has had a similar experience, or if anyone disagrees with my logic.


I think you are potentially correct. The wider sole helps mitigate your problem. The wide sole may have a negative effect for someone else. That is why generally we recommend fitting even for poor golfers since the clubs can help compensate for what you are doing in your swing.

I think a better statement is that properly fitted clubs can help a golfer play mediocre golfer with a flawed swing. That said every golfer has a flawed swing.
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I'd point out that you need to determine your golf goals.  My goal is to play the best I can without practice.  To do that I play the widest soled clubs in the game and by switching to them I lowed my handicap around 5 strokes with the same crappy swing.  RickyBobby nailed it, all my misses are the same as they used to be just not nearly as bad.

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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

 


I think you are potentially correct. The wider sole helps mitigate your problem. The wide sole may have a negative effect for someone else. That is why generally we recommend fitting even for poor golfers since the clubs can help compensate for what you are doing in your swing.

I think a better statement is that properly fitted clubs can help a golfer play mediocre golfer with a flawed swing. That said every golfer has a flawed swing.

 

So this is a very interesting point.  Those old clubs I had were from 2006/7 when I picked up golf.  I've wanted new clubs forever, but I wanted to get fitted.  The hold up for me was that I didn't feel like was was good enough (specifically consistent enough) to merit fitting.  If I got up there with an 8i, and sent one 120, one 160, and one 150, all in different directions, how do you fit a club to a random/highly variable swing?  After I'd practice very intensively, say before a golf trip, I'd get home after playing as consistently as ever, and plan to get fitted.  Then I'd end up waiting a week or two, go to the range to check on things, and find that I'd lost it.  If, hypothetically, I'd gone and got fitted, I probably would have ended up with newer more forgiving clubs.  And I agree with your better statement, that those clubs would have helped me play mediocre golf with my flawed swing.  Definitely a fitting could have helped me.

However, I'm asking about short term/longer term.  I think fitted forgiving clubs would have helped me immediately play better golf, but I also think that would have reduced my incentive to improve.  When I went from forgiving clubs (the wide sole mx-17s), to thinner less forgiving new clubs, it kind of forced me to improve.  The best way I can describe it is that I used to hit my 7i about 150.  With the new clubs, I just couldn't.  That drove me crazy.  It felt like a huge step backwards, so I just kept at it until finally I could, and the way forward was fixing my path, which I think also fixed my low point.  In the title I asked if the wide sole of my old clubs could have been holding me back.  That is what I'm curious about.  If forgiving clubs slow improvement because they allow you to get away with a crappy swing.

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3 minutes ago, bonvivantva said:

So this is a very interesting point.  Those old clubs I had were from 2006/7 when I picked up golf.  I've wanted new clubs forever, but I wanted to get fitted.  The hold up for me was that I didn't feel like was was good enough (specifically consistent enough) to merit fitting.  If I got up there with an 8i, and sent one 120, one 160, and one 150, all in different directions, how do you fit a club to a random/highly variable swing?  After I'd practice very intensively, say before a golf trip, I'd get home after playing as consistently as ever, and plan to get fitted.  Then I'd end up waiting a week or two, go to the range to check on things, and find that I'd lost it.  If, hypothetically, I'd gone and got fitted, I probably would have ended up with newer more forgiving clubs.  And I agree with your better statement, that those clubs would have helped me play mediocre golf with my flawed swing.  Definitely a fitting could have helped me.

However, I'm asking about short term/longer term.  I think fitted forgiving clubs would have helped me immediately play better golf, but I also think that would have reduced my incentive to improve.  When I went from forgiving clubs (the wide sole mx-17s), to thinner less forgiving new clubs, it kind of forced me to improve.  The best way I can describe it is that I used to hit my 7i about 150.  With the new clubs, I just couldn't.  That drove me crazy.  It felt like a huge step backwards, so I just kept at it until finally I could, and the way forward was fixing my path, which I think also fixed my low point.  In the title I asked if the wide sole of my old clubs could have been holding me back.  That is what I'm curious about.  If forgiving clubs slow improvement because they allow you to get away with a crappy swing.

The size of club shouldn’t determine if one has the desire to want to improve or not. Imo so many get hung up on the category of club and it it hurts their growth or not. I have friends that are low handicaps that play GI clubs. There are plenty of stories of low handicaps playing and loving the p790s and similar type player distance irons. There are pros playing GI irons in their 3/4 iron. If one chooses to improve it has to come from within.

As for getting fit most golfers are consistent in what they do but because of their swing flaws the brain compensates for where the club face is to allow for the person to hit the ball and not keep hitting way behind the ball or missing it completely. Getting fit will our clubs in your hand that work for your swing whether it’s good or bad. The one key thing about a fitting is to minimize the the effects of the bad swing. 

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9 minutes ago, Wedgie said:

I'd point out that you need to determine your golf goals.  My goal is to play the best I can without practice.  To do that I play the widest soled clubs in the game and by switching to them I lowed my handicap around 5 strokes with the same crappy swing.  RickyBobby nailed it, all my misses are the same as they used to be just not nearly as bad.

This is a good point.  Someone asked me about this on a different thread a while back.  I realized that my goal is not really to improve my scoring.  I'd love that, but really what I want the most is to be able to hit good iron shots.  If I could get through a round where I never hit an iron that went less than say 80-90% of that club's potential, I'd be happy.  Last year, I'd still have occasional fat and topped shots.  Total flubs that only went 30 yards or so.  That is demoralizing.  It got to where a 5i is the longest club I would hit (except for off the tee).  That level of contact was preventing me from having fun out there, and that's why it was my goal to improve my iron play.  It's the off season here, but I really do think I've improved quite a lot.  We'll see come spring.  

If I had to articulate a long term goal, it would be to have a swing that I can build on.  Over the last three years, I've been constantly trying to totally change my swing.  At first, I didn't rotate well and broke my wrist at the top which left the clubface open.  That gave me zero consistency.  Then I had terrible sequence where I started to rotate at the top of the backswing, threw the club outside the plane, and then chunked in out to in with a closed clubface.  Now I think I'm getting to where I have a swing that I can improve on rather than replace.  If that ends up being the case, maybe I'll have the good fortune to starting thinking about a goal like breaking 90.

I guess my original point is that I feel like forgiving clubs were making it harder for me to improve.  I knew I was hitting it fat and coming over the top.  I'd watch videos, do drills, take lesson, etc., but it was possible to continue with the same flaws, maybe improve just slightly, and hit that 7i straight enough and far enough.  But I didn't have to fix my sequence or path to do so.  With less forgiving clubs, I had to improve sequence and path not to get better, but to just get back to where I was before.  

After I get some rounds in this spring, if I really have figured out a swing that I can build on and not totally change starting over from almost scratch.  I definitely think it's time to get fitted to meet some new goals.

 

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5 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The size of club shouldn’t determine if one has the desire to want to improve or not. Imo so many get hung up on the category of club and it it hurts their growth or not. I have friends that are low handicaps that play GI clubs. There are plenty of stories of low handicaps playing and loving the p790s and similar type player distance irons. There are pros playing GI irons in their 3/4 iron. If one chooses to improve it has to come from within.

As for getting fit most golfers are consistent in what they do but because of their swing flaws the brain compensates for where the club face is to allow for the person to hit the ball and not keep hitting way behind the ball or missing it completely. Getting fit will our clubs in your hand that work for your swing whether it’s good or bad. The one key thing about a fitting is to minimize the the effects of the bad swing. 

That makes sense.  Do you think there is a tipping point of swing quality for fitting though.  Like someone with just a terrible sequenced chunky swing (Like I had).  Wouldn't it make more sense for them to get lesson/figure out path and low point, and then get fitted.  Or do you think they should get fitted and then try to improve?  That's probably at the heart of what I'm asking.  I think forgiving clubs were allowing me to get away with my bad swing.  More forgiving clubs would have only exacerbated my issue.  I think being handed less forgiving clubs forced me to figure out my issues if I wanted to get back to where I had been in terms of distance and accuracy.  

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17 minutes ago, bonvivantva said:

That makes sense.  Do you think there is a tipping point of swing quality for fitting though.  Like someone with just a terrible sequenced chunky swing (Like I had).  Wouldn't it make more sense for them to get lesson/figure out path and low point, and then get fitted.  Or do you think they should get fitted and then try to improve?  That's probably at the heart of what I'm asking.  I think forgiving clubs were allowing me to get away with my bad swing.  More forgiving clubs would have only exacerbated my issue.  I think being handed less forgiving clubs forced me to figure out my issues if I wanted to get back to where I had been in terms of distance and accuracy.  

It’s a chicken and egg scenario with lessons and fittings. For me anyone looking to improve should invest in some form of coaching. Amateurs tend to focus on symptoms and fixes for them and end up putting band aids on them with some fix that will fall off at some point instead of looking at the cause. Having a coach fix the cause tends to solve multiple symptoms. The thing with lessons is one has to be willing to put in the work after lessons to see the improvement. Taking a lesson and not working on the things addressed from the lesson is just throwing money away.   
 

I think one can do a fitting to get clubs that help them be relatively consistent and then get lessons to improve swings. The chances that specs on clubs will drastically change with swing improvements are relatively low and the vast majority of clubs today can be bent several degrees flat or upright with no damage to the club as well as in loft. 

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14 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

It’s a chicken and egg scenario with lessons and fittings. For me anyone looking to improve should invest in some form of coaching. Amateurs tend to focus on symptoms and fixes for them and end up putting band aids on them with some fix that will fall off at some point instead of looking at the cause. Having a coach fix the cause tends to solve multiple symptoms. The thing with lessons is one has to be willing to put in the work after lessons to see the improvement. Taking a lesson and not working on the things addressed from the lesson is just throwing money away.   
 

I think one can do a fitting to get clubs that help them be relatively consistent and then get lessons to improve swings. The chances that specs on clubs will drastically change with swing improvements are relatively low and the vast majority of clubs today can be bent several degrees flat or upright with no damage to the club as well as in loft. 

I took a lesson in early December, and I planned to continue.  That lesson was actually when I broke my old 9i.  Right after I got handed those thinner soled clubs, and suddenly I lost 20 yards or so of distance.  Think about how important feedback is to improving.  When I came over the top and chunky, I saw 140 max (maybe 125-130 average) with the 7i.  A good path and hitting the ball first was giving me over 150 every time.  That's a big obvious difference and I really think these less forgiving clubs forced and allowed me to improve path and low point in a way that my old clubs did not.

The way I'm hitting the ball now, I feel like I can just improve this current swing and I could get fitted.  I did not feel that way at all before.  I felt like my swing was constantly changing and that fitting did not make sense.

As well as I'm hitting the ball, I think I'll game these clubs for several rounds this spring, see how it goes, and then decide about fitting.  My ball striking is just infinitely better than two months ago, so I'm optimistic.

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1 hour ago, bonvivantva said:

I took a lesson in early December, and I planned to continue.  That lesson was actually when I broke my old 9i.  Right after I got handed those thinner soled clubs, and suddenly I lost 20 yards or so of distance.  Think about how important feedback is to improving.  When I came over the top and chunky, I saw 140 max (maybe 125-130 average) with the 7i.  A good path and hitting the ball first was giving me over 150 every time.  That's a big obvious difference and I really think these less forgiving clubs forced and allowed me to improve path and low point in a way that my old clubs did not.

 

The loss of distance will be there in a bad shot regardless of the club the more forgiving one is going to reduce the amount of distance loss compared to a less forgiving. The thing one should look for in distance with club is are the same strikes going the same distance and are the misses consistent.

If you get a better path with one that could be for several reasons. The type of club should be irrelevant to that outside of one just not worrying about swing mechanics. Path into the ball is determined by the sequencing of the swing and is more related to the setup and getting in a good position at the top. There’s about 1/4 of a second from the top of the swing to impact and whatever you are trying to do in the downswing will actually happen well past the ball. The guys at Athletic Motion golf talk about this all the time in their videos. The mind reacts to club position.

 

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1 hour ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

The loss of distance will be there in a bad shot regardless of the club the more forgiving one is going to reduce the amount of distance loss compared to a less forgiving. The thing one should look for in distance with club is are the same strikes going the same distance and are the misses consistent.

If you get a better path with one that could be for several reasons. The type of club should be irrelevant to that outside of one just not worrying about swing mechanics. Path into the ball is determined by the sequencing of the swing and is more related to the setup and getting in a good position at the top. There’s about 1/4 of a second from the top of the swing to impact and whatever you are trying to do in the downswing will actually happen well past the ball. The guys at Athletic Motion golf talk about this all the time in their videos. The mind reacts to club position.

 

I'm totally tracking with you on the first paragraph.  The forgiving club was fairly consistent.  I would OTT chunk it, and it would go about 150 low and left.  If my swing got wonky, which if I recall mean that my sequence was worse than usual, the OTT and chunk would be exacerbated.  That would make me lose maybe another 10 yards, but the direction typically stayed the same, low and left.  When that happened, I could swing harder to hit the ball further, and get back to about 150.  That would compromise my accuracy though, with shots hooking more, going more off line, occasionally topping them, etc.

With thinner soled clubs, my swing did not change.  But the result of my bad swing was worse.  I couldn't manage to get the ball out 150 no matter what I tried, so I had to actually address the problem which was path and low point.  When I finally figured that out, I started hitting the furtherest and straightest I ever have.  Not many people seem to understand what I'm trying to explain, and even fewer seem to agree with me, but I really think that those wide sole clubs were just letting me overpower my flaws to where I could get the ball out as far as I thought I should.  With the thinner clubs, a bad swing wouldn't allow that, so I had to adapt, that is improve.  I could be wrong, but I really think those old clubs were holding me back.

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4 minutes ago, bonvivantva said:

I'm totally tracking with you on the first paragraph.  The forgiving club was fairly consistent.  I would OTT chunk it, and it would go about 150 low and left.  If my swing got wonky, which if I recall mean that my sequence was worse than usual, the OTT and chunk would be exacerbated.  That would make me lose maybe another 10 yards, but the direction typically stayed the same, low and left.  When that happened, I could swing harder to hit the ball further, and get back to about 150.  That would compromise my accuracy though, with shots hooking more, going more off line, occasionally topping them, etc.

With thinner soled clubs, my swing did not change.  But the result of my bad swing was worse.  I couldn't manage to get the ball out 150 no matter what I tried, so I had to actually address the problem which was path and low point.  When I finally figured that out, I started hitting the furtherest and straightest I ever have.  Not many people seem to understand what I'm trying to explain, and even fewer seem to agree with me, but I really think that those wide sole clubs were just letting me overpower my flaws to where I could get the ball out as far as I thought I should.  With the thinner clubs, a bad swing wouldn't allow that, so I had to adapt, that is improve.  I could be wrong, but I really think those old clubs were holding me back.

Yes the more forgiving clubs let you over power because one they help with digging due to the sole and two more size. 
 

what im saying is if you “can fix your path” with the less forgiving clubs then you should be able to do it with the more forgiving clubs unless. Path doesn’t care about the size of the head or the width of the sole. Unless there is a balance point issue or something else on the design setup of the more forgiving club that makes you swing it differently you should be able to have the same path with both 

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