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Stronger Lofts - is this a Good or Bad Thing

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14 hours ago, Moose4282 said:

I cant “prove” it but ive experienced it. When i first got into golf, i had one of my grrat grandfathers OLD bladed 6 iron laying around my house after he passed. Started taking it out as a kid, and if you have ever tried to hit a club that old... it will literally make you strike it well or just quite there wasn't really any in between.

It may sound weird to some younger players, but when I started to play, we didn't have anything other than "bladed" irons.  And all those blades did was sting my hands when I hit a shot off-center.  My improvement in ball-striking over the years has come along at the same time as I have bought clubs with more game improvement features.  It has also come at the same time as I've taken lessons and increased my practice time.  I can't prove which of those factors has caused the improvement, maybe not either one, but I am comfortable that I didn't just buy some game with different (and slightly more forgiving) clubs.

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This has been done quite a few times on YouTube by several different channels, this is just the latest one I’ve seen. They go to great lengths to deliver the club at the same speed and dynamic loft. However I know it won’t change anyone’s already established beliefs regarding club tech, loft and distances.

 


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I really do not care what the bottom of the club says, 6 iron, 7 iron etc.  What I care about is that the clubs go a specific distance between each club such as 10 yards apart.  Wish companies  would do away with 8 iron, 9 iron, PW , GW etc and just use the loft  of each such as 60, 56, 52, 48, 42, etc.  

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D 250

5 Wood 225

Hybrid/Long irons: 4h-212.5, 4i-200,

5i-187.5, 6i-175, 7i-162.5,

8i-150, 9i-137.5, PW-125

50* Gap 112.5, 54* Sand 100, 60* Lob 87.5

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I find it interesting that a couple things are happening with all this loft jacking:

  1. Clubs of the same loft are getting shorter. 3i is now 5i length = 1 inch shorter
  2. Retail launch monitor battles have turned into a distance battle with a 7 on them that don't perform like 7s of old. 

The aging golfer's ego to keep up with the younger, stronger, quicker, more agile golfer makes it a no brainier that marketing to these guys with loft jacked clubs makes sense. 

Who hasn't watched a PGA player hit a 7 iron and not think to themselves - that's the same club, one club less, or 2 clubs less than what I play for the same yardage. So, vanity plays into the illusion that when a player buys new sticks that it will get them closer to competing with the pros. 

The reality of shorter club lengths being easier to find the sweet spot is undeniable (one point for single length irons in the longer clubs). Loft jacking is making clubs shorter.

The thinner, faster face design does have more pop that could launch the ball too high if the loft was not jacked. Is it possible that old tech of game improvement irons having lower CG combined with hot faces is actually counter productive without increasing loft? My guess is that standard lofts mixed with hot faces will require higher CG to keep the ball in the right launch window. 

Lastly, I will say this. Speed is the largest contributing factor to generate height in golf. Lower CG, good impact, and loft help but if there isn't speed then the ball just isn't getting up. The goal of the aging golfer should be trying to maintain as much speed as possible. 

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Admittedly I didn't read this entire thread, but I don't have a problem with loft jacking if you can control the distance.  The problem I have with stronger lofts is the spin drops too much to control the ball going into the green.  The distance is great but if I can't stop it on the green its useless.  I think its personal for each person, if you have the spin to control it, the stronger lofts are great, if not look for something else.  Thats why there are so many different irons from each manufacturer.


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There so many good responses in this thread and many sub - topics can be tied in. I will probably post my comments in individual posts to keep from writing a book 🙂 .

Regarding original post,
    In recent years I changed my view from against to one that  I am not against stronger lofts in shorter length/properly fit clubs (someone referenced that years ago the long irons had specific lofts and were a certain length, todays long irons may be shorter in club length but much stronger regarding lofts—varies by brand). 

    My reasoning is most likely I make more center strikes on the golf ball with a shorter length club. Most golfers do. So if a new model/generation club head design has a face that flexes more (ball speed/launch characteristics) and I can achieve the distance I need with that club than I am ok with it. (proper fitting is critical imo — especially for me because I have slower swing speed today)

    For me specific loft is half way to achieving what I need in each iron/wedge. The other half involves the correct length, lie angle, total club length and peak ball height (important with irons so I can hold the green from distances those clubs produce). 

    Simple answer: If I can hit the club long enough and with desired height/back spin to stop the ball with a shorter, stronger lofted club than I am ok with it. After that its proper distance gapping between the irons/wedges. Hybrids/Woods a slightly different perspective but not far off, will discuss in another post.

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I do like the idea of having lofts on the clubs. My wife has a old set of Tommy Armour irons that has the number on the base and the loft on the hosel.  However once you know the distance for each club you really do not need it.

I decides to check the length of the shafts compared to my old blades - loft vs loft not no. vs no. and they are virtually the same length, we are talking a few mm difference. My old 3 is about 2-3mm longer than my current 4. Interestingly my current 7 is the opposite, it is longer.

I am lucky in that I swing fast, standard flight is high and I can stop a 3-4 iron. The down side is that I do not get allot of run. Hybrids I find help is that they do not seam to fly as high and do provide some run. Mind you my hybrid is set to 18 degrees.

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i have no problem with loft jacking. if you are trying to sell clubs than you sometimes need to stroke ego.

however, some sets are badly constructed when it comes to loft. In an effort to the 7 iron as strong as possible and not give you a 15 degree 4 iron, the gapping is 2 degrees in the long irons and 5 or 6 degrees in the short irons. Your giving an amateur who cant currently hit their 23 degree 4 iron, a 21 degree 5 iron, which they subsequently will not be able to hit. Nor the 24 degree 6 iron. Unless you have decent clubhead speed (not really the target market for these types of clubs) that loft with the shorter length is difficult to launch. The 27 degree 7 iron is a bomber. And where you actually need honed in distances in the short irons, the 8, 9, Pw, GW have huge gaps. You are going from a 27 degree 7 iron to a 50 degree GW. Basically taking away clubs that amateurs can actually hit and help create more consistent yardages for them. 

 

Now some sets get it right though. Add in another wedge, and actually try to stick to 4 degree gapping.  


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The idea of having lofts stamped makes alot of sense. At the end of the day, iron performance is about length, loft, and the construction of the head. Great posts about golfer ego, that is in my opinion what is driving buying behavior, which is ultimately steering more brands to keep the trend going. Its good because there is some innovation happening to make clubs that go a long way easier to hit consistently. With that said, because of all the innovation and the influence of marketing on the product itself, there is a wider range of variables in an off the shelf "7 iron" for example than ever before, and that's what I think is bad. It's my opinion that it's easier than ever now to buy a 5i-pw set off the rack that won't "work" for a given golfer, because a 5i isn't a 5i.


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