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Reducing Iron Weight for Better Gaping


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A couple years ago I picked up the PING I500 irons, replacing my TM Burner Irons and have struggled with some distance loss and some gaping at the top of set, specifically the 5 and 6 iron. Looking into the specs I realized that the Burners (as one might expect) were built very light weight with only about 90 gram shafts and light grips but a swing weight around D3.5. I got fit into Dynamic Gold S300 shafts which weigh in at 125 grams. I like the profile of the DGs as I was still getting enough height and spin (6200 with a 7 iron), and a slightly heavier grip. So the I500s have the same swing weight of D3 but close to 40 grams have been added to each iron. 

As a short golfer (5'6") with only a 95 - 100 mph swing speed this extra weight feels like a problem, but I prefer the D3ish swing weight. I have to really step on the 5 iron to get the gaping, if I actually catch it right. I would love a lighter shaft, but this would lighten the swing weight, and likely push to a higher launching and spinning shaft if I stick with steel. I am open to graphite, but have a couple questions.

  • What are some graphite/steel shafts that hit close to the DG profile (I would be ok with a bit high launch and spin and saving even 15 to 20 grams I think would do the trick)
  • Are there some lighter grips than a GP Tour Velvet (without having to size down as I struggle with a miss left with the irons) to help the swing weight without adding lead tape
  • How much lead tape is too much on an iron? I realize that if the shaft is lightened that it will results in needing some weight added to the heads to get to the swing weight, but how much is too much. 4 grams, 6 grams or more? Also how would one place it to not too greatly affect the CG of the clubs

Of course I could be totally over thinking this, but just looking for some advice that have much more knowledge than myself. Also I am hoping to convince my wife to get SuperSpeed golf as a gift for the winter so hopefully swing speed with pop up a bit for next season making this a smaller issue or maybe non-existent. Thanks again for the help.

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I bought a Titleist U-510 3 iron earlier this year: I tee off with it on shorter par 4’s. I noticed I couldn’t hit it off the grass, even if it was sitting up on a fluffy lie. After teeing off with it on a par 5( I was without a driver for 2 months) and then immediately pulling my 4 iron(Titleist AP3) for the 2nd shot, I noticed how much heavier my 4 iron felt! When I got home, I put them both on a scale and discovered my 4 was 60 grams heavier than my 3 iron: the U-510 has a graphite hazardous smoke shaft and the 4 iron has a steel project x stiff shaft. I put about 5 pieces of lead tape on the back and sole of the club, and now it feels just like my 4 iron. It’s a ridiculous amount of tape on an iron, but I hit it great now.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Micah T said:

I bought a Titleist U-510 3 iron earlier this year: I tee off with it on shorter par 4’s. I noticed I couldn’t hit it off the grass, even if it was sitting up on a fluffy lie. After teeing off with it on a par 5( I was without a driver for 2 months) and then immediately pulling my 4 iron(Titleist AP3) for the 2nd shot, I noticed how much heavier my 4 iron felt! When I got home, I put them both on a scale and discovered my 4 was 60 grams heavier than my 3 iron: the U-510 has a graphite hazardous smoke shaft and the 4 iron has a steel project x stiff shaft. I put about 5 pieces of lead tape on the back and sole of the club, and now it feels just like my 4 iron. It’s a ridiculous amount of tape on an iron, but I hit it great now.

 

 

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That is a lot but if it works that's great. I think that was my issue with some lighter steel shafts in the fitting was I just could not feel the face so dispersion suffered but of course they did let me tape it up there. I have even been thinking the place to start might be just adjusting the 5 iron with a new shaft and see how that goes, maybe a bit driver iron like.

Thanks for your thoughts.

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1 hour ago, ejgaudette said:

A couple years ago I picked up the PING I500 irons, replacing my TM Burner Irons and have struggled with some distance loss and some gaping at the top of set, specifically the 5 and 6 iron. Looking into the specs I realized that the Burners (as one might expect) were built very light weight with only about 90 gram shafts and light grips but a swing weight around D3.5. I got fit into Dynamic Gold S300 shafts which weigh in at 125 grams. I like the profile of the DGs as I was still getting enough height and spin (6200 with a 7 iron), and a slightly heavier grip. So the I500s have the same swing weight of D3 but close to 40 grams have been added to each iron. 

As a short golfer (5'6") with only a 95 - 100 mph swing speed this extra weight feels like a problem, but I prefer the D3ish swing weight. I have to really step on the 5 iron to get the gaping, if I actually catch it right. I would love a lighter shaft, but this would lighten the swing weight, and likely push to a higher launching and spinning shaft if I stick with steel. I am open to graphite, but have a couple questions.

  • What are some graphite/steel shafts that hit close to the DG profile (I would be ok with a bit high launch and spin and saving even 15 to 20 grams I think would do the trick)
  • Are there some lighter grips than a GP Tour Velvet (without having to size down as I struggle with a miss left with the irons) to help the swing weight without adding lead tape
  • How much lead tape is too much on an iron? I realize that if the shaft is lightened that it will results in needing some weight added to the heads to get to the swing weight, but how much is too much. 4 grams, 6 grams or more? Also how would one place it to not too greatly affect the CG of the clubs

Of course I could be totally over thinking this, but just looking for some advice that have much more knowledge than myself. Also I am hoping to convince my wife to get SuperSpeed golf as a gift for the winter so hopefully swing speed with pop up a bit for next season making this a smaller issue or maybe non-existent. Thanks again for the help.

So there are several knowledgeable golfers on MGS that will probably chime in with recommendations. I have I500's with Steel Fibers but my specs are built to weaker flex than you play so I will defer offering advice other than to say this link https://www.truetemper.com/true-temper-golf-shafts/#grouping--1 may can provide you some options should you want to stay in TT family. Good luck. 

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5 minutes ago, aerospace_ray said:

So there are several knowledgeable golfers on MGS that will probably chime in with recommendations. I have I500's with Steel Fibers but my specs are built to weaker flex than you play so I will defer offering advice other than to say this link https://www.truetemper.com/true-temper-golf-shafts/#grouping--1 may can provide you some options should you want to stay in TT family. Good luck. 

Thanks not married to the TT family, and I have thought about steel fibers since I have heard good things.

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Are your i500s standard, power, or retro spec?  If they’re standard, the 5i is going to be 24* and if they’re the power spec, it’ll be 22.5*.  Have you considered a 24* hybrid?  With your swing speed, you may just not have enough oomph to consistently get the 5i high enough to get the yardage you need.  You mentioned having to really step on it to do so.  A hybrid would be much easier to launch and still have a controlled swing.

 

ETA...  I know that’s not what you’re asking for, just a suggestion.  I’m not familiar enough with graphite iron shafts to know if there are any with a similar EI profile to the S300.  I have heard the UST Recoil is fairly similar in spin, but not sure on the EI profile.

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27 minutes ago, Smellis745 said:

Are your i500s standard, power, or retro spec?  If they’re standard, the 5i is going to be 24* and if they’re the power spec, it’ll be 22.5*.  Have you considered a 24* hybrid?  With your swing speed, you may just not have enough oomph to consistently get the 5i high enough to get the yardage you need.  You mentioned having to really step on it to do so.  A hybrid would be much easier to launch and still have a controlled swing.

 

ETA...  I know that’s not what you’re asking for, just a suggestion.  I’m not familiar enough with graphite iron shafts to know if there are any with a similar EI profile to the S300.  I have heard the UST Recoil is fairly similar in spin, but not sure on the EI profile.

I have thought of another hybrid (which is likely the most sensible option), I do have normal specs so 24. I have also though of a driving iron type club, just a bit more behind the ball, such as a G410 or Titliest U510. I think I could get away with the 5 iron before because it was so light, but with the extra weight I am losing too much speed. I looking into the recoils and they did seem similar and they have a 95 and 105 which seem to fit the bill.  

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Definitely not an expert, but did you consider trying the DG 105 shafts and then adding a tip weight in the shaft to get the swing weight back where you want it? 

This should give you the profile you are looking for along with the lighter weight and you can maintain the swingweight you want. I found this thread from another forum where they discuss what the CG effect would be from adding the tip weights and it sounds like it would be minimal. Scroll down about halfway and Tom Wishon chimes in with what I would trust to be a reliable answer...

https://forums.golfwrx.com/discussion/728449/tip-weights-and-effect-on-shaft-flex

 

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On 8/7/2020 at 1:45 PM, ChitownM2 said:

Definitely not an expert, but did you consider trying the DG 105 shafts and then adding a tip weight in the shaft to get the swing weight back where you want it? 

This should give you the profile you are looking for along with the lighter weight and you can maintain the swingweight you want. I found this thread from another forum where they discuss what the CG effect would be from adding the tip weights and it sounds like it would be minimal. Scroll down about halfway and Tom Wishon chimes in with what I would trust to be a reliable answer...

https://forums.golfwrx.com/discussion/728449/tip-weights-and-effect-on-shaft-flex

 

Great link on that, and I have heard from a few that needing to add 6 grams or so would not affect the club much besides the swing weight. I will also check out the shaft. I did try that one during the fitting but dispersion was a bit off, but it would have felt lighter in the head which I tend to like a heavier swing weight.

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The answer is True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT (ascending mass technology). The shafts get lighter as they get longer (instead of heavier), the flex will remain the same, but the set is also slightly flighted to promote higher launch for more carry in the long irons.

I get along with X100 AMTs despite having an R300 swing speed, the tech is that significant.

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12 hours ago, Grit Golf said:

The answer is True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT (ascending mass technology). The shafts get lighter as they get longer (instead of heavier), the flex will remain the same, but the set is also slightly flighted to promote higher launch for more carry in the long irons.

I get along with X100 AMTs despite having an R300 swing speed, the tech is that significant.

I have been thinking about those for sure. Maybe the AMT whites to keep the low launch and spin. I actually have a buddy who is thinking to moving something heavier than his AMT whites so maybe I could grab those and try them out as I think they are S300.

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12 hours ago, ejgaudette said:

I have been thinking about those for sure. Maybe the AMT whites to keep the low launch and spin. I actually have a buddy who is thinking to moving something heavier than his AMT whites so maybe I could grab those and try them out as I think they are S300.

That could be perfect, if you already play s300 in your wedges those will blend perfectly.

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On 8/3/2020 at 1:07 PM, ejgaudette said:

A couple years ago I picked up the PING I500 irons, replacing my TM Burner Irons and have struggled with some distance loss and some gaping at the top of set, specifically the 5 and 6 iron. Looking into the specs I realized that the Burners (as one might expect) were built very light weight with only about 90 gram shafts and light grips but a swing weight around D3.5. I got fit into Dynamic Gold S300 shafts which weigh in at 125 grams. I like the profile of the DGs as I was still getting enough height and spin (6200 with a 7 iron), and a slightly heavier grip. So the I500s have the same swing weight of D3 but close to 40 grams have been added to each iron. 

As a short golfer (5'6") with only a 95 - 100 mph swing speed this extra weight feels like a problem, but I prefer the D3ish swing weight. I have to really step on the 5 iron to get the gaping, if I actually catch it right. I would love a lighter shaft, but this would lighten the swing weight, and likely push to a higher launching and spinning shaft if I stick with steel. I am open to graphite, but have a couple questions.

  • What are some graphite/steel shafts that hit close to the DG profile (I would be ok with a bit high launch and spin and saving even 15 to 20 grams I think would do the trick)
  • Are there some lighter grips than a GP Tour Velvet (without having to size down as I struggle with a miss left with the irons) to help the swing weight without adding lead tape
  • How much lead tape is too much on an iron? I realize that if the shaft is lightened that it will results in needing some weight added to the heads to get to the swing weight, but how much is too much. 4 grams, 6 grams or more? Also how would one place it to not too greatly affect the CG of the clubs

Of course I could be totally over thinking this, but just looking for some advice that have much more knowledge than myself. Also I am hoping to convince my wife to get SuperSpeed golf as a gift for the winter so hopefully swing speed with pop up a bit for next season making this a smaller issue or maybe non-existent. Thanks again for the help.

As a fitter swing weight is something I address towards the end of the fit unless the customer tells me a target swing weight... I also test lighter and heavier swing weights to help them gauge their own feel.  But over all any force you impart on a ball boils down to mass x acceleration... since it’s in an arc other variables come into play but going up in total weight and causing an equal loss in acceleration gives you same force output... in all really boils down to the club head weight more than anything which is why you see counter balancing becoming more and more popular... added head weight more weight in the hands allows people to accelerate at the same rate and an increase in mass = more force output... of course you have to be able to maintain your acceleration rate to be if it...people get lost in swing weights focus more on the total weight and the ground force your body can generate... also easier than tape and less ugly is putting a brass tip weight in and won’t effect cg... grip weights are all listed on the golf pride and lamkin web pages... as far as the shaft goes don’t focus on the profile to much but for profile sake and based upon what you said try a nippon 1150 gh... in a S flex it’s around 115g and it will play like a dynamic gold s300... it will actually play more like the s300 than the dg 120 does... final thought... high launch and low launch are generalities and marketing... you may hit a high launching shaft and punch out low rockets and vice versa you may hit a low launch and spin shaft and sail balloons... must try is the Nippon modus 120s it’s about 113g and it’s a very unique profile... happy to provide more feedback and graphite is a whole other conversation since a lot of variables shift... 

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11 hours ago, Manimal26 said:

As a fitter swing weight is something I address towards the end of the fit unless the customer tells me a target swing weight... I also test lighter and heavier swing weights to help them gauge their own feel.  But over all any force you impart on a ball boils down to mass x acceleration... since it’s in an arc other variables come into play but going up in total weight and causing an equal loss in acceleration gives you same force output... in all really boils down to the club head weight more than anything which is why you see counter balancing becoming more and more popular... added head weight more weight in the hands allows people to accelerate at the same rate and an increase in mass = more force output... of course you have to be able to maintain your acceleration rate to be if it...people get lost in swing weights focus more on the total weight and the ground force your body can generate... also easier than tape and less ugly is putting a brass tip weight in and won’t effect cg... grip weights are all listed on the golf pride and lamkin web pages... as far as the shaft goes don’t focus on the profile to much but for profile sake and based upon what you said try a nippon 1150 gh... in a S flex it’s around 115g and it will play like a dynamic gold s300... it will actually play more like the s300 than the dg 120 does... final thought... high launch and low launch are generalities and marketing... you may hit a high launching shaft and punch out low rockets and vice versa you may hit a low launch and spin shaft and sail balloons... must try is the Nippon modus 120s it’s about 113g and it’s a very unique profile... happy to provide more feedback and graphite is a whole other conversation since a lot of variables shift... 

Thanks for the feedback and yes I have seen many shafts called mid-launch in one place and low on another so I tend to generally ignore that. That is a good point that if the increases in mass are proportional to the loss in acceleration then all things should equal out in general. As for swing weight the ultimate goal is that I want to feel the club head throughout, however that gets accomplished, swing weight can put a number on this, but as you mention it is not perfect. Probably no changes coming for this season. I have decided to focus on some weight training. I run but have not been doing much in the way of training for the golf swing. Also hoping to invest in the Super Speed golf for the winter and see where I am at next year. Living in the northeast its sad to say I am probably down to about 2 months of golf here and this is a gap I rarely hit from on most courses.

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