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New, old, difference, irons


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Clubhead shape is important to me as  I'm not going to make clean hits if I can't envision the clubhead making clean hits.

When the Eye 2 was at the very height of its popularity, for example, I couldn't imagine hitting the short irons and wedges that had the classic Eye 2  one-iron offset.

 

But even not being a launch monitor devotee, I can see a not-soft-enough-shaft tip in the form of line drives and excessive torque in the form of shot dispersion.

Those two are hard to bring into harmony as soft tip shafts are torquier, obviously, so while I don't take the initiative to be fitted the way more dedicated players do,

I do at least research the shaft options as well as I can, and with time, one learns which sources to trust.

 

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I believe @Golfspy_CG2posted this video in the past during one of the many jacked loft threads. The new designs and technology help ball flight and playability. As a bonus it’s a good video on what a fitting can do for a golfer.

And touches on something @chisagtalks about with playing the most forgiving club 

 

So for some context.  Glen is who did my fitting at TPI in 2019.  His background is pretty impressive, over 20 years working with Titleist Tour Players and he started up the TPI facility and is in charge of it.   To say he knows a thing or two about fitting and club design is an understatement.  I learned so much from him in the half day we spent together, I forgot half the stuff, but still retained enough to know stronger lofts in modern clubs isn't "marketing hype" as so many want to make it out to be.  Does it in turn allow the marketing department to use it the information for promotional reasons.  Absolutely, if they didn't there would be some new marketing people in place...ha   But in this case the facts/data come first. 

 

 

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:titelist-small: TSi1 Aldila Ascent 40G shaft

:titelist-small: TSi2 18 FW with GD AD IZ 6 Shaft

:titelist-small: TSi1 20 and 23 degree hybrids Aldila Ascent Shafts R

:titelist-small: T300 5-P Tensei  R flex shaft 1/4 long 

:titelist-small: SM8 48F/54/58 D Grinds 

:ping-small: Tyne 4 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

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2 hours ago, Kansas King said:

Flipping golf equipment is a pain in the butt. I would never recommend it unless someone is wanting to spend a lot of free time answering buyer questions, packing, and shipping clubs. All this for generally small margins. For the flippers/resellers that were around prepandemic, they are getting rid of old inventory like crazy and getting good $$$ for it. For those buying used stuff now, it's a challenge. Stacked golf on YouTube makes it look relatively easy but what you have to remember is that they are spending several hours a week sifting through garage sales, pawn shops, and flea markets. It's not easy. I think what makes the golf equipment industry weird and Stacked Golf actually demonstrates this is that most people don't take the time to sell their golf clubs. They only sell them when it's really convenient, like throwing them in with stuff at a garage sale. The aggregate inventory of golf clubs sitting in people's basements and garages is gigantic relative to what's for sale in the market or on eBay and I don't ever see that changing. 

Yes it is. But to some it can be a fun hobby. SAS and Stacked both have talked about how difficult it is in the past and how it's never a given, but how you can find some great deals along the way. Especially once you start learning where and when to look. I certainly wouldn't take on SAS's challenge of flipping 10 pounds into a 2000 pound bag, but I'd still recommend both channels as a fun way of seeing how others do it. 

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Rag tag bag, but it does the job. 

Taylormade R1 driver.

Cleveland CBX launcher irons. 

Assorted wedges.

Odyssey White Hot Pro putter.

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Great topic. I am one of those guys who believes IRONS that were best in class 5 or even 10 years ago are good enough for me today outside of groove wear.  However, there are serious if but maybe that apply.

 

Trajectory - the vertical location of center of gravity (cg) is moving as models evolve according to ball flight parameters and club head speed expectations. Club faces shapes can look similar and trajectory will vary according to cg position.

 

Heel toe bias - similar to cg, heel toe bias has shifted over last decades models. Gear effect wasn't well understood when all those high toe and toe weighted models were sold as forgiving but they created a fading gear effect. And now, heel weight bias designs are in use to help shot shapes.

 

In summary, old models are different. Not better or worse.

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On 9/17/2021 at 2:15 AM, BostonSal said:

I didn't think of it in these exact terms before, but it occurs to me....

I buy a new set of irons with the expectation that it will play pretty much the same as the old set.

It could be a matter of dull grooves or shabby cosmetics precipitating the change,

but if there's a noticeable difference in feel or performance,

I would see that as having made a mistake,

Old dogs aren't really looking to learn new tricks.

 

I'm totally with you on that... And don't understand why manufacturers keep on changing lofts, shaft length and so on. Or actually I understand that all too well. If you move from a 24° (4i) to 47° (PW) set  to a 21° (4i) to 45° (PW) set you're likely to have to change a bit your driving iron/hybrid AND your specialised wedges set up. Two more clubs sold, at least. Now, when I change irons I don't want more distance (or less for that matter). If distance changes it has to be down to my getting fitter and training for speed, not a change in the ball spin/speed mix, which would force me to "learn again" the new set...

Now, I remember a  video by Michael Newton comparing his Mizu blade 5i (I think) to a modern SGI 7i (exactly the same loft, 1/4" shaft length difference, identical lie)... Both were doing exactly the same thing "overall": the apex was at the same height, the carry distance was the same, spin was very similar. So if I find a set with a 35° 8 iron, I'm happy, I'll just have to remove 1 from the numbers. Only problem the gap between a 45° PW and a 52° GW... Maybe I'll be fine with it playing 3/4 PW just like I do play 3/4 or 2/3 52° now as I almost never play my 58° for more than "chips" (60 yards and less).

Life would be much easier when changing sets if it was agreed by all, once and for all, a "7 iron" has to be 35° with a 36.75" shaft" (I'm being a bit selfish, that matches my current set 🤣) or something. Then we can always get similar irons, going the same distance. Ish.

 

 

Thinking of it, my irons are 10 years young and still some of the finest I've ever tested/played. Getting a bit battered, though.

Edited by Franc38
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Aim small... pray to miss small

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55 minutes ago, Franc38 said:

I'm totally with you on that... And don't understand why manufacturers keep on changing lofts, shaft length and so on. Or actually I understand that all too well. If you move from a 24° (4i) to 47° (PW) set  to a 21° (4i) to 45° (PW) set you're likely to have to change a bit your driving iron/hybrid AND your specialised wedges set up. Two more clubs sold, at least. Now, when I change irons I don't want more distance (or less for that matter). If distance changes it has to be down to my getting fitter and training for speed, not a change in the ball spin/speed mix, which would force me to "learn again" the new set...

Now, I remember a  video by Michael Newton comparing his Mizu blade 5i (I think) to a modern SGI 7i (exactly the same loft, 1/4" shaft length difference, identical lie)... Both were doing exactly the same thing "overall": the apex was at the same height, the carry distance was the same, spin was very similar. So if I find a set with a 35° 8 iron, I'm happy, I'll just have to remove 1 from the numbers. Only problem the gap between a 45° PW and a 52° GW... Maybe I'll be fine with it playing 3/4 PW just like I do play 3/4 or 2/3 52° now as I almost never play my 58° for more than "chips" (60 yards and less).

Life would be much easier when changing sets if it was agreed by all, once and for all, a "7 iron" has to be 35° with a 36.75" shaft" (I'm being a bit selfish, that matches my current set 🤣) or something. Then we can always get similar irons, going the same distance. Ish.

 

 

Thinking of it, my irons are 10 years young and still some of the finest I've ever tested/played. Getting a bit battered, though.

People go ape when loft jacking is brought up, so I know not to bring it up.

They say that length / loft correlations had to be changed with modern sole weighting, and they kept the club numbers more or less with the length rather than the loft.  I'm skeptical, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

For what it's worth, my first hand-me-down set had a 32° 5-iron and a 48º 9-iron.   While there was no published standard,  throughout the fifties and sixties, there was a de facto standard of four degree increments between a          16º 1-iron and a 48° 9-iron.   I'm not trying to make any point other than historical information.

Not many people carried a 1-iron, but most of the people who did bent it 2° weak to 18 and the 2-iron 1° weak to 21º.

That eventually led to smaller gaps in the long irons in factory settings which we still see with the modern stronger lofts.

 

Edited by BostonSal
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10 hours ago, BostonSal said:

People go ape when loft jacking is brought up, so I know not to bring it up.

They say that length / loft correlations had to be changed with modern sole weighting, and they kept the club numbers more or less with the length rather than the loft.  I'm skeptical, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.

For what it's worth, my first hand-me-down set had a 32° 5-iron and a 48º 9-iron.   While there was no published standard,  throughout the fifties and sixties, there was a de facto standard of four degree increments between a          16º 1-iron and a 48° 9-iron.   I'm not trying to make any point other than historical information.

Not many people carried a 1-iron, but most of the people who did bent it 2° weak to 18 and the 2-iron 1° weak to 21º.

That eventually led to smaller gaps in the long irons in factory settings which we still see with the modern stronger lofts.

 


Have a friend who did a fair bit of research into this right at the turn of the century.

As we moved out of the hickory era to the steel shaft era, irons were generally 4* gaps.  When they began numbering irons in the hickory era, you'd see a 20* 1 iron to a 52* 9 iron.  When the Sand Iron came into being, it was sat on top of that 9 iron.

Per a fellow golf nerd acquaintance from another forum, who collects classic wedges like some collect coins, many of these sand irons were 58* and even 60*.  Which I find interesting.  🙂

At some point in the early steel shaft era, those lofts crept forward, the 1 iron found its way to 17* or 18*, we had a 21* 2 iron on to a 53* club that was originally a "pitching iron."  Hey, the PW arrives on the scene!   

As we got into the 60s, that crept forward to 20* 2 iron and 52* PW.  Eventually, the mid and short irons, and PW, were bumped a little forward, and the 3* gaps started to show up at the top end of the bag.  Previous to this, the 3* gap was primarily seen, and then only sometimes, between the 2i and 1i.

Late 70s and early 80s, we get the 20/30/50 lofts that were present on the Wilson Staff 78 Tour Blades and FG-17s.  Not everyone fully went along, Palmer Standards of the same vintage were 21/31/51, which carried forward to the Original Standards that were released in the late 80s.

Interesting thing, Palmer Standards were parallel.  While not advertising it on the club, they appear to have been frequency matched at the factory.  Could be apocryphal.  <shrug>

Not entirely sure who was first to move forward to a 49* PW.  It could have been the line under Wilson Tour Blades of the mid 80s, or one of the first Mizuno sets, doesn't matter.  Somewhere in there, 20/30/50 became 19/29/49, or sometimes 19/29/50 (believe this is where the Tommy Armour 986 Tours sat, as memory serves from seeing a copy of a catalog page in recent years).

This is where the 16* 1 iron showed up.  

The Armour 845s gave us the 18/28/48 thing, with Ping following with the Eye2+ after the settlement with the USGA.  And off it went.  

The King Cobras *really* launched the loft wars with their 43* PW.  CG movement gets mentioned quite a bit, but I find that dubious, at best.

image.png.1664fa7c118cd5bff940c7f86f55b574.png
image.png.4e49ea8a6836fbdd222cff895b066571.png

 

Anyway, there we go.  A regurgitation of all the work done by my friend, who got very curious about this in 1999 and 2000 and started digging.  🙂

Sorry for putting a mini-novel out here....
 

 

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Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila NV75 X, 43.5" -or- SpeedZone, HZRDUS Black 75 6.5, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, RIP Beta 90, 42" -or- Stage 2 Tour, NV105 X, 42.5"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram TW282, RIP Tour 115 R
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, Steelfiber 125 S; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; PM Grind 19 58*, stock shaft
Putter:  Mizuno TPM-2, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TM TP5

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I think we are living in a golden age of iron/club design.  I've been playing golf on and off for over 50 years.  There is more variety, options and choices today than anytime in the last 50 years.  A player should be able to find clubs that match their game.   

 

I got a set of Ping Eye2s when they first came out.   They were pretty radical clubs at the time.  I had a friend on my university golf team refer to them as "hacker clubs."  Today, they would be pretty standard cavity back clubs.  

 

Today we can still get full on muscle backs if we want.  At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are sets that are basically a full set of hybrids.  One can get almost anything in between.  

 

When I started playing, everyone played steel shafts.  I remember when graphite first came on the scene--and all the early problems associated with them.  (I also remember the short lived aluminum shaft.)  I'm not sure which has had a greater impact on performance, club head design or shaft technology.  

 

Looking back on the changes, it seems to me that each "advancement" follows a similar, perhaps natural, pattern.  A manufacturer will come out with a major design change that improves some players performance or enjoyment in the game.  Other manufacturers will come out with similar designs, but tweak it.  The manufactures experiment with variations to eliminate issues with the clubs until they all reach pretty much the same place.  They end up with very similar performing clubs and the differences really come down to minor preferences, which may or may not be performance related.   

 

The Ping Eye led to the Ping Eye2.  Searching for more forgiveness, Ping eventually moved on to the Ping Zing--really ugly but very forgiving.  Ping then started working backward to smaller, more traditional heads that provided the forgiveness of the Zing.  The manufacturers have been balancing feel with forgiveness for a long time.  

 

When thin faced irons first came out, they definitely performed differently, but some had hot spots (A hum, Rocketblades).  Later versions tamed the hot spot issue and led to more consistency.  The thin face later morphed into hollow, foam filled clubs.  

 

Drivers used to be wood.  Anyone else remember those days?  The Ping Eye 2 driver was wood, but the head was massive compared to other drivers of the day.  When the first metal drivers came out,  they were basically the same design and shape as the wooden versions and didn't really have any performance advantage.  (The Pittsburg Persimmon) The big change came with the move to titanium.  Drivers got bigger, shafts got longer and lighter and balls went farther.  The manufacturers maxed out distance, but then turned to consistency across the face.  They continue to play around with MOI, different face metals, carbon fiber, etc., but the changes in the last ten years or so have been minor compared to the changes that occurred in the 1990s when titanium completely replaced wood.  

 

So, how does all that fit with the OP?  Some iron tech pretty much maxed out decades ago.  The changes to muscle backed blades are subtle as best.  To me, the biggest difference here is in shafts.  Just about all manufactures offer a Ping Eye2 type cavity back.  I don't see a lot of difference between a basic cavity back from ten years ago and one bought new.  The changes are more tweaks than breakthroughs.  Super game improvement irons have been refined and again not much real change year to year.  

 

Where I do see more significant change is in the "newer" categories of irons, albeit I haven't paid super close attention to some of them, such as the hybrid-like irons (Cleveland Launcher).  The players distance irons seem to be moving from initial introduction to the tweaking stage.  Single length irons and two or three length iron sets are early in development, so I expect some big changes here.  Though, the move to two or three length sets seems to be flowing out of the single length concept.  And non traditional club lengths (1/4 or 1/8 progression in shaft length) seems to be gaining traction.   

The progressive set and the combination sets are still being explored and it seems like more manufactures are offering combo sets so the player doesn't have to cobble together their own by combing two partial sets from the same manufacturer.  

 

If someone is comparing a cavity back form 5 or 10 years ago to new ones, I don't see major changes in performance.  

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Golden age or not, I think there are more than a few people who even today would only find their ideal model golf clubs if they were able to commission the tooling themselves.

All or most of the high tech is legit, but it resulted in very complex, multi-piece clubheads.

A master clubsmith of old could craft a wooden head or a steel blade pretty much to the exact specs that the client requested. 

That would be impossible with the advanced technology of multi-piece clubheads. 

Most people come out ahead, and that, after all, was the goal, but a few tricky to fit or hard to please people don't. 

All the shaft and grip choices and moveable weighting in the world won't change a clubhead that doesn't quite seem right to you.  It's not just a matter of grinding and re-chroming anymore.  Or sanding wood.  Those days are gone.

Classic clubs are technically primitive compared to modern ones.  It would be hard to argue that.  The engineers know what they're doing.  But unless future technology advances well beyond where it is today, you pretty much take what the OEM offers in terms of clubheads.  You can't send them the specs that you want and get them.  Maybe that can come back further down the road.

 

 

 

 

 

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On 9/17/2021 at 2:13 PM, chisag said:

Regardless of what heads I played with the i95's in stiff flex, I would have not liked their performance and it would have nothing to do with the head. 

Let's not discount the possibility that you could choose any shaft made, or even design one yourself, but the clubhead still doesn't work for you. 

It could be the face to back camber.

It could could be the heel to toe radius. 

It could be the bounce or the leading edge.

It could be the weight distribution.

It could even be the cosmetics.

Nobody denies the benefit of the ideal shaft, but when I'm doing it right, my shaft doesn't hit the ball. 

 

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On 9/17/2021 at 2:13 PM, chisag said:

 

... Good stuff TGN. I could easily make the argument the shaft is much more important than the head of other comparable irons in the same category. As an example I was playing stiff graphite shafts in my irons and with the success on the tours, especially LPGA of Steelfiber shafts where accuracy is more of a factor than distance, I decided to give them a try. They were just way too stout for my swing. I played a second round with them and found myself over swinging to try and get some feel out of the Steelfibers and my ball striking suffered. Years later at the PGA Show an engineer form Aerotech informed me they play basically a full flex stiffer than similar shafts from other manufacturers. I asked why and he danced around saying it was a mistake without actually saying it. A killer statement was "anyone looking to switch to graphite iron shafts should go through a fitting and find the right flex and weight for their game". Amen. 

... So I decided to give them a second chance using regular flex i95's and the difference was immediately obvious. I was able to take my normal swing and felt the shaft unloading through impact. They have become my favorite shafts. Regardless of what heads I played with the i95's in stiff flex, I would have not liked their performance and it would have nothing to do with the head. 

Funny I figured out the same thing with those Steelfiber 95Rs in a set of 2014 TM TPCBs. Those things are stiff to me and I can not feel the shaft unloading. I have not mechanically messed with them any that will be a winter project if we do not play all winter. From my feel I have suspected that someone hard tipped those shafts. I do like those heads though and will maybe reshaft. Yeah they sit pretty good at address for a CB.

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, BostonSal said:

Let's not discount the possibility that you could choose any shaft made, or even design one yourself, but the clubhead still doesn't work for you. 

It could be the face to back camber.

It could could be the heel to toe radius. 

It could be the bounce or the leading edge.

It could be the weight distribution.

It could even be the cosmetics.

Nobody denies the benefit of the ideal shaft, but when I'm doing it right, my shaft doesn't hit the ball. 

 

You nailed it 110% on the head designs----- True the shaft technically does not hit the ball but it does deliver the club head to the ball at precisely ( we hope) the maximun ideal strike point

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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LOL I know everyone was waiting to see what I would say on this So FWIW

A lot of us older guys grew up with swinging thin soled no bounce no offset blades. That was all we had--- Guys like me grew up on that stuff and if you are a feel player you get ingrained to the feel. And as @BostonSal put it a lot has to do with bounce and weight placement. Far as jacked lofts I will not get on the box about that because I do not care. In the last few weeks I have had 2 seperate partners on the scramble that do not understand why when I outdrive them 5 to 10 yards why I hit 2 clubs more into greens than they do. One of my good friends who was on the original team hits a set of Clevelands the newest and greatest thing but not the hybrid things. The lofts are marked on his irons starting with a 44* PW. We played 2 weeks ago and had a 175 approach to a open green into a Ocean crosswind. I was being a smart aleck and asked him if I could hit his 3 iron? He said I do not have a 3 iron the higest I go is a 5 iron. I told him yeah ok it is the same thing. And yep it is the same loft as my Mac blade 3 iron. He said well hit it I told him no thanks. Proceeded to hit the ugliest little punch cut 3 wood that did run on to the middle of the green. This same guy tried to do my little bump and run with a 5 iron. I was teaching him that shot but made him get his 7 iron LOL. I have explained it to him several times about lofts and he does not have a clue. But really I do not get in a ball of fire about it Loft is loft no matter the club number stamped on the sole. 

I have also said this--- In a nutshell I will contend that it is the era one learned to play the game and the equipment they learned on---- I absolutely do not care what equipment someone plays and I will not get on the box and insist that one club is the one someone should play. Not on MGS but I have had others insist " why don't you get rid of those antique blades and play new stuff?"----- I do not hit the new stuff well and can not control it because I can not FEEL it. But that is me. Yep golf is truly a individual sport as to how someone approaches the game as to Swing and Equipment choices. I have also said many times There is no one etched in stone way to properly play this game and that goes for equipment too.

I will agree to a certain point that golf has evovled to a certain point and really the only eliminating technology these days is the distance rules etc. Yeah I play the old persimmon drivers and woods some and will tell you no way I can hit a persimmon driver as far as the M-6 even though I get more roll with the Persimmon. But then again Now I can not hit a modern metal as far as I could a persimmon 40 years ago. Good example our 10th hole a little dogleg left with a big fairway bunker left. Back 20 years ago when I first moved here I could clear that corner of the trap and cut it into the fairway with a persimmon driver from the back tees. Now these days with a metal driver I can maybe clear that corner and cut it back in the fairway 1 out of 10 times  from the Senior tees. LOL was messing around the other day with a Persimmon driver from the Super Senior tees and cut that corner perfectly. Some of the members that were playing with me remarked great shot. I said mehh I used to do it with this same driver from back there pointing to the blue tees. Time marches on.

My take on it is play what equipment you like and enjoy no matter the era , manufacturer or design. 

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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On 9/23/2021 at 9:03 AM, NRJyzr said:


Have a friend who did a fair bit of research into this right at the turn of the century.

As we moved out of the hickory era to the steel shaft era, irons were generally 4* gaps.  When they began numbering irons in the hickory era, you'd see a 20* 1 iron to a 52* 9 iron.  When the Sand Iron came into being, it was sat on top of that 9 iron.

Per a fellow golf nerd acquaintance from another forum, who collects classic wedges like some collect coins, many of these sand irons were 58* and even 60*.  Which I find interesting.  🙂

At some point in the early steel shaft era, those lofts crept forward, the 1 iron found its way to 17* or 18*, we had a 21* 2 iron on to a 53* club that was originally a "pitching iron."  Hey, the PW arrives on the scene!   

As we got into the 60s, that crept forward to 20* 2 iron and 52* PW.  Eventually, the mid and short irons, and PW, were bumped a little forward, and the 3* gaps started to show up at the top end of the bag.  Previous to this, the 3* gap was primarily seen, and then only sometimes, between the 2i and 1i.

Late 70s and early 80s, we get the 20/30/50 lofts that were present on the Wilson Staff 78 Tour Blades and FG-17s.  Not everyone fully went along, Palmer Standards of the same vintage were 21/31/51, which carried forward to the Original Standards that were released in the late 80s.

Interesting thing, Palmer Standards were parallel.  While not advertising it on the club, they appear to have been frequency matched at the factory.  Could be apocryphal.  <shrug>

Not entirely sure who was first to move forward to a 49* PW.  It could have been the line under Wilson Tour Blades of the mid 80s, or one of the first Mizuno sets, doesn't matter.  Somewhere in there, 20/30/50 became 19/29/49, or sometimes 19/29/50 (believe this is where the Tommy Armour 986 Tours sat, as memory serves from seeing a copy of a catalog page in recent years).

This is where the 16* 1 iron showed up.  

The Armour 845s gave us the 18/28/48 thing, with Ping following with the Eye2+ after the settlement with the USGA.  And off it went.  

The King Cobras *really* launched the loft wars with their 43* PW.  CG movement gets mentioned quite a bit, but I find that dubious, at best.

image.png.1664fa7c118cd5bff940c7f86f55b574.png
image.png.4e49ea8a6836fbdd222cff895b066571.png

 

Anyway, there we go.  A regurgitation of all the work done by my friend, who got very curious about this in 1999 and 2000 and started digging.  🙂

Sorry for putting a mini-novel out here....
 

 

Trust me those 54 and 53 Macs are a Biotch to hit. Look at a set of those the face is more narrow from sole to topline than even your Rams which are smaller from sole to toe than either my VIPs or FC 4000s. 

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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Not that it matters to any players under, say, sixty-five, but at the transition period from wood to metal, laminated maple woods outnumbered persimmon in the available models.  Nobody seems to remember that.  I liked persimmon drivers and laminated maple fairways because the laminated fairways were less likely to crack.  But woods were sold in sets then, so if you sprung for a "specialty" model persimmon driver [like a Toney Penna or something like that], you usually ended up with a laminated driver that you didn't use.

Big Stu would of course know, but plenty of guys who never played real wood don't seem to even know about laminated maple.

 

 

Edited by BostonSal
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Somewhat amusingly....

My longest non-cart-path-aided drive of the last six seasons was with a Ping Zing Blonde laminate, green dot, KT-M shaft.  I haven't played them this year, because I've moved to graphite and haven't reconciled the idea of graphite shafted irons with steel shafted woods, but I think about them quite a bit.

What's funny to me is the 3w.  It looks HUGE, like there's no way to hit it off the deck.  And I've done it several times, with no trouble.  Obviously, Karsten knew what he was doing.   😊
 

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Driver: TM Original One 11.5* set to 10*, Aldila NV75 X, 43.5" -or- SpeedZone, HZRDUS Black 75 6.5, 43.5"
3w:  Cobra King LTD, RIP Beta 90, 42" -or- Stage 2 Tour, NV105 X, 42.5"
2h or 3h:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S
Irons:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4 (reshaft in progress, slowly); 1i & 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram TW282, RIP Tour 115 R
GW: Dynacraft Dual Milled CNC 52*, Steelfiber 125 S; Scratch 8620 DS 53*, Steelfiber 125 S
SW:  Ram TG-898 56*, DGX ss2x; Ram Tom Watson 55*, DGX ss2x; Wilson Staff PMP 58*, DGS; PM Grind 19 58*, stock shaft
Putter:  Mizuno TPM-2, 34"
Ball:  Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TM TP5

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8 hours ago, BostonSal said:

Not that it matters to any players under, say, sixty-five, but at the transition period from wood to metal, laminated maple woods outnumbered persimmon in the available models.  Nobody seems to remember that.  I liked persimmon drivers and laminated maple fairways because the laminated fairways were less likely to crack.  But woods were sold in sets then, so if you sprung for a "specialty" model persimmon driver [like a Toney Penna or something like that], you usually ended up with a laminated driver that you didn't use.

Big Stu would of course know, but plenty of guys who never played real wood seem to even know about laminated maple.

 

 

Actually  this is only my opinion---- Persimmon felt better to me but laminate goes further for me---- Yep beginner sets in the 60s started the Laminate thing. Around that time good aged Persimmon was getting hard to find too. Another thing was price point Persimmon drivers commanded a good price even then and laminate was cheaper and more practical for the Weekend Warrior.  IMHO again the Ping Laminate woods were the best made. Never played Ping woods myself always played either Macgregor, Power Bilt or Toney Penna persimmons. But I did carry a little Northwestern laminated 6 wood for years and at one time carried a Hogan Speed slot laminated 5 wood. Note; The Ping laminate woods have some cult like following in classic cult circles for their playability compared to Penna WW Specials and Mac 693s for their collectability.

You may not know this but I never switched to metal until 01 or so. I was the last man standing on the SE Mini Tours with persimmon

Edited by BIG STU
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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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On 9/26/2021 at 9:57 AM, NRJyzr said:

 

What's funny to me is the 3w.  It looks HUGE, like there's no way to hit it off the deck.  And I've done it several times, with no trouble.  Obviously, Karsten knew what he was doing.   😊
 

I've not owned but I have played with Ping laminated fairway woods.

I made decent ball contact with them but I hit line drives.

Either the clubhead center of gravity was high, or perhaps the ZZ Light shafts--

the clubs were only offered with that one shaft--

were too tip stiff for me.

Plenty of people hit them well, so they had to be reasonably good clubs.

 

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On 9/6/2021 at 3:47 PM, sub80 said:

I recently found the wonderful world of Ebay and used golf clubs.  I mean, I always knew it was there, but not how useful, and inexpensive things could be (comparatively).  And I also found Tom Wishons book--"The search for the perfect club".  And I have been using MGS "Most wanted" and reviews for clubs for a while.  But in terms of new stuff.   So--Wishon says if you have a cavity back--it's a cavity back--that's about as much (depending on depth of cavity) forgiveness/help as you can get.  His quote is something like--"if forgiveness is an 8 ounce glass, then any cavity back gives you 7.5 ounces, and the last half ounce is where "improvements" are made.  And greater distance is mostly/materially down to stronger lofts.

I was scouting new used clubs, and using MGS reviews among others to evaluate what I might want.

And I noticed something.  Going back to like 2012 or so, when reviewing club tests etc., I don't think there are material differences between clubs in terms of either distance (except as attributable to delofting) or dispersion ("forgiveness").  There are between types of clubs (blade v cavity back e.g.) but not between different "ages" of clubs--at least in the relatively modern area.  I did not do an actual calculation--but looking at say 7 irons--carry is usually 155-to 165 (except for really strong lofts) and dispersion among the leaders remains pretty similar.

Am I right?  Or delusional?

Because if I am right, there is no reason to buy new clubs (unless you just want to) AND every reason to simply pick what looks good to your eye and play that.  For like the last 10 years at least.   And none of the technology means anything really.  Ohh, and decide whether you want stronger lofts or not--which can be a curse, because if you hit lower balls, a more lofted club might actually get you more carry, thus more usable distance, though less total distance.

 

Thoughts???

Looks like you'll be getting a lot of comments from manufacturers.  I give you a lot of credit to confirm what many of us have found. Sometimes I think, or want to think that this new club, or design is better than my old set. After trying them out, and returning to my old set, that my old ones still feel pretty good. However new models sure look nice, and I can talk myself into why I need them. Funny how that works, especially if a salesperson is complimenting you on how well you're striking the ball. Which will be even better once you get use to them? Thanks for your thoughts.  Mark OB, NY

 

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14 hours ago, BostonSal said:

I've not owned but I have played with Ping laminated fairway woods.

I made decent ball contact with them but I hit line drives.

Either the clubhead center of gravity was high, or perhaps the ZZ Light shafts--

the clubs were only offered with that one shaft--

were too tip stiff for me.

Plenty of people hit them well, so they had to be reasonably good clubs.

 

I have a bud of mine that still hits a Ping Eye 2 laminate 3 wood off the tee and he is still long with it--- A few years back his wife bought him a new TM of some kind for Christmas. He did not hit it as far or as good. He went to exchange it at PGASS and they let him hit evrything in there none as good as the old Ping 3 wood--- He had the old 3 wood on the machine and had better numbers for him than any of the new stuff. Left them at PGASS scratching their heads. He ended up taking a store credit and bought some other stuff. Right before I got hurt I was rummaging in the building and came across 2 of the old 3 woods. They had to be some of the store stock left over from the shop according to where they were in the building. LOL my building is like an archelogical dig I pretty much know where stuff came from according to where it is in the building. Anyhow I got them out and gave them to him one was blonde and the other one Black

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Driver ---- TM M-6 Evenflow 65 G R flex---- 3 wood TM V-Steel Aldila 65G R Flex--- 7 Wood TM V-Steel Ust Pro Force 65 R flex---  Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts-- SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 Sensicore---- LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore--- Putter Rusty 1997 Scotty Cameron Santa Fe fluted Bulls Eye shaft- Bag My Old School Titleist Mini Staff

 

 

 

 

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