New Irons for 2016

Many of the major golf manufacturers have released their new line of irons for 2016.   These are the clubs that will go longer, fly higher, go straighter… well you know, the usual advertising hype.

What was of special interest to me were the lofts of these new weapons.  A few months ago I wrote a post  about how the lofts of irons have been inching downward in an attempt to convince golfers that a particular brand of clubs goes further.   What becomes readily apparent is that there is no longer a  ‘standard’ loft.  I’ve listed the lofts for 6 irons and pitching wedges.  Some of the manufacturers are really pushing the envelope on lofts with 6 irons as low as 25 degrees.  In the 1970’s 3 irons were 24 degrees.

With a variance of six degrees (the equivalent to a club and a half) it is a no brainer that the Taylor made M2 6 iron with a loft of 25 degrees will go further than the Wilson FG Tour 6 iron with a loft of 31 degrees simply based on loft.

 

Manufacturer/model                  6 iron         Cast/Forged         PW        Price

Tour Exotics  CB Pro                   26.5                  C                      45            $700

Ping G Max                                    27                     C                       45           $800

Cobra F6                                        26                     C                       45            $700

Wilson C200                                 28                     C                       44            $800

Wilson FG Tour                            31                     F                       47            $800

Callaway Apex                              27                     F                       45             $1200

Mizuno JPX EZ                            28                      C                      45             $800

Taylormade M2                            25                      C                      43.5          $800

Titleist 716 AP1                             28                      C                      43            $900

 

My new set of Pinhawk single length irons

While researching and writing the recent posts about single length irons, I was also busy on the other side of the equation assembling and experimenting with a set of single length irons.

As the saying goes ‘the proof is in the pudding’ so I have attempted to put the theory into practice.

This is what my new set looks like.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As indicated earlier, I decided to go with Pinhawk heads, which are specifically designed for single length iron sets.  The set consists of ten clubs, from flop wedge to 4-hybrid.  The heads are cast stainless steel, cavity back,  made with 431 steel which is a little softer and more bendable than the 17-4 steel used by most major OEM manufacturers.  The heads throughout the set from flop wedge to 4-hybrid each weigh 272 grams (+/- 1) and have a lie angle of 62.5 degrees.

I experimented with various lengths ranging from 35 to 37.5 inches.  I eventually ended up with 37 1/16.  If you are wondering about the 1/16 of an inch,  it has no significance.  What happened was that as I experimented with different club lengths, hitting them at the Golf Dome, there was  one particular iron that I was hitting most consistently.  When I measured it precisely it was 37 1/16 inches in length so I just built the entire set to match that club.

At a length of 37 1/16 inches and using a 70 gram graphite shaft and a 50 gram grip the swing weight comes in at D1.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The table below indicates the off-the-rack specifications of the Pinhawk heads I am using.  I suspect that some minor loft adjustments may be required to ensure proper ‘gap’ distances between clubs.

 

Pinhawk Iron Set
Club 4 5 6 7 8 9 PW GW SW LW
Loft 20° 25° 30° 35° 39° 43° 47° 51° 55° 59°
Lie 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5° 62.5°
Weight (grams) 272 272 272 272 272 272 272 272 272 272
Offset (mm) 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Source:  Value Golf

 

I have already done some lie adjustments on a few of the irons to promote a more upright swing plane.  A few of the irons have been bent as much as 2.5 degrees without any breakage.

The final lofts and lies will not be arrived at until the clubs are tested in ‘on course’ conditions.

Below are links to the series of posts previously written on the topic of Single Length Clubs.

Who are Homer Kelley and Bryson DeChambeau

Standard length and loft for irons

Single length golf clubs

Advantages and disadvantages of single length irons

The effect of club length on swing speed and distance

The effect of loft on carry distance

Unless something miraculous or untoward happens in the next few months at the Dome I won’t write another post about these clubs until the grass is green and the birds are singing again.

Fore!

 

Effect of Loft on Carry Distance

loft picture

The Effect of Loft

The loft of an iron has a much greater effect on the distance your ball will carry than does the length of the club (swing speed).  Many in the golf industry estimate that with irons, the ratio is  as high 20:80,  meaning that loft has 4 times the effect on distance as compared to swing speed.  At a swing speed around 78 miles per hour and a club length of 37 inches every degree in change of loft will result in a much greater difference in distance than a 1 mph change in club head speed.

The long and the short of it is that when you reduce the length of your irons to a 7 iron length (in the case of the irons longer than a 7 iron), and lengthen the shafts on the 8 iron to the wedges to the 7 iron length you will affect swing speed generated by those clubs.

How to compensate 

With single length irons the change in loft is the primary factor in terms of compensating for the loss in distance with the 3-6 irons, and the gain in distance for the iron through wedges.  The lofts on the longer irons are strengthened while on the shorter irons they are decreased.

There is another factor that plays into this as well, that being club head weight. Physics tell us that when a moving object (the club head) strikes a stationary object (the ball) the amount of force applied to the ball is dependent on two factors, the speed of the moving object, and its weight.  It is akin to a 20 ton truck travelling at 60 kph and striking a light standard knocking it over, and a Smart-car traveling at the same speed striking the same  light standard and scuffing the paint on the pole.

Because the heads on single length clubs are all the same weight (around 272 grams) the head on the 4 iron is 20-25 grams  heavier than a traditional 4 iron and will exert more force causing a slight increase in distance.  The head on the pitching wedge which is approximately 20 grams lighter than the traditional weight  will exert less force and cause a slight decrease in distance.

Conclusion

By varying the loft of the irons, other than the 7 iron which is the standard, it is theoretically possible to build a set of clubs that are all the same length and still hit the ball distances very similar to traditional clubs while at the same time  ensuring the wedge to 8 iron don’t go to far and the 3 to 6 iron go far enough to maintain a workable ‘gap’ in terms of the different distances each club will hit the ball.

In my mind the disadvantages addressed in an earlier post can be compensated for, leaving only the advantages, which I would argue are so beneficial that a strong argument can be made at least putting the concept to the test as opposed to dismissing it out of hand.

As indicated in an earlier post I am in the process of assembling a set of single length irons.  I have experimented with lengths ranging from 35 to 37.5 inches and different combinations of lie angles.  I am getting close to arriving at what will be my ‘final’ specifications and when I do I will be writing a post about the finished product.

Do you play in windy conditions?  Try the Windcard.

https://golfinmykingdom.com/2020/06/22/introducing-the-windcard/