High Launch Clubs Question


New member
Jan 24, 2024
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According to head to head comparisons I've read online, most GI irons are about 30 or more yards longer than their HL counterparts (Ping, Mizuno, TaylorMade). I understand the difference in loft, but here's my question, If a lower lofted 7-iron goes 185 yards vs the HL which goes 155 yards, then what club do you use with a HL set to hit a 185 yard shot? If it's a 4 or 5-iron then aren't you just trading off loft? For instance I read from this website that suggests a Stealth 7-iron should reach about 185 yards while the same test shows the Stealth HD model 7-iron only goes 155 yards. So, if you have the Stealth HD, what are you going to hit that same 185 yard shot with, a 4-hybrid or 5-iron? And there goes that HL stopping power. So, I'm not sure you're gaining anything by playing HL clubs. BTW, I currently own a set of the Stealth HD clubs. At age 67, I thought that was my right move. Now, I'm not so sure. Is it just a marketing ploy? It seems I could have hit maybe a 9-iron into the green for the 155-yard shot with the regular Stealth model using those test results, thereby gaining back that lost loft.



The Grinder Of Pars (Semi Crocked)
Mar 15, 2008
Aylesbury Bucks
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My understanding of HL irons is that they're aimed at slower swing speed players than the non HL variants.
They use lighter components to increase speed and use weaker lofts to increase launch, spin and carry.
Using the nonHL model, there will come a time where and iron is simply not viable for the given swing speed. The peak height of your shot will produce too low a descent angle.
A 5 iron may go 185 yards but it will likely only carry 150 and roll the rest - not ideal when you're trying to judge a shot.
The HL version will launch higher and carry, possibly, the same but you will have more control over the ball.
If you play the HL variant and need 185 carry then you'll be using a hybrid or fairway.
Amongst other things, swing speed produces height...the faster you swing the higher the ball goes, the higher it goes the better the descent angle and the more control you have.
I play with a 68 year old who has the Mizuno HLs and he still can't hit a high ball because his speed is so low
He has little carry and, therefore, little control but its what he has.


Well-known member
Jan 24, 2021
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I think most of the HL irons are aimed at golfers for whom a 185 yard club is probably their driver or fairway wood, but they aren't all built on the exact same principle.
Mizuno might be the exception in that I believe the components are not lighter. The head is designed with a wider sole and traditional (ish) loft so the weight is lower to help get the ball in the air.
I use Mizuno JPX923 HL 5 and 6 irons, blended with traditionally lofted 7-P. My speed and distance are pretty average. The 5 iron works for me for that 185 yardage but I like that it gets the ball high and long from the fairway or light rough - something I can't do with the 5 iron that goes with the rest of my set.
I used to have Ping G425 GI irons. The feel good factor was high for hitting 7, 8 and 9 irons silly distances but they felt like it was only about distance.


Head Pro
Jul 31, 2015
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I tried the HL version of the Callaway Ai Smoke irons when i went for a fitting recently.

I'm not a big/long hitter...my current Apex CF19 7 iron (loft 30.5*) I typically reckon on around 135-140 yrds. I tried the HL version of the smoke (30* loft) and promptly increased launch from 18* to 25* and lost about 8 yards of carry compared to the CF19's (same TT Elevate 95 reg flex shaft).

The Standard Ai smoke (loft 28*) saw a launch increase to around 20 degrees (compared with the CF19) and consistent carry just over 145 yds. Going for a lighter elevate 85 shaft saw an incremental change to launch of around 21 degrees and an extra 5 yards again. Obviously deeper into the session I was more warmed up so went bakc and hit my CF19 7 iron again, absolutely melted a couple of shots but 145 yds was as good as it got.

So I guess regarding HL irons the tale might be, just be careful...you might get a better launch but could be robbed of distance depending on what sort of golfer you are...I was expecting the HL's to be beneficial as my personal perception is that my current ball flight is quite low and a bit more launch would help.