Power spec or retro spec?

Captain_Black.

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Have manufacturers gone too far in there quest for extra distance by lowering the lofts on irons by too much?
In my eye's, this creates 2x issues.

1. It can cause gapping issues between the longest iron & the next club up.

2. The longer irons become harder to hit (get airborne) especially when you start to slow down with age.

More manufacturers are realising. I think they may have gone too far & are offering a retro spec (higher loft option)

I don't generally look for big distance from my irons (I have other clubs for that) from my irons I want an easy launch, accuracy & tight dispersion.

Thoughts?
 

Mel Smooth

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Honestly, I don't even consider it an issue myself.

I'm not carrying a 6 iron at the moment, and anything over the distance I can hit my 7 iron, I'll hit my hybrid. 7 iron and upwards are easy to hit anyway. Keep the game as simple as possible - my 4 and 5 irons are pretty much redundant these days.
 

Voyager EMH

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My thoughts, as if no one here could guess, and only a tiny tiny few will agree with,

A pitching wedge should be at least 50°. This should be a requirement as strongly enforced as 460cc maximum for drivers.

Any iron club with a lower degree loft than that should be given a number.

We might have to see some number 12 irons for a bit, until all manufacturers go back to using 1-9 then PW SW with only a very small number of variations from this convention.

(I accept that this will never become reality - so no need to tell me why it won't become reality)
 

Orikoru

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Have manufacturers gone too far in there quest for extra distance by lowering the lofts on irons by too much?
In my eye's, this creates 2x issues.

1. It can cause gapping issues between the longest iron & the next club up.

2. The longer irons become harder to hit (get airborne) especially when you start to slow down with age.


More manufacturers are realising. I think they may have gone too far & are offering a retro spec (higher loft option)

I don't generally look for big distance from my irons (I have other clubs for that) from my irons I want an easy launch, accuracy & tight dispersion.

Thoughts?
My irons are very strong-lofted. I just had to get a set of 6 to AW instead of 5 to PW or whatever, so it doesn't really bother me. As long as I know which distance each one goes. You'd think the longer ones are harder to hit, but I can hit this 6 iron better than I could my previous 6 iron which was 3° weaker. I could never hit long irons either way so not an issue there either - I have a hybrid and a 7 wood for that.
 
D

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Loft or number doesn't matter. All that matters is that you can hit the club the required distance with the right amount of spin, height and more importantly consistency.

Those clubs with the strongest lofts tend to be GI clubs, so probably don't come with long irons and are designed to help get the ball airborne by the weighting systems built in.


Personally I think too many golfers think to much about clubs. It's technique that is holding most amateurs back, they can hit any club consistently badly.
 

Kilbey

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I'm going to go i525 in the retro spec as it will enable me to carry one less wedge. I carry, so every little helps.
 

BiMGuy

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It doesn’t matter one bit.

A club with 50° can be called whatever you want.

Just buy a set of clubs with lofts that give you the gapping you need. Simple
 

Imurg

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A club with 50° can be called whatever you want.
Bernard..? ;)

Power spec, normal or retro...it all depends on the distance you require.
What is often forgotten is that when you get new irons that are, say, 7-8 yards longer than the previous set you're creating gaps at either end of the bag....
Your longest iron is now closer to your shortest hybrid/wood and your PW is further away from the rest of your wedges...
Gapping is more important than distance but gapping doesn't sell as much as distance......we like distance...
The theory of stronger lofts is sound until your swing speed slows down too much and then 25° 6 irons are not going to be functional...and that's when you go to hybrids.
With a 7 iron loft spread between 28 and 34 degrees its a waste of time saying " I hit my 7 iron X yards"
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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Honestly, I don't even consider it an issue myself.

I'm not carrying a 6 iron at the moment, and anything over the distance I can hit my 7 iron, I'll hit my hybrid. 7 iron and upwards are easy to hit anyway. Keep the game as simple as possible - my 4 and 5 irons are pretty much redundant these days.
I’m thinking of retiring my 5i - though I might still carry it for low recovery punch shots. I can hit it OK but don’t get much benefit from it that I can’t get with my 6i, but what I can get quite regularly is less consistency. And given that I’ve now learned to hit my 4h reasonably well and consistently I am inclined to accept the advice/exhortation of my pro and get myself a 5h. As he says…the game is hard enough as it is…why make it harder when you can make it easier.🤷
 

harpo_72

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I purchased some G430 irons 5 to 45.5 wedge all weakened by 2 degree. Dunno if that’s retro enough! It does present an issue with the number of clubs and it’s a case of do I use the current 50,56, 60 ( I dropped 60 after a while and tried not to go into bunkers too close to the flag)
But these extra clubs affect both ends of the bag .. the reality is though, working back from my driving distance and the length of the par 3s on my regular course has set my carry bag.
So I carry a driver , 5 wood , irons 7-PW , 50, 58 plus putter. The rest I will put in when we can use a trolley with no limitations.
So loft isn’t that relevant for me just I have the whole distances covered. I suppose there will be occasions when I need a 5 iron but a choked 3/4 5 wood can suffice.
 

Hobbit

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I don’t think there are any issues around gaps between woods and irons or at the other end of the bag. There’s enough options with hybrids and extra wedges to fill those gaps. It’s an expensive exercise though, and rather cunning by the manufacturers. And choosing carefully you can also get the trajectory you’d prefer too.
 

Voyager EMH

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I played for a few decades with no more than two wedges (PW SW) and had either 9, 10 or 11 irons in the bag.
Then in 2008 I purchased a brand new set of Ping irons that required me to have 3 wedges.
The lofts were pretty much identical to all the other clubs I had before, but in the previous 35 years I needed only two wedges.
The clubs had not changed significantly, but the numbers on the sole had. There was no need for this to be done or indeed for it to happen.

1-iron 15° and a 9-iron 46°. Or thereabouts. PW should have to be 50° or more.
I can not see any reason why this should not be an acceptable convention.

And, bring back even numbers for woods. No reason why they should have disappeared.

Up to 12° for a driver.
Then 2-wood 13/14
3-wood 15/16
4-wood 17/18
5-wood 19/20
6-wood 21/22
7-wood 23/24

Someone order more popcorn for @Imurg please! ;)
 
D

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There's no reason why club manufacturers "should" do anything in particular. If you don't like what they offer don't buy their clubs.

Basically all you need is to be able to hit any distance between your driver yardage and 0 yards, with only 14 clubs available to you. That is doable with strong lofts or weak lofts.
 

Hobbit

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I played for a few decades with no more than two wedges (PW SW) and had either 9, 10 or 11 irons in the bag.
Then in 2008 I purchased a brand new set of Ping irons that required me to have 3 wedges.
The lofts were pretty much identical to all the other clubs I had before, but in the previous 35 years I needed only two wedges.
The clubs had not changed significantly, but the numbers on the sole had. There was no need for this to be done or indeed for it to happen.

1-iron 15° and a 9-iron 46°. Or thereabouts. PW should have to be 50° or more.
I can not see any reason why this should not be an acceptable convention.

And, bring back even numbers for woods. No reason why they should have disappeared.

Up to 12° for a driver.
Then 2-wood 13/14
3-wood 15/16
4-wood 17/18
5-wood 19/20
6-wood 21/22
7-wood 23/24

Someone order more popcorn for @Imurg please! ;)

Not that it gets spoken about much here but what about the dynamic lofts that manufacturers talk about. I think there’s science behind it but, equally, do 99% of golfers even need to know or really benefit from dynamic loft.

For those that may not know, by tweaking the perimeter weighting and CoG, it’s possible to get an iron/wood to launch at a higher/lower angle than its stipulated absolute degree setting. The wedge might say 46* but might launch at 50*.

Personally, whilst I feel there’s truth in it I also feel it’s just a load of marketing hype to create a false differentiator. As @JamesR says, just hit the club you need that will give you the yardage you want. Once upon a time I could push a wedge out to 140yds quite comfortably. Last time I played it was down to 100yds - old age and a dodgy back. Just go with the club that does the job.
 
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