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Maltby playability factor question

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
So I noticed on the 2009 maltby iron list, the Nike TW VR muscleback was rated higher (more playable) than either of their cavity backs, and the Mizuno MX series. Does this mean that the Nike blades are easier to hit than their cavity backs? I'm confused.
post #2 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

I'd be interested to know the answer too. The clubs I'm playing with are rated rather low on the scale, R7 draw, but are typical GI clubs from a looks/feel standpoint. There are even a few musclebacks and players irons rated easier to hit according to the scale.
post #3 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

I'm not sure how accurate it is.

it's only a load of measurements.
post #4 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

i have hit the blades - THe TW VR Blades
they are forgiving for a blade - but dont kid yourself - they are a blade and will let u know it when you hit it wrong
post #5 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

The fact that Maltby has like 8 out of the first 10 spots on that list tells me everything I need to know about it.
post #6 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

Originally Posted by Meddle View Post
The fact that Maltby has like 8 out of the first 10 spots on that list tells me everything I need to know about it.
I think he developed the MPF, then designed his irons with that in mind - but I hear ya. I must be letting gravity be my guide - the irons I've typically preferred are always near the bottom of the list. Whatever.
post #7 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

Originally Posted by Meddle View Post
The fact that Maltby has like 8 out of the first 10 spots on that list tells me everything I need to know about it.
Maltby also doesn't design Players' Irons, even Players' Cavities, as we think of them. I think he's several times expressed the opinion that everyone should play Game Improvement irons. It's no surprise that ease of hitting - or whatever it is that MPF measures - is the focus of his designs.
post #8 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

Originally Posted by Shindig View Post
. . . he's several times expressed the opinion that everyone should play Game Improvement irons
Hence the underlying "who cares" nature of the MPF.
post #9 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

MPF is a numerical designation of certain qualities of particular golf clubs, but has very little to do with how they will feel in your hands, and when you strike the ball.
post #10 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

Originally Posted by max power View Post
MPF is a numerical designation of certain qualities of particular golf clubs, but has very little to do with how they will feel in your hands, and when you strike the ball.
Maltby Playability Factor is based upon six measurements made on an iron from a set of clubs. I made a copy of the MPI table, but have had trouble loading it to this site. I also made up a table comparing the six-category MPF system with the three-category Golf Digest system.

Basically, the higher the MPF, the easier it is to hit the club and get it airborne. Clubs with a very high MPF are harder to "work" as far as height control goes, because the Vertical Center of Gravity is so low (VCOG is a key measurement). Low VCOG means ball pops up pretty high. And yes, sometimes a blade club will have a higher MPF than a muscle-cavity:

Callaway X22 Tour MPF = 594 | X Forged (2009) MPF = 621

Ping S59 MPF = 660 | I10 MPF = 560 | S57 MPF = 612

In Ping 560 vs. 660 is a noticeable difference; otherwise, 20 or 30 points difference is negligible.

Maltby says:
* MPF classes suggest which category of club might be best for you. But, you still need to comparison test clubs.
* MPF is a starting point, but does not take into account shaft flex and kickpoint.

His website has lots of info on club design and club comparisons: http://www.ralphmaltby.com/

Website doesn't show the MF categories, or how you calculate MPF. For this you need his book Maltby Playability Factor: Book I MPF Irons (2005). Some golf shops have copies of it for about $1, as a new version is in the works. Super book if you like golf club design and/or history of golf club development. Lots of pictures and engineering drawings in full color.
post #11 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

Note: Maltby' original system uses six categories of clubs. Most people on here use the Golf Digest breakdown of clubs as players, game improvement, and super game improvement. GD basically combines some of Maltby's original six.
post #12 of 12

Re: Maltby playability factor question

I understand how MPF works, and it's a useful tool for revealing many of the physical properties of the golf club. But, for me, it stops there. Doesn't tell you how the ball will respond to the dynamics of an individual player's swing, how the club will feel in your hand, how it will feel when it is swung, how it will feel when the ball is struck, how it will feel on fat and/or thin shots, how it looks at address, etc. All things being equal, game improvement clubs will be easier to hit than player's cbs or mbs, but it simply can't tell you how well a club will work for you or how much you will like it.
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