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Sweetspot On Irons, Where The Good Players Hit It

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

I was fascinated when I first saw the picture of Tiger's 8 iron and where the wear mark from the ball was. Of course the precision needed to make a wear mark that small is outstanding. It tells a lot about how good the best players really are. I've added some other photographs I've found on the net. The middle top one is the club of Mike Small, another pro. The others are random golfers I believe.

 

iron_wearmark.PNG

 

I've hit some shots with tape on the clubface and I'm hitting it a lot higher than these guys, and all over the face.The lowest dimples show above the second lowest groove, often higher too. You don't need the impact tape shaped like a club face, any thin tape will do. Masking tape works great, and it's cheap.

 

Here is another good picture.

 

mike_line.JPG

 

Mike Bennett hit 17 shots and always placed the ball on the white line. He didn't hit the line once on 17 shots, but still made a nice divot after the ball. This tells us he must have hit the ball low on the clubface while the club was moving down. If you hit it high on the clubface while on the way down, you would start the divot underneath the ball, which would cause loss in distance.

 

If you hit it that low on the face and the swing bottoms out at the ball, you would hit it thin. It is essential that the club bottoms out 2-4 inches in front of the ball. The shaft must of course lean forward at impact. This is one of the fundamentals to play good golf. If you are able to control the swingpath and face angle too, you're a low handicapper.

 

This means that you should be able to put a thin towel or cloth right behind the ball and hit the ball without touching the towel. This seems very difficult to those of us who flip or in some other way don't hit the ball with the shaft leaning forward and a forward swing bottom.

 

I'm a little surprised that I haven't come across a high speed video of the impact from a pro yet, which clearly shows things like this. The videos on Youtube I've seen does not work. The camera needs a lot of FPS, good lighting, sitting at ground level and with flat and closely mown grass.

post #2 of 37

Very cool pics. I wonder how long this actually would take to leave that mark. My 52 GW has STARTED to have one spot like this, but not as dark or low on the face....this must take something like 10,000 golf balls or something


 

post #3 of 37
Cool post, I remember seeing those tiger pics and I was surprised there wasn't more said about the position of tigers ball mark. I can't imagine how many shots it must take to create those marks. I've broken 6 clubs that have been reshafted and I don't have anything that resembles that. I've hit at least 10000 shots with a number of my irons and they have just snapped near the hosel after all of that abuse.
post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Williamevanl View Post

Cool post, I remember seeing those tiger pics and I was surprised there wasn't more said about the position of tigers ball mark. 

There was a helluva lot said about the position of Tiger's ball mark.

People started off by saying they though it was too low.

Others replied that it ewas exactly where it should be.

These comments were ignored.


 

 

post #5 of 37

This was a great post.  Never thought about it before.  Makes sense.  Now I'll feel good about seeing ball marks low on my irons.

post #6 of 37

The pictures of the wear marks remind me of a story about an equipment rep in the early 90s trying to get Tour players to switch from wooden drivers to metal ones.

 

This guy tells Ben Crenshaw, I think it was, that it's much easier to hit the sweet spot with a metal clubhead. Crenshaw shows him the face of his wooden driver, with a wear mark the size of a dime in the dead center, and says, "I don't really have a problem with that."

 

But, yes. How many shots does it take make that kind of a mark? I would guess that if you hit the same spot every time, and hit the ball hard, much fewer than 10,000.

post #7 of 37

Does anyone know where the sweet spot is on long irons? I read an article in an old golf digest recently that said Ben Hogan's ball mark on his 1-iron was actually closer to the heel than the toe. But when I use my 3-iron, the sweet spot is the opposite: its closer to the toe. I'm sure sweet spot location can vary based on club design, etc. but is there a typical place for the sweet spot to be on the longer irons? My Ping G-10 3-iron's sweet spot is definitely closer to the toe. I'm just wondering if there is a standard for this or not. Thanks.

post #8 of 37

My guess would be not... I would think that different factors including CG, size of cavity (if there even is one), length of hosel, etc. would alter where the sweet spot is.

post #9 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristanhilton85 View Post

My guess would be not... I would think that different factors including CG, size of cavity (if there even is one), length of hosel, etc. would alter where the sweet spot is.



I agree.

 

I had a set of 690.mb irons and the sweet spot was definitely slightly inside (towards the heel) center on all clubs.  In contrast, my 735s center to slightly inside center feels and performs about the same.

post #10 of 37

I'd imagine that it's not only number of balls hit, but also swing speed.  Very few of us amateurs have pro swing speed.  Even the vast majority of long hitting amateurs have at most average driver club head speed, and I'd bet, like me, that modern driver heads allow most amateurs to be closer to pro swing speeds with the driver than with the irons.

 

Also, forged irons wear more than cast irons, so those amateurs who don't use forged clubs would need even higher club head speed and even more hits to get as dramatic a wear spot as that.

 

Myself, I had my old irons for 10 years, though I only got into the game for the last 3+ years I had those irons (maybe 1x playing a year before that).  My irons started to have wear marks before I finally upgraded to the sweet 695 CBs I have now, though they were more comet shaped, with heavy wear on the sweet spot and a fading wear mark out towards the toe a bit from the center.  

post #11 of 37

It's also not likely we'll ever spend hour upon hour hitting the same 3/4 shot at a grass/sand range either. After I put a few balls off the sweet spot at the range (like a handful) I move onto a different club then when finished the set, I pack up and go do something else. I'm probably at home before a pro is even have finished warming up. There's no substitute for "reps".

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by mdl View Post

I'd imagine that it's not only number of balls hit, but also swing speed.  Very few of us amateurs have pro swing speed.  Even the vast majority of long hitting amateurs have at most average driver club head speed, and I'd bet, like me, that modern driver heads allow most amateurs to be closer to pro swing speeds with the driver than with the irons.

 

Also, forged irons wear more than cast irons, so those amateurs who don't use forged clubs would need even higher club head speed and even more hits to get as dramatic a wear spot as that.

 

Myself, I had my old irons for 10 years, though I only got into the game for the last 3+ years I had those irons (maybe 1x playing a year before that).  My irons started to have wear marks before I finally upgraded to the sweet 695 CBs I have now, though they were more comet shaped, with heavy wear on the sweet spot and a fading wear mark out towards the toe a bit from the center.  



 

post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

Does anyone know where the sweet spot is on long irons? I read an article in an old golf digest recently that said Ben Hogan's ball mark on his 1-iron was actually closer to the heel than the toe. But when I use my 3-iron, the sweet spot is the opposite: its closer to the toe. I'm sure sweet spot location can vary based on club design, etc. but is there a typical place for the sweet spot to be on the longer irons? My Ping G-10 3-iron's sweet spot is definitely closer to the toe. I'm just wondering if there is a standard for this or not. Thanks.


Old blades like Hogan played with generally had a sweet spot that was closer to the heel.  A flushed shot on the sweet spot was perilously close to a shank.

 

post #13 of 37

It is amazing.  I remember watching playing lesson with the pros with Watson.  His wedges had that exact look to it.  It looks like it wasn't real.

 

What freaks.  I've always believed (and still do) that is what determines your ability.  You see alot of ugly ass swings that can score and you almost wonder how.  That is how, right there, hitting the center of the club everytime. 

 

I've got a buddy who is a legitimate scratch player and his putter has an insert.  It has that same look.  He doesn't hit it in exactly the center, but he hits it in the same place everytime.

 

I'm not sure if that can be taught either.  Having solid swing mechanics doesn't mean you are going to hit the center of the club.  It is kind of depressing.  I got new irons about a month ago, and they are starting to show wear, not like that but off the toe, high on the blade, everywhere but the center.  Stupid game.

post #14 of 37

I'm not positive the sweet spot on my 3-iron is slightly closer to the heel. But it certainly feels that way. There aren't really any noticeable ball marks on the face, probably because I don't use this club all that much. But it seems that any shot remotely close to the heel with this club has nothing on it, or worse, a shank. I could be wrong.

post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

Does anyone know where the sweet spot is on long irons? I read an article in an old golf digest recently that said Ben Hogan's ball mark on his 1-iron was actually closer to the heel than the toe.


Hogan liked to hit it off the heel side; any draws or shots to the left made him feel sick to his stomach. He wanted to see the ball fade on just about every shot (hitting heel side of middle promotes a fade/lessens a draw). I've read that he hit most of his drives on the heel side of middle. Rory McIlroy does this also (heel side of middle) to minimize his draw. Most amateurs with a negative handicap will hit more towards the toe (lack of extension with the arms and miniflipping at impact=toward the toe)
post #16 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwdial View Post




Old blades like Hogan played with generally had a sweet spot that was closer to the heel.  A flushed shot on the sweet spot was perilously close to a shank.

 


Yes, I think this is correct also. Before heel/toe weighting and cavity backs, there was likely more mass hosel side of face, thus cg and sweet spot were likely hosel (neck) side of middle.
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by JetFan1983 View Post

I'm not positive the sweet spot on my 3-iron is slightly closer to the heel. But it certainly feels that way. 


Whoops, misprint! I meant "toe."

 

Thanks for the answers so far, guys.

post #18 of 37

Would the impact distance from the bottom of the club change with different clubs?

Lets say the impact on a PW is 3/4" up from bottom, should it still be 3/4" up from bottom with say a 5 iron?

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