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what's the real scoop on extended clubs?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

i am 6'5" tall and have 1" extensions on my clubs.  i was fitted for these clubs.  if i put my 7i up to my buddy's standard length 5i, they are exactly the same length.  pretty much every club of mine is 2 up on him.  also we all know shafts get longer as the irons decrease in numerical value.  so a 4i is going to be longer in shaft size than a 9i, etc.  essentially this means that regardless of your height, on some clubs you will be standing up straighter (4i/5i) than with other clubs (PW, SW), where you will be "slumping" over some.

 

so taking all of this into consideration, why exactly do tall people like myself get fitted with longer shafts?  maybe i look like i'm slumping with an 8i, but it's the same look i'll have with a PW that has an extra 1" extension right?  i ask because i have a really hard time hitting my 4i and 5i, and i'm thinking if they were the same length as my 6i and 7i respectively, i would hit them a lot better.  right now they are playing like my buddy's 2i/3i as far as shaft length goes, and almost no one plays 2i/3i anymore because they are so tough to hit.

 

now, i know the club's loft plays a PART in their difficulty level, but wouldn't we all agree what makes longer irons harder to hit is the fact that they are physically longer clubs?

 

to be honest, $900 after, i'm starting to wonder if my i20s with 1" extensions were just a marketing ploy to get me to buy new since i couldn't find any on the used market.  besides my wedges being longer than any wedge you will find in a standard set, all other irons will have similar length shafts as my current shaft, but the lofts will be lower per longer shaft rather than higher.  for taller golfers like myself, it seems the most advantageous setup would be to get a 4i/5i at standard length and leave the 6-Ws at +1", since the physical position of your body on a 4i/5i with no extension will be exactly the same as a 6i/7i that has a 1" extension.

 

am i missing something here?  what do you think? 

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post #2 of 24

has nothing to do with height.

A tall person with long arms can very easily require shorter clubs than an average height person with short arms. About 80% of golfers are standard length.

the measurement is from where your wrist bends down to the floor with shoes off.

...then you don't just extend a standard club 1 inch and not worry about the lie.

did you get fitted by the local golf store or a club fitter?
 

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notsohard View Post

has nothing to do with height.

A tall person with long arms can very easily require shorter clubs than an average height person with short arms. About 80% of golfers are standard length.

the measurement is from where your wrist bends down to the floor with shoes off.

...then you don't just extend a standard club 1 inch and not worry about the lie.

did you get fitted by the local golf store or a club fitter?
 


a club fitter.  my point though is that longer clubs are harder to hit, so why make them longer?  you can adjust the lie of a club without lengthening or shortening it.

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

anyone else?  no matter how much google searching i do, pretty much no one can explain why some players "need" extensions.

post #5 of 24

Good post. I am 6'2 and currently play a 1/2 inch longer and 2.5 degrees upright. I don't understand why I needed the 1/2 longer clubs and basically don't use my 4 or 5 irons. Can't wait to hear some of the replys from golfers who have a better understanding than me.

post #6 of 24

A good fitter does more than take measurements. They observe your posture at address, the entire set up, your flexibility, ball flight, launch angle etc. Even though longer clubs can be tougher to hit consistently IMO it's just as difficult to make good contact if you're slumped over a too short club. Actually I know it from experience after learning I needed clubs +.5". Honestly I'm not convinced that is long enough but I am giving myself the winter to iron out some swing flaws before getting fitted again. FWIW I am 6'1", wrists roughly 38.25" from the floor.

 

For me it didn't come up until I started taking lessons. It was actually me that noticed after complaining that I couldn't get into positions the instructor wanted me in as we reviewed videos. It just didn't look right and no matter how I tried I couldn't do what he asked. I was surpised as anyone because I was hitting the shit out of the ball at the time. I was there in an attempt to refine things to lower my scores. Anyway he grabbed a 38.5" 5i from his rack of clubs and viola my swing became smoother throughout. Even more surprising was being fitted for smaller grips, I have sizable mitts. Immediately after the change to smaller grips the ball moving right started to disappear. It's a combo of things and that's why it's important to feel like you were properly fitted. I'm not certain I am where I need to be but I need to get to a point where I'm not evolving before I can make it worth it. At least not  when I am making bi-weekly swing changes as I go through the process.

 

As strange as things felt for me after making changes I was certain my instructor and fitter were nuts. But eventually things smoothed out and when it did my ball striking became more consistent. It was worth the effort. Mostly because I don't look and feel like such a dork with a club in my hands. I've since moved to a better instructor but it was his insistence about hitting positions that made me question my club length.  Now I have to work through things again to see how it affects how I play on the course. Bummer that winter got in the way.

post #7 of 24
I'm 6'6" and my wrist to floor is 36".... (i have a 6'11 wing span in case you wonder)I'm probably going to go the lie change route... But I may have to add .5" which was the best setup I've ever had.
post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

i still don't think some of you are seeing my point.  i just measured my buddy's 5i.  it is 39" long from the base of the club to the tip.  i measured my 7i with the 1" extension: it is also 39" from the base of the club to the tip.  while i may be slumped over hitting a standard length 5i, that posture is the same at address when i hit the 7i that has a 1" extension since both clubs are exactly the same length.  the only argument that can be made about posture is that i need a straighter posture with the lower lofted clubs--and i assume that is exactly the reason why i am fitted +1", but logically i don't understand why that makes sense.  i was hoping someone can explain this to me.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post

A good fitter does more than take measurements. They observe your posture at address, the entire set up, your flexibility, ball flight, launch angle etc. Even though longer clubs can be tougher to hit consistently IMO it's just as difficult to make good contact if you're slumped over a too short club.

post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

i still don't think some of you are seeing my point.  i just measured my buddy's 5i.  it is 39" long from the base of the club to the tip.  i measured my 7i with the 1" extension: it is also 39" from the base of the club to the tip.  while i may be slumped over hitting a standard length 5i, that posture is the same at address when i hit the 7i that has a 1" extension since both clubs are exactly the same length.  the only argument that can be made about posture is that i need a straighter posture with the lower lofted clubs--and i assume that is exactly the reason why i am fitted +1", but logically i don't understand why that makes sense.  i was hoping someone can explain this to me.

 

Quote:

 

Don't you stand closer to the ball when you hit your 7 iron than you do when you hit your 5 iron?  And closer still when you hit your wedge?  As the clubs get shorter you stand closer to the ball and your posture doesn't change that much.  Or at least it shouldn't, I would think.

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

Don't you stand closer to the ball when you hit your 7 iron than you do when you hit your 5 iron?  And closer still when you hit your wedge?  As the clubs get shorter you stand closer to the ball and your posture doesn't change that much.  Or at least it shouldn't, I would think.

This.

 

Iacas started a really good thread on this, don't have time to link it right now.....

post #11 of 24

I don't think that really answers the question. The question is why is better to have a 38.5" 5 iron instead of a 37.5" 5 iron for this particular player.  He obviously can swing a 37.5" club (when he swings his 7 iron).  Obviously you might have to mess around with lie angles and the like to get everything to right but what would be wrong with swinging a 5 iron with what would normally be a 7 iron swing? Off the top of my head the AOA would be a bit steeper than normal for a 5 iron but I am not sure if that changes much.  The other thing is that his 9/PW/SW will be extra short relative to what the other guy is playing but we are talking like .5" at that point.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post

 

Don't you stand closer to the ball when you hit your 7 iron than you do when you hit your 5 iron?  And closer still when you hit your wedge?  As the clubs get shorter you stand closer to the ball and your posture doesn't change that much.  Or at least it shouldn't, I would think.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

i am 6'5" tall and have 1" extensions on my clubs. 

 

A couple of safety warnings from Golfworks on shaft extensions...

  • Don't extend a shaft by more than 1" in length (exception = putter shafts).
  • Don't extend a graphite shaft with a steel segment: It creates a shear point.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by x129 View Post

I don't think that really answers the question. The question is why is better to have a 38.5" 5 iron instead of a 37.5" 5 iron for this particular player.  He obviously can swing a 37.5" club (when he swings his 7 iron).  Obviously you might have to mess around with lie angles and the like to get everything to right but what would be wrong with swinging a 5 iron with what would normally be a 7 iron swing? Off the top of my head the AOA would be a bit steeper than normal for a 5 iron but I am not sure if that changes much.  The other thing is that his 9/PW/SW will be extra short relative to what the other guy is playing but we are talking like .5" at that point.

 

 


exactly.  you're the first person to understand the question i'm asking.  in addition to the points you made, someone fitted for a 1" extension could realistically just get a 9i/PW/SW extended by 1" and leave all of the others standard length.  it would just be a little odd since the 9i and the 7i, and the 8i/PW would be the same length.  like you said though, unless there is some profound explanation for why AOA at certain club lengths and loft is ideal for someone fitted at +1, it shouldn't affect anything adversely. 

 

still hoping someone can chime in and explain.

post #14 of 24

I'll throw something in.  The general idea is that you stand somewhat closer to the ball when using your 8i than you do when using your 5i so the length and lie of your clubs are designed accordingly, and your not awkwardly upright or hunched over when addressing the ball.

 

There are companies that make single length irons so your idea of having the 4i, 5i, 6i the same length isn't crazy. The lies on the clubs will have to be bent the same to help you make proper contact. You said that you have 1” extensions in the clubs, they probably came from the factory at D0 swing weight according to Ping's website. That means they are now about D6. If you remove the extensions from the 4i and 5i they will be back to D0. That's not a problem if your comfortable with it, lots of people like their clubs to get heavier and or stiffer as they get shorter.

The way club makers compensate for irons getting shorter through the set and keep the weight and feel the same is by manufacturing each head 7 grams heavier than the last, (ie. 6I 261 grams, 5i 254, and so on). So if your not comfortable with the SW jump than the clubs will have to have different amounts of weight added which in turn can affect the shaft flex, (again, not a problem if your comfortable with it). If you need the flex and SW matched to live with the irons than your club maker is going to have spend some time monkeying with the components to get it right. What you'll end up with is a seriously non-typical set of custom irons, and that could be cool, or not.

 

With all that said, if I were you I'd consider just seeing a teacher/coach and try to figure out why I wasn't hitting my 4i/5i right and work on my swing. Maybe consider swapping the i20 4i/5i for G20 irons or hybrids or whatever.

Just some thoughts.

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbwood View Post

I'll throw something in.  The general idea is that you stand somewhat closer to the ball when using your 8i than you do when using your 5i so the length and lie of your clubs are designed accordingly, and your not awkwardly upright or hunched over when addressing the ball.

 

There are companies that make single length irons so your idea of having the 4i, 5i, 6i the same length isn't crazy. The lies on the clubs will have to be bent the same to help you make proper contact. You said that you have 1” extensions in the clubs, they probably came from the factory at D0 swing weight according to Ping's website. That means they are now about D6. If you remove the extensions from the 4i and 5i they will be back to D0. That's not a problem if your comfortable with it, lots of people like their clubs to get heavier and or stiffer as they get shorter.

The way club makers compensate for irons getting shorter through the set and keep the weight and feel the same is by manufacturing each head 7 grams heavier than the last, (ie. 6I 261 grams, 5i 254, and so on). So if your not comfortable with the SW jump than the clubs will have to have different amounts of weight added which in turn can affect the shaft flex, (again, not a problem if your comfortable with it). If you need the flex and SW matched to live with the irons than your club maker is going to have spend some time monkeying with the components to get it right. What you'll end up with is a seriously non-typical set of custom irons, and that could be cool, or not.

 

With all that said, if I were you I'd consider just seeing a teacher/coach and try to figure out why I wasn't hitting my 4i/5i right and work on my swing. Maybe consider swapping the i20 4i/5i for G20 irons or hybrids or whatever.

Just some thoughts.

yeah, but that's still really not what i'm talking about.  if you hit a club from X distance away from the ball, why the heck does it matter what the loft of the club you hit is?  that's precisely the question that needs to be answered, because all sets of clubs get longer as you move up, so at every club length of a standard set, there will be a club at the same length in an extended set, just with a different loft.

 

i'm very surprised no one really knows the answer to this.  not a knock on you guys at all cause i don't know either, but i would have thought someone browsing this site was a fitter or teacher and could explain this phenomenon to us all.

post #16 of 24
I'm also 6'5" tall. My clubs are 1/2" long and 5 degrees upright. I used clubs off the rack for about 5 years before getting correctly fitted for clubs 10 years ago. I can't explain in technical terms why the clubs need to be longer, but I know they fit me and I hit them much better than the off the rack clubs.

I do understand why you are questioning the lengths. Especially as compared to the other clubs in your bag in comparison to regular length clubs. ie. your long 7i is the same length as you friends 5i. I think it really has to do with the distance you stand away from your ball with each club.
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffluck View Post

yeah, but that's still really not what i'm talking about.  if you hit a club from X distance away from the ball, why the heck does it matter what the loft of the club you hit is?  that's precisely the question that needs to be answered, because all sets of clubs get longer as you move up, so at every club length of a standard set, there will be a club at the same length in an extended set, just with a different loft.

 

i'm very surprised no one really knows the answer to this.  not a knock on you guys at all cause i don't know either, but i would have thought someone browsing this site was a fitter or teacher and could explain this phenomenon to us all.

It doesn't matter, that's the short answer.  It's the reason aficionados of the single length iron system are adamant that their idea is superior, or at least as good as.  For the rest of us, the reason the 5i is longer than the 9i is that the added shaft length helps us generate more club head speed and the lower loft helps us take advantage of that speed to hit the ball further.

Dave Tutelman goes into his experiments with a single length iron set at some length on his web site. tutelman.com It's a good read if you're into that kind off technical stuff.

post #18 of 24
Another reason for the length changes is to keep your distance gaps consistent. If you hit your 7 Iron 160 yards, the 6 should go 172-175, the 5 184-190. If you kept the 5 iron shorter your distance gap would drop to only 5-7 yards. No real point in having that club in the bag then. The longer club also have little more swing speed. Try hitting a wedge with a swing speed of a 5 iron. You'll end up with a lot of chunked and bladed shots.
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