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Iron sets with low bounce

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I understand the concept of bounce as it applies to wedges, and why you need less or more bounce depending on the conditions you play in (fluffy sand, etc.).

 

However, my question applies to iron sets, normally 4 to pitching wedge. More specifically, game improvement iron sets.

 

I have recently found that some iron sets have very high bounce numbers (such as Callaway Razr X, where a 4 iron has 3 degrees and 7 iron has 5 degrees) and some iron sets have very low bounce numbers (such as Mizuno JPX 825, where 4 iron has -1.5 degrees and 7 iron has 1 degree). They are both supposed to be game improvement irons, so I would assume their bounce numbers would be similar.

 

Could someone explain why this difference? What kind of player would benefit from one or the other?

 

I would understand lower bounce numbers in players irons, but in this case both models I mentioned are game improvement irons.

 

Thanks in advance for your comments

post #2 of 5

The way some companies measure bounce isn't always consistent. I have seen wedges with lots of camber, or a rounded sole from front to back, yet with low bounce numbers. However, if you laid into that wedge and hit down, it would play more effective bounce than a flat one with the same number. But because of the camber, you could lean the handle back without exposing too much bounce either.

 

There are also some sets with a blunt, or "killed" leading edge, which is effectively a mini bounce surface, yet if the center of the sole is measured it's not taken into account. If you had a narrow high bounce wedge and a wide soled, low bounce wedge, they'd both have similar effective bounce. It's a tricky sort of specification and can hardly be explained in a single number. But it matters more on wedges where it affects the leading edge height, and the head is played from a wider range of angles.

 

The Mizunos seem to have a lot of heel relief, meant to be played opened slightly perhaps; some sets have soles designed to sit open or closed on the ground throughout the set? That would explain the large variation in the set.They might have also measured the bounce as an average of the whole sole instead of the average of the flat part, which made the number appear lower than the effective playing number.

 

The Callaways seem to have relief under the leading edge, so they play like high bounce irons. But they might play a lot different if you opened them a bit or leaned the handle back. If they measured just that front part rather than averaging the whole sole, it would yield a higher number.

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

The way some companies measure bounce isn't always consistent. I have seen wedges with lots of camber, or a rounded sole from front to back, yet with low bounce numbers. However, if you laid into that wedge and hit down, it would play more effective bounce than a flat one with the same number. But because of the camber, you could lean the handle back without exposing too much bounce either.

 

Lucius points out some of the factors of rated bounce (measured) vs. effective bounce (how club interacts with turf). Ralph Maltby explains this in a segment on wedges, and you also could apply it also to iron sets.

http://www.ralphmaltby.com/50

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

The Ralph Maltby article is excellent. I understand better now. Thanks.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

I asked the same question to Mizuno, and this is their response:

 

"Thank you for contacting Mizuno USA.  The reason that the JPX 825 irons have very little bounce is due to the width of the sole.  Typically, the wider the sole, the lower the bounce will be.  This particularly applies to the long irons.  On a wide-soled iron, if you have too much bounce, then the iron would have a chance of literally bouncing off of the turf at impact.  This would be magnified on firmer conditions.  On our MP irons, the bounce is a little higher because the sole widths are much thinner, and are designed to interact with the turf cleaner at impact."

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