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Where to make contact on irons and how?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

I have become lost trying to figure this out. Where and how am I supposed to make contact with an iron. When I use impact tape my ball mark is at the very bottom of the club face, almost on the leading edge and nothing on what I would consider the sweet spot. After doing research I have found a lot of contradicting information. It appears I should make contact with the iron club face somewhere around the 2nd groove give or take a little. Looking at my iron my brain cannot seem to comprehend how this happens without what I perceive as scooping, hitting the ground before the ball.  

 

So I was hoping I could pick the brains of some solid iron players here. What are you thinking about when you hit an iron? Where are you aiming to have the leading edge of the club to be at impact in relation to the ball? Any swing thoughts that you remember being like an aha moment for your iron striking? 

post #2 of 35

Have you seen these pics?  When I saw it, it made me realize that better players hit lower on the face than I would have thought.

 

 

 

I believe the only way to do this properly when the ball is sitting on the ground, is to hit with a descending blow and forward shaft lean.

post #3 of 35

Part of this depends on the clubhead design.

 

I play X20 Tours through 4i -  PW, and then pick up with Cleveland CG14 wedges.

 

For the X20 Tours, a solid shot is about the second groove, although not always on horizontal dead center. For the CG14s, the solid shots last season often started about the fourth groove.

 

The CG14 impact point may have been because - on partial wedges - I had been addressing the ball pretty well straight up to try for more loft and spin on the ball. This spring, I've gone to hitting down slightly (forward lean shaft) on my wedges, and it seems to make the distance more reliable. I'm not sure where the wedge impacts are for hitting down more.

post #4 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post

 

 

 

 

i cant even begin to imagine the consistency needed to hit the ball that precisely...

post #5 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post
 

Have you seen these pics?  When I saw it, it made me realize that better players hit lower on the face than I would have thought.

 

 

I did see that thread. It was the most useful thing I found on google when researching this last night. It had been bumped a couple of times and is old so didn't want to post there. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

Part of this depends on the clubhead design.

 

I play X20 Tours through 4i -  PW, and then pick up with Cleveland CG14 wedges.

 

For the X20 Tours, a solid shot is about the second groove, although not always on horizontal dead center. For the CG14s, the solid shots last season often started about the fourth groove.

 

The CG14 impact point may have been because - on partial wedges - I had been addressing the ball pretty well straight up to try for more loft and spin on the ball. This spring, I've gone to hitting down slightly (forward lean shaft) on my wedges, and it seems to make the distance more reliable. I'm not sure where the wedge impacts are for hitting down more.

 

So how do you hit the 4th groove of an iron as the contact point? The only way I could imagine doing it without the club face coming in almost pointing to the ground would be having the club contact the ground first to dig in between the ball and the turf enough to have the ball at the 2nd or the 4th groove lined up to the ball. But I always thought this was the definition of scooping an iron(making contact with the ground before the ball.) Even in the pictures above the leading edge and first groove or just below has to be somewhere under the ball when contact is made, right? So is it just aiming the leading edge into the crease between the ball and the ground? 
 

post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatwoodtigerdo View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post
 

Have you seen these pics?  When I saw it, it made me realize that better players hit lower on the face than I would have thought.

 

 

I did see that thread. It was the most useful thing I found on google when researching this last night. It had been bumped a couple of times and is old so didn't want to post there. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

Part of this depends on the clubhead design.

 

I play X20 Tours through 4i -  PW, and then pick up with Cleveland CG14 wedges.

 

For the X20 Tours, a solid shot is about the second groove, although not always on horizontal dead center. For the CG14s, the solid shots last season often started about the fourth groove.

 

The CG14 impact point may have been because - on partial wedges - I had been addressing the ball pretty well straight up to try for more loft and spin on the ball. This spring, I've gone to hitting down slightly (forward lean shaft) on my wedges, and it seems to make the distance more reliable. I'm not sure where the wedge impacts are for hitting down more.

 

So how do you hit the 4th groove of an iron as the contact point? The only way I could imagine doing it without the club face coming in almost pointing to the ground would be having the club contact the ground first to dig in between the ball and the turf enough to have the ball at the 2nd or the 4th groove lined up to the ball. But I always thought this was the definition of scooping an iron(making contact with the ground before the ball.) Even in the pictures above the leading edge and first groove or just below has to be somewhere under the ball when contact is made, right? So is it just aiming the leading edge into the crease between the ball and the ground? 
 

 

I think your are on the right track with this.  I also think that it is probably ok to start brushing the grass with the leading edge under the ball.  The leading edge would still be descending and not actually dig into the turf until after the ball.

 

Also take a look at super slo motion videos of impact with irons.  You should be able to find some on Youtube.

post #7 of 35

Right, wrong or upside down, my dad showed me a way to find the sweet spot on an iron.  Hold the club loosely with 2 fingers and high enough to see the face clearly.  Use your index finger to 'poke around' the face.  You'll see the blade torque and slightly rotate until you are poking it right in the sweet spot.  When you've found the sweet spot with a few finger pokes, the club will be going straight away from you like a pendulum. You've likely found the sweet spot on that iron.

 

What I always find is that the sweet spot is LOWER on the face than you'd think and usually a bit closer to the hozel as well.  It's usually not high(er) on the club face an toward the toe, I can tell you that for sure.

 

dave

post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave s View Post
 

Right, wrong or upside down, my dad showed me a way to find the sweet spot on an iron.  Hold the club loosely with 2 fingers and high enough to see the face clearly.  Use your index finger to 'poke around' the face.  You'll see the blade torque and slightly rotate until you are poking it right in the sweet spot.  When you've found the sweet spot with a few finger pokes, the club will be going straight away from you like a pendulum. You've likely found the sweet spot on that iron.

 

What I always find is that the sweet spot is LOWER on the face than you'd think and usually a bit closer to the hozel as well.  It's usually not high(er) on the club face an toward the toe, I can tell you that for sure.

 

dave


My old coach (who is a good club fitter) showed me the same thing. It was really surprising how close to the heel the sweet spot is on all clubs, even the SGI/GI clubs.

 

I think the only difference is that the SGI/GI clubs have such a hot face that a half inch off the sweet spot still gives you decent distance so you can't really feel the mishit, because the energy of the swing still gets transferred to the ball.

 

I would like to hear more on this subject and why the SGI clubs work the way they do (Other than the advertisements, that is.)

post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by 14ledo81 View Post

 

 

I believe the only way to do this properly when the ball is sitting on the ground, is to hit with a descending blow and forward shaft lean.

 

Key #3!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by whatwoodtigerdo View Post
 

So is it just aiming the leading edge into the crease between the ball and the ground? 

 

 

It's about making impact look similar to the pics above.

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post


My old coach (who is a good club fitter) showed me the same thing. It was really surprising how close to the heel the sweet spot is on all clubs, even the SGI/GI clubs.

I think the only difference is that the SGI/GI clubs have such a hot face that a half inch off the sweet spot still gives you decent distance so you can't really feel the mishit, because the energy of the swing still gets transferred to the ball.

I would like to hear more on this subject and why the SGI clubs work the way they do (Other than the advertisements, that is.)
As I understand it, GI and SGI clubs work through perimeter weighting.

By scooping out the mass behind the center of the clubface (this would be the cavity), it can be redistributed towards the perimeter of the club, which results in a couple of things:

1. Greater MOI, which increases forgiveness by reducing the amount of torque exerted on a club on a strike away from the sweetspot.

2. Makes the face "springy-er." Less material behind it. I think this is that "hot face" sensation, but I'm pretty sure the extra distance is due to the MOI.

3. Allows clubmakers to lower the CoG, which launches the ball higher.
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post


As I understand it, GI and SGI clubs work through perimeter weighting.

By scooping out the mass behind the center of the clubface (this would be the cavity), it can be redistributed towards the perimeter of the club, which results in a couple of things:

1. Greater MOI, which increases forgiveness by reducing the amount of torque exerted on a club on a strike away from the sweetspot.

2. Makes the face "springy-er." Less material behind it. I think this is that "hot face" sensation, but I'm pretty sure the extra distance is due to the MOI.

3. Allows clubmakers to lower the CoG, which launches the ball higher.

 

The thing that I found confusing is that the test I do seems to indicate that the sweet spot is still near the heel on my SGI clubs. Half an inch out, and I can still feel some torque which indicates that it should not be a perfect hit at that spot.

 

So, I wonder if there is some dynamics going on that this method of finding the sweet spot does not take into account?

post #12 of 35

mvmac got it.


The important thing is to hit the ball first, with the hands in front of the clubhead. This will creat a downward strike on the ball. If you want to achieve this, the impact will have to be on the lower part of the clubhead. Any higher up, and you will be close to touching the grass or ground behind the ball before the ball itself.

 

Looking at impact pattern can be useful, but personally, I find the feeling through impact to be a better indication. I can hit the ball right where Tiger hits it, but still have a terrible strike. Typically if the clubhead bottoms out at, or even behind the ball. You'll hit the ball low on the face and won't hit the ground, but it's a thin hit and won't be as solid as a hit where the hands lead the clubface.


 

How you achieve this position is another story and there is no one way that works for everyone. Getting some of the elusive lag is a good start.

post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lihu View Post

The thing that I found confusing is that the test I do seems to indicate that the sweet spot is still near the heel on my SGI clubs. Half an inch out, and I can still feel some torque which indicates that it should not be a perfect hit at that spot.

So, I wonder if there is some dynamics going on that this method of finding the sweet spot does not take into account?
Well technically, the sweetspot is a point in 3D space, so I'm not exactly certain how that test can find it to begin with, but if you consider that you're really just holding the club and poking it, aren't you introducing a lot of variables that would put the validity of the test in question?

The other thing I'm thinking is (PURELY speculative on my part, I have absolutely no evidence to back this up), with less mass behind the "sweetspot" of the club, wouldn't it make the club less efficient at it's sweetspot, versus the sweetspot of a muscleback? Basically, the GI or SGI club is easier to hit, but a blade is better at energy transfer on a pure strike?
post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

Well technically, the sweetspot is a point in 3D space, so I'm not exactly certain how that test can find it to begin with, but if you consider that you're really just holding the club and poking it, aren't you introducing a lot of variables that would put the validity of the test in question?

The other thing I'm thinking is (PURELY speculative on my part, I have absolutely no evidence to back this up), with less mass behind the "sweetspot" of the club, wouldn't it make the club less efficient at it's sweetspot, versus the sweetspot of a muscleback? Basically, the GI or SGI club is easier to hit, but a blade is better at energy transfer on a pure strike?

Correct. There's been testing that shows that a ball hit dead center with a blade or muscle back can go farther than an SGI.
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by colin007 View Post

Correct. There's been testing that shows that a ball hit dead center with a blade or muscle back can go farther than an SGI.
That would only happen if they had equal lofts, which is usually not the case. Many muscle backs have more traditional lofts compared to GI and SGI irons, since a big selling point in GI and SGI irons is often how far they go.
post #16 of 35

I used to think hitting an iron properly was to always pinch the ball between the club and the ground, which generally meant taking a divot.  The more I play the more this doesn't appear to be the case.  Taking a divot is fine because as long as you hit the ball first you should still be OK but simply brushing the grass and hitting the ball low on the clubface also seems fine.

 

Maybe a bunch of people will say "Well, duh." but to me it wasn't always so obvious.  :-D

post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strandly View Post

I used to think hitting an iron properly was to always pinch the ball between the club and the ground, which generally meant taking a divot.  The more I play the more this doesn't appear to be the case.  Taking a divot is fine because as long as you hit the ball first you should still be OK but simply brushing the grass and hitting the ball low on the clubface also seems fine.

Maybe a bunch of people will say "Well, duh." but to me it wasn't always so obvious.  a3_biggrin.gif

One of the people working at a local driving range says "Deep divots are so 70s."
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pretzel View Post


That would only happen if they had equal lofts, which is usually not the case. Many muscle backs have more traditional lofts compared to GI and SGI irons, since a big selling point in GI and SGI irons is often how far they go.

 

of course.  goes without saying.

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