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My Iron-Fitting Session

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Today I visited my local pro shop to get fitted for some new irons. I had in my mind either the 690.MB or, more likely, the 680. My current set is 3-PW, Titleist 962b. They're small, blade-like cavity-back cast clubs that are quite nice.

I warmed up hitting some balls in the dome while the pro observed my swing. I started out hitting a little fade, but then got a bit looser and got back to hitting my normal slight draw.

Then we went to the hitting bay with the launch monitor. I hit a few of my current 6Is. I hit about ten shots and discarced two (one heel, one toe). The good shots (i.e. center of clubface):

Launch: 21°
Spin: 5200rpm
Clubhead: 80 MPH
Ball Speed: 105 MPH

Supposedly the distance was about 150 yards, which isn't quite right. I get 175 out of my 6I quite comfortably. The other numbers looked OK.

I had previously hit the 690.CB, and found it hit the ball pretty high, so we didn't even bother and moved straight to the 690.MB. I hit a few shots with this and got:

Launch: 24°
Spin: 5300rpm
Clubhead: 80 MPH
Ball Speed: 110 MPH

3° higher! Eek! So the 680 seemed to be the right club - it should at least maintain my current height, which I've been working on bringing down. How a club with 32° loft hits the ball 24° is beyond me, but if the #s were off, I'm OK with that because they should still be comparable with the same launch monitor setup, and with that setup, the 690.MB hit the ball higher.

Anyway, next we moved on to length and lie. I hit about eight balls. The first was centered on the clubface. The next was a little lower and towards the heel, but I had crept a tad close to the ball. The rest of my shots with the impact tape were right on center. Standard length.

Last, we checked lie. I hit a few balls off of an impact board and we checked the tape - I was hitting pretty far back, not getting my hands ahead of the club, and a bit towards the toe. I forward pressed a little bit in my setup and began hitting good shots. A few shots crept towards the toe, but that's merely a matter of backing up an inch from the ball as I had to do before (on that lower heel shot - the club gets too upright.

So, in the end: standard length, standard lie. A few things I'm curious about :
  • The distance: why was it 25 yards off?
  • Launch angle: is it really ten degrees or so less than the loft of the club with a 6I?
  • Speed: I wonder if the speed(s) were right, and if I swing a 6I at 80 MPH, what my driver speed is. Last time I checked it was about 105, I think.

Anyway, there we go. We stuck with the same S300 shaft - he said I could go to an X, but my shot dispersion would change, and he's OK with the way I'm hitting these shafts. Going to an X I'd probably have the tendency to swing harder, anyway, and I don't want that.

My face angle was consistently square at impact, +/- 1°. My swing path was pretty consistently 2° +/- 2° from the inside. The azimuth was good nearly every time.

And that right there is my fitting story.

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Launch: 24°

The physics of golf can be really screwy can't they? With the more lofted clubs since you're hitting down on them, end up coming off at a lower angle than their stated loft. However, with your least lofted clubs(driver, metal woods) you're hitting at a higher angle than the loft of the club.

Just goes to show you the mechanics of a swing still trump equipment. Congrats on the new irons!!! I'm sure you're going to love them.

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I was most interested in the swing path things. I think, if set up properly, a launch monitor would provide better practice than hitting balls in a dome that's 80 yards long.

For $6k to $10k, I could honestly see - if I ever have that money to spare - picking one up for myself. They're that fun to hit. Then I'd probably try to find a way to spend another $5k to get a full on simulator so I could play in the winter.

24° just doesn't seem right, especially since I wasn't coming down on it too much. I tend to sweep the ball more than I should... Oh well. The distance was off a bit too. Who knows?

I still haven't seen a site that offers a relative comparison between 5I swing speed and driver swing speed.

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I was on the launch monitor tonight!

It seems you guys have the same ideas and club choices as im going threw in the search for the right forged irons I think im going to be the same 680's. Are the 670'sthe same size head as the 680's?

Look forward to hearing how they go?

TaylorMadeFan how are your 690's going and how long have you had them??

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The 670 is a slightly smaller blade than the 680, which is itself slightly smaller (heel to toe) than the 690.

I haven't hit the 680, but if you want that one you'll know it.

The relevant pieces from .com:

690.MB ( http://titleist.com/irons/details.asp?id=4 )
... modern high performance muscle back forged... slightly longer and deeper blade... lower muscle position... minimal progressive offset

In other words, they're the blades that try to play most like a cavity back. The low muscle gets the ball up, and the offset helps you hit the long irons without a massive slice. If you hit the ball low, or block it sometimes, but want a Titleist blade, these are for you.

680 ( http://titleist.com/irons/details.asp?id=5 )
... compact blade iron... shot workability and trajectory control... reduced offset... slightly higher muscle back... flat trajectory... narrow sole, moderate camber and bounce angle... players who like to pick the ball... shallow heel, classic toe profile

If you hit the ball too high, or don't have problems blocking to the right, these are the next step. They're smaller so they're a tad better through the rough, and they hit the ball lower. The bounce angle is often overlooked - your swing should match your irons, and these aren't friends with people who take big divots.

670 ( http://titleist.com/irons/details.asp?id=20 )
... compact blade... small blade, reduced, deep heel... flatter topline... slightly wider sole... more bounce and camber... players with... aggressive, steeper swing... excellent in softer conditions.. deep heel, round toe

The "divot-taking" version of the 680, some might say.

Most golf shops should have the 690.MB. Good luck finding the 680 or 670 to hit. If you like the 690.MB but hit the ball too high with them, go with the 680 or 670. Choose between those two based on your swing shape: "pick the ball" or "I like divots."

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Launch monitors are great! What kind of monitor was you using? I have the golf achiever cam, and theres adjustments that can be made, like coefficient restitution, inside light as opposed to outside, altitude, high or low swing speeds, etc. They could have missed one of the adjustments. Your club head speed as opposed to your ball speed works out correctly Did you try different brands of balls for spin specs? Using a formula that i have to compute distance, according to your ss and bs, your distance should have been 168 yards. Most of the swing speeds that i see are close to 20mph between driver and 5 iron. Thats just what i see and dont really think that there is a definate table for it. Its more of an individual thing.

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TaylorMadeFan how are your 690's going and how long have you had them??

I have been very very pleased with them so far, especially with the long irons, they've got a perfect ball flight and they're very nice in terms of feel and feedback.

I've got some spare cash right now, and I'm thinking about making a combo set between the 670 in PW-7 and 690 in 6-2. Also, I'm thinking about demoing the new J33B irons from Bridgestone, so we'll see what will happen.

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Launch monitors are great! What kind of monitor was you using? I have the golf achiever cam, and theres adjustments that can be made, like coefficient restitution, inside light as opposed to outside, altitude, high or low swing speeds, etc. They could have missed one of the adjustments.

Maybe. That's the same thing they had, yeah, the

GolfAchiever . The black mat thing on the front page, not the silver camera thingy. Maybe they missed some things... I dunno. I'd feel bad going back and asking to poke around in their software for the settings. [QUOTE=bobkin]Your club head speed as opposed to your ball speed works out correctly Did you try different brands of balls for spin specs?[/url] Was just hitting range balls, so no. I'm not concerned with spin - I can adjust that by changing balls (and I typically play lower-spin balls like the V1x due to my high trajectory). Launch angle was my main concern.
Using a formula that i have to compute distance, according to your ss and bs, your distance should have been 168 yards.

Which, with a range ball, I'll take from a 6I I suppose. Only 7 yards short from what I normally play. Thank you. Do you have that formula, and could you post it here? It would be interesting to see and to apply it to other things, and to perhaps tweak ball spin and whatnot for better launch conditions.

Most of the swing speeds that i see are close to 20mph between driver and 5 iron. Thats just what i see and dont really think that there is a definate table for it. Its more of an individual thing.

OK. If that's the general guideline, I'm happy with a 6I that was 25 MPH less than the last time I checked out my driver. Especially as I was swinging at about 80% or so (what I hope will become my normal swing).

Thanks bob! It's great to have someone who knows more about this around.

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Erik.....the good thing about your fitting, whether it was truly accurate or not is this.....you got to compare different irons against each other in the same setting! I used to have the achiever[with the matt] but switched to the achiever cam [the silver thingy] because its easier to transport. They're both very nice monitors. I use the formula-swing speed x 2.1=yardage. Ball speed divided by 1.41= swing speed. The only way that i know of for comparing spin, is to actually get on a monitor and compare different brands of balls to see what gives you optimal launch and spin rpm's. And yes...there can be quite a difference. Here is a chart link for driver specs that you might find interesting. http://www.golfachiever.com/support.html# . If i've left anything out, please let me know [pain medication this morning has me a bit foggy]. I truly enjoy this forum!

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The 670 is a slightly smaller blade than the 680, which is itself slightly smaller (heel to toe) than the 690.

Thank you so much for that info!

I have all the knowledge now to make the correct assesment on the right irons for me when I place my order next week. I can now focus on planning my next golf trip O/S. I may go to China or the states. Any Recomendations??? Happy Hitting

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I can now focus on planning my next golf trip O/S.

I can't speak about China off hand. However, if you decide to come here, I'm sure you'll get tons of reccomendations from any price point.

One place that jumps to the front of my mind is Bethpage State Park right outside of New York where for $40 you can play the black course which is my favorite course I've played, and was the site of the 2002 and 2009 US Opens. I'll argue that dollar for dollar, that's the best round of golf money can buy anywhere in the world. Another place I'd consider that's a bit closer to your coast would be Torrey Pines in San Diego, it's incredibly cheap if you know someone locally, but $200 to play a true championship PGA course isn't too bad. Las Vegas has some great courses, but unless you're Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch you're probably not going to have the $$$$ to play more than three rounds since a cheap tee time is hard to find.

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I think Texas has some of the most underrated courses in the nation. There are several championship courses here
  • Black Horse Golf Club a Peter Jacobsen design that's pretty fun.
  • Wildcat golf club is close to downtown Houston and has some fun elevation changes in an otherwise flat town.
  • Houston National is a great links style course about 20 min. outside of Houston.
  • Red Stone Golf Club hosts a PGA tournament and is kind of fun, but for the price, I'd rather play at Black Horse.

Hope that helps

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I have never heard of those courses in Houston.. however, I would have added TPC at Woodlands to the list. If you are in the San Antonio area, there are 2 La Cantera courses (probably the best in SA, in my opinion, they have the Valero Texas Open (PGA TOUR) there every year) and Quarry Golf Club looks great too but I've never played there. Austin, there's Teravista, Barton Creek, and the other good ones are private.

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