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SoundandFury

Effects of playing iron shafts that are too light

14 posts in this topic

I've been playing GS 95 (listed as ultra light) shafts in a set of MP-56/63's I picked up used.  Definitely have my share of thin and toe hits.  The other day I tried an MP-54 with a KBS Tour S shaft, and although my club head speed was down by a few mph, I gained about 7-10 yards consistently.  For reference my 6i swing speed with the GS 95's is about 85-88, and with the KBS' about 80-83

Is there an correlation between playing super light shafts and missing the middle of the club face? Shots definitely felt more flush with the heavier shaft.

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Yes, lighter clubs can be set offline easier. Swing a heavy hammer versus a light one. Once you get a heavy one going it will travel on the course your set if on. A player should play as heavy as clubs they can with out too much detriment to their distance.
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So how would you know if the club is to heavy?

Trackman or equal club fitting can help where you compare numbers, see if you loose any significant distance. I think most people can handle heavier clubs. Ping eye 2, one of the most popular and successful clubs ever came with heavy x-stiff shafts. These clubs were used by a multitude of golfers, pros to high handicappers.

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I don't believe there's anything that can be stated as a "rule" about weight of shaft - a lot is going to come down to personal preference.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but whilst the GS95 is ultralight steel - isn't it only mid-weight compared to graphite shafts that are increasingly being touted for irons?

Tom Wishon recommends adding experimental lead tape in increments and using impact tape, or a marker pen, to see if (and how much) added headweight yields the most consistent impact.

Ping Eye 2s had stiff, but light in weight by the standards of the day, stock shafts. ZZ lite - geddit?

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So how would you know if the club is to heavy?

I would think you can figure it out just by distance gain/loss.  Like mentioned above, my SS went down a few mph with the KBS' (120 g) compared to the GS 95 (90 g) but my distance actually went us since I was hitting it on the screws.  I guess you just try heavier and heavier until you notice a loss of distance.  Sort of like playing a shorter driver shaft.

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Yes - but there's always the possibility that the GS95 is the "right" shaft for you - but you need a swingweight adjustment to make better contact.

Just out of curiousity - the Hogan Apex was the first lightweight steel shaft (maybe about 115g?), and Hogan made their irons a 1/2" longer as a result. Did you compare the lengths of the clubs you were testing?

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Fitting helps.  My fitter put me in Nippon 950GH stiff shafts.  It was either that or KBS Tour 90 stiff.  He said it helped my swing speed.  I only average about 80 for the 6 iron and I am 54 in March.

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It can help swing speed, I would rather see people get in shape rather than ditch to lighter clubs. Just overall health benefits. Weight really doesn't increase that much swing speed. There is a more likely chance of off center hits.

Ball speed = Club Head speed x Smash Factor

Smash Factor is a How elastic the collision is (COR) times the ratio of the obliqueness of the strike (how much spin loft) and the mass ratio of the ball to club.

If you swing a heavier club head then you get a higher smash factor. Still, if you have the same club head, but then have a lighter club shaft. Lets say going from 120 grams to 90 grams. You are talking about 1/16th a lb, or 1 oz of weight. I am skeptical if it can effect swing speed all that much. I think it effects timing more which then effects swing speed. A person isn't going to see an increase because of lighter weight, more of better timing and quality of strike due to the weight being fitted for them.

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That makes a ton of sense.

I prefer heavier shafts and have seen a lot people who overswing benefit from the same.  The body and brain develop under gravity's pull and thus respond to gravity and centrifugal force.  So many movements don't make it anywhere close to conscious control so it's logical to suggest the brain is computing many things without us realizing it.  Much of that computation has to do with the intent (goal) and the weight of the implement.

In my experience it's much easier to toss a golf ball to a target than a ping pong ball.

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I really think graphite iron shafts are on the way even for the tour guys, now a days u can buy a driver, 3 wood or hybrid in steel, it just takes one or two of the big guns to start the trend, we thought blades were gone until Woods put them back in fashion, best thing that ever happened for mizuno
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I was looking at my irons and the shafts are (AWT ping shafts) 109g. Would it be a noticeable change to go to dynamic gold S300 which are 130g?

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Yes, lighter clubs can be set offline easier. Swing a heavy hammer versus a light one. Once you get a heavy one going it will travel on the course your set if on. A player should play as heavy as clubs they can with out too much detriment to their distance.

I think this is causing me problems at the moment as I have graphite shafts. My clubs just don't feel as heavy as maybe they should.

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