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Bucki1968

Technology does change the game

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5 hours ago, mvmac said:

I wouldn't go that far and even if they got a set off the rack they would still be able to shoot under par.

There really isn't that much difference between what the pros play and what you can buy, it's not like the material is any different. The biggest differences are in the customization. they have an unlimited budget so they can test a few combinations of shaft/head with their ball on Trackman and they can have 2 or 3 versions of the same club built and see which one works best (mostly for driver). There are fitters out there that will fit you as if you were a tour player, obviously costs more than your average fitting.

I'm getting a set of i200 irons and they are built the same as it would be for a tour player. The heads are coming from the same place, they match the swing weight to what I want, and digitally check the loft and lie. I check everything when I get it and I've never had a set of PING irons be off from what I ordered.

This is pretty much what I meant. . .

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I think the golf ball has more to do with the increase distance than the clubs. I realize that the manufacture's have decreased loft and increased the shaft length but balls are stupid longer than they used to be. I'm not trying to plug the Titleist PRO V, but I really do hit that ball 10-15 yards longer.

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3 hours ago, Bucki1968 said:

I think the golf ball has more to do with the increase distance than the clubs. I realize that the manufacture's have decreased loft and increased the shaft length but balls are stupid longer than they used to be. I'm not trying to plug the Titleist PRO V, but I really do hit that ball 10-15 yards longer.

What year do you think was the transition?

I ask because the Titleist professional 90 circa mid-1980s (according to a playing partner) seem to go the same distances for me as my usual ProV1x.

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On 2/16/2017 at 8:11 AM, Lihu said:

From what I've been told by a fitter friend, every single club is perfectly matched for their swings.

Exactly! According to Tom Wishon (noted club designer), there are 20+ things he can alter about your golf clubs that can affect their performance, and the average golfer probably wouldn't be able to "feel" many of them. We're talking swingweight, total weight of the club, shaft frequency matching, shaft spine alignment, shaft flex and flex profile, loft, lie, grip size and weight. It can all make a difference, especially to a pro. Some of those guys can be extremely picky! Why not? It's how they make a living.

Despite it's simple appearance, a golf club is a pretty complicated machine for the simple reason that it has to interact with a human being in motion.

Obviously, it would be beneficial to golfers like us to be custom fit like the pros. They have grooved swings to envy while we're the ones who need the most help. The big problem is that pros repping a club line get that stuff done for free while we have to pay! So, a guy will plunk down a Grand+ for a set of irons that may or may not really fit him!

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On 2/15/2017 at 11:56 AM, Piz said:

The golf ball appears to make more difference than the golf clubs.  I watched a guy, on Youtube, hitting 260+ drives with a modern ball and an 1880's era, wooden, play club.  With a modern driver he gained about 30 yards.  Not much improvement over a chunk of wood on the end of a stick.  The two most famous 1 irons, Nicklaus and Hogan, were struck using golf balls we would now label "restricted flight."

I'm not bagging on the test you saw on Youtube or what he was attempting to show, because I do think it's interesting, but there is just no good way to do it.  Clubs and balls have evolved together, so the modern ball works well with modern clubs.  But when you start mixing different eras like hitting a modern ball with a persimmon driver it doesn't really provide an accurate representation of the difference between wood and titanium clubs.  But it's not that he did it wrong...any comparison will run into similar issues.

A perfect example is the 1 irons you mentioned.  And yes, the balls Nicklaus and Hogan used were much shorter than current models, but the same reason why they were "restricted flight" is the same reason they were able to use a 1 iron in the first place...spin!  1 irons are extinct now and 2 irons are not far behind.  Why?

Certainly if almost every Tour player in the '50s, '60s, '70s and even '80s carried a 1 iron, a modern Tour player should have the skill to hit one, right?  But the reason manufacturers no longer make 1 irons and nobody carries them is because they simply do not work with the modern ball.  Balls back in the day spun about twice as much as the balls we use now, and that spin was needed to get a 1 iron in the air.  But like I mentioned earlier, clubs and balls evolved kind of hand-in-hand, and a lot of the changes happened after better methods of testing were developed.  Nobody knew what their spin rates were 30+ years ago...not even Tour pros.  They didn't even know how important the amount of spin was! But as computerized testing and analyzing methods became available a lot was learned about ball flight. Manufacturers realized the ball was very inefficient and the spin needed to be reduced, and club design had to change to accommodate that. TaylorMade developing the Rescue club isn't what killed long irons...they were already on the way out.  The Rescue is the club that was made to take their place. It all evolves together.

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On 2/16/2017 at 1:34 AM, Buckeyebowman said:

And this is not a criticism. What Ping did was completely sound physics and engineering! But the problem was how to sell it? Since most golfers don't really care to learn that much about physics, they sold it with the term COG, which most golfers could recognize.

Ping Eye2s are not considered cutting edge by today's standards, but I remember when they came out and back then they were completely different from anything else.  They were radical, very expensive and people either loved them or hated them.

I really believe another thing they did to emphasize the physics Buckeye is to make them ugly.  I'm not joking.  Think about it...back then irons were sleek blades that were chromed and made to be appealing. The Eye2s were none of those things...they didn't even try to make them look good!  But I think this was intentional.  People had to figure that a club that ugly and that expensive must have some engineering built in.  Even people who loved them thought they were ugly, so it's impressive that they were able to get consumers to look past that.  And what backs up this theory is the model that replaced the Eye2s (Ping Zing) was even uglier!  They actually pre-sold 5,000 sets sight-unseen...the reps hadn't even seen a picture of them!  It was "You can`t see it, we don`t know anything about it and we don`t know when you can get it.  How many do you want?"

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I think it is just the nature of golf --- it will always involve technology , from the advancement of gloves and clubs to golf ball.  Golf isn't baseball. The geat and technology are part of what makes it so fun!

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On 2/17/2017 at 10:59 PM, 1badbadger said:

I'm not bagging on the test you saw on Youtube or what he was attempting to show, because I do think it's interesting, but there is just no good way to do it.  Clubs and balls have evolved together, so the modern ball works well with modern clubs.  But when you start mixing different eras like hitting a modern ball with a persimmon driver it doesn't really provide an accurate representation of the difference between wood and titanium clubs.  But it's not that he did it wrong...any comparison will run into similar issues.

A perfect example is the 1 irons you mentioned.  And yes, the balls Nicklaus and Hogan used were much shorter than current models, but the same reason why they were "restricted flight" is the same reason they were able to use a 1 iron in the first place...spin!  1 irons are extinct now and 2 irons are not far behind.  Why?

Certainly if almost every Tour player in the '50s, '60s, '70s and even '80s carried a 1 iron, a modern Tour player should have the skill to hit one, right?  But the reason manufacturers no longer make 1 irons and nobody carries them is because they simply do not work with the modern ball.  Balls back in the day spun about twice as much as the balls we use now, and that spin was needed to get a 1 iron in the air.  But like I mentioned earlier, clubs and balls evolved kind of hand-in-hand, and a lot of the changes happened after better methods of testing were developed.  Nobody knew what their spin rates were 30+ years ago...not even Tour pros.  They didn't even know how important the amount of spin was! But as computerized testing and analyzing methods became available a lot was learned about ball flight. Manufacturers realized the ball was very inefficient and the spin needed to be reduced, and club design had to change to accommodate that. TaylorMade developing the Rescue club isn't what killed long irons...they were already on the way out.  The Rescue is the club that was made to take their place. It all evolves together.

This is a great point! Back when I started to play, all golf balls were "wound" balls. That is, there was a rubber core, either solid or liquid center (kind of like a Tootsie Roll Pop) around which was wound a long, thin, really stretchy rubber band kind of deal. Around that would be fused a balata cover! Remember balata? If you hit it thin, you would cut it! There goes another golf ball into the shag bag.

All the balls way back when had soft covers and were very "spinny". I suppose the first technological advancement for golf balls was the Surlyn cover, which supposedly, you could not cut! These were still fused onto a wound core. Then the first solid core balls were introduced. Then came ionomer, elastomere, and other cover materials. The amount of science that goes into golf equipment manufacturing these days is mind boggling!

Another great point is that nobody knew what their spin rate, launch angle or anything else was! Their were no launch monitors let alone Trackman! You took a bucket of balls out to the range and worked it through feel and observation.

We've come a long way from hickory shafts and featheries!

 

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23 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

This is a great point! Back when I started to play, all golf balls were "wound" balls. That is, there was a rubber core, either solid or liquid center (kind of like a Tootsie Roll Pop) around which was wound a long, thin, really stretchy rubber band kind of deal. Around that would be fused a balata cover! Remember balata? If you hit it thin, you would cut it! There goes another golf ball into the shag bag.

All the balls way back when had soft covers and were very "spinny". I suppose the first technological advancement for golf balls was the Surlyn cover, which supposedly, you could not cut! These were still fused onto a wound core. Then the first solid core balls were introduced. Then came ionomer, elastomere, and other cover materials. The amount of science that goes into golf equipment manufacturing these days is mind boggling!

Another great point is that nobody knew what their spin rate, launch angle or anything else was! Their were no launch monitors let alone Trackman! You took a bucket of balls out to the range and worked it through feel and observation.

We've come a long way from hickory shafts and featheries!

 

Something else a lot of people don't realize is back in the era of wound balls, they didn't specifically make 90 compression balls one day and 100 compression balls the next...they just made balls.  After they were made, they went through by hand and tested them for roundness and compression.  Balls that were closer to 90 compression went in one bin, balls closer to 100 went in another bin.  They would use a tool similar to this one:

accu-test-golf-ball-compression_1_f7cedac33fa85855fc114f2f73dfdf46.jpg.1a5cd257ac359e6f7c3b2f0dfe8b8b41.jpg

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On 2/15/2017 at 11:29 AM, klineka said:

I think technology has only played a minor impact in the game specifically regarding distances. One video that I remember with Peter Finch and Rick Shiels, they chose old drivers and still him them 275+ yards. I think newer designs certainly offer more forgiveness than older models and probably are easier for high handicappers to hit, but in terms of distance, I think this demonstrates that it is more about the person swinging the club than it is the actual club.

 

That's not old tech. This is old tech:

dsc_0795.thumb.jpg.d279f9444f9768e1fd3e320f9795cceb.jpg

The Big Bertha was part of the revolution with larger volume clubheads. The ball was also part of it with new materials and design starting in the 80's. The old balls spun a lot more than modern balls and it affected distance.

Here's an interesting, anecdotal comparison: http://0to300golf.blogspot.com/2013/03/persimmon-balata-v-titanium-pro-v1x.html

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On 2/15/2017 at 0:03 PM, Bryan Kasper said:

i don know that i would chalk that up to technology...its an iron. other than making it easier for the average player to keep distance on off center hits

That matters though in your average distance with each club because while pros have much tighter impact patterns on the clubface, they aren't perfect either so they still benefit from a certain amount of forgiveness too, particularly with longer clubs. The improvement in MOI and distance with 

I've seen somewhat unbiased comparisons put the difference in the range of 5 yards across several swings for a skilled golfer.

On 2/16/2017 at 6:37 PM, billchao said:

What improvements in iron technology are mostly about is increasing ball speed on off-center hits so you lose less distance when you miss the sweetspot, something pros generally aren't worried about.

It's also why modern blades aren't much different than older blades. Not really much to do with them other than change the shape of the head, amount of bounce, rounding the leading edge, etc. 

Modern irons have the same general shape as old pre-1980s blades, but they are still quite different. Design tech has advanced significantly with improvements in MOI and lower center of gravity that can even help the pros. They have an impact dispersion pattern too. It's much tighter, but they don't hit the exact center of the clubface on each swing. A couple yards here and there add up.

Edited by natureboy

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21 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

Something else a lot of people don't realize is back in the era of wound balls, they didn't specifically make 90 compression balls one day and 100 compression balls the next...they just made balls.  After they were made, they went through by hand and tested them for roundness and compression.  Balls that were closer to 90 compression went in one bin, balls closer to 100 went in another bin.  They would use a tool similar to this one:

accu-test-golf-ball-compression_1_f7cedac33fa85855fc114f2f73dfdf46.jpg.1a5cd257ac359e6f7c3b2f0dfe8b8b41.jpg

Yes! I remember reading an article about this. The ball manufacturers had no way to control the ball making process to the point where they could make a particular compression ball. They just made balls and figured out later what compression they were!

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The photos below illustrate some differences between a 1983 Ben Hogan radial 5 iron and a 2015 Mizuno JPX 850.

According to specs I found online, the stock Hogan sizes were no shorter than the Mizuno, but I have two Hogan 5 irons, both the same length and both .75" shorter than the Mizuno 5 iron. In fact, my Mizuno 6i is longer than the Hogan 5i's.

As far as lofts, the Hogans were supposedly much weaker. Just by eyeballing the two, that looks to be the case, but I can't tell how much. (I didn't take any pictures of the lofts)

The club heads of the Mizunos are giant compared to the '83 Radials, as are the top lines.

What I find interesting is how wide the center of the sole is on these old Hogan clubs when compared to the modern GI. I don't know very much about club head design, but I don't think this is/was typical of blades.

I'm not even going to try to BS my way through physics, but I can safely say that because the design tapers at the toe, you'll know it when you hit a toe shot on a 30° day with these clubs.

So here's a club that is 30 years older than a modern GI club. It has a much smaller head, a weaker loft, a shorter shaft and a very limited sweet spot. I average just below 100 on short courses and obviously am not a very good ball striker. 

Yet, I can hit these clubs - as long as my swing is on.

In terms of club length and loft, this Hogan 5i matches up closer to my 6i Mizuno. I can get every bit as much loft on my shots with this old club. As far as distance, I hit several shots this afternoon that reached my 6i distance of 150 yds and a couple that exceeded it by 10-15 yds. Along with those, I hit a couple less than 120 yds and at least one shank.

As others have said, the GI's are all about the off-center shots. On the Mizunos, there isn't that much of a difference in distance between a pured shot and one that feels horrible. On the Radials, it's night and day.

HoganVsMizuno.jpg

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Neat post, JonMA1! Interesting to see the difference in clubheads from various eras. I started playing about 50 years ago with Persimmon woods and forged irons, and they were all tiny compared to the "game improvement" clubs we have today.

But then a thought occurred to me. Are they really game improvement clubs, or "swing unimprovement" clubs! I started smacking balls around at 12 or 13 years old. My eyesight went South in the second grade, but I was still young and strong with better than average reflexes and hand/eye coordination. I was also pretty much self taught. And I learned to hit those little things! One thing I found was having all that mass concentrated behind the ball at impact would really make it fly! But if you mishit it, even a little, the feedback was immediate and pretty severe.

Are these modern clubs just teaching us to swing them any old way?

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6 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Are these modern clubs just teaching us to swing them any old way?

In my case, it wouldn't matter if I were swinging a shovel. On some days, my hand eye coordination isn't as much of an issue as it is my crappy swing. I can tell it's bad even with the GI's.

But I get your point and I think it's valid. Most of my practice this winter has been with those old blades.

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On 2/23/2017 at 6:37 PM, JonMA1 said:

The photos below illustrate some differences between a 1983 Ben Hogan radial 5 iron and a 2015 Mizuno JPX 850.

According to specs I found online, the stock Hogan sizes were no shorter than the Mizuno, but I have two Hogan 5 irons, both the same length and both .75" shorter than the Mizuno 5 iron. In fact, my Mizuno 6i is longer than the Hogan 5i's.

As far as lofts, the Hogans were supposedly much weaker. Just by eyeballing the two, that looks to be the case, but I can't tell how much. (I didn't take any pictures of the lofts)

The club heads of the Mizunos are giant compared to the '83 Radials, as are the top lines.

What I find interesting is how wide the center of the sole is on these old Hogan clubs when compared to the modern GI. I don't know very much about club head design, but I don't think this is/was typical of blades.

I'm not even going to try to BS my way through physics, but I can safely say that because the design tapers at the toe, you'll know it when you hit a toe shot on a 30° day with these clubs.

So here's a club that is 30 years older than a modern GI club. It has a much smaller head, a weaker loft, a shorter shaft and a very limited sweet spot. I average just below 100 on short courses and obviously am not a very good ball striker. 

Yet, I can hit these clubs - as long as my swing is on.

In terms of club length and loft, this Hogan 5i matches up closer to my 6i Mizuno. I can get every bit as much loft on my shots with this old club. As far as distance, I hit several shots this afternoon that reached my 6i distance of 150 yds and a couple that exceeded it by 10-15 yds. Along with those, I hit a couple less than 120 yds and at least one shank.

As others have said, the GI's are all about the off-center shots. On the Mizunos, there isn't that much of a difference in distance between a pured shot and one that feels horrible. On the Radials, it's night and day.

HoganVsMizuno.jpg

Do the Mizumos have graphite shaft or steel shafts?  If they are graphite that might explain the difference in length.  Have the Mizzys been regripped?

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1 hour ago, 1badbadger said:

Do the Mizumos have graphite shaft or steel shafts?  If they are graphite that might explain the difference in length.  Have the Mizzys been regripped?

They have steel shafts and have been regripped. Are you thinking those grips may have a little extra material beyond the shaft?

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1 hour ago, JonMA1 said:

They have steel shafts and have been regripped. Are you thinking those grips may have a little extra material beyond the shaft?

Yep. The picture you posted of the top of the grips to show the difference in length caught my eye...the blue grip on the Mizzy looks like it might not be on all the way or something like that.

58b12303b8365_bluegrip.PNG.a5b8642dc215e15b5c24c8586a1ee296.PNG

Are all the Mizuno irons that much longer than all the Hogan irons, or is each club a little different?  Or do you just have the 5 irons for the Radials and not the whole set?  You could also measure them like this to find out:

58b12406417df_clubmeasuring.jpg.650303e5bec88cc1ac2ebdd9e6ff1968.jpg

Should be 37 3/4". I'm curious on which one is not the stock length.

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