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xrayvizhen

Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

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1 hour ago, klineka said:

I know the 5 iron is 23 degrees on the S.H. XR. My statement is still correct. The 6 iron loft on the S.H. XR is 26 degrees. I was not trying to compare 5 iron to 5 iron, I was comparing 26 degree lofted club to 26 degree lofted club to point out that the difference is in the number stamped on the bottom of the club.

That's not how iron designs work. They don't just stamp a 6 on a club with a 5I loft and say, "This year's irons are 10 yards longer!"

Lofts have come down because changes to design in the heads like CoG position have caused the clubs to launch the ball higher. In order to achieve the ideal launch angle, they strengthened the lofts to bring it down.

A 7I today is still a 7I, despite it having stronger lofts and hitting the ball farther than a 7I from 20 years ago, because it's still launching the ball at 17° and hitting a 30 yard apex.

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The biggest difference is in the lofts.    Have your clubs bent and then try them, the design is still a favorite.     They have made some changes but an Iron is still basically the same thing.   Marketing says buy new ones,    Whatever you do enjoy the game.

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I had my fitting session with Tim Mosel of Denville, NJ yesterday and the amount of information I received is staggering. I'm trying to digest it all but it was a very, very interesting experience. Without going into a long drawn out narrative, Tim is going to make up a customized "test club", a 6 iron based on my swing characteristics and the numbers generated by his computer simulator, that I'm going to pick up next week and use for as long as I need to see how it works compared to my current 6 iron. Bottom line relative to my originally posted question is, as several other posters surmised, it's not at all cost effective to optimize my current X-14s, mostly due to the bore through hosel design which makes shaft replacement extra labor intensive. The good news though is my driver and 3W are already perfectly matched to my swing.

I'm sorting through all the data and recommendations. It's a process that will probably continue through the fall and winter at which point I'll make some kind of decision then. Tim is a Tom Wishon certified fitter, so I'll certainly give strong consideration to those clubs and get a set of irons matched to me, especially since the cost of a set of Wishon's is actually somewhat less than an off the shelf set of Callaway's.

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Xray, first thing is that cost is not a factor.   Sure, Callaway and the other big time mfgrs. spend a lot of Money to convince you they are better, but are they?   is new always better?   sure it makes people feel good to have new, but is it really better.    They have jacked the lofts to go farther, but you usually can jack the lofts on what you have and are used to.    Shafts can be changed, lengthened if you want them longer, or whatever.   If you like what you have why not bring them up to std.today.     I have a few sets of new and some old and they are all good.   The only difference  is I am older and slower and need some help so I play with a set of Wilsons that suit what I can do.    The decision is yours, bring what you like up, or get a pretty looking new set.   It would amaze you how many really good Golfers and Tour Pros are using older stuff because they like it and are used to it.

Whatever you do like what you play with and enjoy the game.   By the way, you have a fine combo. in your bag, especially the Burner and Irons.

joro

 

 

 

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On 10/16/2017 at 10:11 AM, 1badbadger said:

One thing that is easier said than done is to leave the ego at home when you play.  Who cares if you are hitting longer clubs into the green than your buddies? 

Yay to this! I know my HI is high...But it is getting better slowly BECAUSE I quit trying to hit certain clubs the distances I once did. If I hit my 4 DLR 150 yds, up by the pin, no one ribs me about the club I used to do that. -Marv

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17 hours ago, joro said:

......Sure, Callaway and the other big time mfgrs. spend a lot of Money to convince you they are better, but are they?   is new always better? 

 

I've been asking myself the exact same question a lot over the past several weeks. As I've been lurking about a few golf forums, visiting the superstores in the area (PGA & Golf Galaxy) asking questions and trying out clubs, I've come to the realization that the manufacturers, in their effort to sell clubs to the same people over and over again, have been screwing around with the lofts to make 7 irons go the same distances 5 irons were going 20 years ago, So I've been thinking long and hard about this, thus my original idea to just re-shaft my X-14's from 2001 to be more in sync with my swing which is not as strong as it was in 2001. But if new shafts & grips are going to cost 80-90% of what a new set of irons is going to cost then it probably pays to go with new, or possibly a set from 2 or 3 years ago that someone else traded in, just as long as the specs of whatever I get are in line with the results the fitting generated.

We'll see. One thing I've learned over the years is to not rush. It's the end of the season, I'm playing fine with what I have and there's no real reason to do anything right this moment other than the experiment with the fitter that I'm doing now.

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7 minutes ago, xrayvizhen said:

So I've been thinking long and hard about this, thus my original idea to just re-shaft my X-14's from 2001 to be more in sync with my swing which is not as strong as it was in 2001. But if new shafts & grips are going to cost 80-90% of what a new set of irons is going to cost then it probably pays to go with new, or possibly a set from 2 or 3 years ago that someone else traded in, just as long as the specs of whatever I get are in line with the results the fitting generated.

Good thinking, I think. Also consider the Maltby Playability Factor of existing and new/used clubs. I believe your X-14's are pretty high up on that scale? Ultra Game Improvement? -Best, Marv

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1 hour ago, xrayvizhen said:

I've been asking myself the exact same question a lot over the past several weeks. As I've been lurking about a few golf forums, visiting the superstores in the area (PGA & Golf Galaxy) asking questions and trying out clubs, I've come to the realization that the manufacturers, in their effort to sell clubs to the same people over and over again, have been screwing around with the lofts to make 7 irons go the same distances 5 irons were going 20 years ago, So I've been thinking long and hard about this, thus my original idea to just re-shaft my X-14's from 2001 to be more in sync with my swing which is not as strong as it was in 2001. But if new shafts & grips are going to cost 80-90% of what a new set of irons is going to cost then it probably pays to go with new, or possibly a set from 2 or 3 years ago that someone else traded in, just as long as the specs of whatever I get are in line with the results the fitting generated.

We'll see. One thing I've learned over the years is to not rush. It's the end of the season, I'm playing fine with what I have and there's no real reason to do anything right this moment other than the experiment with the fitter that I'm doing now.

 

Xray, there is also another solution.    But first we say we can just adjust to the loft and not the number, like hitting the Six when the shot calls for todays Seven.    But that will not work although we all say it it is hard to do cause the number is still an ego hurting Six.   There was talk at one time of mfgrs. putting the loft on the club rather than a number but I don't know where that idea went.   The real answer to it all is to get into a used set that has the modern lofts.    I recently bought a set of Callaways for around 300 that had the shafts, lengths and lies I wanted from Callaway Pre Owned.    They were 3 yrs old and in like new condition.    There is no reason to spend the bucks on a rebuild when you can buy any brand with the specs you want and not have to go through all hassle and expense.     Good Luck in whatever you do, but think about it, you don't have to go new for the big bucks when you can go a couple of yrs old for a fraction of the price.  

like whatever you do and enjoy the game

Joro

 

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1 hour ago, MarvChamp said:

Good thinking, I think. Also consider the Maltby Playability Factor of existing and new/used clubs. I believe your X-14's are pretty high up on that scale? Ultra Game Improvement? -Best, Marv

 

Mark, I think the X14s are a couple of years later than 2001 and they are okay, although as the models went on they got better and I understand the X18s were really good.    Personally of the older ones I still have my 2002 GBBs  which I got when I was on the staff.    An engineer told me just a couple of years ago that they were on of the best Irons they ever made.   That of course was before the CF15s which were made using a modified version of the 2002s.    They were easy to hit, very accurate, and played like hybrid without a back.     I had tried all of them at the time and chose the BBs because they almost hit themselves.     I had the 85 gr. RCH Graphite which was one the great Graphite Iron shafts ever.

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16 hours ago, joro said:

 

Xray, there is also another solution.    But first we say we can just adjust to the loft and not the number, like hitting the Six when the shot calls for todays Seven.    But that will not work although we all say it it is hard to do cause the number is still an ego hurting Six.   There was talk at one time of mfgrs. putting the loft on the club rather than a number but I don't know where that idea went.  

Joro

 

The new Hogan irons were stamped with the loft instead of an iron number.  It didn't go over well...

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23 hours ago, xrayvizhen said:

I've come to the realization that the manufacturers, in their effort to sell clubs to the same people over and over again, have been screwing around with the lofts to make 7 irons go the same distances 5 irons were going 20 years ago

If I had a dollar for every time I've had to post this, I could afford a new set of irons myself ;-)

Please see this:

On 10/16/2017 at 11:27 AM, billchao said:

That's not how iron designs work. They don't just stamp a 6 on a club with a 5I loft and say, "This year's irons are 10 yards longer!"

Lofts have come down because changes to design in the heads like CoG position have caused the clubs to launch the ball higher. In order to achieve the ideal launch angle, they strengthened the lofts to bring it down.

A 7I today is still a 7I, despite it having stronger lofts and hitting the ball farther than a 7I from 20 years ago, because it's still launching the ball at 17° and hitting a 30 yard apex.

This is why you see big differences in lofts from GI clubs but blades are largely the same, because true blades don't have those design elements.

5 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

The new Hogan irons were stamped with the loft instead of an iron number.  It didn't go over well...

00532645__1.jpg.882fac1a145bc471ce723048a8424e79.jpg

A large part of their failure is lack of exposure, IMO. In order to get a good idea of what lofts suit your game without just assuming, you needed to get fit, and they just weren't available at many retailers.

That, and lots of people don't bother with clubfittings for one reason or another.

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8 hours ago, billchao said:
  On 10/16/2017 at 11:27 AM, billchao said:

That's not how iron designs work. They don't just stamp a 6 on a club with a 5I loft and say, "This year's irons are 10 yards longer!"

Lofts have come down because changes to design in the heads like CoG position have caused the clubs to launch the ball higher. In order to achieve the ideal launch angle, they strengthened the lofts to bring it down.

A 7I today is still a 7I, despite it having stronger lofts and hitting the ball farther than a 7I from 20 years ago, because it's still launching the ball at 17° and hitting a 30 yard apex.

I'm the new guy here on this forum, so I imagine this debate has been going on for awhile so I'll just respectfully respond to this by giving my opinion on the matter: Bull-feathers!

There are four things that determine the distance you hit a golf ball; the loft angle on the clubhead, the length of the club, the speed of your swing, and how close to the center sweet spot you connect with the ball. Everything else, IMO, is marketing BS. But as I said at the very beginning of this thread, my swing is not the same as it was 16 years ago when I got my X-14's so I'll be buying something. What that something is at this point I'm still not 100% certain.

 

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24 minutes ago, xrayvizhen said:

There are four things that determine the distance you hit a golf ball; the loft angle on the clubhead, the length of the club, the speed of your swing, and how close to the center sweet spot you connect with the ball. Everything else, IMO, is marketing BS

I think if you search for how center of gravity with clubs work, you might change your mind on whether that concept is marketing BS.

I have a low opinion of marketing people’s ability to understand science and likely they bungle up what is really going on. But that doesn’t mean CoG is bull-feathers. Jmho

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28 minutes ago, xrayvizhen said:

I'm the new guy here on this forum, so I imagine this debate has been going on for awhile so I'll just respectfully respond to this by giving my opinion on the matter: Bull-feathers!

I do a lot of research on golf clubs simply because I write reviews here, so I'll just start by saying I probably know more about them than most people would care to know. Hell, I'm not sure I would care to know if I didn't write about them. I'm not an expert by any means, but I like to think I know a thing or two.

31 minutes ago, xrayvizhen said:

There are four things that determine the distance you hit a golf ball; the loft angle on the clubhead, the length of the club, the speed of your swing, and how close to the center sweet spot you connect with the ball.

This is not true. Static loft, for example, is not as important as dynamic loft, which include a number of variables:

Quote

The golfer’s attack angle, how the shaft bends, how the golfer releases the club head, whether the club face is open or closed to the club path, and where the ball makes contact on the club face can all affect the dynamic loft.

Creating the proper dynamic loft is important to creating the optimal trajectory and maximizing carry. Too much dynamic loft can send the ball too high into the air and reduce the golfer’s distance. Too little dynamic loft can send the ball too low making the ball roll out excessively causing it difficult to judge distance.

You can actually have two golfers with the same club, swing speed, and centeredness of contact hit a ball two different distances.

Along with the loft is the amount of spin a golfer puts on a ball. As I quoted from the Trackman website, there is an optimal trajectory to maximize carry. Too much or too little spin affects that trajectory. That's why there was a recent surge in high launch, low spin. That combination produces longer carry distances. If you had high launch and high spin, the ball would climb too high and not travel as far. Launch it too low with too little spin and the ball doesn't stay up in the air long enough to travel as far as it could.

MOI, a factor commonly referred to as forgiveness, is also a factor. Perimeter weighting (not a new concept by far) allows the club hit off-center to transfer more energy to the ball. You're going to lose less ball speed on an off-center strike on a cavity-back than a muscle-back iron, and woods are even more forgiving. So you can hit a cavity-back and a muscle-back in exactly the same off-center spot and the ball will travel different distances. The trade-off for designing a low-spin club is forgiveness, BTW, so as some manufacturers have learned, only certain players benefit from really low-spin and high launching clubs (ball speed is a factor).

Today's irons are also designed by incorporating some elements previously only limited to woods in them, like hollow cavities, thin clubfaces that spring more, and different materials to manipulate the weighting and center of gravity which are aimed at changing launch properties of the club in order to optimize trajectory and carry distance.

I'll probably just stop there, yea.

26 minutes ago, RandallT said:

I think if you search for how center of gravity with clubs work, you might change your mind on whether that concept is marketing BS.

I have a low opinion of marketing people’s ability to understand science and likely they bungle up what is really going on. But that doesn’t mean CoG is bull-feathers. Jmho

I have that same skepticism. That's why I do research :smartass:

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14 hours ago, xrayvizhen said:

I'm the new guy here on this forum, so I imagine this debate has been going on for awhile so I'll just respectfully respond to this by giving my opinion on the matter: Bull-feathers!

There are four things that determine the distance you hit a golf ball; the loft angle on the clubhead, the length of the club, the speed of your swing, and how close to the center sweet spot you connect with the ball. Everything else, IMO, is marketing BS. But as I said at the very beginning of this thread, my swing is not the same as it was 16 years ago when I got my X-14's so I'll be buying something. What that something is at this point I'm still not 100% certain.

 

Well, good for you, and I hope you find what you are looking for.      I find it interesting that yesterdays 9 iron at 44 degrees is now todays PW however.       So there is a PW stamp on it so people like you and I are feeling better about hitting a PW rather than a 9.      That was all started by Cobra with the King Cobra Irons way back and it sold clubs because people hit the Cobras longer.    Tell me.  How many people have a clue as to the loft of an Iron.   Not that many and if they hit the PW longer they want that club.    But in a way you are right, it is still called a PW as it was in the 50s when it was 50 degrees.      Happy hunting.

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On 10/16/2017 at 10:27 AM, billchao said:

That's not how iron designs work. They don't just stamp a 6 on a club with a 5I loft and say, "This year's irons are 10 yards longer!"

Lofts have come down because changes to design in the heads like CoG position have caused the clubs to launch the ball higher. In order to achieve the ideal launch angle, they strengthened the lofts to bring it down.

A 7I today is still a 7I, despite it having stronger lofts and hitting the ball farther than a 7I from 20 years ago, because it's still launching the ball at 17° and hitting a 30 yard apex.

Thanks for several very helpful posts! I won’t say “bullfeathers,” but I’ve been having a tough time wrapping my head around the way clubmakers have jacked up lofts (7 irons ranging from 35 deg to 28.5 deg?) and not concluding that it hasn’t been largely marketing trickery. They’re still making irons with a 30 deg loft, one brand/model/vintage is stamped 6 iron and another brand/model/vintage is stamped 7 iron. There are even discrepancies as large as 2 clubs in some cases!

If not for the marketing angle, they could have left lofts and corresponding stamped club numbers the same, especially since both clubs carry distance is about the same despite different CoG’s. We’ve all had others ask ‘what club did you hit’ (which used to be meaningful) after a nice iron shot, but no one has ever asked ‘what loft was that (which would be more meaningful today)?’ Clubmakers are counting on most of us wanting to say ‘a 7 iron’ instead of a 6 iron.

16 hours ago, billchao said:

The trade-off for designing a low-spin club is forgiveness, BTW, so as some manufacturers have learned, only certain players benefit from really low-spin and high launching clubs (ball speed is a factor).

I’m playing 20 yr old forged cavity backs (with mid weight, mid kick point stiff shafts). Even though I think they’re still serving me well enough, I miss the sweet spot more and more as I’m aging and I’d like to buy new slightly more forgiving irons IF they’ll help me (not looking at super or ultra GI though). I don’t mind spending money, but I hate wasting it. I’ll go for a fitting, but hitting with a launch monitor won’t tell me what I want to know as readily as on course?

Your statement above may get at the heart of my reservations about new, lower CoG clubs. I have always hit any given club higher than almost anyone else I’ve played with. And my approach shots have always stopped within a few feet. Distance/loft aside, I’m afraid I might hit even higher and/or the ball will roll more after it lands - both undesirable. Seems silly to buy new irons and trying to undo excessive height with the shafts chosen for me?

Edited by Midpack

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You are right in your comment, "who cares if you are hitting longer clubs into the Green than your buddies".     That is the way it should be as we get older and shorter, but this of us who were very long in the past and most Golfers in general who have played a long time do care.    I don't know what it is but it gets harder over the years to take being the short guy and bothers a lot of players.   You are right, it should not bother us but because of the fact that Golf is all  about distance today it is hard to see that 8 on the club you used to hit 150 and has become your 100 club.    

As a teacher and club fitter myself I have seen it over and over, and right or not, it is a fact.     And at 78 I have been through myself.

                                                                  

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59 minutes ago, Midpack said:

Thanks for several very helpful posts! I won’t say “bullfeathers,” but I’ve been having a tough time wrapping my head around the way clubmakers have jacked up lofts (7 irons ranging from 35 deg to 28.5 deg?) and not concluding that it hasn’t been largely marketing trickery. They’re still making irons with a 30 deg loft, one brand/model/vintage is stamped 6 iron and another brand/model/vintage is stamped 7 iron. There are even discrepancies as large as 2 clubs in some cases!

I'm glad you found them helpful. I think it's less marketing and more R&D. As people learn more about club and flight properties, they are able to develop golf clubs better. In the past, sets were made to have uniform increments in loft. Many of today's sets are designed progressively, with the long irons in a given set designed slightly differently than the mid and short irons.

I think it's kind of changed the definition of what a 6I is, really. It's more than just the club with X loft on it, but the club that is designed to launch in a specific window.

I'm not going to say there isn't some marketing nonsense going on. Ads will often proclaim that a golfer can gain up to 20 yards with their new clubs, but then you read the fine print and you find out that their old clubs were 20 years old and wasn't fit properly for their swing. Most people won't see those kinds of gains and they know it. But at the same time, to dismiss new iron designs as simply restamped clubs is a disservice to the engineers and what they do.

The bottom line is I think too many people focus on static loft because it's a change they can "see" when there's so much else going on inside the clubs they're not paying attention to.

1 hour ago, Midpack said:

If not for the marketing angle, they could have left lofts and corresponding stamped club numbers the same, especially since both clubs carry distance is about the same despite different CoG’s.  

Like I wrote above, it's more about defining a 6I as more than simply a 33° iron. Your modern 7I may carry the same distance as your old 6I, but it's likely your 7I launches higher, has more spin, higher apex of flight, and lands steeper than your old 6I. Functionally, they're completely different even if they hit the same distance.

BTW I have a set of vintage blades I play with from time to time so I'm well aware of the differences between old and modern irons. Given the same loft, my modern clubs go farther and are significantly more forgiving.

1 hour ago, Midpack said:

I’m playing 20 yr old forged cavity backs (with mid weight, mid kick point stiff shafts). Even though I think they’re still serving me well enough, I miss the sweet spot more and more as I’m aging and I’d like to buy new slightly more forgiving irons IF they’ll help me (not looking at super or ultra GI though). I don’t mind spending money, but I hate wasting it. I’ll go for a fitting, but hitting with a launch monitor won’t tell me what I want to know as readily as on course?

Your statement above may get at the heart of my reservations about new, lower CoG clubs. I have always hit any given club higher than almost anyone else I’ve played with. And my approach shots have always stopped within a few feet. Distance/loft aside, I’m afraid I might hit even higher and/or the ball will roll more after it lands - both undesirable. Seems silly to buy new irons and trying to undo excessive height with the shafts chosen for me?

I think you'll have to go to a good clubfitter to find those answers. Even if I did a fitting outside, I'd still want a launch monitor providing the numbers to back up the fitting. The only thing I really miss from an indoor fitting is turf interaction but that's kind of minor to me.

A good fitter will work with you and your concerns and find the best head and shaft combination for your swing. My last fitting was just for shafts. My fitter gave me a recommendation for my irons, but he told me it wasn't worth changing my driver shaft because we never found one that made a significant difference.

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