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xrayvizhen

Optimize Existing Irons or Buy New?

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4 hours 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!

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.

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?

 The designations on the bottom of the club are just identifiers used to help the player determine which club to hit from what distance, but I get what you're saying about manufacturers strengthening the lofts to give the impression their clubs are longer.  I'm not saying that marketing has nothing to do with it, but there are some legitimate reasons for stronger lofts, which stems from the way modern heads are designed.

A good example is Bridgestone's JGR Forged Hybrid irons.  The 9 iron in that set is 33*.  The 9 iron in their muscleback model is 43*!  That's about 2 1/2 clubs difference!  But, the reason is because the CoG is so different between the two models.  To keep the trajectory, apex, and landing angles the same, the lofts have to be stronger.  No one would want to play an 9i that came out of the shoot like a 6i because you would lose all of your stopping power on the green.  This makes the modern design easier to hit, longer, and with a similar trajectory.

You mentioned that you've always been a high ball hitter, and you're concerned about getting a new set that has a lower CoG and hits the ball even higher.  In my experience, most of the time when a player has this issue it's due to excessive backspin which causes the ball to climb higher than ideally it should. This could be related to the ball you play, so take that into consideration as well.  If you normally play a high spin, urethane covered ball, you might want to do some testing with a little lower spinning model to help bring your trajectory down which should make it more efficient.

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8 minutes ago, 1badbadger said:

 The designations on the bottom of the club are just identifiers used to help the player determine which club to hit from what distance, but I get what you're saying about manufacturers strengthening the lofts to give the impression their clubs are longer.  I'm not saying that marketing has nothing to do with it, but there are some legitimate reasons for stronger lofts, which stems from the way modern heads are designed.

A good example is Bridgestone's JGR Forged Hybrid irons.  The 9 iron in that set is 33*.  The 9 iron in their muscleback model is 43*!  That's about 2 1/2 clubs difference!  But, the reason is because the CoG is so different between the two models.  To keep the trajectory, apex, and landing angles the same, the lofts have to be stronger.  No one would want to play an 9i that came out of the shoot like a 6i because you would lose all of your stopping power on the green.  This makes the modern design easier to hit, longer, and with a similar trajectory.

You mentioned that you've always been a high ball hitter, and you're concerned about getting a new set that has a lower CoG and hits the ball even higher.  In my experience, most of the time when a player has this issue it's due to excessive backspin which causes the ball to climb higher than ideally it should. This could be related to the ball you play, so take that into consideration as well.  If you normally play a high spin, urethane covered ball, you might want to do some testing with a little lower spinning model to help bring your trajectory down which should make it more efficient.

First, thanks for taking the time to explain. I've gotten more out of this thread than several earlier related threads, though it may be partly that I am starting to better grasp what's changed.

Your observation re: my concern about buying new clubs and having the ball fly even higher is well taken. I've always hit high, and I've been using Pro V1's and Snell MTB's this year, so that is probably contributing more than I realized. I am going to try some lower spin balls just to see what happens.

And I may be way off base, but I am starting to wonder if I am confusing height/apex with a (steeper) trajectory on my part - but I need to think about it.

Thanks again!

Edited by Midpack

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17 hours ago, Midpack said:

First, thanks for taking the time to explain. I've gotten more out of this thread than several earlier related threads, though it may be partly that I am starting to better grasp what's changed.

Was thinking same thing. Just starting to understand this stuff and this thread was helpful for me. 

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The fact is that regardless of what the actual loft is you have to know what it will give you.    Numbers are different for anyone and should never be anything but a guide to what you hit where.   But,,, believe it or not it IS a marketing thing to sell clubs.    And by the way, the "Players Clubs" are usually a couple of degrees or more loft than the GIs.    Tell me why that is.    

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14 minutes ago, joro said:

The fact is that regardless of what the actual loft is you have to know what it will give you.    Numbers are different for anyone and should never be anything but a guide to what you hit where.   But,,, believe it or not it IS a marketing thing to sell clubs.    And by the way, the "Players Clubs" are usually a couple of degrees or more loft than the GIs.    Tell me why that is.    

It's been written a number of times in this thread already, so if you haven't changed your position on this by now, you probably never will.

But here it is again anyway: the difference in lofts between a GI (or SGI) iron and a players iron is due to differences in CoG location. GI irons have CoG lower and further back than players irons which makes them easier to launch vertically. In order make a 6I from a player's set to have similar launch and trajectory as a 6I from a GI set, the players iron will have a slightly higher loft.

This was literally written three posts ago:

19 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

A good example is Bridgestone's JGR Forged Hybrid irons.  The 9 iron in that set is 33*.  The 9 iron in their muscleback model is 43*!  That's about 2 1/2 clubs difference!  But, the reason is because the CoG is so different between the two models.  To keep the trajectory, apex, and landing angles the same, the lofts have to be stronger.  No one would want to play an 9i that came out of the shoot like a 6i because you would lose all of your stopping power on the green.  This makes the modern design easier to hit, longer, and with a similar trajectory.

 

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4 minutes ago, billchao said:

It's been written a number of times in this thread already, so if you haven't changed your position on this by now, you probably never will.

But here it is again anyway: the difference in lofts between a GI (or SGI) iron and a players iron is due to differences in CoG location. GI irons have CoG lower and further back than players irons which makes them easier to launch vertically. In order make a 6I from a player's set to have similar launch and trajectory as a 6I from a GI set, the players iron will have a slightly higher loft.

This was literally written three posts ago:

 

 

So what is your point, we have a problem here?

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4 minutes ago, joro said:

 

So what is your point, we have a problem here?

Huh? No. Just not sure why you want to keep asking questions that have already been answered that you don't seem to want the answers to.

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4 minutes ago, billchao said:

Huh? No. Just not sure why you want to keep asking questions that have already been answered that you don't seem to want the answers to.

 

Okay, but what makes you think I even want the answers.    I have my own thoughts as you seems to, so what.    End of story, Okay?

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It is a marketing thing in part, but CoG can make a significant difference in launch angle. If you don't believe it, take a players club and a super game improvement iron with the same static loft (ignore the number stamped on the club) and hit and compare. There is a noticeable difference. I absolutely didn't believe it until I experienced it myself.

Edited by Midpack

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13 minutes ago, joro said:

Okay, but what makes you think I even want the answers.    I have my own thoughts as you seems to, so what.    End of story, Okay?

No, not really. This isn't an "agree to disagree" type of thing. Your statements are factually inaccurate. It doesn't matter if you don't want the answers, but there are others who read this thread who I feel obligated to give correct information to.

I don't know why you seem to be offended by that. If you don't want to learn new things that's fine by me.

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That is right Mudpack, and they have by doing that created an Iron that we can hit longer and higher.

4 minutes ago, billchao said:

No, not really. This isn't an "agree to disagree" type of thing. Your statements are factually inaccurate. It doesn't matter if you don't want the answers, but there are others who read this thread who I feel obligated to give correct information to.

I don't know why you seem to be offended by that. If you don't want to learn new things that's fine by me.

I don't know what you are driving at Star, but I do know a bit about the stuff, I am sure I do not know anything like what you know, but I have gotten by for a lot of yrs. as a consultant to TM, Callaway, and others, so I will hang my head and try to go on.     Thank you for the advice, and sorry to rumple your feathers.    Now get over it, okay?    this kind of stuff is not necessary.

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46 minutes ago, joro said:

I don't know what you are driving at Star....

Thank you for the advice, and sorry to rumple your feathers.    Now get over it, okay?    this kind of stuff is not necessary.

Keep it civil please. If you have experience, then just lay out what you know that leads to your conclusion. 

Disagreement is fine. Name calling undermines the argument  

 

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As the guy who started this thread, my original question has been answered, which is no, it doesn't pay to optimize my current set. I've since had that opinion corroborated elsewhere by talking to two fitters and a club repair guy who gave me the numbers on what it would cost. However, what Joro is saying is what a lot of us feel, that the manufacturers are being deceptive and trying to manipulate their customers, who have already bought clubs not all that long ago, into buying more. 

For me, my irons are 16 years old and as much as I like them it doesn't pay to have them re-shafted.

Finally, just because someone reviews clubs, either for a living (if so, lucky guy) or as a hobby, that doesn't give him the right to declare that anyone else with a different opinion is "factually inaccurate".

Edited by xrayvizhen

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The key is keep things from getting unnecessarily overheated and personal. Opinions are fine. State them, list your reasons/facts, go back and forth. Debate the accuracy of facts. Fine. We can each read what us said and fall to one side or the other. 

I have no issue with someone laying out a case that the other side is inaccurate. Joro is free to do that all day long. Tons of threads here go like that. No big deal.

I’ll step in if I see name calling. Movin’ on.

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1 hour ago, RandallT said:

The key is keep things from getting unnecessarily overheated and personal. Opinions are fine. State them, list your reasons/facts, go back and forth. Debate the accuracy of facts. Fine. We can each read what us said and fall to one side or the other. 

I have no issue with someone laying out a case that the other side is inaccurate. Joro is free to do that all day long. Tons of threads here go like that. No big deal.

I’ll step in if I see name calling. Movin’ on.

Randall,  thank you for the reminder.    In the future when someone tells I don't know what I am talking about I WILL ignore it.     Let us keep it civil.

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15 minutes ago, joro said:

Randall,  thank you for the reminder.    In the future when someone tells I don't know what I am talking about I WILL ignore it.     Let us keep it civil.

You asked a question, ignoring the answers that came previously, and then were rude when someone answered your question.

Yes, please keep it civil. You didn't.

Back to the topic…

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12 hours ago, xrayvizhen said:

However, what Joro is saying is what a lot of us feel, that the manufacturers are being deceptive and trying to manipulate their customers, who have already bought clubs not all that long ago, into buying more. 

For me, my irons are 16 years old and as much as I like them it doesn't pay to have them re-shafted.

Finally, just because someone reviews clubs, either for a living (if so, lucky guy) or as a hobby, that doesn't give him the right to declare that anyone else with a different opinion is "factually inaccurate".

This is the way to do it guys...@xrayvizhen,had a dilemma, he did his homework/research online, then spoke to a few local experts to get their input, and made an informed decision that he is comfortable with.  Well done.

Keep in mind guys, this doesn't mean that this is the best choice in all situations...there are some circumstances where re-shafting an existing set of irons is the better move, so don't get the impression that it's never worth updating your current clubs.

I also have some thoughts about your comment that club manufacturers are "being deceptive and trying to manipulate their customers" into replacing their clubs that were purchased not long ago with new ones.  Perhaps I can give you another perspective from the over 9 years that I spent in the marketing dept. at one of the major OEM golf companies...

Anyone who is older than about 35 or so probably remembers a time when golf companies product line didn't change much for many years.  The Eye 2 irons were in Ping's line for 8 years.  MP-14s were the workhorse of Mizuno's club line for the same amount of time.  And Bridgestone's j33 drivers were made for 5 years.  It's hard to imagine a driver being offered for 5 years now days.  Some companies have gone to a 9 month life-span on their club models.  This frustrates and pisses off some consumers, which I totally get, but some others are excited to  be able to upgrade this often. Is any of this deceitful, deceptive or manipulative though?

What happened was massive technology breakthroughs in the 1990's that resulted in noticeable improvements in club performance.  This was the result of the development of computers that were able to analyze what happened when a club hit a ball, which taught us a lot that we didn't realize before.  When the USGA but the breaks on, and limited things like the size of the head, the C.O.R. and other parameters, improvements became more difficult to attain.  Golf club and golf ball manufacturing is a highly competitive industry with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.  A company that does not continue to improve it's products, or isn't trying to develop new technology will get run over very quickly.  One thing that frustrates a lot of players is when a company discontinues the ball they play, or makes changes to it.  "I finally found a ball that was perfect for me, and a year later they quit making it!"  I heard that more than once.  Sometimes equipment is discontinued because it sucked and nobody bought it.  But even if it's great now and is a top seller, you better believe the manufacturer is already working on how to make it better.  If a company doesn't update their products on a regular basis, it won't take long for consumers to feel their stuff is not cutting edge and is antiquated.  

Personally, I hate the really short life cycle that some companies have implemented. It has crushed the used club market, and as a result clubs do not hold their value like they used to.  But, it has created an urgency for R&D depts to push themselves and develop better products.  It's no different than other industries...auto manufacturers have been releasing new models every year for decades.  Computer companies and cell phone manufacturers release new versions constantly too.  But none of these items hold their value either.  I understand the concept that a company wants to offer a "new and improved" version on a regular basis, whether it's every 9 months or 2 years to spark sales, but here is what happens:  Joe Golfer buys the latest and greatest driver from his local golf store for $400.  Less than a year later, that model is replaced with a newer latest and greatest.  When that happened, the model Joe has was closed-out and marked down.  Shops with excess inventory are now selling last year's model for $250 and the newest model is $400.  Joe likes what he hears about the new model, and decides to trade in the driver he got 9 months ago on the new one.  If Joe's driver is selling for $250 now (new), how much will a used one sell for?  Maybe $150?  Probably closer to $125.  So what is the trade-in value for Joe's driver...around $75?  So you've got to tell this customer that the driver he bought from you 9 months ago for $400 is now worth $75.  Trust me..it doesn't go over well.  Anyway, I don't consider any of this as manipulating the public into buying their products, or that it's deceptive.  What I do consider deceptive is a company that changes the packaging of a product like golf balls and tries to pass it off as new and improved, without making any changes.

On a quick side note, I see examples of people being factually inaccurate regarding golf equipment on a daily basis. Consumer education used to be one of my main responsibilities, so I have no problem explaining the accurate facts to avoid confusion or misinformation from being spread.  This to me is different than an opinion-based topic like "which is better...Ford or Chevy?"  That's debatable.  But if someone said "When hitting a driver, you want to try to get as much top-spin on the ball as possible for more roll-out"  that is simply wrong and I feel it should be corrected if possible.  There is enough confusion in this game already!

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