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After months and really 30+ years of experimenting, I finally ordered a new set of custom built irons. The search pretty much narrowed itself, do to my height. All roads led to the Mizuno JPX 900 Forged irons. I'm 6'7 and a 40" wrist height (short arms for a tall guy), which puts me pretty much at the outer reaches of any fitting chart.  At age 54, I've been having trouble hitting my 25 year old custom built Mizuno MP-14 blades. My clubs need to be 1" to 1-1/2" longer and 5 degrees upright to just have them lie flat. I add another degree upright to lift the toe just a bit, so 6 degrees total. 

Back in my mid 20's, my neighbor who was a factory rep for Pro Kennex got my wife and I a great deal on club sets. He took my spec's down and had a custom set of clubs built for me. They were my first graphite shafted irons. Graphite shafts are already an inch over, so they were actually 3" longer. The heads, like most heads were cavity backed cast heads. They said they were 2 degrees upright, but I never checked. They were silly long. My driver didn't even fit under my golf bag cover. I hit the 8 iron 200 yds. 9 iron 180 yds, and carried four wedges to fill the short game gap. I could hit the 2 iron 250 yds. Actually helped me on narrow courses. The driver was uncontrollable to say the least. '4 Right !!! '

After about 2 years of getting used to them and taking lessons from some pros, I realized the lack of accuracy compared to my old original PinSeeker irons from my teenage years. I bought some Titleist DCI irons, had 1" extensions added, and bent them about 3 1/2 degrees upright. They were pretty heavy, and not upright enough. I dug the toe on almost every shot. I was getting closer, but still not there. I actually talked with Phil Blackmar while he was off camera while covering a tournament at Torrey Pines. His arms are a little longer than mine, but we are the same height. He said he plays his 1" over and around 4 degrees upright. He plays with lower hands. Soon after that, I played a round with a guy who was exactly my height and build. He was a past collegiate scratch player. He had custom built Mizuno blades, 1-1/4" over and 6 degrees upright. He let me hit them. It was one of the most pivotal moments in all of my years of golf. I went out and bought some used Mizuno MP-14's and had the built up just like his with rifle shafts. They have been in my bag for 25 years now.

After an 8 year hiatus from golf, I found it difficult to strike the blades like I used to. I started looking for some more forgiving irons, but 6 degrees upright forces me to forged only irons. Cavity backed, perimeter weighted forged irons that have steel that is malleable enough to bend 6 degrees up without cracking, Mizuno JPX Forged Irons is pretty much it.  The next decision was the shaft. My MP-14's have Xstiff riffle shafts. I was looking for something lighter is a stiff flex. After demo'g a number of shafts, I picked the ModusTour 105 stiff. I should see them in a week or so. 

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I've did both multiple times at different locations. My biggest dilemma was shaft weight / flex due to my ever decreasing flexibility. I brought in my current MP-14 blades that where fitted to me 25 years ago. They checked the lies on the bender, and did a tape scuff lie test. My strikes showed that 6 degrees upright was right on the mark with my 1.25" over shafts. Most fitting places don't have clubs with those kind of lie angles laying around. We did a scuff mark test with their demo 1" + shaft and 6 iron JXP 900 forged head. It barely made a small mark on the outer edge of the toe of the head. So my only ground contact was the very tip of the toe. I have an upright swing and naturally play a high fade. Tall with short arms.

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@4right

I, like you, am tall. (6'5", 37" wrist to floor). I guess I have average length limbs for my height. 

I, personally, play 3/4" long and 2° upright (done through a dynamic fitting). I feel as if I possibly need a slightly more upright lie in my irons. (I play Tour Edge Exotics EXI). The problem is they are cast clubs and I need the forgiveness, so I suffer with lies that are slightly flatter than what I need.

Now that my strikes are a lot closer to the sweet spot (I'm currently carrying a 6.7 Handicap Index, just haven't updated it yet on here). I may consider getting a "forgiving" forged head, so I can get it bent to what I need it bent to. I don't know what I'll end up going with as far as the company or model, but I'm definitely looking in that direction.

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Some irons have a very curved sole, so the contact area is less at any given point. I would call these designs 'Lie Friendly'. I've hit a number of clubs with this design. The benefit is, there is less effect from the toe digging or making contact first. Which causes a weak shot that wants to twist the club face open. So you end up with some fairly solid contact, but the flight path will always be odd and not on target. It seems like a fade, but it's really just a miss angled launch. The groves in the club face are pointed down and not at a 90angle to the ground. This is where people (me) will start to compensate by aiming left, using an overly strong grip, or dropping the hands super low. These are all Band-aids for the wrong lie angle. The sole on MP-14's is pretty flat, so if the lie angle is off I'll notice it right away. 

At 6'5 and 37" wrist to floor you might be closer to 3or 4o upright. Your arm length gets you closer to something off the rack. The problem with some golf sales people is, they get into 'No Mans Land' as far as options to offer you once you get beyond 2o upright. They don't want to say " all we have to offer is some expensive forged clubs that will have to be built custom for you by the manufacture, and we have nothing for you to actually demo in the store today." That's not good for sales. How about something close like 2upright? Perfect! Make the sale..... :dance:

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6 hours ago, 4right said:

Some irons have a very curved sole, so the contact area is less at any given point. I would call these designs 'Lie Friendly'. I've hit a number of clubs with this design. The benefit is, there is less effect from the toe digging or making contact first. Which causes a weak shot that wants to twist the club face open. So you end up with some fairly solid contact, but the flight path will always be odd and not on target.

That's kinda right and kinda wrong.

Ideally, you hit the ball before you hit the ground, so what part of the club hits the ground first has no real effect on the shot. The club isn't twisted open because the toe hits the ball; the ball is already gone by then.

Lie angle still matters even on the "rounded" sole clubs because the lie angle affects where the FACE itself is pointing. If a club is too upright, the face will be pointing to the left.

 

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What? The club face is supposed to hit the ball first? That occasionally happens for me;-) I was talking to my son's golf coach about my awkwardness as it pertains to me and the proper lie angles. I brought up Phil Blackmar and he knows him and has play rounds with him. He said the reason Phil plays the clubs he plays (which are static fitting wise totally wrong), is because as a growing kid playing junior tournaments no one ever fitted him for clubs. So he learned to hit regular length clubs with standard lies. As he became a pro, his clubs were fitted some what better, but apparently the damage was done. He did pretty good but never really great in his career. 

I decided to scale photos of a great ball striker, Adam Scott. A scaled down version of Adam Scott, Phil Blackmar, and me (Mr 4right). I'm a CAD designer by trade, so this is something I do all the time. I just gives a very accurate perspective on actual size differences, and posture. I was able to measure the club lengths and the distance from the ground to the hand. Adam Scott chokes up on his club, where as Phil Blackmar chokes down. It's interesting how much the lie angle is reduced at impact as well, do to the shaft flex.  

Golfers short and Tall 11-20-17.jpg

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