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Custom Fit Irons Based on Swing Weight or Something Else?


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****Potentially pretty basic question from someone who's been playing for a couple years, but knows very little about clubs.    

 

I'm kind of a mediocre golfer (no official handicap, but I usually shoot high-80's on a course that I'm sure is not real difficult).    But I'm absolutely deadly with my 56-deg. wedge (Vokey SM7).   At the range today, I hit about 25 shots with it from 90 feet (which is about my full- swing distance for that club), and well over half the shots were within 10 feet of the pin, which is typical for me for that club.   There's just something about it that makes it really easy for me to feel it in my swing, and I tend to swing really easy and relaxed with it.   Great ball flight and straight path.     

 

About 3 months ago I got fitted for irons at a local shop with a really good reputation.   I went with TaylorMade P770s.   I told the fitter how much I like the feel of that Vokey wedge, which is a D6 swing weight.   We experimented some and decided that D6 might be fine for the shorter clubs, but feels too heavy in the longer irons.   So, after some more experimentation, we wound up building the set so that the clubs gradually decrease in swing weight from D6 to about D3.   So the PW is also D6, the 9-iron is around D5.5, the 8-iron about D5, etc.   I swing the PW and 9-iron pretty well (but not nearly as well as the Vokey 56-degree), the 8 and 7-iron just okay, and the 6 and 5 irons not well at all.   

 

What I'm wondering is, are there any other data points or factors that can be used in fitting clubs other than swing weight?   Ideally I'd like all my irons to "feel" just like that 56 wedge.   Is that a reasonable thing to hope for, or is this probably just a matter of shorter clubs being easier to hit (or possibly something else)?    Thanks.

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Okay, I just did an online chat with someone with Titleist Vokey.   Apparently the shaft in my 56 wedge is True Temper S200 - which is weird, because every person who has ever sold me clubs (or tried to sell me clubs) has told me I'm a regular flex guy.   But to me (a novice golfer who knows very little about clubs and shafts), the shaft in the 56 "feels" like it actually has more flex than the Dynamic Gold R300 in my irons.   Is that possible re. the feel, or am I even more confused than I thought?    Thanks

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So S200 is lighter than R300...just barely...so that might account for S200 feeling more flexible. 

 

There are two schools of thought about wedge shafts.

One is the retail thought...that it's fine to stock all wedges in a 127 gram stiff shaft because. Most people can play it and because most players are using wedges for touch/finesse shots where they are not swinging fully, the shaft doesn't matter as much.

OR...

There's the school of thought that the S200 fits virtually nobody and everyone should custom order wedges with the shaft that you playin your irons...maybe a flex softer or just a little lighter. 

 

The right answer is probably somewhere in between. 

 

I think descending swing weight in a set of irons is SUPER interesting. I don't have any idea if it's a good or bad idea...just very interesting. 

 

 

 

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Thanks for that response; that's interesting.   We came about the idea through experimentation.   This was my first fitting of any kind, so I REALLY didn't know what I was doing.  

 

When I first got the irons, the approach wedge and PW felt amazing - and they were a D6.   If I remember right, the rest of the irons were built to about a D2, and to me at the time they felt too light.   So I asked the fitter about making them all the same swing weight and he said he was happy to.   But after a couple months I was feeling like I was "losing control" of the longer irons (mainly 5 and 6, and a little with the 7) in the back swing, which I *guessed* was due to some combination of the swing weight and the length of the club (or something like that).  

 

So I asked him about the idea of descending swing weights and he was happy to do it (for an extra charge of course).    But my swing feel/smoothness/performance still REALLY drops off starting around the 7 - and becomes abysmal for the 6 and 5.  And not a single one of my irons even approaches the amazing feel of that 56-degree Vokey wedge.    I don't relish the idea of paying to re-shaft clubs that I've already spent a bunch of money on, but if doing so would give me anything approaching the feel & performance I get from that one Vokey wedge, it would be money well spent.    I guess I could do a test on one iron first and then decide. 

 

By the way, if the real answer is: "Dude - you just need to learn to swing your long irons better!", just let me know.    Thanks.

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I think the post may have been red wrong.  Brenkj said he is using Dynamic Gold 105 R300 not Dynamic Gold R300.  There's a large weight difference in those shafts.

 

DG S200 should feel quite a bit stiffer than DG 105 R300.  Do you have a sensation that the wedge shaft flexes very little and the long irons flex much more?

 

Dave

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That's correct - DG 105 R300.   Take my observations and descriptions with a BIG grain of salt, since I'm a newbie to this whole club/shaft fitting deal, but for me, it seems like I can feel the club "load up" at the top, which tells my body it's time to start my downswing.   I *think* this is what helps to keep me from over-swinging on that one club and just "letting the club/shaft do the work".    Most of my other irons (particularly 8 - 5) I really struggle to keep myself from downswinging too hard and/or too early.    

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Try a shorter back swing..stop at 10pm..and get some lead tape, try 3 grams tape on the 6,5 irons.If your struggling on 8,7 irons you need too start again!There is always one special club,and it may not be possible to have the others feel the same! Been there done that.Wedge Flex around 120ish grams, my dgr300 125ish,your dgr105 a lot less.

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Okay, based on the True Temper website, it looks like the DG 105 R300 shafts in my irons weigh 101g, with a tip dia. of .355, and a butt diameter of .600, whereas the S200 in my beloved wedge is 127g/.370/.600.   Bear in mind - I don’t really know what any of that means; I just mention it in case it might be important.  

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Roger:  thanks for the response.  It’s funny you mention where to stop the backswing, because that’s one of my biggest struggles with the 5-7 irons.  Less so with 8-PW (but still a little), but not at all with the 56.  Believe me - I realize there’s a lot of “operator error” going on here, and working on the swing itself is also a big priority.  But I’ll take all the help I can get, and if switching shafts will help, I’m willing to try it. 

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It just occurred to me that I can do a test case of sorts on my theory.  After I bought my beloved 56, I liked it so much that I bought other SM7 wedges to go with it (I think I have 52, 48, and maybe 46?).  I didn’t use them much because shortly thereafter, my wife gave me my iron fitting for my birthday, and I replaced all but the 56 with the wedges that came with the P770 set.   I figure I can take those other SM7 wedges out to the range and see if they feel as great to swing as the 56 (or at least close).   If so, wouldn’t that be a decent indicator that the rest of my irons would feel better to swing with that same shaft (assuming proper overall swing-weighting)?   Make sense?   Thanks

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2 hours ago, Brenkj said:

It just occurred to me that I can do a test case of sorts on my theory.  After I bought my beloved 56, I liked it so much that I bought other SM7 wedges to go with it (I think I have 52, 48, and maybe 46?).  I didn’t use them much because shortly thereafter, my wife gave me my iron fitting for my birthday, and I replaced all but the 56 with the wedges that came with the P770 set.   I figure I can take those other SM7 wedges out to the range and see if they feel as great to swing as the 56 (or at least close).   If so, wouldn’t that be a decent indicator that the rest of my irons would feel better to swing with that same shaft (assuming proper overall swing-weighting)?   Make sense?   Thanks

 

You can fit yourself for both shaft weight and swing weight (both can be important) with just a some range time and a roll of lead tape.    That should come first before worrying about any possible flex/stiffness issues.

 

Use the directions in the following link.  The title says driver but the concept is the same for all clubs.  Just ignore the parts about playing length - that only applies to the longer clubs, not the irons.

 

 

https://www.golfworks.com/high-density-lead-foil-tape/p/hdlt/

 

 

 

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Since this forum clearly has a bunch of knowledgeable people, I'll go head and ask this here:    When I was fitted for my driver, we did a 45-in. shaft, which I think is more or less standard for the TS2.    I feel like I have the right model, because the comparative numbers for length and dispersion bore that out.   But in the real world I don't hit it very long, and I don't hit many fairways.  

 

While I was obsessing over iron swingweight/shafts, etc. last night, I came across several newer articles that said, basically, if you're a weekend warrior golfer, there's a good chance a 45-inch driver shaft is too long for you.   They said you might even gain distance with a little less length because it would be easier to hit it right on the screws (and accuracy would obviously improve too).   I know taking some length off will affect swing weight, but I can address that with a slightly heavier head weight - right?      If I do go slightly shorter on my driver, would I also need to chop down my fairways a similar length?   Thanks.

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1 hour ago, Brenkj said:

While I was obsessing over iron swingweight/shafts, etc. last night, I came across several newer articles that said, basically, if you're a weekend warrior golfer, there's a good chance a 45-inch driver shaft is too long for you.   They said you might even gain distance with a little less length because it would be easier to hit it right on the screws (and accuracy would obviously improve too).   I know taking some length off will affect swing weight, but I can address that with a slightly heavier head weight - right?      If I do go slightly shorter on my driver, would I also need to chop down my fairways a similar length?   Thanks.

 

Adjusting both swing weight and shaft weight is covered in the DIY fitting tutorial I posted the link to.  Read through that first.  Then if you have any more questions, feel free to post the question here or in that thread.

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Quick update.   I went to the range to try the other Vokeys (turns out I just had a 52 and a 48).   They both felt pretty awesome - especially for clubs I haven't swung in 4 months.   Same as with the 56 - I could feel the clubs "loading" in my backswing, which helped with my backswing and overall tempo.    The P770 PW and 9-iron felt okay (but not as good as the three vokeys), and then the feel and performance dropped off with the 8 and 7-irons.   

 

I think I might ask the fitter to put the Vokey shaft on one of my P770s as a test case (maybe the 8 or 7?).   I can then fiddle with overall weighting at the range using lead tape and see if I can get a similar feel to the Vokeys.   If so, then I'll feel better about committing to doing the rest of the irons.    Does that make sense?

 

Incidentally, while I'm all fixated on swing weight and feel, I also experimented with heavier head weights on my driver and fairways.   I basically took each one to one weight heavier than was on there.   With all of them (7 wood through driver), the heavier weights made my swings feel better.   I don't know if I gained any distance, but I was hitting the ball straighter with better trajectory - and again, the feel was just better.    I think I may be a guy who just likes a heavier feel to his clubs - even though I'm not a real fast swing-speed guy.

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Okay, yet another update.   The fitter is out for a couple of days, so I experimented with lead tape on my irons at the range today.   I'd say it did help some on the PW, 9 and 8, and maybe a little on the 7.    But the feel is very different from the wedges, where the added weight is coming from the shafts - not the heads.   With the lead tape, it feels like I have to work to get the club through the downswing, whereas on the 3 wedges, it kind of feels like the club just works naturally with my swing to get through semi-effortlessly.    Does any of that make any sense?

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12 hours ago, Brenkj said:

Okay, yet another update.   The fitter is out for a couple of days, so I experimented with lead tape on my irons at the range today.   I'd say it did help some on the PW, 9 and 8, and maybe a little on the 7.    But the feel is very different from the wedges, where the added weight is coming from the shafts - not the heads.   With the lead tape, it feels like I have to work to get the club through the downswing, whereas on the 3 wedges, it kind of feels like the club just works naturally with my swing to get through semi-effortlessly.    Does any of that make any sense?

 

You don't have to limit yourself to putting the lead tape on the head.    You can put it on the shaft (~4-5" below the bottom of the grip) to simulate a heavier shaft weight.

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35 minutes ago, Brenkj said:

That's a great point.    That never even occurred to me.   Any tips on the best spot on the shaft to add some tape, to simulate a heavier shaft?

 

3 hours ago, Stuart_G said:

 

You don't have to limit yourself to putting the lead tape on the head.    You can put it on the shaft (~4-5" below the bottom of the grip) to simulate a heavier shaft weight.

 

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A couple days ago I contacted TaylorMade customer service and asked what the weight is of my P770 iron heads.   I did the same with Titleist for my Vokey SM7 wedges.   My thought was that info would help in trying to re-shaft my irons so that they replicate the swing feel I get with my wedges.   Titleist never responded (despite being responsive to questions in the past).    I just got a response from TM in which they said they can't divulge that info.    

 

What's so secret about the weight of an iron head?    Any thoughts on where I can get this info?     Thanks.

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Specs would be useless for irons even if they did give it to you.   Although irons tend to be a lot more standardized than wood head weights, there ends up with a lot more variation in the actual weight as a normal part of the manufacturing process.  On top of that, several OEM's and models have multiple versions that have different weights to help with different length builds and sometimes even different shaft weights.  So only way to get your head weights - is to pull them and put them on a scale.  

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Thanks for everyone’s help with this.  I did wind up getting one iron re-shafted as a test case (the 8-iron).   The shop didn’t have the S200 in stock, but they did have the R300.  According to True Temper, those two are basically identical except for the flex.   It feels pretty good after one range session.  I’m thinking the R300 might actually be a better choice than the S200.   Since iron heads are generally lighter than wedge heads (right?), it seems logical that I’d need a little more flex in the iron shafts in order to achieve the same swing feel as I’m getting from the stiffer shafts and heavier heads of my wedges.  Does that make sense?     Thanks. 

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3 hours ago, Brenkj said:

Thanks for everyone’s help with this.  I did wind up getting one iron re-shafted as a test case (the 8-iron).   The shop didn’t have the S200 in stock, but they did have the R300.  According to True Temper, those two are basically identical except for the flex.   It feels pretty good after one range session.  I’m thinking the R300 might actually be a better choice than the S200.   Since iron heads are generally lighter than wedge heads (right?), it seems logical that I’d need a little more flex in the iron shafts in order to achieve the same swing feel as I’m getting from the stiffer shafts and heavier heads of my wedges.  Does that make sense?     Thanks. 

 

Don't over think it.  If they feel better, then they are a better choice.   Iron shaft stiffness decreases as you go through the set to compensate for the changes in head weight so normally you don't have do anything to compensate.   Although with true temper shafts, the same shaft is used in the 9 through the wedges, and while the wedge weights do increase in some cases (not all though - wedge weights can vary quite a lot between different OEM and models), the short playing length and the slower swing speeds typically make the difference in stiffness feel negligible for most.  Not even close to a full flex.  Feel in wedges tend to be much more about weight than stiffness.   So reality doesn't always sync up with the theoretical.

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