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It’s for yardage gapping. Two main points: 1) a 1* change from 20-21 is a higher percent of the loft (5% change in this example) than a 1* change from 40-42 (2.5% change). And 2) because the swing spe

Tom's objections had nothing to do with playability or the traditional relationships between the club number and lofts.   Whether you care or not about the loft vs label relationships,  you can't deny

It's actually farther back than that the move from 50* to 48* or 47*.  It goes back to at least the 60s, and one could argue it's based in an even earlier move.   In the 40s and 50s, many/mo

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It's about yardage gapping. My clubs are 3* from 4-5 and 4* from 6-sw. That keeps my yardage about 10-12 yards a club.

 

At least that's my understanding. I could be totally wrong.

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The T100 are what most irons used to be. 3° gaps in the long (2-5) irons then 4° gaps in the rest (6-PW).

 

These days with ridiculously jacked lofts the sets seem to start out with anything from 2° gaps, then 3°, then 4°, then 5° or 6° gaps at the short end of the bag in order to get from a 43°-44° PW to a 50° Gap wedge.

 

OP, I think you should appreciate the relatively uniform gaps of the T100. 🙂

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With the std 110 mph golfwrx swing, a 4 degree gap too the 3i is AOK.

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6 hours ago, kiwihacker said:

The T100 are what most irons used to be. 3° gaps in the long (2-5) irons then 4° gaps in the rest (6-PW).

 

These days with ridiculously jacked lofts the sets seem to start out with anything from 2° gaps, then 3°, then 4°, then 5° or 6° gaps at the short end of the bag in order to get from a 43°-44° PW to a 50° Gap wedge.

 

OP, I think you should appreciate the relatively uniform gaps of the T100. 🙂

Or the Ben Hogan PTX Pros. 4* gaps all through the set. 

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Most companies do 1/2" length gaps.  There are a few companies that have more than 1/2" gaps, and there could well be some with less(I do not know of any examples).

 

I would imagine most companies do some kind of research on how to space their gaps, in the mid to late 90's most irons had around a 48* wedge and a 21* 3 iron in the set.  There would be 3* gaps in the long irons down to 4* gaps in the short irons.

 

Many sets now have 5* in the short irons( a few with 5.5* gaps 8-9-PW) and as short as 2.5* gaps in the long irons.  

 

I never play standard lofts, lies or lengths.  My gaps and swing just do not work with them.  I play 1/4" length progression in 7-8-9-PW.   4-5-6-7 I play in 3/8" increments.   My lofts are normally in the 3 to 4 range through the set, depending upon actual carry distances.  

 

Buying a Mitchell loft and lie machine to do my own loft and lie has been the best $450.00 that I have ever spent.  Even if the numbers aren't correct(I have not had it checked, ever).  It allows me to play with the set and based on real life distances and what I see on Arccos I can adjust the lofts once I have lies dialed in and then check them again.  Shaprie marker on the ball is the best thing to ever happen to me self fitting my irons, @Howard_Jones, can never be thanked enough for this in my opinion.

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I have never got a straight answer on whether 4 degree gaps with a robot would produce equal yardage gaps or whether the 3 degree gaps in long-irons are due to "physics" (some variant of what's above).

 

Some of the older club fitters contended that the 3 degree long iron gaps were only because the PW moved from ~50 degrees to ~47 degrees in the early-90s and before that 4 degree (constant) gaps were the norm (really just some lesser version of the 5 degree wedge gaps / 2 degree lower lofted iron gaps we see today).

 

The other complicating factor is swing may deliver differing amounts of dynamic loft (relative to the static loft) as you move through the set.  In the end, it's all kind of pointless as a) how far you carry the different clubs is all that matters and b) there is no need to have constant gaps, you just need to know what the gaps are and how to deal with them.

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Each manufacturer tries to build a set of irons that the intended buyer will perceive as having more or less even distance progression through the set. Whether it works out that way or not for your swing with a given set of irons is something you wont know for sure until you try them. 
 

In my experience game improvement sets from the manufacturers I have used most often (Ping, Titleist, Callaway) are pretty much in the right ballpark distance progression-wise. If I find the gaps get really small for the two longest irons in the set that is usually down to me mishitting them. 

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Starts with maintaining a 4* spread into mid-to long irons would make long iron lofts too strong and long for most users, as most users can't handle a 39" long 21* 3 iron or 39.5" 17* 2 iron. 

 

Depends on whom the clubs were designed, so there's this: T-200 to T-400 are not meant for better players.  That's not to say a better player won't use them but to say, better players don't want the help, and care a great deal about distance control.

My 620 MB short and mid-irons have 4' gap, then long irons have 3' gap.  Translated to my SS, means 12yds spread between every club out to 3i. 

 

Note the LOFT gapping comparison of Titleist irons.

 

620 CB 21° 24° 27° 31° 35° 39° 43° 47°    
620 MB 21° 24° 27° 31° 35° 39° 43° 47°

 

T100 21° 24° 27° 30° 34° 38° 42° 46° 50° -- --
T100S- 19° 22° 25° 28° 32° 36° 40° 44° 48° -- --

T200

-- 21° 24° 27° 30° 34° 38° 43° 48° -- --
T300 -- 20° 23° 26° 29° 33° 38° 43° 48° 53° --
T400 -- -- 20° 23° 26° 29° 33° 38° 43° 49° 55°
Edited by Pepperturbo
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4 minutes ago, Pepperturbo said:

Starts with maintaining a 4* spread into mid-to long irons would make long iron lofts too strong and long for most users, as most users can't handle a 39" long 21* 3 iron or 39.5" 17* 2 iron. 

 

Very true - but unfortunately it's also typically only high swing players (90+ 5i speed) will be able to get a useful distance gap from the 3* gaps in the longer irons - so it basically makes them useless either way for most ams.

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Very true - but unfortunately it's also typically only high swing players (90+ 5i speed) will be able to get a useful distance gap from the 3* gaps in the longer irons - so it basically makes them useless either way for most ams.

 

 

 

My iron SS used to be 90+ but that's no longer the case.  Not sure what it is, but I still get 170+yds from 620 MB 27' 5i, and 178-190yds from 4i and 190-200+ for 21' 3 iron.  My 17' 2 iron averages 210-225yds.  Not sure how long I can maintain those yardages, but I am heading to the gym later which helps. 

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7 minutes ago, Pepperturbo said:

My iron SS used to be 90+ but that's no longer the case.  Not sure what it is, but I still get 170+yds from 620 MB 27' 5i, and 178-190yds from 4i and 190-200+ for 21' 3 iron.  My 17' 2 iron averages 210-225yds.  Not sure how long I can maintain those yardages, but I am heading to the gym later which helps. 

 

I wouldn't be surprised if it's still pretty close to 90.  Maybe just under - although that's simply a guess based on the time (long ago) I was getting almost 180 out of a 91-92 mph 5i.  Of course, how the delivery changes with length can also play a big part in the gaps.  Some players will deloft the irons a bit more as they get longer so end up with a bigger gap with the dynamic lofts than they have with the static lofts.

 

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I really like 4 and 5* gaps. Everyone in this thread talking about how 4* gaps lowering the loft at the top of the bag are kind of missing the point. As these lofts creep higher and higher we now have added a wedge and in some cases two to the back of the bag. So basically, what is now a 9 iron was a 8 and in some cases a 7 iron. 

 

OEMS have convinced you that these clubs go further when they are just lowering lofts while also convincing you that you need to buy more wedges to fill the gaps. And trust me, I get desire to explain everything away through the adage of lower CG and physics that demand lowering loft to combat launch and spin, however if this were truly the case then Ping wouldn't offer regular, power, and retro spec lofts. 

 

Even Ping has done this. 

Ping Eye 2 lofts

3 - 21.5

4 - 25

5 - 28.5

6 - 32

7 - 36

8 - 40

9 - 45

Pw - 50.5

 

Ping G425 

4 - 20.5

5 - 23.5

6 - 26.5

7 - 30

8 - 34.5

9 - 39.5

PW - 44.5

AW - 49.5

 

I now just buy 5-AW pair it with my adjustable DI and bend/adjust them to space them out. 4-5* gaps is perfect. 57-52-47-42-38-33-29-25-21(DI)-5W-3W

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I use stronger lofted game improvement because I need a 4.5 between my 7 and 8 then a 5 between 8 threw gap to give a 10 to 15 yard space between irons. I admit the 7 is closer to my 5 iron loft of old but that’s just a number on a  club .

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image.png.c264f2956404fcaedc480ea34c3dfc9e.png

 

My Tour Edge CB Pro Tungstens have 4* loft gaps through most of the set (4i-PW). Also, all shaft increments were a half-inch apart... None of these .625" and .875" gaps tucked in.

image.png.f9592ba870c85871588b1fa3086083a2.png

 

As shown below, I use 4i-9i. The 4i has been refitted with a SteelFiber HLS hybrid shaft, which helps with launch. I use it as a driving iron, and for approach shots into the wind.

 

The 3i only lasted one round, I just couldn't hit it. Also, I believe the 2i was a custom order, don't know anyone who has ever seen one.

 

Main benefit of consistent 4°/ 0.5" I guess is peace of mind. Especially the odd shaft increments can be bothersome.

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Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

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On 6/15/2021 at 10:09 AM, agolf1 said:

I have never got a straight answer on whether 4 degree gaps with a robot would produce equal yardage gaps or whether the 3 degree gaps in long-irons are due to "physics" (some variant of what's above).

 

Some of the older club fitters contended that the 3 degree long iron gaps were only because the PW moved from ~50 degrees to ~47 degrees in the early-90s and before that 4 degree (constant) gaps were the norm (really just some lesser version of the 5 degree wedge gaps / 2 degree lower lofted iron gaps we see today).

 

The other complicating factor is swing may deliver differing amounts of dynamic loft (relative to the static loft) as you move through the set.  In the end, it's all kind of pointless as a) how far you carry the different clubs is all that matters and b) there is no need to have constant gaps, you just need to know what the gaps are and how to deal with them.

 

It's actually farther back than that the move from 50* to 48* or 47*.  It goes back to at least the 60s, and one could argue it's based in an even earlier move.

 

In the 40s and 50s, many/most iron sets floated around the 21* 2 iron to the 53* pitching iron.  That moved forward to 20* to 52* around the 60s, with a plus/minus based on individual manufacturer decisions.  It was the move TO the 51* or 50* PW that created the 3* gaps in the longest irons, where none existed, out of an interest in avoiding making the 2 iron stronger than 20* (thereby allowing a 17* 1 iron).

 

This compression at the longest end continued as irons were lofted stronger, finally largely eliminating the 1 iron from existence.

 

(the hinted "earlier move" was when they went from a 20* 1 iron thru 52* 9 iron, to a 20* or 21* 2 iron, with 4* gaps to the relatively new "pitching iron" in the low 50s.  this was around the time of transition from flatbacked blades to "musclebacks")

 

I could buy the 3* gaps in the longer irons being something engineered, when it comes from Karsten Solheim and Ping; he was famous for using the PingMan robot for real world testing.  The rest of them, I find it harder to believe.  <shrug>

 

I have a couple problems with the even gaps theory...  the first is, at slower swingspeeds, players need wider loft gaps at the top to give them equal distance gaps in their longer irons, not narrower.  The narrower gaps would only work with higher speed players, and even then, only with moderate to higher trajectories at those higher speeds.

 

The second is a philosophical issue that I have regarding the need for even gaps at the top of the set.  I don't think it's important to have some perfect gapping between each iron in a set, only that the gaps are known.  My perspective is that it's more important to cover a given range of distances needed.  I don't care if my gaps go from 12 yds between the 6i/7i to 14 or 15 yds (or whatever it could be) at the longest end of the set.  I only care that I know what they are.

 

Anyone still awake?   LOL

 

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7 minutes ago, NRJyzr said:

 

It's actually farther back than that the move from 50* to 48* or 47*.  It goes back to at least the 60s, and one could argue it's based in an even earlier move.

 

In the 40s and 50s, many/most iron sets floated around the 21* 2 iron to the 53* pitching iron.  That moved forward to 20* to 52* around the 60s, with a plus/minus based on individual manufacturer decisions.  It was the move TO the 51* or 50* PW that created the 3* gaps in the longest irons, where none existed, out of an interest in avoiding making the 2 iron stronger than 20* (thereby allowing a 17* 1 iron).

 

This compression at the longest end continued as irons were lofted stronger, finally largely eliminating the 1 iron from existence.

 

(the hinted "earlier move" was when they went from a 20* 1 iron thru 52* 9 iron, to a 20* or 21* 2 iron, with 4* gaps to the relatively new "pitching iron" in the low 50s.  this was around the time of transition from flatbacked blades to "musclebacks")

 

I could buy the 3* gaps in the longer irons being something engineered, when it comes from Karsten Solheim and Ping; he was famous for using the PingMan robot for real world testing.  The rest of them, I find it harder to believe.  <shrug>

 

I have a couple problems with the even gaps theory...  the first is, at slower swingspeeds, players need wider loft gaps at the top to give them equal distance gaps in their longer irons, not narrower.  The narrower gaps would only work with higher speed players, and even then, only with moderate to higher trajectories at those higher speeds.

 

The second is a philosophical issue that I have regarding the need for even gaps at the top of the set.  I don't think it's important to have some perfect gapping between each iron in a set, only that the gaps are known.  My perspective is that it's more important to cover a given range of distances needed.  I don't care if my gaps go from 12 yds between the 6i/7i to 14 or 15 yds (or whatever it could be) at the longest end of the set.  I only care that I know what they are.

 

Anyone still awake?   LOL

 

It's probably somewhat self-correcting. The guys with enough clubhead speed that a 20-25 degree iron is a better choice than an equivalent hybrid will probably see pretty decent yardage progressions even with three degrees between long irons (but don't get me started on some of the TM sets with 2 degree between iron, yikes!). 

 

And the lower speed guys who will hit a 20 and 23 degree iron all about the same distance are probably using hybrids for everything below 27 degrees anyway. For the older crowd I typically play with, it wouldn't matter if the 3-4-5 irons in a set were spaced one degree apart, they don't even guy anything longer than a 6-iron or maybe even 7-iron. Then it's a hybrid or two and the rest are fairway woods. 

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On 6/15/2021 at 11:08 AM, Stuart_G said:

 

I wouldn't be surprised if it's still pretty close to 90.  Maybe just under - although that's simply a guess based on the time (long ago) I was getting almost 180 out of a 91-92 mph 5i.  Of course, how the delivery changes with length can also play a big part in the gaps.  Some players will deloft the irons a bit more as they get longer so end up with a bigger gap with the dynamic lofts than they have with the static lofts.

 

Agree - see that with a friend that plays graphite shafts that are too weak for him.  He delofts every club, so has no idea where the ball will finish.   I've tried to tell him but, surgeon's don't take direction well. Lol

 

I only deloft when it benefits my shot plan, like dealing with wind.  The other day, 165yd Par 3, wind at our back but sheering off shots, short.  I punched 5i and finished 10' behind the pin - 2 putt par.

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5 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

I have a couple problems with the even gaps theory...  the first is, at slower swingspeeds, players need wider loft gaps at the top to give them equal distance gaps in their longer irons, not narrower.  The narrower gaps would only work with higher speed players, and even then, only with moderate to higher trajectories at those higher speeds.

 

The second is a philosophical issue that I have regarding the need for even gaps at the top of the set.  I don't think it's important to have some perfect gapping between each iron in a set, only that the gaps are known.  My perspective is that it's more important to cover a given range of distances needed.  I don't care if my gaps go from 12 yds between the 6i/7i to 14 or 15 yds (or whatever it could be) at the longest end of the set.  I only care that I know what they are.

 

My history never goes back as far as yours.  Hahaha.  I completely agree with the second issue.  For the first one, I think the slower speed players is a different issue (skill not properties of what makes the ball fly how far), and hence the question re robot or tour player (where speed and strike consistency are not a limiting factor).  I guess still no real answer, partly because it doesn't matter.  Hahaha.

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6 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

the first is, at slower swingspeeds, players need wider loft gaps at the top to give them equal distance gaps in their longer irons, not narrower.

 Reminds me of 2016 when I struck it lucky and got to attend PGA Merchandise Show as a correspondent for another golf blog.

 

DSC_1168-L.jpgOn Tuesday, I arrived pre-lunch at the Ben Hogan test site. No one was there except for me and two Hogan reps! This was when Hogan had resurrected, and was offering to build an iron set with one-degree loft increment from 20° to ~4°. After hitting a couple of iron models, I came up with this conceptual plan for me: build a set with 22° - 27° - 32°... and then 4° loft increments up through LW.

 

With 5° longer-iron loft increments, I could squeeze out an iron at the end of bag where distance precision is less precise. But, due to lack of funds and real-world distractions, I never placed the order. 😪

 

28 minutes ago, agolf1 said:

I don't think it's important to have some perfect gapping between each iron in a set, only that the gaps are known. 

 

GolfWRX sees this a lot. People sweating bullets because of odd distance gaps: angst because the 9i to PW, or set PW to specialty GW... is  14 yards instead of 10 yards. Solution: live with it, choke down a half inch.. uh, act like a golfer!

 

=================

Historic Truth on how we got to cosmic loft-jacking... and on occasion positive manipulation of CoG...

 

ping-eye-300x179.jpgThe original move to strengthen lofts came from Ping and adjustments to its revolutionary perimeter weighting in irons. The perimeter weighting greatly helped players launch the ball higher on iron shots. Only problem was, the perimeter extra lift caused the Ping irons to fly a few yards shorter per club than its competitors.

 

Somewhere between the 1969 Ballnamic prototypes and the Ping Eye of 1981, team Karsten strengthened the loft a couple of degrees to recapture the yardage. After all, they didn’t want the Ping to be known as “the shortest 7 iron in golf.”

 

All well and good until the marketing savants got ahold of the idea. They transformed it into an arms race to have the longest 7i, giving us the gap wedge and super-low loft long irons most golfers can’t hit.

 

This gave rise to club designer Tom Wishon’s cautionary 24/38 Rule: the average golfer can’t hit an iron with…

1.       Loft less than 24°;  or

2.       Shaft longer than 38 inches.

 

The past decade has seen tweaking of irons to move center of gravity in iron heads,  increase trampoline effect, face flexing, etc. Plenty of separate threads on these items.

 

(Special kudos to Mr. Wishon for his multi-decade effort to enhance sanity in golfdom). 

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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2020)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Tour Edge CB Pro Tungsten 4i-9i

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

Ball: Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

For details see:  Pending (need protocol to embed file list).

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My OnOff Kuro forged (2015) have 2.5° gaps from 3-4-5, then 3° for 5-6-7, then 4° from 7-8, and 5° from 8-9-P.

Just got the shafts for them today, so I'll find out in about 2 weeks how these gaps work out.

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Bridgestone Tour B XD-H 3H 21° - KBS Tour Prototype 85 X
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10 hours ago, ChipNRun said:

 This gave rise to club designer Tom Wishon’s cautionary 24/38 Rule: the average golfer can’t hit an iron with…

1.       Loft less than 24°;  or

2.       Shaft longer than 38 inches.

I guess ol' Tom would love my Rogue X iron set. The longest iron in my bag is exactly 38" long and has 24 degrees of loft.

 

I hit it pretty well although I don't expect it to stop quickly on the green by any means. For me it's a much more consistent club than a 24-degree hybrid with a shaft two inches longer. 

 

Who thought Callaway would build a set of flat-out distance irons embodying Wishon's ancient advice from the 1990's? Everything that goes around, comes around. 

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2 minutes ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Might like the specs - but he certainly wouldn't like the fact that longest iron was labelled as the 6i.

Yeah, I know.

 

Grandpa Simpson's gotta Grandpa Simpson.

 

P.S. Maybe he should have called it the "24/38/4 Rule". No less than 24 degrees, no longer than 38 inches, gotta have a "4" written on the sole. Wait a minute, having "4" instead of "6" on the sole doesn't make it any easier to hit. Now I'm confused. 

Edited by North Butte
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27 minutes ago, North Butte said:

Yeah, I know.

 

Grandpa Simpson's gotta Grandpa Simpson.

 

P.S. Maybe he should have called it the "24/38/4 Rule". No less than 24 degrees, no longer than 38 inches, gotta have a "4" written on the sole. Wait a minute, having "4" instead of "6" on the sole doesn't make it any easier to hit. Now I'm confused. 

 

Tom's objections had nothing to do with playability or the traditional relationships between the club number and lofts.   Whether you care or not about the loft vs label relationships,  you can't deny that a large part of the loft jacking was driven by an attempt to raise sales by increasing distances of the mid irons everyone used to demo prior to a buying.   Tom's biggest complaint was the deceptive nature of that practice.

Edited by Stuart_G
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I first encountered people whining online about "deceptive" numbers on the soles of iron in 1995. Back in the old rec.sport.golf days before there forums like this one to whine on. And they'd been at it for quite a while already then, I suspect. If I recall correctly Tom Wishon was among them as far back as 1997 or 1998. 

 

So yeah, I know Tom (among others) has that "complaint". Always has, always will. Him banging on about it decade after decade doesn't make sound any less Grandpa Simpson-ish, quite the opposite in fact. 

 

That's a "problem" right up there with driver shafts being more than 43" long, modern golf balls flying too far and golfers wearing collarless shirts. 

 

But I do think he nailed the 24 deg/38 inch thing just about right. 

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