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Lengthening wedges to adjust gapping


jomatty
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I recently have been struggling with gapping on my gap wedge and 54 degree wedge.  I had been planning on a shaft change anyways so I ended up leaving the shafts at pitching wedge length.  This slight bit of length seems to have given me the extra few yards I was looking for.  Does anyone consider club length when figuring out the gapping on their clubs?  Tweaking the loft would have been my first thought, but I don’t have the equipment to do that sort of thing.  It’s an hour in the car to get to someone who can adjust the lofts.  I also have a smaller gap than I’d like between my 5 and 6 irons and am thinking about adding a 1/4 or 1/2 inch to the 5 iron, and possibly a slightly lighter shaft as well.

anyhow, just curious if anyone else uses shaft length to adjust gapping and if There are any issues I’m likely to run into that I’m not currently seeing.

thanks!

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Loft will always be the easiest way to adjust for yardage gapping, but with that said length can help as well. 
 

I actually moved to “single” length in my wedges this year. My pitching wedge through lob wedge are all the same length. 
 

As far as the top end of  the bag I went from 3* to 5* gaps from 4 (20*) to 5 (25*) and 5 to 6 (30*) iron to help with them bunching up as well as going to 5/8” vs 1/2” length increments in the same clubs. 
 

All in all I’m seeing about 15 yard gaps between 4 and 5 then 5 and 6. Which is exactly what I was looking for 

Edited by MPAndreassi
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19 minutes ago, jomatty said:

I also have a smaller gap than I’d like between my 5 and 6 irons and am thinking about adding a 1/4 or 1/2 inch to the 5 iron, and possibly a slightly lighter shaft as well.

 

It's possible it might work.  With steel shafts it's easy to add an extension and remove it if it doesn't work out (removing extensions from graphite can be more problematic).

 

However, keep in mind that adding length to clubs in the longer end of the set can be more problematic than with the wedges.

1) it can potentially be detrimental to the quality and consistency of the impact so can adversly effect consistency, accuracy and dispersion. And poor impact can take away any distance gains you might have gotten from the extra length.  e.g. if you don't have a 4i in the bag because you don't hit it that well, then you risk the same happening to the 5i when it's extended to 4i length.

 

2) It will increase the swing weight and most players are more sensitive to those changes in the longer clubs than in the shorter clubs.  Const swing weight sets actually give increasing MOI's as the clubs get longer so in essence the longer clubs already have a heavier head weight feel relative to the shorter clubs to begin with.  Making them longer will make that worse.   It's also something that's not easy to compensate for unless you're already using a decent amount of tip weights that could potentially be removed.

 

Going lighter with the shaft weight may or may not give more swing speed, only some testing will tell if it can help or how much.  But going lighter can also potentially effect rhythm and tempo and consistency.  Again only testing

 

So bottom line is while there is nothing wrong with some experimentation with other club / build specs, loft is the only way that is certain to be effective at tweaking the distance gaps.  And in the modern clubs with the stronger mid-iron lofts and smaller loft gaps above the mid-irons,  the loft is also the most likely reason for the smaller distance gaps.

Edited by Stuart_G
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9 minutes ago, MPAndreassi said:

Loft will always be the easiest way to adjust for yardage gapping, but with that said length can help as well. 
 

I actually moved to “single” length in my wedges this year. My pitching wedge through lob wedge are all the same length. 
 

As far as the top end of  the bag I went from 3* to 5* gaps from 4 (20*) to 5 (25*) and 5 to 6 (30*) iron to help with them bunching up as well as going to 5/8” vs 1/2” length increments in the same clubs. 
 

All in all I’m seeing about 15 yard gaps between 4 and 5 then 5 and 6. Which is exactly what I was looking for 

Loft definitely would have been the way I went about it if I could have done that myself, or it was more convenient.  For my next build I have been thinking about going ol in all the wedges.  I had them like that for a brief time awhile ago but didn’t like the shafts and never really gave it a chance.  I like the idea of having slightly longer shafts if I need them.  It seems to give me a little more flexibility and one more way to tweak the yardages with the precise clubs.

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2 minutes ago, jomatty said:

Loft definitely would have been the way I went about it if I could have done that myself, or it was more convenient.  For my next build I have been thinking about going ol in all the wedges.  I had them like that for a brief time awhile ago but didn’t like the shafts and never really gave it a chance.  I like the idea of having slightly longer shafts if I need them.  It seems to give me a little more flexibility and one more way to tweak the yardages with the precise clubs.


The fine tuning and  opportunity to have more “full” swings is  what I like about it. It’s helped my 40-100 yard game immensely. 

Edited by MPAndreassi
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TSi3 9* / Ventus Black 6x

300 Mini 13.5* / Ventus Black 10x

TSi3 19* / Ventus Black HB 10tx

T100•s 4-9 / Dynamic Gold X7

SM8 46, 50 / Dynamic Gold X7

SM8 54, 58 / Dynamic Gold TI X100

 

Champion’s Choice / MC X-Firm
620 / MC X-Firm

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3 minutes ago, Stuart_G said:

 

It's possible it might work.  With steel shafts it's easy to add an extension and remove it if it doesn't work out (removing extensions from graphite can be more problematic).

 

However, keep in mind that adding length to clubs in the longer end of the set can be more problematic than with the wedges.

1) it can potentially be detrimental to the quality and consistency of the impact so can adversly effect consistency, accuracy and dispersion. And poor impact can take away any distance gains you might have gotten from the extra length.  e.g. if you don't have a 4i in the bag because you don't hit it that well, then you risk the same happening to the 5i when it's extended to 4i length.

 

2) It will increase the swing weight and most players are more sensitive to those changes in the longer clubs than in the shorter clubs.  Const swing weight sets actually give increasing MOI's as the clubs get longer so in essence the longer clubs already have a heavier head weight feel relative to the shorter clubs to begin with.  Making them longer will make that worse.   It's also something that's not easy to compensate for unless you're already using a decent amount of tip weights that could potentially be removed.

 

Going lighter with the shaft weight may or may not give more swing speed, only some testing will tell if it can help or how much.  But going lighter can also potentially effect rhythm and tempo and consistency.  Again only testing

 

So bottom line is while there is nothing wrong with some experimentation with other club / build specs, loft is the only way that is certain to be effective at tweaking the distance gaps.  And in the modern clubs with the stronger mid-iron lofts and smaller loft gaps above the mid-irons,  the loft is also the most likely reason for the smaller distance gaps.

That all makes perfect sense.  I don’t have a 4 iron in my bag.  My driver ss is around 102 and I just found that I wasn’t striking the 4 iron consistently enough, with enough speed, to hit it longer than my 5 iron.  I probably should actually consider going to a 5 hybrid, but my ego is fighting me hard on that, and I’ve got a lot of headcovers as it is!  I’m playing to around a 5 hcp and feel like I should be more consistent with my 5 iron.  But it is a problem area right now and I may just have to swallow my pride and get a second hybrid...

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3 minutes ago, MPAndreassi said:


The fine tuning and  opportunity to have more “full” swings is  what I like about it. It’s helped my 40-100 yard game immensely. 

Yes.  It makes sense.  On a 200 yard shot the ability to have a perfect shot go 2 yards shorter or longer is of limited use to me, as there are so many variables, the largest being my ability.  On a 80 yard shot having more ways to attempt to fine tune the shot to an exact distance that I could approach with confidence has a lot more appeal. 

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If you're a high swing speed player (110+ driver), then length changes will result in more of a yardage change.  Most typical golfers won't see much of a yardage change when using up to an inch of club length change.  At most, I only get 2-3 mph difference in club head speed as the lengths increase.

Edited by Noodler
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I experiment with different shaft lengths on my lob wedge all the time.  I find that if I go too long, the lie angle needs to be flattened or I just get confused at address.  I have a 64 degree high toe adjusted to 66.  I'm testing it with an 8 iron length shaft and it is adjusted 2 degrees flat to compensate, but even that doesn't seem enough.  I'll probably need to cut it down to 9I or PW length.  Unfortunately, I got too trigger happy and tried using it before the epoxy fully cured and the head flew off this morning, so I'm back to square one anyway, lol.  I'm anticipating that this club will be totally useless, but looking forward to seeing what happens.  

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1 hour ago, jomatty said:

That all makes perfect sense.  I don’t have a 4 iron in my bag.  My driver ss is around 102 and I just found that I wasn’t striking the 4 iron consistently enough, with enough speed, to hit it longer than my 5 iron.  I probably should actually consider going to a 5 hybrid, but my ego is fighting me hard on that, and I’ve got a lot of headcovers as it is!  I’m playing to around a 5 hcp and feel like I should be more consistent with my 5 iron.  But it is a problem area right now and I may just have to swallow my pride and get a second hybrid...

I play off 6 and the longest iron in my bag is mp18 6i I took 3,4 and 5i out and replaced them with 19 and 23 hybrids. The 23 has a steel shaft to match my irons playing the same length as my 6i and lofted up to 25 degrees. It's so easy to hit I'm considering doing the same with a 27 hybrid and taking out the 6i. I'll have 5 headcovers in the bag if I do that but I don't care because the hybrid is so easy to hit it feels as versatile as a wedge except for the fact it is going 200+ yards. 

 

I used to consider myself an excellent long iron striker and loved ripping a 3i whenever I could but lack of playing time through work and family commitments have made me swallow my ego and just make the game easier and more enjoyable. 

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