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Browsing Irons with MPF Data (Older Players CB, High MOI, Low VCOG)


joostin
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28 minutes ago, joostin said:

- "Players" CB iron that's what I think might feel good - preferably single piece forged but doesn't have to be

- Relatively high MOI - around 13+ oz-in²

- Relatively low actual VCOG - around .75" and lower 

- Not really looking at C Dimension, RCOG, or MPF score. That's just me.  Many would want different criteria than these. 

 

image.png.87acc3fac75cc44b748c33853b293798.png

 

First of all, I've always found the term Players Cavity a bit amusing. Is it a Players club, or a Game Improvement club that is having an identity crisis? Here are irons in this rough category which I have really liked.

 

The above iron models are the MP57 (my choice), the marvelous X20 Tours (joostin + me), the J40 DPC (joostin + me), and the i200 (my choice). 

 

  • Mizuno MP57. MPF = 411. The MP line's first cavity back, it got launched in 2007. At time, I was playing clone irons similar to Ping Eye2 with heavy DG S300 shafts and was considering other options. I was surprised that I could launch the bladish-looking iron so well. I did well in a rough fitting, but the model was back-ordered at the time; somehow I never followed up on a possible purchase.
  • Callaway X20 Tours. MPF = 732. In 2009 when I was ready to swap out irons, the Ping i10 was in the lead after technical reviews. But, the i10 proved difficult to hit, and I looked elsewhere. I tried out the X20 and X20 Tours, and went for two seasons with the X20s. But, had distance control problems with X20s - lots of approaches long and short of green. So I found a set of like-new X20 Tours on CPO and got them on trade for X20s + $200. Tours were great, but about 2014 I reshafted from PX 5.0 to NS Pro 8950GH - PXs were hard to control on days I didn't have my A swing. MPF = 732, clearly in Maltby's GI zone. This was about 100 points higher than X22 Tours, which some praised as a true players iron, while others said it was just hard to hit. X22 Tours reminded me of the Ping i10 adventure.
  • Bridgestone J40 DPC. MPF = 652. The dual pocket cavity  version was the GI version of the Players J40 counterpart. Lots of Bridgestone golfers got mixed sets. In spring of 2013, Bridgestone sent me a test kit of the irons: 5i, 9i in DG R300 SL, and 5i, 9i in NS Pro 950 R-flex. The irons felt good, and I liked that the 5i was mid-launch and 9i was high-launch. Still, I would have needed full fitting to find the shaft, and I ended up getting my X20 Tours reshafted the next spring.
  • Ping i200. MPF = 474. Got to hit these at a major golf expo in 2016, along with Ping G model. Both models flew well for me. The following spring, got lots of Ping quality time at a rainy demo day that few attended. I was surprised at how well the i200s in steel AWT 2.0 (R-flex) shafts launched. Like, I could even hit the 4i off the deck. Verdict from fitter: I wanted the i200s, but I probably needed the Gs for long term because I wasn't getting any younger. Ended up not buying.

Parting views on MPF. I have always found the MPF system to be useful for rough sorting of irons I might want to try out. That said, it has not been infallible. The MP57 and i200 would have been no go for me, but it turned out I could more or less hit them. (Confession: I tried both for the simple reason I liked the head design.) With either, I would have needed lighter than stock shafts to make a go of it.

 

That brings us to the issue of shafts. MPF developer Ralph Maltby states up front that the MPF only deals with clubhead design. He notes that shaft and swing characteristics will influence how well a given player hits an iron. And, he notes that if two iron models are within 100 MPF points of each other, the average golfer probably can't tell which has the higher score.

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Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

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

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

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If you go back into the really old data there are some outliers which I think are measurement error, or at least a change in the way they measure today.  I personally don't put any faith in MPF, but many of the other specs are useful in my opinion.

Edited by Nessism
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Cobra (Lexi blue) F7 Hybrid w/Aldila Kuro Kage 80S
Mizuno JPX 929 Hot Metal w/Nippon 950S
Ping Glide 55/60 wedges w/Recoil 110S
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Spot on OP, coulnt agree more, other the the preferences i look for. I actually prefer a bit higher cg because im a high ball hitter. I also look at cdim as well as to me, gives me a good idea of the dna of the club. Dont put a ton of value in the MOI, but maybe because im a decent ball striker. Also have to take into consideration that alot of sets have moving data throughout the set, different blade sizes and cogs, from pw to 4 iron. So a single snap of a 6 iron may not tell the entire story.  I really wish maltby would include blade length, that would be amazing- should have some consideration on playability or ease of use IMO.

 

Edited by Red4282
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30 minutes ago, Red4282 said:

Spot on OP, coulnt agree more, other the the preferences i look for. I actually prefer a bit higher cg because im a high ball hitter. I also look at cdim as well as to me, gives me a good idea of the dna of the club. Dont put a ton of value in the MOI, but maybe because im a decent ball striker. Also have to take into consideration that alot of sets have moving data throughout the set, different blade sizes and cogs, from pw to 4 iron. So a single snap of a 6 iron may not tell the entire story.  I really wish maltby would include blade length, that would be amazing- should have some consideration on playability or ease of use IMO.

 

You are already using the cdim which really gives you a sense of the horizontal sweetspot.  That to me is far more telling than the blade length (if that cdim is large, the blade length pretty much has to be large (just to get it that far from the hosel).

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2 minutes ago, bellairemi said:

You are already using the cdim which really gives you a sense of the horizontal sweetspot.  That to me is far more telling than the blade length (if that cdim is large, the blade length pretty much has to be large (just to get it that far from the hosel).

Yes in some cases. There are irons such as the t100 with a massive tungsten weight in the toe that keeps cdim pretty high for a smaller blade length iron.

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5 hours ago, Valtiel said:

Agreed with Red in that this is very much the same sort of criteria that I look for, hence the clubs that I play. 

There is an interesting correlation between these specs and the clubs clubs that end up being considered "cult classics". Specs don't guarantee anything of course, but as with driver CG location, you'll almost never find anything with a really high CG that ends up sticking or developing a following. However when we look at the clubs that have, they are almost always lower CG, more forgiving, or an effective blend of both . Think about the...

- Callaway Fusion driver
- Cobra LTD/Pro driver
- PING G400 MAX driver

- Taylormade 2016 M2 driver

- Taylormade 300 Forged irons
- Callaway 07' X-Forged irons
- Bridgestone J40 irons
- Most older Mizuno Blades

There are plenty others, but we definitely see a pattern. Same thing on the other side too, I can't think of a single cult classic club that had a high center of gravity, but there were plenty of flops that did. 

I agree with just about everything you wrote but have obe possible exception to the cult classic - Ping i210s.

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Titleist 735CM is pretty high on that list of requirements.

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18 hours ago, ChipNRun said:

Parting views on MPF. I have always found the MPF system to be useful for rough sorting of irons I might want to try out. That said, it has not been infallible. The MP57 and i200 would have been no go for me, but it turned out I could more or less hit them. (Confession: I tried both for the simple reason I liked the head design.) With either, I would have needed lighter than stock shafts to make a go of it.

This is why I feel the guts of the data can be more useful in catering to one's needs, not necessarily the MPF score or classification.  For instance I'm mostly a sweeper with tendencies to miss thin, hence the low VCOG Mizunos I play.

 

May be the case with MP57 and i200 that you liked them so much, despite not being GI, that you figured out how to dial them in to make them work for that short time... like honeymoon period, or you're a better ballstriker than you gave yourself credit for!

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Maltby data is extremely useful. I hit on Trackman often. I am a 0-2° angle of attack with irons. Trackman says I should be 4-6° down.  I am a sweeper. I don't have the patience or time to change that. I rarely take a divot and if I do it is with a wedge and very small. Low CoG irons feel solid and perform well. I am a Ping loyalist but cant play the newer stuff because it feels thin, spinny, and short. I simply catch them below the sweet spot every single time. Maltby data has pushed me to the JPX hot metals and they perform well, but I think testing the t300 is needed to truly get low enough. 

 

The one thing I would love to see robot testing on is what is the difference in say a MOI of 13 and 16. Are we talking 1 yard or 8 yards on a toe strike?  That is the test that the site nobody mentions needs to conduct. How much MOI is enough?

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Ping G410 21° EF White 75s
Ping G410 22°/25°/30° Hybrid Tensei White
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16 hours ago, Valtiel said:

However when we look at the clubs that have, they are almost always lower CG, more forgiving, or an effective blend of both

11 hours ago, bellairemi said:

I agree with just about everything you wrote but have obe possible exception to the cult classic - Ping i210s.

Agreed that low VCOG is generally a great indicator of lots of cult irons.

 

Ping i210 and what seemed to be a little cult following of Nike Vapor Pro Combo on here are certainly outliers of high VCOG.  It's one of the reasons I bring up the theory on the "sweet spot area" comments.  Along with high VCOG G-series or other GIs that seem to have big followings.  For woods and hybrids we hear the sweet spot "tech" more often:  thin VFT faces, cup face, slots (TM, Adams, Titleist and others), flexing and retaining COR over larger areas.  In irons it might not be so obvious, other than slots like P790, but the construction of the head and placement of perimeter weighting I believe play a sweet spot role and frequency vibration role at impact that CG and MOI data can't tell.

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3I Srixon Z 545 6I TM Sim2 Max OS 6I-PW MP-54, C Taper Lite X

GW Nike VPC, Tour V X 54, 60 Cleveland CBX, DG S300 Cure CX3

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17 hours ago, Valtiel said:

Callaway Fusion driver
- Cobra LTD/Pro driver
- PING G400 MAX driver

- Taylormade 2016 M2 driver

Yes!  Should be another thread but the mg$ CG vs MOI chart shows a grouping of those cult drivers - high MOI with low CG (help gear low spin).  Circled below, from LTD Pro to G400 Max / PXG Gen2, with what I see as the unicorn goal driver.  It's the reason I chose a TS2.

20211127_082848.jpg.893ac6b46e7cf0be5b7249294c67e9ce.jpg

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3I Srixon Z 545 6I TM Sim2 Max OS 6I-PW MP-54, C Taper Lite X

GW Nike VPC, Tour V X 54, 60 Cleveland CBX, DG S300 Cure CX3

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12 hours ago, bellairemi said:

I agree with just about everything you wrote but have obe possible exception to the cult classic - Ping i210s.


Good point. IMO that is a good example of feel based tech (elastomer insert) and very high MOI countering the downside that a higher CG often poses by making the iron feel more pleasing to hit. A higher CG will tend to produce what are technically "thinner" shots which have that particular feel to them, but high MOI will work to counter that, and the i210 is exceptional in that regard. 

Edited by Valtiel
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I only look at C Dimension, VCOG and RCOG (although RCOG is not as important.) C Dimension basically tells you how long the blade length is — pretty long if that number is 1.4 or higher. I tend to like clubs with a C Dimension of 1.2-1.4. Long enough blade length to help, but I know any longer won’t make a difference.
 

The final MPF number heavily favors clubs with very long blade lengths, so I ignore it. I’m only looking for data that indicates how far from the hosel is the sweet spot and is the club easy to launch. 
 

MOI in an iron doesn’t matter to me. I’ve never found an iron with high MOI is more accurate or easier to hit. Whatever the MOI is, it seems to be fine if the other factors fit. 

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3 hours ago, Wooderson said:

The one thing I would love to see robot testing on is what is the difference in say a MOI of 13 and 16. Are we talking 1 yard or 8 yards on a toe strike?  That is the test that the site nobody mentions needs to conduct. How much MOI is enough?

 

It would be interesting, but we'll never see it.  They have too much invested to let real information like that out.  😉

 

Yes, I'm a bit of a cynic

 

 

3 hours ago, joostin said:

Agreed that low VCOG is generally a great indicator of lots of cult irons.

 

Ping i210 and what seemed to be a little cult following of Nike Vapor Pro Combo on here are certainly outliers of high VCOG.  It's one of the reasons I bring up the theory on the "sweet spot area" comments.  Along with high VCOG G-series or other GIs that seem to have big followings.  For woods and hybrids we hear the sweet spot "tech" more often:  thin VFT faces, cup face, slots (TM, Adams, Titleist and others), flexing and retaining COR over larger areas.  In irons it might not be so obvious, other than slots like P790, but the construction of the head and placement of perimeter weighting I believe play a sweet spot role and frequency vibration role at impact that CG and MOI data can't tell.

 

I have a theory about the modern high vertical CG, based on something @bladehunter mentioned, when the hot spot topic has come up.

 

His thinking such as I remember is that the hot spot is due to folks hitting above the CG, and vertical gear effect producing higher launch and lower spin than normal (mostly the lower spin), such that they're experiencing a flier without the normal conditions required to get that flier.  Essentially the high launch, low spin shot most of us seek with driver.

 

In order to see it, that golfer's spin production has to be moderate, in a zone where the reduction creates the distance bump.  Those with higher spin may not see that increase, nor will those with lower spin, where any spin reduction kills distance.

 

My theory is that by moving the CG higher, it's a lot harder to hit above the CG for that vertical gear effect to kick in and create that shot.  <shrug>

 

That was a bit long winded.  Sorry about that 

 

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Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

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1 hour ago, NRJyzr said:

 

It would be interesting, but we'll never see it.  They have too much invested to let real information like that out.  😉

 

Yes, I'm a bit of a cynic

 

 

 

I have a theory about the modern high vertical CG, based on something @bladehunter mentioned, when the hot spot topic has come up.

 

His thinking such as I remember is that the hot spot is due to folks hitting above the CG, and vertical gear effect producing higher launch and lower spin than normal (mostly the lower spin), such that they're experiencing a flier without the normal conditions required to get that flier.  Essentially the high launch, low spin shot most of us seek with driver.

 

In order to see it, that golfer's spin production has to be moderate, in a zone where the reduction creates the distance bump.  Those with higher spin may not see that increase, nor will those with lower spin, where any spin reduction kills distance.

 

My theory is that by moving the CG higher, it's a lot harder to hit above the CG for that vertical gear effect to kick in and create that shot.  <shrug>

 

That was a bit long winded.  Sorry about that 

 

100 %. If you have some speed , this is a real thing.  I played i500 for 8/9 months exclusively, built for me with identical shaft I had been using.  Every once in a while I’d hit some god awfully long short iron.  Something like a 170 yard 9 iron.  Or a 200 yard 7 iron.  Just boom.  Touch them all. Gone.  
 

i assure you these weren’t just flush shots.  I played them to a +.05 or so handicap then and had worn the middle of the faces off the short irons.  This was a shot that you caught a groove higher , and would just rocket up and out.  It was so predictable that I’d do it on purpose on some par 3s. To get it to go sky high and land soft.  Hit way  less club , tee it up a slight hair and watch it launch. Hit a normal iron up there on the face and it comes out dead.  
 

In the end just too unpredictable to keep using.  That and I hated the long irons off the deck.  

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3 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

His thinking such as I remember is that the hot spot is due to folks hitting above the CG, and vertical gear effect producing higher launch and lower spin than normal (mostly the lower spin), such that they're experiencing a flier without the normal conditions required to get that flier.  Essentially the high launch, low spin shot most of us seek with driver.

 

In order to see it, that golfer's spin production has to be moderate, in a zone where the reduction creates the distance bump.  Those with higher spin may not see that increase, nor will those with lower spin, where any spin reduction kills distance.

 

My theory is that by moving the CG higher, it's a lot harder to hit above the CG for that vertical gear effect to kick in and create that shot.  <shrug>

 

1 hour ago, bladehunter said:

100 %. If you have some speed , this is a real thing.  


Yeah this about the only explanation that makes sense to me. I like the idea that it is also spin dependent too in the sense that a naturally low spin player wouldn't really experience it as much, nor would a really high spin player. It makes sense that there would be a launch/spin/speed range that would be the most impacted by a high strike that cuts spin without losing speed and thus that player could experience these fliers while others would insist they are crazy. 

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8 hours ago, littletimbo182 said:

What are some of the newer players cavities that follow this?

To my criteria in OP, the closest newer ones I see are Titleist T100, T100S (T200 depending how "GI" you want to go), Cobra King Tour MIM, Srixon ZX7, ZX5.  Look up MPF iron ratings and check out the golfworks links.

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8 hours ago, Wooderson said:

The one thing I would love to see robot testing on is what is the difference in say a MOI of 13 and 16. Are we talking 1 yard or 8 yards on a toe strike?  That is the test that the site nobody mentions needs to conduct.

 

4 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

It would be interesting, but we'll never see it.  They have too much invested to let real information like that out.  😉

 

Yes, I'm a bit of a cynic

Good question, don't know the answer.  If I run across any estimates or figure out some kind of calculation I'll post.. But gotta agree that companies don't like letting the cat out of the bag and having independents dive into comparative detail like mpf.  An apples to apples test would require the same head, same weight, with variable weight placement toe-heel (like a PXG) in a very controlled environment, or can probably be figured out on simulation or get close mathematically. 

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Interesting comments on the CG and flier-like shots.  I see comments saying "gear effect doesn't happen in irons" probably more often than relating CG to vertical gearing on irons.  Might have to see real CG vs impact location, or dig deeper than to generally state "no gearing in irons" (Tutelman diagram is the only reference I've really seen showing wood gearing vs iron).

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I look at VCOG, C dim., bounce, and MOI in that order.  VCOG needs to be between 0.8" and 0.75" (too low makes punching out from under trees a bit too challenging).  I play the majority of my golf off very firm, tight lies and need some vertical forgiveness because normal divots = orthopedic surgery.  The C dimension needs to be greater than about 1.2".  Could I handle less?  Yes, but why would I want to.  Placing the horizontal CG close to the hosel has no advantage and is design stupidity based on tradition.  Bounce needs to be less than 8° throughout the set.  If I played sloppy, lush courses maybe my bounce criteria would change.  Finally, more MOI is better, but it is a nice to have or tiebreaker; not all that important in an iron.

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I’ve spent way too much time looking thru the data that goes into MPF and for a solid club with no tech there’s no reason to think the MPF isn’t spot on. Where the wheels fall off is almost all new irons have some degree of tech that MPF can’t fully account for.

 

Only semi-related but I have a theory that there’s a lot more to cdim and forgiveness than just moving the cg away from the hosel. Having a high cdim is almost always associated with a larger clubhead (yes there are exceptions). Being a tennis player that lived thru the move to oversized rackets, that not only changed the cg of the racket, it a made the sweet spot considerably larger, making tennis far easier for the typical amateur. I suspect the larger/longer club face does the same for golf, which is related to cdim. I know MPF values a high cdim, so maybe this was intentional or maybe it was a case of being right for the wrong reason. Whatever it was, if you want something “easy to hit” you have to account for cdim even if your miss is a heel strike.

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1 hour ago, jgard320 said:

Wondering if there is a sortable mpf spreadsheet where we can make these comparisons between all heads quickly. 

A quick attempt I did to copy data off one of the pdfs was a fail since it didn't copy into different cells in Excel.  So I stopped trying 😆

Edited by joostin

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17 hours ago, Valtiel said:

 


Yeah this about the only explanation that makes sense to me. I like the idea that it is also spin dependent too in the sense that a naturally low spin player wouldn't really experience it as much, nor would a really high spin player. It makes sense that there would be a launch/spin/speed range that would be the most impacted by a high strike that cuts spin without losing speed and thus that player could experience these fliers while others would insist they are crazy. 

Is this similar to hitting driver slightly higher then the middle/sweet spot and getting higher launch and lower spin? I realize bulge and roll has an impact on this with driver.

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21 minutes ago, ode said:

Is this similar to hitting driver slightly higher then the middle/sweet spot and getting higher launch and lower spin? I realize bulge and roll has an impact on this with driver.


Yeah same concept. Traditional irons without the unsupported faces of these hollow distance irons will usually slow the ball speed down enough when struck this way to offset the other stuff, but the hotter faces on hollow irons will retain much more of that ball speed. An extra 15y is almost always welcome on the driver, not so much on your approach shot. 😅

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18 hours ago, PuffyC said:

I’ve spent way too much time looking thru the data that goes into MPF and for a solid club with no tech there’s no reason to think the MPF isn’t spot on. Where the wheels fall off is almost all new irons have some degree of tech that MPF can’t fully account for.

 

Only semi-related but I have a theory that there’s a lot more to cdim and forgiveness than just moving the cg away from the hosel. Having a high cdim is almost always associated with a larger clubhead (yes there are exceptions). Being a tennis player that lived thru the move to oversized rackets, that not only changed the cg of the racket, it a made the sweet spot considerably larger, making tennis far easier for the typical amateur. I suspect the larger/longer club face does the same for golf, which is related to cdim. I know MPF values a high cdim, so maybe this was intentional or maybe it was a case of being right for the wrong reason. Whatever it was, if you want something “easy to hit” you have to account for cdim even if your miss is a heel strike.

 

The MPF places a high value on the horizontal COG or what they call "C-dimension", because it creates a wider area on the face for a relatively solid strike.  The reason for this is that a strike that is outside or toeside of the COG (sweet-spot) will twist the head more than a strike that is inside or heelside of it.  All else equal, a strike that is 1/4" outside of the COG is going to twist the head more than a strike that is 1/4" inside of it.

 

So irons with really short C-dimensions (think long hosel, short blade length), usually have a very small amount of space to work with between the edge of the hosel and the COG (sweet-spot) for a relatively solid strike.  This is why all good players from back in the day, learned to develop an impact pattern that was inside of center.  Ping was the first company to design irons that didn't require this for pure contact, because they had much longer C-dimensions than anything else in that era

Edited by Cwebb
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On 11/26/2021 at 11:08 AM, Nessism said:

If you go back into the really old data there are some outliers which I think are measurement error, or at least a change in the way they measure today.  I personally don't put any faith in MPF, but many of the other specs are useful in my opinion.

 

I think the reason that some of the data through the decades may seem off, concerns the Rearward COG.  Maltby explains it in his book, in that there is an Rcog that they use for calculating the AVCOG....and then there is another measurement that is used for additional factors, such as how much influence there can be on the shaft leading to more dynamic loft at impact.

 

What they use for the MPF calculation is the distance between the COG and the "intersection point of the face plane with the ground line".

 

The factor in Rcog that can effect the shaft and dynamic loft, is the distance between the COG and the centerline of the hosel

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