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Titleist MB’s - 5 Degree Iron Gaps?


Jsaund
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Looking to do a little bit of a weird build/winter project. I have an old set of 690.mb’s kicking around in not so great shape, and I’ve been in the process of refinishing them. I’m thinking about setting it up with 5 degree gaps though, Interested to hear any thoughts on this! I go putter, Callaway XR16 LD 5.5*, then Callaway Mini 1.5 at 10*, TM M2 Tour 15*. Then I would like to go MB 3 iron 19* (-3) 4 iron at 24*(-1), 5 iron 29* (+1), 7 iron 34* (-2), 8 iron 39* (-1), 9 iron 44* (0), PW 49 (+1) then a 54*, 58*, and 62*. 
 

The heads are sandblasted to bare metal at the moment, and I am going to attempt to add weld/grind before finishing. This will bring the weights back up, and I’ll try to add a little bit more bounce too. Ideally I’ll smooth out the iron number and just stamp the loft on in its place. 
 

Let me know what you guys think about this build, and what playing with 5* iron gaps would be like!

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My current 620 MBs are 4' to 5i, then 3' to 21' 3 iron and back to 4' to 17' 2 iron.  My custom MacGregor MB's are 3' and 4' spreads as well, and my 670 MBs were 3' and 4' spreads.  As long as you know how to cover the yardage, it shouldn't be an issue.

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1 minute ago, Pepperturbo said:

My current 620 MBs are 4' to 5i, then 3' to 21' 3 iron and back to 4' to 17' 2 iron.  My custom MacGregor MB's are 3' and 4' spreads as well, and my 670 MBs were 3' and 4' spreads.  As long as you know how to cover the yardage, it shouldn't be an issue.

Great point, I’m seeing that a lot, the lofts get tighter at the top end with faster swing speed the smaller gap is the same amount of distance. I think I’ll put it together then hit them a bit and do a final bend to fix the gapping. Maybe bring the 3 iron up a touch and get a 4 wood or something to fit. 
 

The goal of all of this being basically to remove an iron and allow me to keep basically two drivers in the bag and 4 wedges!

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1 minute ago, Jsaund said:

Great point, I’m seeing that a lot, the lofts get tighter at the top end with faster swing speed the smaller gap is the same amount of distance. I think I’ll put it together then hit them a bit and do a final bend to fix the gapping. Maybe bring the 3 iron up a touch and get a 4 wood or something to fit. 
 

The goal of all of this being basically to remove an iron and allow me to keep basically two drivers in the bag and 4 wedges!

That's different.  Good luck

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I wouldn’t worry about the loft number and would just pick your preferred number for each club based on your preferred gapping and then just bend each club to meet that preferred number.

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1 minute ago, EDT501 said:

I wouldn’t worry about the loft number and would just pick your preferred number for each club based on your preferred gapping and then just bend each club to meet that preferred number.


For sure, the lofts were just basically a guideline to show if I gapped them at 5 instead of 4 I could get rid of one iron and keep the lob wedge and 5* driver! I’m sure when start honing them in they won’t be exactly those numbers!

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Do you know that those lofts will provide suitable gapping?    I'm not a club builder, but seems you might want to start at your long irons (because it's easier to match them up with woods than the other way aruond) and set your subsequent lofts, test them and ensure the gapping will be playable.

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Bending long irons strong will create more offset.

 

Bending the short irons weak will take away offset.  

 

That's going to create a heavy dose of progressive offset in your set, which may create ball flight differences as you move from long irons to short irons through the set.

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12 minutes ago, amace04 said:

Do you know that those lofts will provide suitable gapping?    I'm not a club builder, but seems you might want to start at your long irons (because it's easier to match them up with woods than the other way aruond) and set your subsequent lofts, test them and ensure the gapping will be playable.

That’s a good strategy, I have another 2 iron that plays around the same loft as the 3 iron bent strong and I think that gapping fits nicely in with my 3 wood but I’ll test for sure. 

 

As far as gapping with the other clubs, I’m fine having bigger gaps in my irons if it means more flexibility on the top and bottom end. Right now I play most of the holes at my course with a driver/wood and wedges. Carrying that many irons just doesn’t make a ton of sense because I might pull a 4,6,7 iron once a round to use on a long par 3 or something. Not sure if that makes sense or not!

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10 minutes ago, joelco said:

Bending long irons strong will create more offset.

 

Bending the short irons weak will take away offset.  

 

That's going to create a heavy dose of progressive offset in your set, which may create ball flight differences as you move from long irons to short irons through the set.


This is a really good point! When I go back to my workshop I can try to get a picture of this but the set gets progressively more offset so the 3 iron has barely any and the pw has some. Would the suggested bending, and maybe some grinding to clean up any onset I might make, help even this out so they’re all more neutral? That is definitely a good point to consider!

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I like to use 4.5 degree loft progression in my irons, it frees up room for an add it club in the bag and I feel that there is no loss of distance control.

 

For reference, PW loft is 47 degrees, 20 degrees in my 4 iron, I then carry a 54 and 60 degree and round the set out with a Driver at 8.5 degrees, strong 3 wood at 13 degrees, 5 wood at 17.5 degrees, putter, and then have a spot in the bag that alternates between a specialty wood like a 7 wood or 9 wood, or a second driver with a 47 inch shaft for scramble events.

 

 

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The best way to do 5* gaps is to bend the long irons strong, and bend the short irons weak. This keeps the bounce and offset progressions consistent. 

 

For example, bend the:

PW 2* weak

9i 1* weak

leave the 8 alone

7i 1* strong

6i 2* strong

 

This basically takes one less club to cover the 5i to PW lofts, and let's you put a club you need at one end of the bag or the other. 

 

5* gaps makes the most sense in the mid irons. I bent my Adams CB1s like this:

 

PW 46-->48

9i 42-->44

8i 38-->40

7i 34-->35

6i 30-->30

5i 27-->26

 

I like how bending the short irons weak takes out some offset, and adds some bounce. Be careful, bending the long irons strong may make the offset too much, depending on how much they start with, and what you prefer to look at. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 1/28/2022 at 12:26 PM, joelco said:

Bending long irons strong will create more offset.

 

Bending the short irons weak will take away offset.  

 

That's going to create a heavy dose of progressive offset in your set, which may create ball flight differences as you move from long irons to short irons through the set.

 

The offset change from bending is minimal.  It's there if you measure, but most won't notice.

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I did something similar a while back to try and eliminate an iron. Long story short I never got comfortable with it. Maybe if I’d had more time and regular access to chart distances with a LM and/or do additional bend tweaks myself. If you can do all that it’s worth a shot, but for me the experiment didn’t make me want to fully commit to it.

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What you are trying to do is fairly similar to Phil Mickelson's setup when he won the PGA

https://www.golfwrx.com/654804/phil-mickelson-witb-2021-may-pga-championship/

 

Long driver at 5.5*

Short/mini driver 11.5*

16.5* 4wood/UW/Utility Iron

20.5* Utility Iron

25* Utility Iron

6-PW MB

50*/55*/60* wedges. 

 

I think there would be 20 yard gaps between his 16.5*/20.5*UT/25*UT/6 iron. Cleary the setup can work. Just have to know your yardages and the shots you are trying to hit. I would pay close attention to the launch/spin/descent angle/distance numbers with your 19* and 24* MB irons. On average a 1* change in loft will change launch angle by .55* on 5 iron, .35* on 9 iron. This is why loft gaps are often smaller in the long irons. 

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