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Fact or Fiction? PD Iron "Hot Spots"


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In threads relating to PD/GI irons, the topic of "hot spots" comes up fairly frequently. Often purported by adamant MB/CB users.

 

Now, I've been a long time player of forged blades. But this past season delved into the PD category. Initially out of curiosity, but I've become a convert. They do everything I ask of my blades, with the benefit of added forgiveness on mishits.

Have hit at least 1000+ balls on my home sim/LM. And today realized I never once encountered the hot spot unicorn. Then I thought about all the videos I watched while researching a wide array of PD irons. There too, I can't recall any instances where the tester(s) ran into this alleged phenomena. Now, maybe this was a legitimate claim early on in the development with this category of irons. But current state, I'm just not seeing it.

I've personally been in the camp of it being fliers, not hot spots. This realization of personal and observed data has made me more confident in that position. I also just replaced my blades with a Rogue ST Pro set. So I'll have even more opportunity to run into this "problem". But for now, hot spots to me are about as real as bigfoot, a flat earth, or small government. 

What say you?

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Vastly over stated IMHO, I think its more of a LM phenomenon when you read 1000 rpm less spin combined with a launch condition that shows a longer carry. For example my 2d weak P790 7i I have carried 170+ on a TM or GC4 indoors. 

 

I have never lined up a 165 yard shot from a decent lie and flew the pin by 10+y with that same 7i on a well struck shot with that same CHS I practice with. 

 

Nopes. 

 

 

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37 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

It’s not “ hot spots “. What it is - very high vertical center of gravity …. So occasionally you’ll get that center of gravity to the equator of the ball or below and hit the high launch - low spin bomb.  Basically a pure shot.  You don’t get that with irons who have a lower Vcog.   Because the center of gravity gets to the middle of the ball  or lower much more often.  
 

this is by design I believe because these irons are designed to be hit fat a lot of the time.  Or designed for high handicaps who often  hit heavy shots. So the center of gravity is in a spot that will work well with those heavy shots.  
 

yes these flyers happen.  Usually to higher speed players because the low spin element doesn’t really help slower players to nuke a shot. It will just fall out of the air minus speed behind it. 

If your theory is correct, I don't have enough clubhead speed for it to be an issue. And I don't see those shots. 

 

The one exception is when I had some Ping G irons I'd sometimes get that "high launch - low spin bomb" on Par 3's where I typically tee the ball up slightly above the ground. With that one set of irons only, I used to get shots about once every 8-10 Par 3's that went far higher than usual, flew all the way to the back of the green and took a big, hard bounce when they landed. 

 

It was enough of a "thing" that on one certain Par 3 that would normally be either 7-iron or 8-iron for me, with the G irons I'd always hit the 9-iron. Most times it would barely reach the front of the green but maybe once a month I'd hit one of those shots and it would end up in the back fringe. 

 

I never noticed anything like that ball flight on shots hit from tight lies or rough. Just with the ball tee up with maybe 1/4" or so of air under it on Par 3's. 

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50 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

It’s not “ hot spots “. What it is - very high vertical center of gravity …. So occasionally you’ll get that center of gravity to the equator of the ball or below and hit the high launch - low spin bomb.  Basically a pure shot.  You don’t get that with irons who have a lower Vcog.   Because the center of gravity gets to the middle of the ball  or lower much more often.  
 

this is by design I believe because these irons are designed to be hit fat a lot of the time.  Or designed for high handicaps who often  hit heavy shots. So the center of gravity is in a spot that will work well with those heavy shots.  
 

yes these flyers happen.  Usually to higher speed players because the low spin element doesn’t really help slower players to nuke a shot. It will just fall out of the air minus speed behind it. 

 

This is a good explanation.

 

Plus human error things like someone who never usually hits the exact sweet spot on the club and is always lets say 5mm off of it, and finally hits one perfectly on there (closer to the heel for instance) and it ends up going 10yds further or so.

 

Or someone who doesnt normally hit a draw and has an inconsistent swing ends up hitting a trap draw one time without knowing it and calls it a flyer since it goes further.

 

Etc.

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1 minute ago, North Butte said:

If your theory is correct, I don't have enough clubhead speed for it to be an issue. And I don't see those shots. 

 

The one exception is when I had some Ping G irons I'd sometimes get that "high launch - low spin bomb" on Par 3's where I typically tee the ball up slightly above the ground. With that one set of irons only, I used to get shots about once every 8-10 Par 3's that went far higher than usual, flew all the way to the back of the green and took a big, hard bounce when they landed. 

 

It was enough of a "thing" that on one certain Par 3 that would normally be either 7-iron or 8-iron for me, with the G irons I'd always hit the 9-iron. Most times it would barely reach the front of the green but maybe once a month I'd hit one of those shots and it would end up in the back fringe. 

 

I never noticed anything like that ball flight on shots hit from tight lies or rough. Just with the ball tee up with maybe 1/4" or so of air under it on Par 3's. 

Yep. That’s the same thing.  Teeing it up essentially lowers the clubs Vcog or raises the balls to meet the irons location.  
 

I’m Not trying to cast dispersions either.  It’s not a regular thing.  But if you watch those who complain of it , it’s usually a 20 or 30 something who’s put a flex faced or sgi iron in play.  And they’ll be complaining of “ worse “ distance control.    I don’t think these people are lying. I think it’s just mismatching specs.  I’ve seen it myself. For them the most frustrating part is They seem to have a really wide differential between a pure shot and a thin miss.  2 clubs ish.  
 

 

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50 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

Yep. That’s the same thing.  Teeing it up essentially lowers the clubs Vcog or raises the balls to meet the irons location.  
 

I’m Not trying to cast dispersions either.  It’s not a regular thing.  But if you watch those who complain of it , it’s usually a 20 or 30 something who’s put a flex faced or sgi iron in play.  And they’ll be complaining of “ worse “ distance control.    I don’t think these people are lying. I think it’s just mismatching specs.  I’ve seen it myself. For them the most frustrating part is They seem to have a really wide differential between a pure shot and a thin miss.  2 clubs ish.  
 

 

 

So then is it really the club's fault? Or is it more the player who's a poor and inconsistent ball striker. It actually sounds more like the "you finally found the sweet spot" scenarios. 

 

And your premise that it's high VCOG seems to be a little suspect. Just checked a couple of the current PD irons against blades/MBs from the same MFGs. And the VCOG is negligibly different a hundredth or two. And in a number of cases, the MB irons have the higher VCOG between the two. Regardless, I'm not seeing a "very high VCOG" with any of the PD irons I've surveyed.

 

FWIW, I'm a very low handicap (hover near scratch) and a consistent ball striker. I'm not crazy fast, but avg. around 92 mph club speed with a 7i. So not slow either.

 

Again, I don't entirely doubt that it's never been a reality with some outlier models. But it sounds more like you're pointing to examples where the player is at "fault", and is just blaming the iron.

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1 hour ago, third-times-a-charm said:

 

This is a good explanation.

 

Plus human error things like someone who never usually hits the exact sweet spot on the club and is always lets say 5mm off of it, and finally hits one perfectly on there (closer to the heel for instance) and it ends up going 10yds further or so.

 

Or someone who doesnt normally hit a draw and has an inconsistent swing ends up hitting a trap draw one time without knowing it and calls it a flyer since it goes further.

 

Etc.

 

 

I think Human Error is the real answer. I can remember a couple of "hot spot" shots this year that stood out and I guess you could call the MP223s PD irons.

 

One was during my club fitting, I wasn't getting along with whatever Callaway iron I was trying and then all of a sudden I absolutely blasted a shot, completely different feel and sound and 10+ yards more distance. The other was an approach shot with known yardage and subsequent club selection, flew the green and ended up in the junk.

 

The common link here is the guy swinging the club - an 18hcp who hits the range for 1hr 1-2x/week and plays maybe 3x/month doesn't have the same swing consistency as someone who can hit 100s of balls daily at their membership club or in their simulator. I don't think it's just a "find the center of the face" question. I think it's also swing mechanics and getting everything to link up. 

Edited by LeftDot
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This topic came up a few weeks/months ago. 

 

Personally I think it is purely a spin issue, some people have been fit for, have chosen to or unfortunately play a set up on in the just playable range spin wise. 

 

Loosing a few hundred RPM's because of strike or playing from light rough causes havoc.  

 

Hot spots are an urban myth. 

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As others have said, it's a spin issue.  These clubs by design launch high and spin lower, so if you get a "low spin" strike whether that's caused by a flyer lie or strike you can certainly get shots that go considerably further than intended.  

 

You are less susceptible to the low spin missile on irons that spin higher by design (i.e. traditional players cavity / MB profiles).

 

 

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No such thing as hot spots. I played the Apex Pro 21’s for a few months recently and they were very consistent. I normally play a forged CB but decided to give them a go for a change. While they did spin a little less than my JPX 921 SEL’s I had previously or the P7MC’s I’m playing now. They never produced that nuked ball that went 15-20 yards long. 
 

I think the lower spin element and flier lies are what is causing the complaints. If it’s in light rough with a little bit of grass that will get between the ball and the face you have to account for it. I think most of the complaints are coming from people that can’t judge the lie or don’t care to and just get a distance and hit it. 
 

Also could be the higher caps that do miss the center of the face more often than not that just pure one.

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36 minutes ago, Bye said:

This topic came up a few weeks/months ago. 

 

Personally I think it is purely a spin issue, some people have been fit for, have chosen to or unfortunately play a set up on in the just playable range spin wise. 

 

Loosing a few hundred RPM's because of strike or playing from light rough causes havoc.  

 

Hot spots are an urban myth. 

 

I agree with this completely, and i think we agreed on this in the last thread too. 

 

Hot spots are a total myth

 

Some clubs may spin the ball less , and if you are a on the low end of where your spin tends to be and hit one a bit high on the face, you could knuckle one 10-15yds further than you intend. But this isn't a hot spot. It can also happen with blades too, or any club. But some clubs may be more prone due to spin profile

 

I hit a huge flyer in my CC this year with a blade 8 iron. Little high on the face and ball was nestled behind a piece of rough. Ended up hitting it about 160-165 in the air when my normal 8 is 150ish.

 

It happens but it's not hot spots

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3 hours ago, FifeRiviera said:

Probably fliers to be honest. 

 

Or actually finding the centre of the club

 

This is what I think it is as well.  I have the 770's in my bag, buddy of mine have the 790's.  We both came this route from MC sytle clubs looking for forgiveness.  Neither of us have had any issues with the ball randomly flying some insane distance.  Off a tee you do get a few more yards, but that isn't any different from any other set I've played over the years.  

 

As far as flier lies go, I have noticed that these do tend to go a bit longer than other sets from flyer lies, but once you adjust for it there's no issue.  

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I'm definitely in the "urban myth" category on this one. Hot spots are a poor, and incorrect, way to rationalize the inherent vagaries of the game.

 

While 150 yards may always be the same on the range or the launch monitor, out on the course it's a completely different animal. 150 is rarely ever 150.

 

Depending on lie, conditions, elevation change, the idiosyncrasies of a given hole, and any number of factors - distances and club selection vary.

 

Beyond that, everyone makes mistakes. We miscalculate. We mishit.

 

With all those variables in mind, it's always mind blowing to me when people blame the club.

 

It ain't the clubs. It's golf. Get used to it.

Edited by jholz
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8 hours ago, SE Gamer said:

In threads relating to PD/GI irons, the topic of "hot spots" comes up fairly frequently. Often purported by adamant MB/CB users.

 

Are we talking about hot spots in the clubface, or in the swing? See below...

 

First, let's sort out our categories. The original iron categories came from the Maltby Playability Factor ratings. Maltby came up with six categories of irons, determined by their points earned in a 4-variable algebra equation. Variable input came from static clubhead measurements of (usually) a set 6i.

 

 

mpfnumberschart.jpg

 

Somewhere along the line, Golf Digest came up with the Hot List categories, basically collapsing the six into three: Super Game Improvement, Game Improvement and Players. Hot List slottings came from perceived target market of the model, not from algebra.

 

Back 12 years ago, many of the GI irons were CBs. I played the Callaway X20 Tours, GI irons with cavity backs.

 

Then, irons start arriving with launch help in the longer clubs. Starting with the Rocketbladz circa 2012, TM gave us the thru-slot technology in 7i and below, including a polymer insert that helped with launch. 8i on up was a solid-metal cavity back. My favorite example of this was the SLDR irons, which are in my back-up bag.

 

One day, reviewers started mumbling about a misty category called Players CBs. Then in 2018, the Hot List added the Players Distance category, for irons that were friendlier than Players, but harder to hit than GIs.

 

Maybe it's just me, but I always found the PDs seemed to have more distance dispersion than the easier to launch GIs.

 

So, do hot spots exist? TM was worried about them during the Rocketbladz cycle, but sought to even out the flexing on the face. Other OEMs did similar tweaking. So, do hot spots in the iron face still exist? Maybe.

 

What does exist, however, is hot spots in the swing. About  every fourth iron shot, those seeking to break 80 come in a groove low, thin the shot and catch one that flies 10-20 yards longer.

 

What to do about hot spots? Practice more? Or, face reality. You're a 12-HDCPer that doesn't always flush that 6i shot.

 

Edited by ChipNRun
Clarity edit on "thru-slot."
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This;  

"Probably fliers to be honest. 

 

Or actually finding the centre of the club".

 

The "hotspot" is a myth. Like the yeti or the loch ness monster. And I would suggest its probably more the later of actually hitting it pure which the great majority do less than they think. LOL.

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1 hour ago, SE Gamer said:

 

So then is it really the club's fault? Or is it more the player who's a poor and inconsistent ball striker. It actually sounds more like the "you finally found the sweet spot" scenarios. 

 

And your premise that it's high VCOG seems to be a little suspect. Just checked a couple of the current PD irons against blades/MBs from the same MFGs. And the VCOG is negligibly different a hundredth or two. And in a number of cases, the MB irons have the higher VCOG between the two. Regardless, I'm not seeing a "very high VCOG" with any of the PD irons I've surveyed.

 

FWIW, I'm a very low handicap (hover near scratch) and a consistent ball striker. I'm not crazy fast, but avg. around 92 mph club speed with a 7i. So not slow either.

 

Again, I don't entirely doubt that it's never been a reality with some outlier models. But it sounds more like you're pointing to examples where the player is at "fault", and is just blaming the iron.

Please cite your sources.  As in which irons did you look up on Maltby.  

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52 minutes ago, gdb99 said:

I got a few "hot shots" with some Titleist T300 irons I played earlier this year. That 3/4 shot out of light wet rough that hits the top of the face, and hits the green with no spin.

 

AdjRough.jpg.bfce8cb53fb35ed1401d9bfc3a90b7b4.jpg

High-face shots out of the rough are a set-up issue, not a clubface hot-spot issue.

 

When a golfer stands in the rough, body weight causes his/her shoe soles to sink down to the soil level. But often the ball is cushioned in the grass 1/4 to 1/2-inch above soil level. This means the club's leading edge is set up below the ball.

 

To avoid high flyer or high chunk (depending on contact variance), choke down a half-inch on the shaft. This brings up the sole/leading edge up level to the bottom of the ball.

 

(Note: I was 50+ years old before anyone bothered to tell me this!)

Edited by ChipNRun
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29 minutes ago, jholz said:

I'm definitely in the "urban myth" category on this one. Hot spots are a poor, and incorrect, way to rationalize the inherent vagaries of the game.

 

While 150 yards may always be the same on the range or the launch monitor, out on the course it's a completely different animal. 150 is rarely ever 150.

 

Depending on lie, conditions, elevation change, the idiosyncrasies of a given hole, and any number of factors - distances and club selection vary.

 

Beyond that, everyone makes mistakes. We miscalculate. We mishit.

 

With all those variables in mind, it's always mind blowing to me when people blame the club.

 

It ain't the clubs. It's golf. Get used to it.

I agree with that - until.   
 

until you put it into direct context against other options.  It’s not a black white thing.  It’s a grey all the way thing.  So it’s yes no maybe so.  Lol.   If you compare say i500 to t100 you’ll get different results is all I’m saying.  And depending on who you are those results may swing to one or two opposing ends of a spectrum.   To some ( me ) the t100 is vastly easier to hit.  Why ? Because it’s miss is a hair short and it’s not extremely penal even on toe side misses.  On the other hand the i500 would produce those “ see ya  touch them all “ low spin bombs with long irons or produce a two club short thin miss.  Again. With long irons.  You’d think you’d prefer the long irons and hate  the short. No.  I actually loved the 7-gap i500 and hated the 4-6.  
 

anotjer anecdotal but real example , when Victor hovland came on the scene , and they tried to get him into ping irons.  He went with i210 short irons and iblade long.  A reverse combo set.  I suspect for the same reason.   They then ground him a complete set of i210 , as custom as can be to move things around until he played a whole set.  Be it sole , Vcog or both.  It can be a real thing.  
 

im not poo pooing on any design.  But we can’t ignore reality either.  

Edited by bladehunter
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12 minutes ago, ChipNRun said:

 

AdjRough.jpg.bfce8cb53fb35ed1401d9bfc3a90b7b4.jpg

High-face shots out of the rough are a set-up issue, not a clubface hot-spot issue.

 

When a golfer stands in the rough, body weight causes his/her shoe soles to sink down to the soil level. But often the ball is cushioned in the grass 1/4 to 1/2-inch above soil level. This means the club's leading edge is set up below the ball.

 

To avoid high flyer or high chunk (depending on contact variance), choke down a half-inch on the shaft. This brings up the sole/leading edge up level to the bottom of the ball.

 

(Note: I was 50+ years old before anyone bothered to tell me this!)

I was today year old when I learned this!  Thanks!

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It’s not just PD style irons, really it is any iron that doesn’t consistently hold spin across the face. Low spin with irons can work against you going both too long and falling out of the sky, which I think is why you see the “spinsistency” trend in design and a subtle move away from the driver-tech-nuclear-launch irons. Spin consistency is distance control, and that’s the entire point of any shot under ~200 yards.

 

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I've hit 2... one was definitely just a flier... and the other was a 180 yard 8 iron from the middle of the fairway... i just laughed, flexed, and got ready to hit my chip 

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33 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

Please cite your sources.  As in which irons did you look up on Maltby.  

 

Sure thing. Looked up the PD irons from Callaway, Mizuno, and TM compared to their blades. Mizuno's had a slightly lower VCOG in their blades compared to PD irons. While Callaway and TM had slightly higher VCOG in their PD irons compared to blades.

 

Effectively it could be considered a brand agnostic comparison. As in spite of some differences, the VCOG was right around .80" for all blades and PD irons I surveyed. And that was regardless of whether comparing "Basic VCOG" or "Actual VCOG".

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Preface this post by saying. This isn’t precise. Not meant as such , only a visual aide.  
 

 

I think the original question here is flawed because it uses  “ hot spots “. One - that’s a term that turns ears off. And two it’s not applicable anymore anyway. That came about because of the idea of poor casting practices causing cast irons to have or believe  to be having concentrated sections with more mass or less mass ( tiny voids ) causing dead and or hot spots.  Nowadays that’s not even a real thing to consider. For many reasons. 
 

the question should be ( and I’m not blaming the op.  Just trying to help ) “ is the high launch and low spin nature of todays GI etc irons detrimental to some players in terms of fitment and/or optimal results”?    This would lead you down the correct. Road of person by person fitting instead of a blanket statement of truth that can’t possibly be told.  
 

 

different locations of strike plus different locations  of optimal strike must equal a load of variables to consider.

 

Here are two 50-51 degree wedges or vastly different designs.  One a pxg Gen 3 T head and one a Cleveland traditional wedge 50 degrees.  I’ve setup the Vcog balance test that I use in all my driver and fairway wood heads to mark the actual sweet spot.  Basically a retractable hall point pen set in the vise. Balance the head in its face until it stands alone. That’s pretty darn exactly the sweetspot.    Notice how heel side the Cleveland blade is.  Both heads center is between the 6th and 7th groove.  So very close vertically. But then you have the variable or launch via the flexible face of the pxg club.  What does that do ?  I suspect it cuts spin and adds a few degrees launch.  
 

I don’t care for either of these clubs.  Look at the strike  location pattern I put on the pxg wedge.  Compared to the center of gravity.  Much too low on the face.  So we can easily assume ( correctly ) that this head doesn’t really fit my shallow delivery which was caused or built on the hard pan turf I play on all summer. 

 

all I’m saying is this.  Just because it suits you , won’t mean it suits others.  the guys playing in mud , or hitting it fat might have a higher face strike pattern then me and love this iron.  It’s not a flush hit vs not swing thing.  It’s a does fit doesn’t fit thing.  
 

Edit- look closely to see the pen dot on the faces 

10122D84-DB4B-4694-8002-99C96E2CC153.jpeg

7E633DB3-94EF-4C3B-9577-7FA882191FDA.jpeg

B372BAF2-0CED-48EB-A3D6-04F011258712.jpeg

8718EEEA-7164-457F-9F3C-D005F70E44AD.jpeg

E1802859-7EC4-4BF3-B631-3C3B6241ACE3.jpeg

D5D38AE1-2BD4-47CE-BBF3-2C3CF6D6FFF1.jpeg

Edited by bladehunter
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Ping G425 max 9* Tensie white 1K 6x 

TM Sim2 max tour  16* GD  ADHD 8x 

TM sim max 19* Hazrdus  smoke green 6.5

Callaway x forged cb 21 4-pw Mmt125tx 

Edel sms 54C 58V Mmt125tx 

Cameron 009 GSS 1.5.  Sound slot. , tungsten weights.  Head speed shaft.  

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7 minutes ago, SE Gamer said:

 

Sure thing. Looked up the PD irons from Callaway, Mizuno, and TM compared to their blades. Mizuno's had a slightly lower VCOG in their blades compared to PD irons. While Callaway and TM had slightly higher VCOG in their PD irons compared to blades.

 

Effectively it could be considered a brand agnostic comparison. As in spite of some differences, the VCOG was right around .80" for all blades and PD irons I surveyed. And that was regardless of whether comparing "Basic VCOG" or "Actual VCOG".

I don’t really even want to have this argument because it won’t bare any fruit.  But.  Those examples don’t give me anything to compare.  You can’t carry all of callaway clubs at once.  You have to compare one iron to one iron at a time.  And mm make a lot of difference if you’re measuring something in mms. 

Ping G425 max 9* Tensie white 1K 6x 

TM Sim2 max tour  16* GD  ADHD 8x 

TM sim max 19* Hazrdus  smoke green 6.5

Callaway x forged cb 21 4-pw Mmt125tx 

Edel sms 54C 58V Mmt125tx 

Cameron 009 GSS 1.5.  Sound slot. , tungsten weights.  Head speed shaft.  

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17 minutes ago, gators78 said:

It’s not just PD style irons, really it is any iron that doesn’t consistently hold spin across the face. Low spin with irons can work against you going both too long and falling out of the sky, which I think is why you see the “spinsistency” trend in design and a subtle move away from the driver-tech-nuclear-launch irons. Spin consistency is distance control, and that’s the entire point of any shot under ~200 yards.

 

Tiger always talks about distance control, which in essence is controlling the flight and spin as much as possible.   

 

He spoke again about it at the Hero last week, being pin high, hitting your number. It is tough to do this with no spin on the ball. 

Sim 2 Max 10.5 - Ventus Blue 6X
Ping G425 Max 15 (@16.5) - Accra Tour Z5 75X
Ping G425 22 - Aldila Rogue Black 95H X

Titleist 620 - 4-pw N.S Pro Modus 3 125X
Vokey SM9 - 52.08, 56S, 60M - N.S Pro Modus 3 125X
Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5
Titleist Pro V1 X

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6 minutes ago, bladehunter said:

s the high launch and low spin nature of todays GI etc irons detrimental to some players in terms of fitment and/or optimal results”?

Agreed, this is the question which I worry not everyone playing these days fully apricates. 

 

 

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Sim 2 Max 10.5 - Ventus Blue 6X
Ping G425 Max 15 (@16.5) - Accra Tour Z5 75X
Ping G425 22 - Aldila Rogue Black 95H X

Titleist 620 - 4-pw N.S Pro Modus 3 125X
Vokey SM9 - 52.08, 56S, 60M - N.S Pro Modus 3 125X
Scotty Cameron Studio Stainless Newport 2.5
Titleist Pro V1 X

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