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Can anyone explain the maltby ratings? Blades easier to hit than game improvement clubs?


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The first thing to understand is that pure solid contact requires that the AVCOG of the iron design must arrive at or better yet below the center of the golf ball, which is .840" on a tight lie.

 

If someone came out with an iron that was larger than anything else ever made, but had an AVCOG that was 2 inches high,....would it be easier to hit from normal to tight lies?

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4 hours ago, ThinkingPlus said:

If you search, there are several threads that discuss this in detail. Most folks pay attention to the measured values rather than the MPF. Basically, Maltby values low vertical CG (AVCOG), margin vs. shanks (larger C-dim), and our old friend MOI in that order.

 

A current design trend the OEMs have going is maximizing MOI. This typically results in a high AVCOG, driving the MPF very low. Once the AVCOG rises above the midpoint of the golf ball (0.84"), Maltby pretty much considers the irons only suitable for very skilled players regardless of the MOI. Thus, you get lower CG musclebacks with a higher MPF than high CG, but high MOI game improvement irons.

How accurate do you think their data is?

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As someone who half understands all the data in these ratings. The average person looking at that will just see the final ratings he posts for each iron (game improvement, classic, conventional ect ) to me that’s why it’s confusing. Equipment experts can understand it all but most will just see the category and then be confused how some blades can have more forgiveness as opposed to a game improvement iron. Just my opinion/ confusion with the scale. 

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4 hours ago, AbSWFPGA said:

I’ve never really paid attention to the ratings but I recently have seen a few posts talk about the maltby ratings. I guess I don’t quite understand it but for example this years callaway mb is ranked easier to hit than some game improvement irons. Can anyone shed some light? Thanks 

You're not the lone ranger, most don't understand it.  Maltby ratings, IMO have lost their value.  From personal experience with Callaway Apex MB, I think it was 2015...they were effortless to nut.  Callaway blades have always been comparatively easier to hit vs other MBs such as Titleist.   I've been playing Titleist blades since early 2004ish.

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52 minutes ago, hammergolf said:

How accurate do you think their data is?

Probably pretty accurate. No reason the measurements would be off too much. They have all the right jigs and tools to make good measurements. They don't give error bars though. It isn't quite that sciency of a process. 

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1 hour ago, ThinkingPlus said:

If you agree with the Maltby philosophy that low vertical CG and horizontal CG further from the hosel are more important to iron performance for most amateurs than MOI, then the MPF ratings are valuable. If not,

 

or rather - If not, and you don't understand the details of the individual measurements all that well - then don't waste your time looking at the ratings 😁

 

But on a slightly serious note, "forgiveness" or "hit-ability" is difficult to quantify in a way that's meaningful or accurately reflective of the actual dispersion for all individuals.  No one equation or value is going to work or be accurate for everyone.   It's each persons individual tendencies that can make each factor more or less important for their particular results.   For some people, even things like offset or topline or other things that are really visual aesthetics can be important to how easy it is to hit or how consistent the results they get.    So IMO the concept of a particular or specific "playability factor" is inherently flawed.  Until you've done enough testing and validation to start to understand what aspects of the head are important to you,  just stick to judging irons by testing them out and looking at the actual results you get with them.

 

Edited by Stuart_G
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1 hour ago, ThinkingPlus said:

If you agree with the Maltby philosophy that low vertical CG and horizontal CG further from the hosel are more important to iron performance for most amateurs than MOI, then the MPF ratings are valuable. If not, then the raw numbers can still be beneficial, but you have to be a little more savvy in understanding things.

 

Also, pigeon holes are mostly full of pigeon crap. Muscleback, blade, cavity back, hollow body, etc... are design descriptions not necessarily performance indicators.

As right as you are here, most people, including many that read here, but don't post, won't understand what you wrote.   A person needs to spend a substantial amount of time studying such data, learn the verbiage, to grasp its value, then they have to find a way to apply it.  That, in my thinking, is why Maltby ratings don't have the value for most people that golf.  

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11 minutes ago, Pepperturbo said:

As right as you are here, most people, including many that read here, but don't post, won't understand what you wrote.   A person needs to spend a substantial amount of time studying such data, learn the verbiage, to grasp its value, then they have to find a way to apply it.  That, in my thinking, is why Maltby ratings don't have the value for most people that golf.  

Sounds about right. I was just saying how most people I would assume who aren’t super tech savvy with all that lingo look to the far right and simply read what description he labeled each club. Other dude gave me a science lesson 

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7 hours ago, AbSWFPGA said:

I’ve never really paid attention to the ratings but I recently have seen a few posts talk about the maltby ratings. I guess I don’t quite understand it but for example this years callaway mb is ranked easier to hit than some game improvement irons. Can anyone shed some light? Thanks 


A big piece of the rating is vcog. And maltby measures from the ground, not bottom of the face. So a big sole which raises the face will measure a higher vcog than a club with a small and narrow bounce. 

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11 minutes ago, JDIL said:


A big piece of the rating is vcog. And maltby measures from the ground, not bottom of the face. So a big sole which raises the face will measure a higher vcog than a club with a small and narrow bounce. 

 

I don't know why anyone would want to measure from the bottom of the face.  The ball is sitting on the turf or "ground line", so the measurement should be done from the bottom of the sole

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18 minutes ago, Cwebb said:

 

I don't know why anyone would want to measure from the bottom of the face.  The ball is sitting on the turf or "ground line", so the measurement should be done from the bottom of the sole

I agree. Everyone hits or should hit their irons at 0 degrees AOA. 
 

In all seriousness I was just providing the info. What they should do is provide both numbers, the shallower you are, the more the sole numbers matter etc 

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4 hours ago, AbSWFPGA said:

Or he just explained it for someone who actually understands all that and not majority of people who ain’t got a clue. A lot of work quoting there pour yourself a drink. 


ThinkingPad's second post contained the more nutshell summary; Maltby takes a bunch of measured club data, all of which is provided in the club breakdowns, and has developed a personal formula that they believe caters to the majority of average golfers. As you found though, the formula has some odd gaps in it, mostly due to how much said formula values how high/low the sweet spot is on the face. In their opinion the average player stands to benefit the most from a sweet spot that is low on the face, so clubs with lower vertical centers of gravity (VCOG)  will automatically rate higher (anything below .800"). Their logic is that the equator of the ball sits about .840" off the ground, therefore any sweet spots lower than that on the face will be progressively easier to hit for the average player. 

Second is the "C-Dimension" which is the distance the sweet spot is from the hosel. Maltby believes the further the better, so like low VCOG measurements above you will get higher ratings with anything with a C-Dim of 1.2" or greater.

If we look at the Callaway's you mentioned:

ScreenShot2024-06-22at5_43_57PM.png.9d2d629140761a545eb90aef88e244b4.png

The MB, which by conventional wisdom should be the *least* forgiving, ranks more in the middle due to a combination of a VCOG that is lower than the ball's equator by a touch, and a C-Dim that is greater than 1.2". 

The Pro model ranks much lower mostly because the VCOG is above that .840" number. 

The CB has a lower C-DIM measurement which hurts it compared to the MB, but the VCOG is lower which makes up for that. The CB's rating would jump into the 500's if the C-Dim was similar to the MB model. 

The AI Smoke SGI iron similarly has a slightly lower number because of the VCOG. It too would be higher, well into the 600's, if it had a VCOG similar to the CB. 

Understanding where and why Maltby places value allows us to either use the MPF number if your average strike pattern is lower and towards the toe of the club, which Maltby thinks is a lot of people, or ignore it if your miss is elsewhere. If you're someone that has the opposite pattern for example (high heel), then you want lower C-Dim values and higher VCOG. If you miss everywhere on the face then you probably want higher MOI above anything else. 

There are more advanced areas you can get into such as RCOG/VCOG relationships and what they mean for spin consistency, but that is a different can of worms. 

Edited by Valtiel
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Valtiel sums it up. The MPF doesn't apply in a linear fashion to all. The formula favors a CG that's low and C- Dim toe, with MOI being the 3rd of the Trinity. The greater value though, if you have a decent grasp on your strike tendencies, is the other metrics they give so you might have idea of where to go/try just looking at the dimensions that they went thru the effort to freely give us. Even if the MPF doenst exactly jive with your result of the club. Never really know till you try anything yourself.

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13 hours ago, Cwebb said:

 

I don't know why anyone would want to measure from the bottom of the face.  The ball is sitting on the turf or "ground line", so the measurement should be done from the bottom of the sole

 

Because the angle (amount of shaft lean) of the club when measured for the MPF is not the same angle as the club at impact.   Therefore the practical effect of the sole on the c.g. height (as measured for the MPF) is not accurate with respect to real impact conditions.

 

In the real and intended usage of an iron design, impact is about the face design.  The sole is only designed for turf interaction post impact - or for poor (fat) impacts.   So for an iron that's fit properly (and used properly), the sole should have zero effect on the c.g. location relative to impact location.  Worst case is that even if does have some effect, it wont be anything close to what the MPF assumes it will.

 

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1 hour ago, golferdude54 said:

 

She* did a pretty good job with her explanation and the second paragraph made it a lot more clear. You have to understand WRXers are pretty much all educated adults who geek into the game of golf so much that they go on here. So instead of a ELI5 answer, it's more like ELI50.

My bad for misgendering. 

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7 hours ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Because the angle (amount of shaft lean) of the club when measured for the MPF is not the same angle as the club at impact.   Therefore the practical effect of the sole on the c.g. height (as measured for the MPF) is not accurate with respect to real impact conditions.

 

In the real and intended usage of an iron design, impact is about the face design.  The sole is only designed for turf interaction post impact - or for poor (fat) impacts.   So for an iron that's fit properly (and used properly), the sole should have zero effect on the c.g. location relative to impact location.  Worst case is that even if does have some effect, it wont be anything close to what the MPF assumes it will.

 

 

Real impact conditions for which player?  There are different angles of attack and varying amounts of shaft lean among all players...along with different turf conditions that range from very firm with tight lies to very soft/lush with 'up' lies. 

 

Thus we find that there can be different sweet-spot heights (AVCOG) that are a better fit for different player types along with the conditions they usually play in.

 

We really can't remove the touch point of the sole from the equation.  We could do some of that for hitting the ball off a tee, but not from the ground.

 

The sole is part of the mass of the head.  It can't be removed when calculating exactly where the sweet-spot (COG) is located.

 

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16 hours ago, Cwebb said:

Real impact conditions for which player?

 

Every player.

 

16 hours ago, Cwebb said:

There are different angles of attack and varying amounts of shaft lean among all players...

 

Exactly my point - and more importantly, none of them will match the orientation at which the MPF measures it.

 

16 hours ago, Cwebb said:

Thus we find that there can be different sweet-spot heights (AVCOG) that are a better fit for different player types along with the conditions they usually play in.

 

Not consistently because of the influence of the sole on the measurement will not have a consistent influence in real conditions.   So now you can have two completely different c.g. height measurements that will be a good fit for a particular player if the sole geometry is different.

 

16 hours ago, Cwebb said:

We really can't remove the touch point of the sole from the equation. 

 

On the contrary, we can and should if that touch point is measured in an orientation that's not consistent with the impact orientation of the head.   The real touch point is important - not some unrealistic arbitrary touch point.

 

16 hours ago, Cwebb said:

The sole is part of the mass of the head.  It can't be removed when calculating exactly where the sweet-spot (COG) is located.

 

Not an issue.  We're not removing the influence of any of the mass in determining the c.g. location because we're not talking about any changes on how to find or determine the actual location of the c.g.   We're only talking about what reference frame or reference point to use when we generate a measurement number.

 

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9 hours ago, golferdude54 said:

 

She* did a pretty good job with her explanation and the second paragraph made it a lot more clear. You have to understand WRXers are pretty much all educated adults who geek into the game of golf so much that they go on here. So instead of a ELI5 answer, it's more like ELI50.

 

22 hours ago, AbSWFPGA said:

Sounds about right. I was just saying how most people I would assume who aren’t super tech savvy with all that lingo look to the far right and simply read what description he labeled each club. Other dude gave me a science lesson 

I was about to post similarly…. other dude is a dudette. And yes, she gets a lot of that here. 🤩

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On 6/22/2024 at 8:13 AM, AbSWFPGA said:

I’ve never really paid attention to the ratings but I recently have seen a few posts talk about the maltby ratings. I guess I don’t quite understand it but for example this years callaway mb is ranked easier to hit than some game improvement irons. Can anyone shed some light? Thanks 

 

Some good info in here already.  Taking your comment literally...

 

The final MPF score is arithmetic.  It's primarily just C Dimension minus Actual VCOG.  There are also some small adjustments for MOI that are reduced as the CG gets higher, and penalties for having the CG above the centerline of the ball (0.840").  

 

But it's mostly just CDim - CG.

 

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The formular itself isn't bad, but it takes out the biggest variable, strike pattern. Now they can't add that as every golfer is different. But a steeper divot taker vs a brusher / sweeper, are going to hit the same club differently. 

 

Everyone here has broken down the 3 metrics so best advice for someone is know your swing time and the 3 effects those metrics have on it to make a decision. 

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