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Lofts: Today vs. 30 or 40 Years Ago


JLN
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What did lofts used to be in the 50s and 60s?
This is just sort of a general curiosity question, and I don't know where this topic belongs or if it has been discussed before in this forum (I couldn't find it if it has). Anyway, I know iron lofts have been gradually getting stronger over recent years, and even since I've really paid attention to it (past five or six years) my gap wedge has gone from 52 degrees to 50, my pitching PW is 46 instead of 48, and my 4-iron is 23 degrees. Had I chosen to purchase the 3-iron in my current set, it would have been 20 degrees (only two years ago my 3 iron was 22 degrees) - basically, my 4-iron is what my 3-iron used to be.

So I'm just kind of curious: What were the lofts in a set of irons like in the 1950s or 60s? Anyone know?
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The chart is right on the numbers. 30 years ago a PW had 52 degrees of loft in some cases.

 

The original Ping Eye 2 iron had a 50.5 degree PW, with a 21.5 3 iron, and those were strong over some of the more traditional clubs of the time (Hogan Edge, Apex etc, Wilson Staff).

 

The other interesting point is that the lengths were a lot shorter.

 

Nicklaus played with a 38 1/4 3 iron for most of his career, and a 43 inch driver. Hogan played for many years with a 42 7/8th inch long driver.

Taylormade r11s 9 Penley Stealth 70x 44.5" D-3 ------> Taylormade 16 M1 8.5 GD AD TP6x 44.0" D3 [s]PX Hzrdus Black 75 6.0 44.5" D-3[/s]
Nickent 3DX Pro 14 MRC Diamana WB 83s
Hybrid: Adams Idea Pro 18 Grafalloy CNote ProtoX
Mizuno MP62 DG x-100 Sensicore D-4 3-pw ---------> Ping i200 DG120 S3 D-3 +1/4" Red 4-U.
Vokey SM6 56-14/60-04M DG x-100 Sensicore 1xss D-5 ------------> Vokey SM6 56/10 60/4M DG 120 S300 35" D-5
Scotty Golo

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The chart is right on the numbers. 30 years ago a PW had 52 degrees of loft in some cases.

 

The original Ping Eye 2 iron had a 50.5 degree PW, with a 21.5 3 iron, and those were strong over some of the more traditional clubs of the time (Hogan Edge, Apex etc, Wilson Staff).

 

The other interesting point is that the lengths were a lot shorter.

 

Nicklaus played with a 38 1/4 3 iron for most of his career, and a 43 inch driver. Hogan played for many years with a 42 7/8th inch long driver.

 

Wow, real eye opener. Especially the length part. I play a 38" long 5 iron, and I'm 5'10". Wow.

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The other interesting point is that the lengths were a lot shorter.

 

Nicklaus played with a 38 1/4 3 iron for most of his career, and a 43 inch driver. Hogan played for many years with a 42 7/8th inch long driver.

 

One thing to remember is that in the old days EVERYONE played blades or blade like cavities. There was no such thing as extreme perimiter weighting and large cavity backs. I asked a clubmaker why lofts were so strong these days and he said that with high launching perimiter weighted clubs, if you have weak lofts and put a decent swing on them you'll hit them into the stratosphere. Take a look at modern blades, most have very traditional lofts 49* or 48* PW because with such a high COG, you need the extra loft to get the ball up in the air.

 

I think length is a huge secret that no one seems to pay attention to, so many people would benefit from chopping even 1/2" off all their clubs . . .

 

They'd hit the center more often and could control the ball so much better. I know I have.

 

Jim McClean said that Hogan and Nicklaus would be the longest players in the game today if they were able to play with modern equipment, lofts, and lengths.

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....Take a look at modern blades, most have very traditional lofts 49* or 48* PW because with such a high COG, you need the extra loft to get the ball up in the air.

 

 

Uh...traditional?

 

c. 1930

-------

1 20

2 24

3 28

4 32

5 36 (35.5")

6 40

7 44

8 48

9 52

 

c. 1950

-------

1 17

2 21

3 25

4 29

5 33 (36.5")

6 37

7 41

8 45

9 49

P 53

S 57

 

c. 1970

-------

1 17

2 20

3 24

4 28

5 32 (37.0")

6 36

7 40

8 44

9 48

P 52

S 56

 

c. 1980

-------

1 17

2 20

3 23

4 26

5 30 (37.5")

6 34

7 38

8 42

9 46

P 50

S 55-57

 

c. 1990

-------

1 16

2 19

3 22

4 25

5 28 (37.75")

6 32

7 36

8 40

9 44.5

P 49

S 55

L 60

 

c. 2000

-------

1 16

2 18

3 20

4 23.5

5 27 (38.0")

6 30.5

7 34

8 38

9 42

P 46

G 50

S 55

L 60

 

I don't remember where I got this list...

 

Rich

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