Loft creep

Steve Smith

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Joined
Jun 16, 2014
Local club/country
Newcastle upon tyne
#1
Mizuno in fairness to them has tried to resist the trend

But now you have a wedge with a 9 iron loft and a 9 iron length shaft.

Bit of a marketing con IMHO

Steve
 
Last edited:

Terry

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May 18, 2009
HCP
13.2
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Queensland
Irons
Lefty MP 60 ,5/pw,NS pro,950 gh reg , titleist 910 15,g30 18, g30 22,Tseries wedge. ,Ping Scottsdale
Driver
Jpx ez ,S xlr8,10.5 fade
#2
You are correct of course although the Mizuno forged clubs have not changed that much since 1990 ,see timeline list on euro site. The Faldo clubs of 1992.were almost the same as your clubs or mine and the new mp range is only one degree diff.
Even the mizzy Gi clubs are not much different HOWEVER the super Gi clubs with other brands are crazy .
Most wedge suppliers have the degree and bounce so one can get a 50,52,54,56,60 etc. What I go cross eyed on is the different names . Eg. in wedges there is pw,gap,aw (what's that?) sw ,lob,equaliser,10,11.Shafts have also become complicated with the designations and  have got stiffer over the years. I saw somewhere that true temper advised that for example dg gold stiff of twenty years ago is more like a reg. today. 
Bottom line is I suppose you cannot compare old with the new you must get fitted.
edit:
There would be enough material on this site to fill four novels about this .
 

hursty

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May 15, 2011
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Telford, Shropshire
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9.6
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The Shropshire GC
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MMC Fli Hi #3, MP-5 4-PW, MPT-7 50 & 58 wedges
Driver
JPX 900 Driver - 757 S, JPX 900 3W - 661 X, JPX 900 19 deg - Fuji Pro 75S, Odyssey #7CS
#3
Terry said:
You are correct of course although the Mizuno forged clubs have not changed that much since 1990 ,see timeline list on euro site. The Faldo clubs of 1992.were almost the same as your clubs or mine and the new mp range is only one degree diff.
Even the mizzy Gi clubs are not much different HOWEVER the super Gi clubs with other brands are crazy .
Most wedge suppliers have the degree and bounce so one can get a 50,52,54,56,60 etc. What I go cross eyed on is the different names . Eg. in wedges there is pw,gap,aw (what's that?) sw ,lob,equaliser,10,11.Shafts have also become complicated with the designations and  have got stiffer over the years. I saw somewhere that true temper advised that for example dg gold stiff of twenty years ago is more like a reg. today. 
Bottom line is I suppose you cannot compare old with the new you must get fitted.
edit:
There would be enough material on this site to fill four novels about this .
Got to disagree slightly there Terry, look at the lofts for the 900 Forged and Hot Metals, a 21 deg 4i = traditional 3i loft.

Regarding the stamping of lofts in the OP, what happens when you want lofts strengthened or weakened? no company I know will hand stamp the mass produced irons to cater for individual needs.
 

Terry

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May 18, 2009
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13.2
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Queensland
Irons
Lefty MP 60 ,5/pw,NS pro,950 gh reg , titleist 910 15,g30 18, g30 22,Tseries wedge. ,Ping Scottsdale
Driver
Jpx ez ,S xlr8,10.5 fade
#4
Oops, your right there hursty. I had not realised that the jpx 900 were one club stronger in the long irons and in reality the pw  is half way between my pw and 9.
Intetesting I noted that the 4i ez is 22 against 21 for 900 f and hm.
I guess I used a bad comparison with the Faldo clubs . If I used the tp 11 instead there is quite a change.
 

DGMP

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Aug 10, 2016
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2
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United States
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MP63 3-PW
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JPX-EZ
#5
Since golf was invented, equipment has evolved. Hope this helps.
 

Kgrove

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Jul 18, 2015
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Phoenix, AZ
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12
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USA
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MP5 4-PW KBS Tour 90, MPH5 2-iron, Titleist 716 T-MB 3-iron
Driver
JPX-900 w/ 569 shaft
#6
I'm not saying there isn't a marketing game going on with many or all of the game improvement irons, but I think there is a technology component, and I think you see it in two ways:

One, technology is making clubs easier to hit. If all manufacturers did was strengthen lofts, they would have difficulty selling clubs because buyers would recognize that while they can hit their scoring irons further, they're having increasing difficulty hitting their long irons (e.g., while its great I can hit my 9-iron further than I used to, my 5-iron is now as difficult to hit as my old set's 3-iron... these clubs suck!).

Two, ball, shaft and head changes are producing higher ball speeds and higher launch angles per the same loft head than equipment 30 years ago. Remember a golf shot is not just distance, but also trajectory and spin. If the ball comes off hotter and higher than 30 years ago and they didn't compensate by lowering the loft, players would be wondering why their 7 iron now feels like an 8-iron... and the answer would be because its launching just like an 8-iron. I suggest manufacturers have lowered lofts so 7-irons still play like a 7-iron, just longer.

If you look at players clubs, I think you get a pretty clear look at just the pure technology changes. MP4 or MP5 buyers, for instance, tend to not care at all about distance (almost by definition, if distance was a major issue for them they wouldn't buy those irons). You see about 3* strengthened loft per club vs 30 years ago, but 8-irons still fly like 8-irons... just a little longer. 
 

Hyperactive

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Feb 12, 2012
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Dorset, UK.
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15
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Unattached
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Mizuno JPX EZ 5-SW, JPX Fli Hi 4, MX700 20deg hybrid.
Driver
Mizuno MX700 10.5 deg.
#7
Back in the day, before loft creep was considered technology by club manufacturers, there were 4 degree loft gaps between irons throughout the set. A standard SW was, and always will be 56 degrees. There was no yardage gap between the SW and PW, and the PW was 52 degrees. Then the 9 iron was 48, the 8 iron at 44, and on an on until you got to the 3 iron at 24 degrees.

Better players iron lofts have crept up less than game improvement irons. Todays MP irons have the 4 iron at 24 degrees, with Mizuno game improvement irons it's the 5 iron. But with Taylormade GI irons 24 degrees is a 6 iron. But lofts at the moment have reach some sort of ceiling, as you can't crank them up anymore without creating big yardage gaps in the shorter irons.That is until some bright spark at TM invents the numbered gap wedge, then it wont be long before 24 degrees is a 7 iron.

Now 24 degrees is another ceiling in golf. Some of you will have heard of the 38-24 rule in golf clubs. The club manufacturers have known about it for decades. this is the rule where by an iron measuring 38 inches long, and with a loft of 24 degrees, is the longest iron the average golfer can reasonably expect to hit well. Longer than that, and they just don't create enough club head speed to launch the ball properly, or square the club face at impact. It doesn't matter what number is stamped on the bottom of an iron, the 38-24 rule still applies, and it always will.
 

Kgrove

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MP5 4-PW KBS Tour 90, MPH5 2-iron, Titleist 716 T-MB 3-iron
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JPX-900 w/ 569 shaft
#8
There are multiple sides to the loft creep argument. There's no doubt there is a marketing angle to it - "these clubs are longer" when in fact they just strengthened the loft. On the other hand, moving the center of gravity and perimeter weighting in newer club designs helps launch the ball higher, so some of the strengthened loft may be to keep the ball flight consistent with what golfers expect from that club. If they added all that stuff and launched higher, we might be sitting here whining about how newer clubs now balloon the ball and our 9-irons are really gap wedges 30 years ago.

Keep in mind the number on the bottom of the club was never defined to be anything specific. In that context, 7-iron could mean 34*, whatever club goes approximately X yards on a full swing, the iron that has a launch angle of about X degrees, or just the 7th most difficult iron to hit (assuming that 1-irons actually existed any longer). In reality the number on the bottom of the club is just a name. Frankly even if lofts were stamped on the bottom, not all 34* clubs hit with the same launch angle, so even loft doesn't fully define a club. One 34* iron might play more like another 36* iron.

In the end, it doesn't matter. When your standing 150 yards from the pin with hazards in front and behind the green, you won't care whether the bottom of your club says 6, 7, 34 degrees, niblick, or even if it's blank. You're going to grab the club you think carries the right distance and with enough spin to stop the ball. Worrying too much about loft and club numbering is missing the point about golf... which is to take all the money you can from the rest of your foursome while simultaneously hiding out from your wife. Or maybe that's just me.
 

HAIRY ESSEX BLOKE

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Fabulous Frinton on Sea ESSEX
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MP53 4-PW MPT 10 51 & 54 deg various fairways & hybrids plus JPX 825 5 iron to PW and Hybrid, 5 Wood and Driver
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Mizuno MX700
#9
I got my hands on a TP9 7iron, put a new grip on it, pretended to be Sir Nick, it is just a very few yards shorter than my MP53's. but flies quite higher, feels as all Mizuno clubs do, wonderful. I would love to know what shaft is in it but hey-ho it is quite wonderful in action, I now want a set......   
 

Kgrove

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MP5 4-PW KBS Tour 90, MPH5 2-iron, Titleist 716 T-MB 3-iron
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JPX-900 w/ 569 shaft
#10
Steve Smith said:
Hi Essex

I have ordered a set of hot metals 4 to GW ( which in reality is 3 to PW)

I still have my beloved MP32's and my fully restored MP 14's which are lovely and a set of MP37's which are shaped very like my Zoid Pro 2's that I sold to my brother when he decided to play golf again a couple of years ago.

The 37's are very long distance wise and a great penetrating mid flight down to the 5 iron but then I just cant hit a barn door with the 4 or 3. Perhaps the 5 iron is the optimum length for my height (5 foot 9) and swing plane.

I have watched Bryson Dechambeau and his theory is interesting but I am not sure about his address with the arms and club being in a straight line.

Perhaps keep the club lengths the way they are but make the 4 and 3 the same length as the 5 but a couple of degrees stronger to make up for the shorter length of the shaft.

I know that 25 years ago the pro's were experimenting with drivers 2 inches shorter but with only 4 or 5 degrees of loft.

I do agree with the theory of practicing with a set of blades then when you use the cavities in competition it will be easier.

Just my opinion guys
When I first heard BD's explanation for the single length clubs, it made some intuitive sense - one club length and one swing should be easier. The more I thought about it, the more I've thought that the hypothesis either is wrong or hasn't been pushed far enough, but as is it doesn't make sense. Even if my full iron set is one club length, what about specialty wedges? Hybrids? Fairway woods? Drivers? They're all different lengths and need different swings. What about when I want to hit a low punch shot or and extra floaty high shot? Those are different swings too. I love that BD is pushing the envelope and not just accepting that clubs have to be a certain way just because they always have (applies to the loft issue as well...), but in the club length case it doesn't feel right to me. At best it seems like a minor improvement, but in the end you still need to learn to swing a bunch of different ways to be a good golfer.
 

Kgrove

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MP5 4-PW KBS Tour 90, MPH5 2-iron, Titleist 716 T-MB 3-iron
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JPX-900 w/ 569 shaft
#11
Last summer I was testing a few game improvement irons as potential replacements for my MP5s. Long story short I ended up doing a head to head test between my 27 degree MP5 (5 iron) and a 27 degree JPX900 (6 iron) targeting a green at about 185 yds. There were big differences in how the clubs felt, but both clubs were hitting the same distance, at least as far as I could tell given normal variations in my swing and the bounce of the ball.

Granted - I was not using a launch monitor, the 900F isn't massively different from an MP5 (not as much as a Hot Metal), and my goal was a general evaluation of which clubs I liked best, not a scientific test of loft vs distance. Still... my verdict was that loft explained everything about the distance difference. Thinking back to other clubs I've hit... I've never found an iron that I thought was longer than another where I couldn't explain the distance gain with a stronger loft.
 

Kgrove

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MP5 4-PW KBS Tour 90, MPH5 2-iron, Titleist 716 T-MB 3-iron
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JPX-900 w/ 569 shaft
#12
Steve Smith said:
With that in mind, the newer game improvement irons offer a lot more forgiveness and therefore more consistency of distance and accuracy for an average golfer. The new thin face technology DOES add a few yards to the irons, but more to do with the fact of the lower centre of gravity and higher MOI, which allows a better launch angle with less effort and less twisting that causes pulls or slices.

That is what I believe us mere mortals should be concerned more about than simply how far they go.
This doesn't quite match with my experience. When I've tested forgiving vs unforgiving clubs for myself, I find dramatic differences in how they feel on bad strikes, but the shot results aren't that much different, certainly not as much different as you would expect given the feedback transmitted through the club. In other words, if I put a bad swing on a forgiving club, it might end up 20 yards short and left and subjectively feels not good but not terrible, but I put that same bad swing on an unforgiving club it might end up 23 yards short and left but feels like a pants down spanking. Yes, 20 yards short and left is better than 23 yards short and left, but my chance of getting up and down in 2 is probably the same. For me anyway, forgiving clubs FEEL more consistent, but I'm not sure they actually play much more consistent. That said, for many golfers the pants down spanking they receive hitting 4-iron blade too thin is such a confidence killer that they might run away from the right shot or be so tentative hitting it that their consistency drops. I'm just saying that the perception of consistency may not be the same as the reality... unless the placebo impact of clubs that feel more consistent starts to make it real. If you hook yourself up to a launch monitor, you'll see that shot results on forgiving vs unforgiving clubs aren't as much different as you would think for the same amount of a poor strike.

I always try to keep in mind in picking irons... no matter what irons I pick, they are capable of posting MUCH lower scores than I am. You can't buy your way onto the PGA tour (though I won't stop trying!).
 

Kgrove

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Jul 18, 2015
Location
Phoenix, AZ
HCP
12
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USA
Irons
MP5 4-PW KBS Tour 90, MPH5 2-iron, Titleist 716 T-MB 3-iron
Driver
JPX-900 w/ 569 shaft
#13
FINALLY! Somebody did a test similar to what I've been looking for. Michael Newton reviewed a strong lofted 7 iron vs a traditional lofted 5-iron, in this case a Rogue X 7-iron vs a Wilson V6 5-iron, both at 27* loft. See the youtube link below. The results were even more starkly obvious than I was expecting. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAzu_SjAAAM

Long story short: trajectory, spin, distance, etc was almost identical between the two clubs. He makes some subjective comments about the Wilson having better feel given that its a more traditional design with a forged head and mentions the Rogue being more forgiving, but you can't really see it much in the launch monitor data. The Wilson 5 iron carried 4 yards further and had about 2mph higher ball speed than the Callaway 7-iron... My guess is this is due to different shaft lengths. He also comments that the Rogue was not bent to his preferred lie angle where the Wilson was, so that could have had a small influence on the strike locations as well.

For all practical purposes, it appears loft is almost entirely responsible for distance, spin rate, etc, which would leave club design only impacting feel and forgiveness. I expected at least spin rate to be influence by the head design, but that too seemed dominated by loft. 

Granted... one golfer, still some imperfections in both the test and my conclusions... but this is a huge improvement over what I've seen in the past.
 
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