Unless you fancy an Autoflex shafted driver or a Tour-only putter, a new set of irons will very likely be the most expensive piece of equipment a golfer buys. Depending on how often you play, irons are designed to last between 5 and 7 years — or longer, depending on how often you play — before you need to consider a new set.
We’ve spent a lot of time outlining the benefits of getting your golf equipment fit, so instead of beating the club fitting drum, let’s look at another area of the building process that needs to be considered : loft openings. Once you’ve found the best iron for your game, a good mechanic should go through the bag to make sure the gaps between each iron are consistent.
Too big a gap between your 6 and 7 iron can leave you with a lot of tweener shots. Do you step on a 7-iron or do you lay off the 6-iron from 150 yards? It’s common to be in between clubs during a round, but if you can reduce the number of instances where that happens, the game can become more enjoyable.
But how do you determine the ideal yardage openings for an entire set of irons when most mechanics use a 7 iron to set up? During a recent chat on Ping Proving Grounds podcast, Marty Jertson, the VP of the equipment and performance manufacturer, offered a simple way to determine the best openings for your iron set.
“In our data analysis that we’ve done, there’s a good way to figure out what your optimal spacing is,” Jertson said. “If you go on a launch monitor for a fitting – and we and many of our competitors fit with a 7-iron – then take whatever your ball speed is in miles per hour [with a 7-iron] and divide that by 10. That’s a good distance for your irons.
So if you normally generate a ball speed of 110 mph with a 7 iron, your ideal spacing between the irons would be 10 yards over the entire set, using Jertson’s math. A good way to determine if your yardage distances are chosen is to go with your fitter (and a launch monitor) after the set is made to determine the standard carry distances for each club in the bag.
If there is a gap well over or under 10 yards – we’ll use 110 mph as an example – between clubs, adjustments can be made to the irons to achieve the ideal loft distance.
The most common adjustment is making an iron stronger or weaker to fit the correct opening. Make sure you don’t go beyond plus or minus 2 degrees when bending the head. Anything beyond that will have a negative effect on the grass interaction.
Do you want to renew your bag for 2023? Find a suitable location near you at True Spec Golf.
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