How Does LOFT Affect Your Game?
With the changes in course design and equipment, the types of clubs being used by players of all standards is changing. Many amateur players still have 3 irons and sometimes 2 irons in their bag, however we are seeing more and more that even Tour players are dropping these clubs from their bag in favour of lofted woods or hybrid clubs. Most notably in the recent US Open Championship was YE Yang playing 6 woods/hybrids in his bag.
Many amateur players baulk at the idea of carrying that many hybrids but if a major winner is doing so then perhaps it is time to take note of why. Over the last 20 years or so the lofts of irons have been changing.
A 3 iron now measures 20 or 21 degrees loft, however go back 20 years and they were nearer 24 degrees which is where a current 4 iron (or in some cases 5 iron)measures. Add to the fact that changes to the construction of the ball have reduced spin on the longer shots, making them harder to keep at the top of the flight.
Suddenly, the club you think is a 4 iron and has a ball flight nearer to where an old 2 iron used to be. Is it any wonder that they are hard to hit!
As a result, only the stronger hitters or higher ball flight players are getting a consistent flight from the long irons. For the majority of golfers, playing a more forgiving & higher launching club that produces a longer carry and softer landing shot would make this part of the bag much more user-friendly and consistent.
As Colin Montgomerie said in commentary at the US Open, “There used to be an unofficial 3 head-cover rule on Tour, but with the improved playability of the hybrid clubs that has changed dramatically. All the players are interested in now is whether their clubs do the job for them and for the courses they are playing, rather than what they look like to their peers.”
Due to the changes in recent years to the balls spin and flight characteristics off the driver, manufacturers have not always been supplying clubs with the actual stated loft. More often they are much higher in loft to ensure the ball flight is what is expected from that particular lofted club.
For example, the Titleist 910D2 9.5 degree head measures the same true loft as the 910D3 10.5 degree head. These variables in loft help to achieve the different launch profiles that we see from the heads, augmenting the shot patterns that the head shapes promote in themselves.
This does make it incredibly hard to know exactly what you are getting from the clubs and why certain heads suit particular players, as well as why a seemingly matching head from one brand to another produces a completely different shot profile.
Receiving the right advice on why one head performs better than another is crucial in achieving the correct balance in performance all the way through the bag from driver to wedge. This will also avoid having two clubs in the bag replicating each other’s performance.
Every single club that comes through the PG Studio and Workshop is checked for the appropriate specced loft, and we regularly carry out Loft & Lie sessions with clients to check everything is in line with their clubs once built. To register for one of our FREE Loft & Lie Health Checks then just click here!