Why do irons look bigger and go farther? What should I know about shaft options before buying a driver? Ask an expert... James Achenbach of Golfweek Magazine has a Q&A with R&D people from the various club manufacturers. Some of the responses are useful for better understanding loft/shaft choices and iron performance, so I’ve included them here.
Expert: Mike Nicolette, senior product designer for Ping Golf Why do irons go higher and farther than they used to?
Modern manufacturing techniques allow for a lower center of gravity, pulling mass back in the clubhead. This causes the ball to be hit much higher than the what is possible with forged clubheads or the earlier perimeter weighted cast heads.
Why do irons today look so much bigger than they used to?
They ARE bigger, but manufacturers are able to disguise the size. This is done by lengthening the blade from heel to toe but keeping the top rail shorter and curved into the neck. At set up, the shorter top rail gives our eyes the illusion that the head is not that big.
How will the new groove rule affect irons and wedges?
The new [shallower] grooves may cause tour players to start hitting a few fliers. This may prompt them to go to the ball companies and ask for a ball with more spin.
Expert: Dan Stone, vpof research and development, Titleist Golf Clubs What did you learn about attack angles from studying tour pros?
Attack angles were all over the place. This means ball spin can vary tremendously from golfer to golfer. (One reason to use a launch monitor to determine your ball spin).
How do you choose shafts to complement driver heads?
Stock shafts go back to ball speed. The median ball speed on the PGA Tour is 165 mph. For scratch to 4 handicappers the speed is about 155 mph, and for players with a 5 to 9 handicap the speed drops to 145 mph. (Club head speed is approx. 2/3 that of ball speed, so clubhead speed for pros is around 109 mph, for scratch players is 104 mph, and for low handicappers is around 97 mph, all other things being equal). Multiple stock shafts are offered so that the shafts can be matched with the clubhead loft and face setup (draw, neutral, etc) best suited for a particular player regardless of his clubhead speed.
All of the major manufacturers now offer fitting carts that allow you to combine different clubheads with different shafts to determine the best driver for you.
Whether it's a Cameron, Rife, Odyssey or Ping, (or any of a dozen other brands), there's a putter out there that will work for you.
There are several entries on this website about putters and putting,
so this digest from GolfWeek, Jan 31, will not sound new. However, the important elements of getting a good putter are worth repeating.
--Amateurs tend to use putters that are too long. Getting fit for a 33in to 34in putter
improves mechanics because this length matches most people’s arm lengths.
--Head weight makes a difference. Putter heads have become heavier in the past
five years in order to help keep one’s hands still and square the face at
impact. Length and grip size affectswingweight, so do a weight check on your putter if you change the length or grip.
--Find the proper lie. The standard lie of 71 to 72 deg is supposed to lift the toe off the
ground by a degree or two. If your putter looks too level or you feel the toe or heel is stuck in the ground get the lie adjusted. (Klees Golf Shop can do that). --Pick a grip that optimizes hand contact, balance and swingweight for your stroke. This may mean
trying out grips, which are inexpensive experiments compared to buying a new putter.
--Match the putter with the stroke. Understanding little things like your dominant eye, putter swing path, grip, set up and how you aim will affect putter choice. So features like head size, weight, insert, hosel and alignment aids are design elements that can work for or against your putting style.
--There are so many putter choices that it makes sense to find one that is actually designed (more
or less) to fit you. Your putter should help you keep the face square at impact, cause the ball to start rolling instead of skidding, and inspire confidence with the way it looks and feels.
--Regardless of what putter you choose, for consistent and accurate putting strokes eliminate unnecessary motion! Keep your arms close to your sides, hands and wrists completely still, and swing from the shoulders and upper back, not your arms.
Custom club fitting was born in the 1960s when Karsten Solheim helped PGA professionals improve their games after adjusting their equipment Today, Ping is the leader in club fitting with the most comprehensive fitting system in the industry.
*[40 years ago] Karsten Solheim began work on his famous PING Color Code System to bring the benefits of custom fitting to the average golfer. Today, PING is the undisputed fitting leader, with thousands of fitting systems at golf shops and courses around the world, a fleet of fitting vehicles that travel to demo days around the country, and a comprehensive, PGA-certified training program designed to instruct golf professionals to properly fit PING equipment to every golfer’s swing.
The Klees Golf staff has been trained and certified to use Ping’s fitting system. Klees Golf Shop is an authorized Ping Fitting center and Retailer, with the clubs and tools necessary to fit a golfer for irons, woods and putters.
The new PING Color Code Chart features two new color codes — yellow (1.5° upright) and purple (1.5° flat) — to bring the total number of available lie angles to 12. Each of the 12 color codes is separated by .75° to provide golfers a more precise fit for improved accuracy and consistency.
Regardless of your ability, properly fit clubs can help you hit straighter, more consistent shots. By matching the proper club specifications to your swing, a fitter can help reduce or eliminate undesirable shot patterns, like hooks and slices, allowing you to play closer to your full potential.
Length, shaft flex and grip size, along with lie angle all contribute to developing good swing habits, as well as making the clubs be more enjoyable to use. Custom-fit clubs don’t cost any more or take any longer to build. Once an order has been placed through an authorized PING retailer, Ping’s streamlined production process allows them to ship your clubs, built to your exact specifications, usually in just 48 hours.*Text taken from the www.pinggolf.com website.