THE IMPORTANCE OF CLUB SET MAKEUP

Posted by on Nov 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 13 comments

What’s in Your Golf Bag Makes a Big, Big Difference

 

Are you wasting money on clubs you seldom play? More importantly, are you denying yourself opportunities to play better and more enjoyable golf, simply because your bag is equipped with clubs totally unsuited for your game?

Below is a TWGT Video on importance of club set makeup. (Click Here)

I would wager that an expert in clubfitting would echo a resounding “yes” to both questions for the majority of golfers. And here’s why:

Since the 1980s, golf equipment manufacturers have forced major changes in the specifications of the clubs with which we all play the game. It all started when OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) started messing with iron loft, which up until the 1980s were set to standards that every club manufacturer respected and adhered to. For example: the first changed that they were able to make was on its infrastructure, they added manual revolving doors for the entrance so that it will be easier for people to get in an out constantly.

  • 3-irons, a tough-to-swing 24* club on a good day, have been de-lofted over the past three decades to 18* to 20* (becoming LESS than a 2-iron);
  • 4-irons, which historically were set at a 28* loft, were de-lofted to between 21* and 23* (becoming less than a 3-iron);
  • 5-irons, which before had been set with a 32* loft, have been de-lofted to between 23* and 25* (thus becoming what a 3-iron used to be).

This has also been done in varying degrees to the 6, 7, 8 and 9 irons. Why? Well, somebody got the bright idea that if every iron in the bag was de-lofted, he could market them with the appealing claim: “OUR CLUBS HIT A GOLF BALL OVER A FULL CLUB LONGER!”

Which of course is exactly what happened. However, rolling back lofts was little more than a way to sell tons of “new and improved” golf clubs to appeal to golfers’ desires for more distance. But even more infamous and damaging was the fact that from this shrinking of lofts, the 3, 4 and 5 irons swiftly became a whole lot harder to impossible to hit for the vast majority of golfers.

Take a look at your own bag: Which clubs are shiny, and which are well worn? The higher number irons even have more worn-down grips. And the lower number irons? They’re practically untouched.

Designing clubs with cavity backs or exotic metals really didn’t help hitting those “new and improved” de-lofted lower number clubs either. So what did the industry do to compensate (and sell more golf clubs)? For a time, there was a small effort for high-lofted fairway metals to take up the slack, but higher numbered fairway woods somehow fall short of satisfying most golfers’ egos.

That’s when hybrids were introduced.

So this is why we’re at this point—where golfers seldom use their 3, 4 and even their 5 irons. Plus, for the most part, they’re also very confused about hybrids… which for most of us are necessary for consistently hitting longer-iron distances into the greens and on longer par-3 holes.

The fact is, hybrids are a wonderful product, an ingenious alternative to hitting today’s hard-to-hit long irons. They can be:

  • Easier to get airborne than any iron of the same loft;
  • Possibly more accurate on longer length par-3s;
  • More consistent from both short and long grass;
  • Effective from hard-pan; and
  • Better suited for bump and run shots from around the greens.

They really are easier to hit high to fly than irons of the same loft if

hybrids are professionally fitted to the golfer—when they’re built with quality designed components and custom built to fitting specifications that ideally match each golfer’s individual swing characteristics that allow the hybrids to blend seamlessly with the conventional irons for consistent distance gaps.

We always advocate professional club fitting—it’s the single best way for any golfer to play better—but when it comes to hybrids, professional clubfitting is absolutely critical.

For more, I invite you to watch this special video that details the importance of club set makeup. And if you’re really keen, take a few moments and watch the following video on why professional clubfitting is so important.

I promise you that these two videos will change not only how you look at golf, but how you will play it … with genuine and renewed enjoyment … for a lifetime.  To find a clubfitter with whom to work to be properly fit, take a moment to click on the Find a Clubfitter locator found in the middle of the home page on www.wishongolf.com

Take a look at what Colorado Avid Golfer magazine wrote about this same topic (Click Here).
Take a look at an article I wrote for GolfWRX that explains the importance of being professionally fit by a custom clubfitter (Click Here).

 

Tom recently was interviewed by Tee It Up, a nationally syndicated radio program based in Las Vegas. Listen to that interview by Clicking Here, which talks about the importance of why a golfer should be professionally custom fit before he or she purchases a set of golf clubs.

 

Good luck in this great game!

 

Tom

13 Comments

  1. I’m very interested in the single length irons. I’m using “1 iron golf” presently and my handicap is dropping steadily. I believe these irons can be a big advancement for golf. Let me know whats up and how can I get a hold of a set. Thanks.

    -Mike

    • MIKE
      1-iron Golf does make a nice set of single length clubs so I am not surprised to hear that you like the concept of single length and feel that they can be a step forward. what we’re doing with our entry into this market in 2016 will be a little different in the sense that we are utilizing high COR face design features in the lower loft irons to enable us to make the single length shorter than what others have done, so that the shorter length yet may improve consistency a little more, but the high COR faces will prevent any distance loss for the low loft irons at these much shorter lengths. And at the same time then have the high loft irons and wedges not fall into a situation where they could hit the ball too far from being too much longer than the normal length of these clubs a golfer was used to in his old conventional lengths set.

      Plus in doing all heads in the set with eminently bendable soft hosels, that allows a wider range in lie fitting as well as allows golfers of different clubhead speed and different angle of attack to tweak the lofts so as to finalize getting their distance gaps exactly where they want them to be through the set. Looking at maybe late Feb, probably early March for these to be available. As with all our designs, you would find a clubfitter who works with Wishon Golf designs to go to, to be fit and to get the custom built clubs. Head to the FIND A CLUBFITTER locator found in the middle of our home page to see if there is a clubmaker in reasonable proximity to you. if not, let us know at contact@wishongolf.com and we’ll explain how we can help. Thanks so much for your interest,
      TOM

  2. Concerning set make-up, I carry but don’t often use a 12-degree driver. I am far more consistent with a 5-wood off the tee, and form the forward tees, I often use a 4-hybrid.

    I believe True Temper made a study a number of years ago that showed golfers with slower swing speeds had little yardage gap between the lower lofted clubs, compared to golfers with higher swing speeds. I see a number of boxed sets being offered that contain a driver, 5-wood, 4-hybrid, and the usual compliment of irons from 5-iron up. This seems like a far better set make-up, outside what a set fitting would achieve.

    If I wanted to carry a full 14-club set, what would it look like if I carried nothing lower lofted than a 5-wood? BTW, I am 68-years old and had a custom fitting several years ago. My swing speed was on the slow side then and is probably less now.

    • FRED

      There is no question that as clubhead speed is lower, the distance gaps between the clubs get smaller and smaller to the point of eliminating the need for as many clubs in the set. So if you had no club lower in loft than a 5 wood, you would not really want to have a full 14 clubs in the bag at all. You could make a very good case for a set that could be 5 wood, 4 hybrid, 5 hybrid, 6 iron through gap wedge, sand wedge and putter. And if your 5 iron average clubhead speed were less than 70mph, you could make a good case to change the lofts on some of the irons so that the loft gap change from iron to iron would be 6* and not the usual 4*. In which case the set could go like this – 5 wood at 18*, 4 hybrid at 23*, 6 hybrid at 28*, 7 iron at 34*, 9 iron bent to 40*, PW bent to 46*, gap wedge at 52* and sand wedge at its normal 56* – then a putter.

      For the 12* driver, perhaps if you shortened this driver to be not longer than 43″ even at 42 1/2″, then add enough weight to the head of the club so you can FEEL THE HEAD WEIGHT DURING THE SWING, then you might gain some consistency and get some more distance over what the 5 wood can give you off the tee.

      TOM

  3. Hi Tom

    After reading one of your articles on club the importance of club fitting, I decided to take my Cleveland driver to get custom fit here at my local club fitter in Cape Town, South Africa. The results was incredible. I used to fade close to 80% of my drives, after the fitting that dropped down to between 10% and 20% after just one day at the range. The odd shot that i do fade, I could feel that my club face was to open or I didn’t close my hands soon enough.

    After that fitting I decided that I am going to replace my whole bag with Wishon clubs. Unfortunately I can’t afford to do it all at once.

    I was hoping you can advise me on where to start and what my club set makeup must look like. My club fitter will make the clubs as I need them, so I was thinking of making 3 separate purchases saving enough money in between to make the next purchase. Wedges (GW-52*;SW/LW-58*) then Hybrids and maybe fairway wood and then Irons 6I-PW.

    This is my current club set makeup with yardages:

    Driver 9* : 230m<
    Hybrid 17*: 190m-205m
    Hybrid 23*: 170m-185m
    5 Iron : 165m-175m (Rarely ever use, rather use 23* Hybrid)
    6 Iron : 155m-165m
    7 Iron : 145m-155m
    8 Iron : 135m-145m
    9 Iron : 125m-135m
    PW : 110m-125m
    GW 52* : 90m -110m (Use for all chip shots and approaches under 100m)
    SW : Out of bunkers only

    I have removed my 3 an 5 wood because i have trouble hitting them of the deck and my 17* hybrid I hit pretty well.

    I have also removed my 3 and 4 iron, I'd rather use my 17* and 23* hybrid respectively.

    I play of an 18 handicap at the moment.

    Kind regards

    Rohann

    • ROHANN

      Thank you very much for your message and thanks so much for your interest. I’m glad to hear that you started to take advantage of proper fitting technology by having your driver re fit so it works better for you. With regard to the set makeup, it very much sounds like you are already very aware of what you need to do with your set makeup so you don’t have clubs that are harder to hit but you do have clubs that can hit the ball all the distances you need which would be a little easier to hit. That’s well thought out. As an 18 it is smart not to have an iron any lower than a 6 iron. And with regard to fairway woods, if you definitely are more confident with the lower loft hybrids such as 17-18* and 21-22*, then use them and don’t have a fairway wood in the set. But be sure the hybrids are built closer to iron lengths and not even close to fwy wood lengths because the shorter length with the hybrids will make them easier to hit more consistently.

      But it does sound like you are on the right path to a proper set makeup that can help you play to the best of your ability.

      TOM

  4. Tom,

    What would you class as the differences between a low lofted hybrid say 20degs and below and a wood of similar loft as they would seem to offer similar distances to the player. Would the wood be more suited to a profile of player or is it just a cosmetic preference of the player. I seem to find that the Hybrid is almost the same shape as the great four/five woods that Macgregor sold in the persimmon era.

    Many thanks

    Gary

    • GARY

      Amazingly with the length difference you would think that fwy wood distance should be more than hybrid distance, but this is just more proof that loft is so much more the reason for shot distance differences between clubs. Occasionally with some players of higher clubhead speed with a very late release, you can see a little more distance from the wood, but that’s only a tiny segment of players. The choice between the two for most players comes more from psychological perceptions than from performance related issues. Some just dislike the narrow body of the hybrid, some are the other way. But in most cases when there is no opinion one way or the other about the head shape/size differences, the decision should be made on the basis of which one you hit more accurately. And for most golfers, the hybrid wins that because it is shorter in length. We also find among less skilled players that the fwy wood can be better because more of those who are less skilled tend to sweep the ball more than hit down on the ball, so the wider sole of the fwy wood can help with that a tiny bit more.

      But another part of this most certainly is what length the hybrids are fit/built to have. Most OEM companies’ hybrids are made longer than an iron of the same loft by at least 1″, sometimes as much as 2″. They do this because they are so hung up on selling clubs on the basis of DISTANCE. So they are convinced the longer length offers more distance and if a golfer hits any club longer he’ll buy it. We here on the other hand see hybrids as true replacement clubs for any irons that have a loft that makes them difficult for the golfer to CONSISTENTLY hit well up to fly. As such that means hybrids should have the same length as the iron of the same loft. We’ve designed on that basis for 12 yrs, we advise fitting on that basis for longer than that, and we know from so many examples that it works better for far, far more golfers than it doesn’t. With iron length hybrids there is less tendency for there to be an odd gap of distance between the last iron and first hybrid in the set. Iron length hybrids can be more accurate as well.

  5. Won’t you need to use some sort of robotic swinging machine like the USGA’s “Iron Byron” or Pings “Pingmaan” to be sure of the yardage gaps ?

    • FRED:

      We do have our own hitting robot for testing clubhead designs and yes, for sure, all head designs get hit tested on the robot for basic performance feedback. But really, after 29 yrs in clubhead design, I learned a long time ago that you don’t really know how any model will perform until you have it hit by real golfers of different ball striking ability so you find out what golfer types get what type of shot performance from any model. Robots swing with one swing path and one angle of attack and one point of release only. HUmans swing with a variety of paths, A of A and release and all these swing characteristics have a huge effect on how any head model will perform. So we do both because we are first and foremost a clubfitting technology company and that means we have to know what models react in what way to which golfer swing characteristics.

      TOM

  6. Tom, there has been a lot of discussion amongst some of my clients recently about one length irons – you indicated to my son, Michael, who lives and plays in France, that you might be looking into the design of a set – any news on this – I would really love to try out this concept but do not want to through the prebuilt route that is the only one currently available.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but would this not entail a fairly radical departure from the old gapping of lofts as well as a change in the 7g weight difference between clubs? Theoretically it all makes an awful lot sense but the cost of tooling might be prohibitive.
    Regards
    Brendan

    • Brendan
      I have designed the clubheads for a single length set but as yet the date for when these might be released is up in the air and not yet known for sure. But it will happen and possibly in the summer I think. One of the main challenges I faced was how to set up the head designs and loft gapping so that the set could deliver a proper distance difference between each club and still not end up hitting the ball too short in the low loft clubs or too long in the high loft clubs. That took a little work, but I do think that the heads I have designed can do that for most golfers.

      Because each club would be built to the same length, that means each head has to be designed to be the same exact weight and the same lie angle too. The main benefit of a single length set comes from the fact that the lengths, the total weights, the headweights and the balance points would be identical in every club. Doing that means you then have matched all three moments in each club in the set so that every club then would swing precisely and exactly the same for trying to gain better shot consistency. So there can’t be any weight increments between the heads since they have to all be the same headweight. And as such this has to be done with all new designs for each head.

      So keep in touch and hopefully the remaining obstacles, none of which are technically related to the design, can be resolved so this set could come out sometime a little later this year. I don’t think it will be for every golfer from a mental perspective, but that being said, theoretically from a performance standpoint, it could.

      TOM

  7. I have just returned from my club fitter Wayne Fairbanks and he is currently making me up a 730cl 5 hybrid the high launch and fairway wood I had a 730cl driver and Wayne is also re shafting this for me.
    I cannot wait to pick them up , practice thru the winter then the boys at my golf club had better beware next year!

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