Wishon Golf Explains the Difference in Bending Woods vs. Irons

Posted by on Jan 13, 2015 in Uncategorized | 6 comments

With the introduction of Wishon Golf’s proprietary bendable hosel drivers, fairway woods and hybrids, there is a level of confusion about the difference in what specifications are affected when you bend the hosel of a driver/wood/hybrid vs. an iron/wedge. To help explain the differences, we have created a video to offer a technical explanation to make this area of club technology a little less confusing.

Bending irons and wedges have been a practice of clubfitting for decades. As such, clubmakers are aware that when you bend the hosel of an iron or a wedge, you change its loft or lie angles. With the introduction of Wishon Golf’s bendable hosel drivers, woods and hybrids, it just seems logical to assume that bending the hosel will have the same result—that it will change the loft or the lie angle of the driver/wood/hybrid.

But that is not the case. When you bend the hosel of a driver, wood or hybrid, it is the lie angle and the face angle that is changed, not the loft.

The reason is because of the difference in how golfers learn to address the ball with the different clubs in their bag.

For normal-shot irons and wedges, golfers always set the clubhead behind the ball with the face square to the target line. Always.

But with the driver, fairway woods and irons, most golfers regularly sole the clubhead on the ground in the address position and allow the clubhead to sit perfectly flat.

Why the difference? Chiefly, it’s because drivers, woods and hybrids can be designed and manufactured with an open, square or closed face angle to offer golfers a way to reduce their tendency to hook or slice the ball.

When you sole the driver, wood and hybrid flat on the ground, any bend of the hosel will result in a change of the lie or the face angle (depending on the direction of the bend). But because golfers typically position the face of an iron and wedge square to the target line, any bend of the hosel will result in a change of the loft or lie angle of the iron/wedge head.

Could you bend a driver, wood or hybrid to change the loft by always positioning the face of the clubhead square to the target line after the bend? Yes, that can be done. But after the bend, the golfer would always have to hold the clubface square and never sole the head on the ground.  And because of the much greater width of the sole of a driver/wood/hybrid versus that of an iron/wedge, when you bend the hosel to change loft and then hold the face square, the surface of the sole is no longer parallel to the ground.

With a driver, this is not that much of a problem because golfers rarely (or rather are not supposed to) hit the shot with the sole making contact with the ground. But with a fairway wood or hybrid, when the sole is not parallel to the ground as the clubhead arrives at the ball, any contact of the sole with the ground can cause either a digging of the leading edge or a bouncing of the trailing edge—which adversely affects the shot.

Besides, when you bend the hosel of a driver/wood/hybrid and then turn the face square to achieve the loft change, this completely eliminates the possibility of the face angle being an independent fitting specification to help reduce a slice or hook.  As such, bending a driver/wood/hybrid to change loft should only be considered for very skilled players who have always played woods with a square face angle.

Hence, if a golfer does have swing flaws that result in a slice or hook, fitting the face angle correctly to the golfer to reduce that misdirection tendency is critical.

Bottom line? We bend the hosel of irons and wedges to change loft or lie or both together. Bending of a driver, wood and hybrid is done to change the lie or the face angle or both.

Then how do you get different lofts in a driver, wood or hybrid?

Easy: By requesting Wishon Golf’s Hand Select Service. That’s how we deliver to you and your clubfitter precisely measured multiple heads in each model’s inventory, resulting in unparallel custom fitting—including loft, lie and face angle.

I imagine you might still have questions and concerns about this topic. As always, you are invited to visit our www.wishongolf.com website for more information, where you’ll find numerous videos and blogs and product information. Or you can call one of our customer service representatives at (800) 470-0072. We look forward to hearing from you.

Good luck in this great game!



  1. Hi Nick, That is the best review i seen till yet about difference between bending woods vs iron..thank you for awesome post.keep it up

  2. Hi Tom,
    Thank you for all the information you’re sharing on your site. I’m playing for quit some years now and I’m very interested in this kind of information.
    I hope you’ll write more articles soon again!
    Thanks, Paul.

  3. Setting aside any and all versions of adjustable sleeves, will bending a driver 2degrees closed result in increasing effective loft approximately 1.2 degrees ( ie would a true 9.5 degree lofted head play like a 10.7 degree lofted head if the face angle were bent 2 degrees closed)?

    • CHRIS
      if the driver is a true 9.5* with a 0* face angle when measured in a specs gauge with the head SOLED correctly in the gauge, if you then bend the hosel to make the face angle to be 2* closed when measured in a specs gauge with the head SOLED correctly in the gauge, in this position the loft is still 9.5*. But then if you take this driver and you now turn the face manually from 2* closed to be 0 square, that will increase the loft by 1.2* so the loft as the head is being held square behind the ball will have increased to 10.7*. This is not effective loft though. This is the static loft as held behind the ball in a 0 square face position. Effective loft is whatever the loft becomes at impact due to the influence of the golfer’s swing path + whatever his release does to the face angle at impact.


  4. Tom, I just read your study on adjustable drivers. I have owned the Taylormade Stage 2 and the Nike Covert. When trying to adjust them to what I thought gave me the best results I used the Nicklaus method of picking a point ahead of the ball, manipulated the club to square the club face to the target line and hit the ball a number of times at different adjustment settings. I find the one that seems to give me consistent playable results and go with it. I don’t know if modern golf shafts still have a “spine” that needs to be aligned properly, but I got the impression that all that adjusting did nothing more than align the shaft to an alignment that best fit my swing.

    • RON:
      On your own by guessing that you should manipulate the club to hold the face square behind the ball, you did at that point get the loft that is indicated on the sleeve position. One of the things that amazed me when I dug into this topic was the fact that in none of my searching could I find that any of the golf companies were telling the golfers that to get the lofts indicated on the different sleeve positions, you have to turn the face to hold it square behind the ball. Not on their websites, not on a hang tag with the club, no where. Now there is no question that some golfers have always done this, most often when they get a driver that sits more open or more closed than they like when they would sole the club on the ground. So if a golfer soles a driver and it does not “sit” as he would like, yes at that point the golfer could manipulate the face to be as he wants it to look behind the ball.

      The reason that driver and wood specs had forever been measured with the head soled in the specs measurement gauge is because soling the clubhead is how the majority of golfers both look at a driver/wood when they are shopping, as well as when they are addressing the ball ready to hit a shot. When you sole the driver in the address position, this not only allows the loft and the lie to show up as they were measured during the production of the heads, but it also allows the face angle to be an additional spec for helping a golfer play their best.

      When you change everything all of a sudden and ordain that the loft on the sleeve comes about when the head is manipulated to be square behind the ball, that’s OK for straight hitters who never need an open or closed face angle to reduce a hook or slice. But for those many who can take advantage of a custom face angle to reduce that slice or hook, this is where the adj hosel drivers fall short. because if you have to hold the face square all the time to get the loft change on the adj hosel sleeve, that means you completely eliminate the face angle from ever being a separate fitting element to help the golfer.


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