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Testing shorter length 5 iron

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Chuck Quinton View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 July 2006 at 1:02pm

Ok, so I went out and tested two five irons today. My goal is a 195 club with a penetrating trajectory. Here are the specs on my normal 5 iron from my builder:

37 5/8"
435 grams static weight
D3 swing weight
7.7 flex (x flex) Rifle Precision scale
325 cpm
Infiniti AW-3 head
Harrison Premier Golf shaft
27 degrees loft

And here are the specs I built for the test club.

36.5"
423 grams static
C3 swing weight
6.8 (stiff)
324 cpm
Infiniti AW-1 head
R300 shaft trimmed to spec plus 1" tip trim
25 degrees loft

I found that both clubs went about the same distance, but the longer club edged it out by maybe a few yards. After swinging the test club, the original felt like a lot more work to swing, a lot heavier, but I felt like I had to smooth out my tempo with the test club. I felt like I HAD to swing harder with my normal 5, it was more work but felt normal because I haven't played anything else for a couple months now. I liked the smoother feel of the test club, but it was a little shorter and I definitely could not go after it, I really needed to smooth it out. It's trajectory was lower than the AW-3, and like I said, it was a little shorter. I liked the trajectory but would probably have to go to 24 or 23 degrees of loft to get 195 out of it. What was most interesting was the impact tape:

Here is the AW-1 test club first:

Here is a pic of the back since I know most of you have never seen this club:

And here is the AW-3:

You can thank my buddy for shanking one as we were leaving for the nice mark on the heel.  But anyhow, is it just me or did I hit all those balls on the AW-3 closer to the heel? I only hit 3 balls with each club with the tape in place at the end of the test but I hit all three normal and they felt the normal, so I'm guessing this is what's normally going on. My semi-educated guess is that this is caused by my feeling like I have to work harder to swing the normal club which gets me throwing the club a little earlier and gets me above the plane on the way down. I also guess that is because it is longer, and therefore, more difficult to hit out of the center of face, which is why I'm doing this test in the first place - more control. All 6 balls went straight with slight draws, so maybe I'm just coming more from the inside or maybe my eyes are playing tricks. Could be shaft flex, weight, I don't know, what do you guys think?



Edited by Chuck Quinton
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LowPost42 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LowPost42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2006 at 4:07pm

I'd say it's obvious that the AW3 is a little more heely.  But it could simply be a design thing for the AW3.  For a long time the golf myth was 'better players hit the ball closer to the heel', whereas the truth was that's where the sweetspot was - closer to the heel.  If the ball flight was OK, I wouldn't sweat it.

If you really need an equipment explanation, the heavier swingweight may have had you coming inside faster - 'dropping into the slot' earlier, as it were.

But I like my first answer better.

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Chuck Quinton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chuck Quinton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2006 at 4:20pm

The ball flight is too high with this club but that doesn't have anything to do with contact toward the heel. It was much easier for me to swing the lighter swing weight and there is interesting stuff behind this. Out of college, I was playing a 975J with a C3 swing weight and absolutely smoked it and had great control but hit it high. My instructor at the time had me switch to a D2 to bring my ball flight down, but I've always thought about the feel of the C3. In speaking with Eric Yeh (Infiniti Pres) yesterday, he said they had built a test driver at C3 before and everyone one was smoking it and hitting it better than their own driver. The problem was all the irons were at D3-ish so when they switched from the driver to the irons their swings were erratic.

I mostly liked the smoother feel overall of the test club and that is a big piece for me. The Harrison is stiff and a lot of work for me.

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waltice View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote waltice Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2006 at 6:08pm

If the club is too long for you, you will tend to hit shots off the heel.  And if the club is too short you will hit it off the toe a little bit.  That could be the reason why you are hitting your regular club towards the heel slightly.

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jonag View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jonag Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 July 2006 at 7:34pm

What about torsion of the shaft in the downswing ?  Could it be different ?  If the shaft twists back to late, the heel can come down more outside...(?)

Jon Arne
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LowPost42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2006 at 1:19am

It's not surprising that the AW3 has the higher ball flight (cavity back, a little more sole weighting), plus the AW1 has that top muscle - that'll go a long way to keeping ball flight down.

The other thing could be the shaft in the AW3 - you may be getting some forward bend at impact, increasing that dynamic loft, that you aren't getting with the AW1's.

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Chuck Quinton View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chuck Quinton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2006 at 10:04am
The shaft in the AW-3 is stiffer and a tip stiff shaft with a very high kick point, higher than the R-300. I believe what it came down to was a smoother swing with the softer shafted club which put less spin on the ball and kept me from releasing the club so aggressively. In other words, it was just because the other shaft felt stiffer and heavier that I swung it more aggressively.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hayes959 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2006 at 12:39pm
I have posted my experience in the past.  In the summer of 2004 I was given 3 demo 5-irons and not told the shaft flex, length, etc.  After some practice with the clubs over a two week period, it was obvious that the one club performed better than the others.  It was standard length, regular flex shaft.  I am almost 6'2" tall and had always played clubs 1" long and S300 shafts.  I went with the clubmaker's recommendation of standard lenght and regular flex shafts and he made the set of Wishon 550's using MOI matching.  It is two years later and I still love this set of irons.  I find the regular flex shafts take less effort to accomplish the same, or better results.  I am starting to wonder if maybe I shouldn't try regular flex shafts in my hybrids and driver. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote leftandright Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2006 at 5:08pm
I've heard about the Wishon 550 series, and have heard nothing but great reviews.

 Chuck it looks like you have a way tighter dispersion across the face with the AW3 (aside from that heeled shot).  Look at how with the test club the impact pattern is slightly larger than the circle, and on your original 5, the impact pattern can fit entirely in the circle.  This might have to do with the swingweight.  A lot of people prefer the lighter swingweights, because it seems like less effort, but chances are most relatively fit people remain inconsistent with lighter swingweight clubs, since it's easier to direct it (hence most people prefer heavier swingweights, the lighter the club gets).

The 1 inch disparity in length maybe contributing to your striking the center of the clubface (as opposed to shying toward the heel).  Essentially you've made a 7 iron with a 4 iron loft. 

IMHO, and I am by no means a clubfitter, I'd try the shorter length first with a higher swingweight than the C3, which will tighten up the dispersion across the face, and keep you in the center. 

Or maybe I just made this all up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote leftandright Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2006 at 5:38pm
Also, an inch is a bit much to change in length.  Perhaps consider something less radical like 37 inches, instead.  Coupled with a slightly higher swingweight than the c3, maybe a switch over to a lighter shaft than the r300, and you may have the distance, trajectory and "smoothness" that you wish.  
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