Drive Golf Performance Blog

Drive Golf Performance Blog

Thursday, 26 June 2014

What if I pick the wrong club?

Imagine yourself 160 yards out from the flag, which is a normal 7 iron for you. You reach for the seven iron but then a couple of different thoughts enter your head, wind seems to be helping, air is a bit warmer, you're feeling a bit stronger then normal and you think is 8 enough?

Or the opposite happens, you think the wind is against, it's a bit cooler, it looks uphill, you're not feeling very confident in your swing and you think a 6 is required?

So let's investigate, is 7 always the right club? Will 8 be always too little? Is 6 always too much? What's the worst that could happen with an 8 or a 6?

A couple of evenings ago I headed out with 60 balls, a 6,7 and 8 iron and Drive Golf Performance's Trackman to see how a spread of shots with the three clubs would work.

I used my own Miura MB001 irons and Titleist Pro V1 golf balls.

Lofts on the 6,7 and 8 irons are 30,34 and 38 degrees.

There was little wind and temperatures were around 20 degrees Celsius. Perfect evening for hitting some balls. 

After warming up I hit 20 7 irons, 20 6 irons and 20 8 irons and recorded the data.

Above is a photo of the results. One thing to note in the trajectory, irons tend to have the same peak height just the higher clubs reach it earlier in the flight, sometimes giving the impression they fly higher.

Here are the results

Ball Speed

 Speed and Ball Speed are in MPH, Carry, Total, longest and shortest are in Yards and side is in feet.

So an average 7 iron will go 160 yards so that should be the club to pick but the 7 irons ranged from 153.5 to 166.6 yards (or 20 feet short to 20 feet long of pin high) and only 5 out of the 20 were between 159 and 161 yards, i.e when saying how far you hit a club it's a range and not a number.

What would happen if I hit the six iron?

On average it would have went 8.6 yards or 26 feet too far. Most greens are 30 yards deep, so with a hole located anywhere from the front to 20 yards deep then playing the six iron would still mean I'm on the green and putting. The worst 6 iron went 163.9 yards leaving potentially a good chance for birdie, the best 6 iron went 174.8 yards still leaving the ball on the green on an average size green with the hole in the middle.

What would happen if I hit the eight iron?

On average it would have come up 8.2 yards or approximately 25 feet short. Again on an average green where the hole is anywhere from 10 yards in to the back this would have the ball on the green and putting. The worst 8 iron went 142.3 yards which would have the ball on an average size green with the hole located just beyond the middle. The best 8 iron went 158.2 yards leaving it quite close to pin high and a great chance for birdie.

How does this help you select the right club?

First thing to note is you'll hit club a range of distances rather then just a number. Could be a spread of anywhere from 10-15 yards depending on loft gaps and swing speed. Find your average distance and use this as your ideal distance. If you use your best distance as your ideal distance then it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to come up 40 feet short, whereas using the average will have you at worst 20 feet short or 20 feet long.

The worst result with a different club (long with the longer club and short with the shorter club) shouldn't be that bad and the best result (short with the longer club and long with the shorter club) will be very good.

Also when in between clubs or undecided go for the longer club with the hole at the front of the green and the shorter club with the hole at the back of the green. The reasons being if you pick the shorter club with the flag towards the front there's a reasonable chance you'll come up short of the green leaving a chip with not a huge amount of green to work with, but if you go past the flag with the longer club it will still be on the green and putting. Also shorter is better then being over the back with the flag at the back.

Any questions, please ask.



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