Iron Numbers, Loft’s a Changing & Distance Gapping

In the search for new golf clubs that hit the ball further for us, we have to understand and be aware of the lofts of what clubs we are hitting and some key numbers. The role of the ego in golf can make us search for distance. “I hit a 7 iron” your playing partner says, and you feel bad as you are pulling a 5 iron. Be careful as with there is no standardized lofts in the golf industry. Each manufacturer has several models of iron with all different lofts all designed for different types of player. Your playing partners 7 iron may be the loft of your 5 iron for all you know!

Key Numbers

The key to better golf is being able to be close to pin high on approach as much as possible, and to do this consistently we need an iron set that we know for ourselves delivers great launch conditions and hits those distances consistently. Key numbers we want to see with iron fittings are;

  • Launch
  • Spin
  • Descent Angle – The angle in which the ball approaches the ground.
  • Carry


If we can have a great combination of launch, spin and descent angle, we can hold more greens and deliver consistent carry numbers. We do not want to sacrifice spin and descent for total distance. We have seen many times at the Academy where a player’s current 7 iron goes a great distance, but the spin and descent angle are not optimal, therefore it’s going to be hard for those players to hit consistent carry numbers and hold greens. Tour Average descent angle with a 7 iron is 50 degrees, how is your 7 iron?

Stop by the Academy and check out your spin and descent numbers. Also do you know how far you carry each club? We recommend to every player to have a clear idea on how far each club carries and not its total distance.

The changing of loft’s over the years and set make-up.

A mix of marketing to golfers for more distance and changes in iron technology are responsible for the changing of loft over the years. Manufacturers have been able to move the center of gravity around a little more and use some different materials to help golfers launch the ball with optimal spin.

What does this mean for us now? Tom Wishon states in his article below how club fitters should use the 24/38 rule. Where the majority of golfers will struggle to hit an iron that is less than 24 degrees of loft and more than 38 inches in length. Which makes current 3/4 and even 5 irons hard to hit for most players. Well, our set make-up needs to change. Instead of the traditional 3 – PW iron set. We need to look at perhaps 5/6-Gw and then look at hybrids and lofted woods to fill the gap to driver.

The tables below are from Tom Wishon’s 12 Myth’s about clubs pulled from this book ” The Search for the Perfect Club”. You can read the 12 myths here.


By Jamie Fraser

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