Over time, irons have been getting longer and longer. Or have they? To get right to the point, lofts have got strong. I mean really strong.
Let’s pick a traditional brand’s most forgiving iron in Titleist’s iron from 2010 (AP1 710) and the most forgiving from 2020 (T400):
Titleist 2010 – AP1 710 5 iron – 26°
Titleist 2010 – AP1 710 3 iron – 20°
Titleist 2020 – T400 5 iron – 20°
Titleist 2020 – T400 3 iron – Does not exist. Neither does the 4 iron in fact? But the weight has been redistributed …bla bla cool story. Good news here is there are 4 matching wedges to replace the missing half set of irons at the other end of the set: PW(38°), W(43°), W2(49°) and a W3(55°).
I think this has all got very silly. Every brand does it and they absolutely have to in order to keep up appearances and “compete” with each other in trying to stay ahead of the distance game. But how long before we have a bag with 8 Wedges starting at 29°? It must have a saturation point and ultimately it doesn’t improve our scores or change the way we play a round of golf.
To make the most of a situation, I’d really advise some attention to the clubs before and after your shiny new irons if you have them or are considering or have had for some time already. With so much variance through even one brand, let alone the whole iron market, how are we supposed to manage our yardages and usefulness of these clubs even if they have funny lofts?
Quickly google your desired or existing iron model followed by the word “specs” maybe hit images to get a small spreadsheet of the lofts! I would very much recommend an AW or GW that matches the set as it will be used in the same way as an old school PW, which definitely had a purpose. Look at the loft of the longest club you have/want and the shortest club to make yourself aware of what you have to play with and how any hybrids or specialty wedges would fit in loft wise.
I was a 2 iron through to PW player. Now I’m looking at 5-PW+GW in my new sticks and 2 specialist wedges after that. Could just as easily go with 3 wedges still. I currently have the heads in a draw ready to be built. A luxury of mine is I can adjust things like shafts, lengths, grip thickness and swingweight after playing my first round. That is a service I do offer after any purchases, much like a tour player going back to a tour truck for tweaks. Free of charge after sales support.
People that hit the ball particularly low may find that there’s a point where your irons on course *carry* yardages stop increasing. I have found this at as little as a 6 iron for someone that actually hit the ball quite hard, the 5 iron just would not go further than the 6… and the 4 iron even shorter. The wedges were very important for this player. You may actually already have a point where you stop feeling comfortable with the longer irons or feel really uncomfortable when closer to the green than a full PW. Don’t feel bad, just stop hitting the ones you don’t have confidence in as this paragraph could hold the key to your frustrations and talking to me could move you in the right direction?
I have a FREE section in BUILD MY CLUBS if you need some more advice in this area or if you’re struggling to get lofts from google for example I’m more than happy to help!