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Should I ditch my 5 iron?

I turned Pro in 1997 and back then a typical set of irons went from a 3 iron through to a Sand Wedge.

Taylormade's original firesole rescue club

We hadn’t heard of gap wedges and Taylormade’s famous ‘Rescue’ club, now more commonly known as a hybrid, was just about to make a name for itself.

Fast forward to 2020 and you will be hard-pressed to find a 3 iron from any supplier.

The reason for this is due to the vanishing loft phenomenon...

Advances in club design have meant manufacturers can position the weight lower down in the club resulting in a higher ball flight. This, in turn, has caused the loft of the clubs to decrease to produce the desirable ball flight trajectory.   

When I turned pro my Tommy Armour 845s Silver Scot 8 iron was 42 degrees and now we see most Pitching wedges with lofts close to that. For example, the new Callaway Mavrik Max Pitching Wedge is 43 degrees!

Tommy Armour 854s Silver Scot vs Callaway Mavrik Max Iron
My Tommy Armour Silver Scot vs the new Callaway Mavrik Max
Iron1997*
lofts
2020**
lofts
42620
53023
63426
73830
84234
94638
PW5043
SW5654
*Tommy Armour Silver Scot 845s  **Callaway Mavrik Max

This means golfers are hitting the ball further than the equivalent iron of 30 years ago but it has caused two problems:

1. A new club had to be invented. 

To still be an effective bunker club the Sand Wedge loft has barely changed over the decades. It has remained at about 54-56 degrees. But, because the pitching wedge has decreased in loft down to the low 40’s there is this huge gap. So, we welcome the appropriately named ‘Gap Wedge’ which at 48 to 52 degrees is the old loft of the Pitching Wedg

2. Long irons are difficult to hit

With a 4 iron now at 20 degrees, it is a challenging club even for the most accomplished of golfers to hit with any degree of consistency. This is despite the advances in technology and clubhead design.

Case study

A seven handicap golfer recently installed a tracking system to his clubs which quite cleverly uses GPS to show how far each shot goes. The data this fed back to him showed that his 6 iron went further on average than his 5 iron.

His initial reaction was that the lofts of the club must be incorrect, so he brought the clubs in for us to inspect on our loft lie machine.

The machine showed that the loft gap between the clubs was correct so the problem was elsewhere.

The launch monitor in the studio at Dunes revealed that the 5 iron did go further but only on well-struck shots. This was not happening enough on the golf course and therefore the average shot distance was less than the 6 iron.

The solution…
In this case, the golfer in question would probably be better off with a 5 hybrid instead of a 5 iron.

Watch me trying out the Mizuno JPX FliHi Hybrid

For many golfers, switching to hybrids is a challenge because they have been so used to playing with long irons all of their golfing life. But, now is the time to give a hybrid a go to see if it can make the game easier and more enjoyable.

We like the Mizuno JPX FliHi as they can be fitted with the same shafts as you would get in your irons, steel for example, which makes them feel much more like the rest of the set.

If you would like to try out your 5 iron against a 5 hybrid then come along to Dunes and ask for a demo. All you have to do is buy your range balls (baskets start at £2.80) and our staff will set you up with a few different ones to try.

Book a fitting

A custom fitting with one of our trained staff will show you exactly how far you hit each club and identify your best solution. Custom fitting benefits all levels of golfer, even if you have just started playing. For more information and to book click here, or give us a call on 01346 510693

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New classes to help your golf

Have you started playing golf this year?

There is no doubt golf has benefitted recently by being one of the few social and sporting activities that have been allowed to restart safely.

Most, if not all, the local clubs have seen a huge increase in membership numbers, and we have certainly seen an influx of new golfers coming to the range.

We are seeing lots of men aged 18 to 40 starting the game as a replacement for playing sports like football and cricket.

We have also had many conversations with these golfers, most of which are competitive by nature and want to improve but have found that turning to the internet, and YouTube in particular, is causing more confusion than providing any benefit.

Join a Golf Clinic at Dunes

We have come up with the perfect solution to help you get the information you need to play better golf.

The Golf Clinics at Dunes, hosted by PGA qualified professional – Sam Griffiths, will shine a light on the thing you need to do to improve your game and have more fun.

The group sessions, covering three key aspects of the game will give you the time to practice what you have learned under the guidance of the Pro.

Each clinic runs over two sessions with the first being the one that identifies your key area for improvement and the second one to check up and reinforce the new information.

“The ‘two-session’ clinics will provide each student with the opportunity to spend a week practicing the new information I have shared with them in the first week,” states PGA Pro Sam Griffiths, “Having the second week to check on progress and make any adjustments will be key to ensure each student makes good progress and achieves their goals”

Book you space now. Spaces are limited to just 8 per class to allow plenty of time for the coach to work individually with each pupil.

» Pure Striking Iron Play Clinic
Are you duffing or thinning your irons shots?
Do you find most of your irons go about the same distance?
Good from the tee but struggle from the deck?
In this class you will be shown the secrets to pure ball striking using proven techniques that work.

Next Class: Friday 2nd October & Friday 9th October 4.30pm to 6.00pm
£39.00 Book Here

» Fairway Finder Driving Clinic
Find out how to straighten up your tee shots, find more fairways, lose less balls and have more fun.
Learn how to deliver the club to the ball for optimal launch conditions and consistency
Check your current driver set up

Next Class: Saturday 3rd & 10th October 2.00pm to 3.30pm
£39.00 Book Here

» Up ‘n’ down Chipping Clinic
Struggling to judge the distance on chip shots?
Striking the ball poor, including thins and duffs?
Learn how to use the bounce effectively and gain insights in to club choice for each shot
Improving your short game is the single fastest way to shoot lower scores

Next Class: Saturday 3rd & 10th October 3.45pm to 5.15pm
£39.00 Book Here

Each of the above clinics include:

  • 3 hours of coaching (over two 90 minute sessions)
  • All range balls included
  • PGA Qualified Golf Coach
  • Video analysis and Launch monitor data where beneficial

To book call us on 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/golfclinics

Spaces are limited to a maximum of 8 on each class