The 19ยบ 4-iron
Monday, July 3, 2017 at 7:29 AM
John Taylor

The 19º 4-iron is decreasing loft disease out of control. That's the loft of this long iron in a new iron set from a leading club manufacturer who markets the increased distance their clubs can yield. The loft of the 6-iron is 25º, the 7-iron loft is 28.5º.

Claims of distance increases achieved by these new OEM irons are understandable if the low lofts are factored into the discussion. Loft is the main determinant of distance in iron performance -- it's basic physics. When you want to compare performance of different clubs, make certain they have the same loft and same shaft to get meaningful results.

Clubhead lie angles are 1º - 2º high through much of this new set. Loft differences between clubs at the short end of the set are 5.5º. It is an easy argument to make that this "game forgiving" set will be a game wrecking set since the golfers who need help will struggle with many of these irons.

There is an abundance of plastic incorporated into the cavity back and into multiple slots cut into the club head. The vibration damping effect of this much plastic can have an unfriendly result for many golfers, especially with a graphite shaft. Loss of feel of the ball impacting the club face makes it more difficult to achieve ball-striking feedback that otherwise would help with swing technique improvements. 

We call attention to these issues because a common complaint from golfers is that they can't hit their long irons with any consistency, and they are uncomfortable with any club lower than a 7-iron. It's not surprising when clubs have distorted loft and lie angle specifications.

Our advice, find a qualified club fitter and be sure to test classic iron designs with premium shafts that are matched to your swing. We are certain they will out-perform any "game improvement" set.

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