Comparing Playability of Two Iron Designs
Clubhead mass and dimensional properties are important factors in playability of a clubhead.
I picked two irons introduced into the marketplace and did a comparison of their playability differences. Hopefully this will help us to better understand how the mass and dimensional properties within the clubhead itself help us to play better golf.
What We Will Compare
Since we just had a discussion of irons with draw biasing, I selected the TaylorMade R7 Draw #6 (2006) iron. I also selected the Ping Rapture #6 (2006) iron as a comparison because it has a high playability factor (MPF) and is quite the opposite of the R7 design in most all respects.
Comparing The Heads
Take a look at the drawing below, which is pretty much self explanatory. The iron outlines were traced from the actual irons and all the measurements were made on the precision measuring equipment in the Golf Club Design Studio.
The Ping Rapture iron outline is drawn in blue and the TaylorMade R7 Draw iron is in red. Visually, you can see that the center of gravity location on the Ping Rapture is lower than the TaylorMade R7 Draw. Notice also that Ping put a very short hosel on the Rapture somewhat like a Callaway iron.
This is one of a number of factors in the design that helps to place the center of gravity in the geometric center of the clubface and at the same time also effectively lowers it. Also keep in mind that the Pings are the modern standard loft (#6 iron 30º) and the R7’s are 2º stronger in loft (#6 iron 28º).
A big factor in iron head playability that we have not discussed is off-center hits. Besides being lower, the center of gravity horizontally (“C” Dimension) is almost 3/8” (.375”) farther away from the hosel or more towards the toe on the Ping Rapture than the TaylorMade R7.
The difference in clubhead stability from the 1.549” “C” Dimension on the Rapture to the 1.186” “C” Dimension on the R7 Draw irons is quite significant. The Ping should feel more solid with less distance lost on off-center hits when compared to the TaylorMade R7 Draw.
Ask yourself or any golfer this question, “when you mis-hit a shot with your irons is it usually out toward the toe or is it in the heel area?” My testing and personal experience is that it is mostly toward the toe. Why put the center of gravity purposely away from the face center and closer to the hosel to further increase the chance of hitting a less solid shot more often? Good question isn’t it?