I would like to think that the higher AVCOG was done by design, but my experience in designing and measuring clubs tells me it is not. It is difficult to design with very low AVCOG without going what many would consider extreme in design. We did it with our Glider series and many others in years past. How low the vertical is, is a function of the design. For instance, we might not want to be extremely low on a blade profile. If through testing, we determine on a Super or Ultra Game improvement design that the ball flight is too high or creating too much spin, we may tweak the cg up, even though it may bring the overall playability factor down a few points. The compromise is by moving it up it could affect the feel. I would say there is a tendency for design teams to design to a shape dictated to them by tour players or marketing departments. Sometimes when that happens, the mass and dimensional integrity of the design will suffer. A longer hosel and shorter blade design that a tour player may like to look at, may not allow the cg to be in the center of the face, much less lower or in an accepted vertical range. You can tell the designs where the vertical and horizontal cg location was important and taken into consideration. It does surprise me when we find the CG’s are not in the center and certainly not as low as they could be (on the models we measure). This seems to be especially true on designs that are marketed as game improvement. Not saying these are not playable designs, just that they could be so much more playable with more attention given to the mass and dimensional characteristics. Back to your question, I do think modern materials and increase face deflection and modern golf balls can influence the placement of the AVCOG, to a degree. Understand, if a face deflects more, the ball generally spins less and will not fly as high. Too many golf ball options to think about, but one should evaluate what ball provides the best trajectory and feel component for whatever design they play. All that being said, “loft” not cg, face deflection or ball spin, has the most influence on vertical trajectory and spin.