I’ve hit a lot of golf clubs in my 39 years of playing. I played alot of quality Mizuno stuff in my earlier years and have gravitated towards TM stuff after I decided that I didn’t need to be hitting my MP33s any longer. I remember hitting a playing partner’s Callaway X-16 on a par three one time and I could hardly feel a thing and it flew a long way. Six months ago, after deciding that I wanted to try some irons with more modern lofts, I bought a used set a Callaway XR16s. Same thing. Couldn’t feel much. Sent them back to Cally Pre-owned.
I’d bet the pros are chasing feel as much as anything.
if i may add – Lets say the tour player wants to hit a fade, as Britt said if impact is on centre it doesnt matter what the club type is, but if its off centre, that forgiving club would add a marginal degree of correction, and that tour player might not want that. I think thats what they mean when they say such forgiving clubs are not workable, even if they dont actually understand what they mean :)
another matter is that the tour player may want to hit the ball off centre, say to take some distance or spin off. They are that good that they can deliberately hit the ball 1mm off centre, mind boggling i know when some of us struggle to hit it anywhere on a 3″ wide face.
Great question and I have asked myself that for years. Understand, most tour pro’s hit irons very consistently, but they do still have misses. Because they do hit irons in the center of the face more than the rest of us, they can get away with less stability in the design. I still don’t understand why they would. If you hit an iron in the center of the face (assuming the cg is in the center), it doesn’t matter what the level of forgiveness is. However, when you miss hit it, even a little, it can effect the results. At the tour level, a mishit that causes a shot to go 2 or 3 yards shorter of 3 or 4 yards offline can be a big deal, especially for the amount of money they are playing for. Some think that certain less forgiving designs are “more workable”, and that is simply not true. Ball flight is determined by club head path, face angle and speed at impact. Hit properly, the ball will move the same with a forgiving club vs a less forgiving club. The difference is when you hit it off center. Off center hits will move less the more stable (forgiving) the club design is. Off center its will move more with less stable and forgiving clubs for sure, and will travel a shorter distance. That’s just the way it is. The only element of a design that we can’t measure is the how the cosmetic appeals to the player and how that effects the way they perform for that particular player. I have seen tour level players that have to have a certain look to feel confident that they can do with the ball what they need to, even when that look is in a design that gives no room for error. Same player given a design that is more forgiving but doesn’t like the look, the player believes he can’t hit certain shots with it. I understand that element, but the facts of ow the mass and dimensional characteristics effect ball flight are immutable. I do think you are seeing more designs from companies today that are considered “players designs” that are a little more stable and because of that you are seeing more tour professionals play more stable (forgiving) iron designs. It’s kind of ironic to me that all the tour professionals play the latest, large drivers that are super forgiving, but then some play small profile blades that are not forgiving at all.