Hooking my beautiful new irons

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By EStan

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  • 14 Replies
  1. I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. Please skip the last paragraph if you don't enjoy reading my life iron narrative haha.

    I played 714 AP1 irons for 6 years. I was a higher handicap when I bought them, and despite being fit for everything else in my bag, I bought these off the rack, unknowingly with light 95 gram stiff shafts. Over the years and with lessons, I've learned to hit these really well, and iron striking has been usually the strongest part of my game. My handicap came down to 12 and seemingly on its way lower, and that's despite my Tee game matching that of a 25 HCP. Think 20-25% FIR, but 40-50% GIR. Courses with fescue or tight OB kill me.

    So being a decent iron player with game improvement irons, and maybe a shaft that wasn't fully suited to the rather jerky tempo I have, I sought out to see if I could improve the situation. Yes I messed with something that wasn't broken.

    I walked away from the pre-eminent fitter in the country completely open to any brands, and sure enough fit to a Titleist T200/100S combo set narrowly outperforming srxn. I was having my best results with Modus 120 shafts. Thankfully I received them much quicker than anticipated and have had a chance to game them.

    First round, on the range and in the fitting, the 100S felt absolutely beautiful, they slice through the turf and just felt so unbelievably solid. I was hitting the 8 iron with a reasonable draw, 6 iron was playing fairly straight. I go on to the course and play the 8 iron draw into the first two greens, but with about 10-15 yards of draw, and from there the first 6 iron I hit was a hook (pull draw to save my ego) and the round went miserably. I fought hard to keep the iron face square or open with little success. My hands were dominating my swing.

    Now my main question. 714 AP1's with 95 gram stiff shafts -- T200/100S with 120 gram stiff shafts. Equal length and lies.

    Has anyone made a similar jump and had a hard time adjusting? with a little extra range time, I can seem to straighten out new irons, but at set up, I need to leave the face looking what feels like exceptionally open to not hook the ball. In the 2 months since I was fit, I did adjust my balance just a tiny bit which helped me hit a playable straight/5 yard draw on the 714's. (I was over my toes a little previously) The contact on the new irons feels amazing. It's just obvious that I'm closing the face severely at impact.

    I would have thought if anything the 714's would have been a bit more draw prone with the offset, but I still hit them with the same shape, I'm not hooking them. Trying to gather feedback. No differences in my shot shape at the fitting (unless I tried the project X shaft and then I pushed everything.) I do have a mild-moderate strong grip on my old irons. Just not sure why it never lead to hook problems, and has on these ones. Maybe I'm just a swing weirdo. Any thoughts are appreciated.

  2. Best guess is it comes down to club path and face angle. If your club path is in to out you are going to hit the draw/hook even with a square or open face. The AP1's you had may have had a lower spin rate which would minimize the excessive hooks. Your current clubs would not be hook prone unless you got your club path dictating the ball flight. Get on a trackman with a pro, it will show right away what the issue is.
  3. From what I can gather, I have a Garmin which gives rudimentary path data..... I'm actually coming in neutral, or even slightly out to in, and am just hooding the clubface a tonne, and getting toe down at impact. So I'm hitting a straight hook or a pull draw. When I actually try to swing more inside out, it actually seems to help, but also introduces a push that doesn't play well.

    So far, a very open face at address counteracts that problem.... but the biggest fix has been when I drop my hands and address the ball with a flatter lie angle, the same swing produces a very nice straight ball flight on target.

    Despite all of that, I guess my question was just more, has anyone made a jump from Game improvement, to Player Irons, and all of a sudden seen a big change to ball flight/swing plane etc? After hitting the T100's for a few rounds, I tried to pick up my AP1's again was hitting bad shots out to the right.... pushes and small fades, but no hooks/draws.

    Very interesting.... I seem to be figuring out the new irons, and they feel wonderful when hit well, I just wasn't expecting to have to change my set up/swing at all.
  4. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    By no stretch of a recommendation, the offset of a T300 decreases going to a T100. With less offset, the usual initial contact would be a fade.
    A top fitter should be willing to review with you on this problem for a short session It may be a technical flaw you’ve added since the fitting
  5. Dale V

    Dale V
    Escondido, CA

    Yes, I have seen this and even experienced it a bit. I feel like it's the longer club length and extra mass on the end of the face. That weight might be slowing down the natural turning of the club during the swing the same way having weight adjustments in drivers works. The shorter, lighter toe of a players iron would rotate a bit faster and take some adjustment to a swing that was used to turning hard previously to square a longer faced club. I may be crazy but it seems to make sense to me. I also had a problem hitting too close to the inside on shorted faced clubs which leads to that dreaded short I dare not mention. Started practicing by putting a second ball just outside of the one I was hitting until I got used to them.
  6. Charlie1961

    Charlie1961
    South Carolina

    Dale V said:

    Yes, I have seen this and even experienced it a bit. I feel like it's the longer club length and extra mass on the end of the face. That weight might be slowing down the natural turning of the club during the swing the same way having weight adjustments in drivers works. The shorter, lighter toe of a players iron would rotate a bit faster and take some adjustment to a swing that was used to turning hard previously to square a longer faced club. I may be crazy but it seems to make sense to me. I also had a problem hitting too close to the inside on shorted faced clubs which leads to that dreaded short I dare not mention. Started practicing by putting a second ball just outside of the one I was hitting until I got used to them.

    A little extra weight on the heels at setup will fix that dreaded immediate pitchout
  7. Doug E

    Doug E
    Urbana, MD

    One thing I might consider is lie angle. With a better swing than you once had, you may need a flatter setting. I found back when I was playing my second set of AP2s (I had 712s and 716s), as my swing got better, my need for the 2* upright lie angle I was fit for originally began to give me a draw I never had before. (Upright could promote a more closed face at impact, in theory.) It seemed the more technically solid my swing became, the more often I tended to over-draw the ball. When I switched to T200s, I went with a flatter lie angle and it seems to have corrected the problem for me. I can still draw them fine, but it seems to be more under control now. Just something to consider.
  8. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    Military
    Agree with Dave. New clubs do require a break in period as mine did even when going from AP1s to T300s which were basically same club. Went to see my best friend, who is a PGA pro and he got me squared away. The newer clubs are stronger. I prefer the game helper clubs and I went from a stiff to a regular lighter weight shaft based on my fitters recommendation and trackman's numbers over my previous set. It was an adventure for a while.
  9. Eric H

    Eric H
    Ridgway, PA

    Unless in your fitting you had the lie angle adjusted in anyway then its most likely an issue in your swing, setup or grip. I think its unlikely that its iron related. Even more reason to get to the range and hit your new sticks!
  10. I had a similar sort of thing. I had a set of game improvement irons which were off the shelf with stock regular shafts. I could hit them really well and thought it was time to reward myself with a newer set. I got 712 cb/mb irons with kbs 120 stiff. Took me about 10 rounds and time in the range for me to start hitting them well. Just keep plodding on with it, it's quite a big adjustment changing irons and I think we tend to overtime it when they don't go right especially as they have been fit for you. Don't let it get to you and just keep trying and you will get there
  11. Appreciate all the discussion!

    The interesting thing was I was 1-4 degrees toe down at strike in the fitting, but given I was playing a small draw they didn't see the benefit in going upright.

    I have a hunch Dale is on to something. I think I had a lot of strong elements in my swing, helped me square up the bigger AP1's better, and I may need to undo some of those on the new clubs which are easier to turn over. I'm going to try to give it a few rounds and probably the off-season before I run back to my pro, or consider bending anything.

    Last range session, still had similar struggles but noticed instant improvement when I dropped the club a little and flattened the lie angle at address. Draw/hook was gone.

    I realize this isn't the golf tips forum haha, but if I mange to conquer them overtime, I'll be sure to add an update.

    Thanks again
  12. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    LOL as long as you appreciate that often the advice from other amateur golfers here is worth what you paid for it (nothing), then you can use it knowing that time with a pro may still be the final answer.
  13. Not to worry.... Between self diagnosis on launch monitors, and being just at the end of my last 8 pack with the pro I've worked with, I certainly don't neglect data and expert advice. I e-mailed him as well, and the advice was to play with them a little longer, before I try to overhaul anything.

    More range time/rounds, slowly weakening the stronger grip I used with the old clubs, and things seem to be improving quite well. Amazing how awkward it can feel to weaken one's grip by a knuckle. Reminds me of when I transitioned from interlocking to overlap.





  14. Just thought I would provide a update.
    Just played my last round for the season, lucky to be playing into Mid-November in Ontario.

    With lots of work and attention to weakening my grip, I was able to get my usual iron swing to a playable draw, but a big hook could still sneak in. When I go back to my old irons (The 714's) they go right and all over the place now... it's bizarre. What was a completely comfortable club only a few months back, now feels humungous and light. Haha.

    I had a big breakthrough this year on my tee game, (miss is is slice/push fade), by switching to an open stance, square shoulder set up (turns out a youtuber instructs on something similar as the eureka swing)
    I've now applied it to my irons, and ball flight is fixed. Slight draw, miss is a push. But very happy with the results, and it's nice to know have one swing through the bag, rather than the 2 feels I was using.

    Ultimately, I'm too handsy/flippy with the new irons with my old setup, and for some reason, the old AP1's mitigate that same setup. As some pointed out, my old irons have more offset and technically I shouldn't get more hooky on the new irons, but I'm guessing there is a bit of mental influence. Without the offset at address, I think I may be trying to create it myself.

    All in all, finished the season strong with the irons, but with essentially a new swing.

    Overall feedback to make this a club based post haha:
    1) T100S's move through softer turf like butter, and excellent feel/feedback. People talk about workability in players irons, and I never fully bought that argument, however it could be true and actually a hindrance to me, but something about those small heavy heads, they feel like a surgical tool with the turf.

    2) Yardage on T100S's is 5 yards further than my 714 AP1's

    3) In hindsight, I may have gone completely T100S rather than the T200 combo. I'm definitely going to order the 6 iron. The T200's are nice clubs, but I like everything about the T100S's better, and I don't mind losing 5-10 yards on mishits, more often than not that's protective at my club as opposed to penal, if my mishit is offline at all.

    So there you have it.
    Thanks again for the input.
  15. I had the same problem. I changed the lie angle from +2 to -2 and problem solved.
    The +2 was the specs that was fitted 2 years ago but somehow, things changed !

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