The “Longer Club” Scam
I just read that a major golf club manufacturer is coming out with a set of “longer irons”. What does this really mean? It means that a robot hits their 7 iron longer than someones else’s 7 iron? Would you hit it longer? Maybe. Do you hit your 5 iron longer than your 7 iron? These new “longer irons” are just mis-marked.
Compare a 1976 Wilson Staff 7 iron with any golf company’s latest 7 iron … the new 7 irons are as long as the old 5 irons. Longer shafts and less loft. Why do we now need “gap wedges”? Because the normal gap between irons changed when club companies started to make “longer irons”. The sand wedge length and loft remained standard, so we needed “gap wedges” to fill the new gap between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge. Because a modern pitching wedge is like an older 8 or 9 iron.
This is just goofy marketing. A modern 3 iron is the same club as an old 1 iron. Nothing’s changed but the numbers on the clubs.
If I manufactured clubs I’d go the opposite route. Golf is a hard game because of the distance between the grip and the club-face. Think about it. Ping-pong is pretty easy because the grip is next to the paddle-face. Tennis is hard because of the distance between the grip and the racket-face. That’s why those really long drivers are so hard to hit. Tiger Woods used to use a shorter driver so he could hit it solid. If I manufactured clubs – I’d make shorter shafts and more loft. That would make the game EASIER. But … people get weird about how far they hit a club. They feel like a wimp if they’re hitting “more club” on a Par 3 than their friends. So if they have a club that says 7 iron when it’s really a 5 iron, they think they’re powerful.
The number doesn’t matter. It’s what you can hit.
GM and Head Golf Professional