Short Iron & Wedge Performance
Today’s post might sound a little like a commercial for our new SCOR4161 line of precision scoring clubs, but it is in response to an inquiry from George, who was asking for more explanation of the importance of center-of-mass location on short irons and wedges. That, of course, puts the discussion right “in the kitchen” of what this new product is all about. Let’s start with a little history of golf club evolution.

In the “old days” when we all played blades, you lived to get within 7- or 8-iron range, where you could put a club of 40* loft or more in your hands. These old blades were accurate from that range, with their thick faces and high center-of-gravity (CG) weighting. But that same weighting caused mid- and long-irons to be quite challenging. Then along came investment casting and perimeter weighting, and iron design was revolutionized. With the much lower CG and heel/toe weight distribution, mid-and long-irons instantly became much easier to master, delivering higher ball flights and more forgiveness.

The problem is that the industry has always applied the same look to all irons in a set, so the short irons and set-match wedges also got this weighting, even though they did not need it. So they would shoot the ball straight up into the air and made short iron play much worse for most golfers. The industry’s answer to that was to begin a strengthening of lofts in an effort to keep ball flight down, to where we are today. “P-clubs” have migrated from lofts of 50-51* in the 60s to as low as 43-44 degrees today, with some as strong as 42. That’s just ridiculous, because those are not “pitching wedges” – they just do not have enough loft to “pitch” the ball effectively.

There are two major problems with most of today’s irons and even many wedges:
  1. The very low CG is wonderful for mid- and long-iron play, but it doesn’t help you at all when lofts get over 40* or so. As clubhead speed increases, the super-low CG will cause a higher ball flight, almost regardless of loft. That’s NOT what you want for solid and accurate short iron and wedge play.

  2. The extra-thin face of these irons, even many of those that kind of look like blades, does not promote consistent distance control. Most amateur golfers miss short irons and wedge shots long and short, not right and left, and that is aggravated . . . or even caused . . . by the design of their short clubs.
Now, here’s something else to think about. The difference in loft between a typical modern 6-iron and “P-club” is 16 degrees . . . exactly the same difference between that 6-iron and your 3-wood! I’ve never heard a golfer say “I love my 6-iron and wish I had a 3-wood that looked just like it.” But you are carrying short irons that look just like it. And that’s just not going to give you solid scoring range performance.

So, George, there’s the history lesson. What we did at SCOR Golf with the new 4161 line is to design each club’s CG specifically for optimum ball flight with that narrow range of lofts. We engineered seven distinctly different head designs across 21 different golf clubs – lofts of 41 to 61 degrees. These are your “money clubs”. Regardless of your handicap, you have to beat the golf course with these, not your mid-irons. So the lob wedges (59-61*) are slightly different from the sand wedges (56-58*), the gap wedges (50-52*) are slightly different from the pitching wedges (47-49*) and those are different from the short iron replacements – the weighting science “morphs” with each three-degree range of lofts to optimize trajectory and distance control for the specific clubs.

This radical departure from the norm allows us to build exactly the right combination of precision scoring clubs that optimize trajectory, distance control and spin with the new grooves, and blend them to the golfer’s mid-irons (#3- or 4 thru #8); those clubs with less than 40* of loft. And each club has been engineered for dart-throwing short range performance.

There is a lot more to this line – shafts, metallurgy, etc. – but that is the key to the weighting science that you asked about. The higher CGs, combined with the thicker faces makes the SCOR4161 line of scoring clubs more accurate, while having just the right amount of forgiveness any golfer needs. Very simply, we’ve unlocked the key to precision short iron and wedge play and build the best scoring clubs in the business.

It’s not bragging if you can back it up.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
birdieXris says:
I'll still be saving for a set of these one day. I'm pretty good with what i got now though. I've got to wear out my wedges before i go spending that kinda dough.
8/26/11
 
nickmomrik says:
Are there any tour players using your clubs yet?
8/26/11
 
birdieXris says:
I don't know if anyone on THE tour is using them, but i'm sure there's tour players that do. In fact, i had a quick back and forth with John Daly a while back (i think i sent you an email too, Terry) recommending them when JD said he was looking for sponsors. At that time he didn't have anyone for wedges. I don't know if anything ever came from that.
8/26/11
 
nickmomrik says:
The reason I ask is because, let's be honest, if they really are "the best scoring clubs in the business" PGA Tour players will be using them.
8/26/11
 
mjaber says:
I doubt any Tour player will be using them anytime soon, unless his club sponsor allows him to. Most tour players are already setup the way Terry is recommending, and don't need the help of a new "short game" set of clubs. They are already playing blades in the short irons, bent to specific lofts, and the wedges from either Titleist, or their sponsor, not the "wedges" included with the set we buy off the shelf.
8/26/11
 
mjaber says:
They may be better, but how many strokes are they really going to save a tour pro? They aren't the person that needs these clubs. The guy trying to break 80, or 75, or win his club championship and needs something a little different in the short irons is the guy that they want playing these.
8/26/11
 
Agustin says:
@nickmomrik - Tour players don't play what they consider the best equipment; they play the equipment from the company that is willing to pay them the most. Their contracts specify that they cannot publicly endorse or even admit they play clubs from a different manufacturer.

Only those players on tour without any sponsorship deals play what they consider the bestequipment for them. Now, name me a player without a sponsorship deal.....

......
......
......

Thught so.
8/26/11
 
Agustin says:
*Thought so.
8/26/11
 
nickmomrik says:
Tiger's contract with Nike does not require him to play Nike clubs (unless that has recently changed) and many players play wedges from a different manufacturer than their woods and irons. Check out the What's in my Bag feature in Golf Digest each month for examples.

I've really enjoyed Terry's articles over the years, but since these new wedges came out, every article seems to be another endorsement and advertisement for the clubs, which is a shame.
8/26/11
 
Banker85 says:
I want these clubs so bad its not funny. terry is not trying to exploit this blog, he gives his thoughts and ideas which i find interesting. I dont think the clubs pros play have this type of technology that SCOR has. I hope a pro on any tour picks these up and lets people hear about them. maybe with my tax money i will update my bag
8/26/11
 
dottomm says:
I could have sworn I saw a guy on the Nationwide Tour on tv couple weeks back playing a Eidolon Wedge. They zoomed in on his lie, and it looked A LOT like my 60*.
8/26/11
 
larrynjr says:
Ryan Moore went for years not doing any endorsement deals but about 2 years ago jumped on the endorsement bandwagon. The pro's do endorsements because they can't guarantee they will play well enough to bring home the bacon and pay for their caddy, coach, manager and all the other hangers on.
8/26/11
 
wedgeguy says:
As for tour pros, we have not ventured out there with the SCOR4161 product yet, but have plans to gain exposure. That said, we have some mini-tour players that put them in the bags as soon as they saw them, so we're hoping for a "trickle up" from that to help. As for the "exploitation" of this blog for SCOR's benefit, I was just using the new SCOR technology to answer a reader's question and to illustrate a problem that I have witnessed in countless golfers' games. Hitting short irons down into a manageable trajectory is crucial to good short range distance control. Should I refrain from talking about our own products occasionally? You all let me know if I'm over the edge there, OK?
8/26/11
 
Banker85 says:
It's all good Wedgeguy.
8/26/11
 
Swingem says:
Its very common for tour players to use a mix of clubs. Check out Luke Donald's driver next time he pulls that Mizuno headcover off, its an R11! If I recall correctly, one of the high finishers at the Masters a few years ago used Eidolon wedges.
8/26/11
 
Swingem says:
"EIDOLON wedges have been used on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour this year, and the sixth-place finisher at the 2009 Masters played an EIDOLON wedge".

2009 Masters-Finished T6

John Merrick
Steve Flesch
Tiger Woods
Steve Stricker

So whick one was it?
8/26/11
 
Swingem says:
That would be, "which"
8/26/11
 
windowsurfer says:
+1 Banker. Wedgeguy is a service-provider for we oobers and so he should get something in return. I agree that he does not abuse this. This article is persuasive and makes me believe that players using SCOR4161 might have an advantage in confidence.

I think it was the great western golfer Shane who said, "A wedge is just a tool, Billy. No better and no worse than the man who uses it." That is surely true, but if the man believes his tools to be the right ones/the best ones for the job, based on logic and performance, he may strike with confidence.
8/26/11
 
larrynjr says:
just as an aside, i was just playing WGT online video golf and there was a banner ad for Scor4161. Terry are they going to add those clubs to the game?
8/26/11
 
TeT says:
Luke Donald has a history of using whatever driver and FW woods he wants to besides Mizuno(who pays)... in 09" he was hitting a 909D driver and tour edge exotics fairway wood. In 2010 he changed to Taylormade woods.
8/26/11
 
jrbizzle says:
I personally have no issue if Terry wants to promote his clubs in a positive way. The only thing that gets a little tiresome for me is his criticism (dare I say constant) of other companies for how they choose to design their clubs (i.e. the 6 iron reference, over and over).

I get it - most companies sell clubs that are mass designed, and not custom tuned. But I like my clubs, and to be honest, it gets a bit old when 2 or 3 times a month I see an article that more or less says my clubs suck.
8/26/11
 
DougE says:
Kinda agree jrbizzle. We all get that Terry has an agenda. He also does give some good insight into things from time to time. I'm sure the new SCORGOLF clubs are quality clubs. The concept makes sense. In fact, many of us have already put our sets together in a similar fashion, using blades for our short irons and wedges, and something with more forgiveness for mid and long irons. So this info is not news to us. In this particular blog, Terry, it sounds EXTREMELY sales-pitchy. If you want to use your column to sell your products, that's fine, but you would be better served to either camouflage that message better within the editorial format, or just come right out and admit you are using the blog to get YOUR message out. Don't think we can't tell the difference.
8/27/11
 
snuffyword says:
I like hearing about Terry's products because he does a great job explaining how and why the clubs are made and what they can do to help our play. I also research how other companies use their philosophy and technology to make their products and I find it fascinating and educational. As with most things we hear and read, and as with most blogs, we don't have to like or believe what is said or written. However, it does make for good discussions, debates and critical comments. Personally, I'm sold on Terry's approach to better golf and I'm sold on his clubs, especially the EIDOLON wedges. Like Banker85 and birdieXris, I can't wait to get my hands on the SCOR4161.
8/27/11
 
mjaber says:
I'm just guessing here, and if I'm wrong, so be it. I'd be willing to bet that Eidolon (or SCOR4161 now) is a big part of the reason that oob is free. If Terry wants to promote his product in one of his blogs every so often, I have no issue. Add the fact that he's been giving away wedges since I joined the site (maybe longer?) to those who ask questions, and I think he's doing a fine job. Read back through all of his posts, he ALWAYS mentions his products. Sometimes he mentions is more than others.
8/29/11
 
mjaber says:
I won't be buying SCOR4161, because I'm happy with my set makeup for the time being, but I'm always interested in learning new things about clubs, the process of building them, and the game of golf.
8/29/11
 
dartboss04 says:
I agree with Banker. Terry is giving away product ALL the time. I know he's in this business to make money but he is also very passionate about the game and what he produces and I find it interesting to hear. If you feel like he is pitching too much, don't read or take it with a grain of salt, but his line of thinking seems to make sense and other manufacturers are doing similar things with a combo iron set and such. I hope I win the free SCOR set and would love to put it in play.
8/29/11
 
windowsurfer says:
Given the uniqueness of the new Eidolon offering, it would be cool to listen in on a wedge summit round-table discussion with . . . Terry the Wedge Guy, Bob Vokey, Don White, Roger Maltby (a component guy), John Merrick, etc. You guys could probably think of others who would add depth/tone to that wedgey conversation.
8/29/11
 
Backquak says:
I just think that the way Terry has gone about changing club design based on each individual club and how each head performs is a breath of fresh air, we need each club to do a certain job and for too long we have been given a product that is based on the performance of one club: the 6 iron. It really amazes me that we have put up with this thinking for so long. When I started tinkering with clubs that wast he first thing that hit me funny. If you look at Maltby's playability chart it ranks each model based on the 6 iron score, but if you blend a set then you end up with a big gap somewhere because you move from a players club to a game improvement club. The scor4161 address this problem and I look forward to giving them a shot. My only problem is; I need to replace my irons before I try to fill in the gaps.
8/29/11
 
BAKE_DAWG40 says:
I have learned so much from Terry's columns. IMO, he is not going over the "edge" whatsoever. The above column starts out with a bit of a disclaimer which is fair enough. Frankly, I found the short "history lesson" in this column rather interesting. I've never heard Terry tell anyone their clubs suck. They are made the way they are made by the major manufacturers. Facts are facts.
8/30/11
 
BAKE_DAWG40 says:
@wedgeguy, do you offer the SCOR4161 for us lefties out here? I want a set.
8/30/11
 
larrynjr says:
I have no problem with Terry talking about his products in his blog. If you don't find his blog interesting and useful, don't read it. nuff said
8/30/11
 
Ross Anderson says:
Terry, Has the wedge design changed from Eidolon to SCOR4161?
8/30/11
 
jmaier says:
I'm fine with Terry using his products to illustrate concepts and even straight out hawking them from time to time but I do question the wisdom for many weekend players for employing more blade-like scoring irons. I play MP-52s which aren't blades but not too forgiving either and I can readily attest to what poor tools they are in unskilled hands. I'm about a 14-15 hcp; I play 15+ times a year and probably "practice" an hour or so a week during the 4-5 month Chicago season. I think that I'd benefit from properly fit GI clubs, even for the PI through 8i. The key for me to get to a 10 or high single digit hcp is more GIRs, regardless of where I end up on the green! Losing 15+ yards on an 8i shot off the toe of the iron isn't helping.
8/30/11
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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