There are a lot of cynics when it comes to golf equipment. They don’t believe a brand’s new driver is any better than their last, they think getting fit is a waste of time, and they think manufacturers crank lofts as an easy way to add yards.
Well - they’re wrong...particularly about the loft thing.
They are right that iron lofts are getting stronger almost every year, but that is because of new technology, not as a sneaky way to add 10 yards to their new wrenches.
Of course, stronger lofts combined with faster ball speed DOES EQUAL MORE DISTANCE, but that is not at the detriment of ball flight.
“All companies who make good low-CG (low-centre of gravity), high-COR irons strengthen lofts,” said TaylorMade Senior Director of Iron Creation Tomo Bystedt.
“Appropriate lofts is an integral part of the design of a good iron to create the right trajectory and gapping between irons whilst producing more distance. When you lower the CG or increase COR, you will create increased launch angle and higher ball speed.
“If you keep traditional lofts you will just produce too high and uncontrollable ball flights so strengthening lofts is important. Our M2 iron is one of the most strongly lofted irons we've ever made but is also one of the highest flying thanks to its combination of ultra-low CG and near-limit COR. It has a higher peak trajectory than our P770 irons which have 3-4 degrees more loft.”
"Player irons", which do not have the forgiving and distance technology used in game improvement irons, have not participated in this transformation to such an extent.
They have therefore kept fairly stable lofts through the years, which can cause some issues when mixing sets.
“All things being equal, loft should mainly be a function of CG and COR. Most "players irons" have a higher CG and low COR, they need more loft to produce the appropriate peak height,” Bystedt said.
“This is also true for the vast majority of game improvement irons made prior to about 2006, before the era of the high-COR, low-CG irons.
“Players distance irons like the P790, however, have stronger than typical players iron lofts due to its near-limit COR which produces more ball speed and higher peak trajectory. Despite these stronger lofts, the P790 has the highest peak trajectory of all our players irons.”