Face Progression, ABS Specs, and Yardages

Face Progression, ABS Specs, and Yardages

Postby Stu Carlburger » Tue Oct 25, 2016 12:27 pm

This is mostly for Lag, but anyone with insight please comment.

So I've detailed the clubs I've been building, and I like what I'm feeling this far, except one thing ... The distances/yardages. I get that the loft on these vintage irons are significantly weaker than the modern "standard." For example, I pured a 5i to five paces behind a 170 yard pin, slightly uphill. 175 yards, for me, has been a 7i/6i so these clubs (at least the mid irons) seem to be almost two clubs shorter than what I played before. Now, I'll add a older/fatter/less flexible caveat, but I feel like I'm swing so much better than I was before. Case in point, my nemisis, the driver, is not the strength of my game (who'd a thunk it?!?)

I not overly concern about the mid and long iron distances, but what really stands out to me is how as my ABS swing has progressed my skill with my wedges and short irons and wedges have gone the opposite way of my driver, with two notible points:

1) I've seemingly lost all ability to flight my wedges low and penetrating, with every wedge shot being a high arcing shot;
2) subsequently, this lack of trajectory control has made distance control something of a mystery, where as wedge/short iron trajectory and distance control used to be one of the pillars of my game.

I used to think there was nothing worse than missing fairways and having to wedge and putt my way to decent scores. Now I feel like there is nothing worse than being in postin after a great drive, only to fail to execute a 95 yard wedge shot, or a 130 9i.

So, I put this in the equipment section because I'm curious if others have had a similar experience, and because I'm thinking it might be equipment related, and more specifically, related a significantly shallower AOA, and face progression (or lack there of). I read through Lag's discussion of Face Progression and I'm wondering if, now that I'm no longer steep, I'm hitting the wedges and short iron too high on the face (above the COG) and it's thus adding loft and deadening the distance?

It's weird. I've come so far and made such awesome progress in many areas, but as I said, what was once the strength of my game is now a glaring weakness. I get that it could be lack of practice, and I'm sure that is some part of it. But, I know the game and my game well enough to know that there seems to have been a fundamental shift and it's causing some odd things.

Lag, thoughts? Anyone else? Does this make sense or am I iust a slapdick?!?
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Re: Face Progression, ABS Specs, and Yardages

Postby LesMurray » Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:55 pm

Stu Carlburger wrote:...Does this make sense or am I iust a slapdick?!?


I'm not one to comment on your being a slapdick :lol:

170 yard 5 iron sounds about right as to what I hit - not being a young flat-belly anymore.

I don't seem to have an issue with trajectory control but rather distance control with my short irons. Most of the time my wedges come in lower than I would like rather than popped up. My worst nightmare with the short irons is to go long which I do more often than not. This then leads me to have the "yips" as I don't want to go over the green on my approach shots. Maybe for me it's the fact that I am hitting a relaxed shot and the stars align and my release is perfectly timed.
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Re: Face Progression, ABS Specs, and Yardages

Postby k2baloo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:08 pm

Hi Stu,
Short answer is yes. I've found vintage wedges and short irons fly higher and with less spin than I'd like. Not planning on making any changes, but if I did put any modern clubs back in play it would be modern wedges.
I've adjusted though and don't have enough problems with it to want to switch. My distance control has gotten better as I've gotten more use to my vintage gear.

Maybe Lag has a way to combat this. You could always try a higher balance point.
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Re: Face Progression, ABS Specs, and Yardages

Postby Stu Carlburger » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:11 pm

Thanks for the replies, guys!

K2, I'm working with "modern" wedges, and will be working the BP up higher shortly.

I suppose the thrust of my question revolves around AOA, and specifically, when it changes dramatically, how that interacts with the COG of the club. Specifically, during my study of the D Plane material one of the "ball flight laws" that was overturned was concerned hitting the ball high, or the highest, with an iron. In the past, so they said (and I had been taught this as well) we were told that to make the ball go up, say over a tree, we needed to hit down steeply on the ball, it would "ride up the face" and launch higher as a result. Turns out, this is patently false, and the way to hit and iron the highest (for your specific parameters) was to have the SHALLOWEST AOA and a bit of added loft.

I think it was Grant Waite who gave an anticdote about playing Greg Norman at the Castle Pines in Colorado, that to get the distance advantage of the altitude one needed to hit it high(er), and that to do so Norman would shallow his AOA out and open his blade slightly. He said he watch Norman play all day and never take a divot. Now, whether that's true or not isn't the point, really. The point is that there's no doubt my AOA has shallowed significantly since I started on ABS -- as evidenced by my marked improvement in driving accuracy and height, despite hitting a 7.5* weighted and tipped X100.

So, can such a dramatic change in AOA have a dramatic (and negative) effect upon ones ability to hit properly flighted and distanced short irons and wedges, and further; does this difficulty have anything to do with the changing geometry that the shallow AOA and the lack of face progression of the clubs? It weird, seemingly purely struck, dead straight wedge/short iron, posing on it and fully expecting it to go right down the stove pipe, only to see it come up short of the green, let alone short of the hole. It just falls out of the sky, which leads me to wonder if it's hitting high on the face and losing force/compression.

Am I making any sense of just babbling? I get the lofts on vintage clubs -- take more club. But the same wedge that I could easily hit 100 yards and flight, and when needed push to 107-108, I can barely hit 90 now and it balloons no matter what I do.
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Re: Face Progression, ABS Specs, and Yardages

Postby LesMurray » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:59 pm

I've made a small breakthrough lately in regards with Mod 1 through impact. I haven't seen much of a difference trajectory-wise on my irons but my drives have been a lot higher (think pop-up). Been experimenting with tee height but I am sure I am hitting under the ball more. I've also gained a little bit of distance as well.
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Re: Face Progression, ABS Specs, and Yardages

Postby k2baloo » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:21 pm

Ha sorry Stu. Didn't realize you have modern stuff and I'm going on and on about it.
You're making sense I just misunderstood the first post
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