Gaining extra yardage from irons with strong lofts is great, provided you can still hold the green.
In the 1990s, a 7-iron usually had a 35° loft. Now, 7-irons can have lofts from 35° to 26°. This means there’s a 9° difference in loft for the same numbered club. Typically, there’s a 4° difference between each club in a set. So, this 9° difference is like having over two extra clubs in the set.
Table of Contents
Why Have Iron Lofts Got Stronger?
Golfers nowadays test new irons on a launch monitor before buying them first, and whilst they may set out to be picking the best most forgiving golf irons, club makers quickly understood that distance is a big selling point. If one iron hits farther than others, it’s likely to sell more.
This is why, after the introduction of launch monitors and data-driven custom fittings, iron lofts became stronger for several years. However, this trend has slowed down lately. There’s a limit to how much you can strengthen lofts before the clubs are too hard to use.
How Do Strong Lofts Work?
Strong lofted irons aren’t just a sales mechanic, though. The fast faces and hollow bodies present in many modern iron designs typically sees them launch higher than more traditional designs. If the lofts weren’t strengthened, shots may in fact launch too high.
Golf club designers combined design features that increase height with stronger lofts. This makes a 7-iron hit as far as a 6-iron but with the height and control of an 8-iron. So, golfers get both distance and precision.
Will Strong Lofted Irons Suit Your Game?
Strong lofted irons can be an absolute gamechanger for some golfers but simply don’t work at all for others.
The best thing you can do is go for a custom fitting and pay attention to more than just the total distance when choosing your irons. It can be hard to ignore the club that goes the furthest, but if 20 yards of that distance is roll after landing, you will really struggle to stop shots on the green.
Ping’s Head of Fitting Science Chris Broadie says: “Instead of chasing distance, choose a 7-iron that gives a playable landing angle with tighter dispersion and stopping power.”
A good custom fitter will ensure that your irons deliver in launch, peak height, spin rate, and descent angle – all of which are key to being able to play shots that work on the golf course, rather than just a simulator.
If you have a very high swing speed, you may find that strong lofted irons deliver distances that sound impressive but cause you problems at the bottom end of your bag. Carrying your strong lofted 7-iron 200 yards or more may impress your playing partners, but if your pitching wedge is therefore a 160- or 170-yard club, you’ll have large distance gaps in the scoring clubs.
If you have a slow swing speed, you may struggle to generate enough power to launch strong lofted irons effectively, particularly in the longer irons where the lofts become very low.