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Your opinion on iron soles


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#1 Goldhawk

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 02:03 PM

So, from what I know, there are 2 major thoughts on iron soles:
A - The sole is important for turf interaction.  
or
B - The sole doesn't matter because the ball is long gone by the time the club touches the ground

Just wondering other peoples thoughts
I'm just talking about regular irons here, not wedges where you're likely to open the face up and use the sole bounce etc.
I can see the sole mass being important in changing the CG, and thus the launch angle.

I'm bringing this up partly because of the newer trend of factory bent clubs - such as the Ping "power lofts" and "vintage lofts".  From what I have read these are the same castings and just bent to change loft, so the bounce on them is will be very different.
I remember reading a review about 10 yrs ago where they talked about how company A (Nike) had added a lot more bounce to their new irons that they copied from company B (Mizuno), and it helped the irons a lot.


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#2 North Butte

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 02:07 PM

The sole matters if you happen to catch turf before ball.

And the sole matters because of its effect on your next swing.

Other than loft and overall club weight the soleís interaction with the turf is the most important element of an ironís design.
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#3 widow-maker

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 02:35 PM

To me, turf interaction is how I choose my iron heads.  That's my starting point.  I'm sure other people have a different opinion and criteria.  Whatever works... but I like to start with what I'm comfortable with.

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#4 BiggErn

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 04:31 PM

The turf interaction thing is something I always find somewhat funny. The turf literally changes with the weather. I can understand someone not wanting to play something with a huge sole but there’s absolutely no downside to playing something that’s a bit wider and/or cambered. There is however much downside to playing a super narrow, sharp leading edge iron if you’re not a world class ball striker.

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#5 mahonie

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 05:32 PM

I have a friend who plays Nike Vapor Speeds who always hits it slightly fat. This has generally suited playing on our typically wet and lush fairways where the wide sole has helped his miss. The bounce stops the club digging into the turf and his shots generally pan out relatively well. This summer, where the heatwave over here has led to fairways as hard as concrete, he has been blading nearly every shot as the bounce of his wide sole is making his slight fat bounce into the middle of the ball. Granted the weather we are currently experiencing now is extreme and his clubs suit his typical miss. I suppose this is what you should be aiming for.

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#6 BiggErn

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 06:18 PM

View Postmahonie, on 10 August 2018 - 05:32 PM, said:

I have a friend who plays Nike Vapor Speeds who always hits it slightly fat. This has generally suited playing on our typically wet and lush fairways where the wide sole has helped his miss. The bounce stops the club digging into the turf and his shots generally pan out relatively well. This summer, where the heatwave over here has led to fairways as hard as concrete, he has been blading nearly every shot as the bounce of his wide sole is making his slight fat bounce into the middle of the ball. Granted the weather we are currently experiencing now is extreme and his clubs suit his typical miss. I suppose this is what you should be aiming for.


Lol I don’t buy that either. Fat is fat and thin is thin. He’s a bad ball striker and his results are what they are. A sole an 1/8” wider bounces off the turf into the middle of the ball but I suppose a sole 1/8” narrower would’ve just dug in stopped fat behind the ball. Lol spare me.

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#7 mahonie

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 06:56 PM

View PostBiggErn, on 10 August 2018 - 06:18 PM, said:

View Postmahonie, on 10 August 2018 - 05:32 PM, said:

I have a friend who plays Nike Vapor Speeds who always hits it slightly fat. This has generally suited playing on our typically wet and lush fairways where the wide sole has helped his miss. The bounce stops the club digging into the turf and his shots generally pan out relatively well. This summer, where the heatwave over here has led to fairways as hard as concrete, he has been blading nearly every shot as the bounce of his wide sole is making his slight fat bounce into the middle of the ball. Granted the weather we are currently experiencing now is extreme and his clubs suit his typical miss. I suppose this is what you should be aiming for.


Lol I don’t buy that either. Fat is fat and thin is thin. He’s a bad ball striker and his results are what they are. A sole an 1/8” wider bounces off the turf into the middle of the ball but I suppose a sole 1/8” narrower would’ve just dug in stopped fat behind the ball. Lol spare me.

Don’t start another one. I’m not saying that at all. I’m saying his wide soles work for the majority of the time for his swing on the courses he plays. If he played anything with a narrower sole, he would be duffing almost every shot...with the wider sole he gets away with it. He could just learn to strike the ball before the ground but as he gets away with it, he doesn’t need to. His clubs are functional for his swing, he doesn’t need to change anything.
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#8 Nixhex524

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:39 PM

I don't know...  I have always figured if sole didn't matter why not make them all the same?  Is it just marketing?  I dont think so... For me, I know I happen to play thinner soled irons MUCH better than wider soled irons.... I take the AP2 as a good example.. the AP2 are great irons but I don't hit them as cleanly as my CBs, not even close.  I attribute my better iron play to the sole, and maybe leading edge grind, of the CB.  If I chunk one, I know it was a terrible, awful swing.  Thin soles for me please.
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#9 lenman73

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 09:55 PM

I have noticed I like soles with some relief towards the heel. But that's me.  On occasion, especially when fatigue sets in my swing gets more shallow from the inside.

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#10 dog flog

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:11 PM

The wide sole is a byproduct of moving the CG of the head further back. Same deal with offset. I can't have my super high launch with a skinny sole, even if I wanted it or if it benefited my particular way of missing. It might help on slightly sclaffy hits on soft ground but causes tops and skinnys on hard. Whattya gonna do?

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#11 BiggErn

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 10:33 PM

View PostNixhex524, on 10 August 2018 - 09:39 PM, said:

I don't know...  I have always figured if sole didn't matter why not make them all the same?  Is it just marketing?  I dont think so... For me, I know I happen to play thinner soled irons MUCH better than wider soled irons.... I take the AP2 as a good example.. the AP2 are great irons but I don't hit them as cleanly as my CBs, not even close.  I attribute my better iron play to the sole, and maybe leading edge grind, of the CB.  If I chunk one, I know it was a terrible, awful swing.  Thin soles for me please.


Sole matters in a couple regards. One....a wider sole will help with less than perfect contact. It’s gonna help if your contact is at the ball instead of in front of the ball. It will glide instead of dig. It doesn’t bounce unless you have a 45* aoa then every club will. Two....a narrower, sharper sole is what elite ball strikers prefer. They catch the ball first with a nice pretty divot that happens just in front of the ball. They love tiny minimal looking heads. Like everything there’s also a middle ground for the good golfer that could use some help from time to time. It would be far easier for an elite striker to use a wider sole than it would for an average golfer to use a narrower sole because ball first contact doesn’t care what the sole looks like.

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#12 Pepe8714

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:04 PM

Thickness is the only part of the sole that matters. Thin soles are fantastic out of rough but not as forgiving as thick soles out of the fairway. Thick soles out of the rough - forget it. This is why almost all 'players' irons are extremely thin soled, even with offset. However, true game improvement irons have massively thick soles to assist on a less than stellar fairway shot.

'Grind' or bounce are just fine tuning an already thin sole to an individual swing. Thick or thin is all that matters as far as general playability.

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#13 cliffhanger

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:38 PM

when i am swinging well i can't remember a time when it really mattered what the width of the sole was. However at least for now i am favouring thin soles.
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#14 FourTops

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Posted 10 August 2018 - 11:44 PM

My 1991 Wilson Staff FG-51's cut thru the turf like a knife....but that doesn't equate to an overall better shot because the strike must be near perfect.

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#15 maslie

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Posted 11 August 2018 - 03:37 AM

Imo.
B.
However the sole and hosel dictate how to setup the club for address position and grip along with slope condition.

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#16 FairwayFred

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 04:40 AM

Sole grind is very important when looking at iron fitting.  The only reason this isn't pushed more by fitters and OEMs is because of how hard it is logistically to make each set with a different sole configuration.  Playing the correct grind makes it alot easier to make good contact and makes your bad shots a little better.
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#17 NPVWhiz

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Posted 12 August 2018 - 06:23 AM

Iíve always had a sense that even though the ball has left the face, the way the sole interacts with the turf has a large effect on the feel of ball impact on the face because that feel is transmitted by vibration or resonance that is affected....dampened or maybe in some cases enhanced by how the sole and turf behave.
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