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What does "offset" in irons really do?


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#1 JackB1

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:06 PM

What exactly does "offset" in an iron do?  What are it's advantages or disadvantages?

Since you set up to the ball with the iron squared, you are bringing it back to the same exact point (almost) at impact, so how does offset help?  I would think if you routinely hit the ball to the right, you need less offset and if you hit it to the left, you need more.  Is that correct?

The common wisdon is that more offset = more forgiving, but I just don't understand how???


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#2 vikingjunior

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:09 PM

Squares the club face for impact, that's why the longer the club the bigger the offset

#3 tpariff

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:10 PM

View PostJackB1, on Mar 6 2009, 04:06 PM, said:

What exactly does "offset" in an iron do?  What are it's advantages or disadvantages?

Since you set up to the ball with the iron squared, you are bringing it back to the same exact point (almost) at impact, so how does offset help?  I would think if you routinely hit the ball to the right, you need less offset and if you hit it to the left, you need more.  Is that correct?

The common wisdon is that more offset = more forgiving, but I just don't understand how???

IMO it should be the other way around.  Miss right (push or fade) and more offset should help.  Miss left (pull or hook) and less offset should help.  At least that's what I find from experimenting with various clubs.  If I were to play a GI improvement iron with more offset, I'd miss WAY left.

Here's a decent explanation:

http://golf.about.co...qs/f/offset.htm

#4 chaley6077

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:11 PM

It also moves the center of gravity back, increasing launch angle.

[EDIT]....see post above, he beat me to it.  Man you guys are fast!

Edited by chaley6077, 06 March 2009 - 04:12 PM.


#5 irishfight4it

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:48 PM

having offset makes it easier for some players to set the clubface square, it just looks better to their eye


#6 arkstorm

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 05:58 PM

Offset does not change the center of gravity.  It just allows a little more space to get the club head squared by the time it impacts the ball.  

Offset will generally help promote a draw or counteract the effects of a slice swing.

The problem with offset is that it makes it more difficult to work the ball left to right.  And for players who hit a natural draw it can turn a draw into a hook.  

Generally speaking, better players' clubs will have less offset.

#7 goodvibes

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:04 PM

It's also partially about feel. As the blade gets longer more offset will reduce the paddle on a stick feel. I tend to not care for offset on small heads but prefer some on big ones.

#8 hattrick3518

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:13 PM

it makes a club look ugly to me and turns it into a hook machine... i think it just gives the player a little bit more time to square the club face

#9 hbear

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:17 PM

From Tom Wishon:

Quote

Offset is a design condition in clubheads in which the neck or hosel of the head is positioned in front of the face of the clubhead, so that the clubface appears to be set back a little from the neck of the club. (Put another way, offset is the distance that the forward side of the neck/hosel of the clubhead is set in front of the bottom of the face of the clubhead.)

When a wood or ironhead is designed to have more offset, two game improvement factors automatically occur, each of which can help the golfer. First, the more offset, the farther the head's center of gravity is back from the shaft. And the farther the CG is back from the shaft, the higher the trajectory will be for any given loft on the face. In this case, more offset can help increase the height of the shot for golfers who have a difficult time getting the ball well up in the air to fly.

Second, the more offset in the clubhead, the more time the golfer has on the downswing to rotate the face of the clubhead back around in order to arrive at impact closer to being square to the target line. In other words, offset can help a golfer come closer to squaring the face at impact because the clubface arrives at impact a split-second later than with a club that has no offset. Thus the second benefit of offset is to help reduce the amount the golfer may slice or fade the ball.

From the man himself.
The BIGGEST reason for offset is for higher ball flight.
It MAY reduce slice, but it's MAINLY for higher flight.
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#10 HarboursideTC

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:18 PM

Sorry Arkstorm, but offset does move the center of gravity back, which promotes a higher ball flight.  If you don't believe me, call Tom Wishon.


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#11 Simp

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 06:33 PM

I'd think that any increase in launch angle would be minimal at best, when compared to an iron with little, to no offset.

#12 mantan

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 08:46 PM

I also wonder how much of the 'left' tendencies from how easy it is to set up a bit closed with an offset iron.

From a design standpoint, it's difficult to see how offset in and of itself would cause a hooked or pulled ball flight.  For an inside/out swing path (or even outside in), offset is just going to slightly delay the clubhead getting to the impact zone.  

But if you aren't used to (or not comfortable) with a club with a lot of offset, it's very easy to inadvertently set up with the clubhead closed to the target line and produce a hook.

#13 HeadonaStick

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 09:49 PM

Offset increases launch angle.

It is stated that offset allows a player more time to square the face, but I fail to see how.  If a player lines up with the club directly behind the ball, the face will make a specific arc with a specific arc length.  If you have offset, but address the ball with the face again square and directly behind the ball, the arc length will be the same.

Whether or not you have offset, the distance the head travels remains constant.  Unless offset makes you swing faster, the time from start of swing to impact has to remain the same.  How does it give more time to square the face?

In any case, my experience is that it adds height to the launch angle and it certainly doesn't create hooky shots.

#14 JackB1

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 10:52 PM

This was exactly my thought in the first post.  


View PostHeadonaStick, on Mar 6 2009, 09:49 PM, said:

Offset increases launch angle.

It is stated that offset allows a player more time to square the face, but I fail to see how.  If a player lines up with the club directly behind the ball, the face will make a specific arc with a specific arc length.  If you have offset, but address the ball with the face again square and directly behind the ball, the arc length will be the same.

Whether or not you have offset, the distance the head travels remains constant.  Unless offset makes you swing faster, the time from start of swing to impact has to remain the same.  How does it give more time to square the face?

In any case, my experience is that it adds height to the launch angle and it certainly doesn't create hooky shots.


#15 arkstorm

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 08:04 AM

View PostHarboursideTC, on Mar 6 2009, 06:18 PM, said:

Sorry Arkstorm, but offset does move the center of gravity back, which promotes a higher ball flight.  If you don't believe me, call Tom Wishon.

He said it changes the COG relative to the shaft.  Not that I don't trust Tom Wishon, but my experiences tell me that offset tends to send the ball left a lot more than it tends to send the ball high.  

Most clubs that I've hit that have significant offset tend to be super GI irons which promote a high ball flight anyway.  I never realized the offset contributed to this.

Thanks for setting me straight buster.


#16 hardten

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 10:23 AM

Agree Mantan. That was a reason it took me awhile to get acclimated to my G10s last year,the closed face set up. Ultimately that and , being I hit a high ball with any iron, I benefited in the long irons but lost some control (precisness) from say 7-uw. Haven,t played yet this year but range time with my Mac Pro-Cs (back up, 2nd team) and 1st string 09 irons AP2s seems to have restored better trajectory and control. As an aside I would rather my misses be a fade or even gosh forbid a slice than a hard pull. At least the CC I play.

Edited by hardten, 07 March 2009 - 10:27 AM.


#17 seena_beena

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 03:55 PM

Ok guys here's a definitive answer................

Increasing the offset of an iron does not lower the Centre of Gravity but it does bring the Centre of gravity further back in relation to the shaft axis.

This does two things - increases the rotational backspin (top of the flight is higher) & increases the drawspin gear effect resulting in less shots to the right. ( the G10 & i10 irons both have the same loft & launch at the same angle, but the G10 climbs to a higher flight because of increased offset )

Urban myth - offset allows the clubhead a fraction of a second longer to square - simply not true

Fact - ALL drivers (even 'draw' or 'offset' versions) are onset because the leading edge is ahead of the shaft axis

:smilie_ping:

#18 69 another time

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 07:42 PM

Offset doesn`t help to square the face. The amount of time it takes for a club traveling at 90 miles per hr. is so minute in that 1/10 of a inch of offset to travel doesn`t allow for any rotation to happen, it`s a old wives tale, that keeps being repeated. Offset helpes to hit the ball higher.

#19 billybaroo

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 12:15 PM

View Postseena_beena, on Mar 7 2009, 03:55 PM, said:

Urban myth - offset allows the clubhead a fraction of a second longer to square - simply not true

Sadly this myth is perpetuated over and over here.

#20 littlepingman

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 12:38 PM

View PostHeadonaStick, on Mar 6 2009, 10:49 PM, said:

Offset increases launch angle.

It is stated that offset allows a player more time to square the face, but I fail to see how.  If a player lines up with the club directly behind the ball, the face will make a specific arc with a specific arc length.  If you have offset, but address the ball with the face again square and directly behind the ball, the arc length will be the same.

Whether or not you have offset, the distance the head travels remains constant.  Unless offset makes you swing faster, the time from start of swing to impact has to remain the same.  How does it give more time to square the face?

In any case, my experience is that it adds height to the launch angle and it certainly doesn't create hooky shots.

This is exactly how I understand it as well.  I have played irons with offset and even though I naturally draw the ball I have no problems hooking offset irons.  I've always heard offset is there to help increase launch angle, and that much is believable.  An offset iron promoting a right to left ball flight seems like a bit of stretch at best.

If anything, offset reduces a hook tendency because of the increased launch angle and spin.  The only reason I prefer irons with less offset is they tend to be more workable, more workable right and left as well as high and low.  Irons with a heavy amount of offset generally seem to like to go high and straight.


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#21 golfbum9

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:08 PM

 JackB1, on Mar 6 2009, 05:06 PM, said:

What exactly does "offset" in an iron do?  What are it's advantages or disadvantages?

Since you set up to the ball with the iron squared, you are bringing it back to the same exact point (almost) at impact, so how does offset help?  I would think if you routinely hit the ball to the right, you need less offset and if you hit it to the left, you need more.  Is that correct?

The common wisdon is that more offset = more forgiving, but I just don't understand how???

The notion of "offset causes hooks" are simply not accurate. Hook, draw, slice, fade are all due to swing path. An iron with less offset is actually easier to work in either direction.

Offset allows the golfers hands in the correct position at impact as well as an increased launch angle.

Edited by Ciotog99, 10 March 2009 - 01:54 PM.


#22 dlygrisse

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:10 PM

 littlepingman, on Mar 10 2009, 12:38 PM, said:

 HeadonaStick, on Mar 6 2009, 10:49 PM, said:

Offset increases launch angle.

It is stated that offset allows a player more time to square the face, but I fail to see how.  If a player lines up with the club directly behind the ball, the face will make a specific arc with a specific arc length.  If you have offset, but address the ball with the face again square and directly behind the ball, the arc length will be the same.

Whether or not you have offset, the distance the head travels remains constant.  Unless offset makes you swing faster, the time from start of swing to impact has to remain the same.  How does it give more time to square the face?

In any case, my experience is that it adds height to the launch angle and it certainly doesn't create hooky shots.

This is exactly how I understand it as well.  I have played irons with offset and even though I naturally draw the ball I have no problems hooking offset irons.  I've always heard offset is there to help increase launch angle, and that much is believable.  An offset iron promoting a right to left ball flight seems like a bit of stretch at best.

If anything, offset reduces a hook tendency because of the increased launch angle and spin.  The only reason I prefer irons with less offset is they tend to be more workable, more workable right and left as well as high and low.  Irons with a heavy amount of offset generally seem to like to go high and straight.

Agreed, I will also add that I think some offset clubs seem to set up slightly closed, which may be caused by other factors such as sole grind etc.  Often times people see a club perform a certain way and they assume it is because of offset etc. when there may be other factors involved such as sole grind/face angle, weighting, shaft flex and kickpoint, shaft weight, head weight, grip size etc.  I will go with what Wishon says and Seena Beena says because I think they are proven by fact, not feel, theory or urban myth.  Remember to always compare apples to apples.
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#23 Used To Be Good

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 01:24 PM

I've seen a few posts based on this subject but this one's actually got some sensible answers. There will always be a few guys who believe that offset turns the club into some sort of "hook machine" but in reality, offset is only there to promote a launch angle/ball flight. Anybody who's hitting the ball further left with offset irons has more of a problem with their swing than the club.

It's not so common now but back in the day, you often found players coupling their blades with a 1 or 2 iron with more offset (notably the Ping Eye2). Were they fighting hooks all the time? Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer seemed to get on o.k.

#24 Schilly

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 04:10 PM

It seems that to some extent most amateurs don't come through with their hands far enough in front of the club head at impact which causes a lower trajectory and less spin. By moving the head back a bit it helps to make up for that swing flaw.  The increased launch angle does help to promote back spin over side spin so can help to reduce cut shots. Players who let the club head come through 1st tend to hit a slice as it open the face at impact.

Now on the hook thing I know that I personally hit a much more pronounced draw with more offset clubs Don't understand the physics of why, but I do. not a Hook mind you just a stronger draw.

#25 rwilcox

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 08:20 PM

More offset promotes forward shaft lean at impact, which increases compression of the ball.


#26 blackcourse53

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 09:45 PM

Offset gives the player more time to square the face at impact and also produces a higher launch for the specific club, given everything else is equal when comparing to a club with less offset.

#27 HeadonaStick

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 09:48 PM

 blackcourse53, on Apr 9 2009, 10:45 PM, said:

Offset gives the player more time to square the face at impact and also produces a higher launch for the specific club, given everything else is equal when comparing to a club with less offset.
I won't repeat my earlier post, but how, exactly, does it give more time to square the face?

Edited by HeadonaStick, 09 April 2009 - 09:49 PM.


#28 blackcourse53

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 12:59 AM

when a player fades the ball, they release the club too late. with the head a quarter of an inch behind where it would be if there were no offset, the clubface is making contact with the ball when the hands are slightly more forward and further into the swing. take a slowmo look at someone's swing at impact. hopefully you'll be able to understand what i'm trying to say. it's kind of hard to explain it over the internet.

#29 Doctor Divot

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 01:27 AM

I'm a new member and I have to say that this forum is tremendous.  Lot's and lot's of great explanations and help for this amazingly simple yet endlessly complex game.  

On this topic of offset, is it possible to reduce the amount of offset on a set of irons?  (bend it out?)

I don't particularly like to work the ball back and forth, but I do like to hit a high soft draw.  I have a newer set of offset irons that allow me to do it, but when I get to my 6 iron, I start fighting the draw and by the time I get to my 3, It's either a straight push or 50 yard draw.

#30 Schilly

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Posted 10 April 2009 - 01:32 AM

I don't think physics would allow the offset to be bent out. You would have to basically forge it out.


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