Here’s some thoughts based on my personal experiences of doing more MOI weight fitting and matching of clubs.
First though, I will refer to MOI Matching as ‘MOI Weight.’ Simply because we know we often utilize the term MOI for clubheads and the amount they will twist on shots that miss the sweetspot. With MOI matching, we are simply looking to alter the weight of the club. So, I will now refer to it as ‘MOI Weight.’
Here is what I’m typically seeing as far as MOI weight for clubs go:
Drivers: Too light of a MOI weight
Fairway Woods: Too light of a MOI weight
Hybrids: Slightly too light of a MOI weight
3 thru 7-iron: Too heavy of a MOI weight
8 thru Wedges: Too light of a MOI weight
This is interesting to me because we are seeing fewer and fewer golfers using longer irons like 3 and 4-irons and replacing them with hybrids. And more companies are abandoning muscleback long iron designs.
While I think the hybrid head is designed to be easier to hit, I also think that it sacrifices spin control and distance control over a 3 or 4-iron. However, I think that since the hybrids tend to be slightly off with MOI weight whereas the 3 or 4-irons are way too heavy golfers are hitting the hybrids better because it comes closer to a MOI weight they can handle.
What’s also interesting is I think it explains some of the Mizuno ‘love.’ From my own experience and speaking to customers, the feel of the irons seem much better once they are MOI weight fitted and matched.
With Wishon’s equipment, it’s quite easy to MOI weight fit and match because he has lighter clubheads than the leading manufacturers. So when the golfer is fitted for MOI weight it is usually heavier than the weight of the Wishon club. From there, I just add weight to the clubhead using lead tape and/or hosel weights.
The problem with OEM’s equipment is that the clubheads are heavier. Thus, if I get a customer whose fitted MOI weight is 2,700 kg/cm2 and their 5-iron weighs in at 2,750 kg/cm2 I have to reduce the weight of the club to 2,700. The only way to do that is to either use a different, lighter shaft or grind the head or trim the shaft. All of which can greatly affect other properties of the club.
Mizuno offers 3 different types of clubheads for each model. They offer a lightest clubhead model, a heavy clubhead model and a ‘standard’ clubhead model. Because they can offer a light clubhead model, they can prevent the 3 thru 7-irons from having too heavy of a MOI weight. What I’ve found with Mizuno irons I’ve tested is that they are extremely consistent in MOI weight from 3 thru 7-iron. Then the 8 thru PW is usually much lighter, but still consistent in MOI weight.
For example, my Mizuno Pro TN-87 irons have a MOI weight of 2,725 – 2,740 in the 3 thru 7-irons. Very consistent (and a little heavy as I play to 2,725). But, the 8 thru PW measure in at 2,660 to 2,680. Consistent, but much lighter than the 3 thru 7-irons.
Thus, I believe what happens with Mizuno is that they feel so good because the MOI weight of the 3 thru 7-irons is pretty close to what the golfer’s fitted MOI weight is. And since the 8 thru PW are easier clubs to hit because of the higher loft and shorter shaft length, they really don’t quite notice them being too light of a MOI weight until I match their MOI weight to what the golfer has been fitted for.
Speaking of Mizuno, what I’ve found from their Mizuno Shaft Optimizer is that it gives a pretty good fit for shafts based on launch conditions and shaft flex. But, I think it struggles to fit for weight properly as it’s prone to offer too light of a shaft. And judging from Wishon’s thoughts on ‘soft stepping’ and ‘hard stepping’, I think it could do a better job with the shaft profiles. I’ll have to reserve my final thoughts after I get the Nippon 1150GH shaft in which Mizuno doesn’t recommend, but Wishon’s Shaft Bend Profile software infers would be a good shaft for me.
I’ve also found that MOI weight tends to favor taller players. Mainly because taller players like longer shafts in their irons. But, the issue is that with added shaft length the MOI weight will increase. In fact, I can trim off less than 1/4-inch off the butt end of a club and make the MOI weight 50-70 kg/cm2 lighter. So, it doesn’t take much to affect the MOI weight.
I play irons that are +1/2-inch longer than standard. I still do not recommend more than 1/2-inch over standard, but many taller golfers simply do not want to hear that.
Since I use Wishon’s 555 model irons with the lighter clubheads, the added 1/2-inch shaft length does not affect me because my fitted MOI weight is 2,725 kg/cm2. The heaviest MOI weight in my set when I assembled them was the 4-iron which came out to 2,702 kg/cm2. I then simply added weight to the head of each club.
However, what I’ve found with a couple of customers who play non-Wishon clubs with longer steel shafts is that their irons become way too heavy for them. In fact, one customer of mine had Adams irons with a heavier MOI weight than his Taylor Made driver.
Since he insisted on +1-inch shafts in his irons, I simply recommended a lightweight steel shaft that made the MOI of his irons much lighter. We installed this into his 6-iron and since he lives close by, I personally MOI weight fitted him. We found that installing a shaft that was 100 grams instead of 130 grams and then adding about 1-2 grams to each head fit him perfectly. I then took his driver and 3-wood and we wound up adding about 4 grams of weight to each head and now he hits the ball much better.
Shorter golfers who don’t change their shaft length don’t really have to worry about this as much.
The consensus is that you don’t have to fit for hybrids if the hybrid is using the same shaft as the irons. However, I’ve found that to be slightly true in a few cases, but other cases I found that to be inaccurate. Thus, I would recommend getting fit for MOI with the hybrid because it doesn’t hurt to do so.
Where my customers have seen the biggest help is with the 3-wood and the long irons. Mainly because those clubs are the most difficult to hit and the 3-wood is usually too light and the long irons are too heavy.
The shorter irons wind up feeling much better and there’s improved consistency and accuracy, but because they are easier to hit and the mis-hits are less severe it’s not as noticeable.
With the driver, customers have noticed better ball flight and consistency. My feeling is if I a golfer can max out their distance and the shaft bend profile suits them, but they are struggling with some consistency and accuracy…all that needs to be done is to fit them for MOI weight.
If I had the choice I would much rather see a golfer who can optimize distance than one who hits a driver very accurately and consistently but doesn’t max out distance. I believe proper MOI weighting can get the accuracy and consistency. But if you cannot maximize your distance, then you will need to either get a new shaft or a new clubhead loft to improve the distance.