A common concern that people have when upgrading their irons is whether they’ll get the most out of the long irons. A valid question as the long irons are commonly a struggle for the amateur golfer. The requirements for a well hit long iron vs a short iron are obviously different so it would make sense that you ask something slightly different from the clubs as well, this is where the option for a split set becomes appealing.
So, what is a split iron set? Well simply put it is a set of irons that contains different iron heads in different part of the set. Manufacturers now will commonly make clubs that can comfortably blend with each other while giving different performance numbers to suit the different areas of your iron game.
So the next question would be, how do I know if a split set is best for me? Well what do you see on the course? If you commonly find that long irons, even slightly mishit, often lose control and the yardage varies, you might be prime for having a split iron set. The way that we’d achieve the benefits of this more often than not is giving you a set where the longer irons have a larger, more forgiving head. The reason for this is that larger club heads will have more stability for when you hit them off centre, which reduces loss of ball speed and any changes in spin rate. This is an important factor in long irons particularly as over the kind of distance that they’re covering any changes in flight numbers will have a significant difference in yardage. The larger sole in these clubs also gives a boost in launch, which is important as you get into the less lofted clubs, and ball speed, which makes it easier to hit an iron a longer distance.
Ok, so the forgiveness in longer irons is a good reason to have a spilt set but are there any other reasons I might get a split set? The most common reason we fit split sets is certainly with an eye on forgiveness but there can be benefits at the other end of your irons too. Something that is particularly important in your shorter irons is sticking power on the greens. A key component of that is a higher spin rate, and with the way that many irons are made now spin rates are being reduced. This is due to improved launch conditions and ball speed to gain the required height so spin, which can be hard to control, is less of a factor. But if you have a pitching wedge in your hands you don’t always want to pump it out with massive ball speed and low spin, so this is the other scenario in which having something different in each part of your bag is beneficial.
So if you’re getting a new set of irons, be sure to ask your fitter about a split set, you never know what benefits there may be!
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