DO YOU NEED AN 11-WOOD?

More and more play­ers are us­ing lofted woods.

Golf World (UK) - - THE SPIN -

Michelle Wie sparked in­ter­est by putting an 11-wood in play dur­ing the PGA Cham­pi­onship, claim­ing it’s eas­ier to hit than a 5-iron. With large shal­low heads and light­weight graphite shafts, lofted woods come with a num­ber of ben­e­fits over long irons and hy­brids. PGA club­fit­ter John Macklen ex­plains.

Playable tra­jec­tory

The low and deep cen­tre of grav­ity (CG) help launch the ball higher over ob­sta­cles but drop it steeper and stop it quicker. Track­man data av­er­ages from the LPGA show that while a 7-wood flies around five yards fur­ther than a 4-iron, its an­gle of de­cent is three-de­grees steeper. This is key when the greens are firm and pins are tucked be­hind bunkers, rough and wa­ter.

Ver­sa­til­ity

The low, deep CG make lofted woods more ver­sa­tile than long irons and hy­brids from poor lies. They slide beau­ti­fully through rough and get the ball air­borne more eas­ily when struck low on the club face.

In­creased for­give­ness

The higher mo­ment of in­er­tia makes lofted woods more for­giv­ing on off-cen­tre strikes than long irons and some hy­brids. An­other ben­e­fit is the lack of hosel, which means that the dreaded shank could be a thing of the past – some­thing that is likely to ap­peal more to the club player than tour­ing pro.

John Macklen is the Se­nior PGA Club Fit­ter at Sun­dridge Park GC. Thanks to Steve Macdon­ald from Call­away Golf for the tour us­age stats.

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