Swing Weight Comparison in irons

This test was taken from a real fitting and shows impressively how important the swing weight can be. Our player was already fitted by another club maker and was not satisfied with the result. Soon we could see why. He was fitted with a midsize grip with half an inch shorter shafts. And all this without adjusting the swing weight. The result was a swing weight of C1. For a full-grown man who can hit his 7 iron 150m, this is far too low. This is more of a swing weight that would be built for ladies or seniors.

For us the case was relatively simple. First of all he should test an alternative club with the correct swing weight. The result couldn't be clearer and at the same time makes us a bit angry. Because this player paid quite a bit of money for the new set and fitting. In the end he is then dispatched with an absolutely unsuitable club with which he cannot perform at all.

We compare a 6 iron of the old set and 28° with a Miura MC-501 7 iron with 34°. Identical shaft. Swing weight C1 on the old irons and D1 on the new ones.

The result in short:

  • Club head speed +2.9mph
  • Ball speed: +3,4mph
  • Spin: +600rpm
  • Carry length: +5m
  • Total length: +1m
  • Angle of Attack: -1.5

The remaining values are not relevant. This means that he was able to swing 2.9mph faster with the heavier club, which translates into 3.4mph ball speed. In addition, he achieves 10% more spin and therefore only 12m roll instead of 16m. That is quite a lot. Imagine you have 4m more roll with every shot on the green. This makes it much more difficult to control the ball.

Interesting is also the negative Angle of Attack with the heavier irons. That's exactly what you want to achieve with the irons, because it gives you more control and spin. This is also understandable because a heavier club works a bit more "down".

And of course he was much more precise with the heavier irons, which is clearly shown in the overview. The dispersion was much lower.

Our recommendation

This fitting has shown how elementary important the swing weight is and how carelessly some fitters sometimes handle it. Only by changing the swing weight the player was able to hit an iron with 6° more loft 5m further carry and with much better control.

We did not sell the player new clubs because the problem was not the club head itself. They were just built completely wrong for him. He now gets new shafts with the same grip strength. We only adjust the swing weight to match the heavy test club.

Basic information on the subject of swing weight and classification

The actual swing weight ranges roughly between C-0 and D-8. While C-0 is a swing weight that is recommended for senior women and ladies, D-8 is pretty much the maximum that is played on tour. This swing weight can usually only be achieved with heavy heads, heavy shafts and light grips. Few tour pros actually play longer shafts so this is rarely an option.

To achieve a swingweight of C-0, the exact opposite is needed: very light clubheads and shafts. Heavy grips and shorter shafts are often not an option because, for example, ladies cannot play thick grips.

In short: both a very heavy and a very light swing weight can only be achieved with a special construction - at least if you build the club "correctly". With incorrect construction, as we have seen in this test, it is indeed very easy to achieve such a swing weight. In particular, a grip that is too heavy or a shaft that is shorter or longer will quickly cause the swing weight scale to swing in a certain direction.

As a small classification to the swing weight:

- C-0 to C-2 is a typical swingweight for ladies and seniors and is built this way for the Honma Beres, for example. The entire Beres concept is designed with light shafts and club heads for such a swing weight. Most so-called ladies' clubs from other manufacturers have a heavier swing weight - and as our fittings regularly show: too heavy a swing weight.

- C-8 to C-9 is again a swingweight for men who cannot accelerate the club particularly well (any longer). They need a relatively light swingweight and overall weight to maximise their clubhead speed.

- D-0 to D-1 is a swing weight for most male amateurs. While it is always very individual, most amateurs with maximum average club head speed, should barely be above that in terms of swing weight.

- Amateurs with above average club head speeds are in the D-2 to D-4 range, with D-4 being more of a swing weight for very athletic professionals like Rory McIlroy or Dustin Johnson. Both play their irons at around D-4 and D-5, so we are already at the upper end of the scale here.

- D-5 and upwards, on the other hand, usually only make sense for wedges and drivers of very athletic players. And here, many tour players are in the range of D-5 to D-8. In drivers and wedges, many professionals prefer a slightly heavier swing weight than in irons and woods.

Basically, if you don't see yourself in one of these categories and you deviate significantly from the swing weight, you should be able to justify this and question it. So if, for example, you play D-4 irons as a male amateur with average club head speed or a C-7 swing weight as a senior woman.

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