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A Matter of Offset
By Terry Koehler, The Wedge Guy

Terry Koehler has been in the golf industry for over 30 years and currently spends his days as the President of EIDOLON Golf, a small premium wedge company in Victoria, Texas. He's been blogging for over 3 years and has written hundreds of articles ranging from golf tips to equipment issues. His blog will appear on ClubSG twice per week. You can reach Terry to have your golf questions answered at askme@thewedgeguy.com.

We'll start off the New Year with a dialog about equipment, as that is one of my favorite topics. I'd really like to ask you all to send me your questions about anything related to golf club design, construction and performance, and I'll dive into it. There's enough there to fill every column for years. Today, I'm taking up the subject of "offset," in response to a question by Cat:
I own a set of Cobra's S2 Irons. Could you tell me if these irons are offset? Because I tend to pull the short Irons quite often. Would it be possible to name which Iron sets are made with offsets? Thanks for your input on this matter.
Well, Cat, the Cobra S2 irons are definitely offset; how much depends on which model. I’ve never seen a cavity back iron without offset, because it’s one of the most widely used (and mis-applied, IMHO) elements of golf club technology. Generally speaking, offset is used by a golf club designer for two reasons.

First, moving the shaft out in front of the leading edge of the clubhead helps force the club face to a square or closed position through impact. The easiest way to see this is to lay an offset and non-offset iron on a table, with the head hanging off the edge. The face of the offset iron will point more upward than the non-offset model. So, in effect, it’s already part of the way to square to impact in its “natural” state. Therefore, it takes less rotational force by the golfer to finish that squaring maneuver.

Because of this function of offset, any golfer who fights a pull or hook should avoid offset irons like the plague. That’s why you pull your short irons, Cat. You’ll fight that forever if you keep playing them.

The other function of offset, and the one that is most misunderstood, is that offset make the ball fly lower, which is why it is applied to the super-game-improvement irons so aggressively. Radical perimeter weighting, with the super-low weight distribution it affects, causes golf shots to fly much higher. That’s why modern irons feature more and more “jacked up” lofts, particular in the short irons. If you removed the offset from these designs, the ball would fly even higher still. By moving the center line of the shaft more out in front of the leading edge, the designer is trying to help you get the shaft through the ball before the clubhead, so as to keep the trajectory lower.

That’s why I continue to be a huge proponent of blade-style short irons for almost all golfers. Removing the offset helps solve the pull shot pattern most golfers – like Cat – experience with their short irons. The thicker face and higher center of mass in a blade-style short iron delivers tighter trajectories and better distance control. Many of you have taken me up on that challenge since I’ve written about this. More of you should.

So, in the matter of offset, a little can be really helpful to golfers who have trouble keeping the ball out of right field, particularly in the middle irons. But overdoing it is more a matter of the designer trying to correct ball flight issues resulting from their radical weighting, than it is anything else. In my humble opinion, that is.

Happy New Year again, to everyone. Cat wins a new EIDOLON wedge – who else wants one? Just send in your question via the link below and you’ll have a chance.


* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.

photo via Cobra Golf
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
kickntrue says:
Very interesting stuff. I'm especially interested in the comments about offset clubs being bad for those who pull their irons. That is def me and it is something that has become worse since switching to cavity backs vs the old Mizuno mp57's I used to play.
1/7/11
 
Rahbaba says:
Are offsets different per club, or is the offset the same on all club pitches within the same manufacturer, and club model? Which club models/mfg have the most head offset?
1/12/11
 
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
 
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