Spring-like Effect in Irons

Hi Frank,

I look forward each week for your insight about golf technology. It is great information.

In the December issue of Golf Digest (page 69), there is an article called “Flame Throwers”. The article describes new irons that make the ball go faster and farther. Specifically, the author talks about irons that have a trampoline effect (i.e. face flexing) similar to drivers.

Do you think this is hype or something that can really increase ball speed and make the golf ball fly farther? Is it something worth purchasing?

Thanks in advance for your valued opinion,


Thank you for your kind comments and we are pleased to help you better understand some of the advances in golf technology– if they really are — and other good and interesting “stuff”.

 Yes, it is possible to get the face of irons to flex in a similar manner to that of a driver face with spring like effect.

The wording in Appendix II 4-c of the Rules of Golf has been changed to allow a little bit of spring like effect and this modification from the original wording, which did not allow the face of a club to have any spring like effect,  now also applies to irons.

 For this to work the face must deform and recover during impact which lasts for about 0.000480 of a second. This means that the club head must be hollow and thus allow the face to move back and forth. You blink your eyes at speed of about 0.10 of a second which means while they are closed, you can have about 208 impacts of the club and ball.  That’s about 2 ½ rounds of golf — if you shoot 80 per round – in a blink of an eye.

This is one way to speed up play.

 While I am on this path of trivial information, I ask why you would want to hit the ball farther with your seven-iron if you have a six-iron in your bag. If we continue along this path, eventually we will do ourselves out of  all short irons because they are all hitting the ball too far. Then what will we do? Maybe reverse the process!!

Is this really an advance to help you play better or a marketing ploy to reduce the size of your wallet? Let us know what you think about irons that hit the ball farther by sharing your views below with other site visitors.

 Hope this helps



34 thoughts on “Spring-like Effect in Irons

  1. gary d. is right–it’s the nut behind the wheel. I’d rather use driver for 150 yds than not play golf at all.

    The beer is free if you can play well inside 100 yds; the score card asks ‘how many?’ rather than ‘how?’

    Manufacturers are playing to the younger egos anyway; us old folks build and grip our own clubs anyway. It’s the game that matters, not the price tag on your clubs.

    • I’m 33 years old and I follow every word you say with a religious ferver. I get picked on at some of the other golf forums, but it seems so many people are so busy wanting to be like Rory/Tiger/Fred they’re willing to believe anything and everything the OEMs sell them. It’s like they’ve lost sight of the point or spirit of golf.

  2. Frank, I am 69 years old and haven’t played regularly for 14 years. I once read the 4 most important things to golfer s are distance, distance, distance and distance.
    That being said I believe 75% of our strokes come within 100 yards of the green. 75% is a big number. I play a set of Ping Zing 2’s I bought new in 1994. I have bought approximately 15 other sets of irons(Ping, Callaway and Cobra with a 43* pw). I always go back to the Pings. Since Ping came out with the Eye 2’s I don’t believe there has been any significant improvement in irons. The OEM’s bring out new models every year. They use “smoke and mirrors” to sell new models.
    I won’t waste money on those irons. I will practice my short game.

    Thank you for sharing your expertise and knowledge with us

  3. I’m also collecting social security, and I hit my drives 180-190. I think it’s beyond wishful thinking that any club is going to add 10 yards to my shot, much less a 7 iron. It took a while but I finally convinced my peers to play from a forward set of tees. We are all having a lot more fun now, and we didn’t have to buy a new set of clubs to do it.

  4. I have already given up on the trampolene effect. When you are 77 years old and your swing speed is lsower than your age, tthe trampolene does not cut it, Simply put e=mc2, and when the cr is only 70 mph it means nothing.I just hope I can still hit any golf ball any distance, I’ve already been through cardiac arrest.

  5. Bill M. I am also part of the 47%{social security age) I also use a 6 now for 150 yds. My playing partner is far younger and longer than me Seen him use pw for 150. But I keep it in the fairway and better than 50% of the time my beer is free. Play w/what you have and try to perfect it. Its the indian not the arrow

  6. My personal experience with a spring face iron was that the distances were inconsistent with the same club, same swing. I went back to a non spring face and sold the other clubs after two rounds and four range sessions.

  7. Frank, having followed your online advice for years and even having Valerie fit my wife and myself at your shop, I was a little bit disappointed in your comment about irons that increase spring like effect resulting in increased distance. You do say that this will increase distance, but your comment of why have your 7 iron go as far as your 6 iron, when you can use your six iron is faulty. You have instilled in me that “the shorter the club” the easier and more consistent the shot . So using irons with increased spring effect will not only increase distance but more importantly will increase consistency, as the manufacturer states. Also note that the increased spring effect only goes up to the 7 iron, thus not messing with short game . I have personally tried these new clubs and was more impressed with consistency and truly enjoyed the longer distance ( min 12 yards for me)

    • But that’s only going to be if you hit the “sweet spot” the great majority of the time, which most amateurs can’t do. For drivers, you lose distance for every .5″ away from the “sweet spot” you stray… the same’s going to be true for irons. How would you feel knowing that you have a 5-10y distance dispertion for non-COR irons, but a 10-30y distance dispertion with irons that have COR? How fun would it be knowing that on any given approach you could either sitck it, go way past the green or come up way short, instead of just wondering how long you’d have to putt to make birdie?

  8. I’m 67 years old and 20 years ago I hit my 8 iron 150 yds. Now I hit a 6 iron from 150 yds. Personally, I’d like to hit my irons further….I’d love to be able to hit a 7 or 8 from 150 out!

  9. Frank, my experience as a professional fitter is irons “spring effect” doesn’t come into play until the swing speed hits 80mph. Once there, the deflection of the face DOES put more speed on the ball and with most swing types results in lower backspin which also improves accuracy and distance. The benefit of hitting a “springy” 4-iron as far as the old three iron is it generally will produce a higher, softer-landing shot than the 3-iron, as well as allowing restructuring of the set make up (more wedges, less long irons. The overwhelming majority of my clients using spring-face irons say they are not only longer with each club, but they are more accurate and more consistent with their distance control. It’s a great technical advancement….IF you swing over 80mph!

    • And what happens to the wedges? They don’t have “springlike effect”… is today’s 45* PW going to be the “new and improved” GW? Will Feel Golf’s 73* “spatula” going to become a normal part of the set? Where does it stop?

      Speaking of adding wedges: that’s a great con to increase sales. A set comes 3-PW or 4-GW (sometimes, if you’re LH); everyone in the retail side of the game benefits because people are going to need to add more wedges- at an extra cost to the buyer, of course. It’s the same trick they pulled when the lofts were strengthened and the lengths were increased. It lead to the need for more (expensive) hybrids, because the long irons had become more difficult to hit (“the longer the length, the lower the loft, the more difficult the club is to hit”, Ralph Maltby).

      Not only that, spring-like faces in drivers and woods are supposed to help the not-so-fast swingers… it should be a given that it works the same for irons, as well. If the technology isn’t helping the people that could truly stand to gain from it, what use is it?

      • (“the longer the length, the lower the loft, the more difficult the club is to hit”, Ralph Maltby).

        And that’s the answer to why a longer hitting 7 iron would be benificial. If I could be as accurate with my current 7 iron with my 6 iron distance… and that carried throughout my bag, I’d be happy. Of course, I doubt that the claims of extra length are much less than the actual results–typical marketing.

  10. I loved Valerie’s response to Frank’s advice of ‘if the 7 iron doesn’t go far enough, take out your 6 iron’.

  11. For those of us not named Rory and who are a touch older, a bit infirm, somewhat inflexible and/or talent challenged, a set of clubs that can go a bit further across the board can’t hurt. Sure I don’t need my 7 iron to go 10 yards further if my 6 iron can make up that difference, but how about the 7 going higher and further so that it stops quicker than the 6 iron.

  12. I, for one, do not want a trampoline effect anywhere near my dart-throwing precision instruments called “irons” or “wedges”. I don’t want to hit the middle of the trampoline one time and my 7 iron goes 185, while the next time I miss the middle of the trampoline a bit and the 7 iron only goes 165. I want irons and wedges that hit the exact same distance no matter where I hit them on the face; since I can’t get any of those, I want as close as possible to that as I can get, not as FAR as possible from that as I can get, which is what the new “flame throwers” are.

      • Even if you get fitted, it will still be easier to hit an 7 iron than it is a 6 iron; the shorter you go the easier it is to hit the irons; that’s why a PW is easier than a 5 iron. I would welcome longer distances in my irons, and fill gaps with my hybrids and woods. If i can increase distances in all clubs then my LW-3 wood would cover 80-250 yards as opposed to covering 70-230 yards, and it will be easier to hit the green from longer distances as I’ll be using shorter/lower lofted clubs.

  13. I think it is an ego thing. The pros are nuking eight irons 200 yards at times. I have played long enough and for me – I have a high ball flight so I get the average $20 a dozen ball to sit on the greens. I agree Frank – hit the six if the seven is marginal. I tend now to take one more club – ego gets crushed – but over 90% of the time that was the club I should have been hitting. Rarely do I ever have too much.

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