Frank, always enjoy reading your newsletters. Correct me if I’m wrong. I think the spring effect in irons was tried back in the 1960’s when Wilson introduced an iron called the ” Wilson Reflex ” It didn’t catch on…
Let me give you a little background regarding the spring-like-effect rule and how a “trampoline” can now be incorporated in iron clubs so you can hit your 7-iron as far as your 6- iron.
In our Q&A a few weeks ago we addressed the trampoline effect in irons and had a number of very interesting comments posted.
The first equipment rule in 1909 did not permit springs in the club head. In 1956 this was changed to “the face must not unduly influence the movement of the ball”. In 1983 — as a result of the submission of the Wilson Reflex iron in 1980 — which didn’t work like a spring although it was advertized as a spring — and the recognition that new designs and materials may be used to create a spring-like effect, we changed the rule back to no spring-like effect.
Now the rules say a little bit of spring like effect is OK but separate spring designs which unduly influence the ‘little bit of spring-like-effect permitted’, or ‘unduly influence the movement of the ball’ are not permitted. To further confuse you see the actual wording: Appendix II 4-c in the Rules of Golf.
Rich, this convoluted, indistinct wording of the new rule — which permits a little bit of spring-like-effect in irons – will give you more distance whether you need it or not. We are suckers for distance and as the spring-like effect does not apply to putters you may find the next marketing inspired innovation is a putter which will hit the ball farther than any other putters.
Let us know if you really believe the marketing claims of golf club manufacturers? If not, why?