Tom Wishon on Offset

I am convinced about what Lag is saying about offset. I keep coming back to Lag’s drawing about offset (Cant upload the picture says too big).
But personally I want to experiment with clubs which have no offset but a rounder leading edge (I get envious when I hear the dull turf hit sound from my playing partners and no distance loss). So hoping Tom Wishon can help in this regard, I sent him an e-mail. he was generous enough to send a comprehensive reply but seeing his reply I did not even ask him the question. He is OK with posting his reply in here.

Here is the drawing.
I wish this board could auto resize pictures to fit. Does any one knows the fix.

This is true as long as you are the only one gaining from the advantage. The problem with this is when you pick up 20 yards, the longer hitter is picking up 25 or even 30 yards… so you end up even farther behind the longer hitter than before.
If one finds that more enjoyable, then I don’t have much of an argument.

This is true, but you can’t improve your golf swing if you can’t feel where the miss hit was. When I hit a persimmon or a blade iron off center, I feel exactly where I contacted the ball on the face. Then my brain makes the critical adjustment for the next shot. You can’t maximize your improvement without proper quality feedback. Modern drivers, as forgiving as they are, leave the brain guessing what went wrong on the last drive that flew 40 yards off line. Ask Tiger Woods why he is still spraying his driver… if he really knew, he would surely correct it. Fact is, he can’t feel it enough to make the proper correction. So yes I agree, modern drivers help add distance in the short term, but hurt in the longer term. The modern solution is to play courses more forgiving off the tee so it’s not a significant factor… unless you’re playing Merion, then you’ll see the worlds best players fail to break par on a 6900 yard course.

Wishon is correct for 99% of the golfers. Most golfers are not going to change their golf swings significantly through practice and proper instruction. Custom club fitting to band aid a players flaws can improve them in the short term… no doubt about this. Most golfers are happy to play a bit better than they do now. Problem comes when they hit their performance wall. What is not being considered is that the laws of physics are not customizable. More weight and more acceleration are not preferences… they will compress the ball better when applied correctly, and a deeper compression into the golf ball will put more feedback and feel into the players hands. Feel and feedback are the lifeblood playing the game of golf. It’s also fact that muscles do get stronger when they are worked out with heavier gear over time. Assuming one plays and practices with heavier gear, the body WILL adjust to it, and get stronger. If you go to the gym and bench press 50 pounds every day for a month… you WILL get stronger. It’s fact, it’s how the body works. To negate this from the equation is not taking into consideration a very real element of learning a skill particularly golf.

Now if you are a casual weekend golfer who doesn’t work on their game, then Wishon is absolutely correct. Fit gear to your current swing to best increase the chances for better shots based on what you have. Nothing wrong with this for most golfers.

However, if you are really interested in mastering the art of striking a golf ball, at some point, you will have to address technique, and at the higher levels of technical proficiency, the gear used needs to be working along the lines of more advanced protocols. And these protocols are right there for us to view when watching the great strikers of the past who could play more advanced layouts masterfully. The gear used was near optimum in length, lie angle, weight and shaft flex… lack of offset etc. This stuff was figured out a long time ago.

Here is the picture I mentioned in my post. I believe this drawing deserves a lot more attention than it has.
My question to Lag is if you can achieve this in a modern blade design with a rounder leading edge; what are the pros and cons. I will start with the first pro; you get to play with shinier clubs.


The better your swing… the less you would benefit from a rounded leading edge. A good striker is going to be hitting the ball consistently first, not the ground. For a player not as consistent with their strikes, a more rounded leading edge won’t dig as much as a sharp edge if the ground is hit first. But for the better striker, the sharper edge will slice through longer grass that might be getting in the way through impact… so it would be beneficial.

As far as the offset, the more loft the higher up the face the ball will be making contact. This is why I like a bit of forward face progression in my short irons so that I can keep contact in the relative same position in relation to the shaft. In other words, if your contact is on the 3rd groove with your long irons… it might be on the 5th groove with your short irons which moves contact not just up the club, but farther to the right because of the loft. So this is why I believe a properly set up iron set should have progressive face progression… just as we have progressive weighting, shaft flexes, lengths and lofts.

Not so shockingly, there were a lot of sets put together this way back in the golden era of ball strikers. A time when players were designing clubs… not scientists.

The good news is… some modern blades can be bent to be set up this way. I just did a set of Mizuno’s for a pro last week that turned out really nice. It’s not impossible to do, but I haven’t seen any modern blades set up this way stock.

As far as shiny gear, I don’t think the ball cares. If the grooves are clean and the club has the right mass and physics… you are in good shape. When I was on tour, players were doing a lot more personal work on their gear. Lead tape all over the place, clubs often looked a bit beat up. If I saw a bag like that, I got the feeling the player knew what he was doing and spent a lot of time fine tuning his set for his own swing. If I was in a team game, I would pick the guy with the worked up set rather than the guy with a shiny set.

Good stuff Macs and Lag, thanks for the back and forth.

Remember the time when to ‘age’ a new pair of Levi’s, which back in the day were really stiff and heavy, one might trample them into the ground out back, or bury them…just plain beat them up. Then they looked used and ready to rock. Old and beat up is good…speaks to refinement :laughing:

what kind of Mizunos specifically ?

I sent them out already, and don’t remember which model… MP 14 maybe?