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The majority of classic iron designs have little or no offset relative to modern clubs.  I wanted to investigate what offset was and how if affected performance from an engineering standpoint.  Unfortunately there appears to be no consensus opinion available on the net (an observation I’m sure you’ll find shocking).  Here’s a brief summary of what I was able to turn up:

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http://www.hirekogolf.com/hireko/graphics/orderportal/articles/mythofoffset.html

Conclusion: Offset encourages the ball go relatively lower and closes the face.

http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/83281-offset-on-irons-what-is-it-for/

Conclusion: Offset encourages the ball go relatively higher and closes the face.

http://www.laymansgolf.com/golf_club_reviews/how_golf_clubs_work_irons/2/

Conclusion: Offset encourages hands forward at impact and gives the golfer extra time to close the face.

Flip chart_Science of Straight

Conclusion: Offset closes the face because the center of gravity wants to line up with the shaft.

http://golf.about.com/od/faqs/f/offset.htm

Conclusion: Offset encourages the ball to go relatively higher and gives the golfer extra time to close the face.

http://www.advancedballstriking.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=224&t=2010&p=25794&hilit=offset+forearm+rotation#p25794

Conclusion: Offset encourages over rotation and/or relatively steep swing planes

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The true mechanism of offset is probably not important and in the end it’s a feel and performance thing.  I know I don’t like it and many great players preferred little or no offset.  I think it’s logical to conclude that since players who hated the hook (like Hogan) used and designed zero offset gear, the offset may tend to encourage a hook (possibly through the mechanisms of clubface closure described above).  This is supported by the observation that the hacker’s tendency is a slice and most modern game improvement irons pack a lot of offset.  So what do you do if you acquire a great set of well made clubs but don’t like the look of the offset or don’t want to encourage a hook?  Remove it of course.

I’ve never done the procedure myself but my understanding is that it is a (not so simple) process of bending the club in the upper hosel to make it very weak then returning the club to desired loft with a second bend lower in the hosel.  Fortunately long hosels are prevalent in classic gear and aid in the process by giving you more room to work with.  Here’s a video of the procedure and an image of a completed blade iron done by Lagpressure over at Advanced Ball Striking.

That club looks great!  PGT member Neil (NRG) has done this process a few (or more than a few) times and might be able to assist if you have any additional questions.

One Response to “Offset and How to Remove It”

  1. Avatar of Anton Anton says:

    It can be pretty confusing, especially if you dont know what particular club design really is. I have a set of Hogan Colonial wedges, not real Hogan from purist perspective but Hogan stamped on them, Callaway made I guess. In my opinion they are great wedges nevertheless but they do have rather significant offset to them or at least much more than what I’m personally used too. That put me off at first but really liked their head shape and grind so had to give them a try. Some pros had them in their bags while back and Jim Furyk won US Open playing prototype versions I believe. Anyway, that offset thing kept bugging me as Hogan/Callaway marketing material said “Increased offset for optimum trajectory control” and I simply wanted to understand why the hell its there from club design perspective, I mean even if you are the worst slicer in the world its not like you need help closing face on a wedge shot. So I asked The Wedge Guy who actually used to work for Ben Hogan company. Here is what he said : http://www.oobgolf.com/content/the+wedge+guy/golf+equipment/5-4172-A_Matter_of_Offset.html
    Based on that and other stuff on club design that I read it is important to look at specific club design to understand why offset is in there and what it does for that specific club. For colonial wedges it serves to lower trajectory. For a modern set of cavity back irons it helps to close the face, btw there are also progressive offsets like more offset in longer irons vs shorter irons etc, as well as lower trajectory since those kinda irons tend to have very low cogs for easier launch. Personally I hate everything with offset simply because I cant stand the look at address, as it tells me “this is going left” and left is my problem, but those wedges seem to work pretty well. Certain type of shots are more difficult with them but I guess thats the challenge of club design, its either special design or all around design. Good topic.

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