Why is Soft Good?

Mardin

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In irons particularly, how much of the 'soft' feel is down to the club head itself, and how much to other factors? Change a shaft and/or ball, and you might get different results.
Really good point, this hadn't even crossed my mind. I bet a good shaft will improve the soft feel of the head. I dont know how much it would hinder it????
 

JMS546

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As stated before feel has a lot to do with sound in a golf club. Loud clicks or pings are perceived as hard or harsh while duller thuds or whacks are softer. I think it may be that the duller thuds and whacks associated with a softer feel also get associated with better compression of the ball through impact, thus a better strike.
 

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Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Would you rather have a pillow or a brick to sleep on? Obviously an over the top comparison but I'm sure you get where I'm headed. I surely think feel can be marketed. But in the case of the irons I have, the sound/feel is incredibly unique. Soft but not so soft on mishit. A softer/nothing feeling tells me I've hit the ball well and that gives me confidence.

Hawk makes a great point about the balls. But I don't like soft balls. I know what feel I'm looking for and to be honest I don't trust ball makers to tell me that. They do help some though lol. A B330 can feel soft but usually on a good hit for me, other wise it feels like a range ball to me.
 

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In irons particularly, how much of the 'soft' feel is down to the club head itself, and how much to other factors? Change a shaft and/or ball, and you might get different results.
More than most want to believe I think.
 

CharlieMoy

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I know in the cold months and we do get to play golf in the South during winter, a harsh feeling club would play havoc on the hands and joints. The less vibration or harsh feel the better. Some older golfers even add graphite shafts to add to the soft or less resistant feel they desire.
Almost like a snakebite, right gray?
 

ddec

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I love butter and everything associated with it.

I'm going to have to think about this response
 

BogbeastUK

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Question for those that are feeling this way. Most of the clubs that are considered "buttery soft" have horrible harsh feels when mis-hit. Obviously this is attributed to feedback, so how does one determine when it is good to have harsh and bad to have harsh feelings in a club?
When I play, I want to enjoy the experience and to not feel like I've been through 12 rounds with Mike Tyson. Therefore I want a setup where all of the energy is being transferred into the ball - any harsh feeling up the shaft, or major noise from the face or the ball is wasted energy, energy that's not been transformed into kinetic energy.

So for me, that "soft" feeling and almost lack of contact sound (except for the swish of the club and ball through the air and grass) gives me the confidence that I've hit well and have played the shot properly. If I get it wrong I want to know, so some level of harshness is good to give me that information so I have some idea of what I've done wrong. I play the Wilson Staff Di11s and for me there's a different feeling when hitting off the toe as opposed to hitting towards the heel.

I suppose that sense of feel has come from me doing archery previously - a well tuned (and efficient) bow is quiet, almost silent, whereas a badly setup bow is noisy, feels harsh, and is inefficient. Probably why I feel that a quiet golf shot is a good one.
 

Hawk

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I hate that people ruined the word butter for me. Thankfully they don't describe it as bacon because I'd probably have to drown myself.
 
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McRock

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I think feel is mostly subjective. Obviously, if you swing a dunlop club at a wound ball, it's probably going to feel a little harsh. And who knows, maybe dunlop makes soft irons. But really, for most irons on the market today, when hitting the same golf ball, are going to feel about the same in terms of hard or soft. I think it is our subjective belief on what good feel is that differentiates between the irons. Marketing plays a role. Swing weight plays a role. Basically, I think our minds will tell us that one iron is 'softer' than another iron if one iron simply swings on plane better than the other, or in other words, if one iron feels more natural to swing, that somehow factors into our perception of what a soft iron is. Probably because the natural swing is more likely to find the sweet spot than a mishit. If a person swings club X 10 times and Club Y 10 times, and club X finds the sweet spot 8 times and Club Y finds the sweet spot 3 times, our mind is probably going to tell us that Club X is the softer iron, even though from a physics standpoint, they may actually be the same in terms of softness. We just think its softer, because Club X found the sweet spot more often.

Of course, this is just my opinion, just like feel is mostly opinion based on a person's perception, whether logical or not.
 

ddec

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I hate that people ruined the word butter for me. Thankfully they don't describe it as bacon because I'd probably half to drown myself.
that's how I describe my ping irons dude. Crisp like bacon. But not bacos so you are still safe
 

CraftyLefty

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More than most want to believe I think.
In what direction here JB? Clubhead or shaft/ball? Just asking for a clarification. :act-up:
 

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In what direction here JB? Clubhead or shaft/ball? Just asking for a clarification. :act-up:
In my experience, shaft, ball and grip will change the feeling of impact just as much as anything else.
 

Oregon Golfer

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More than most want to believe I think.
Couldn't a "soft" or "harsh" feel be attributed in big part to the grip as well? Put a soft, shock absorbing grip on a club and sell it to someone as a super-soft club.
 

solidkjames

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For me personally, I am more of a feel player. I can tell as soon as I hit a shot whether or not the results are going to be what I was trying for. And since feel is so useful for 100 and in, the wedges and clubs that need the most feel are your scoring clubs. I think the key to knocking it tight whether chipping, pitching, or lobbing a ball is having a tension free swing. If I think the shot I'm about to hit is going to be harsh I subconsciously let tension creep into my swing. We all know getting stiff on short shots around the green leads to fat hits and bladed shots screaming across the green. So trying to play a shot off of feel, it only makes sense that I want the shot to be soft and filled with touch. I'm not sure if this is exactly what everyone looks for but when I'm trying to get the ball close and soft comes to my mind, this is exactly what is going on in my head.
 

StLCardsFan

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A soft feel means it was well struck. A harsh feeling means it wasn't. It has nothing to do with the club or how it is made. That is how I look at it anyway. I have been to many demo days and hit many different clubs within an hour or two. One thing that is constant, if you hit the club in the center, they all feel pretty good. Cast/forged, hard metal/soft metal, it doesn't matter. Some might feel a little better than others. I guess that is why they call it the 'sweetspot'. It is when you don't hit the sweetspot where you can tell a difference in many clubs. However the goal isn't to not hit the sweetspot, so I pay little attention to how an off center hit feels. I just know it feels bad.

The shaft can influence the feel as well. Of course, just like the club head, if the shaft is in the proper positioning when the ball is struck, they will all feel pretty good. It is when you hit fat or thin that you feel the different vibrations up the shaft. I used to have Sensicore in my clubs and thought I would miss them when I got new clubs that didn't. On good hits, I can't tell the difference, on bad hits I can. But I don't care about the bad hits, my only concern is the good hits, so they are not missed at all.

I don't think the ball has much to do with it at all. A softer ball might add a bit to the 'soft' feel, but pretty much any ball struck in the center feels pretty good. Some better than others, but so hard to make the determination on whether or not it was the ball/shaft/club that made it feel less soft.

Anyone that has ever played baseball knows that when you center the ball on the fat part of the bat, you hardly feel it. When you hit the bottom of the ball off the end of the bad, you get vibrations down to your toes. The bat was the same, but where you hit the ball makes the difference in the feel.
 

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I personally think it all has to do with the feedback you get when you hit the club.
When I mention that "butter" feel, I'm taking about a club that feels very nice to hit,(good shots, not misses) smooth etc... It has nothing to do with the hit being soft or not, it just has to do with feel.... On the same hand, I don't like a club that has that smooth feel, and will not give feedback on miss hits. I need the feedback, so that I know when it's on the money, and when it's off.
Well said. I get most of my sensory input at the millisecond of impact and the rest from watching the ball fly and land.

In my experience, shaft, ball and grip will change the feeling of impact just as much as anything else.
Absolutely agree 100%. I think grips are one of the most overlooked components for feel. Go from a ND multi compound to a Winn DSi and see what I mean.
 

TC

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"why is soft so good?"

I really don't have an answer JB. I also don't really get it, never really have. I do believe that certain buzz words just attach to certain products and stay that way. I have my own personal opinions based on experience with certain brands that completely differ from mainstream thought but I don't think that's the point of this thread. I think so many human senses are alert and awakened in a golf swing that it's just hard to really describe certain things.
 

MD177

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great read so far. being a newbie, I don't really know what to look for. all I know atm is when I hit the MX 1000 really good, it feels better compared to the 09 Burners. this is using range balls though as I haven't had a lot of time on the course with the MX 1000.
 

Spank818

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Hmmm... soft like butter

 

ddxu

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Isnt soft good because the MacBook Pros are buttery soft? And everything comping from Cupertino is the best? ;)
 

Hanks

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That's funny....I'd give you rep but I need to 'spread' some around like butter first.....

I think at the very core we are taught from a young age that soft is good and hard is bad. With all things. Soft mattress good, hard mattress bad. Soft feelings good, hard feelings bad. I think this carries over to golf as well, right or wrong.

Hmmm... soft like butter

 

BogbeastUK

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Hmmm... soft like butter

You sir, owe me a new keyboard. I had people coming in from the office next door wondering what I was laughing so hard at!! :laughing:
 

golf4life

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A soft feel means it was well struck. A harsh feeling means it wasn't. It has nothing to do with the club or how it is made. That is how I look at it anyway. I have been to many demo days and hit many different clubs within an hour or two. One thing that is constant, if you hit the club in the center, they all feel pretty good. Cast/forged, hard metal/soft metal, it doesn't matter. Some might feel a little better than others. I guess that is why they call it the 'sweetspot'. It is when you don't hit the sweetspot where you can tell a difference in many clubs. However the goal isn't to not hit the sweetspot, so I pay little attention to how an off center hit feels. I just know it feels bad.

The shaft can influence the feel as well. Of course, just like the club head, if the shaft is in the proper positioning when the ball is struck, they will all feel pretty good. It is when you hit fat or thin that you feel the different vibrations up the shaft. I used to have Sensicore in my clubs and thought I would miss them when I got new clubs that didn't. On good hits, I can't tell the difference, on bad hits I can. But I don't care about the bad hits, my only concern is the good hits, so they are not missed at all.

I don't think the ball has much to do with it at all. A softer ball might add a bit to the 'soft' feel, but pretty much any ball struck in the center feels pretty good. Some better than others, but so hard to make the determination on whether or not it was the ball/shaft/club that made it feel less soft.

Anyone that has ever played baseball knows that when you center the ball on the fat part of the bat, you hardly feel it. When you hit the bottom of the ball off the end of the bad, you get vibrations down to your toes. The bat was the same, but where you hit the ball makes the difference in the feel.
This is pretty much exactly how I feel. I think the only real difference between a "player's forged" club and a cast GI club is that mishits on a player's club are harsher, or in other words, provide more precise feedback, and with the GI club are more muted and provide more uniform performance on mishits. So the "softness" feeling may be amplified by the huge difference between a center club hit and a mishit on player's clubs. Also, I believe sound has a huge impact on what we feel.
 

Singlestick

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@ Spank818

Haha brilliant, spreadable straight from the bag!
 

JB

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That's funny....I'd give you rep but I need to 'spread' some around like butter first.....

I think at the very core we are taught from a young age that soft is good and hard is bad. With all things. Soft mattress good, hard mattress bad. Soft feelings good, hard feelings bad. I think this carries over to golf as well, right or wrong.
Only because its Hanks does this have to be said.

NOT WITH ALL THINGS!
 

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