Offset in Golf Irons: Pros, Cons and How to Use Them

Offset in golf iron

You may have already heard of the term ‘offset iron’ from your golfer friends or a golf brand. What is it actually? Is it something for you? How to use them? Let’s find out.



What is offset in Golf Irons? 



Offset in Golf Irons

Offset in golf irons refers to how much behind the leading edge is from the shaft. It’s the distance between them. Same goes for other clubs like drivers, wedges, putters, etc. 

A fun fact is, initially, offset design was mainly used in putters to get the hands at impact before the golf balls. But it is more visible in irons nowadays. Game improvement irons have more offset. In fact, most of the irons in the market have offset, even if in the least amount. You may also sometimes find it in drivers, fairway woods or wedges, etc. 

The amount of offset in your irons is usually mentioned in the manufacturer’s specifications. They write it in millimeters (mm). You can measure that yourself too. If you look carefully, you will find that in some irons, the leading edge or front of the hosel is not in a straight alignment. Instead, it’s slightly set back. Measure the distance between them with a millimeters scale. The results are the offset of your iron.

There is no specified offset standard or measurement for offset irons. It depends on the manufacturers. It’s usually between 5- 8 millimeters. 

Though there can be exceptions depending on manufacturers, the offset usually increases with the increase of shaft length. That means iron-2 of the same iron set has more offset than iron-3 or iron-9. Because the shaft length of iron-9 is typically 36″. Whereas it’s around 39-40″ for iron-2. While for iron-3, it’s from 38-39″. 



How does offset in irons influence the game?



Offset irons can both help and harm the game. It is essential for you to know both sides before using them. So that you can use it accordingly and choose the right one for yourself.


Advantages of offset golf irons


Straighter shots

When you strike with an offset iron, the clubface reaches at impact, a spin second later. That allows you to take time in the downswing for squaring the clubface at impact. This helps to maximize right to left spin that results in minimizing left to right spin.

Thus, the slow swingers can use it to make the golf balls go straighter. And keep the golf score low by saving a stroke from missing the target. You also get a solid feel and sound from the shot. 


Higher launch angle

The offset design of irons positions the center of gravity slightly in the back. That helps to achieve a higher launch angle. Thus, it is a suitable choice for the golfers who struggle to get height, especially the beginners and average golfers.


Reduces thin shots

Thin or fat shots mostly happen when you hit the golf balls too high and miss the sweet spot. Because of being a bit behind from the shaft, it helps to hit a golf ball lower and reduces the chances of thin shots.


Disadvantages of offset golf iron


May cause draw or hook


Disadvantages of offset golf iron

When the golfers already have a straight shot, strike with offset iron; it carves right to left. That means it ends up in a draw. And if you usually make a draw, it curves the shot slightly more, meaning a hook. 

Both draw and hook go right to the left. But a draw curves a little more; it’s referred to as a hook. When this happens, golfers tend to miss the target. They need to flatten the lie angle to make a straight shot with offset irons.


Worsen the problem


Offset golf iron problems

If you struggle to make a straighter shot or have a higher ball flight, offset iron design makes that happen even with a slower swing. Thus, golfers tend to develop a wrong perception of the curve or height, a shot goes after striking. It is more like a crutch than a cure. 

But unlike crutches, this worsens the problem more. That makes using offset irons for a long time is a bad idea. You may use offset irons to lower your score or boost your confidence. Yet, it is suggested to use both offset irons and irons with least or no offset to understand the difference



Who is offset irons for: Beginners and average golfers mainly



Beginners and high handicapper golfers who score over 105, usually struggle to achieve a higher launch angle or straight shots. Thus, offset iron is a suitable choice for them.

As we have seen in the advantage section of offset irons, it helps to lessen the curve after the shot. That means golfers whose shots curve away from the target can use these irons to fix it.

For the same reason, it isn’t suitable for low handicappers. As they already make a straight shot, offset iron will make the shot go right to left. That will result in a hook and make them miss the target. 

Some low handicappers may use this curve-fixing feature intentionally while making a shot. For this, they need to target from a little more right side, perceiving that it will go toward the left after striking. It is not recommended, though.



How to use offset golf irons? (Step by step)



How to use offset golf irons step 1

Step1: Grab the club with your left hand first. Put the thumb on top, directing toward the shaft. Then put your right hand in the same way. Position your right hand on your left hand’s thumb. Feel free to visit how to hold a golf club for detailed instructions.

Step2: Stand comfortably, keeping your feet slightly apart.


How to use offset golf irons step 2

Step 3: Align the ball relatively in the middle for iron- 8, 9, or wedges. The longer the iron, place a bit toward your left foot.


How to use offset golf irons step 3

Step4 : Don’t turn your iron-head while positioning. Place the iron behind the ball. 


How to use offset golf irons step 4

Step 5: Now swing and strike the ball. Feel free to visit how to swing a golf club for more details.



Frequently Asked Questions



Do pros use offset irons?

Pros usually don’t use offset iron to maintain the direction of the shots. They already make a straight shot, so using an offset iron may cause a draw or hook for them. That’s why they usually use irons with no offset or with the least amount of offset.

However, pro golfers may intentionally use iron offset to make curved shots. They just need to target from a bit right for the shot to nullify the offset effect.


What is progressive offset in irons?


progressive offset in golf iron
Source: Southampton Golf Club

In a progressive offset iron set, the distance between the clubface and the front of the hosel gradually decreases with the decrease of the length of irons. That means iron-2 will have a lesser offset than iron-1. In the same way, in iron-3, 4, 5, it will decrease progressively. 



Conclusion



We can not say whether you should use an offset iron or not. This depends completely on you. What we can do is to help you understand it. Let you know the pros and cons so that you can decide on your own according to your preferences. That’s what we have done in this article. Now it’s on you to decide whether you want to use it or not.

Let us know your opinion in the comments section. Also, feel free to comment on your confusions. It would be our pleasure to help you.

Happy golfing!

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