Moment of Inertia Explained!
If you have ever bought new golf clubs you have probably heard the term “MOI” used as a feature that seems to indicate the quality and forgiveness of the clubs.
But what is MOI?
Well, this is exactly what we are going to be going over here!
What this term means is “moment of inertia” and if you remember that word for high school physics class then you probably know that inertia is basically defined as an object wanting to stay at its current velocity as long as it isn’t acted upon by an outside force.
Otherwise as explained as “an object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest.”
However, when applied to moment of intertia in the world of golf it means something slightly different.
In golf, the moment of inertia basically represents a golf clubs resistance to twisting on impact with the golf ball.
The benefit here is that it ultimately gives you, the golfer, more forgiveness and distance as a result of it not being so reactive to slight mishits on the face.
Ultimately, a higher MOI makes it feel like the club has a larger sweet spot and like you can it more consistently.
The way it does this is that by being resistant to twisting (we’ll get into how they make clubs resistant to twisting in a second).
When you make a slight mishit with the club, the face is less likely to twist allowing you to hit the ball in the right direction and not lose distance due to the clubs’ face opening or closing from off-center impact.
The way that manufacturers are able to do this is by keeping the weight either back and low in the club OR adding weight to the heel and toe as opposed to the center of the club.
Typically iron manufacturers try to get as much weight as possible into the heel and toe of the club as the heads of irons are typically thinner and they have less room to push the weight back.
With putters, they want to get the weight low, back and on the heel and toe of the clubs due to the shape of the putter’s design allowing for these modifications. One of the most common examples of this that is really popular right now is the Spyder Putter.
For drivers, the goal is to get the weight as low and back as possible to increase ball flight, distance and increase the perceived size of the sweet spot.
Additionally, manufacturers don’t have to worry as much about perimeter weighting with drivers becasue the current round design isn’t as conducive to this weighting.
However, there have been some drivers recently that have movable weights that allow the weight of the club to move to try and counteract either a draw or a slice.
Overall, a higher MOI is clubs are more beneficial for the beginner to the intermediate golfer who just wants to be able to hit straighter, farther and have more consistently.
For those that are more advanced and want to be able to shape their shots, then having clubs with a lower MOI may actually be more beneficial.
It all depends on your goals in regard to which you choose, but overall, this is a very important component to understand to be able to make an educated decision on what clubs you need for your golf game.