Have you ever read a golf magazine and saw the term “MOI” and had no clue what it meant? Or how it applies to your improving golf game?
If so, we got you covered.
At the Left Rough, we want to give you as much information as possible to help you understand this game we all love but also make it easier. While having the right equipment will help, it’s also important to learn how energy, speed, and new technology can help you shoot lower scores.
When you start to understand how clubs are affected by MOI, it’s easy to pick the right equipment. Believe it or not, but this plays a pivotal role with all golf clubs in the bag. By the end of this post, you will know exactly what type of equipment you should play to improve ball speed and play better every single round.
MOI Golf Clubs 101
So what does MOI stand for and what is MOI in golf?
MOI stands for moment of inertia.
It is measured in grams per centimeter squared and calculates how much resistance to twisting golf clubs have during the swing. High MOI means more resistance, which means a more forgiving club (this is why you want higher MOI clubs).
As you know, forgiveness is key to having more fun and shooting lower scores. Luckily, club designers understand this and are constantly making better clubs by changing the perimeter weighting and improving total ball speed.
Ultimately, this means your off center hits are still very playable and your shot dispersion is much tighter than a club with low MOI. In general, a high MOI is a great thing for golfers.
Here’s how it factors into each golf club in your bag.
MOI in Driver and Fairway Woods
Moment of inertia plays a huge role in your ability to hit consistent tee shots down the fairway. In the old days of persimmon woods, there was extremely low MOI which made woods much less forgiving. But in today’s endless array of golf drivers and fairway woods, there are tons of options to utilize higher MOI.
This will help the club square up at impact without a perfect swing. The weight is usually put toward the back of the club (farthest from the face) to reduce twisting. TaylorMade golf even unveiled “Twist Face” technology to help golfers create more topspin and a higher launch.
The goal of MOI in woods to minimize twisting at impact so you can square the club head and get your ball into more fairways. Since your swing speed is highest and the clubs are longer than the irons or wedges, moment of inertia plays a huge role with your driver and fairway woods.
MOI in Irons and Wedges
Irons have come a long way in the past 20-30 years and MOI has played a pivotal role in their development. In the 70s or 80s, most irons were a blade like model and extremely unforgiving.
If you hit a bad iron shot, your miss was huge! And if you were playing winter golf in the cold, your hands were left stinging until the next one.
But in today’s world, there are all kinds of forgiving irons with high MOI that cater to beginner players. Think of it like this, the higher MOI, the straighter and farther your mishits go.
For irons, this should mean more shots that end up on or around the green instead of drastic misses that lead to difficult up and downs. There is a caveat though – the higher the MOI means less workability.
The chunkier, larger cavity back or hybrid set of clubs are meant for golfers to increase consistency, not shape shots. If you keep improving, you’ll likely find the need to upgrade irons if you want to hit more draws, fades, and control the spin.
For beginners and intermediate golfers though, these larger irons are a savior! The same goes with wedges although moment of inertia isn’t as big of a deal for the everyday player. The more “blade” style a wedge, the less forgiving but more workability.
MOI in Putters
Believe it or not, the MOI putter meaning can also have a big impact on putting as well. Even though you’re only hitting a ball on or around the green, you want forgiveness on your mishits.
Think about it, for most golfers, a majority of shots happen on or around the green. Even scratch golfers have 30-40% (or more) of all shots happen around the green. This is why it’s crucial to have a club that can help you get the ball closer to the hole.
Until the past five years or so, there were only two types of putters: the blade and the mallet. The blade is the original putter design and favors an in to out “arc” putting method. While the mallet came around in the 1980s and favors the straight back, straight through putting method.
In general, mallets are a little more forgiving as well with their larger size. With blades, a mishit putt can end up terribly short or offline. But with a mallet, you can get away with a “stub” or a less than perfect putt.
Now, mallets aren’t the most forgiving – there are now “High MOI” putters that can seemingly improve your game overnight. Probably one of the most popular examples of this is the TaylorMade Spider series. They’ve dominated the market and had dozens of spin-offs since they were unveiled.
These high MOI putters allow your mishit to still get a lot closer to the hole. This means shorter putts to save par or bogey instead of worrying about 4-6 foot knee knockers all day. There’s no shame in playing these either, some of the best golfers in the world are playing high MOI putters!
Make golf as easy as possible by ensuring your putter has some forgiveness to shave strokes off your scorecard.
Golf Club MOI FAQs
Do you have more questions about MOI?
Check out our answers to help you learn more about how this impacts all aspects of your game – from your golf ball to every club in the bag.
What does MOI putter mean?
Putting is a huge part of the game and can help you lower your handicap without spending thousands on expensive lessons. One way to improve your putting is to have the right putter for your style of play.
In terms of MOI, the more it has, the better your mishits will be which should translate into fewer shots on or around the green. Remember, high MOI putters are more forgiving and make your mishits much more manageable.
This way, extra weight in the toe and heel of the golf club will help your misses get closer to the hole!
How can the moment of inertia of a golf club be decreased?
There is less MOI in shorter clubs as they’re usually lighter. The longer and heavier the club, the more MOI you can count on.
This is why drivers have so much more than shorter clubs like a pitching wedge. Weight, length of each golf club, and more play a role in total speed.
What’s the difference of MOI vs. CG?
CG, also known as COG (center of gravity) plays a role in spin and launch. For example, the more CG you have in the back of your driver, the higher launch you’ll get.
If you’re someone who suffers from too much spin (and reduced distance), adding more weight (via lead tape or weights) can help you shift the CG and improve performance.
Hopefully, you can see how moment of inertia can play a huge role in all parts of your game. Here’s an easy rule to keep in mind: the higher the MOI, the more forgiving.
In a world where courses are over 7,000 yards with tricky greens, having a more forgiving club is never a bad thing… especially for beginners! As a beginner golfer, more forgiving makes the game much more enjoyable.
This is true whether you’re hitting bombs with your driver, searching for the right set of irons or looking for a new putter. But remember, there is a trade off between higher moment of inertia and results.
Yes, higher MOI will lead to better mishits from tee to green but it also means less ability to work the golf ball. The lower your handicap, the more you’ll want to test out different equipment with lower MOI to improve your shot making skills.
Do you think your clubs match your game or are they not forgiving enough? Or, do you think it’s time to upgrade your clubs to your new game?