Fully Equipped mailbag: Gear tips to fix an overactive club face

There's a number of ways to slow down an overactive face.

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Welcome to another edition of the Fully Equipped mailbag, sponsored by Cleveland/Srixon Golf, an interactive GOLF.com series in which we field your hard-hitting gear questions.

During a recent club fitting, I was told that I have an “overactive club face.” Or at least that’s what the fitter told me. When I miss, I usually smother the ball, leading to a heavy hook or snap hook with my irons. Any suggestions on how to help fix this problem with gear? — Jordan Henney

My guess is setup plays a big role in how you deliver the head, but you’re coming to me for gear advice, so I’ll offer up a few suggestions that could help get you there.

You’re dealing with overrotation, so the goal is to slow down the club face as much as possible. Lead tape is the obvious suggestion. Positioning several strips of lead tape in the back cavity, nearest the toe, is one to slow down the face at impact.

Start with a few strips and keep adding until you notice a difference in direction on shots that would usually hook off the planet. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to fix a penalizing miss and might allow you to forego setup adjustments.

Some irons on the market feature a weight port in the toe. Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Some golfers don’t mind adding a slab of lead tape to each club, but I also understand looks are important, too. The alternative to lead tape is tracking down an iron with adjustable toe weights. In recent years, some manufacturers have added toe and tip weights in an attempt to improve perimeter weighting.

If you can find a fitter with connections, see if they have access to heavier toe weights. (Yes, they’re most definitely a thing.) More mass in the toe should produce the same effect as lead tape — without the cosmetic change.

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Cleveland Launcher XL irons

Getting out on the course and enjoying the heck outta your round is what golf should be all about. Cleveland made these iron sets easy to use, so you can spend more time in the moment and less of it looking up the definition of Moment of Inertia.

Something to consider if you do decide to add lead tape or a heavier weight? Shifting mass can affect shaft delivery and dynamics, so do some testing with a launch monitor — and preferably a fitter — to confirm your current gamer iron shaft is still the best option.

And if lead tape or a heavier toe weight don’t do the trick, it might be time to get an instructor involved. But if you want to start with gear instead of instruction, lead tape is a good starting point.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.


Jonathan Wall

Golf.com Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour.