TaylorMade Gear

What is MOI?

In golf, the simplest explanation is MOI = Forgiveness. The higher the number, the more forgiving the club and, in theory, the easier it is to hit. But let’s dive a little deeper to understand the science behind this essential measure of golf club design.

Defining “Moment of Inertia”?

For the physicists in the crowd, the moment of inertia is the measure of an objects resistance to change while in motion. There’s a crazy formula that goes along with it that accounts for axis, mass distribution and rotation. Since you’re here because you’re a golfer, and not a physicist, we’ll simplify it into a terms that make more sense in your world.

It boils down to a clubhead's resistance to twisting when it impacts the golf ball on off-center strikes. A clubhead with a high MOI will resist twisting more than a clubhead with a low MOI. The less the clubhead twists at impact, the more energy it can transfer to the golf ball, the better the strike and the better the result.

While the concept sounds simple enough, achieving it is a whole other ball game.

MOI & Golf Club Design

Because off-center strikes are a common for golfers at every level, we turn to MOI to mitigate their impact. And TaylorMade’s golf club engineers are MOI wizards. They can tweak the weight distribution, head size and more to optimize MOI for each type of club and achieve the desired outcome of launch, spin and distance on mis-hits.

High MOI means the weight is strategically packed into the clubhead, away from the hosel. This clever weight distribution helps the clubface stay put at impact, even when you don’t deliver the perfect strike and hit the ball out of the sweet spot. As a result, the clubhead is less likely to twist or turn on off-center hits, making it easier to maintain control over the shot.

TM24 MWD Qi10 Driver MAX Lightspeed 3 Q OSN v1

Another way of explaining it: The clubhead is moving really fast while you’re swing it and the ball is stationary. If the impact location is towards the toe when the collision between ball and club occurs, naturally the clubface will want to twist open. If the impact occurs on the heel, the clubface will want to twist closed. In low MOI club designs, this can lead to all kinds of bad results. With high MOI heads, the phenomena is minimized and the golfer is able to achieve more consistent performance on mis-hits.

The Sweet Spot and Ball Speed

The sweet spot is the ideal spot on the clubface for maximum ball speed and distance. MOI can affect the size and location of the sweet spot. A clubhead with a higher MOI will have a larger sweet spot, which means we're more likely to hit the ball with maximum ball speed and achieve greater distance. On the other hand, a clubhead with a lower MOI will have a smaller sweet spot, which means we're more likely to lose ball speed and distance on off-center hits.

TM24 MWD Qi10 Driver The Farms OSN00648 v1

Ball Flight & Dispersion

MOI also affects ball flight and dispersion. A clubhead with a higher MOI will produce a more consistent ball flight and tighter dispersion. This is because the clubhead is less likely to twist or turn on off-center hits, resulting in a more stable and predictable shot. On the other hand, a clubhead with a lower MOI can produce a more erratic ball flight and wider dispersion, making it harder to control where the ball goes.

TM24 MWD Qi10 Driver The Farms BMW05787 v1

MOI Across the Board

Golf clubs are not typically labeled with an MOI number in the same way they are labeled with loft angles or shaft flex. However, with each club type (driver, fairway, irons, putter), there are a number of variables that can influence MOI.

MOI in Drivers

When it comes to drivers, MOI is a critical factor as we’ve already discussed. High MOI drivers can lead to less twisting on off-center hits, which is vital for maintaining ball speed and direction on tee shots. Our team of engineers often push the limits of MOI within USGA regulations, utilizing advanced materials and clubhead designs, including perimeter weighting and strategic placement of the center of gravity to maximize MOI, making them forgiving for high and low handicappers alike.

MOI in Putters

The putter is perhaps the most precision-oriented club in a golfer's bag, and MOI plays a significant role. A putter with a higher MOI will resist twisting on off-center hits, which can make a huge difference in direction on the greens and consistent pace.

MOI in Iron Sets

Iron sets benefit from MOI in terms of improved control over and consistent ball flight. A higher MOI iron helps reduce the penalty from mis-hits, and club manufacturers employ various golf equipment technologies such as cavity backing and perimeter weighting to increase the MOI. Irons with a higher MOI can be particularly useful for mid to high handicappers who require additional forgiveness from their golf club. Conversely, irons with a lower MOI may offer better shot-shaping capabilities favored by players with higher swing speeds and great ball striking precision.

TM24 IRN Qi HL Irons LFS JPO 01714 V1

MOI in Wedges

Wedges typically have a lower MOI compared to other clubs, as they are designed for shot-making ability around the greens rather than outright forgiveness. However, the concept of MOI still applies. For instance, some wedges will use design elements such as larger clubfaces or specific types of groove patterns to help minimize the loss of spin on off-center hits, which can help when making full swings from the fairway or rough.

MOI in Fairway Woods

A fairway wood with a higher MOI provides a stable clubface at impact, especially on off-center hits, which is a common occurrence for golfers of all skill levels when dealing with the challenges of properly striking a fairway wood. The added forgiveness from a high MOI club helps maintain ball speed and reduces dispersion, which can be the difference between finding the green on a long par 5 or finding the fairway on a narrow par 4.

TM24 MWF Qi10 Fairway Max The Kingdom SOL OSN 5646 v1

Got It?

MOI is a term that gets thrown around a lot in golf, and while it may be common vernacular for the high-IQ engineering geniuses in our R&D department, it’s a concept you might not be all that familiar with. Until now. It’s our hope that this article gets you one step closer to understanding MOI and the extremely beneficial applications it offers to your golf game. If you’re ever looking for the short and dirty, MOI = Forgiveness. The bigger the number, the more forgiving the club.

The Latest
  • TM24 MWD Qi10 Family SOL LYD OSN 4490 v1
    Driver Comparison | Qi10 Max vs Qi10 vs Qi10 LS
    January 9, 2024
  • TM24 CWD TC301 Qi10 MAX Lightspeed 3 Q OSN v1
    Show Your Work | The Math Behind 10K
    January 8, 2024
  • TM23 SOC Christmas Card Twitter 1600x900 V1
    Team TaylorMade 2023 Christmas Card
    December 19, 2023
  • 2 1
    Rory McIlroy BEHIND THE SCENES At The TaylorMade Photoshoot
    December 17, 2023
  • Thumb final
    How to do Mac Boucher's Club Flip Tutorial
    December 13, 2023
  • Final thumbnail
    How Scottie Scheffler Hits A Down Hill Chip Shot
    December 4, 2023
  • Getty Images 1827265735
    Scheffler Wins Tiger's Hero World Challenge
    December 3, 2023
  • 654039
    Rory McIlroy Secures Fifth Race to Dubai Title
    November 19, 2023
  • PH 2
    Kathryn Newton Plays A Par 5 With Brooke Henderson
    November 17, 2023
  • Final
    FLOP WALL Challenge With Wrexham A.F.C.
    November 3, 2023
  • Screen Shot 2023 10 31 at 12 24 36 PM
    Speedway to the Fairway | Max Verstappen and Checo Perez vs. Michael Block
    October 31, 2023
  • Getty Images 1749388205
    Morikawa Shines at ZOZO Championship
    October 22, 2023
  • Bocce Thumbnail
    Rickie Fowler And Tommy Fleetwood Play BOCCE
    October 16, 2023
  • Thumb1
    Hockey Challenge with Brooke Henderson
    October 10, 2023
  • TM23 Wrexham Event BMW08710
    Wrexham A.F.C Comes To The Kingdom At Carlsbad
    October 4, 2023