Ralph, what are your thoughts on the new square shaped Calloway and Nike drivers? Does the design promote more square delivery at impact? Also, I’ve been using a small mallet face balanced putter you developed a few years ago with a polymer insert and bended shaft. I’m thinking of going with a larger headed mallet, but I definitely want to stick with a face balanced model. I hold my putter very lightly, have an extra long shaft so I’m standing with just a slight bend at the waist, and then use shoulder movement to swing the putter in a pendulum motion. I find the face balanced putter works well with this approach.
There is nothing wrong with the square shaped drivers other than the clunky looks (my opinion regarding the looks). They all play very well if designed by the major golf club manufacturers. However, if you are looking to improve your driving distance and/or direction by changing from say a 460cc round shape (conventional) to the 460cc square shape; you’re wasting your time. If you’re the type of golfer that gets a big mental uplift to play better from trying something different, the latest to hit the market or because of all the hype that surrounds it, then I would give a square driver a try and probably play with it. However, realize that there are no proven advantages that relate to improving your game from switching to square from conventional. Of course, if the square driver has a shaft and other specifications that fits your swing better (launch angle and spin rate of the ball), then it will definitely play better for you and I see no reason not to go this way. You see, it’s all about fitting in this case and in actuality, in most cases. I really get a kick out of the word of mouth that has spread about the square shaped drivers being able to square the club face better than conventional, round shaped drivers. This comes from the manufacturer’s marketing output, but even more than that it comes from the many golfers who translate it into fact from the things they hear from other golfers or from the media (magazines and TV). Jim, regarding the putter question; if you are going to stick with GolfWorks models, then try either the model 01, 08 or 09 in the high moment of inertia series (page 47, current catalog). From what you are playing now, I would guess that the model 09 would be great for you. I am partial to the model 08, but this is strictly my opinion. Both are end shafted and face balanced. If you want to try an Odyssey putter, try the three ball. How about visiting a golf specialty store or the pro shop where you play and spending some time on the putting green giving a number of different models a try? Demoing is definitely the best way to buy a
putter. Also, be sure to get it fit to you. This is very important.
If you have a driver with a 1 degree closed face and an 11.5 degree loft and at address one squares the face to the line to the target... doesn’t that actually increase the loft of the club? And if one wanted to increase his distance would it work to say drop froma 11.5 degree and go to a 9.5 degree with a 1 degree closed face? This assumes of course the swing is the same and the 11.5 degree hits the ball too high.
You are correct. To find out the actual (real) loft of your driver you always need to add hook degrees to the measured loft degrees and you subtract open or slice face angles from the measured loft degrees. These rules only apply to drivers and fairway metals because they are measured differently for loft angle than irons. Basically, iron loft is measured as the angle from the face plane to the centerline of the hosel or shaft. Drivers and fairway metals lofts are measured as the angle from the sole plane to the face plane. Since this measurement does not take into account the centerline of the hosel or shaft, any hook or slice needs to be calculated to get the actual loft that would compare to an iron’s loft. Confusing isn’t it? Using your assumptions from your comment to me about changing to a 9.5 degree driver with a 1 degree hooked face from an 11.5 degree driver with a 1 degree hooked face; you will launch the ball approximately 2 degrees lower in trajectory. And, if in fact you hit it too high with the 11.5 degree driver, you will now gain additional distance. I am asking myself why I wrote all this to you when you had it figured correctly all along.
I have a Titleist 983K driver which needs to be replaced eventually but I want to experiment with lead tape to correct an almost permanent fade.My question is:Where do I put the tape, near the hosel or out on the end?
This is not the way to correct a fade. Modern day advertising has created the myth that you can miraculously alter ball flight by moving a couple screws around and shift or add weight. The amount of weight would be much greater than you think to have any effect that you would see. OK, on to your problem. First, simply adding weight to increase swingweight will change the playability of your driver wherever you put the weight. It will cause the shaft to flex more changing ball flight somewhat (try adding it in the middle and low and see what happens, it may help). The two best ways to reduce a slice tendency in a driver (without changing your swing) is to either close the face angle or try a more tip weak (soft tip) shaft. The only easy way to close the face angle on a graphite shafted driver is to replace the head or get another driver. This is the best way to help your problem. A weaker tip shaft can also help some or changing to a softer overall flex shaft if the current shaft is too stiff for your swing speed.
I currently am hitting a TaylorMade R580 9.5 stiff and firm tip. I average 230 drives.My flex code is 4. I really like my current driver but am trying to get more distance without losing control. Currently my drives are very straight. I am thinking of making a new driver w/the CT250MAX-M10.5 or the CER 851ZO 10.Would a reg. flex with a low torque with me dium tip still keep me straight but add yards? I am looking at the DistanceMaster UL.
I am at a disadvantage here in answering because I really need to see you swing on a range or launch monitor. So, with that said, let me make a few assumptions and then suggest some things to possibly try. Basically there are only two things that will increase your distance regarding a driver. First is increased club head speed and second is a higher ball launch coupled with a high launch, low spin rate ball. Let’s assume your driver is 45" and it’s a 9.5 degree loft as you said. I am also going to assume that you hit the ball on a so-called normal trajectory (not too high or too low). Regarding optimum trajectory with today’s drivers and different ball design flight characteristics, longer carries are a result of a higher than normal trajectory which was not the case a number of years ago. To gain more driver distance you need to experiment with driver club length, driver loft and balls. Regarding length, go longer until you can’t hit it in the fairway with consistency (start with 451/2"). Increase your driver loft to 10.5 degrees. Stick with a stiff shaft but pick one that is more tip weak than the R580. Try the Distance Master Low Torque or theMPF Series Wood Shafts. The difference is that theMPF shaft is much lighter and I think better for you. Try a Titleist Pro-V1 ball.
I went to a launch monitor fitting and my numbers made me want to reshaft my driver. Driver: R7 425 10.5 V2 Stiff 65g average SS: 111mph Launch angle: 15 average Ball Speed: 148mph, Back spin: 3800, average Carry: 240 I was making pretty good contact with the driver so I’m not sure what leading to the low ball speed compared to my SS. would I benefit fromand X stiff V2??? I feel like I’m losing yardage because of all the numbers compared to my SS.
At first glance and without seeing you swing, you probably are losing ball speed to a slightly high launch angle. Your swing speed is too high to use a stiffer tip “S” shaft to bring it down enough. Yes, I would recommend trying an “X” flex. The easiest way to find out if the “X” will do the trick is to demo two exactly the same drivers each with an “S” shaft and “X” shaft. It doesn’t matter that they may not have the correct shaft for you as you are simply doing a comparison to see if the “X” increases the ball speed in relation to the swing speed when comparing the two. Also, the trajectory should come down a degree or so. Hopefully, you are using a good launch monitor that is calibrated and checked daily for accuracy. Most launch monitor club fitters do this.
How far do you think that the current PGA ‘s players are fromthe limits of the Golf, considering that the equipment will continue in evolution and must have some influence on their game. I amfar away fromthe PGA’s players handicap but in the other hand I really enjoy watching the pro’s playing as they are doing it now and this motivate me a lot to improvemy game every week end.
We are very close to the limits because of two factors: First, most equipment experts agree that there is very little left for real technology to advance golf club design. Yes, we can still reduce lofts and make club lengths ridiculously long to hit the ball farther, which some manufacturers love to do. Secondly, the USGA now has enough limits in place (clubs and balls) to maintain playability close to where it is now. Yes, some of the manufacturers can squeak in a little more technology and press the limits, but with the USGA now actually checking clubs in the field, they will need to back off some.
The new 2007 Drivers publicity mention about HighMOI like 5800 or higher. Is there a real playability difference with a Driver with such high MOI.When does the MOI starts to makes a difference? As far as I understand if we make a chart of MOI vs. Playability this should be asymptotic, there is some point when there not big difference.
The biggest differences in MOI occurred up to and around the 4000 mark. After this the benefit to golfers is marginal but it is still an improvement. The highest MOI on the market currently is the Nike Sumo SQ2 square driver at around 5200 grams per centimeter squared. TaylorMade claims a higher “effective” MOI but this is strictly an advertising claim regarding how they calculated their so-called “effective” MOI. So, all this to tell you that you are correct in your assumption. By the way the USGA limit onMOI is 5900 plus a tolerance of 100 making the absolute highest legalMOI 6000 grams per centimeter squared. In my opinion it will be very hard for any manufacturer to get higher than 5400. Time will tell, but again the benefits will be very marginal.MOI is the current hot buzzword now so everybody is trying to out do each other.
So what drivers have the highest MOI (moment of inertia)?
All the newest 450 to 460cc drivers are very high. There is very little difference in playability with anything over 4000 to 4500 grams per centimeter squared. If you must know the absolute highest we have recorded to date, it is the Nike Sumo Squared 2 (the square one) at close to 5200.
Is there a point withMOI where it gets so high that it is hard to square up the clubface?Me personally I have tried othermore forgiving clubs and they just look so big that I have a time trying to square themup. What do you think?
It is far more of a swing thing in squaring up the face than it is MOI. The advertising and myths that circulate would have you believe the high MOI’s and the farther out horizontal center of gravity location from the hosel can cause this problem completely on their own. It is true that these factors can make the clubhead more stable and reduce clubhead rotation, but it is so minor compared to everything that the golfer does and how the club itself is made. If a golfer has problems squaring the face (particularly on a driver), I immediately go to the shaft to see if it is the correct one. I then look at the face angle of the driver to see if it is open, square or closed. I next check the length of the club. Next is the grip size correct? The greatest benefit to high MOI drivers is their ability to hit the ball greater distances and with better directional control on off-center hits. You cannot have too much MOI.
I’m still not comfortable with a driver head bigger than 400cc. Is there a substantial difference between that and a 460cc head’sMOI? Howmuch harder amImaking the game by not switching? Is there some way you could put that into accuracy statistics? Thanks!
The main advantage of the 460cc head size is its ability to be more forgiving on off-center and slightly off-center hits. Since it is the longest club in the bag, most golfers tend to have a harder time hitting a driver in the best spot every time. If impact decals show that you are very consistent with center face hits then you will only get marginal improvement. This may not apply to you personally, but one of the things I really like about the bigger heads is the fact that they make the club’s overall length appear shorter. This is particularly good for seniors who have lost driving distance because they can make the driver length longer to get back some if not all of the lost distance and not get the feeling that the club is unwieldy long. Of course, if you seriously lose directional control, the added length is too much. Brian, I cannot put any statistics to accuracy, but I do think you will hit the larger driver head longer and straighter. Again, how much, I do not know because we are all different.
Ralph,my swing speed with driver is in the low 90’s. I want to build a KE4 driver. I purchased the newer KE4 Beta 10 deg. Head and KE4 60F shaft.My local GolfWorks store had the older KE4 assembled, and I could out drive most top name brands with it.What will be themajor differences between the beta and regular KE4 drivers, using the same shaft, swing weight and length? The driver I hit was 10.5 deg.
The KE4 Beta driver is a 4 piece forged head and the KE4 driver is a cast head. The KE4 Beta is 460cc’s and the KE4 is 450cc’s. Everything else is basically the same. The difference in price is solely based on the fact that cast heads cost more to make. There has always been the debate on which is best, cast or forged titanium in drivers. The truth is it makes no difference in playability. If there are differences in the head only, it would be design variables or manufacturing quality variables. There are casting houses that are better than others and there are forging houses that are better than others. So, picking the top grade head manufacturer is as important as the driver head design itself. Both the KE4 Beta and the KE4 driver are made at the highest quality factories which also produce some of the major OEM’s heads right along side our production. I personally qualify the original samples of allMaltby clubs and I am also involved in all the testing. None of our testers (including myself) and the data collected showed no or very minor differences in these two heads when each was set up with the exact same specifications. There is a slightly different sound from each driver which everyone picked up on, but it is not tinny and still pleasant. So, you are fine with the KE4 Beta model and I would not worry about the 1/2 degree difference in loft angle as this is quite minor.
Do the principles in the above article hold true for woods (driver) as well as irons? Specifically “ The fact that heel bias weighting actuallymakes it easier for the golfer to rotate the clubhead during the swing tells us only one thing; we now have an increased chance to hit the ballmore directionally off-line, either right or left, because the clubhead is less stable through the impact zone”. . . and “The farther out the center of gravity is moved fromthe hosel (increased “C” Dimension), themore stable the clubhead is coming into impact. This means that it is harder to rotate the clubhead. This alsomeans that it is easier to come into impact withmore consistency regarding clubhead face angle.”??
Correct.Most all the manufacturers have worked hard to make the new drivers as stable as possible which obviously results in straighter hits more consistently. This is also why they are chasing higher moments of inertia which also are a stabilization factor on slightly to way off-center hits. About 10 years back the original and later model Titleist J drivers were some of the first to move the “C” dimension out from the hosel. These, as you probably are aware, were very successful for Titleist because they were easy to hit and straight hitting even though they were only around 350cc in size. The weight shifting thing in drivers is pretty much a marketing dream. The little screws are so light that they make very little difference. The good part of the screws is that a number of them combined in the rear of the driver head move the cg more rearward and this is good. The golfers out there that change around screws constantly to alter their driver shot pattern are only altering it in their own mind.
My 13 yrs old daughter’s current driver is a Logic Lady 12 deg with a PROFORCE LADIES GRAPHITEWOOD SHAFT. She hits the ball 200+ yards.Will the L Tech 13 deg with the same shaft be OK or does she need another shaft on a bigger head?
The same shaft will be OK. The larger L Tech Driver head is the same weight as the Logic Lady Driver head so it will not affect the shaft flexing which could occur from a change in weight. She should hit the L Tech farther due to a higher COR or spring face effect. She should also have better control due to a much higher moment of inertia on the L Tech. Be sure to have her experiment with a few different golf balls to see which one will launch on the best trajectory and give her the maximum distance. In a year or two, if she increases her distance (carry) with a driver to around 210 to 220 she will probably need to move up to a regular (R) flex shaft. Be sure to get her to hit into a launch monitor or a simulator to check her clubhead speed. This is the best way to determine shaft flex for anyone. Finally, keep her interested in golf, sounds like she could become a very good player.
This site is very interesting and informative. You have talked about how these “draw bias” drivers, in other words weight placed in the heel of the driver, has little effect on if the club head will close square at impact with the ball. And, you have stated that a closed face drive will havemore of an effect on the shape of the shot (correcting a fade or slice).My question is this: if you have a closed face driver and you square it up to the target line, doesn’t that in fact change the weight distribution (and the loaf) in the head (because of the design of that head) and therefore create a weight bias?
You are correct, but the weight distribution changing is very minor and would be very difficult to measure. The loft is the big change here, and I am sure you know that as an example, a 1 degree closed face driver will increase in loft by 1 degree when and if the golfer squares it to the target.
I’ve had a basic understanding of what MOI is but recently a golfing buddy asked why the square clubheads in drivers havemoreMOI than themore round ones. I couldn’t answer that one.
Picture an overlay drawing from the top view of both the Nike SQ Sumo round 460cc driver and the SQ Sumo2 square 460cc driver. If you looked down at the drawing (overlay) you would see the square rear corners of the square driver protruding farther out than the round driver in this area. This added protrusion of the rear corners distributes more weight to the rear and more weight to the outside of the head. The designers also add more weight in this area inside the head to accentuate the weight shift The farther out from the heads center of gravity that you distribute the weight the higher the moment of inertia.
Is there a point when theMOI of a driver is so high that it is hard to square up or turn the club over? I tried one of those square headed drivers the other day (just curious) and I just couldn’t hit it good. I’ll stick with my CT-250FC for now.
No, the moment of inertia (MOI) can’t be too high. Regarding some of the square headed drivers, an urban myth has slowly gained momentum regarding the fact that you can only hit them straight and they are also very hard to work. This is absolutely not true. If it was, the tour players would take the highMOI drivers out of their bags. The pros are constantly working the ball with draws and fades at will depending on the shot required. Remember, working the ball right to left or left to right is simply a matter of controlling the driver head’s face angle and path at impact. Anyone can take the new drivers and snap hook them or power slice them if desired. The whole point of highMOI is to help hit the ball straighter on off-center hits and it works great at this..MOI does very little to help anyone on center hits. Also, keep this in mind: your CT-250 driver has around 4650 MOI. The highestMOI on any driver currently is around 5200. This may seem like a big difference but in fact it is very minor. The huge differences in MOI took place in getting up to around 4000 (some engineers say 3000), after this every increase in MOI is slightly marginal but is an improvement. Finally, a huge factor in trying out these new drivers which can significantly influence your hitting experience is the shaft in them. If the shaft is not right for you in any driver (or any golf club) you demo; you will probably not like the driver even though the head is a very good design.
What’s your professional opinion of triangular shaped driver heads?
For the most part, shapes are mostly marketing. The U.S.G.A. has so many restrictions on driver design that the manufacturers needed some place to go to keep interest in high priced drivers. Most of the shapes have been tested extensively and they do work (as well as a normal more conventional shape). If a shaped (triangular in your case) driver works for you when you demo it; then use it, but do not expect any more of a miracle than you would get from another well designed normal shaped modern technology driver.
Ok Ralph, you said the Toski T-55 long irons and short irons have the same MPF rating correct? Then why use a cavity back in the long irons?Why use harder steel in the long irons?What benefit do you get from harder steel in the long irons and softer steel in the short irons? Does harder steel give you more distance and softer steel better feel? How will the cavity back long irons play and feel compared the muscle back short irons?What differences will I notice?
The material an iron is made out of makes virtually no difference in its playability. It’s a marketing thing mostly and/or to be competitive in the marketplace. Even the finest players in the world cannot tell the difference if they are hitting different hardness materials in the exact same iron design. If the iron is designed and made correctly, it doesn’t matter if it is cast or forged or form forged regarding feel or playability. When you design hollow irons, this is not true because sometimes it takes special steels to keep the thinner higher COR faces from collapsing and/or to maximize COR (coefficient of restitution). There are also other special reasons for changing materials in irons but again these are mostly done to aid in the manufacture of the head itself. The T-55 iron set will play the same through the transition of the cavity back 6 iron to the muscle back 7 iron.When this set was designed a number of years back, there was a trend toward sets having cavities and muscles combined. One of the biggest sellers I did at the time was the Tommy Armour combo set of 845C (cavity) and 845M(muscle) clubs in the set. The “C”s and the “M”s were also of different materials.
I’ve been learning and implementing the fundamentals of the game for the last couple years, and have been slowly improving my scores (close to breaking 90 now), but I’m unsure whether I should get amore compatible set of clubs or if the ones I have now are compatible already. Right now I have a set of TM“Super Steel Burners” which are a bit older in design (purchased second hand in 2004) but still in decent shape. Also, coincidentally, I’m left handed.My shaftMPF is 4B2M, but I wonder if this will change as I continue improving my game? If I need new clubs, when should I buy them? Basically, where to next? Any direction is much appreciated.
The TaylorMade SuperSteel irons are a very good design. They are 751 points on the Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) scale and fall into the Super Game Improvement category. No need to change them if you like the way they play. The only big difference you would notice would be to move up to a 1000 point iron head or higher (Ultra Game Improvement). Since you are really working on improving your game, I would personally stick with the SuperSteel Burners for now. If you continue to improve, the correct shaft for you will most likely change. However, from where you are currently playing I would not worry about the shaft until you get down to a 15 or 14 handicap or so. Of course, I am assuming the shaft you have now fits you fairly well. At this point, I would work on getting the set make up that will help you the most to get to the next level. You need to consider wedges (read my wedge articles on this website), possibly adding or substituting a hybrid or having the correct fairway metals to fill in all distance gaps. I personally like to start my iron set with a 5 iron so I have more choices on fairway metals or hybrids. A 4 iron is ok if you are a very good iron player. Two more very important things; 1) play with a modern 460cc driver and have the shaft fitted to you. 2) use a higher moment of inertia putter. Hopefully RJ you have a Golf Galaxy store near you where you can hit some demo clubs and discuss your equipment with one of our certified club fitters.
Offset; does it have a big impact on club performance? For example does a few mm of offset really make a difference at impact? I am a 5 handicap player, I play low offset clubs, and I’m trying to decide between the KE 4 and the KE 4 Tour heads. Any suggestions?
The biggest help from increased offset is in the longer hitting clubs (2, 3, 4, 5, and 6). The golfers that get the biggest benefit from this are usually the mid to higher handicaps or more specifically, those players that do not hit down and through the ball, those players that do not impact the ball lower on the club face and centered and those players who simply have a hard time squaring the club face at impact with any consistency. I can’t think of any 5 handicapper that I have ever worked with that needs offset. However, with that said, there are some lower handicap players that really like the look of offset (particularly, progressive offset). So, it’s up to you, but since you are not sure and you are a good player, I would definitely recommend the KE4 Tour.
I have a set of RDM recoils (2002) 5-SW in my bag. They have helped me become much more consistent. I especially like the 5 iron. I have also been fooling around with some Impulse Plus irons, 3 and 5. I have been finding them much harder to hit consistently even though they have a much higherMPF. I think that the Impulses have a considerably stiffer shaft, and I have a swing speed around 70. Can you enlighten me on why I find the Recoils so much easier to hit well?
The Recoils have a sole design to prevent digging. The sole is wider and has bounce. Also, the leading edge is rounded more. This is one of the playability features that will only work well if the clubhead has a very low center of gravity. For most golfers this type sole design and low c.g. make hitting the ball solid more consistent. The higher C.O.R. face is also another factor. SinceMPF is only comprised of certain qualities of center of gravity and moment of inertia, it does not take into account the sole design, the C.O.R., shaft flex, club length, grip size, etc. Some of these are fitting variables which are extremely important in the overall playability.My solid guess on your comparison of the two irons is both the Recoil head design features and the stiffer shaft causing the differences.
On the 1Irongolf (single length club website), they say you rated their clubs as Ultimate Game Improvement. Any comments on the discrepancy?
The Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) rates the playability of the head only.MPF takes into account certain mass and dimensional properties of the head such as center of gravity location and moment of inertia. As I mentioned, the problem with a single length on all clubs will not work but that has nothing to do with MPF.
What are your thoughts on the concept of single length irons where every club is the same length throughout the set? If you were to design such a set, what club length would you recommend for the set....5 iron? 6 iron? 7 iron? I would appreciate your ideas on such a set.
This was done by Tommy Armour in the mid 80’s to late 80’s. It simply does not work and it was a giant failure for them. The idea behind a set of irons is to get incremental distance between each club and make the shorter length clubs more accurate.More accuracy comes from the shorter length short irons and part of the incremental distance is from the difference in the lofts. If you take away part of this (all irons the same length) you decrease the proper incremental distance and you make the short irons less accurate. The only way to get incremental distance is by changing the lofts between each club into greater increments, but the accuracy of shorter length short irons is gone forever and so is the greater distance of the longer irons. So, I guess what I am saying is there is no adequate, acceptable, performance tradeoff to accomplish what you want to do. You would simply be developing a set of golf clubs that are much harder to play than what we have now. Ron, I do like your “out of the box” thinking however.
I was in a golf store and saw a set of the Tommy Armour EQL irons. What do you think of having an entire set of irons with a 7 iron or 6 iron shaft. I know that the swing weight, MOI, Shaft Flex, and Lie Angle would have to match, but what do you think? Keep making those great clubs.
The Tommy Armour EQL was a huge failure in the marketplace because it simply did not work. The purpose of a set of irons is to provide two things; first, provide consistent incremental yardages and two, provide greater accuracy as the golfer gets closer to the hole. The EQL’s failed on both. The one length was very inconsistent in distance control and the one length (longer than current short irons) was far less accurate when hitting to the green.
I have a few sets of irons, and want to build a new set using theMPF principles and high playability (ultra game improvement). I notice, though, that I tend to hit my more traditional irons (old cavity muscle backs and tour cavity models) high, and a set of newer cavity backs low!!! Shafts are the same in all. Is it still safe to build ultra game improvement clubs, or will they balloon terribly?
Look at it this way; the loft angle is far and away the biggest factor in determining trajectory and next comes the shaft. The lower center of gravity on higherMPF irons is a bigger factor in hitting the ball solid more of the time.With that said, lower center of gravity irons can hit the ball higher if the golfer has a much steeper swing path (hitting sharply down and through the ball). This increases backspin and is basically how tour players make wedges stop and back up so easily. Keep in mind that with many of today’s golf ball designs you actually want the ball to fly higher. They are designed to launch higher with less spin resulting in greater distance. So, don’t worry about higher MPF irons launching the ball higher. If you want to lower your current trajectory (if it really is too high) look at a more “tip stiff” shaft. I do not recommend playing with irons that are any stronger than 27 degrees loft based on the 5 iron.
I’m looking into getting a set of the Glider-X Irons. I’m curious as to why you choose theM-series sand wedge over the Glider SW. Do you consider the M-series wedgemore “playable” than the glider wedge? Do you find that one plays better than the other in the bunker? Or around the greens?
The Glider sand wedge works fine, but I cannot mentally play with a wedge that has offset and also a longer blade length. Another example would be the Callaway Fusion Wide Sole irons. I love hitting these irons but could never play with the sand wedge for the same reason as the Glider. So, it’s a personal thing with me and entirely up to you regarding which wedge to play with. The biggest wedge success we have had at the GolfWorks is with the 56 degree Maltby 1.25 UC sole sand wedge (1.62 UC is a close second). This is a great game improvement wedge because of the wider sole but in a conventional blade shape and non offset look. This is why the Glider sand wedge works so well because of its wider sole. The Fusion Wide Sole sand wedge also works well. On a final note; I use the Glider PW and it is one of my favorites because I can not hit it fat giving me great consistency with my approaches.
Ralph, can you explain the difference between theM-grooves that are on your MTF True Forged iron heads versus V and/or U grooves? Can I use a carbide-tipped regrooving tool on the M-grooves?
The “M” grooves are “U” grooves that use our specific groove sidewall angle. The USGA allows “U” grooves by definition to be almost vertical to almost looking like a “V” groove. If you remember back, many of the golf club manufacturers were saying they used a “combination groove”. This was a groove that favored being a “U” groove but had more groove sidewall angle. The reason to do this is to help eliminate the grooves top edge bite from damaging the ball. You can only get so aggressive. Besides sidewall angle, the groove radius is also a big factor in bite. So, the groove radius and the groove sidewall angle along with the groove width and the distance between grooves makes up the full effectiveness of that particular groove configuration. Since we all basically maximize groove width and keep the minimum distance between grooves, it leaves groove wall angle and radius to play around with. The “M” grooves in yourMaltbyMTF irons are machined and have 29 degree side angles with .004” radius to .006" radius on the groove edges (at the face surface). Yes, you can use the carbide tipped regrooving tool, but you will probably make the grooves illegal in width at the top and you will also reduce the radius.
Can you explain the difference between a regular face club and an offset club face? I have always hit a left to right ball but with an offset I hit a straighter ball. I would like to get away from the offset face. Thank you. I am right hand golfer.
Let’s call the regular face iron either no offset or slight offset or basically what the pros play. This means that the leading edge of the club face is lined up or very closely lined up to the farthest front portion of the hosel. When a iron has more offset, the club face leading edge is moved more rearward away from the front portion of the hosel.More offset usually helps golfers to more easily square the club face to the target coming into impact. It also helps the golfer to keep their hands more in front of the ball and promotes hitting down on the ball vs. a sweeping type swing. The most popular way to go with offset is to make it progressive. Progressive offset is where the most offset is on the longest iron and the least offset is on the 9 iron. A common progressive offset would be around 5/16" on a 3 iron progressing down to around 1/8" on the 9 iron. There are many other offset variations however. If you do not like offset, but like the results there are some things to try. You will need to demo some different shaft types in no or less offset irons. You may find that a softer shaft tip flex may work for you. You will probably want to pick out your no or less offset irons so they have a very high Maltby Playability Factor (MPF).You may want to take a lesson to see if the golf professional can get you hitting it straighter (applies to any style iron). By the way, the basic principles above apply to drivers, fairway metals and hybrids also.
I recently purchased your MTF irons, as well. They are themost solid iron I have ever played!My question for you is, is it OK to use a carbide tipped regrooving tool on the “M” grooves?
You can use this tool but be warned that the grooves on your irons are machined (not cast) to the maximum specifications allowed by the USGA. The carbide tool will widen the top of the groove as it also sharpens the radius where the groove meets the face. It will not take much to cause what I call “shark gills” to show up in your golf balls paint. So, the question you will ask next is,” will this spin the golf ball more? The answer is yes when any lubricant (water, grass, bugs or whatever) is between the ball and the club face at impact.
Thanks for a great website, and also for taking the time to answer questions! That said, I hope you don’t mind my asking...what is your opinion of the USGA’s new view of U grooves? (They’ve been around forever!) Couldn’t the same thing be said about the bounce on a sand wedge? (Which has also been around forever?)
In my opinion this entire groove thing is a giant waste of time and resources. The U.S.G.A. focuses entirely on what the tour players do but they want to restrict equipment advances for all golfers under the premise that golf courses around the world are being obsoleted. I cannot come up with a single individual at my club that is obsolescing our course (this definitely includes me also). It will never happen. We mortal (normal) golfers cannot and never will be able to hit the ball like the touring professionals. Yes, the tour pros come to my course and shoot some very good scores simply because they can render the blue tees less hostile by driving the ball 300 to 320 yards.With all this said, after the U.S.G.A. goes to all the trouble of changing the groove rules, it will not change the scoring one bit on the PGA Tour. The tour players will not shorten their driving distance, they will simply allow for more of a flyer effect in non dry conditions (water, grass, etc.) and will adapt at controlling distance better than the rest of us because they are extremely skilled and it’s their job every single day. If you remember, this whole groove thing was started when people made comments such as, “today, tour players simply hit it as far as they can, go find it and hit it again. They do not care about hitting it in the fairway because with these new super sharp grooves they can stop the ball from anywhere”. This is simply not entirely true either. Yes, there is no one I know in golf that is not aware of the fact that most “U” shaped grooves create more spin in non dry conditions than the older “V” grooves. They simply do work better. I think it is ironic that the U.S.G.A lets tour players use drivers and golf balls that can easily go over 300 yards and they want to try to solve this problem (to them only) by changing the irons groove which mostly affects the second shot (third sometimes) into the hole.
Does higher MOI mean increased distance? I have been playing with Ben Hogan Redline blades, which are great but not manufactured now days. I have tried Callaway X forged and Taylor- MadeMB and they both seem to be harder to control the club head then my old blades, and distance is about the same.
If you hit the ball on the exact sweet spot (center of gravity) then a higher moment of inertia does not help you. However, if you hit the ball off face center (towards the toe or heel) then a higher moment of inertia head will increase the distance of every off-center hit more than a lower moment of inertia head. This holds true for every club in the bag including the putter. It is a little easier to say and probably a clearer statement to make, that a higher moment of inertia club will lose less distance on off-center hits than a lower moment of inertia club. From what you have been hitting, I would focus more on an iron with a lower center of gravity location that is also farther out from the hosel and in the center of the face. This type iron design would have a higher Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) rating than the ones you mentioned in your comment.
I have a question for you about iron shaft length. I followed a hunch that I had the other day and bought some impact tape to see exactly where on the club I was making contact. As I thought, I was hitting every shot near the toe of the club. I am not the greatest golfer by any means, but I am about an 8 handicap. I do not wander all over the club face with my shots like some people, but like I said, I consistently hit it out towards the toe. I believe that if I can hit the sweet spot of the club I can get more spin control and improved shotmaking abilities. Sorry for the lengthy explanation. I’m6’4” Ralph and my question is do you believe that if I had iron shafts that matched my height requirements (in my case a little longer than standard) that I could solve this problem without making any changes to my swing? P.S. The shafts that I amusing now are all standard lengths.
I know this does not help but I could correctly answer your question in a few minutes if I could see you swing. So, let’s do it this way. First, I am going to assume that your 5 iron length is 38". Since you are an 8 handicap (6' 4" tall) and I also assume you hit it fairly straight, I would in many cases increase your iron length to 381/2" based on the 5 iron. I hope you have had your lie angle checked as I would guess that you would probably measure at least 2 degrees more upright than standard. The correct lie can make a big difference. Now, with all that said, the extra 1/2" club length can possibly help you to get the ball into the middle of the face with more consistency. However, when the ball impacts consistently favor the toe it is usually a swing problem. I would first get my golf professional to take a look as there are a number of things that can cause this. Everything improves when you hit it in the center of the club face. You will hit it much more solid, with better distance, more backspin and better accuracy. Let me know what you eventually find out that fixes this problem.
I have a set of Callaway graphite shaft irons that are about 10 years old which I like verymuch except they are quite worn. I ama senior, hit a wedge about 100 yards, what would you recommend in a new set of irons? Thank you!
There are many great clubs out there. The important thing is to be sure and have them properly fit to you.With that being said, here goes: If you like Callaway and would like to hit one of their easiest to hit irons ever, I would go with the Fusion Wide Sole irons. If you want a hybrid set of irons, I would recommend the new Cleveland Launcher irons because they are the best hybrid irons out there. Being a senior you need to pay particular attention to the shaft. I don’t have enough information about you, but look at graphite shafts in your irons or the new ultra lite steel shafts that True Temper just came out with. Finally, be sure and hit clubs before you buy.
What is the advantage of anMgroove
if every company uses a U groove design.
Why doMaltby products useM
Most of the industry uses a socalled combination groove which is also a form of a “U” groove. The USGA allows a “U” groove to have almost vertical walls or walls that are quite slanted (but not as slanted as a “V” groove). In other words there is quite a range of groove wall angles to pick from. The combination groove or “M” groove moves away from the almost vertical walls to a given angle that is determined to give the best bite without cutting into the ball’s paint. The groove radius at the face’s surface is also a consideration in this. So, with all that said, the “M” groove and the many other industry “combination grooves” are all actually “U” grooves by USGA definition.
Backspin:What is that the pros do, that most of us average golfers don’t or can’t, to get the ball to backup somuch on the green. I’mjust curious as to what they are doing that I can’t. I’mnot sure I want to be able to especially if I can’t control the amount.What’s the main difference between the pros and the average golfer in this area?My handicap is 12
The pros have the ability to increase their spin or decrease it on their wedge shots. Their ability to hit wedges with way more spin than we can generate is mostly attributed to a much later wrist release and a much steeper angle of attack coming into the ball. Back spin is basically created by the angle difference of the descending clubhead and the club’s loft (dry conditions). So, the steeper the angle of attack the greater the back spin. Timing the hit properly is also an issue here. Test: Tee up 3 golf balls 10 yards off the green. Hit the first 2 balls in the middle of your stance. Pitch one with a sweeping swing (no wrist break). Pitch the second with a very steep swing (more wrist break). Finally, move the 3rd ball off your left heel and hit up on it. The 3rd ball should roll the farthest, the second ball the least roll and the 1st ball somewhere in between.
You had written before that there was no difference between irons that had grooves and irons that didn’t (I believe you conducted these tests in themid 80’s). Now you are saying that the ball slides up the face instead of colliding and rebounding. Can you explain this?
In dry conditions the ball sliding up the face is negligible but it is measurable. In wet conditions the ball slides much more up the face thus creating the flier effect. For three years I played irons with no face grooves and won a number of local amateur tournaments and maintained a 2 handicap. Obviously, in early morning rounds with dew present, in rain and always from the rough, I had to anticipate and play for the additional flyer effect because of no grooves. I still have a few sets of groove less irons in my studio. I keep them because on occasion people (some tour pros) want to actually see if they can hit a ball with them. The myth I was debunking was the long time feeling that the ball would slide up and sometimes off the face with no grooves, which is false.
How do you bend a cast iron?
Most cast clubs can be bent 2 degree in any direction (loft and lie) with no problem. Some, such as 17-4 castings are harder to bend but they still bend OK. No heat is required. There are a number of hosel bending machines on the market ranging greatly in price and features. Check out golfworks.com for models.
On your 2007 MPF Iron ratings, you show the Callaway X-Forged as game improvement and the older X-Tours as conventional when they are much more cavity backed and less a “tour model club”. How can this be?
You simply cannot look at a golf club and tell how playable it is because you do not know where the center of gravity is located and you can’t guess its moment of inertia. First of all the X-Tour has an undercut sole (less mass) in the rear cavity and a very thick (more mass) solid top line. It also has a long hosel adding more weight into the heel area. The X-Forged has a solid sole (no undercut and more mass) and a relatively thin top line (less mass). Its hosel is also very long so it’s a wash in added weight in this area with the X-Tour. So, the vertical center of gravity in the X-Tour is .789” and the vertical center of gravity on the X-Forged is .681” or .108” lower than the X-Tour. This is a big difference and worth 108 additional Maltby Playability Factor points because it is easier to hit more solid, even on low face impacts. The moment of inertia on the X-Tour is 12.000 and theMOI of the X-Forged is 13.336 (inch/ounces squared). This means the X-Forged has a 10% higher moment of inertia than the X-Tour. All of this accounts for a 178 point (MPF) difference in points between the two clubs.
What is the optimal amount of bounce for a set of irons 3-pw with a sole width of .700”? Should the amount of bounce be less for the 3 iron and progressively increase through the shorter clubs, or should they all have the same amount of bounce?
For this set of irons I would put 3 degrees of bounce on the sole of the 3 through 9 irons and 5 degrees on the pitching wedge. 2 degrees would also work, but the 3 degrees makes the club head more forgiving. By more forgiving I mean that the club head can be hit down and through taking a normal divot but it will have less of a tendency to go too deep and create a fatter hit. As I am sure you are aware, as the sole width increases, the bounce is usually reduced. I do not like to design any iron with 0 degrees bounce and definitely will never design an iron with negative bounce. I really do not prefer to use progressive bounce on a set of irons. I would consider progressive bounce if the iron design had narrower soles on the long irons and much wider soles on the short irons. In this case I would probably progress the bounce from greater bounce on the long irons to lesser bounce on the short irons.
I am having a set of Toski T-55 irons made for me. Are you the designer of this club head? Also, the T-55 is two separate club heads, and is listed as having a 746 on yourMPF scale. How can the cavity back long irons have the same rating as the Muscle back short irons? Did you average the two? If the two heads indeed have different ratings what are they please? I am also interested in knowing how forgiving the short irons are with off-center hits. If these muscle backs are true muscle backs, how can they be so easy to hit?
I personally designed the T-55 irons here in the design studio. To prove out this concept, I first CNC machined 3 different irons (3, 5 and 8 iron) out of 16 pound steel billets and then set up actual golfer test sessions to check them out. If you look at the irons closely, you will see what I did to keep theMPF category the same on all the irons. First of all the muscle back short irons have a thinner top line than the cavity backed irons. Also, I put a little more weight into the toe/sole area on the muscles. One of the things that many club designers have missed in the past is the ability to move weight around in muscle back designs to increase playability. I have been doing this since the mid 1990’s when I designed the Maxfli MCT muscle backs for the Maxfli tour staff (Game Improvement category). I also did the Tommy Armour 845 M muscle backs in 2001 for their tour players (Game Improvement category). As I mentioned toMack in an answer close to this one, you simply cannot guess Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) without actually measuring the club head’s mass and dimensional qualities.
Thank you for this great resource. I have learned a lot reading your materials. This year I upgraded my irons to a set of Ping G5s, and I was surprised to learn that they earned almost 250MPF points less than the Callaway X-20s that I also considered buying this year. Based simply on the large difference inMPF, I am reevaluating my decision. If I can narrow my possible selections quantitatively, I can spend more time demoing and comparing clubs before making a decision. How can I use the other data points to compare and contrast each model’s unique characteristics to determine if the X-20s, or another model, will suit my game? For instance, compared to the X-20s the G5s have a smaller C-Dim but a higher MOI.What can that tell me about my tendency to make off-center hits?What can I learn from that other data points?
It is easiest to use the overall numbers for most golfers. However, it looks like the two of you want to go a little deeper in understanding and possibly refining your decision making process. Since the center of gravity location and the moment of inertia are the two main factors in Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) it is relatively easy to look at each one on their own regarding performance. Usually “C” Dimension and Moment of Inertia have a strong relationship to the same performance attributes. These two are the biggest factors in how forgiving an iron is on off-center hits. The vertical center of gravity location provides a strong indication for more solid hits more of the time and more easily getting the ball airborne. So, the lower the center of gravity, the easier it is at impact to get the iron heads center of gravity under that of the ball’s center of gravity. This is necessary to get a solid feeling shot. The lower center of gravity is going to be more important to a golfer that does not hit down on the ball with a descending arc coming into impact. The lower center of gravity will help the golfer quite a bit who sweeps the ball coming into impact. Also, a lower center of gravity helps the golfer who releases the clubhead earlier on the downswing. A lower center of gravity helps when you play on a golf course with relatively tight lies. There are some tradeoffs to always consider or a golfer can simply go for the highest MPF numbers. Keep in mind that a few MPF points difference in irons will make little difference unless you use the individual numbers that we are talking about here and you can apply them to your own situation.When simply using the MPF numbers alone, I always like to suggest a 300 to 400 point spread to make a significant and very noticeable difference to any golfer hitting the ball. Final note; when you are looking at theMPF individual numbers, always use the “Actual Center of Gravity” column and not the “Basic Vertical Center of Gravity” which is the balance point on the face used in the calculation.
Thank you for this wonderful site. The information is beyond value and cannot be found anywhere else. This weekend, I had an appointment to be fitted for a set of PING G-5 irons (I ama 15 handicap lefty). Now, however, I see that PING has announced a new G-10 iron coming out this fall. The price is about the same. Have you seen/evaluated the new G-10? Is is that much better that I should wait for the new G-10? In your opinion, should the pro shop have told me about the new PING offering (I heard about it elsewhere)? That they did not say anything has me a little miffed.
The Ping G-10 is in this months Golf Digest and that is where most golfers heard about it. They are also coming out with an i10 which was mentioned in this weeks GolfWeek magazine. The G-10 is supposed to ship in September sometime. Ping is very good about sending me their new irons as soon as they come out so I can calculate theMaltby Playability Factor (MPF) rating. I really cannot tell without actually measuring one of them if it will be close to the G-5 or to the Rapture but it will most likely be very high in playability. Frankly, I don’t think you can go wrong with the G-5 and I would guess that it would be less money since it just got a little bit older in the model line-up. If you absolutely must have the latest Ping model or are curios about the playability numbers (MPF) you may want to wait. It’s all up to you. Also, the pro shop should have told you they were coming out soon if they were aware of it.
I have been playing the Golf- Works Login TraditionM-06 for a couple of years. It appears that the line has been discontinued, but theM-05 (and the current model nearly identical to it) has similarMPF ratings.My irons use Royal Precision Lite shafts. Playability is okay with these irons, but comfort and feedback are lacking. Even solid hits feel like “clunk” when I hit them. Any advice on what to look for to get nice crisp-feeling iron hits? I don’t know if it will improve my score, but it certainly doesn’t help that I cringe in anticipation before I take a full swing with an iron. Note that my previous set was LogicTech and I did not have the same problem.
The M-05 was replaced (renamed and with minor tweaks) with the MTF iron. Consider them exactly the same in playability. I am at a disadvantage not knowing much about your game. I am not a huge fan of the Precision shafts but many golfers swear by them. I much prefer the True Temper shafts like Dynalite and TT Lite. Dynalite has the softer tip. This may or may not help you. Are you sure your swing speed and shaft flex are correct? Also, be sure the lie angles are set to your swing. These two facts are big regarding playability. Finally, Logic Tech was a much higher playability iron with a very low center of gravity that helped golfers who were sweepers of the ball and who had a difficult time hitting down and through the ball with a descending blow. You may simply play better with a very low center of gravity iron design.
As a senior golfer, I have narrowed my search to Titleist 735 cm/690.cb irons, regular shafts. Current handicap is 5.Which of the two irons would you recommend?My swing speed is 84MPH. I also need a shaft recommendation. Your opinion steel versus graphite?
The 690CB is a 2002 model forged cavity back and the 735 CM is a 2005 forged cavity back. Titleist had a design philosophy change (or a new R&D head) sometime after 2002 because they increased the playability quite a bit on all their forged irons. Basically, they shortened the hose ls which allowed them to move the horizontal center of gravity from the heel area to the middle of the face and also make the vertical center of gravity lower. Regarding the Maltby Playability Factor (MPF), Titleist raised theMPF on the 735 CM to 648 points as compared to the 690CB at 431 points. I would definitely recommend the 735 CM model as much easier to play. Vernon, I do not know quite enough about your swing, but being a 5 handicap, I would stay with steel shafts and I would consider light weight or super light weight models. If distance is a problem and you hit it mostly straight, graphite would be fine along with an extra 1/2" in club length. Only do this when you have lost distance. I’ll be 64 in a week and I have not lost any distance yet (currently a 7 hdcp up from a 2 ten years ago), so I am saving all the tricks for later. If you end up getting the 735 CM irons, let me know the name of the shaft that is in the 5 iron, the swingweight of the 5 iron, also its total weight and the exact length. With this info I can better tell you exactly how to set the club up if you should go to a lighter steel or graphite shaft than the one that is currently in them. Of course, you may like the way the irons play with the shafts they come with.
As the playability factor for irons increases to the highest numbers ie Callaway Wide Sole Fusion over 1200. At what point will the golfer notice little or no increase in performance.
First of all, as you go up the points ladder regarding Maltby Playability Factor (MPF), it takes about 200 to 400 points for most golfers to notice a big difference in ease of playability (compared to what they have been playing or even when demoing irons).With that said, I am considering a new higher MPF category for irons over 1000 points but I am not definite on this as yet. To better answer your question, it would be very hard to get much over 1300 points and at that number the iron would probably be quite weird looking. For example, take a look at the Glider X iron that I am currently playing. The reason 1300 points or so is about the maximum centers around the total mass available (iron head weight). You can only move and reshape a given iron head weight (mass) so much thus the product design imposed limit.
I bought a set of Glider-X irons at Golf Galaxy 2 weeks ago and I want to thank you for the excellent design and playability. The clubs increase my confidence level and consistency. I have played better and have averaged a reduction of 2 strokes per 9 holes. Thanks for all the good hard work, some of us need all the help we can get. P.S. I also bought a Maltby 56 degree wedge and I haven’t left a ball in a green side sand bunker yet.
I appreciate the comments. As you know I play the Glider X irons also. It is definitely a different looking iron, but it works.
Please help me understandMPF, I’m looking at the new MTF forged CB iron with aMPF of 788 and the newMMB forged MB iron with a MPF of 748, how can this be? You’re not stating that your new MB plays almost as easy as your new CB? I have one of yourM-05 7-IRON w/MPF of 648, (which I love and I’m contemplating on getting a set of your new MTF irons) and based on the old M-05 and the new MMB MPF I could now play MB. I’m confused.
I assume you are asking how a “cavity back” can play similar to a “muscle back”. It’s easy to do in the design if you properly use the mass and dimensional properties of center of gravity and moment of inertia. Look closely at the MMB “muscle back” and notice that the top 1/2 of the blade is quite thin. Also, the blade is slightly longer and the c.g. is in the center of the face. All three irons play similar; however I still like the looks of the M-05.
I find the information on your site very helpful; however, I’d appreciate a clearer picture of why a touring pro would choose a club with a lowerMPF rating. Regarding wedges, I can visualize the limitations of fancy flop-type shotmaking with a wide-heeled club, but I have more difficulty understanding why lowerMPF irons are preferable to their higherMPF cousins. Is there a reasonably linear correlation between skill and MPF? Stated another way, is there a reason to avoid clubs with a higher MPF? Along with this, what considerations should an able athlete, but a novice golfer,make when selecting their first set of clubs? Are there clubs that allow for more room for skill to grow? Any insights would be both appreciated and extremely valuable.Many thanks for the time you’ve invested in making your considerable wisdom available here.
We golfers are quite different from touring professionals who are at the elite level of ball striking and ball control. First, they can hit the ball on the club head’s center of gravity almost every time and you and I cannot. Simply look at the ball wear spots on their iron faces. Go to a tour stop and watch them strike balls and be amazed. Also, keep in mind that many tour pros are now playing with higher or the highest playability irons and those that are playing lower playability irons are slowly shrinking daily.Most golfers definitely want to play higher playability irons and should not in all cases simply buy what the tour pro plays. The major companies spend 25 to 50 million dollars a year on tour to get you to buy their product. Unfortunately, good or bad for the average golfer is not their problem, their stockholders are.Michael, try a wider sole sand wedge and I will have you hooked on my thinking. A novice needs help from knowledgeable club fitters and club sellers. They also need a lesson or two to get started. I would always start with high playability clubs and go from there as the golfer progressed and/or developed preferences.
After reading your articles on the newMPF Iron Additions and Comparing Playability of Two New Iron Designs, I decided to check out the Callaway X-20 irons. After a round of golf with my old King Cobra Twos, I stopped at a golf shop and hit the X-20s. The difference was like night and day! The X-20s felt so solid and much more stable than my King Cobras. I’m not sure what theMPF would be for the King Cobra Twos: but, I would estimate that it wouldn’t be very high. They seem to be more heel weighted with the sweet spot between the center of the club head and the hosel. I would like to compare theMPF of the X-20s with other new irons before I make my buying decision. Can you give me any idea how soon the 2007 MPF information will be available on your web site? Thank you again for demystifying the hype and myths concerning golf equipment.
The 2007 irons are in PDF format and are available now on the ralphmalby.com website. It’s about 5MB so give it a few minutes to download. The King Cobra II was a mid 90’s iron from Cobra and was their worst design ever as far as MPF goes. The center of gravity is almost 5/16" into the heel from face center and it’s actual vertical center of gravity is .882" which is higher than a golf balls c.g. (ball c.g. is .840"). TheMPF rating is 115 points putting it in the “Player Classic” category or the lowest category there is. In contrast the X-20 you hit is .635” actual vertical center of gravity with the c.g. in the exact middle of the face. This iron is 1051 points and in the highest category or “Ultra Game Improvement”. Obviously this is a night and day difference in playability and forgiveness. If you like Cobra, try their new S-9 irons which are over 800 points and in “Ultra Game Improvement”. These irons play very well.
I am thinking of buying a set of Callaway clones (X18s). The club maker/fitter has won many awards in his area and the price looks good and their website shows a lot about the manufacturing and it looks good, what do I need to worry about? I am a beginning golfer with a very limited budget.
Basically, the problem with clones is that the quality varies greatly. Also, do not expect to get the design playability of the real X-18 heads. The good news here is that you will hopefully be custom fit to the irons. I would also insist that the faces are checked for flatness, the loft and lies are put into even progressions and the head weights are good enough that a bunch of lead is not added in the hosel to properly swingweight them. Be sure to check out The GolfWorks. com for additional information on affordable clubs.
The X-20 has a higher MPF than the Big Bertha even though the Big Bertha Irons are supposed to target higher handicap players. Per theMPF rating the X-20 would actually be easier. Am I interpreting this correctly?
Other than their forgings, Callaway builds most all their irons into the “Ultra Game Improvement” category. Once you are in this category the playability on each iron head design is basically the highest. 100 points or so up or down in the category makes little difference. The decision you would need to make is which manufacturers “Ultra Game Improvement” irons you liked the best. Remember, each model iron uses its own proprietary shaft, the iron designer may have specified different lofts than standard and possibly different lengths than other manufacturers. These are all serious considerations in addition toMPF. MPF can only take you so far by putting you in irons that help you play better because they are easier to hit. So, if you were evaluating the Big Bertha vs. the X-20, I would actually hit both of them together to see which one hit the best. If available, I would also like to have the launch monitor numbers available to help me decide and particularly if they both felt equally good to me.
Mr.Maltby your review of ‘Game Improvement’ irons is very interesting and somewhat surprising. I understand that the higher the final rating, the higher the playability the club has, but how does a high handicapper like myself interpret these numbers? For instance, I have a dreaded ‘over the top’ move I’m trying to cure through lessons and good equipment. However, in reading your conclusions on my current irons (Nike Slingshot OSS) they actually rate fairly low compared to their advertised and magazine review ratings. Furthermore, can you explain how I should interpret your comparison of (for example) Callaway X-20’s to my Nike OSS? Is a rating of 669 (Nike) compared to 1051 (X-20) a notable difference? Or is this splitting hairs?
In my opinion, every golfer needs to be playing at least “Game Improvement” categoryMPF’s. Regarding high quality iron designs in the top threeMPF categories,MPF does not tell you that one club is bad and another is good. It does tell you that you are playing with modern technology and not older iron design thinking. I developedMPF ratings to help golfers who are not consistent ball strikers and need more help by understanding that there are iron designs that will actually help them to be more consistent and hit the ball more solidly more of the time. So, a golfer’s ability is key here. This is why we use impact decals on the faces of irons and launch monitors so that we can determine who really needs this help and how much. Obviously, tour players don’t need it very much because they impact the ball in the same spot almost every time.We simply cannot do that. New players coming into the game should really be looking at “Ultra Game Improvement” irons. In myMPF book for irons I state that a player will notice the most difference when comparing two irons if they have at least a 300 to 400MPF point difference. Again, your ball striking ability is what will determine how big this difference actually is. You will probably notice a difference in comparing the Callaway X-20 to your Nike OSS irons. The Nike OSS is still a very good iron that plays extremely well.
I recently purchased the Tommy Armour 855 irons. Not only were they very reasonably priced but they feel great. I am a high handicapper and the long irons in this set are so much easier to hit. I was not surprised to find that they had such a highMPF.What are your feelings on this set?
This is an excellent iron with a very low center of gravity and a higher moment of inertia. I had personally hit this iron before it was measured and I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to hit. It measures into the “Ultra Game Improvement” category at 972 points. Prior to this I had hit the 2006 Silver Scot and found it very difficult to hit solid with any consistency. This iron measured at 454 MPF points and was in the lower “Conventional” category. You made a good buying decision on the 855’s and with Tommy Armour’s efforts to re-establish their brand at selected price points; there is a buying (bargain) opportunity for golfers.
Looking over your MPF iron list you show that the Ping S58 6 iron has a loft of 28 deg., but Ping’s website shows it have a 30.5 deg.? Just wondering why the discrepancy.
We do not use the published loft specifications when measuring MPF.We actually measure it exactly on precision equipment and publish it in ourMPF listings.Manufacturing tolerances are usually plus or minus 1 degree but are based on a standard bell curve which means that most of the lofts will be at the specification.We only use a sample of one head but in top quality equipment this is usually very accurate. With all this being said: It is a very common practice in top grade golf clubs to make the lofts different from the published lofts. If they do this, manufacturers will usually tend to decrease the lofts on their irons and increase the lofts on their drivers. They do this to make their irons hit farther than their competitors. Regarding drivers they must feel that golfers will not accept the fact that higher launch with the newer balls will go farther. Golfers still order more 9.5 degree drivers than anything else. Obviously, I do not believe in this and would never do it. I do not know Pings position, but this is the first time we have had a discrepancy on their irons. Keep in mind that there are any number of other things that could have caused this on our 1 sample measured iron head.
I tend to miss on my Iron shots on the toe. Are the 2004 Big Bertha Irons something that can help with that or is their center of gravity closer to the hosel?
I have two Callaway irons listed for 2004 (actually one of them might be 2003). The first is the Big Bertha Fusion which is 1031 points and in the “Ultra Game Improvement” category. The second is the Big Bertha and is 964 points and also in the “Ultra Game Improvement” category. Callaway always puts the center of gravity in the middle of the face except for their forged tour models such as the X Tour de-signed for Phil Mickleson. Also the X-20 Tour is slightly toward the heel. The X Forged is in the middle. However these three irons are not as high in playability (MPF) as all their other irons. Everything else they have ever designed since the S2H2 and including the S2H2 is in the “Ultra Game Improvement” category with all horizontal centers of gravity in the middle of the face.
Your web site is a fountain
of information to an amateur club
maker.My question is the Glider-X I
purchased sometime ago tends to go
left. The offset and upright lie may be
the cause. Can these be adjusted for loft
and lie with such a short hosel and
wide sole? I can not adjust using my
equipment. I play a 5 iron at 28° loft
with 59° lie. How does weighting in the
shaft affect MOI?
It is probably the fact that the lie is too upright for you as you mentioned. Yes, the Gliders can be adjusted for loft and lie by at least 2 degrees in either direction (upright or flat).We tested the Gliders with many players during the initial design phase and never found anyone who consistently hit them left or right for that matter. Use the lie fitting board method to check for lie. If you do not know how to do this, send me back a question and I will explain it. Your last question, “How does weighting in the shaft effect MOI”? This lowers theMOI but worse than that it simultaneously raises the center of gravity and moves it toward the heel. This lowers the MPF or playability factor of the head. This is why it is important to not make the hosel too long in the iron design and to make sure the casting or forging house hits the head weights correctly.
I recently went to a GolfWorks club making workshop. They handed out a card with descriptions breaking down the iron MPF’s. I noticed under the 701- 850 (super game improvement) section it stated “Best distance.” Is this meant to imply that these irons produce better distance than the Ultra Game Improvement (851 & up)? I’ve built a KE4 Tour 5 iron with a Rifle shaft installed (nice club), but was wondering if the Forged CNC irons (MPF 701+) would produce more distance. I have enjoyed your products over the years and greatly appreciate you sharing your knowledge so freely.
There is no specific distance advantage when comparing “Super” and “Ultra”. As a matter of fact, when you stay in the top threeMPF categories of “Game, Super and Ultra” categories the distance can be the same or greater.What higher numberMPF ratings are basically saying is that you will consistently hit the ball more solid (resulting in greater distance more often) with higher playability iron head designs because they are more forgiving. Other key factors that influence distance are the club’s loft, length, head weight and shaft type to name a few. Finally, I personally like the KE4 Tour and the Rifle shaft is also a good choice for a top quality shaft.
Great site with lots of great info. In looking at the latest addition of your MPF list, as well as the original, I did not seemy clubs listed. They are Golfsmith XPC 2000 with TT Dynalite shafts. I built these back in 95.Where would you rate these as far as game improvement are concerned? I’ve been thinking of replacing them, but haven’t found any new ones that I like. Although I must say your KE-4 that I looked at Golf Galaxy are nice clubs.
I was surprised that I missed this one. I will definitely put it on the list and add it next time. I guess too many irons and too little time, who knows. I did go over to the wall in the design studio containing all the MPF irons and looked at all the XPC irons to date. They generally fall into the “Conventional” or Game Improvement” categories as I am sure you noticed. I can only assume the XPC 2000 is somewhere in there also but this is a big assumption to make without actually measuring it. If the XPC 2000 is where we (I) think it is, the KE4’s will be 200 to 400 points higher (“Ultra Game Improvement” category) and you will definitely notice a difference when hitting them. Please take the time to demo them in the Golf Galaxy store and be sure to bring along your 5 and 6 iron in the XPC 2000’s. Always demo before you buy and be sure to compare shafts as this is also an important part of the comparison. Dave, I really don’t know how you play but if you like the Dynalite shafts you will probably really love the True Temper TX-90 shafts. Hopefully you can demo this shaft in the KE4. If it is not available, ask the club guy in the store to make up a 6 iron demo. Show him (or her) a copy of this response (they would most likely do it anyway but I like to feel important). This shaft will sell more KE4’s for that store than many of the other shafts, although there are many other good shafts that work
very well. Let me know what you do.
What other factors do you use in determining the right irons other than MPF? Like I mentioned, I am looking into an Adams set and the MPF’s are in the 600’s yet everyone says how easy they are to hit. The x-20s are above 1000. I ambit unclear how to go about deciding. Another example is the Adams A2 OS has a lower MPF than the Adams A2. This does not make sense tome as the OS is designed for the higher handicapper. AmI better off going with the highest MPF possible? I shoot in the high 90’s but am working on improving. Thanks for your advice.
It is probably the advertising that says it is designed for the high handicapper because the actual mass and dimensional properties are what they are. I would hope that you get a chance to demo both the Adams and the Callaway irons you are interested in before buying them. Most Adams irons are in the Game Improvement category and play fine. They just do not build anything in the extremely high playability categories that I have measured so far. Callaway specializes in the very high playability categories and is a main reason for their great success. Because MPF simply tells you how easy a certain club head design is to hit, you need to also pay attention to many other aspects of the club including proper fitting. Some of the club design areas to pay particular attention to are the shaft, club length, lofts and sole bounce. And, as I said, pay attention to all the fitting variables.
I have seen all of theMPF’s for irons. However, on the GolfWorks site, I often see fairway woods identified with MPF851+. Do you determineMPF’s for fairways and drivers?
I have the system for MPF’s worked out in final form for everything but drivers.We do use the temporary driver MPF calculations to rate only our drivers in our catalog. The problem with drivers is that they hit a teed up ball and therefore have a much greater vertical range of impact than any other club. There are also a couple other problems to work out through more lab work and golfer testing. I am going to release each MPF method by golf club category as the books come out. The one I intended to release this fall was wedges, but a couple other projects have put this a little behind. Putters should come out next year followed by FairwayMetals and Hybrids.
What is the exactMPF number for both the M-45 irons and the new MTF irons?
The Maltby M-45 is 702 (Super Game Improvement). The Maltby MTF is 788 (Super Game Improvement). The only difference is that the MTF has a higherMoment of Inertia. Both play very well but I always prefer the MTF mainly because of the head shape (personal preference). Hopefully, the MPF ratings for the latest 150 irons will be up on this site very shortly. They tell me it’s a formatting kind of thing and they almost have it worked out.
I was looking thru your book giving the MPF #’s and I was surprised by how low the Nike Slingshots rated. Has the number increased much on the new OSS style?
Kenny, the Slingshot is 612 points and the OSS is 669 points. Both are about the same in MPF playability and fall into the Game Improvement category. Both of these irons have their horizontal centers of gravity over 1/8" into the heel vs. the face center thus hurting theMPF rating. Keep in mind that this rating is not telling you that these irons are in any way bad. As a matter of fact as a better player, I hit them very well. What it is telling you, is if you do not have the ability to hit the ball consistently in the heel area and you hit it in a larger area or toward the toe when you miss hit it, that a higher MPF rated iron with the center of gravity in the middle of the face will be more forgiving and easier to play with.
I believe for the average and above average golfer hitting the ball “Pure” is extremely difficult. Whatever gets the ball to the green would be my major concern and go from there.
You are correct and that is why I developed the Maltby Playability Factor ratings.Most all golfers need some help in picking out clubs that are easier to hit and more forgiving. I have written before about the fact that many golfers run out and buy the latest club that just won on tour the previous Sunday. Regardless of what the tour pro is playing, we non tour golfers will never be able to hit the ball the way they do. Hopefully every golfer would get the chance to go to a tour event and actually see live how they can hit the ball. It seems almost amazing. Television does not do it justice. I basically show the tour players ball impact wear spots on irons to confirm that a “pure” striker of the ball will always be able to find the impact location that hits the ball the most solid. This impact location always turns out to be the golf club head’s horizontal center of gravity location.
I have Cobra irons 2006 stiff graphite shafts. Very inconsistent. I am 65 years old but still drive the ball from 235 yds to 265 if I hit it on the sweet spot. In addition for 35-40 years I only played with forged irons. Can you recommend a forged iron and shaft for me? My swing speed with my present irons is 85-88mph.
Paul, I don’t know much about you or your swing but here goes: One of the highest playability forged irons on the market is the Maltby MTF iron. It was renamed this year and its older designation was the Maltby M-05. These are true forged irons and not form forged. This is the model that Ed Sneed currently plays as do most good players at The GolfWorks. It sounds like you and I are similar in age, swing speed and distance, only I hit it very straight. I played theM-05’s (MTF) for three years. Get a GolfWorks catalog and work through your shaft MPF using our chart. Order only the #6 iron in your specs (we build it or you can build it). Hit it and compare to your old clubs to see if you really like it. You can also hit it at your nearest Golf Galaxy store. I really like the TX-90 shaft (very light steel) and for you “S” flex. This shaft hits
it very straight. There are a number of other great clubs out there but when you limit me to forged, I recommend our models. However, be sure to hit other manufacturers’ forgings for a comparison and you decide.
I was just reviewing theMPF irons ratings
and I saw thatmy Ping i3 blades
were taken off of the list for 2007. Can
you tellme what theMPF factor was
formy older Pings?
They were not taken off the list. The MPF listing on this site is the newest clubs since my book was published. The book still has over 350 listings going back to the 1950’s in some cases. I am going to put the MPF listings from the book on this site also, just have not done it yet. Hopefully in the next couple weeks? The I-3 Ping Blade is 546 points (MPF) and in the “Conventional” category. The I-3 Plus is 578 points and in the “Game Improvement” category. Consider the playability the same on these two irons as the points are too close for anyone to see a difference. They just happen to fall on either side of two different categories.
The problemI have right now is I’m hooking my iron shots.My irons have max offset. There are a few sets out there that offer GI with less offset. Would this help with the hooks?
Offset gives the club head a little more time to square itself coming into impact. So, yes it could contribute very slightly to a tendency for draw shots or possibly to hit the ball straighter or even help to lessen a slice tendency.With that said, changing to less offset will not cure a hook or even a serious draw. Offset is a very minor factor in this regard. The biggest culprit regarding irons (talking equipment only here) is the golf shaft. The caution here is that the shaft has to be pretty bad of a fit for your swing to cause a hook. If the hook tendency is with all your clubs then I would look at your swing, if not, look at the shaft. The Maltby Playability Factor does not actually use the offset amount in its calculation. However, the offset actually changes the weight distribution of the head and this directly affects the MPF point’s calculation.
So, are there reasons why you wouldn’t want the highest MPF possible? Or at least one on the higher end? Why would I opt for something lower? Is there a sense of, within a few sets of clubs that are about the same MPF level, it is sort of then up to the golfer to pick a set the feels good to them?
You ask a very good question and it would be beneficial to all golfers to discuss it. All golfers should in theory play with the highest Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) category for irons which as you know is “Ultra Game Improvement” or above 851 points. Now, with that said, everyone needs to realize that MPF only rates the “mass and dimensional” properties of the club head (center of gravity location and moment of inertia). It does not take into account the fitting factor such as the proper shaft, proper club length, proper lie angle, proper swingweight, proper grip size and so on. It also does not take into account certain iron head specifications such as sole bounce angle, sole grind, leading edge grind, loft angle, hosel offset and face progression. So,MPF is designed to put you into the category of playability that will help you the most or more importantly, keep you from making a mistake and playing irons that are too low in playability for your skill level. A good point to bring up here is that there are many tour players on all the different tours that play with the highest playability category irons. They have adjusted or selected specifications and components that match their games and provide the best results. There are also a few tour players (getting less every day) who still play with very low playability blade type irons. They simply cannot look at anything that is not completely traditional. Alex, you are basically “right on” in your comment. So, as a final example, let’s say you are convinced that you want the absolute highest playability iron. Let’s also assume the three irons you are looking at have exactly the same MPF points. You need to demo each of the three irons to see how all the other specifications of that iron fit into your game and swing. Obviously, the shaft is one of the big factors here. Actually hitting them allows the golfer to pick the best performing and best feeling (most solid hitting) iron. Since no one can really look at any iron and determine its actual playability factor, MPF was developed to overcome the sometimes exaggerated and misleading marketing claims and to quantify through actual numbers the playability of that head design.
I am having a little trouble interpreting some of the figures and how they relate toMPF in irons 2007. In the first MOI column it appears that the highly rated Callaway FusionWide Sole has a lowerMOI than the Mac Gregor Tourney blade. How can this be so? Should I be looking at theMOI C/F column instead?
Don’t worry too much about the individual numbers. It’s the overall that has the most meaning. With that said, if you were the type of person who mostly hit the ball low on the club face and had a sweeping type swing vs. a down and through swing, I would opt for the lower center of gravity when looking through the numbers. The moment of inertia, while important, is not nearly as important in an iron as it is in a wood club and also the putter. I actually apply much less weight to the MOI numbers for irons and more weight for the center of gravity location away from the hosel and lower in the head.
I have removed the 3 and 4 irons from my bag and replaced them with hybrids. I am also thinking of doing the same with the 5 iron.What is your recommendation?
Funny you asked this question at this time. I have always (for the last 12 years) started my set with a 5 iron. I just recently decided to experiment and put in a Trouble Out #11 fairway metal in my bag and remove the 5 iron. I did this because I hit the 11 metal almost the same distance as my 5 iron, but I hit it more consistently solid, I hit it higher and it rolls less (good on par 3’s). Brian, the point of all this is to use the set make up that works the best for YOU. If that means you can play better and score better starting with a 7 iron in your set, go for it. If, on the other hand you are more consistent and simply hit your irons the best, then stick with your irons. Whatever gets the job done. I remember back in the old days, (when I played in college) if you didn’t carry a 2 iron you were not a golfer. It didn’t matter that you couldn’t hit it with any consistency, you needed to have it in the bag or be laughed at. I also remember when Raymond Floyd won theMasters and used a 5 wood to hit the par 5’s. The golfing world was stunned that such a high caliber player could even think about using a “ladies” club, let alone win the Masters with it. Thankfully, things have changed today and we can play with whatever clubs we want and with any set make up we want as long as we play better and more importantly, enjoy this great game even more.
I bought a 5 wood (metal) with 18 degrees of loft and is 42 inches long with a steel shaft. I have used 4 woods my entire life, and I consider this a 4 wood. Am I correct, or is the manufacturer correct by stamping it a 5 wood?
When there were still wooden clubs in the early to mid eighties the specs on a #4 wood were 19 degrees loft and 411/2" long. Then the #4 wood slowly went out of favor and all but disappeared from 1990 to today. There has been some resurrection of it lately in metal but it now has specs similar to an older #3 wood. So, you are basically correct in assuming a modern #5 fairway metal has very similar specs to the older #4 wood.
You have not mentioned any of the Adams Hybrid sets. I have been told the new Boxer A3’s are super easy to hit. Perhaps you have some thoughts on them? Also, what are your feelings about hybrids vs. the higher irons? You site is so informative. Thanks for the incredible resource you have provided the golf community.
I do not have the latest Adams clubs as yet.When you talk about “higher irons”, I assume you are referring to the short irons? There is nothing wrong with playing the iron hybrids (hollow) in the short irons. The short irons in hybrids have very little advantage, if any, over the more conventional short irons. A number of golfers do not like the look of hybrid short irons, but some like the look. The reason it comes down to personal preference is that the short irons have a lot of loft and do not compress the ball very much (applies less force) thus making the mass and dimensional properties of the clubhead less important than on the mid irons and long irons. I play the Glider-X irons which are basically hybrid irons that are not hollow and I really like them even though they look a little weird. So, all of this to tell you that the hybrids really shine in replacing the longer hitting clubs.
I am new to club building (just started Oct. of last year and yes, I am planning on coming to the five day school next spring).My wife asked me to build her a hybrid club because she can hit her irons off the fairway OK but has trouble with her fairway woods. A friend where I work who also builds clubs and I were emailing on this and he said to make sure you get her a hybrid that plays like an iron because some are meant to
play like irons and others like fairway woods. Is there a difference and if so, how to you tell what is what? Sorry if this is a dumb question but as I said, I am new at this, but have sure found what I want to do when I retire in a couple years.
It gets a little muddy sometimes on the hybrid types but here is a general rule. The iron hybrids generally have an iron shaped face and the fairway metal hybrids have a face shaped like a shallow fairway metal. The iron hybrids are generally not painted finishes, but some are. The fairway metal hybrids are mostly all painted finishes. They can both be designed to play very easy. The main thing to consider for your wife or for that matter everyone who uses hybrids is to use a hybrid designed shaft or a shaft designed for fairway metals or drivers. Do not use an iron shaft as they are too stiff and defeat the purpose of a hybrid. A number of iron hybrids use iron shafts and are designed to iron lengths. This can work very well, but I almost always recommend the fairway shaped hybrids because they usually more favor the playability of fairway metals. OK, I am probably confusing you a little, so here goes for a hybrid your wife will really like. Pick a fairway shaped hybrid with a minimum of 22 degrees (I like 24 degrees) and put a standard flex ladies (L) shaft in it (not a hybrid shaft).Make the length either 1" or 11/2" longer than her 5 iron (hopefully her 5 iron is no longer than 37") and make the swingweight a minimum of C-8. Be sure to fit her for proper grip size as many women play with too large a grip. See what happens when you ask me for advice; I have plenty of it. Let me know how this works for her.
I own the Callaway wide sole fusion irons 6 iron thru gap wedge with graphite shafts. I really like these irons.My game has improved greatly since my purchase.My question is would you buy the 56 degree sand wedge and 60 degree lob wedge?
I also really like the Fusion irons because they are very easy to hit and they work.With that said, I would not recommend buying the SWand 60 degree wedge in the wide sole Fusion model. First of all they are not great looking because with a through bore design on the wedges you cannot grind the lower portion of the hosel correctly to make a smooth transition or blend into the face heel area. Secondly, they are too long a blade length to make the best wedge in my opinion. Third, they are offset and again in my opinion this does not make the best playability in a wedge. You do not need a high MPF rating in the very short clubs and the wedges in particular because you do not compress the ball nearly as much as you do with the mid and longer clubs.What you personally need to do is evaluate how well you hit your wedges in general. The Callaway X Tour wedges are great if you are a really good wedge player because they have their leading edges close to the ground (narrower sole widths) so better players can hit more varied (and difficult) shots with them. They are also relatively narrow in the heel area for this same purpose (like chipping from very tight lies).The easiest to hit wedges for average golfers are ones with wider soles. Yes, this is the one good feature on the Fusion wedges. To help you with wedges, read both of my articles on this site to help you out.
Very interesting story about wedges I have too many that do not work for me. Thanks for the information. A little bit too much perhaps for the average hacker.
Try the new wider sole sand wedges for pitching, chipping and sand, I think you will be surprised at how easy they are to play. What’s one more wedge or two in your collection? Also, I am hoping that more is better than less in the articles, but I do understand what you are saying.
Ralph, your site is a goldmine of information. I feel like I hit the jackpot. Question: I have a RamTomWatson 55 deg. sand wedge, 12 deg. rake. Do the grooves get worn to the point that while it still may be good for getting out of traps (the club doesn’t actually hit the ball), it is not good for shots around the green because of lack of spin? Bottomline: How can one know if the grooves are too far gone on a wedge?
We re-groove clubs all the time at the GolfWorks that have worn out grooves.Mostly, we change “V” grooves to “U” grooves. With that said, most golfers do not hit enough shots to wear out the grooves. If you are obsessed with practicing sand shots day in and day out, then yes they are probably shot. Tour pros can actually recess the face slightly and consequently shallow out the grooves on their wedges. To check: Get a magnifying glass and look at the amount of radius on the upper edge of the groove (only the edge facing toward the top line). Do this on the 3rd or 4th groove up from the sole and compare it to the upper edge radius at one of the more unused top grooves. If it looks more radiused, it is worn out. Thanks for the nice comments!
My question has to do with the Calloway wedges and theMac Daddy grooves.What makes them so different? Also could you give a little info on what tour grind means?
The Mac Daddy grooves are simply made more aggressive by reducing the groove edge radius where the groove intersects the face. You need to be careful here as too much sharpness will cause the groove edges to cut into the ball’s paint and put a series of “Shark Gills” on it. If the proposed USGA groove rules ever go into effect, they will be requiring a minimum radius on the groove edges which will eliminate or reduce the aggressive bite. In the old days of forgings, the soles were flat from front to back and not curved very much from toe to heel. The tour players soon found out that some special grinding on the sole would help the irons enter and come out of the ground better. So, 4 way camber was invented where more radius was added by grinding in both directions on the sole but mostly from the front to the back of the sole. This had the effect of reducing digging and actually added a bounce tendency. Also, another part of this grind was to roll the leading edge more thus making it far less sharp. This rolling of the leading edge was ground in a way so it favored having more metal removed from the sole area than the face. This type of grind when rolling the leading edge helped to straighten the look of the leading edge even though the toe to heel sole radius had been increased in the 4 way roll. A number of minor twists to “tour grind” have been added or modified by grinders over the years, but this is basically what it is.
Ralph thanks for the wedge ground to leading edge numbers. I am currently using your Maltby 1.25 UC 56 wedge. This head works great out of fluffy
sand, but I have some difficulty hitting out of hard sand and off tight fairway lies. I am thinking that a lower ground to leading edge design may help. I would be able to dig under the ball better in firm sand and then open the face as needed in soft sand so as not to dig too much and get more of a splash effect. If I open up the face on the CER oil soaked wedges will they still be playable (i.e. how much is it going to raise the ground leading edge distance?)? The 1.25 UC 56º does not really allow me to open up the face.
The main differences in what you are trying to accomplish is dependent on one’s ability (skill level). The tradeoff with wedge sole widths and leading edge heights (effective bounce) is simply how many different type shots do you want to hit. For example: I use the 1.62 UC Maltby 56 degree wedge. This wedge has a 1 5/8" sole width and a leading edge height of 9/32" (.281"). I can even make it work exceptionally well from firm bunkers. This type wedge requires that if I open the club face say 10 degrees, the ball needs to be sitting up in the grass. So, I mostly play it square to a maximum of 5 degrees open. The advantage to me is that I am very consistent with chips, pitches and sand shots and rarely if ever hit a fat shot because it is very difficult to get the leading edge to dig. The CER wedges have a very good trait that is not found on a whole lot of modern wedges and that is the sole width is basically the same from face center to the heel. The Cleveland CG11 wedge also has this trait. I like to recommend the CER oil soaked and the CG11 to golfers that do not want to play wide sole wedges. This type sole design keeps the leading edge height higher than a tapered sole width. The lower you get the leading edge height in the heel area, the more skill that is required to eliminate sticking it into the ground or even digging more into the sand. This type wedge is really made to have the face rolled open and has the ability to hit specialty shots such as the “flop shot”.
Do you have any tips or a special technique that you use to hit wider sole wedges out of firm sand?
Yes I do. Take a normal iron stance square to the target and not open. You can open the stance slightly if you are more comfortable, but square is best. Next, use your normal swing path on the takeaway. Do not try to pry the club up on the back swing (quick wrist cock) and do not try to take the club away on an outside path on the back swing. From firm sand, any wedge with over a 1" sole width requires that you basically keep the club face square to the target and do not roll it open. Play the ball near the middle of your stance and not too far forward. This keeps the club face closer to the bottom of your swing arc. Give this a try, it works for me and I only play the wider sole wedges.
Any help with what kind of wedges that will help my game?
My recommendation really needs to center around your current skill level and how tricky you need to get with your wedge shot making. If you are inconsistent when chipping and pitching or if you sometimes hit it fat and then a little skinny; I would definitely go with the 1.25" width sole sand wedge. This wedge will work well from tight lies, but you will not be able to roll the face open more than 10 degrees. From bunkers you can roll the face open as far as 15 degrees, if necessary. This sole width makes it very hard to hit fat shots and makes it very easy to get the ball consistently out of bunkers. From full or partial wedge shots from tight lies on the fairway, the 1.25" sole will be excellent and not cause any thin hit problems. The standard “M” series wedges play like most all the other conventional wedges on the market. There are some additional shots (like the flop shot) that can be hit with these wedges and you can roll the faces more open for other special shots. However, the tradeoff is that they are more difficult to play meaning they require a higher skill level.
How do you view a products line like the X-20 or CG-4 versions of the Gap wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge versus these clubs specifically designed for the job (Vokey, or CG10 etc).
The so-called set wedges are designed for the job, but they are only one choice for every golfer who buys the set. The specialty wedge makers tend to give us the classic shapes or some unique special purpose shapes. We also have available special tour grinds, bounce angles, wider soles and a choice of finishes. So, we have a lot more options.With all that said, my preference is in most cases to have the pitching wedge be the same as the clubs in my iron set. I prefer to specifically pick out my sand wedge or lob wedge to fit my game, my eye and the playing conditions I mostly encounter. Gap wedges can go either way. I am not a big gap wedge fan anyway. I would rather have a hybrid in my set makeup instead and learn to hit my pitching wedge 3/4 to 7/8 to cover the gap wedge distance. This is not a hard shot to learn to hit.
I got the great Lob and Sand sliders wedges a year ago and I’m really happy with both. Could you please tell me what is the bounce for each?
The bounce on the Sand Slider is 4 degrees and the bounce on the Lob Slider is 3 degrees. Keep in mind that these wedges have the highest “effective bounce” of any wedges because the actual playability is determined by four wedge sole variables; 1) the actual bounce angle 2) the sole width 3) the sole front to back radius and 4) The leading edge grind (how sharp or blunt it is). These four variables will determine how high the leading edge sits off the ground and how far back from the face the sole will strike the ground. This again all adds up to determining “effective bounce”.
During a fitting can your current putter be shortened if it is determined that it is too long? I am currently using a Nike OZ.
We do this all the time, no problem. The main thing to keep in mind is the head weight of the putter which we determine by simply using a swingweight scale. Do this: check and write down the swingweight of your current length putter. Now determine the correct length for you (Golf Galaxy can do this for you if there is one near you or see your local golf professional). You do not want the swingweight to be lower than C-8 after the putter is shortened. Let’s say the Nike OZ was D-9 before shortening and you shortened the putter by 1 1/2”. Each 1/2” is approx. 3 swingweights, so you lowered the swingweight by 9 and ended up with a D-0. If it ended up below C-8, simply put lead tape on the sole equally about the face center to bring up the head weight. 5" of lead tape is equal to one swingweight. I like putting the tape on the bottom because you will never see it when putting. Also, with lead tape on your putter you will look like a tour pro.
I’m having trouble w/speed control on the green, what are some practices that I can do to improve this?
While there are a number of things that can affect good distance control (or speed control) I find that one of the biggest culprits is a deceleration of the putter head coming into impact. The putter must accelerate to provide any consistency of distance. Try this: Put three or four balls down about 20 feet from the hole on a relatively straight putt. Shorten your back stroke to about 1/2 of where it is now. This forces you to take it back and accelerate on each putt because the back stroke is too short to generate distance on its own. Concentrate and do this for a few minutes to get the feel of accelerating the putter head. Now go back to a normal stroke and once again concentrate on accelerating the head. Since, I cannot actually see you putt or the equipment you are putting with I am at a huge disadvantage here. I only mention the above solution since I run into it all the time when fitting someone to a putter. So, this may not be your problem at all but I would guess that it will help you and maybe someone else out there. I know you have heard this before, but a look at your stroke by a PGA professional could solve your problem the quickest.
You state that a 4 degree loft on a putter at impact is proper. Does that hold true with the pros you test? Can a putter fitting pro evaluate this for me at Golf Galaxy?
This holds especially true for the tour players. Very rarely do they try low lofted putters. I remember when Phil Mickelson thought he found “the secret” and putted for a while with a 0 degree or 1 degree lofted putter. It did not take long for the “honeymoon” period to end and for him to increase his loft and change putters. I have worked with a number of tour pros over the years with putters and I have never found even one of them who putts better with lofts less than 3 degrees.Most tour pros prefer 4 degrees of loft. The tour pros want to roll the ball with consistency and as smooth a roll as possible. This means that they must keep the ball from 59 initially bouncing when they putt it. To do this they must lift the golf ball out of its depression from sitting on the green. Putting the ball through the depression without lifting it will cause it to bounce to some degree and this bouncing causes inconsistent distance control. Keep in mind that some golfers (and tour pros) place their hands ahead of the ball at impact and some have their hands behind the ball at impact. If this is the case, I will usually need to adjust the putter’s loft to be 4 degrees at impact. Let’s say for example that a tour pro has his hands 2 degrees forward (forward press) at impact with the putter. This means that they have dynamically de-lofted the putter’s built in loft of say 4 degrees to only 2 degrees. In this case I will change the putter to a 6 degree built in loft putter so it has 4 degrees of loft at impact. However, I do not recommend using a forward press at impact or hands behind the ball setup. It is absolutely best to learn a proper stroke and hit the putt with the shaft vertical at impact. Linwood, every Golf Galaxy store has a “Maltby Dynamic Putter Fitting Center“ located right on the putting green. They will go through the five important putter fitting variables and fit you properly to each one. This is a fun experience because most golfers are surprised at how poorly their current putter fits them. Also, be sure and take your current putter along with you. There may be no reason at all to buy a new
putter, but simply get yours fit better to you.
I have an Ignite 002 putter I just bought. What do you think of this putter and can I this cut and fitted?
The Ignite is a very good putter. Yes, any club fitter can fit this putter to you regarding the correct length, lie, loft and swingweight.
Regarding lofts, how well do the putters with grooves solve this problem of lifting and rolling the ball? Both have this feature to impart forward roll and both show examples of the ball not hop/skipping like the ‘dew test’ or the ‘video slow motion’ shot. It seems like grooves on a putter for forward spin/roll is as important as grooves on a wedge for back spin...
I have very sophisticated putting robots and high speed video cameras and programs to calculate impacts and everything else. I can’t even guess the amount of time I spent hitting putts, measuring and analyzing putters, shooting video at 1/40,000th of a second shutter speed at 2000 frames per second and collecting data over the years. I have most everyone’s putters here in the studio and I do not get the results that you read in the advertising or many of the claims that are made. I can tell you this; if you personally come up with any putter design you like and also come up with the technical approach you are going to pursue in your promotion, I will find a way through sophisticated and believable testing to substantiate your theory and support your marketing approach. Did you ever stop and think and ask yourself the question,” why do you want less skid and more roll?” I find in my testing that you want your putter to be as consistent as possible in skid and roll through all length putts. The reason is that you want the most repeatable distance control that you can get. There are a number of factors that help to do this. One is adequate putter loft to get the ball up and out of its depression and on top of the grass after impact and the other is the flattest, smoothest face possible. I also like softer putter head inserts and softer metals (aluminum) used in putter head manufacture. I can come out with a putter tomorrow that will have a significantly reduced skid and produce more roll, all I need to do is to reduce the loft to 0 degrees. The problem now is that the ball will initially bounce too much when it is hit because it cannot get out of the depression it is sitting in and get up onto the top of the grass. So, when it bounces, it will lose distance thus becoming inconsistent in distance control.
Can you adjust the lie of an existing putter? Since you can bend irons, I am assuming you can - is that true? I was watching my son putt with a new Odyssey Marxman Mallet and noticed that the toe was in the air - is this putter adjustable?
Yes you can adjust the lie of any putter. It is best done in a “putter bending machine” made specifically for this purpose. Any Golf Galaxy store or Dick’s Sporting Goods store can provide this service for you. Also, you can look in the yellow pages under golf club repair or custom golf clubs and find a local club technician who will also be able to do it. Now, I have an important question for you. Is the putter’s length correct for your son? Sometimes when the toe is up in the air, it is a strong indication that the putter is simply too long for the golfer. This is easy to check. Have your son set up to the ball with his eyes directly over the ball (you can help with this by dropping another golf ball from his eye position and seeing if it hits the ball on the ground). This assures his spine angle will be correct. Next, set the putter’s head behind the ball and with your son’s eyes over the ball, knees slightly bent and his arms hanging as vertically as possible directly under his shoulders (naturally and not forced) have him grip the putter. If the putter’s length is correct, he should have 1/2" of the putter grip extending above the top of his left hand (I assume he is right handed). This of course is for the modern pendulum putting style which is far and away the predominant putting method used today.
While you’re on the subject of putting. I’m into my second season with golf game and continue to struggle with my putting. I’m missing the hole on both sides; right and left. So I’m considering the Left Hand Low technique.May I have your thoughts on this style of putting?
This is called “cross hand” putting and is used by many people and some touring professionals with great success. The purpose of this grip is to restrict putter head rotation that is not consistent with every stroke. Some golfers simply have this problem more than other golfers. Cross handed putting sometimes accomplishes a cure for this because the golfer has a straighter left arm throughout the stroke and this helps the natural club head rotation to be more consistent because it restricts it somewhat. I would guess that by missing on both sides of the cup, you are having trouble consistently controlling the putter head rotation. Some other things that may help are a higher moment of inertia putter head and/or a larger grip size. The larger grip size reduces the wrists’ ability to rotate thus helping with consistency during the stroke. The only draw back to a larger grip is that it can reduce the feel of the putter and sometimes cause distance problems. It will usually help with accuracy problems as I stated. Finally, make sure you are keeping your wrists out of the stroke and pivoting more around your shoulders. Too much wrist often leads to the problem you are having. Let me know how you eventually solve this and how well it worked. Also, practice, practice and more practice.
I am making a belly putter with your Ping Anser type head, 39" long for me, with the 21"Winn long grip. Do I have to add any weight, etc, to have proper swing weight for this belly putter?
All three of our end shafted models in this design will be too light. You would need to add 40 to 50 grams of head weight. These head designs vary in weight between 345 and 350 grams and you need 390 to 400 grams for the 39” length you intend to make. This would be too much weight to add to the sole of the putter head because of the amount of lead tape required. You really need to find a heavier head.
Regarding putters, what is your preference - The “pendulum”method or the “screen door”method or is there really a difference. You see plumber’s neck hosels and those for more ‘toe closure’. Is it all just personal preference or does everyone with a putter have a natural stroke?
Pendulum putting is no wrists with all rotation around the shoulders. Your reference to “screen door” simply means the putter going back slightly inside to square at impact to slightly inside on the follow through. These two definitions put together are the modern desirable way to putt and is obviously the predominate method used on tour. Forget about supposed closure rates of different type putters. Simply test different putter styles and designs off the rack to find the putter that most naturally strokes back and through on the same line with consistency. I know you have picked up a putter at one time or another that did not stroke back on the same line every time and probably made you feel uncomfortable. Higher moment of inertia putters tend to help in promoting a better stroke. The biggest decision most golfers need to make is whether a center shafted or end shafted putter works best for them.
I really enjoy your website. This is the best place to get true golf information. What is your opinion on the Heavy Putter? I was always a very poor putter (using a Ping Anser). I tried the Heavy Putter and immediately eliminated 8-9 putts per round. Is something like this common in your experience?
Like any specialty golf product, the Heavy Putter is not for everyone, but it can be a tremendous help to some golfers. Basically, the Heavy Putter slows down any of the movements the golfer makes when putting. If a golfer has a jerky stroke, lurch or lunge when putting which is usually referred to as the yips, the Heavy Putter can mostly eliminate this. Also, there are those golfers who do not have the yips that simply putt better and possibly remain more controlled and calm in their stroke with a heavier putter head, added grip end weight and finally a much heavier overall total weight. I have mentioned a number of times in my answers here that much of golf club fitting is some form of a trade-off. Of course we want all the trade-offs we make to end up positive and actually improve our games.With this said, one of the trade-offs that I have found in using heavy putters in fitting over the last 20 years (long before the Heavy Putter came out) is that it is sometimes much more difficult to control the length of longer putts with any consistency. This is something you need to find out for yourself by actually using the Heavy Putter. Also, what I have found is that it is hard for a so called normal weighted putter to match the accuracy of a heavy weighted putter on putt lengths under 11 feet. The record number of consecutive putts (exactly 11 feet) made here in the golf club design studio was done by me with the Heavy Putter (23 putts in a row). Apparently, it is working very well for you and I would definitely stick with it. You mentioned that you were always a very poor putter and I feel that this type putter has eliminated some tendency you had that probably had something to do with the words “I now have a smoother putting stroke”. So, finally Tom, the only important comment that I can leave you or any golfer with is this; “if you can satisfactorily control the distance on longer putts, you are definitely making more of the shorter putts and you have reduced your three putts, then the Heavy Putter is the way to go.”
I just purchased max moment
putter. It is awesome. Is this club legal?
Also, is it legal to stand the club behind
the ball, walk away and look at your
This is the putter that I personally use. Yes, it is perfectly U.S.G.A. legal and yes you can stand it up and walk all around it when lining up your putt. One thing is for sure; you will be noticed when you putt with it. I like to stand it up on the practice putting green and walk away from it and watch everybody stare at it. Kevin, this putter still holds the record for the highest moment of inertia putter ever made and marketed. Here is some more fun to prove MOI to your friends and yourself; line up your putt with the ball way out on the toe of the putter and stroke it. You will be amazed at how solid it feels and the ball rolls just like normal and with almost no distance loss like most other putters (high MOI does this). Final trick; put down two balls to be putted with one stroke. Leave 3/4” to 1” between them and line them up with the hole so that you will impact both of them at the same time (one on the toe and one on the heel). If you are lined up properly, both balls will head toward the hole in a lead/follow arrangement and both will go in the hole. Use about a 10 to 15 foot putt distance. I have also made three balls doing this but it takes a number of tries. I usually make the two balls every 4th or 5th try if it’s my lucky day. Thanks for trying Maltby designed products.
I recently altered my putting style from square-to-square to open closed like a door on a hinge. I like the results so far, but have not given much thought to the loft of my putter. Is this important? I play mostly on bent grass; usually smooth greens.My putter is a toe-weighted model.
The loft needs to be between 31/2 degrees and 41/2 degrees regardless of the stroke type. Hope you don’t deloft using a forward press. This is what happened to Watson when he had problems putting a few years back. I am glad you stopped using the manipulated stroke for square to square and started pendulum putting. The key thing for you is to make sure your putter’s length is correct. Left elbow should not be pointing outward, rather down and in close to your left side.
Why do putter manufacturers always put the aiming line towards the middle of the putter head and not on the sweet spot?
This is a good question and I have the answer. If the manufacturer put the line up line on the sweet spot (center of gravity) and it is not in the middle of the face, golfers would think that the putter was mis-marked and it would not sell.Many putters do have the center of gravity (sweet spot) in the middle of the face and they are properly marked. So, this is a dilemma that is faced by every putter manufacturer on some models. However, they still always put it in the middle of the face regardless of the center of gravity location. Over the years I have removed a number of line up lines and dots from many tour pro’s putters. Many just leave the top line blank and for some I recut the line or added a dot at the sweet spot.
I’ma terrible putter and can’t control my distance...can anyone help me?
You need to check a few things regarding your stroke that will affect the distance of a putt. First, if you are a mostly a wrist putter, get a lesson from a PGA pro and change to a pendulum putter stroke which is basically a pivot of the shoulders with no wrist break. Be sure your putter has a minimum of C-8 or preferably a higher swingweight. This is a good check to see if you have the minimum head weight on your putter. Also check to see if your putter is too long for you. Finally, my favorite putting drill for distance and directional control is this; Block out 15 to 30 minute sessions (your choice on session length) and using only one ball, putt different length and different break putts. No two should be the same. Your goal is to never 3 putt in the session. If you do 3 putt, either begin all over or simply keep track of how many you had during the session and try to lower this amount next time. Be sure to take your time and read each putt.
I’m a believer in the one ball; no two putts the same practice. You don’t get “Do-Over’s” on the course so don’t take the min practice. It also helps to mark your practice ball with a straight line and practice your stroke until you can get the line to “stay straight” during your putts rather than wobbling.
I agree with you. I always prefer to putt with a line up line to see if there is any wobbling of the line caused by a difference in putter face angle and path. I show an example of the line up lines in the ball balancing video on this site.
I was wondering about the putter grip, I normally use the same grip I use with my other clubs. I’m usually a good putter. I wasn’t sure if it made a difference.
Whatever gets the job done the best is the way to go in putting.With that said, the normal golf grip (Vardon overlapping) is usually not a good putter grip to promote consistency in a stroke. For this reason, the most popular putter grip used today is the reverse overlap grip. So, with the Vardon grip you overlap the little finger of the right hand between the first and second finger of the left hand (right handed golfer). With the reverse overlap putter grip, you simply reverse the role of the whatever gets the job done the best is the way to go in putting.With that said, the normal golf grip (Vardon overlapping) is usually not a good putter grip to promote consistency in a stroke. For this reason, the most popular putter grip used today is the reverse overlap grip. So, with the Vardon grip you overlap the little finger of the right hand between the first and second finger of the left hand (right handed golfer). With the reverse overlap putter grip, you simply reverse the role of the little finger. In other words, all the fingers of the right hand are wrapped around the grip itself and now the first finger of the left hand is overlapping the little finger and the one next to it on the right hand. Probably would have been easier with a picture, but give this a try to see if you like it.
Can you take amore traditional blade putter or iron and place weights on the end to increase theMOI? Also, I have purchased three or four drivers (one a year for the past four years) but my cheap Dunlop driver is still in my bag while my friends are all playing my new drivers. Did I just get lucky and buy one that fit my game a little better or will I have to retrain myself to hit a new driver if I am looking for an upgrade?
Yes, you can add heel and toe weights to a traditional blade putter and you will increase theMoment of inertia (MOI). In most cases the old traditional blades were light in weight so you will actually get two benefits from doing this. If you are playing with a 34" putter length, you really don’t want to go much over 360 grams head weight (the swingweight will be around D-7). If you made the head 340 grams in weight the swingweight would come out to around D-2. Here is an example; Let’s assume you have an older Bullseye putter which is a traditional blade style putter. These putters were usually around 280 to 300 grams in head weight for a 34" or a 35" putter. TheMOI was around 9.5 ounce/inches squared. If you added 25 grams of weight in the toe and 25 grams of weight in the heel, the putter head weight would now be say 350 grams and the moment of inertia (MOI) would jump up to around 16 ounce/inches squared or a 40% increase inMOI. To show you how bad thisMOI still is; when Karsten Solheim invented the Ping Answer putter, it measured 28 ounce/inches squared inMOI. Now you know why he was so successful at the time because no one else in the golf industry was even close to his much higher MOI reading. OK, the driver question; my guess is that the shaft is a great fit for you in the Dunlop driver. Of course, all the measurements of this driver would need to be taken and compared to all the new drivers you bought to check out any and all significant differences. Next time you are out to buy your yearly driver, be sure and take the Dunlop driver along and demo it along with the latest and the greatest on the market. This is the best way to find out why you like the Dunlop driver so much or if there really is something better that works for you.
I have learned there is a difference between a putter that is “face balanced” (more like a mallet design) and one that is “toe and heel” balanced (like a blade design). Does one have a greater MOI than the other?
I assume you are admitting that you are not a par shooter? Bob, both a mallet and a heel/toe weighted putter can be face balanced if desired. This is done by the type of shaft that is installed which is referred to as a “double bend shaft”. Both putter types can also have vastly differentMOI’s. Soon, I will have posted here on this site the MOI’s of over 100 putter models.
Is there any real advantage to newer insert/face materials related to distance control, or is this done merely to produce a “perceived” softer feel by the player?
The hardness of the putter face definitely affects the distance a putt will roll with the exact same input force. I use a very sophisticated putting robot for these type tests and have proved this. Obviously the softer the putter face the shorter the ball will roll.With that being said, here goes. I have not proved this, but it makes sense that any face material or insert that is softer than steel or stainless steel will be easier to control distance of a putt because the golfer needs to strike the ball harder. Hitting it harder to achieve the same putt distance reduces the touch required for consistent distance control. I personally prefer aluminum putter faces over steel mainly because they feel better to me. Sorry I don’t have the exact answer as yet. Hope this helps.
Is there a good way to add a lot of weight to a putter head? I realized after reading this article, that when I shortened my putter I really reduced the swingweight to an extreme. I like my putter, but would like to get back the feel of the head in the swingweight. I removed about 2" from my putter’s length.
Since you liked the old feel and weight, you need to add back the 10 to 12 swingweights you lost by shortening your putter by 2". This is a lot of weight and a problem I frequently encounter, especially with women cutting down and using men’s putters. Lead tape is the answer; however it will take 5" of 1/2" wide lead tape per swingweight or in your case a minimum of 50". For example, let me assume you have a Ping Answer type putter with a decent sole on it. Going from toe to heel on the sole and starting about 1/8" back from the face place the first strip of tape. Next butt the second strip up against this one. Next, if it will fit, butt the next strip up against this one (you may need to cut this strip lengthwise to make it narrower). You should now have the entire sole covered by one layer of lead tape. Put on two more complete layers of lead tape and burnish it down with a small wood block (burnishing is rubbing and pressing down the lead tape surface and edges and sort of blending it all together and removing all the wrinkles). Keep adding 2 or 3 more layers and burnish again until all 50" or so of lead tape is applied and burnished. You will not be able to see the lead tape in the putting position and the putter should feel like its old self again.
I am currently fitting a tall player with back problems. He wants to stand up straighter to take the strain off his back when putting. To fit him, the putter would be 37" long.When I dry swingweight theMA0076 09 putter with the double bend shaft, the swingweight is F8. I imagine this would be too high to be practical so would this be a good application of back weighting?
In this case I would not add weight to the butt end of the shaft. I would only do this if he has a yip problem on short putts. This is a case where you will definitely help his back problem, keep him playing the game, with the only tradeoff of too heavy a putter head. No, on the flip side, he will have better accuracy on shorter putts with the tradeoff being less than ideal distance control on longer putts. Keep in mind that when you back weight (counter balance in the grip end) you significantly raise the total weight of the putter. It is best to keep the total weight in proportion to the head weight if there is no special need to change it (yips).
I see you have mentioned putter head weight and swingweighting. Have you done any testing on back weighting, which is putting weight at the very end of the butt and finding out if this helps consistency? I ask this because back weighting seems to give memore consistent putts.
I have used butt weighting for over 20 years now. I use it when a golfer has a tendency toward the yips. I will generally put a wood plug in the butt end about 2" down from the top and pour lead on top. I also specify a heavier head weight in conjunction with this. The purpose is to slow down any quickness in the hands and also eliminate any jerkiness. This can be a good cure, but the tradeoff can be poorer distance control on long putts for some golfers. Another benefit however is that accuracy generally improves on shorter putts, say less than 15 feet or so. Basically, everything we do in fitting has some kind of a tradeoff with something else. The object is to make the tradeoffs better and better for a given golfer without giving up too much. Some tour players do add a little weight in the butt of their putters. One, I know puts lead tape under the grip. I really cannot recommend doing this across the board, but with certain putting problems, I can recommend at least trying it.
I too am lost when it comes to selecting the right shaft. I have been told by different places that I need a regular shaft. Other places say that regular shafts are only for extremely slow swings and I need a stiff shaft. Who knows?
Actually the easy part of picking a shaft should be to select the proper flex for an individual. This is basically done by measuring swing speed or how far someone hits the ball. After the flex is determined, the harder part is to select the proper bending characteristics (shaft bend point). The playability of any given shaft stiffness can vary dramatically from one shaft to the next depending if it is “tip stiff”, “tip weak” or “center deflected”. Basically, “tip stiff” is for the late release swing and “tip weak” is for the early release swing. A competent person on a launch monitor can determine this. Keep in mind that you may fit into a number of different brand shafts, but they should all have the same basic build characteristics that were determined by your swing.
Does the Torque range from lower 2.5 as an example to say 4.0 higher mean the shaft twist more at the high range 4.0....Closing the face sooner at a slower swing speed? If I’m correct Low torque 2.5 fast swing speed. High torque 4.0 slow swing speed! Correct?
Got to love golf, you are correct. Add in this note: The later the golfer releases, the lower the torque, the earlier the golfer releases the higher the torque. I say this because higher torque is usually associated with a lower bend point (more tip flexible) shaft.
I have always thought if you substituted a lighter shaft with a heavier shaft on the same head you would decrease the swing weight. The current graphite shaft weighs about 87 grams. I am thinking about putting in a steel shaft that weighs about 115 grams (I think). Wouldn’t the overall club weight increase but the swing weight decrease?
Here is another way to look at it. Imagine two identical 256 gram 5 iron heads built to 38" long. Assume one is shafted with an 87 gram graphite shaft and the other a 115 gram steel shaft. The 115 gram steel shafted club would probably be very close to a D-2 swingweight. The graphite shaft club would be very close to a C-9 swingweight. Here’s why: The swingweight scale has a 14" fulcrum length, meaning that 24" of the 5 iron’s length is hanging over the front of the scale. Since the head is the same weight and the length of the club is the same, the 24" of steel shaft is heavier than its graphite counterpart. Therefore the swingweight will read higher and the total weight difference of the golf club will be 28 grams heavier for the steel shaft (115 - 87 grams). I know, you are probably saying that the steel shaft part in the 14" fulcrum area is heavier than the graphite one also helping to counterbalance (reduce) the club’s swingweight. This won’t do it because the 14" fulcrum area requires double the amount of weight added in the butt end of the shaft to equal the additional weight hanging over the front of the scale. Hope this helps and I did not make things worse.
I believe that the graphite shafts I currently have in my LT’s weigh 87 grams. I also notice that most manufacturers put in a graphite shaft that is approximately 1/4 inch longer than the corresponding steel shaft. Having said that, if I make the exchange that I described in my previous post, would I order the steel shaft 1/4 inch shorter than the current graphite shaft? The current swing weight is D-2.
If you like the current length, there is no need to change. Now that you confirmed the shaft weight and current swingweight, my best guess is that you will gain 2 to 3 swingweights when switching from graphite to Dynamic lightweight steel shafts.
My iron shaftMPF result indicates TT Dynamic Gold Lite R300 as an option. Currently, I am playing TaylorMade LT’s with their stock graphite stiff shaft. I have always preferred steel shafts in my irons.What do you think of replacing the graphite shafts with the steel shafts I mentioned above? Is the head compatible?
I like steel shafts in my irons, but remember this is my personal preference. In particular, a number of seniors and most women benefit from graphite shafted irons. I just measured my TaylorMade LT iron hosel diameter from theMPF wall here in the studio and it is a standard .370" tip which uses a .375" bore diameter. If you decide to change shafts be sure and order .370" tip shafts. Be careful about lengths and swingweight. If you put in the Dynamic lightweight steel shafts at the same club length as before you will gain a few swingweights depending on the weight of your present graphite shafts vs. the Dynamic lightweight steel shafts. The rule of thumb is that heavier shafts require lighter heads to make a given swingweight (say D-2 for example). Lighter shafts require a heavier head weight to make the same D-2 swingweight with the same weight head. Ted, I have done this type reshaft a number of times for players and most have accepted and some have preferred the higher resulting swingweight. Isn’t it fun to learn all about golf clubs? It seems so simple to just change shafts to whatever you want, but we really need to thoroughly evaluate every situation.
Thank you so much for your articles, I learn a lot from your website. I’m just a beginner in golf. Now I’musing 5 iron - LWPing Eye2 (Radius-U groove, K-Shaft, Stiff flex, 1985) that I got from my uncle. I feel the shaft is too heavy and stiff for me. I can hit it straight but short (150 yards with 5 iron). I’m considering to re-shaft it. What do you think if I change to True Temper - Dynalite Gold Super Lite R300? Any suggestion on shaft flex for my wedges; PW, SW, LW which have 50, 56, and 60 degrees of loft, should I go for same model S flex or change to other models? Please also give me an idea of how different between Taper and Parallel shaft, which one I should go for.
The Ping Eye 2’s are great irons but I never liked the K-shaft. You are correct, it is very stiff in flex and also tip stiff. You get very little bending action from this shaft. The Dynalite Gold Lite is a good iron shaft at 112 gram weight. I also like the TX-90 steel shaft which is also made by True Temper. This shaft is 90 grams. Either one would be a good choice. These shafts will require slightly heavier head weights to make the original swingweight, Rule of thumb: lighter shafts need heavier head weights to maintain the same swingweight as a heavier shaft. I think the shaft you have in there now is around 120 grams, but I am not positive. So, do this: check all your swingweights and write them down. Check your current length on the 5 iron. If it is 37 1/2" make it 38" when you reshaft. If it is 38", leave it at 38" and add some lead tape to the bottom of the Ping Eye cavity. At 38" I like the swingweight to be D-0 to D-1. It is hard for me to recommend a shaft flex because I do not know your swing speed. Your wedges can all be stiff flex.Most all wedges are shafted in stiff flex. In your case you will probably want to install tip taper shafts because this is easiest and was the original bore in the Eye2 iron heads. The TX-90 only comes in parallel tip so you would need to bore out the hosels with a 3/8" drill bit if you decide to use this shaft. This will remove about 2 grams or 1 swingweight and require a little more lead tape.
What can you tell me about the new Epic shaft? Will it really be as long as graphite but have the control of steel?
For a shaft only price of $140.00 per iron and $175.00 per wood, it should hit the ball for you. I can play any shaft I want and get it for free and I play with a $39.00 driver shaft. The reason I do this is because when I tested shafts and hit quite a number of test (demo) drivers, this shaft performed the best for my swing. Yes, I would play with amore expensive shaft if it further helped my game. The point here is to actually go out and demo these shafts and then decide.With all that being said, I do not have any feedback yet on this Grafalloy Epic shaft and I have not hit it yet. If you like Grafalloy shafts, as I do, try the Grafalloy/Maltby Pro Launch 65. This is a sleeper, but I do not recommend it for the very hard hitter.
Are flighted shafts better than non-flighted? Are there any disadvantages in a flighted set compared to a non flighted set?
Flighted is simply another design approach to golf shafts. It’s like any other shaft, it either works better for you or it is not as good. The whole idea is to modify the shaft bend points throughout the set to better “flight” the shots.My question is, “why do I need the shaft to supposedly alter my individual iron ball flights?” Basically, the loft angle, the vertical center of gravity location and the club’s incremental lengths flight the ball naturally. I don’t think I want the shaft manufacturer cranking up my long irons and turning down my short irons thus changing the incremental distances that I hit the ball. Remember, distance is based on trajectory, alter trajectory and you alter distance. Alter the distance and you alter the back spin rate. Alter the back spin and you alter how the ball bites when it lands. This is not the job of the shaft. The shaft’s job is to bring the club head into impact with the best repeatability and consistency possible and let the specifications designed into the head do their job.
I’ve been building clubs for myself using your components for many years, and lately have been using the M-05 cavity backs since they came out. Great clubs! This season, due to age (62) and a bad back, I seem to be losing the ability to hit the longer irons (4 and 5). I recently went against my traditionalist tendencies and built myself an RDMRecoil 5 iron, using the same (graphite) shafts I use in theM-05’s. WOW....what a club! High, straight and easy to hit!Maybe it’s time to rethink a few things!My question is....to take the place of the 4 iron, would you advise me to build another RDMRecoil (23 degrees) or go with yourMXU Utility club? I’ve never been a hybrid guy, but the MXU looks more like a wood. If I do choose the MXU do you recommend using the same shaft I use in my irons or your MXU utility shaft?
You have a number of choices, but here is what I would do (recommend). If you still hit theM-05 6 iron, 7 iron and so on.... with good results, I would keep the RDM recoil in your bag, but I would put in the “Trouble-Out” 7 metal to replace the 4 iron. If you want another “WOW” factor this is it. I designed the “Trouble-Out’s” to be the ultimate easy to hit fairway metals and with most all the attributes of a hybrid. What I mean by this is that the head design of the “Trouble-Out” actually has more playability features than any hybrid head but you build it to a fairway metal length vs. a hybrid length. Although, since there are no set length standards, a hybrid and a fairway metal can sometimes be the same length. Also, I would use the MPF fairway Series graphite shaft. I love hybrids and can hit them very well, but I do not play any of them because I play the “Trouble- Out” fairways in 5, 7, and 9 metals. I feel that the “Trouble-Out’s” get the ball out of the rough better and that’s why I stick with them. So, this is my opinion without knowing much about your game. I kind of shoot from the hip a little here, but I’ll give it a hefty 90%chance that you will say “Wow” again.
Love my KE4 Beta driver. I’m now prepping to build a KE4 3-wood and three hybrids.What will happen if I trim an extra quarter inch off of the KE4 firm fairway and hybrid shafts?What will I end up with in terms of stiffness? Does it make sense, or should I consider a different shaft altogether. I’m looking for slightly more stiffness in my fairway wood and my hybrids.My swing speed is 92mph. Thanks for your time and your great site.
These small modifications are what clubmaking is all about. You can tweak and customize to any combination or playability that you like. Yes, you can tip the KE4 shafts (or for that matter any shaft) to do two things to the shaft. First, you increase the stiffness slightly and secondly, you move the shaft bend point closer to the head, thus making it slightly more tip stiff. The end results are as follows; the club will feel stiffer, you should gain better directional control, the trajectory may be a little lower and the face will tend to close less. You, however, will need to hit the ball near the center of the face if you do not do this already. Basically, the more you stiffen up a shaft, the less forgiving it will be on off center hits. You see, there is always some kind of a tradeoff in anything you do to a golf club. Picking all the correct tradeoffs for your particular game is referred to as “club fitting”. A 1/4" tipping amount will be a slight change or approximately a 1/8 to less than a 1/4 increase in shaft flex. It generally takes between 1" and 11/2" to equal a full flex category change. Of course, all this is dependent on a number of other factors also, so use this as a rough rule of thumb. Finally, if your 92MPH swing speed is accomplished with a late wrist release (faster acceleration), you may want to tip the shaft 1/2". However if you simply have the strength to achieve a 92MPH swing speed with a early (slower acceleration) to a so-called normal golfer wrist release (there actually is no such thing in golf terminology as “normal”) then I would first try 1/4" as the tipping amount.
Can a too low torque shaft cause a fade and a too high torque cause a draw? Are there any other effects that shaft torque has?
Basically, once the club head smashes into the golf ball at impact the resultant hit relies completely on the mass and dimensional properties of the club head only. The mass and dimensional properties are head weight, center of gravity location and moment of inertia. Yes, there are also the angular properties of loft angle, lie angle, sole bounce angle and so on. The point here is to consider the club head a free wheeling object at this point. The shaft’s job is to bring the club head into the ball with repeatability swing after swing. So, the torque specification of a certain shaft has done its job when impact occurs. You select shaft torque for a certain swing so that it brings the club head into impact as square as possible and again with good repeatability. If you select a shaft that is the correct flex to fit you, but you select a shaft with too little torque, the tendency will be to leave the club face open coming into impact. Conversely, if you select a shaft with too much torque, you may have a tendency to close the face too much coming into impact.When the incorrect torque is used by a golfer (or for that matter a shaft which is either too stiff or too flexible for them), the tendency is to make an adjustment in set-up position and/or ball position to aim better toward the target.
I am trying to reshaft a set of junior CER graphite shaft for my son who is 51" tall and 25" high on wrist. I can not find the index for length shaft for junior. Which URL can find the index for junior size?
I don’t have the junior specs on this site as yet. I took these out of my book “The Complete Golf Club Fitting Plan” section on fitting juniors on pages 182-187. There are a few other considerations for fitting length to juniors such as strength, etc. and the book explains this. Here are the basics: A boy 51" tall uses an average driver length of 35". The total range allows up to 37" if he can hit it straight and near face center. #5 iron average length is 30.5" with a maximum of 32". Putter length is 28.5" average or up to 30" maximum.
I was recently fitted for a set of CERUM’s at a Golf Galaxy store. I like the pro and trust him immensely but.....just the other day I was looking through the GolfWorks catalog and notice that the shaft he put me in (Pro White) is listed as a 4B1H.When I use your shaft playability factor I fall right at a 4B1M. How much of a difference will this shaft make considering I am a 13 hdcp?
This is a fairly minor difference in shaft playability. The final determinant on which shaft works best for you is in actually hitting it. The shaft MPF chart tries to get you close and eliminates a whole bunch of shafts you do not need to try. The “H” is a shaft with slightly more flex and or torque to aid in the club face closing faster coming into impact. The “M” is slightly less tip flexible but only slightly. After a number of rounds you will know if it suits you and I think it will. Remember, there are usually quite a number of shafts that any golfer can be fit into and will help their game. Finally, the fact that you are a 13 handicap and a better player will tend to reduce slight shaft differences.
I live inMexico and I have two questions, but first let me congratulate you for your Hall of Fame award. I have been a fan of your clubs since the first time I try them( a year ago ) and I play the Gliders, the slider lob and sand and the Toski hybrid...of course the putter is theMoment 03 Pro CS. So,my question is how can I know the playability of my Driver Shaft that is TaylorMade R5 type D stiff and my second question is what is the playability of my Driver and what playability has the KE4 Driver head.
When referring to Original Equipment Shafts (OEM), it is very difficult to get specifications from the manufacturer or for us to acquire and measure everyone on the market. The only thing I can tell you regarding OEM shafts is that the manufacturers generally make their shaft specs neutral. This means most specs are somewhere toward the center of the range to cover as many player types as possible. Now you can see why it is important to find the best shaft for each golfer and many times it will not be the OEM shaft. Your TaylorMade driver head design has very high playability and is a good choice. The KE4 driver head is “Super Game Improvement” and also plays extremely well.
I recently acquired a set of refinished Byron Nelson Northwestern iron heads (2-9 iron). I want to shaft the heads with a steel shaft that will be playable for my swing speed and ability. My question is:What is my best option in a .355" taper tip shaft for a 4B2M player? Would these iron heads perform better/ easier with a light steel shaft to counter the head-heavy, long hosel? My fitted length is a 38” 5-iron
which is longer than the old traditional of 371/2". Will the increased length make the swingweight unwieldy? If I change the lofts to the modern lofts, will this too drastically alter the heads so that the bounce is out of kilter? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks. P.S. I have the first edition of your book, circa 1976. I was a beginning club builder as an apprentice in theMiddle Atlantic Section of the PGA of America. You taught a club repair/fitting segment at my PGA Business School I in Orlando.
First of all, this set has a very low playability factor with the center of gravity fairly high and on the hosel side of face center (caused by the very long hosel). If you like the look of these heads and being a PGA professional I am assuming you are a consistent ball striker, then go for it. Do not strengthen the lofts as you will turn a no bounce sole into a digger sole. I would go with the TT Lite XL in “S” flex and .355" tip taper. The shafts are $7.25 each and play very well. You will be OK with the head weights because they were designed for heavier steel shafts. So, when you go 1/2" longer, you would theoretically pick up 3 swingweights. However, the lighter steel shafts require a heavier head weight to maintain the same swingweight; therefore, it will almost be a wash. C-O to D-2 will play well for you. I really like hearing from the
golf professionals that attended my schools in the past. I did over 200 PGA business schools and I remember one of them in Orlando had over 300 students. So, there are a lot of you out there. Hope all this helps.
While these “universal chart” solutions are helpful, they have, to my mind, at least two faults: - they are based upon what you are getting with the club you are now hitting. If that club is wrong, your results are skewed. They do not take in tempo, which I believe is very important. A flexible shaft on a quick tempo swing is a recipe for disaster. The best approach is to use these charts as guides and swing a lot of clubs. Unfortunately, this is not an option for me as I am left handed, and can’t even get the irons you have in your bag!
There is no “chart” that can accurately fit anyone to the proper golf shaft. The idea of publishing golf shaft specifications and trying to put them in some playability rating is to simply get golfers pointed in the right direction and narrow down the huge volume of golf shaft models and brands on the market today. These “charts” and MPF ratings do just that and they really help to streamline the club fitting process. This is why it is extremely important to work with a qualified individual on a driving range or in a store situation and also have access to launch monitors or simulators or whatever you want to call them. You actually need to hit different shafts in different heads. I can somewhat sympathize with you as I too am left handed (switched to playing from the right side at an early age). Obviously while not as prevalent as right handed clubs, there are still quite a few very good left handed clubs available. Check out as many club manufacturer sites as you can on the web to research this.
Please compare these iron shaft; TX-90, GS75, Dynalite Gold SL, and NS Pro 750 / 850 / 950 in term of trajectory and player profile.Which one is best for male, age 30, club speed (iron) 77mph and which flex? Another question, I have read about Dynacraft Shaft Fitting Index (DSFI), what do you think about this index. Is it reliable?
The 77 mph on your iron (I am assuming a 5 iron) should translate into approximately a 90 mph or less driver head speed. This would put you into a “stiff” flex shaft. The TX-90, GS75 and the Dynalite Gold SL are all soft tip shafts. If you release relatively late in the swing and hit the ball solid most of the time, you may need a more tip stiff shaft like the Dynamic Gold Lite. You really need to try a couple of these shafts and see how they work for you. I really never liked the Dynacraft DSFI Shaft Fitting Index because it utilizes too much information and makes too many assumptions to get you the correct shaft. The best you can do with a shaft playability system (like the MPF Shaft Fitting Guide) is to put a golfer into the correct grouping of shafts that will probably work the best. This approach eliminates searching through all the many shafts available which is quite bewildering to any golfer, thus making the selection process much easier. On paper, no one can pinpoint the exact right shaft for you.
I checked your shafts for Pro Launch Blue, the 55 grams shows 4.0 torque. the 65 gram shows 2.8 so it looks like this is the one forme. Can you explain the playability factor 4B2H means?? Do you have 55 grams with soft tip & low torque??
The shaft code 4B2H is as follows: The “4” means stiff shaft flex, the “B” says you want both distance and control and do not favor one to achieve the other. Remember, there is always some form of a tradeoff in distance and control. The trick is to pick the shaft that maximizes both. The best way to do this is to obviously demo different shafts that fall into the 4B2H shaft selection area. The “2” stands for a preferred trajectory that is “medium” and not high or low. The “H” means that you have a preference and would like the shaft to help you correct a hooking tendency. The MPF shaft selector on the website is designed to help you select shafts that have the characteristics that may fit best with your preferences and swing. It can only put you in the “ballpark”. It does, however, eliminate a ton of shafts that do not fit the profile you desire. Also, don’t get caught up in the actual torque numbers listed for shafts. On its own, the lower torque numbers do not necessarily mean that this shaft will hit the ball straighter. I never use the torque number to select a shaft. Torque readings are static measurements done with the shaft in a fixture with a weight hanging off a fulcrum attached to the tip of the shaft (this can be done from the butt end also if desired). This has little bearing on the recovery characteristics and other performance characteristics of the shaft when it is dynamically swung. Consider it one small factor only.
I have seen several golfers with the Pro Launch Blue so I’m leaning on that one. I have the R7 425 65 grams (shaft),mid tip, I prefer a higher launch for more distance. You & I are about the same age you prefer 55 grams (“soft tip”) which will be lighter,my control is good for the mid tip, will the Pro Launch be the same or better??
Yes, I feel the Pro Launch will be better. You are almost always better off with a top grade shaft vs. the shafts that manufacturers put in as standard. They almost always pick middle of the road specifications for a one shaft fits all philosophy. There are also a number of cases that I know of where a manufacturer puts in a popular brand shaft but has it made different to make it cost much less. This is not always the case but it is done more often than you would think. Bub, don’t worry about control because even though the Pro Launch Blue has a softer tip, it has enough torque built in to keep the ball straight.
I’ma little confused here on the tips of the graphite wood shafts.My old club has stiff flex with “soft tip” & felt like hitting feather and got the ball higher flight which is my liking, now I have mid tip & I can feel it & the ball doesn’t go as high as I like. Thinking about changing shaft, haven’t seen any that says “soft tip”. Does anybody know what brand of shaft that has a “soft tip”??
There are quite a few soft tip “stiff” flex shafts available. You need to call the GolfWorks at 1-800-848-8358 and have them send you a catalog. You can also get the catalog on www.golfworks.com. There are over 50 pages of golf shafts and all their specifications are listed next to the picture. This is the best reference manual for golfers that I know of. Here are 6 of my favorites to get you started. The CER FW77 at $17.95 each, the UST IROD at $49.95 each and the GRAFALLOY PRO LAUNCH BLUE available in 3 weights, the 45 gram, 55 gram, 65 gram or 75 gram version at $63.99 each (I actually personally prefer the 55 gram weight).
I currently play an r7 425 with a Vb2 stiff. I average 104mph. wWould I benefit from upgrading to an X stiff V2???
It is best to hit the X-Stiff shaft first as you are borderline for moving up to a stiffer shaft. Answer these questions; are you hitting the ball too high? Does your shot shape always produce a draw, a pull or a hook and you are really trying to hit it straight? Does an impact decal show that most all your impacts are very close to the center of the face and above the face center vertically? You need to hit the X-Stiff as solid as you currently hit the Stiff shaft. OK here are the explanations; if the ball goes left, the shaft’s flex or tip stiffness is too weak for your swing speed and release. The shaft at impact will allow the face to close too much. If you hit the ball too high, the shaft flexing too much will increase the loft too much at impact. If you are not hitting the ball in the correct impact location on the club face the X-Stiff shaft will make your hits feel less solid than they are now and the club will feel worse to you. Use this rule of thumb; A too stiff shaft can cause you to hit the ball lower and usually straighter but with a loss in distance. It can also feel clunky or boardy if you cannot hit the face center as mentioned above.
Surprisingly my issue this year has been a hook with my neutral grip. I’ve had to weaken my grip and play a power fade to keep the ball from going left. I usually do hit the center of the club face. I might experiment with an X stiff shaft later on in the year.
Without really knowing your swing, but from your answers, it seems quite possible that you need a more tip stiff shaft or you need to move up to the “X” flex. Do this if you can; demo the same driver in a stiff shaft and an x-stiff shaft and see if there is a difference in hooking the ball. At this point, it really does not matter which shaft you use to demo and compare, just see if it helps to correct your hooking. It isn’t only swing speed that determines the shaft stiffness; it is also a function of how late you release the club on the downswing. The later you release will usually result in more shaft bending action. This then results in more closing of the face angle (as stated in my previous answer) which results in pulling, hooking or drawing of the ball.
Since you mentioned replacing them, what would you personally recommend for hybrids and driver (if needed)? My old fairway metals need to be replaced anyway; I’ve been using a TMr540 9.5 degree driver. This 540 corresponds to the series number rather than the cc figure, correct? How can I know what cc my current driver is?
Your TaylorMade R540 driver is only 350cc’s if I remember correctly. I know it’s a lot of money to change but you are definitely giving up something to the golf course without the available technology. All of the major manufacturers have the highest technology in their new drivers. Most all the driver heads play similar (the shaft is actually the biggest difference). You really need to hit a few of them before you decide. Hitting demos before you buy is very important. Also, there are a lot of great hybrids out there and again, most play very well. I happen to like Callaway hybrids, but you will not go wrong sticking with any of the major golf club brands.
Does torque impact the closing of a square faced driver (preventing or reducing a fade/slice)?
Sort of yes, but it is only one of the shaft bending specifications that affect this. Others would be the shaft bend point (tip stiff, tip weak, etc.), the shaft weight and the shafts relative stiffness (R, S, or X). The golf club factors that affect this are its length and head weight and face angle which you already mentioned.
Currently I play HCP 23.5 and I have worked very hard to come under 20, right near 15 (I hope it). I searched for new clubs and found your iron MPF. Is it possible to give me a tip for a combination of club head and shaft (my shaft MPF is 3B2S). I know it is very difficult without my swing being analyzed, but I am hoping for a positive answer.
I would pick any iron from about 1000MPF points and up. There are a number of them on the MPF list. You will find most of them from Callaway Golf and also some of the irons I design. If you are looking at clubs I designed, I would go with the Maltby KE4 irons at 1014 MPF points. I would put steel shafts in these. I think the Dynalite Gold (without Sensicore) would be a very good choice for you because they have a very soft tip flex. You fit into “R” flex according to the shaftMPF you gave me. These shafts are 3B3H but will still help you achieve the 3B2S that the chart indicated. Regarding a driver, play with at least a 440cc and preferably a 460cc head size for maximum playability. It really doesn’t matter which one as long as you stick with a top grade manufacturer. I would put in the MPF graphite shaft (3B3M) at 60 grams weight. This is also a soft tip shaft that is fairly inexpensive but is really high in game improvement features to hit the ball with more consistency for middle to higher handicap golfers. I actually play this shaft (in “S” flex in my case) in all my fairway metals because it is so easy to hit.
About the Step 4 “Correction Preference” in yourMPF shaft rating system. Does “S”mean the shaft promotes a slice or that it counteracts a golfer’s tendency to slice?
You’re, we need to put in a more complete instruction on using this great tool so it is very clear to the golfer. I will get it done. The #4 instruction should read as follows; choose whether you need help in correcting a hook, a slice, or no correction is required. So, if you choose “slice” our data base will pick those shaft properties that will tend to help negate a slicing tendency. Remember that this shaft MPF tool is designed to get you into the correct “ball park” and eliminate the endless searching through the hundreds of different shafts available. There is really no current method or system that will pinpoint the exact correct shaft for you and there never will be. So, once you find your shaft MPF rating, it is best to try a shaft by demoing it if possible.
I’ma very inconsistent golfer at age of 27, I just feel out of energy around 15th - 17th hole. At the start of a round I usually blast 300 - 330. By the end of the round I’m just too exhausted and do a half ass swing which leads to pop-ups... etc. Seemed like my driver was the issue which led me to other disasters... I played 905t with Fujikura 757 in stiff... recently moved on to 905R withMitsubishi blue board 73g in stiff... still I can’t make up my mind if I should of went with 63x ...majority of people said I should of use stiff flex rather than X stiff.What’s your take on this? X stiff in lighter weight or heavier stiff ? Finally, would this cure my inconsistency in my driving capabilities?
This is a tough one for me to answer because I need more data, but I do have a suggestion for a solution. The first thing you need to do is to get on a launch monitor somewhere and get some hard, factual data. This is the fastest and easiest way to narrow down any possible equipment (shaft) problems that you may have. I really cannot comment on the physical problem you mentioned (energy loss) because many golfers, me included, can sometimes be pretty tired during the closing holes and yes, this can affect how you play. The launch monitor can help to pinpoint whether it is fatigue or the shaft that is causing the inconsistency. You are probably going to be fresh when you test on the launch monitor, so that only leaves your swing and/or your equipment. If you really hit the ball over 300 yards, your swing speed will almost surely be in the “X” flex shaft. If you play only a few times a year and are not a consistent ball striker (consistent meaning mostly middle of the face impacts), I could recommend that you try a stiff flex shaft with a tip stiff bend point. However, I do not think this is your situation. Basically, I would not look at the shaft weight in the brands you are playing as a possible solution because these top quality shaft makers can build all their different weights to work well, even for the hardest hitters. It’s the bend point you need to be more concerned with because of your high swing speed. I know my answer here probably does not help you much, but it is a start in trying to solve your problem of inconsistency with the driver. P.S. Do you have similar problems with your irons?
My question is that of shaft configuration. I am short (5'4") and would like to find out what is the correct length, lie and loft measurements for me.My wrist to floor measurement is 27". The shaft that is recommended based on the program is 4B3H -the choices are the Dynalite Gold/SL/ with Sensicore and GX-5.What would be the best one to choose (fighting a hook)? Are these regular stiffness shafts?
I need to put more information on this site on how to properly use the Shaft Fitting MPF Tool. The GolfWorks catalog explains it well, but this site does not.What I am referring to specifically is an explanation of what the code means to the golfer. Here goes on your code; 4B3H = “4” is for “stiff’ shaft flex, “B” says you want both a distance and control shaft, “3” says you want to hit the ball higher than you do now and ‘H” says you need to correct a hook tendency. The code tells me that you need a soft tip shaft to help get the ball higher in the air. I would really like you to get into a launch monitor or a simulator and get a good head speed number with your driver if you haven’t done so already. The stiff flex shaft will help with the hook tendency. Remember John that all these specs are basically some sort of a tradeoff to get the shaft that works the best for us. You happen to have two opposing shaft specification problems. One is correct a hook and the other is hit it higher. This requires a compromise and you need to do a little testing to find out which shaft will work the best for you.With that said, I would lean toward the Dynalite Gold SL without the Sensicore. You do not need Sensicore.
Hi I am a junior having a Titleist 905R driver with a regular Aldila NV 65 shaft.My drives carry 280-290 yards. They often seem to be pushed to the right. Is this due to the regular shaft, should I switch to a stiff shaft? My club pro said that I was a “swinger” and not a “hitter” so the regular shaft should be OK, he said. If the shaft is too soft, does the ball tend to go to the right?
If you really can hit it that far you have no business playing with a regular shaft regardless of the type of swing you have. It seems that you are over powering the shaft and this tends to leave the face open at impact. In a situation where you just fit into a stiff shaft category and you are playing a regular shaft, the tendency is to hit a higher hooking or drawing shot to the left. This occurs because the face closes more and the loft increases more due to the shaft flexing more. However when the difference in shaft flex you are now playing is far too soft for your swing speed, the opposite happens and you over power the shaft and it lags so much that the head stays open coming into impact. Gabriel, remember that my answer here is based on a 280 to 290 yard drive. This is quite rare although many golfers feel they can hit it this far. I would recommend that you have your swing speed checked on a launch monitor or a simulator to get the exact swing speed of your driver.
Is there a way of estimating my swing speed with my new driver? I have no access to a radar speed device. The driver is 44 inches long with 10.7 degrees of launch angle. Total distance with this club is 265 yards.
While not perfect, this should give you a ballpark idea of your driver swing speed; If you hit your 5 iron 150 yards, your driver swing speed will be 70 to 79 mph. 6 iron 150 yards, driver swing speed will be 80- 89 mph. 7 iron 150 yards, driver swing speed 90- 99 mph. 8 iron 150 yards, driver over 100 mph.
If a golf machine or a perfect type golfer were to swing a golf club at 95mph using the same golf head and golf shaft but with three different flexes senior, regular, and stiff, what would the differences be? Such as distance, control, loft etc.
Let’s assume this is a driver and also assume that the 95 mph club head speed is perfect for the regular flex shaft (it’s actually a “stiff” flex shaft but not for this comparison). So, the regular flex shaft in this example achieves the perfect trajectory that maximizes distance and direction for this particular player (robot).When this player (robot) switches to the “senior” flex or “A” flex shaft (same exact shaft but different flex only) the tendency will be to hit the ball higher, slightly drawing or being pulled to the left. This is caused by the club head leading the shaft more (bowing forward) coming into impact with a more flexible shaft.When the club head leads the shaft more, the dynamic result from the shaft bending is that the face angle closes more (ball goes left) and the loft increases slightly (ball flies higher). Also, the lie angle flattens more as the shaft bows downward more. The shaft is actually bent in two different directions (bowed forward and bowed downward). The opposite happens with too stiff a shaft or in our case let’s look at the “stiff” flex shaft on the robot. The robot will probably push or push slice the ball slightly to the right and the ball should fly slightly lower.With the same 95MPH swing speed, the stiffer shaft lessens the amount of face angle closing and lessens the loft angle. Remember, real golfers (not robots) will actually adjust their directional control to correct for any left or right tendencies due to improper shaft flex.
I’m in the process of purchasing one of your Glider-X irons. If I like it after testing it out, I plan on buying a full set. According to your shaft selector tool, I’ma 4C2S. Is there any particular shaft you’d recommend? Also, I’m considering getting it pured. What are your feelings on shaft puring? Is it worth it?
Since I know this club so well (I actually play this iron), I would strongly consider the True Temper TX-90 Ultra LightWeight Steel Shaft. During all the testing that was done with this club before it actually came to market, our test group felt the TX-90 worked for a lot of different golfer types. I asked Ed Sneed (5 worldwide tour wins) who is a close friend and a part of our test panel to try this Glider X and TX-90 shaft and head combination. Ed actually decided to play them for a week to give them a good workout. He had already done a lot of testing on this club for us to prove out the head design concept, so he was quite familiar with the Glider X playability. Ed was surprised that he actually really liked the TX-90 shaft because it worked for him when he tried a variety of different shots. Jeff, I would stick with steel shafts in the Gliders and I would recommend light weight or very light weight shafts if you do not want to use the TX-90. Finally, with modern day top grade shafts (steel and graphite), forget puring, it is a huge waste of money with no benefits.
I ordered the club with a True Temper Dynalite Gold shaft. It’s only 14grams more than the TX90, so I think it should be ok. As far as puring is concerned, I’ve heard so many different viewpoints, it’s actually quite confusing.What about spline alignment? Is it worthwhile to have that done?
So-called “puring” and “spine alignment” for shafts is basically the same thing and again, it is usually a waste of money because the benefits, if any, are very difficult to quantify. The reason you have heard so many viewpoints is that no one person can exactly and accurately define what it does for the golfer. Also, if you just spent $20.00 a shaft to get it done, you are certainly not going to tell your golfing friends that it did not improve your game. Besides the TX-90, I also recommend the Dynalite shaft for irons and I surprised myself by not adding it in as another recommendation in my response to you yesterday.
The more I read the more complex the clubmaking process sounds. So are you saying that it doesn’t matter which way the shaft is installed in the club? The orientation of the shaft doesn’t affect playability at all?
The top grade shafts designed and made today are very consistent in their manufacturing methods and specifications so spining is of no value. Yes, the very cheap $5.00 graphite and steel shafts put into 2nd grade golf clubs are terrible and would benefit greatly from aligning their spines. However, who would pay the money to align these spines on cheap shafts when many of the other specifications (shafts and heads) are also mostly inconsistent and poorly designed. Jeff, I think from your conversation that you really want spined shafts, so I would go ahead and do it and hope you get the mental uplift from it. You’re still wasting your money in my opinion (and research). P.S. I have every different machine and device here in the golf club design studio to spine golf shafts. I have done the testing and cannot quantify any positive results regarding improved performance (includes tour players). I really don’t know what else to tell you, except that no one at the Golf- Works plays with spined shafts in their clubs.
I have the TX-90 shaft in one club in my bag. It’s my favorite club. Its a 19 degree loft hybrid. The ball flies high and I feel the shaft smoothes out my tempo and makes me hit down and through, probably because of the low bend point. I love this shaft so much I thought of having a set of irons built with them, but I am afraid my short irons will fly too high. I read people have lost distance with their irons due to too high of ball flight with the TX-90. The shaft feels powerful tome; does it produce higher club head speed as well as higher trajectory? Also, does it produce more backspin? I am45, and I carry a 7 iron 150 yards with plenty of height. I think the TX-90 would be a great shaft for seniors, but how is this shaft with younger stronger players?
The TX-90 shaft will not cause you to hit the ball too high. I am a high ball hitter and I play the TX-90 in the Glider X irons which have extremely low centers of gravity. This shaft has never caused me to hit it too high. The backspin differences from changing shafts are usually not significant enough to worry about. One of the attributes of the TX-90 shaft that I have not mentioned yet is the fact that while it is a softer tip shaft, it also has a reduced torque. This is sort of the best of all worlds for a golfer who really needs a softer tip but wants to maintain the best accuracy. I have fit a number of players into TX-90’s and have not had anyone who did not like this shaft. True, it is not for everyone such as very hard hitters with late release points, but I can almost guarantee the TX-90 will work for you.
Two separate but related questions. If you make over length clubs should you also make them more flexible on purpose? And, given your stature in the club design business I am sure you have heard of Jack Kuykendall. Do you have any opinion on his golf motion and what do you think of his new Twins clubs? TomPS...I walked about 12 rounds watching Moe Norman play and also saw 3 of his exhibitions over 15+ years. It’s hard to describe the feeling if you have never seen Moe hit balls. I am currently using the Kuykendall techniques (single axis) and I love it.
Unless the shaft is modified by trimming from the tip or using a stronger flex, a lengthened club will feel and be more flexible. This I assume you already knew. You would not want to purposely make a shaft more flexible by lengthening a club. However, sometimes this makes the shaft perform even better and particularly so if the golfer had the shaft a bit too stiff to start with. This is something to experiment with to get the proper shaft fit. Second Question: I have heard of Jack but I am not all that familiar with his teachings and therefore cannot comment. Tom, I too have seen Moe Norman hit golf balls and play. He had ball striking abilities that I have never seen before. Too bad more golfers never had the chance to see his talent in person.
How does swing affect distance? Example: Would changing from a CER FW70 with a CER 851+ZO driver head to CER FW55 increase distance? Also how much added distance is gained by increasing shaft length 1 or 2 inches assuming that one doesn’t loose control?
This is a tough question because it’s hard to give an exact answer. Of course, this has never stopped me before, so here goes, but please use it more as a guide to what should happen when I give you some numbers on distance gained. First of all, changing to a lighter shaft (assuming the same swingweight) will require a slightly heavier head weight. The overall weight (total weight) of the club is reduced even though the head weight is heavier. This means that you should be able to swing the club faster and at impact the head will apply more force to the ball because of both the added swing speed and the added head weight. Sort of the best of all worlds. This is the old over used in golf formula of ....Energy =Mass times Velocity Squared. The additional distance, if any, that you get by increasing the club length is dependent on hitting the ball consistently close to the club head’s face center with any club length. This, of course, does not usually happen; but in your case let’s assume that it does. So, my best guess is that a 1" increase in club length with a driver will get you 6 to 10 more yards. A 2" increase in club length in your driver will get you 12 to 20 yards increase in distance.
In the Golf Works product catalog the steel shafts have mostly a correction code of either Mor H. I am making a set for my son and a hook correction is not a worry but the soft tip and low kick point shafts I am looking at have a correction of H. His playability factor for shafts is 2B3m.Would the correction code make that much of a difference? I am looking at the Microlite 80.
The 2B3M would put you into a shaft like the True Temper TX-90. I really like this shaft and I play it in a stiff flex.With that said the Microlite 80 is 2D3H. It is in that category because it has slightly softer tip stiffness (helps to favor a draw more). The difference in the 2 shafts is quite close. You will be OK to use either the TX-90 or the Microlite 80.
Is there a certain level of player that would benefit most from a “Flighted” shaft?
In my opinion, no. I actually prefer to have each shaft be consistent in bend point location. The flighted shafts make bend point variable with more tip bending in the long irons and less as the irons get shorter.We do have quite a few customers that like this shaft and claim they have good success in fitting clubs using this shaft. Again, I feel that if a player needs help getting the long irons in the air, they will need help with all the irons. Besides, I do not want my short irons to fly lower. I want them to fly on a normal trajectory and when they need to fly lower, I will change my setup and swing to accomplish this.
What type of shaft should a senior use that is 84 years old and shoots in the low 90”s.
Without actually working with you, experience says that you need to try very light graphite shafts that are more tip weak meaning they flex more in the tip area. I cannot recommend a flex because I do not know how hard you hit it. If you hit it straight and need more distance, look at 1/2" to 1" longer than standard.
NO matter what clubs I try I revert back to my Ping Eye 2 irons. I would like to change to graphite irons for my hands but have been advised the heads are too light. I am65 years old, hit my 4 iron 150 yards. Clubs are orange dot 1/4" short bought new 1985 and have u grooves.
Here is your chance to have your irons look just like the touring pros. This model is one of Ping’s best and if you like them; you can reshaft them with Graphite. Depending on how light you go with the graphite iron shaft you select and assuming you will keep the irons the same length as they are now, you will need to add a few swingweights worth of weight back into the heads. Ping has a wonderful cavity to put lead tape into to accomplish this. It takes a 1/2" X 5" long piece of lead tape to equal 1 swingweight. There is one more option and being a senior this may help you out with more distance. You could reshaft them with graphite and make them 1/2" or 1" longer than they are now. You can always do one and see how well you hit it. This will generally eliminate adding any weight back into the heads. If you go longer, you will need to have your lie angle checked. The rule of thumb is that you will need to flatten the lie angle by 1 degree for each 1/2" longer you go. A lie angle board check is the best way to do this.
As a part time club builder I sometimes get heads given tome. I recently got 9 OLD wooden heads given tome. Some of the mare persimmon & some are laminated. They are the Golf Works Customs. I know that the shafts are no longer available .277 shaft. I was wondering if I could drill out the heads for reshafting or just make paperweight out of them. It looks like they are from the 1960’s or 1970’s. Any help would be grateful.
The .277" and .294" tip shafts are all basically gone. If you wanted (I vote for the paper weight idea) the heads could be bored out to .335" and then they would fit most wood shafts made today. The problem with playing real wood clubs today is that you give way too much up regarding modern day technology which results in much higher playability. At the GolfWorks, we made persimmon and laminated woods from 1978 to 1997.
I need help on my irons. I recently bought Ping G5 clones to see what they will do (my old clubs were 2004 Callaway’s) but if I play the ball where I should, they go right and if I hood the club a tinge they go straight or a solid draw. I need a fitting I can trust. I’m63 and I’musing stiff Graphite. This may be a factor. The 7 iron is 150 avg. The best clubs I hit were a Ping Eye 2 with a Rifle shaft reg. shaft that I installed. I wish I had them back. Please help with your recommendations.
A 150 yard 7 iron says that you need stiff flex shafts. If you are a smooth swinger and hit the ball relatively straight with good consistency, you could play regular flex shafts. The caveat here is that you do not want to hit the ball too high or with less directional control. If, however the regular flex shaft helps you by getting the ball a little higher in the air and you do hit it straight, your hits will feel more solid on slightly off center hits than with the stiff flex. Also, the face will close a little more from the softer flex shaft. Regarding the clones, some are similar in playability to the originals and some are far worse. A very big problem with clones is that many of them have faces which are not even close to being flat. Take any straight edge and lay it horizontally on the face and check yours out. Curved faces can cause big problems. Another problem with some clones is that their head weights are sometimes very light causing the assembler to put quite a bit of tip slugging (added lead weight) in the hosel. This is not good also. Hopefully, this is a start at finding out if it’s you or your equipment or a little of both.
I am wondering if you would please show a diagram of the lie angle flattening. I understand the head “bowing” down, (down the length of the shaft is what I picture), but I am having trouble picturing the centrifugal force lie flattening effect that you described when the golfer’s arms are extended through the “impact zone”. I absolutely love reading your information and wish that I had you with me as I am working on clubs for friends and family. I have designs on learning the custom fitting/repair craft better and making it my vocation to help facilitate my 4 children’s exposure to this wonderful game.
Grab your driver (or any club) and simply hold the grip tightly as you bow the shaft downward by holding the club head with your other hand. Notice that the more you bend or bow the shaft downward that the lie angle of the club head flattens more. Side note: You may be ready for one of my technical books. If nothing else, you will get to sleep sooner at night after reading it for a few hours.
I wanted to ask if you could comment on the issue of “bend points” versus ‘kick points’ and how either might affect the realistic trajectory within a given flex relative to the type of ball flight we like to see as individuals.
First of all, the term “bend Section 7 — Shafts 60 Questions point”, “kick point”, “flex pattern” and “maximum deflection point” all mean exactly the same thing. These terms indicate the shaft’s maximum deflection point which is a measurement that defines the shaft as either “tip stiff”, “tip weak” or “center deflected.” Once you have the proper shaft flex (L,A,R,S, and X) you select the “flex pattern.” Tip stiff is for someone who releases the club head late and accelerates more through impact. Tip weak is for the golfer who “casts” or releases the club head early. Selected correctly, these fitting characteristics should produce a proper ball flight for your swing. If a particular golfer experimented with different “flex patterns” they could expect the tip stiff shaft to hit the ball lower than the tip weak shaft in the same flex.
Ralph, You were my instructor at PGA Business School 1 in 1985 at Pinehurst, NC. It was great. I haven’t heard you speak much about shaft puring. Is it worth doing?
I remember Pinehurst was a great school. I think the location had something to do with it. It’s good to hear from you. The name brand shafts today are mostly built to very high quality levels. Puring is not necessary in my opinion.With that said, there are some pretty bad shafts out there mostly found in the inexpensive lesser brand clubs. These mostly affect playability in the longer clubs such as drivers. The quality brand name manufacturers of shafts are very much aware of a shaft’s spline and ever since this subject came up a number of years back, they have been working to make this a non factor. Keep in mind that no matter what is done in manufacture that every shaft produced will have a spline that can be found, but in top quality shafts this is not an indication that the shaft needs to be installed in a certain way (Purring).
What is the best way to spline a shaft and where can we get the equipment?
There are a number of ways to spine a shaft and obviously at different costs and all with different claims. I would suggest that you put “Spineing a golf shaft” or “find the spine on a golf shaft” in Google search and a number of shaft spineing sites and additional information on spineing will pop up. Regarding terminology, I have always used “spline” and “spine” to mean the same thing. In our GolfWorks schools, Jim, our head instructor shows students a simple way to spine a shaft with a homemade tool. The explanation would be too involved to fit here. Also, when I have students, I show them another way to find a shaft that is manufactured incorrectly.Mine uses the shaft’s oscillation with a weight attached to the tip. Once again, I do not feel it is necessary to spine top grade golf shafts.
If I want to play my driver at 44" and need to add weight to the club head to regain some feel, how much weight can I add (using either lead tape or tip weights) before the shaft loses its flex rating?Would additional tip trimming negate this effect?
Assuming your driver was 45" and you shortened it to 44" you have reduced the swingweight by approximately 6 swingweights. So, if you had a D-0 swingweight to start with you now have close to a C-4. The shaft will definitely feel stiffer to you and the club will play quite differently also. So, here is what you do: Do not put weight in the shaft.Measure the swingweight on a swingweight scale and mark this down for your 45" (I assume) length. After the club is cut down to 44" again measure the swingweight (should be about 6 swingweights lighter). Next take around 30" of 1/2" wide lead tape (1/2" X 5" = 1 swingweight) and place it uniformly over the available sole area being sure to keep the tape amount equal relative to either side of the face center. You will not see the tape in the playing position. This will be a starting point on head weight and will soften the shaft flex some. However, you are still going to be playing with a stiffer shaft than the original length. Hit it and see if it actually works better by fitting you better. Many times this can be the case. If not you need to possibly change out the shaft or go hit some demo drivers for comparison.
If two clubs were identical except one was heavier, and both hit a ball at the same speed, would the heavier club transfer more power and compress the ball more, achieving greater distance?
In pure theory, yes. In practical analysis it would be very hard to determine. The problem would be that if the clubs were actually identical, the one with the heavier head would cause the shaft to flex more. The increased shaft flexing would change the club’s dynamic loft angle and dynamic face angle at impact. The amount of loft is one of the factors that determines how deeply the club face will compress the ball (oblique vs. less oblique collisions). So, if the loft actually increased, it would probably not compress the ball as much and the ball would fly on a higher trajectory.Whether the shot would be longer or not would depend on how close it is to the ideal trajectory for the specific type of ball that is hit.
Does the closed face driver prevent or reduce a slice/fade or would a heel weight biased driver have more of an effect on the direction of ball flight? Of course this assumes the same swing and shaft.
Never, ever do the heel weight thing. This is a bunch of advertising junk used to sell so-called draw bias and fade bias drivers for the most part. Does moving the weight around in a driver with a screw actually change ball flight, yes it does. But it is so minor and means almost nothing to the amateur golfer. A good analogy might be as follows; if I take a cup of water out of a 100 gallon water tank, have I changedthe weight of the tank and moved its center of gravity? The answer obviously is yes. Now this is an extreme answer to make a point, but too many golfers believe this stuff.What you really want to do is to use face angle (hook or slice) to help correct a tendency of hooking or slicing. When you do this, you need to be aware of the real or actual loft of the driver as you already know. So, the loft angle may require an increase or decrease to hit the ball on the proper trajectory. Sorry for the “soap box” but this bias weighting stuff annoys me. Designers need to put the center of gravity into the center of the face where we are all trying to hit the ball and not into the heel.
Can I make my metal woods fly slightly higher by adding lead tape to the rear of the club?What can I realistically expect from doing so?
The answer is “sometimes”. When you add weight to the rear of the club, you do two things; first you move the center of gravity slightly farther rearward and secondly, you increase the swingweight, total weight and the head weight of the club. All of these changes increase the amount of bending in the shaft as it comes into impact. So, you can be changing some of characteristics of ball flight. It would take a launch monitor or simulator to get the exact results (range testing is also very good) of the actual changes that would occur.
How can I determine the correct swing weight for me?
There are a couple of ways but they both require a little experimenting. I like to do it at the driving range. Let’s assume you want to try different swingweights with your current clubs. All you really need is a roll of lead tape. First, measure the swingweight on your present clubs and record it. Next, hit a few balls with say your 8 iron. Now put a few strips of lead tape on the sole or low in the rear cavity or low on the blade. Put the tape in the middle horizontally or equally in the heel and toe area. You need to start with 10" of 1/2" wide lead tape (this is equal to a 2 swingweight increase). Hit some balls and see if the club feels better or worse. You are comparing trajectory, solidness of hit, distance and directional control. You can do this with any of the clubs in your set. Unfortunately, it is not very easy to reduce your swingweight to see if this improves your hitting, but the good news is that I find more clubs too light for a given golfer than too heavy. The second way is to use a launch monitor either on the range or at a golf specialty retailer (Golf Galaxy comes to mind). The technician can check your print out stats and compare different weighting on the same club. They have lead tape and also other forms of sick on weights for experimenting.
I saw your video on You Tube about how to determine if your golf ball is balanced and I have a few questions for you. 1) Have you used the saltwater method extensively? If so, have you determined if high end balls are better balanced than middle-of-the-road or bargain golf balls? 2) Once you have determined the state of your golf ball, where should the alignment mark be made? (The video clip did not include that). 3) Where is this kit available? 4) How foolproof is this method?
The saltwater method is the best and this is all I use. Generally, the high end balls are better balanced because they are X-rayed in production and the out of balance balls are culled out and downgraded into another model. The alignment mark can be drawn in any direction from the mark put on top of the ball (light side when floating) and when putting it is best to place the dot or mark up or on top of the ball. So, with the dot facing up, align the lineup line to your break or hole if no break and putt it. I prefer the line on each side of the dot so as to be symmetrical when looking down from the putting position. The GolfWorks or Golf Galaxy sell these kits or you can make your own with Epson Salts from the drug store. Keep pouring salt into warm water until a golf ball floats. This is a completely foolproof method for checking golf ball balance. Look at my video on this site on ball balancing. It may be a newer version of the one that you watched on You Tube. I did some shorter versions for The Golf Channel last year.
Why is it when you play a ball that feels great one day then all of a sudden you can’t hit it as far? Though it seems that way, is it all a mind game or do some golf balls, same brand name just act differently?
Golf balls are very consistent in playability using today’s manufacturing methods. Your problem is probably the same as many players (myself included) which relates to hitting the ball on different parts of the club face one day vs. the next. Basically, it all boils down to consistency of play. It’s not the ball, its you (and me).
I hit my driver with a lot of spin on the ball. Can you recommend balls that might best cut down on the spin rate?
The spin rate on balls is a function of distance hit and I do not have this info from you. The lower spinning balls in general are the Pro V1X over the Pro V1, Bridgestone Tour B330 and the Callaway HX Blue.
I’m by no means an aerodynamics expert, but I thought that air that travels faster over a surface compared to air traveling slower over the same surface creates the lower pressure area (as with an airplane wing). This principal is also called the Bernoulli Principal, I believe. So, if (using your diagram) the underside of the ball is spinning forward, or into the wind, wouldn’t that create the effect of faster air on the underneath side of the ball and therefore creating this lower pressure area on the bottom, not the top? Perhaps I do not understand something correctly?
Airplane wings do not have dimples (this is obvious, I know). The ball’s backward rotation creates the low pressure area on top because the air smashing into the dimples and being carried over the top of the ball by the dimples is a greater volume than the air passing under the ball. The difference in these two volumes of air create the pressure differential (low on top, higher on the bottom). Also, the lower pressure creates a lifting effect (same as an airplane’s wing in this case) and the higher pressure helps to push the ball upward. This is why a golf ball will not fly if it does not have any dimples. It simply would have nothing to create lift (it would need wings or something). If the low pressure were on the bottom of the ball it would not fly. Hope this explanation helps as I am by no means an aerodynamics expert either.
I’m a 16 handicap with a swing speed about 80 (68 years young). What is the best type of ball for me to hit...low spin or high spin, strangely enough, I seem to get more distance from a pro V1-X
and a friend of mine contends that is too much ball for me...am hitting a tour burner 9.5 with the 50 gram shaft...get 200 yard carry occasionally
It sounds like you are hitting the ball pretty good. The Pro V-1 should fly a little higher and with less spin than the Pro V-1X.Most golfers think that there are huge differences in golf balls when in fact the differences are much smaller regarding spin and launch angles. With that said, these differences can make a difference that is quite noticeable to the golfer. This is why it is good that we have more choices today than ever before to fine tune our ball selection. I would like to see you go out and play a one man scramble round or two and compare a couple different balls to the Pro V- 1X you are now playing. This allows you to check out the driver distance and the flight and bite on your irons. Try the Callaway HX Hot, the Bridgestone B330-s and the Callaway HX Tour balls. Now, for my opinion, I think you will either end up with the Callaway HX Tour or the Titleist Pro V-1. If the Pro V-1X still plays the best, stick with it. The Bridgestone is pretty good also and could sneak in there.
My father is 76 and uses senior graphite shafted clubs. Although he has a decent swing, he gets very little distance (a good drive may be 150 yards and from100 yards, he’ll use a 5 iron. Is there any type of golf ball that will provide him with slightly more distance?
The biggest difference in the so called senior or women’s golf balls is their softer feel.Many slower swingers prefer this feel. As far as distance is concerned your father needs to try a few different balls and see if he can tell any distance differences. I am referring to all balls to select from since the softer balls have never proven to actually go farther. Yes, there have been numerous tests but never conclusive results either way because of launch and backspin differences from one golfer to the next.With that said, try the Callaway HX Hot and the Nike Juice. I have hit both these balls and have received positive feedback from some of the older players at my club (I am almost 64 so imagine my friends ages). I have had good success with increasing the club length of a senior’s driver to get back lost distance. The criterion is that your father needs to be a consistent fairway hitter. If he can handle it, a 1" increase in driver length will yield somewhere in the vicinity of 15 yards or so increase in distance.
I was wondering if there is a disadvantage for me, relative high swing speed (105ish, 270 drives), to use a low compression ball? Will I lose distance? Will the ball’s longevity be shortened?
Do not use a low compression ball. First of all, in my opinion, when the soft ball craze started a few years back it was basically an “urban myth”.Most of these balls were simply ladies designed balls that were supposedly discovered by male golfers, mostly senior players who believed they were hitting them longer. In some cases they may be, but for hard hitters you need a ball that you are not over compressing (ball will usually balloon or fly higher when overly compressed). Also, the soft balls feel a little mushy when putting and the sound is also different. Your swing speed, as you know is quite high for the softer balls. I often play a one man scramble as my preferred practice method. I always use two entirely different balls for comparison. I have used the softer balls a few times against the Callaway Hex and Pro V-1 that I usually play with and the softer balls have always been shorter. This certainly is not conclusive scientific testing, only my experience.
I am wondering about the effect of BALL temperature on distance. I know that the AIR temp makes a difference, but what about heating the ball. I know that the USGA legalized ball warmers several years ago, but I have not seen any commercial applications. I was looking at a commercial ball fitting program and the temp differences of AIR could make as much as 20 yards difference.
Yes, air temperature affects air density the same as higher and lower altitudes do. The less dense the air, the farther the ball will travel. When playing in very cold weather, forget about ball warmers, simply put your golf bag or golf balls in a warm place overnight. It takes a number of hours for a temperature normalized golf ball to be affected by colder air temperatures because of their good insulation qualities. Scott sounds to me like we should convince golfers to move to Denver (5000 foot altitude), play all their golf there on 90 degree and above days and store their golf balls in a heated blanket overnight.
I’ma recreational golfer and clubmaker (mainly for myself and a few friends/co-workers) and was wondering at what point amore premium golf ballmade sense? I’ma 19 handicap and mostly play with middle of the road balls,Maxfli Noodle, Titleist, So/Lo, Slazenger Raw, and others. In what areas would amore premium ball (Titleist NXT, Pro V1, HX tour, etc.) make a difference?
The main difference you will get with the top grade balls is greater consistency. It helps everyone but in particular better players. All of the grades of balls offer various spin and launch characteristics allowing golfers to pick balls that fly the farthest for them. In your case, being a nineteen handicap, play whatever you like, but at least stick with good solid middle grade and up balls. Stay away from the very cheapest. I will only play top grade balls (7 handicap) because it mostly eliminates the balls that do not have their center of gravity in the middle of the ball.Watch my ball balancing video for more information. For what it’s worth, I play the Callaway HX Tour. This is also the ball I use for all my robotic putting tests here in the Golf Club Design Studio.
Do golf balls deteriorate due to age or being submerged in water? Is dropping a ball on a hard surface a good test for how the ball will perform when struck with a golf club? When I drop a ball with my arm extended over my head, I consider a ball lively if it bounces up to my nose. Sometimes when I find a ball in seemingly perfect condition it will only bounce up to my chest.What gives?
First of all the bounce test is totally irrelevant in determining if a ball is good or not or better than another ball. All you’re doing is testing a portion of the cover since you cannot compress it within its design parameters. Putting is a different story since you are working with the cover or outer portion of the ball at impact because you are not compressing it. I have a very sophisticated putting robot here in the design studio. If I do statistically significant testing, I will get a different COR (coefficient of restitution) on each different make and model ball that I use. This can amount to as much as 12” on a 22 foot putt. So, this should tell you to use the same make and model golf ball during the round to maintain the best distance control. Also, there is no correlation to a golf ball’s hitting distance compared with its putting distance. The golf balls that did deteriorate with age were all the wound type golf balls. These balls are basically extinct today so you do not need to worry about them.Most all modern balls will last for a number of years if they are kept in a normal environment (basically cool and dry).Water submerged balls are generally alright if they haven’t gone through freezing cycles or remain wet for long periods of time. How long of a time, I do not know and I doubt anyone does.
Seeing videos online of how compressed a ball gets when hit with a driver makes me wonder if that hurts the ball. Supposing I manage to not lose a ball, and it doesn’t get visibly scuffed; is there a point where a ball has taken too many hits, and needs to be replaced? After so many holes? After a few rounds? Also, what about scuffing? Say the ball bounces on the cart path or off a rock, and I can see a scuff on the ball, how much of an effect on ball performance does that have?
Cuts, bruises and visible marks on a golf ball definitely affect their aerodynamics. These golfer induced imperfections can change the way a golf ball flies regarding both distance and direction. In the old wound ball days a tour player would not play a ball more than 3 holes before switching to a new one. The reason for this is they would get out of round from impact.Many players carried a ball ring gauge with them just to check for roundness. Well, that is all past us with today’s balls because the windings are gone and balls are now solid construction. If a ball still appears new, I would continue to play it up to 2 or even 3 rounds. A tour player today will never go over 1 round and many play more than 1 ball a round. Of course, they get them for free.
Ralph is it possible to design a golf ball with little sidespin and still have good backspin for partial wedge shots? Or do you have to trade one for the other?
It is rather easy to do, but it would be illegal by U.S.G.A. rules. The reason is that it would require a dimple pattern that was non-symmetrical such as the “Polaris” ball that was developed about 20 or so years ago. It was ruled illegal.
Can a ball’s compression be too hard causing loss of distance? I have a driver swing speed around 100mph. I recently tried a ball with a 98 compression in hot weather and seemed to lose distance. In general, what ball compression is best for my swing speed? Also in colder weather, should I drop down to a lower compression ball for better performance?
The compression of a golf ball is simply a number denoting how hard it is when measured statically in a golf ball compression gauge. Compression alone as a number can not tell you how far a ball will travel even with varying golfer head speeds. Compression is a design variable, just like cover material, cover thickness, construction type, etc. These and a few other design variables all help to determine a golf ball’s initial velocity. Initial velocity is basically coefficient of restitution but measured differently. Compression is also selected by the ball manufacturer to give the golfer a certain feel. So, compression is used to create specific brand characteristics that hopefully most golfers will prefer and ultimately buy that ball. For years, a sort of “urban myth” has perpetuated itself around a golf ball’s compression. First, it was the drop test. Golfers spread the word that you definitely want to play with the golf ball that will bounce the highest when dropped on a hard surface from the golfer’s nose height. Then for years you heard that all golfers, both men and women, should always play with the highest compression ball available because independent testing shows that they will go the farthest. Next, you always heard that women definitely needed to play with softer compression balls than the men played because they did not hit it hard enough to use a higher compression ball and would lose distance. Even though this compression thing was basically not true, most women really preferred the softer ball and they played it because it felt a lot better to them. Finally, a few years back (and still some today) the buzz was to play the new softer compression balls and for men to even select a ladies ball and play it because these type balls would generate far greater distance.Well, this wasn’t exactly true either. So, how do you select a ball that performs the best for you? You should basically select a ball whether hard or soft that feels good to you (even when putting) and check it out in a launch monitor to see how well it fits your swing. It sounds strange I know, but a ball fitting in a launch monitor using the driver that you would normally use and teed to your normal height will tell you which ball goes the farthest and flies on the best trajectory with your combination of swing and equipment. It’s that simple.
I have a question pertaining to driver club fitting for anyone who wishes to answer and then comment. I have been trained for the past few years to look to the shaft of the club to influence the spin of the ball and to change launch characteristics. I just had a driver fit where the first thing the fitter did when my first few drives spun too much was to change me to another brand of club. I must say that the results were astonishing. He claimed that the first thing to do was to find the club head that gave the best spin rate, and then finalize with the shaft. If anyone has comments, I would love to read them. It was quite a convincing experience (a typical launch monitor was used to show the spin), but goes counter to what I have learned in the past. I did try to hit different shafts with the original club head (shafts that I was sure would optimize my spin), but none performed like the one that he suggested.
You have definitely hit on the reasons why selecting the right shaft and/or head combination can be difficult and also a little time consuming. First of all, you are right and the club fitter is also right. You actually need to be fit to both the shaft and the head for optimum results. They both influence the same ball flight characteristics; they just each do it in a different manner. If a golfer is stuck on only one head manufacturer, there are usually enough loft choices and head design choices to find one that will work. The tour pros are faced with this dilemma all the time. They need to really work hard in finding the correct shaft. I hope the fitter confused you even more and put in a few different ball types to try. The ball can also make quite a difference in spin rate, trajectory and overall distance for the driver/shaft combination. The discussion above points out that you really need to actually hit balls on a range or into a net with a launch monitor while the club fitter tries different combinations to see what will help you the most.Most golfers cannot believe the results they get from a proper club fitting.
I have chosen the “Glider X” when they first came out, and they are the easiest clubs I’ve ever hit. I also chose the “Precision Super Lite S” with the thinking that it would be easier for me, a novice to work with i.e. put together or take apart, and be more durable in a bag full of clubs. But with the way that I swing, I hit a lot of moon balls (straight mind you), and lose a lot of distance. I don’t have any equipment per say to make a lot of changes, but what would you suggest I do? I was thinking of buying some of the “trouble out” fairway woods or other hybrid woods to add some distance if possible. But I don’t know which would be better. One more bit of information; I do have and like the “Nike CPR” hybrid wood (22 degree). For my fairway wood I have a “Ping” 3 wood, which I only hit moderately well. Can you advise or is this way to complicated? I would appreciate your expertise and kind attention in this matter.
I don’t know which number irons you have but I would definitely start out with a 5 iron and not carry a 3 or 4 iron. I would swap out the “Trouble Out” 3 wood for the Ping 3 wood and stick with the CPR hybrid. When a club works, keep it. Also consider the Trouble Out 5 and/or 7 metal if they fit into your set and distance requirements. I would also try the Titleist Pro V-1X or the Nike One ball for a lower trajectory. Granted, these balls will not bring it down with a night and day difference, but they will fly on a lower trajectory than most other balls. George, if you are near a Golf Galaxy store, talk to the PGA pro in the store and have them take a look at your ball position and possibly a swing or two. They may spot something to help your ballooning occasionally. They won’t charge you to take a look and even offer advise, but they may recommend a full lesson if you really need some work (don’t we all?). The Precision Super Lite “S” shaft is a good one and will not necessarily hit the ball higher. Let me know what you end up doing and the result.
Initially,my Bridgestone J33R 460 driver with stiff Grafalloy Blue shaft yielded an occasional “chattering” at impact, and felt lighter than I preferred. When I added 4 grams of lead to the rear of the club head (seeking to help keep the club on plane and regulate tempo), however, it transformed the club into a solid, reliable hammer. Why does a 2% increase in club head mass, without any other change of hardware,make so favorable a difference? (My swing is smooth, and my driver carries reliably over 300 yards in Arizona.)
My guess would be that the driver head weight before was too light for your swing type and speed which would make the shaft load and flex differently than it now does with the added weight. You have basically confirmed this in your comments. Most of the tour pros play with about 2 or 3 swingweights more than most of us do for mostly this very reason. 4 grams is equivalent to 2 additional swingweights and is surely enough weight to make a difference. I also liked the fact that you put the weight toward the rear which has the affect of both lowering the driver center of gravity and moving it back in the club head. Granted, it doesn’t move it very far, but like I said, small weight differences can mean a lot when you are swinging about a 1/2 pound club head at well over 100MPH and accelerating it besides. You have basically discovered something that some club fitters ignore when fitting shafts, club head weight. They try a number of shafts and sometimes different club lengths but do not vary the swingweight (head weight). In most, but not all cases, I don’t like to see driver swingweights under D-0 and many work best at D-1 or D-2. Of course this is a general statement because of any number of other shaft variables and assembled golf club variables to take into consideration. Hitting demo clubs is definitely the way to go.
What’s more preferable in iron design, very low center of gravity with less loft, or a higher center of gravity with more loft, for low,mid, and high handicap players?
The most desirable is low center of gravity (higher playability) with normal lofts for all players. The stronger loft thing has gotten out of control and does nothing more than mess up set makeup. In other words, when you make a 5 iron 23 degrees loft (vs. the normal 27 degrees), you open up a giant loft gap when you get to the short irons. As a matter of fact, if you make a 5 iron at 23 or even 24 degrees of loft, you now have only one short iron in your set and that is the pitching wedge. The 5 iron and 6 iron now become long irons, the 7, 8, and 9 iron are your mid irons. This defeats the whole purpose of incremental distances between irons. Don’t believe the manufacturers advertising that says “with a center of gravity this low we needed to strengthen the lofts to keep the ball down”.With the increased playability from lower centers of gravity, if you have a problem, you can select a shaft to help keep the ball down. Remember my five golf club design axioms; the longer the club, the stiffer the shaft, the less the loft, the higher the center of gravity and the lower the moment of inertia, the harder the club is to hit.
I bought a new set of irons with shafts that are softer than what I used to play. Now I am hitting the ball way out on the toe of the club. Can this be from shaft droop? I went from extra stiff to normal stiff. Do I need to address the ball so it looks like I might shank the ball, so I will hit the center of the club? Also, I should mention the irons have good amount of mass in the toe, and the shafts are a quarter inch longer than my previous irons.
No, the change in shaft stiffness is not causing you to hit your shots more toward the toe. Also, the extra toe mass and 1/4" longer length are not factors. You need to look somewhere else as this hitting condition is most likely some new swing thing you are doing. I wish I could see you hit a ball and this would be much easier to solve. Sorry I cannot work any simple solution out for you, but at least you know what is not causing the problem.
I stumbled upon your website by accident thru The Golf Channel website. I find it highly informative. I am an 18 handicapper. I have one quick question.Most driver lengths are 45 inches. Some Japanese models are 46 inches. Is there any advantage in getting a 47 or 48 inch long driver?
The club length thing is fairly easy to figure out. I only say this because it is something you can do by asking yourself some questions and hopefully hitting some demo drivers. It works like this; you basically want to hit the longest length club (driver in this case) that you can control and hit solid. Increased driver club length and decreased driver club length is mostly a tradeoff in overall distance hit and directional control. Longer driver lengths hit the ball farther; shorter driver lengths hit the ball shorter. Longer driver lengths tend to be less accurate and shorter driver lengths more accurate. However, there is a little more to this for the full story.Many golfers can hit a shorter driver length closer to the middle of the club face with more consistency, thus resulting in greater distance from a more solid hit, because the closer the hit is to the club head’s center of gravity (or the sweet spot) the more force that is applied to the ball at impact. You need to analyze your hitting accuracy and ability to hit the ball in or very near the face center. Impact decals applied to the club face work very well for evaluating this. A good launch monitor or simulator session can provide quite a bit of information on how effective any golfer is at impact. This will add in spin rates, launch angles, face angle position, club head speed and ball speed to mention only some of the data you will get. Now, with all that said, most golfers will fit into a 45" driver length. Some play better with 44 1/2". Very few in my experience do well with 45 1/2" or 46" lengths. The golfers who can sometimes benefit from 46" or even longer are senior golfers who have lost a lot of distance over the years and they have developed a very smooth swing and make face center contact consistently. So, the length thing is mostly about you and how you want to play. In other words, if you simply want to kill it every time and are not that concerned where it goes, go as long as possible. If you want to score your best find the tradeoff club length that will balance distance and direction with your swing.
Order 2 books on club fitting fromGolf Works, so I’m sure they will be very helpful. You mention that my 5 iron was too long at 38¼" and that it should be at 38" for my height and that I should go shorter 1" for each number higher. Is that for my irons or woods?My driver is 44½" and 3 wood is 43½".My irons have½" gap between clubs (5 iron 38¼" 6 iron 37¾" etc...) When I change my 5 iron to 38", what length should be between clubs? ¼",½" or 1"
The 1”shorter was for each higher fairway metal that you carried (not for the irons). Also Tom, if you are at 381/4" now on your #5 iron and you like this length, then stick with it, but do not go longer. Always use 1/2" increments between irons. Many players on tour also stick with 44 1/2" on their driver because they want accuracy over the additional distance. Other than the senior tour, there are very few regular tour players who go longer than 45". You are all right with 44 1/2" if you are getting the best tradeoff between distance and accuracy. At your swing speed (117 mph) I would not think that you would have a problem with distance. Accuracy almost always translates into lower handicaps even though most golfers elect to go for all the distance they can get at any cost. One of the main points in my earlier comment below was to avoid going to longer lengths simply because you are tall and that some uninformed club fitters love to immediately say that you need longer length clubs.
Going through club fitting hell! Have been fitted twice, both with different results. I’ma 4 handicap, 6'1" in height and weigh 195 pounds. Club head speed 117 with driver and from 150 yards out, it’s a 9 iron. Knuckle to ground is 31-33 1/2; palm size 4-4 1/2 and finger size is 3"-31/4". According to these 2 fittings, I should be 1/2" to 1" over standard in club length and 1 fitter suggested stiff shafts in irons and x-stiff in woods, while the other fitter thought I should go with x- stiff both in irons and woods. The problem is “WHAT IS STANDARD LENGTH”. Every major club company has a different standard length!Most club fitters use the 5 iron as a starting point. But I’ve seen those lengths go from 37" – 38" ¼" as being standard, depending on the company.With the extra length,my club weight is all over the place from D4-D7. “Do you have any suggestions that can help me”?
I think I can help you or at least get started toward a good solution. First of all, at 117MPH club head speed (driver) and a 4 handicap, you need to be in “X” flex shafts in both your metals and irons. Also, you need to be playing steel shafts in the irons. Forget knuckle to ground and finger size. This is simply a method to try and impress you with an urban myth club fitting skill. The knuckle to ground distance is for show and ease of looking up the club length in a chart. It tells me nothing (nor anyone else for that matter). Basically, any height golfer can play any length golf club as long as the club is properly adjusted for lie angle so it fits properly. Yes, if you are a member of a pro basketball team, we have an entirely different problem, but you are only 6'1" and probably a somewhat normally proportioned human being. I would recommend no longer than 45" in your driver and 44" in a 3 metal. Go shorter 1" for each number higher. 95% of all golfers I have personally fitted at your height will play the best with a 38" #5 iron. Almost every tour player I have ever done in the last 10 years has been 38" with only two that I can remember being at 38 1/4". I have not seen you swing, but I would guess that the irons will need to be 1 degree to 2 degrees more upright in lie angle. You need to have this checked with a lie impact fitting board (very important). Besides “X” flex shafts, you will probably play best with a more tip stiff model. This applies to both your metals and irons. Tom, also, do not let your swingweights get over D-3. Shoot for D-1, D-2, or D-3. I would like to see you get checked out in a launch monitor to make sure you get the best launch angle. Also, try a couple different balls in the monitor to see which type has a good trajectory and maximum distance. Remember, the two ball extremes are high launch, low spin and lower launch, higher spin. I almost always prefer the high launch, low spin models. Let me know what happens next to you and if you need any more help in narrowing down a shaft model selection.
Did you find that the amount of bowing of the shaft was related more too how the club was mounted on the machine, or as fitters is shaft ‘droop’, if I may, or bowing related more to casting versus having more lag?
The very rigid grip mounting method is one of the culprits in increasing the downward flexing of the shaft when using a hitting machine as compared to actual golfer testing. Assuming the same golf shaft is used in various tests, the amount of “bowing down” is basically a function of the leveraged length of the club, the head weight, the swing speed, the acceleration (late or early release are some factors) and the club heads center of gravity offset distance from the axis of the shaft. Since there are so many variables, you can see why the lie “fitting board” was developed, because it also adds the golfer into the equation and boils everything down to a mark on the club’s sole.
I’ve shared comments previously expressing the success of building the LTech (Logic Lady) clubs for women golfers.When I read your statement: “be sure that if you are playing a hybrid that it has a special designed hybrid shaft preferably or a fairway metal shaft”. Iron shafts in hybrid clubs tend to cancel out the playability advantages of the design as do shafts with excessively stiff tip areas.” This caused me to wonder if you would suggest putting an LTech wood shaft (.335) with a shim in the .370" LTech Hybrid? (How about in the DistanceMaster Pro Steel hybrid?)
You have discovered one of our fitting secrets. One of the tips we share with the students that come through our fitting schools is this exact procedure you are asking about.We recommend that each club fitter keep a supply of brass adapter shims (GolfWorks part number SHIM) to do this. The catalog doesn’t specifically mention a shim from .370" down to .335", but both the .400" down to .335" and the .350" down to .335" works OK.We make the bores .370" because there are very few hybrid shafts that are .335". I actually like the feel of .335" shafts in most hybrids because they generally have a little more torque and feel more like fairway metals than irons. In the future we will probably be carrying more .335" tip hybrid shafts. Remember, it is very easy to put a smaller shaft tip in a club than a bigger shaft tip.
I don’t see any related topic for what I am interested in so hopefully you will answer this. I am looking for one of your products that will clean up and buff out some of the wear that shows on the sole of a Callaway FT 3 driver. I have a nylon wheel to take out iron nicks but that is too harsh for this job. What do you recommend?
Someday we may have a section on club repair and refurbishing. Until then, I will answer all these questions. The absolute miracle wheel that I use almost every day is the Norton Bear Tex Disk. This red wheel is a very fine cut and cleans up irons beautifully and also cleans up metal wood soles. The best way to use them is to buy a kit from the GolfWorks which includes the wavy washers and 3 discs. You need the wavy washers or the wheels will not cut properly. Sounds strange I know, but the wavy washers squeeze the 3 red discs into a convoluted shape and this makes them cut in multiple directions simultaneously
which reduces the scratch marks and creates a more homogeneous satin finish. The GolfWorks kit code is BREX and costs $29.95. Call 1-800- 848-8358. Anyone with an electric motor and an arbor can mount this assembly and get amazing results with many different metals. The finish you get is also dependent on the pressure you apply, so practice on a few old clubs. The motor speed needs to be 1725 RPM which is standard on most motors. Buffing motors will not work as well since they run at over 3000 RPM.
I am a PCSMember and soon to be PGA Apprentice in Columbus. Do you plan on writing another revision on your Golf Club Design, Fitting, Alteration and Repair book? I’ve about worn my copy out!
This is a very good question. First of all, the PGA apprentices will also get a copy of another book I wrote called, “The Complete Golf Club Fitting Plan”. The PGA is also still using the book you mentioned, “Golf Club Design, Fitting, Alteration and Repair”. Eventually, all the new books that I write will culminate in a new version of this book. The reason not to rush to change it now is that it teaches golf club design principles the old way which is fast becoming a mystery and lost art in our modern times. What I mean by this is that you get an understanding of how all the specifications of say, a driver, interrelate with each other and why each is important regarding performance characteristics. You could actually design a modern day driver to exact playable specifications with this book. These same exact principles and design characteristics that apply to every metal wood designed today.
Can you give me some tips on abrading graphite shafts. I use a 30 inch belt sander and aMicro Grit Belt (M130B). Is that the only thing I need to do? It seems smooth, I wanted to know if I should use a coarser hand sand to rough it up, or if the micro grit belt will work fine.
It really does not need to be rough feeling. The main thing is to break the shiny finish even though it still may feel somewhat smooth. I still prefer to put a little masking tape on the shaft (located at a length where the top of the hosel is located) and use a 1" wide strip of 100 Grit sanding cloth. I simply place it over the tip and slide it back and forth about 10 strokes and its ready for assembly. I have seen some assemblers who use a machine put a pretty good nick in the shaft from the edge of the belt which could weaken it.
I am just starting out and am nervous about handing a club to a new customer to later have him come back with it broken (I hear that’s not good for a man’s reputation). On another note, I was reading about blowing grips on the shaft. What is your take on that method?
Do not do it. You need the double-coated tape under the grip to keep it from twisting on the shaft. Some people blow grips off the shaft, but I really don’t recommend this either, mostly from a safety standpoint.
I was at Golf Galaxy today and for the first time looked at the heads at The GolfWorks. As luck would have it, one of the fine fellows there had a 6 iron made up of the MMB head. I hit it and was so impressed, that I asked for a catalog. Ok, now to my question: I would like to (for the very first time) build a set of clubs but I don’t know where to start?!? There is a set kit at $295 that I would like to try my hand at however it seems somewhat overwhelming. Ralph, please think about a way to help us average golfers who want to “try” building a set. Perhaps you could have a crash course (supervised obviously) to help walk us through the process. I would have bought the kit immediately if only I had the confidence that I wouldn’t screw it up. I know that the guys can assemble for me but... I really want to try it myself. I think it is interesting and would be a confidence booster to have built my own set just once.
There is quite a bit of information on the GolfWorks website on assembling clubs. Also, my book Golf Club Design, Fitting, Alteration and Repair has step by step instructions in it.We also have schools to attend, but this is the expensive solution. Also, the Golf Galaxy personnel will be more than happy to keep answering your questions and help get you through your first assembly project. Some stores have assembly classes on Saturday mornings where you actually build a wedge. It’s easy; I know you can do it.
I have regripped some clubs that after a period of time start to twist at the butt end of club. Can you offer any ideas as to what I am doing wrong to cause this to happen? Normally I regrip the club and the problem disappears. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Here’s a couple of things; first, do your clubs get overly hot like from the trunk of your car? Second, are you matching the grip size core number to the shaft butt size number (it’s OK to have the core number smaller than the butt size to make oversize grips, but never larger than the shaft butt size to make smaller grips). Be sure you are using double coated masking tape made to install grips and not the clear backed double sided carpet tape. I have also seen grips that are defective. Usually if this is the case you will notice a funny look on the outside of the grip which looks like it is partially melting (rubber grips only, not the synthetic). Use a less greasy type of Naphtha such as VMP. I personally like the old dry cleaning fluids we once sold such as 1, 1, 1 trichloroethylene or perchlorethylene but these are deemed as unsafe to use today so I cannot recommend their use.My first regripping jobs in the 1960’s were all done with lighter fluid and then for the next 8 years I moved up to gasoline. It’s somehow amazing that I am still alive.
I checked my order, and I definitely ordered the .590" grips. I pulled back 4 of my clubs about a 1/2" like you mentioned, and I didn’t see any diameter markings. I’ve got a grip gauge on order, but I have a sinking feeling that I may have had the ladies grips shipped. They are definitely larger than my Top Flite grips, as well as other grips on clubs that I have made with your components.
When you installed the grips did you feel it was difficult to get them started over the shaft butt? .560" cores take a little work to get over a .600" shaft butt. Also, this is one more reason the grip gauge is important since you always do all the measurements on the first installed grip and then do any adjustments if necessary.
I have just recently put together a set of KE4 Irons, with TT TX90 Shafts, and the Maltby Weave grips. I don’t have a grip gauge yet, but when I hold the clubs in my hands, they feel larger than my old grips on my other irons (Top Flite XL2000).My iron shots had a tendency to push right during my last round, and per your video you stated this could be due to a too large grip.Would yourWeave Grips on a TX90 shaft (with only one layer of grip tape) be considered oversized? I ordered the standard .590 grips.
The TX-90 butt diameters are .600" for irons, so the .590" Maltby Weave core size should install (with one layer of tape) to .010" oversize from standard men’s which is almost negligible (.015" = 1/64" oversize). I sure hope they did not ship you .560" core grips which look identical but are for ladies. These .560" core grips would stretch on to 3/64" oversize. If in fact you had .590" grips, you could install them and evenly stretch them down the shaft about 1/4" and they would measure men’s standard size. Do this; on one of the installed grips, roll the bottom lip back about 1/2" and read the core size molded into the grip mouth to check if it is the correct core size. My last thought is to check and see if the Top Flite grips were installed undersize making these feel bigger to you. Hitting the ball to the right can definitely be too large a grip as you mentioned. If you are going to grip clubs you must have a grip size gauge. This allows you to check grip taper and also since it will measure at 2" down from the top of the grip for the left hand size and also at 5" down from the top of the grip for the right hand size, you can adjust sizes under each hand to fine tune grip size and possibly improve playability. I have convinced many tour players to try making the right hand grip 1/64" larger. Example; if the grip size under the left hand is 1/32"oversize, then make the grip size under the right hand 3/64" oversize (1/64" more oversize).What this is doing is changing the grip taper to less of a taper.
The grip I like only comes in a standard size. I measure 1/16 oversize. If I get the standard grip, how many wraps of masking take do I need to get up to 1/16 oversize (and use the double sided over the masking tape)? Does doing this alter or distort the standard grip?
First, you need to know what the grip core size is and also the shaft butt size you are installing it over. For instance, if it is a .600" grip size going over a .620" butt diameter, the grip will install slightly over 1/64" oversize. So, let’s assume you have a .600" standard size grip and you are installing it on a .600" butt diameter. Let’s also assume you are going to use 2' masking tape vertically on the shaft for your build-up (3/4" wrapped around the shaft is the same; however 3/4" overlapped is double the size). Each masking tape layer or wrap will increase the grip size by .010" to .013". The increase depends on the brand and quality masking tape you use. Cheap tape (which is the best to use because of cost and no sacrifice to install quality) will usually be .010". So, 1/16" oversize is equal to .062". You will simply install 5 layers of masking tape (.050") and 1 layer of double coated tape (.010") to equal .060" or 1/16" oversize (close enough). The grip will simply stretch over its full length and will not be distorted.
I want to replace a 53 gram grip with a 48 gram grip. The club head is at D2 swingweight.What will the swingweight be after the new lighter grip is on?
The 5 gram difference in the grip end is equivalent to 1/2 that amount in the head end when using a 14" fulcrum swingweight scale. So, the head end of the club will feel heavier to the scale because the grip end weight was reduced. The scale will think the head end increase in weight to be about 2.5 grams (1/2 of the 5 gram reduction) even though the head does not actually increase in weight (the grip decreased in weight). The 14" fulcrum causes this. A swingweight point is equivalent to approximately 2 grams of weight in the head end, so your D-2 swingweight will now be D-3 or slightly more than D-3. Now wouldn’t it have been easier for me to simply answer D-3?
I recently have had a chance to experiment with back weighting by placing 50g weights in the butt end of the grip. I have the Flight Control driver head on a lightweight graphite shaft. The swingweight is around D3 before back weighting.Much to my delight, this back weighting gave me more solid impact, consistency and distance. I have also found it works for my RDM Recoil irons and Trouble Out woods. I even fitted a client with some back weights and he noted the improvement in his shots also. I know if i placed the clubs on a swingweight scale, the swingweight will be reduced. However the club does not feel like it has lost any swingweight. How does one explain the benefit these back weights give some players?
Golfers have experimented with this for as long as I have been in the golf business. I have seen players such as you who feel that they have benefited from this. Usually, after the honeymoon period is over (the period when you think something is helping you but seems to go away in time) most players go back to prechange. What you have basically done is raise the total weight by 50 grams (13/4 ounces) and reduce the swingweight (relationship of the grip, shaft and head weight through a given club length) from D-3 to approximately C-1. Granted, the head is still the same weight, but the swingweight has been tricked through counterbalancing. This method of weighting usually results in a loss of distance and a gain in directional control. Now, with all this said, I have seen cases (not often) where counterbalancing has improved play. I can only guess that for some golfers the added butt weight may slow down the hands and actually help with a later release thus generating more club head speed. I am obviously not a big proponent of this but if it helps you and lasts over time, go for it. I would not however use it in my everyday fitting and club building as you would definitely hurt more people than you would help.
I recently put my first set of clubs together and enjoyed doing it. However, when I went to the driving range I was hitting my 8 iron and I noticed that there was a gap starting to occur between the club head and the ferrule. Did I not get enough epoxy on the shaft?
This is quite common with first time assemblers. In almost every case, the head is correctly epoxied on the shaft. The problem is that the ferrule was not tight enough on the shaft to keep it from slowly sliding up the shaft from each ball impact. One way to correct this is to apply a little epoxy in the gap and push the ferrule back down tightly against the hosel. This will usually keep it from moving as long as it is not overly loose. The ferrule can be a little tough to get back down on top of the hosel, so here is a method that I use: I take an old golf grip and cut a 1" by 5" strip out of it (rubber grips only). I wrap the grip strip around the ferrule and this gives me grip and leverage to twist the ferrule as I push down on it. Tip, when you first install any ferrule, make sure that it is tight enough on the shaft that you need to drive it into place with a ferrule install tool or when the head is installed, use the head itself to drive the ferrule. This last method always keeps the ferrule perfectly tight against the hosel after assembly.
I am new to club building (just started Oct. of last year and yes, I am planning on coming to the five day school next spring).My wife asked me to build her a hybrid club because she can hit her irons off the fairway OK but has trouble with her fairway woods. A friend where I work who also builds clubs and I were emailing on this and he said to make sure you get her a hybrid that plays like an iron because some are meant to play like irons and others like fairway woods. Is there a difference and if so, how to you tell what is what? Sorry if this is a dumb question but as I said, I am new at this, but have sure found what I want to do when I retire in a couple years.
It gets a little muddy sometimes on the hybrid types but here is a general rule. The iron hybrids generally have an iron shaped face and the fairway metal hybrids have a face shaped like a shallow fairway metal. The iron hybrids are generally not painted finishes, but some are. The fairway metal hybrids are mostly all painted finishes. They can both be designed to play very easy. The main thing to consider for your wife or for that matter everyone who uses hybrids is to use a hybrid designed shaft or a shaft designed for fairway metals or drivers. Do not use an iron shaft as they are too stiff and defeat the purpose of a hybrid. A number of iron hybrids use iron shafts and are designed to iron lengths. This can work very well, but I almost always recommend the fairway shaped hybrids because they usually more favor the playability of fairway metals. OK, I am probably confusing you a little, so here goes for a hybrid your wife will really like. Pick a fairway shaped hybrid with a minimum of 22 degrees (I like 24 degrees) and put a standard flex ladies (L) shaft in it (not a hybrid shaft).Make the length either 1" or 1 1/2" longer than her 5 iron (hopefully her 5 iron is no longer than 37") and make the swingweight a minimum of C-8. Be sure to fit her for proper grip size as many women play with too large a grip. See what happens when you ask me for advice; I have plenty of it. Let me know how this works for her.
Why is the use of putting a .580" core grip on a .600" butt shaft so common practice? Doesn’t this make the grip size larger than standard? I am not talking about purposely making the grip size larger, I am talking about new clubs and clubs I had worked on by Golfsmith that were done this way. I am a men’s standard size. I took off the grips today of a set of woods that I had a Golfsmith work on (extended the shafts). He not only put on .580" core grips but never took off the old tape; he just put more tape on top of the old. I hit these clubs with a heavy fade usually, so I am hoping the new grips will help me release better. Do Golfsmiths and manufacturers stretch the .580’s down the shaft to thin the mout?
I think this was a case of not knowing any better. It could also be that this is the only grip size they stock. There is no standard practice of putting a .580" grip on a .600" butt shaft that I am aware of. Leaving the old tape on is definitely not acceptable when regripping. I do think that you found one of your problems however. Too large a grip as you are aware will cause a golfe
to hit the ball to the right because too large a grip size for the golfer inhibits the wrist action which in turn can reduce the normal club head rotation coming into impact. This can leave the club head open causing the tendency to hit the ball to the right.
Distance. I am notorious for being the shortest iron hitter of 95%of all the players I meet on the course. Even thought I can generally shoot in the high 70’s to low 80’s. I am5’9” 180 and consider myself rather athletic. Is it the iron approach angle that is killing my distance? AmI not hitting down on the ball enough (and thus de-lofting the angle of attack) during the downswing??
Without seeing you play, this is a tough one to figure out. The only suggestion I can make is to go see a PGA pro that you have confidence in and find out the reason. Sorry I could not be a bigger help. P.S. For what it’s worth: ball position, angle of attack, weight shift and wrist release point (late or early) are some of the variables to consider.
I’ve been spending $’s for lessons at Golf Galaxy and am getting better at this game. I’ve only been playing for about 2 yrs. I’ve attended a seminar on club building and have read your manual totally and it’s great knowledge. But when I come to buy your products, I’m finding that I’mat a disadvantage. I’ma left handed player (because a disability). Why is this? Callaway had an open house recently and had only 1 left handed drive to try out and many right handed clubs. This is outrageous in my opinion! I need to get fitted for new clubs and it looks like knock-offs will be my only option. Any good news for lefties??
The GolfWorks has a number of clubs in left hand. Golf Galaxy stocks our most popular “Maltby” model, the KE4 in left hand. It is available in irons, hybrids, fairways and a driver.We also have left hand models in our CER line and also our DistanceMaster line. Check them out at golfworks.com. People who buy knockoffs mistakenly believe that they are getting the same playability clones as the originals at a very low price. This is far from true. In general knockoffs are made in the lowest quality factories with inconsistent tooling and no quality checks. Their faces are generally not flat, scoring lines are often illegal, the sole bounce angles are all over the place and the loft and lie angles are not in progression. There are other problems but space here does not allow me to elaborate.
I am a 20 handicap player. I like to set up with the ball forward (at instep of front foot) for every shot, including wedges. Can club fitting help me make more solid contact and avoid fat shots or pushes....or must I learn to set up with the ball further back as my club pro is suggesting?
Club fitting works best after certain swing flaws and/or setup flaws are corrected. Your golf professional is correct. Playing the ball too far forward can create a number of problems, one of which is to make it very difficult to get consistent solid ball contact. Once you get comfortable with moving the ball back to the correct setup position, you will notice that you are also hitting the ball longer.
I am a 22 handicap;most people see my swing and think I’ma single digit. So I guess I have a repeatable swing, however,my biggest flaw/frustration is that I tend to frequently hit behind the ball as much as 6 inches at times, even the driver, and mostly never hit just ball first. If I appear to have a good swing what amI doing to cause this very frustrating miss hit? Thank You. PS, when I do hit the ball solid I frequently get a sweeping draw hook. Just thought I’d throw that one in there as well.
I am not a teaching pro but having been involved in fitting and working with many golf professionals over the years, I am going to take a stab at this one. Of course I would always recommend seeing a PGA professional. Just watching someone swing can save a lot of time in fixing a problem. OK with all that said, here’s what you need to look at. First, I would check to see if you are keeping most of your weight on your right side coming into impact. This can cause the fat shot and a hooking effect from “hanging back” and not getting through the shot. You need to basically shift your weight as follows: more weight on the right foot on the backswing, weight distributed evenly at the top and weight shifting over to the left foot coming into impact. You should achieve this weight shift by a rotation of your body and not by sliding your body back and forward. Another problem is that some golfers try to hit up on the ball when in fact; you need to swing down and through the ball. If you find the bottom of your swing arc (take a few practice swings creating a slight divot) which is usually in the center of your divot, this is the area you should be placing the ball in your setup. See if this helps and let me know the outcome.
Do you think that the USGA will restrict the clubs design to force PGA players to go back to the old days?
The USGA has a long history in making equipment rule changes based on how the tour players play. Going way back, when the Haskell ball (first wound ball) came out they banned it.When the first steel shafts replaced hickory shafts, they banned them.When a tour event was won with deep waterfall type grooves in the early 1900’s, they banned these grooves. I do not think they will force PGA tour players to go back to the old days because there is too much at stake regarding the many, many millions the manufacturers pay tour players to play their equipment. The obvious goal for spending all this money is so that you will run out and buy the same club or clubs that the tour player uses. So, if the tour pro uses different equipment built to different rules, it would change the way clubs are marketed and where the money is spent. I totally support the USGA and I am also a member, but I do think that more consideration should be given to regular golfers and rule changes not be made because the absolute finest players in the world (we simply cannot and never will be able to hit the ball like they do) can shoot 20 under par and drive it 300 yards. I don’t know about you, but I am not even close to obsolescing the golf course I play on.
Do you have any comments regarding Lange Golf Clubs? The company manufactures clubs forWomen Only.
Until your comment, I nor anyone at the GolfWorks have ever heard of Lange golf clubs. I went on their website to have a look. I will definitely be ordering each of their irons to do a MPF (Maltby Playability Factor) rating to see where they stand. So, I cannot tell you much other than the only driver head sizes they have listed is for a 380cc and a 330cc driver. This would be giving up way too much playability compared to the 440cc to 460cc ladies drivers available today with much higher playability. The new driver sizes have very high moments of inertia and this really helps women quite a bit. I apologize if it was on their site and I missed it, but I could not find the standard specifications for any of their clubs. I was interested in the iron lofts, bounce angles, lie angles and standard club lengths. If you are interested in these clubs be sure and hit them for a comparison to what you are playing now. Also, hit some other manufacturer’s ladies only models for a comparison.
Yesterday I saw a Callaway promotional piece on how their computers simulate club designs and materials that are not even physically possible, in order to determine playability and other factors. Is this the kind of test you perform? Do you believe such tests are relevant?
Almost everything that the golf companies put out is for marketing purposes and to make you believe they have the best golf clubs (or best R&D departments). Callaway is certainly one of the few companies that are quite sophisticated in their design approach and in R&D. I really cannot tell you how accurate or functional this computer simulation program is because I am not aware of it, but I am always suspect any computer programs written for the purpose of promoting a companies’ products or development methods. To determine the basic playability characteristics of golf clubs (Maltby Playability Factor), I actually measure all their mass and dimensional properties to get the real numbers. The real numbers I use are the actual weight of the head, its loft angle, the moment of inertia and the center of gravity in all three planes. This measurement process takes some very sophisticated equipment to perform. These real numbers are then put into a formula derived from testing golf clubs over a long period of time and the resultant answer is a number which classifies the head into one of 6 different playability categories. I can also use the formula (MPF) to put in hypothetical numbers of an initial iron design to help me determine the specifications I will need to reach a certain playability level.
I would like to know if you have ever tried the following two tests with an Iron Byron machine: 1. with all other things being equal does a club with a stiff shaft hit the ball farther than one with a regular shaft even at slow swing speeds? 2. How much longer and straighter will a new $2,500 set of Callaway’s or TaylorMade’s hit the ball than a stylistically similar $200 set fromK-Mart?
The first question is easy, the Last question is interesting. First, the shaft stiffness and the swing speed will create a different launch angle with all else being equal.Whichever shaft that creates a launch angle which is more ideal (with a given loft angle) regarding ball carry will be the winner. The results of trying all the different types and flexibilities of shafts available would yield no significant distance difference data to confirm anything other than hitting straightness (shot dispersion). Almost every time the stiffer shaft will hit the ball straighter than a more flexible shaft. Distance will always vary. Now for your second question; as everyone out there has probably already guessed, I have measured and tested numerous clones and copies of the major OEM’s clubs. I have even found some clones with a higher Maltby Playability Factor than the original designs (although most are not as high). The big problem in comparing the two types of clubs is overall quality and consistency. There is a reason why the clones are so cheap. They are simply made in factories that produce on a cost basis only and the quality level is focused mostly on being cosmetically appealing and recognizable to a well known OEM brand. Specifications and playability are not a priority because this type customer is not looking for quality but rather a very low price. I have never found a clone type club that I would play simply because I want my clubs built as close to perfectly incremental as possible; such as, I want the faces flat on my irons and the bounce angles on the soles to match, to name only a few. I have made over 30 trips to Taiwan and China beginning way back in 1972 and I have seen it all; the good, the bad and the ugly. Now with all that said, and getting somewhat off my soapbox, is it worth a $2300 difference (your numbers, not mine) in one top quality set to another lower quality set manufactured and assembled using comparable materials? No, in dollars.... yes, if you want to play with better golf clubs. You are paying quite a bit of money to the OEM’s that support the tour players. Some companies spend anywhere from 25 to 50 million dollars so you will run out onMonday and 113 buy their Sunday winning product. Obviously we do this so we can play exactly like the pros? Do you know, we must actually believe this is true because the OEM’s would not spend all that money on tour endorsements if it didn’t work. The marketing part is all a great big consumer game and it exists in every product area. Just look at the automobile manufacturers. So, basically we buy what we can afford that gets the job done (although there are better low cost alternative choices than clones). Some of us hope that someday we can afford to trade up as part of our game plan to play with better equipment and play better golf. Trading up to play better certainly does not mean that you need to spend $2500 (remember, your numbers, not mine) for the absolute best in playability and quality, but you should stick with the reputable, high quality golf club manufacturers. Do your homework and get the best price/value/playability relationship for your dollar possible. So, Jack, I told you this last question would be interesting because I obviously have an opinion on the subject.