Britt, I am curious what your thoughts are and/or experience is with building a MOI matched set of clubs vs a swing weight matched set?
MOI matching and Swing weight matching are simply two different ways to build clubs. That being said, I much prefer the traditional swing weight matching. The problem with MOI matching is that there are multiple ways to MOI match a set. Jim actually did an experiment a few years ago and built three sets using identical parts and weights. He MOI matched them three different ways, each vastly different in the way the weight was distributed. All were “MOI” matched, but vastly different. Also, truly MOI matched sets generally result in variable differences in the head weights, producing a wide spread in the swing weight, which is truly a measure of club head feel. I personally don’t want a large variance in swing weight for the sake of saying a set is MOI matched. Lastly, and I always bring this up when the discussion comes up, how many tour professionals play with MOI matched clubs vs the traditional swing weight matched set? I think you could count them on one hand, and probably only a portion of that hand. If it was truly a better way that produced better results for all players, they would all be using MOI matched sets. Trust me on this. They would ALL be using it if it was better. That’s my opinion, of course, and if it works for you and gives you better results or the feel you prefer, then nothing wrong with it. I know several people that build them that way and like the results. It is just another way to build clubs, that for some people, provide a feel and performance that that works for them.
Back in the 1920s when the Swingweight scale was invented there was no simple way of measuring MOI available. So the swingweight scale was invented as an approximation to MOI. MOI, if measured at the center of the grip ( a point about 4 inches down from the butt end) is the true measure of Heft. Swingweight is just an approximation to that. The Swingweight approximation only works if all the shafts are identical, which they obviously are not today. None of these methods work as they do not consider ball position, club-length, or even the golfer. The scientific way of matching golf clubs so that you will groove one swing for all your clubs are called BioMatch and is available on www.rational-golf.com. You will also find a blog post on Swingweight versus MOI there.
Sasho Mackenzie did a study comparing Swingweights with MOI matching. It was not possible to tell if one was better than the other. Simply because none of them work. Another problem with MOI matching is that, for whatever reason, it is normally measured around the butt end of the club. This measurement is completely irrelevant.