Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Clubhead Speed Versus Headweight

     A reader sent in a question about headweight and how it affects distance. This is a great question and one that has stirred debate in the golf industry for years. Most people would agree that a lighter club would be better, but if you look closer that answer would need to be qualified.

     A typical driver today is 45 1/2 inches long, has a headweight of 200 grams and a swing weight of D-1. If swung around 100 mph the ball leaves at about 145 mph and carries a little over 245 yards. If you could swing a heavier club at the same 100 mph the ball would not go proportionately faster and  farther. A 400 gram head (twice the normal weight) swung at 100 mph would send the ball at 160 mph. It has also been shown that lightening the head does not substantially increase distance. As the clubhead is lightened a player can swing only slightly faster. 

    As a result we can say there are a wide range of weights and will usually produce the same length for a particular player. As the clubhead gets lighter (less mass) the swing speed increases and as the clubhead gets heavier (more mass) the swing speed decreases. Both of these produce approximately the same distance.

     Engineers and club manufacturers test a multitude of weight combinations to produce a club that maximizes distance. An experienced clubfitter will then customize the specifications - shaft weight, shaft flex and swing weight - based on each player's swing characteristics.   

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Nashville Golf Show

      The 2nd Annual Nashville Golf Show is February 2nd, 3rd & 4th, 2018 at the Music City Convention Center. The show hours are Friday, Noon - 6 PM, Saturday, 10 AM - 6 PM and Sunday, 10 AM - 3 PM.
      I will be there each day to help attendees with their golf swings as well as their golf equipment. 
My station ( located at the hitting net ) will include a launch monitor, video camera, shaft frequency meter and fitting clubs to assist players.
      If you would like to reserve a time with me during the show please send an email to stevejkirkpatrick@comcast.net or call Golf Rx at 615 288-4539. Feel free to bring your driver or 7 iron with you. 
     For more information visit www.nashvillegolfshow.com

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Adding weight to a putter

      I recently had a customer ask if I could add weight to his putter. He had tried a heavier model and liked the feel much better. Adding weight can be accomplished two ways. One is to add lead tape to the putter head until the desired weight is reached. The other is to remove the grip and pour lead powder down the shaft and secure it with a cork. Using a swing weight scale during the process enables you to create the desired swing weight the customer wants.
      Keep in mind shortening or lengthening a putter will alter the swing weight as well. Shortening a putter's length will decrease the swing weight of the putter - lengthening the putter will do the opposite.
     If you have a question about club repair or other equipment topics please email me at stevejkirkpatrick@comcast.net.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Question about driver shaft

    I recently received a question from a customer asking if his driver shaft can be stiffened without having to replace the shaft. The answer is yes, it can be stiffened without having to buy a new shaft.
     We accomplish this by removing the shaft and trimming length off the tip end. After re-installing the shaft we use a shaft extension in the butt end to make the driver the original length. The more you trim from the tip the stiffer the shaft becomes. By using a shaft frequency meter we can determine how much to trim for the required stiffness.
   If you have a question about club repair or clubs in general please send it to me at
stevejkirkpatrick@comcast.net. I will answer it on my blog page as soon as possible. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Golf Rx has the perfect gift for the golfer

    Golfers can be a difficult to buy for at Christmas. Most are pretty particular when it comes to their equipment and accessories. So why not let the experts at Golf Rx simplify your decision making?

    A Golf Rx gift card is the perfect choice because it can be used for instruction, custom fitting services, golf equipment, club repair services or accessories such as bags, balls and gloves.

    Call Steve at Golf Rx at (615) 288 4539 or stop by at 11972 Lebanon Rd. in Mt. Juliet for more information. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Think less and play better

    Why do we make the golf swing so complicated? To quote acclaimed instructor Jim Flick, "If as much were written about sex as there has been on the golf swing, life would be extinct by now."
 
    Think back when you were learning to hit a baseball or return a shot on the tennis court.  What were you focusing on? I would imagine it was simply swing the bat and hit the ball, or swing the racket and hit the ball over the net. Whoever taught you to play pitch and catch or to hit a tennis ball  wouldn't give you 3 or 4 commands while you were throwing the ball or swinging the racket. 

    So what make the golf swing any different?  The golf swing takes 1.25 seconds for the average player to complete - not a lot of time for the brain to be giving various commands to different body parts.

     Harvey Penick, instructor to Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite put it this way when it came to golf instruction, "Take a pill, not the whole bottle." One thing I know is the less you think about during your swing the better you'll hit the ball.

      If you are confused and mixed up in too much swing theory try this next time you play. Hold the club light enough so that you can feel the weight of the club head. Swing at 80 percent focusing only on swinging the club through the ball in the direction of your target. You may be surprised how far the ball goes with such little effort and thought.





 

Friday, October 13, 2017

The importance of shaft fitting

                                           
                                            The importance of shaft fitting



     Shaft fitting is an important component of any fitting, and something players should give considerable attention to when buying new clubs. Modern day shaft characteristics vary significantly in weight, flex, bend profiles and torque. The different elements of a particular shaft have a big influence on the delivery of the club head affecting both performance and consistency. Because each player’s swing characteristics are different it is safe to say no two players will respond the same to a particular shaft type.
    So how does one determine what type shaft might be the best fit for them? Typically a starting point for a driver shaft is based on the player's swing speed and tempo. During the process the player will hit numerous shafts until we find the optimal one. The determining factors will be more consistent performance, increased distance and a tighter dispersion.  The player's feedback about the shaft's feel and weight is also an important consideration. 
   
 Here are three reasons why a player should have his shafts fitted rather than buying clubs off the rack
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Not all shaft flex codes are equal - Because there is no industry standard for flex codes one shaft company's "regular" may be another company's "stiff." Hence, two shafts with different flex codes may have a very similar flex. The only way to accurately compare the overall stiffness or "static flex" of two shafts is to use a shaft deflection board or shaft frequency meter.

I want the same shaft in my new irons - Keep in mind just because a shaft worked well with one set of irons doesn't guarantee it will perform equally in a different model set. The properties of the head (such as weight mass and center of gravity) can differ considerably from model to model. The way a shaft responds to a club head will depend on the design aspects of the head itself.

I already know what shaft I need - Players often presume they need a particular shaft because that is what they have always used. Keep in mind tour players spend a lot of time at equipment companies testing shafts in order to optimize their performance. Players are sacrificing performance and consistency by not taking advantage of the same opportunity. Some players come to a fitting with their mind already made up on the shaft they want, only to leave an hour later choosing a totally different shaft. 

    No two players swing the club the same so being fit for a shaft is something all players should consider if they want to improve their game.