Saturday, February 27, 2010

Forces at Work

Here are some interesting facts regarding what occurs during the golf swing.

1. At impact your shaft has bowed downward and forward. It has actually shortened about 1/4 inch.

2. The time from the top of a player's backwing to impact is 1/5 to 3/5 of a second.

3. The ball stays on the clubface about 5/10,000 of a second. During this time the club travels
about 3/4 to 1 inch.

4. The energy applied to the ball at impact approaches 2,000 pounds and compresses the ball
15 to 30 percent of its original diameter.

5. At 100 MPH clubhead speed the clubface slows to 82 MPH at impact and the ball leaves the clubface at about 135 MPH.

6. The ball is 10 to 12 inches from the clubface when the player feels impact.

7. 40 to 60 pounds of centrifugal force is pulling downward from a player's hands at impact.

8. With a driver if the ball is hit on face center the face angle will have 60 to 70% influence on initial ball direction and path will have 30 to 40% influence.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Information on the groove issue

At a recent PGA Education Seminar I had the opportunity to hear Bob Renegar speak regarding the spin effect of the new groove requirements. Bob is a design engineer who has worked with companies including Titleist and Callaway Golf and holds several design patents. He also serves on the USGA Technical Board and is considered a leading expert on wedge design and performance.
Bob explained that basically the new designs will result in a 40% reduction in groove volume. We will continue to see a variety of designs that will include versions of V and Square grooves.
After extensive testing between new and old grooves these were the results on full swings:

Good Lies from the fairway - No Change
Heavy Rough - No Change
Explosion shots from bunker - No Change

Light to Medium Rough - Yes
Partial Shots (Chips and Pitches) - Yes

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) can continue to sell old groove irons through 2010. Beginning in 2011 OEM's can only make and sell new groove clubs. Effective Jan. 1, 2010 PGA tour players and competitors in USGA events must play new groove conforming clubs. Otherwise you will be allowed to play with the non-conforming clubs until 2024.
Check with your PGA Professional if you are in the market for new irons and have questions regarding the groove design.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Taking the Mystery out of Club Fitting - Answers to the most commonly asked questions

Exactly what is customized in a set of custom fit clubs?

Practically every component of the club can be modified to some extent including length, shaft material and flex, lie angle, head design, grip type and size. Even what particular clubs to make up your set will be evaluated.

Why is determining the proper shaft important?

Not all players swing the clubhead at the same speed. Shafts vary in degrees of weight, torque and flexibility. Shafts can greatly influence your ball flight and distance. By observing your swing tempo and clubhead speed we are able to determine the proper shaft to maximize your distance and accuracy.

What does lie angle mean and what effect does it have?

Lie angle is the angle between the bottom sole of the club and the axis of the shaft. A too upright club (toe up off the ground) will cause your ball flight to go left of the target. A too flat club (heel up off the ground) will cause your ball flight to go right of target. By taping the bottom of the club and hitting balls from a lie board we can determine if your clubs need to be more upright or flatter. A mark towards the toe of the club indicates you need a more upright club. A mark towards the heel shows you need a flatter club.

I'm shorter than average so should I shorten my existing clubs?

In most cases you will not want to shorten your clubs because it alters other factors such as overall weight, swing weight and shaft flex. Shorter players will however often require flatter lie angles so make sure and have them checked by your golf professional.

Are custom clubs more expensive than standard sets off the rack?

No, as a matter of fact they are often less expensive. With the populartiy of hybrids we may decide to exclude the two, three or four iron with your set. A standard set off the rack often includes irons you won't use or don't need.

After a fitting how long does it take to get my new clubs?

Virtually all major club manufacturers are now tooled up to produce and ship custom clubs within a few days of the order. Our customers usually receive their clubs in 7 to 10 days.

What if I lose a club? Can I get a replacement to match my original specifications?

Golf Rx as well as the club manufacturers maintain records of each customer's order, including all specifications and set make up. If a club is lost or stolen a replacement can be made to exactly match your original set.

Will custom fit clubs make me a better player?

Properly fit clubs are an important tool in order to become the best player you can be, and that is what we would all like to experience. Propely fit clubs reward good golf swings with good golf shots. You wouldn't buy a new suit off the rack without trying it on. Neither should you purchase golf clubs without first insuring a proper fit.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Determining the right shaft for you

Flex is defined as the degree of a shaft's resistance to bending. The purpose of the shaft is to transfer energy from the player to the ball in the most efficient manner possible. Because players have different swing speeds and tempos shafts are manufactured in various flexes, materials and weights.
Generally the shaft flex is designated with a letter displayed on the shaft. Below are the most commonly used letters and the respective flex.
L - Ladies
A - Senior
R - Regular
S - Stiff
X - Extra Stiff

A competent club fitter will observe your swing and tempo, and with the use of a launch monitor measure your clubhead speed to determine the best possible shaft for you.
Using a shaft that is too stiff for your swing speed will cause the ball to go a shorter distance with a lower trajectory, and generally flies right of your target. Using a shaft that is too flexible usually feels solid, but causes a shot that draws or hooks with a higher than normal trajectory.
It is important to note that flex ranges can vary between manufacturers so that one company's stiff could be another company's regular. Also keep in mind that steel shafts are generally firmer than graphite shafts of the same flex designation. Because there is no universal standard it is best to try a variety of shafts to experience the "feel" of each. This trial and error method with a competent club fitter is the best way to determine the right shaft for you.