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October eTECH Report

R&D Building Update
Other than the landscaping and the completion of the finishing touches on the exterior of the building, TWGT’s R&D Center is now a reality. And just in time too! While not R&D in origin, the first “task” of the TWGT R&D building was to play host (the day after we moved everything in!) to a film crew from Fox Sports Midwest’s golf show, Golf Today. (see TWGT and Fox Sports Midwest) [continues below]


MOI vs. Head Shape
It’s about to happen again in this oft-crazy industry, and as Clubmakers who are expected to know all the answers, TWGT is ready, willing and able to provide you with the facts. [continues below]

TWGT and Fox Sports Midwest
If you live in the Midwest, or if you have cable or satellite access to the Fox Sports Midwest channel, in mid-November you can tune into the ‘Golf Today’ program to see a 30 minute show about TWGT and its new R&D center and listen to us continue our crusade to promote custom Clubmakers as the pre-eminent source of quality golf equipment for all golfers.[continues below]

Search for the Perfect Driver Now in Stock
Tom Wishon’s second book in the ‘Search Series’, The Search for the Perfect Driver, is now in stock and available. Copies of the newest volume in TWGT’s campaign to educate golfers that custom fitting is superior to buying standard made brand name clubs off the rack are now here. [continues below]

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R&D Building Update

New R&D CenterOther than the landscaping and the completion of the finishing touches on the exterior of the building, TWGT’s R&D Center is now a reality. And just in time too! While not R&D in origin, the first “task” of the TWGT R&D building was to play host (the day after we moved everything in!) to a film crew from Fox Sports Midwest’s golf show, Golf Today. (see TWGT and Fox Sports Midwest)

In this month’s TWGT E-TECHreport, we thought we would give you a “tour” of the largest and most extensively equipped R&D building in the custom clubmaking industry. While this is a tour in still images, we hope to be able to post a video tour on our web site in the not too distant future.

While it would be ideal for clubmakers to possess a Trackman ball flight analysis system, a copy of TWGT’s Trajectory and Ball Flight Modeling software will help to identify what the loft of the driver has to be, to achieve this best carry + lowest angle of descent of the ball to the ground. Pay attention as we guide you through a number of examples to show how this can be done. New R&D Center

TWGT’s new R&D building is divided into two main rooms with Lexan non-breakable windows separating the areas . This shot is taken from the main hitting and testing room which has a ceiling height of 11 feet and two large overhead door openings – one for the hitting robot to hit through and the other set up with a 5’ X 5” hitting mat for golfers to hit test and be custom fit through the Dalton Ranch GC pro shop. Also contained within the 650 sq ft hitting and testing room is our putting analysis surface, a state of the art new synthetic 12 foot long putting surface with a Stimpmeter reading of 10 to closely simulate the speed and roll of real greens. Telemetry equipment in the main hitting and testing room for testing, analysis and fitting includes a full Trackman system, a SAM PuttLab putting analysis system, as well as both a Zelocity and Golf Achiever launch monitor. Individual standalone direct swing speed measurement is done with two Swing Speed radar units from Sports Sensors, Inc. Soon to join the array of analysis equipment will be a new Photon high speed camera to enable us to actually see the bending of the shaft in the swing as well as to very closely monitor the action of the ball on the clubface at impact.

TWGT’s R&D center doors open up on a direct line into the Dalton Ranch GC driving range. From the hitting tee locations in front of both doors to the back fence of the level range with target greens is 350 yards – a must when you live and test golf club designs and golfers at 6,500 feet elevation !! One of Dalton Ranch GC’s two practice greens lies directly in front of the R&D center to enable us to perform any aspect of short game equipment testing either from within our indoor hitting areas or directly from the bunker or areas around the grass pitching green.

The smaller of the two rooms at 450 sq ft contains a work desk complete with high speed bandwidth and a small workshop area in which TWGT and the Dalton Ranch GC staff can do anything from build test clubs, to build or alter clubs for golfers who come to Dalton Ranch to be custom fit. All dust generating procedures are or will be enclosed to keep the area clean. In addition, this room also contains a nice sitting area for conversations with golfers being fit by the Dalton Ranch GS staff as well as meetings with TWGT foundry or vendor personnel. Included in the sitting area is a large High Definition screen which is hooked up to display all the screen output of the launch monitor and telemetry equipment in the R&D center.

TWGT looks forward to using our R&D center on a regular basis to continue the depth of our research into the performance of golf equipment, the development of future TWGT designs, and the development of a first class fitting program with the pros at Dalton Ranch GC.

 

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MOI vs. Head Shape

It’s about to happen again in this oft-crazy industry, and as Clubmakers who are expected to know all the answers, TWGT is ready, willing and able to provide you with the facts.

What’s about to happen again that you need to be ready for? The onslaught of a major marketing whoopla that will spearhead the introduction of square-shaped driver heads from a number of the brand name companies that make standard clubs, that’s what’s about to happen. And just like every other major marketing campaign that hits the industry, there will be plenty of square driver knock-offs and ‘wannabes’ that will be available to ride the coattails of the major companies’ marketing.

So is square better than round, oval, pear-shape or any other shape when it comes to driver design? What is the perceived advantage of designing a square shape driver? Is it real or is it hype?

These and likely others will comprise the majority of questions that you will hear from golfers, so tune in, because when misunderstanding and hype in this industry is just around the corner, we’re glad to step in with a little information to make things clear.

In 2006, the USGA announced the Rules of Golf would now include a limit to the MOI of clubheads about a vertical axis through the heads’ Center of Gravity. The limit being imposed by the USGA is 6000 g-cm2. In setting this limit, the USGA also realized that no drivers yet tested have reached this level. Thus the stage was set for golf companies to go to work in an attempt to design driver heads with a higher MOI than before.

The marketing claims that will be made about square drivers is that the new, radical head shape enables the head to have a higher Moment of Inertia with respect to the head’s rotation when impact occurs off-center. From that, the square drivers will claim to be more forgiving when hit off-center and deliver more distance for off-center shots.

How could this be? Technically, a square shape head could allow some weight to be positioned farther from the Center of Gravity of the head than in a conventionally shaped head. Compared to a normal driver head shape, the “back corners” of the square shape are farther from the head’s CG. However, increasing the rear “moment arms” by making the head square in shape will not ensure that the head has an MOI that is any higher than a well designed driver of conventional shape.

Fact: Just because a driver head has a square shape does not mean its MOI is higher than the MOI of a conventionally shaped driver head.

As with all new golf club technology that is introduced, you can be sure there will be plenty of square-shape driver heads that will be made and offered by companies who have no design and engineering skills, and will only offer such models to sell to un-suspecting golfers and Clubmakers to capitalize on the marketing of square shape drivers. How much of the head’s total mass that is able to be placed all around the perimeter and in the “rear corners” of the head is what will determine if the square driver has a higher MOI than a conventional shape driver head or not.

Current reports say that the MOI of the well designed square drivers will be in the area of 5200 g-cm2. Marketing claims will say that the current 460cc conventionally shaped drivers have an ‘average MOI’ of 4000 g-cm2. While there are certainly some normal shaped 460cc drivers that have a 4000 g-cm2 MOI, there most definitely are some conventional shape drivers in play which have an MOI in the area of 4500 to 5000 g-cm2.

Fact: For the MOI of a driver head to deliver more forgiveness for an off center hit that can truly be seen and experienced in the form of a distance increase of 5 yards or more, the MOI has to be increased by 1000 g-cm2 or more, while all other fitting specs such as loft, face angle, shaft, length, swingweight/MOI of the club, etc., have to be matched well to the golfer’s size, strength and swing.

Therein lies the rub with respect to the marketing claims to be made on behalf of the new, square-shape driver designs. How are you or your golfers going to know whether a new, square-shape driver can deliver an increase in the MOI of >1000 g-cm2 over the golfer’s current driver? You can’t and you won’t know – unless you have an expensive machine that can measure the MOI of a clubhead about its vertical CG axis. Outside of that, trial and error will be the only way any golfer will ever know if a new square shape head can hit the ball visibly farther for an off-center hit than the golfer’s existing driver. And to know that will require the two drivers to be identical in all specifications other than the MOI.

Fact: Off-center hit distance is not strictly a product of the MOI of the head about its vertical CG axis. The design of the face itself is a hugely important factor for generating good distance from an off-center hit.

If one driver face is designed to be able to flex more for the same amount of off center hit as the face of another driver, the face with more off center hit flex will hit the ball visibly farther for any golfer. What’s more, a driver with a superb face design with an MOI that is 1000 g-cm2 lower will hit the ball farther from an off center hit than another driver with an average face design with an MOI that is 1000 g-cm2 higher. Interesting industry, isn’t it?

Fact: Square is not the only unconventional shape that can allow a skilled clubhead designer to potentially increase the MOI higher.

Stop for a moment to think about the transition in the shape of putter heads over the past 3-4 years, and what this shape change was intended to do to the design of putter heads. That’s right, putter heads started to grow larger in dimension back from the face in an effort to increase the putter heads’ MOI about the vertical CG axis. Same thing that the square shape driver heads are beginning to claim. Very common among the larger putter head shapes has been what could be best characterized as a “triangle shape”, in which the face forms the base while the protruding back of the putter forms the peak of the triangle. Remember, increasing the MOI of any clubhead is all about trying to position as much mass as possible farther from the head’s CG than before. Shape means nothing unless you know how to create discretionary mass that can be moved farther away from the CG area of the head.

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TWGT and Fox Sports Midwest

Fox Sports photo If you live in the Midwest, or if you have cable or satellite access to the Fox Sports Midwest channel, in mid-November you can tune into the ‘Golf Today’ program to see a 30 minute show about TWGT and its new R&D center and watch us continue our crusade to promote custom Clubmakers as the pre-eminent source of quality golf equipment for all golfers.

Thanks to the success of the book, The Search for the Perfect Golf Club, TWGT was contacted by the producers of the ‘Golf Today’ show for Fox Sports Midwest for the purpose of shooting a 30 minute segment on TWGT and custom fitting. The Golf Today film crew flew to Durango the week of October 16-20 to shoot the show on the scenic Dalton Ranch GC layout as well as in TWGT’s new R&D facility, located on the driving range at Dalton Ranch.

The show will consist of a series of segments in which Tom Wishon educates golfers about the benefits of real custom fitting with the driver, hybrids, wedges and putter. During the segment shot in TWGT’s new R&D facility, Tom tells the viewers how a typical custom fitting session is conducted by independent Clubmakers and numerous times tells golfers how to find a good clubmaker in their area.

The Golf Today film crew also shot a number of short video segments that TWGT will be editing for use on our web sites in the not too distant future. In addition, TWGT plans to make copies of the 30 minute Golf Today show available either in DVD form or for download from our web sites by broadband or other high speed users.

TWGT is assisting in every way possible on the publicity campaign for Search Driver because we know the more golfers who read or even scan through either of the Search books or the 12 Myths booklets, the more golfers who end up seeking out a competent clubmaker in their area to be custom fit.

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Search for the Perfect Driver Now in Stock

Tom Wishon’s second book in the ‘Search Series’, The Search for the Perfect Driver, is now in stock and available. Copies of the newest volume in TWGT’s campaign to educate golfers that custom fitting is superior to buying standard made brand name clubs off the rack are now here.

At 144 pages, Search Driver is shorter in length than the Search Clubs book, which should compel more golfers to pick up a copy and take the time to read it. As with Search Clubs and the 12 Myths booklet, Search Driver is all about convincing regular golfers that seeing a skilled clubmaker in their area to be custom fit is far better for their playing improvement and dollar investment than buying standard made, mass produced clubs off the rack.

Behind the scenes, the publisher of Tom’s Search books is working harder than ever before to generate national publicity for the book. Advance copies were sent to every major newspaper, magazine and web site that has golfers among the readers and visitors. Early reports are that most of these national media sources are impressed with the book and willing to publicize Search Driver as worthwhile reading for all golfers.

TWGT is assisting in every way possible on the publicity campaign for Search Driver because we know the more golfers who read or even scan through either of the Search books or the 12 Myths booklets, the more golfers who end up seeking out a competent clubmaker in their area to be custom fit.

 

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All eTECHreport (ISSN 1551-1103) articles written by Tom Wishon unless otherwise noted. Please refrain from unauthorized reproduction of text, photos, and/or graphics.