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August eTECH Report

The Common Sense of Game Improvement Fitting
One of the most talked about articles in our July direct mail newsletter was the fitting information piece titled, The Common Sense of Game Improvement Fitting. Because we received so many positive comments on this article, we wanted to re-print it in this month’s E-TECHreport so Clubmakers who may have missed it, or overlooked it, could have the information to help make their fitting sessions a little more “common sense. [continues below]

Search Book Update
The popularity and potential of Wishon Golf’s books which teach consumer golfers the benefits of custom fitting just seem to continue. Tom’s first book, The Search for the Perfect Golf Club, has recently made the move from hardbound to soft cover, a change which lowers the price per copy and typically results in a boost in consumer sales. [continues below]

Common Sense Clubfitting for Distance
One of the most confusing things about custom clubfitting is that its easy to identify the 22 different specifications that make up a golf club, but many clubmakers are confused as to which of the 22 specs are more important when it comes to helping the golfer gain the most improvement from the custom fitting process. [continues below]

Search Driver book Makes it Two in a Row for I.N.G.’s Book of the Year
It’s worth repeating to tell all Clubmakers that The Search for the Perfect Driver has won the 2007 Book of the Year award from the International Network of Golf, the game’s largest organization of industry golf media professionals. [continues below]

Another New TWGT Book Slated for Spring 2008 to Promote Your Business
While there will be a third and final book in Tom Wishon’s Search series to educate golfers about the “perfect” wedges and putter, thanks to the enthusiasm of the nation’s major bookstore chains, an expanded version of Wishon’s 12 Myths booklet will be on all bookstore shelves in Spring 2008. [continues below]

12 Myths Available in Audio CD
To expand the ways TWGT can help Clubmakers get the point across that professional fitting is what you do and that professional fitting is far better than buying standard made clubs off the rack, TWGT has the 12 Myths booklet available in audio CD form. [continues below]

MOI Matching - A Viable Alternative for Traditional Swingweight Matching
Scores of cutting edge Clubmakers already know the benefits of MOI (Moment of Inertia) Matching the clubs they build instead of following the traditional method of swingweight matching. Thousands of Clubmakers do not. Since introducing the first MOI matching system hardware and software in late 2003, a new and much easier to use version of the product was introduced in 2006. [continues below]

 

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The Common Sense of Game Improvement Fitting

One of the most talked about articles in our July direct mail newsletter was the fitting information piece titled, The Common Sense of Game Improvement Fitting. Because we received so many positive comments on this article, we wanted to re-print it in this month’s E-TECHreport so Clubmakers who may have missed it, or overlooked it, could have the information to help make their fitting sessions a little more “common sense.”

As Clubmakers become more advanced in their knowledge of clubfitting, it is typical to become caught up in some of the “minutia” and forget that there are a finite number of key fitting parameters which combine to account for the vast majority of game improvement available to most golfers through proper fitting. As a result, it is very important to step back once in a while and re-focus on these key fitting parameters to ensure the greatest amount of shotmaking improvement for the greatest number of golfers you fit. Take the time to focus on these key fitting points that follow which will have the most effect on game improvement from the standpoint of both the fitting parameter itself, and the type of golfer being fit.

LENGTH

Driver

• If you realize the average driver length on the PGA Tour has been 44.5” for the past two seasons, common sense dictates that you should never fit a golfer with a driver length of 45” or longer. If the best swings on the planet choose driver lengths which on average are shorter than what the big club companies make as their standard driver length, you should too for the golfers you fit.

• The more the golfer swings with an upright plane and outside/in swing path, the shorter the length of the driver should be. In addition, the less physical strength and athletic ability of the golfer, the shorter the driver needs to be to ensure the best combination of distance with accuracy and consistency.

• Make it a point to fit FAR more male golfers with driver lengths of 44” and less; 43” and less for women. Be as stingy about allowing the golfer to go longer than 44” with the driver as you are with your money.

Fairway Woods

• Regardless what loft the golfer’s “second longest hitting wood” may have, build that club at least one inch shorter than the conservative length you chose for his/her driver.

• Fit each successive fairway wood in the golfer’s set make-up one inch shorter. Any less can cause adjacent fairway wood distances to be too little.

Hybrids and Irons

• If the role of the hybrids is to truly replace the hard to hit low lofted irons, build these hybrids the same length as the conventional iron length they are replacing. This way you ensure both an easier to hit hybrid and proper distance increments between the hybrids and conventional irons.

• Only build longer than what the golfer’s wrist-to-floor length measurement indicates if the golfer really says they are uncomfortably short for their set up, posture and swing. Length increases in the irons really do not translate into meaningful distance increases.

• It is totally OK to deviate from the normal half-inch length change from number to number in the set. Going with 0.4” or 3/8” or Dan Connelly’s True Length Technology ™ system can offer the golfer more comfort and better accuracy and consistency.

Wedges

• Wedge length is all about the golfer’s comfort and keeping their muscles relaxed for the way they grip and stand for their wedge shots. The more the golfer grips down on the wedges and/or crouches to set up for the shot, the shorter you can make the wedges from the 9-iron, and the more you could change the increment of length between wedges. In the end, there is no performance advantage to making the wedges all the same length or incrementally different – there is ONLY the golfer’s comfort in setting up to hit each wedge for their particular style of shotmaking technique.

Putter

• Just like the wedges, putter length is all about offering the most comfort and muscle relaxation for the golfer’s stance, posture and arm length over the ball.

LOFT

Driver

• No question here. Loft has to be matched to the golfer’s swing speed WITH the golfer’s angle of attack factored into the final decision. Without the A of A included, you might fit too much loft to the golfer with an upward A of A, and too little loft for the player with the downward A of A.

Fairway Woods

• Never think automatically to fit the golfer with a 3, 5 and 7-wood. Think in terms of what is the lowest loft the golfer can comfortably and consistently get well up in the air to fly from a fairway lie. That becomes the golfer’s “second longest hitting wood” after the driver and very often will not be a 3-wood.

• Once the loft of the golfer’s second longest hitting wood is found, go 4 degrees in loft between each fairway wood for golfers with swing speeds >90mph, 5 degrees for golfers with swing speeds between 75-90mph, and 6 degrees for golfer swing speeds lower than 75mph.

Hybrids and Irons

• Don’t duplicate any shot distances with a fairway wood and a hybrid that hit the ball the same distance. Make sure the first hybrid after the last fairway wood do offer the golfer a decent separation in distance.

• For golfers with a 5-iron swing speed that is less than 70-80mph, do not set up the hybrid and iron lofts with any less than a 4 degree change per club. For a 5-iron swing speed of 60-70mph, make that 5 degrees and for a 5-iron swing speed under 60mph, think 6 degree loft separations.

• Super high quality clubfitting and clubmaking says check and adjust all iron lofts for all golfers because every supplier has to live with a +/- 1 degree tolerance in their iron production.

Wedges

• Read the chapter in Common Sense Clubfitting that explains how to pick the right wedge lofts for the golfer’s course design considerations.

Putter

• If you don’t have a device that reveals the loft of the putter at impact, a better “ball park” fitting for putter loft says, “hands ahead at impact, go with 6º loft. Hands behind the ball at impact, go with 2º loft. Hands in line with the ball at impact, go with 4º loft.”

• Remember this is only a ball park way to advise the golfer about putter loft and does not account for the putter’s angle of attack through the ball. But a ball park is better than nothing.

LIE ANGLE

Driver

• Don’t worry about it unless you have a very short golfer who hits every tee shot to the hook/pull side of the fairway. You can’t bend a titanium driver lie without ruining the hosel area, and rarely does lie fitting cause any problems in driver shotmaking as long as the other driver specs of loft, length, shaft, swingweight/total weight/MOI and grip size are spot on. Millions of driver fittings that work well using no lie adjustment stand as proof.

Fairway Woods

• While the statistics of millions of successful fairway wood fittings indicates that lie is not that important, the sheer fact fairway woods are hit off the deck says to at least look at lie for golfers of shorter height so they are not making contact with the heel/sole when they hit shots.

Hybrids, Irons and Wedges

• As loft increases in the set, the need for accurate lie fitting does too, conducted in a dynamic lie session that notes the point of sole impact or by putting a straight, vertical ink line on the back of the ball and adjusting the lie until the ink line is perfectly vertical on the face after impact.

Putter

• With only a 4.25” diameter hole as the target, there is no club in the bag more important to fit for lie.

FACE ANGLE

Driver and Fairway Woods

• When the golfer can’t or won’t make the swing changes to reduce or eliminate the curving flight of mis-direction, a custom face angle in the woods will. For slicers, adding offset to the face angle correction increases the amount of slice correction possible. • When the curving flight of mis-direction is greater than 30 yards of sideways movement, face angle can help keep the ball in the trees rather than in some homeowner’s yard, but lessons and a commitment to at least reducing the slice or hook to the point that face angle can do the rest is a wiser piece of advice for this golfer.

SHAFT WEIGHT

• Physically stronger than most, strong transition move in the downswing, fast/quick tempo all together points to heavier weight shafts. Two out of these three do too.

• Physically weaker than most, very smooth/rhythmic swing with little sense of acceleration all point to lighter weight shafts. Having only one of these does too.

• Think of shaft weight fitting as more important for reducing off-center hits than increasing swing speed.

• Light graphite in the woods with steel in the irons is okay because the longer length of the woods brings the MOI of the two closer together to eliminate a shock in total weight difference.

SHAFT FLEX and BEND PROFILE

• Better to err on the side of being a little too flexible for 90% of all golfers than too stiff.

• The remaining 10% are those golfers with a strong transition move, or for whom the fit is more important for FEEL so don’t feel bad when these golfers require a lot more shaft fitting work to be happy. The better the ball striking ability, the more the fit is about the bending feel of the shaft.

• Regardless of the name/brand on the shafts you use the most, if you’re not following the shaft fitting procedures on pages 51-52 of the 2007 TWGT catalog, you are shaft fitting by trial and error.

• For 90% of the golfers who want a change in the height and trajectory of the shot, use loft, not the shaft. The shaft won’t change shot height that much in the first place, and will do so only for golfers with a later release of their wrist-cock angle on the downswing.

• Shaft Bend Profile fitting made simple: Late release = tip firm profile; Midway release = tip medium profile; Early release = tip flexible profile; Strong transition force = butt firm profile; Average transition force = butt medium profile; Smooth transition force = butt flexible profile. While there can be variations of such for the few who are very good ball strikers with very good swing fundamentals, for everyone else, this is all you need to know to achieve success.

SWINGWEIGHT and MOI MATCHING

• If you are not swingweighting or MOI Matching the clubs you build for golfers, find another hobby to occupy your free time. You’re not doing any golfers a favor by
building clubs.

• The more force the golfer puts into their swing, the higher the swingweight or MOI should be, and vice versa. Physically strong and more swing force, the higher the total weight should be along with the swingweight, and vice versa.

• MOI Matching makes sense for ALL golfers, regardless of their ability. Building clubs in a set that all require the same exact effort from the golfer to swing while being different lengths requires no golfer ability qualifications.

GRIP

• The golfer’s comfort with what they hold on to, both in texture and size, is the only requirement in grip fitting. Only. That means forget about this nonsense of large grip = slice and small grip = hook. Comfort in the grip = relaxed muscles in the hands and arms = more consistency in
the swing.

 

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Search Book Update

The popularity and potential of Wishon Golf’s books which teach consumer golfers the benefits of custom fitting just seem to continue. Tom’s first book, The Search for the Perfect Golf Club, has recently made the move from hardbound to soft cover, a change which lowers the price per copy and typically results in a boost in consumer sales.

“There is no doubt more people buy a book when its price drops as a result of a change from hardbound to soft cover,” said Jim Edwards, owner of Sports Media Group, the publisher of TWGT’s Search and 12 Myths books. “For The Search for the Perfect Golf Club to keep selling well in hard cover for two years is remarkable for a book within golf – that means there are plenty of readers who are drawn to the subject and don’t mind paying the higher price for a hard bound book. We decided to make the change from hard to soft cover on Tom’s first Search book because all of our book retailers were telling us they were getting more and more requests for the soft cover version, such that they know the book will enjoy a big boost in sales when the lower priced soft cover version comes out.”

From our standpoint at TWGT, more copies in the hands of more golfers is what it’s all about. We know the more golfers who see and read our Search and 12 Myths books, the more golfers end up contacting a custom clubmaker in their area to be custom fit. So TWGT welcomes the change of the first Search book into softcover form.

With the change to soft cover, the jacket price of The Search for the Perfect Golf Club changes from retail $45.00 to $29.95. We here at Wishon Golf have made the change so that all orders for the first Search book are now being filled with the lower cost, soft cover version.

 

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Common Sense Clubfitting for Distance

One of the most confusing things about custom clubfitting is that its easy to identify the 22 different specifications that make up a golf club, but many clubmakers are confused as to which of the 22 specs are more important when it comes to helping the golfer gain the most improvement from the custom fitting process.

TWGT’s book, Common Sense Clubfitting, states that the first KEY to accurate clubfitting is to “work backwards.” To do this means you first must identify precisely what elements of shotmaking the golfer will gain the most benefit from, and then identify which of the 22 different golf club specifications will bring about the greatest visible improvement in the specific element of shotmaking that will help the golfer the most.

When you boil it all down, there are five different elements in hitting the ball for which accurate fitting can bring about a change or improvement:

1. More DISTANCE

2. Better ACCURACY

3. Higher or Lower TRAJECTORY

4. More CONSISTENCY (higher percentage of on center hits and/or, a more consistent ball flight shape)

5. More Desirable FEEL (more solid feel at impact, better overall weight feel, more desirable shaft bending feel)

Common Sense Clubfitting teaches that only a handful of the 22 different golf club specifications have the chance to bring about a visible change/improvement in each one of these five elements of shotmaking. Thus the final goal of Common Sense Clubfitting is to identify which shotmaking element(s) will help the golfer the most, and then to focus on properly fitting the few specifications which will have the most effect on the golfer’s desired shotmaking element(s).

When it comes to DISTANCE, every golfer wants to hit the ball longer. Honestly, no golfer can hit the ball farther than their strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics will allow. While there are a handful of club changes that can result in a higher swing speed, most of the golfer’s potential for swing speed is a result of their strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics. Thus where most golfers can achieve their maximum potential for distance is in matching them with the right specifications that will result in the golfer achieving their highest possible swing speed along with the highest percentage of on-center hits.

The most important club specifications for maximizing the golfer’s potential for distance are:

Loft

• Most golfers play too little loft in the driver and 3-wood to maximize their potential for distance. Each golfer has a loft that will maximize distance for their individual swing speed, angle of attack, and dryness/wetness of the fairways on the courses they play the most.

• While lower loft means more distance in the high loft woods and irons, simply going lower in loft in these clubs to get more distance has to be compared to how high the golfer’s swing will hit the ball for any given loft.

Length

• For most golfers, going shorter in the woods means a higher percentage of on center hits, which in turn means more distance than when they hit the ball off center. Irons should be analyzed as well; while most golfers play woods which are too long for their ability to control the club and hit the ball on center, not nearly as many have the same problem with their irons. However, there still are golfers who would hit the ball more on center with a length change in the irons, or, with a change in the iron to iron length increment.

Total Weight

• Total Weight is most controlled by the shaft weight. However, it is additionally possible to use different weight grips to push the total weight change in a golf club beyond what can be achieved through the weight of the shaft. The lighter the total weight, the faster the golfer should swing the club. However, no swing speed increase is worth anything unless the combination of the clubs’ length + total weight + swingweight (MOI) matches with the golfer’s strength, athletic ability and swing tempo/transition to allow the highest percentage of on center hits.

Shaft Weight

• The lighter the shaft weight, the lighter the total weight, and the faster the golfer should be able to swing the club. Again, no swing speed increase is worth anything unless the combination of the clubs’ length + total weight + swingweight (MOI) matches with the golfer’s strength, athletic ability and swing tempo/transition to allow the highest percentage of on center hits.

• 95+% of all drivers, 75+% of all fairway woods and 30% of all irons are presently bought by golfers with graphite shafts installed in the clubs. Since the vast majority of these shafts are in the “lighter weight category”, it stands to reason that moving to a lighter shaft weight will only improve swing speed in the driver for 5% of the golfers, improve swing speed in the fairway woods for 25% of all golfers, but could improve swing speed in the irons for 75% of all golfers.

Swingweight/Club Moment of Inertia

• With the right swingweight or assembled club MOI, a golfer can achieve their highest swing speed and their highest percentage of on center hits. The wrong club balance can do the opposite. While finding the right swingweight/MOI for the golfer’s strength, athletic ability and swing tempo/transition can take time and may involve experimentation, once found, this spec can bring about a very visible improvement in distance.

Vertical Roll Radius (drivers)

• No question, this specification may only help a handful of golfers gain more distance. If the vertical roll is too curved on the driver, high or low face impact will rob the golfer of distance.

If any of these specifications are incorrectly matched to the golfer’s strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics, proper identification of what these specs need to be for the golfer will bring about a visible increase in shot distance from an increase in swing speed and/or an improvement in the on center hit percentage.

Beyond these six specifications which have the most influence on shot distance are seven other club specs which could combine to squeeze out a little more distance when properly fit to the golfer’s strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics.

Clubhead Moment of Inertia (about the vertical CG axis)

• This is a fitting specification that can only affect distance for shots hit off center. No matter how high this MOI, the golfer won’t hit the ball farther when they hit such a club on center. If you see/hear of a golfer who hits the ball farther with a high MOI clubhead for on center hits, it is NOT the MOI that is responsible; it is one and/or more of the other specs listed in this article that are accounting for the distance increase.

Vertical Roll Radius (fairway woods)

• Because fairway wood face heights are so much shorter than the driver, this is a pretty minor thing when it comes to distance. However, for fairway woods that are made with too much vertical face roll curve, high and low face impacts will lose distance.

Center of Gravity Location

• Center of Gravity location can only affect distance by how it contributes to the golfer’s launch angle. In short, if you choose the right length, total weight/shaft weight, swingweight/MOI and you choose the loft which combines with the head CG to achieve the best launch angle for the golfer’s swing speed/swing angle of attack, you’ve done what you need to do to bring the head CG into the distance fitting equation.

Set Make-Up

• Choosing the right set makeup for the golfer’s swing speed and ability to get the ball well up in the air is intended to ensure the best distance with the most number of clubs in the set. In short, you replace the heads they presently can’t get the ball well up to fly with ones they can so distance is optimized for the most number of clubs in the set.

Shaft Primary Flex

• There are only two ways the shaft’s primary flex can contribute to distance. First, if the golfer has a relatively late release (unhinging of the wrist-cock angle) the shaft can combine with the head’s loft + center of gravity to determine the launch angle and spin of the shot. If the golfer likes a more flexible feel, the loft can always be reduced to bring about the best launch angle for optimum distance. Conversely, if the golfer likes a much stiffer flex feel, the loft of the head can always be increased to bring about the best launch angle for optimum distance.

• Second, for golfers who possess a definite like/dislike for the bending feel of the shaft during the swing, the flex has a huge effect on the golfer’s swing timing/rhythm. When the bending feel is right for the golfer, their swing timing and rhythm will result in the highest swing speed + an improvement in on center hit percentage.

Shaft Bend Profile

• The bend profile is the shaft’s distribution of stiffness over its length. In the same manner as the overall flex but with slightly less effect, the bend profile can contribute to the launch angle and the bending feel of the shaft during the swing.

Face Design

• Not every face designed to offer an on center 0.830 COR performs the same for off center hits. In addition, few irons are designed with a face that can offer a distinctly higher COR. Choosing a well designed woodhead face will deliver more distance to the golfer for off-center hits than will choosing a woodhead with a higher MOI. Choosing a well designed iron face can deliver more distance from both ON and off center hits.

The goal of the clubfitter will always be to determine how many of these 13 different club specs are not right for the golfer in his/her existing clubs. How many of these are not presently right for the golfer’s strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics will determine how much distance improvement the golfer can gain.

For more detailed information, we urge all Clubmakers to obtain and study a copy of Common Sense Clubfitting: The Wishon Method, available from Clubmate Golf Australia.

 

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Search Driver book Makes it Two in a Row for I.N.G.’s Book of the Year

It’s worth repeating to tell all Clubmakers that The Search for the Perfect Driver has won the 2007 Book of the Year award from the International Network of Golf, the game’s largest organization of industry golf media professionals.

Since the ING bestowed their 2006 Book of the Year award on the first Search book, The Search for the Perfect Golf Club, TWGT is thrilled that such a respected organization of golf writers has made it two years in a row for our books which educate golfers on the facts of custom fitting.

Why is this important for you to know? All Clubmakers are looking for ways to impress their golfing customers that what you offer in your craft is better than what the golfer can buy in standard form, off the rack with a more recognizable brand name on the clubs. Showing your customers the two Search books and telling them that the two books have won back to back honors from the golf industry’s largest organization of golf writers is definitely a way to get any golfer’s attention to pay attention to the message of these books.

There is no question – using the two Search books and the 12 Myths booklet WILL increase your belief and business in custom fitting.

 

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Another New TWGT Book Slated for Spring 2008 to Promote Your Business

While there will be a third and final book in Tom Wishon’s Search series to educate golfers about the “perfect” wedges and putter, thanks to the enthusiasm of the nation’s major bookstore chains, an expanded version of Wishon’s 12 Myths booklet will be on all bookstore shelves in
Spring 2008.

During a meeting with the buyers for each of the nation’s major bookstore companies, representatives of Sports Media Group, publisher of the Search books, showed the buyers a copy of 12 Myths That Could Wreck Your Golf Game to determine their interest in stocking and selling the 32-page booklet of key excerpts from The Search for the Perfect Golf Club.

The buyers for B. Dalton, Borders and Barnes & Noble all agreed that the information in the small 12 Myths booklet was perfect for their golf readers – the only “problem” was that major bookstores don’t like to sell any book with only 32 pages that retails for less than $10!! The buyers for all three major bookstore chains asked Sports Media Group if we could expand the number of Myths so the book could reach 90-100 pages and thus make it correspond to the minimum book size the companies wish to stock and sell.

When it comes to getting more information out to educate golfers on the benefits of custom fitting over buying standard made clubs off the rack, TWGT’s answer is, “ask and you shall receive!”

Why do we keep pushing books like this out on the market? The answer’s simple. TWGT does not have tens of millions of dollars to pay for traditional print and TV marketing as a way to tell golfers about YOU and your fellow Clubmakers, and how what you offer will be far better for golfers than buying standard OEM branded clubs off the rack.

The Search and Myth books are a form of consumer marketing that does work to erase the marketing effect of the tens of millions of dollars spent by each of the large standard club making companies to promote their clubs. The more options TWGT can get in the face and hands of regular golfers to explain the benefits of professionally custom fit versus standard off the rack, the more clubs YOU will be asked to build, and the more positive image professional custom clubmaking will receive.

The expanded 12 Myths book is expected to be released to all bookstores in April 2008. The book will be short - 90-100 pages with no single myth covering more than 2 to 3 pages – perfect as a format to attract more golfers to get interested in learning the truth about golf equipment.

Both TWGT and our publisher feel the new Myths book could end up being the largest selling of all the “consumer oriented” books we’ve produced. The new, expanded Myths book could do more to elevate the image of professional custom clubmaking and increase YOUR business than any of the books we’ve written. Since the book will only be 90-100 pages in total, with no “chapter/myth” covering more than 3 pages, the format is perfect for attracting readers who may be turned off by a longer length book with longer individual chapters in today’s era of “instant information.”

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12 Myths Available in Audio CD

To expand the ways TWGT can help Clubmakers get the point across that professional fitting is what you do and that professional fitting is far better than buying standard made clubs off the rack, TWGT has the 12 Myths booklet available in audio CD form. 12 Myths by audio is a great way for golfers who spend time in the car to listen to the common sense truths about golf equipment, and to promote your professional clubfitting services to golfers who are sadly uninformed about the truth of where the best clubs for their game can be found.

12 Myths That Could Wreck Your Golf Game Audio – in stock and available in September.

 

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MOI Matching: a Viable Alternative for Traditional Swingweight  Matching

Scores of cutting edge Clubmakers already know the benefits of MOI (Moment of Inertia) Matching the clubs they build instead of following the traditional method of swingweight matching. Thousands of Clubmakers do not. Since introducing the first MOI matching system hardware and software in late 2003, a new and much easier to use version of the product was introduced in 2006. Known now as the MOI Speed Match System, the new product has both made MOI matching of clubs much faster and far easier for Clubmakers to do.

If we keep thinking of MOI Matching as simply a replacement for swingweight matching-both in the fitting and the build out-then it becomes easier to incorporate MOI Matching into how we already do things.

In fitting a golfer, you will still select the proper head, shaft, grip and playing length based on there physical abilities and performance desires. This will put the club in an “MOI Range”-meaning that you’ll never see a high MOI number for a golfer with a slow swing and smooth tempo. The reason for this is that the shaft selected for this golfer will likely weigh much less than a typical 120 gram steel shaft and this will keep the MOI of the entire club down.

What IS MOI Matching?

• MOI Matching is simply a replacement for Swingweight. If the goal is to get the clubs to feel the same to the golfer from club to club, then MOI does this much better than Swingweight because it is a measurement of how much force it will take the body to rotate the golf club.

• In a golf industry that is tossing around the term MOI in different ways, it can be confusing to know what MOI Matching of clubs really is. The recent marketing of drivers with a high MOI refers only to the driver head. By making new driver heads in which a higher percentage of the head’s mass (headweight) is located farther from the head’ center of gravity, the high MOI drivers attempt to offer golfers more off center hit forgiveness.

• Every object you can think of has an MOI. However, only when that object is intended to be put into motion to rotate about some axis does its MOI mean anything. MOI Matching of the clubs in a set is all about making the Moment of Inertia of each FULLY ASSEMBLED CLUB to be the same. It is the release, otherwise known as the unhinging of the wrist-cock angle, which is the axis of rotation for each club. When the MOI of each club is the same, the golfer will use the same amount of swing force/effort to release the club through impact. Swingweight matched clubs don’t do this. In a swingweight matched set, each club requires a little different swing force/effort to release the club through impact.

What will MOI Matching DO in Terms of Performance?

• Club matching, no matter what the method, is all about trying to offer the golfer more consistency with all the clubs in the set. Swingweight has attempted to do this through a method centered on the use of a swingweight scale that has been made with an arbitrarily chosen 14” fulcrum point built into the scale. MOI matching is based on pure physics. Scientists have known for decades that if the goal is to make the force required exactly the same to move an object around an axis of rotation, making those objects to have the same Moment of Inertia is the only way to achieve that goal.

• TWGT has monitored the results of MOI Matching as done by Clubmakers since 2003. Not once have we been told by a clubmaker who offers MOI Matching that a golfer has come back to ask for their clubs to be changed back to a swingweight matched set. In addition, Clubmakers who MOI Match clubs for their golfers have reported their golfers now enjoy a higher percentage of on center hits than before, when their clubs were swingweight matched.

• Recently we heard from Dennis Piant, of Performance Fit Golf, in the Chicago area who works with Senior Tour Pro, Chip Beck. Chip had his clubs stolen and had Mizuno send him out replacements which were then torn apart and rebuilt by Dennis. Chip took delivery of his new sticks and after a couple of days, reported to Dennis that his clubs “didn’t feel right”. So Dennis got the clubs back, asked Chip if there was one that he particularly liked (in this case it was the 7 iron) and rebuilt the entire set to match that 7 iron’s MOI. Chip got back the set and was amazed at how great they felt. Now, whenever he’s in Dennis’ shop he tells all the golfers “you’ve got to get your set MOI’d”.

Congratulations to Chip, who shot a final round 66, to tie for 8th in the 3M Championship. We’ll follow his progress with the hope that his MOI matched set will get him back to where he once was!

• One of the significant benefits we’ve seen of MOI is better and faster skill acquisition for the golfer. This eliminates the need to “learn” each club and figure out how to properly square it.

How Does MOI Matching Differ from Swingweight Matching?

• In terms of fitting and building there isn’t a lot different between the two processes. The same key things that a fitter will do for determining the proper head, shaft, grip and playing length for the golfer still apply. When it comes time to do the build out instead of building all the clubs to a SW designation, the build out will be to a specific MOI number.

• The easiest way to explain this is to say what would happen if you had a set in which all clubs were built to the same MOI, and you put each club on a swingweight scale to measure its individual swingweight. As you know, when clubs are built to the same swingweight, each club records the same letter and number measurement on the swingweight scale. For example, if the golfer’s desired swingweight were D-1, all swingweight matched clubs would read D-1 on the swingweight scale.

• In an MOI matched set of clubs, the swingweight progressively increases from being lowest for the longest club in the set, to being highest for the shortest club in the set. In a set where each club is built to have the same MOI, this progressive increase in swingweight from longest to shortest length club is not exactly the same increment of swingweight increase because of slight variables in the shaft weight, shaft balance point, grip weight, and accuracy of the length change from club to club. But in general terms, it can be said in an MOI matched set of clubs, the swingweight progressively increases from being lowest for the longest club in the set, to being highest for the shortest club in the set.

• Another key difference between SW and MOI is that you can’t “trick” the MOI. We all know the old saying about being able to swingweight a telephone pole to D1 which is a great illustration of the deficiencies of SW. We know that any weight we put on the grip end of the fulcrum will lower the SW, but does this actually make the club lighter to the golfer? It doesn’t, and when we do the same thing the MOI number will slightly increase.

How Hard is it to Build Sets of Clubs to all have the same MOI?

Speed Matching System

• With the new MOI Speed Match System, it is very easy to do and does not really take much more time than building a swingweight matched set. It literally will operate like a digital swingweight scale would. The MOI Speed Match unit is very easy to use to measure the MOI of any golf club; you simply place the club on the unit, press the “reset” button on the unit’s control panel, pull the club back, let go and the MOI reading appears in seconds on the unit’s display window. By adding weight to the head, you increase the MOI of the club. By either removing weight from the head OR, slightly reducing the length of the club in small fractions, the MOI of the club is reduced.

How Do You Know What MOI Measurement is the Right One for Each Golfer?

• Choosing the right MOI for any golfer is somewhat similar to choosing the right swingweight for the golfer. The stronger the golfer, the more forceful the golfer swings at the ball, the higher the swingweight and the higher the MOI would be to best match the golfer’s requirements. Likewise, the weaker the golfer and more smoothly they swing the club, the lower the swingweight and the lower the MOI would need to be to work best for the golfer.

• Again, it is important to remember that when you choose the proper head, shaft, grip and playing length for a particular golfer, you’ll be in an MOI “range”. Now it’s just a matter of fine tuning to find where the golfer likes the feel and shows good on center contact within that MOI range.

• Pinpointing the right MOI can be done in a number of ways. After talking with a lot of the Clubmakers who now regularly MOI match ALL sets they custom fit and build, using a test club and adding lead tape to the head while letting the golfer hit shots is the most effective and efficient method of finding the right MOI that each club will have when built.

If MOI Matching is so Great, How Come the big golf companies Don’t Do It?

• The OEM golf companies are all about making millions of standard made clubs. All of their production methods and head specifications have been set up for swingweight matching. All men’s clubs are built to one swingweight and ladies to one other swingweight that is primarily established by their clubs being an inch shorter in length than the men’s. For any of these companies to change to MOI matching would require them to spend a fortune to try to re-educate golfers about the change.

• Without naming any names, TWGT knows that a few of the OEM companies are aware of MOI Matching and are aware of its scientific justification for being better than swingweight matching to achieve the goal of making all clubs in a set swing with the same feel to the golfer. However, since all the OEM companies make their standard clubs to a single swingweight for each gender, were they to switch to MOI matching, they still would have to choose a single “standard” MOI to which all their clubs would be built. Since MOI Matching only works to full improvement benefits when customized to each golfer’s unique strength, athletic ability and swing characteristics, by making their clubs to one MOI, the OEM companies know that they would not be offering much of an improvement to the golfers over what they are doing now with a single standard swingweight for men and for women.

• Building the clubs to a matched MOI would cost the OEMs a little more than simply building to swingweight. Accurate MOI matching takes a little more time, and one thing the OEM companies do NOT like to do is increase the cost of the standard clubs they make.

Don’t over think MOI. It is simply a replacement for swingweight. You can still frequency match, orient the shaft how you wish, and do your fittings as you’ve always done them. It is more akin to measuring the length of a golf club in centimeters than inches. It is simply a different golf club swing feel matching system, one that more accurately
produces an identical swing feel for all clubs than swingweight does.

For more information on MOI Matching, we urge you to head to this link on our web site for Clubmakers - http://www.wishongolf.com/moi.php. Or please give us a call and we’ll be happy to explain MOI matching in more detail so that you will know how making this conversion in your clubmaking can really help the quality of your work. Just because swingweight matching has been around for 80 years does not mean it is the best way to custom fit and assemble clubs for golfers in search of ways to improve their shotmaking consistency!

Remember, to accent your MOI Matching service, TWGT has shaft labels for you to apply to both graphite and steel shafts to draw attention to the fact the clubs you build are MOI matched. Inexpensive and sold in dozen packages.

 

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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.