Golf Club Tips

Golf Club Tips from MAXX FIT GOLF’s very own Class A Professional Club Maker, Les McBride:

Change those grips!!!

I know we’ve all heard it before, but it is worth the reminder. The only contact your body has with the club is the grip. What the club feels like in your hands is often overshadowed by the business end of the club.

Keeping them clean with regular scrubbings with dish soap and water and ensuring they are completely dry will help maintain their original feel and tackiness. Grips are designed to wear-out eventually so when you find that you are cleaning them more often, or having to grip the club a little tighter than prescribed, then it’s time for new grips.

Lies, lies, lies

I can’t stress enough just how important it is to have your lies checked at least once at the beginning of every season. And if you have never had a dynamic lie test done on each and every iron in your bag, you are missing out on some major accuracy in your game! A one-degree difference from your ideal lie angle will have a very noticeable effect on accuracy, especially in the wedges and short irons.

So, depending on the hardness of the steel in your irons, the amount you play and practice, if you hit off mats – all of these will determine your lie maintenance schedule.

A word about shafts

Ever her the saying: “The shaft is the engine of the golf club,” I got news for you, it’s not! The shaft is the transmission of the golf club! The shaft supplies no power to the golf ball. Its purpose is to transmit the power supplied by the swing.

A particular shaft will react and feel totally different from one golfer to the next. The reason being, the shaft reacts to the forces applied to it by the individual swinging it. Every golfer’s swing is as personal and individual as the DNA and fingerprint of that person. No two are alike – the downswing transition; the releasing of the club through impact; level of physical strength and athleticism; and, the individual’s own perception of feel. All of these factors, and others, have to be considered when choosing a shaft.

There are many graphite/composite shaft companies on the market. Between them, they produce thousands of different models. Each company differs from one another mostly buy the raw materials used, R & D, the manufacturing process and quality control. Because there are so many models available, it should come as no surprise that there will be a large number of shafts that will be quite similar in bend profile differing only in price and total weight.

MAXXFIT GOLF uses a “Shaft Bend Profile “data base software to help sift through all the information making the task of choosing a shaft much less daunting. The data base is updated annually with the newest and greatest offerings from most of the manufacturers.

As each shaft model has its own bend profile, so too does every golfer have his/her own swing profile. If the swing profile of golfer “A”, who swears that this is the best shaft ever; and, golfer “B” with a very different swing profile swings the same shaft and disagrees …who is right? They both are! As individuals, they display the classic example of what custom golf club fitting is all about. Golf equipment should be tailored to the user in all aspects.

Loose ferrules

Ferrules that become loose or separate from the hosel on a graphite-shafted club should be re-set ASAP! The weakest point of the shaft is at the top edge of the hosel. The hosel and ferrule are coned to form a hollow when joined together. When the epoxy is applied, the hollow becomes filled with it, forming a cushion. If the ferrule is loose or dislodged, the epoxy cushion is exposed to the elements, which over time, will deteriorate and create a gap between the shaft and the hosel. The space created between the shaft and the hosel, is where your shaft will break due to the missing or deteriorated cushion of epoxy.

Driver lofts

What’s the loft on your driver? Most golfers will look on the bottom of their club and tell you the number that is stamped there. The reality is, there are many factors to consider when establishing the loft of your driver. There are actually two lofts to speak of – “true loft” and “effective loft”. “True loft” is the static measurement of loft angle in the geometric center of the face when in the playing position. The “effective loft” is based on the combination of true loft; face angle; open or closed to the target line; and, the reward positioning of the center of gravity distance relative to clubface and the vertical roll that exists on the club face.

Let’s start with true loft. A measurement in the middle of the face will give us our true loft, right? Yes and no. Yes it is the true loft in the middle of the face, but how many times do you actually hit that spot? The deep faced 460cc drivers of today provide more hitting area, not to be confused with a larger sweet spot, witch by the way, does not exist. Combine that with the vertical roll of the face, where there can be as much as 3 degrees, +/- from the middle of the face. A 10-degree driver can have a loft of 13 degrees above the centerline within the hitting surface of the face and a loft of 7 degrees below the centerline within the hitting surface. Wherever you make contact on the face the majority of the time is where the loft should be measured to determine what loft you are actually using.

Effective loft is the result of true loft, built-in design features and swing mechanics at impact. For example, Frank is using, what is indicated to be a 10-degree lofted driver. The face angle is measured to be 1 degree closed (club face square at impact = +1 degree of loft). However, most of you contact spots on the face that are slightly above the centerline of the face (add 1.5 degrees of loft). The rearward center of gravity is as far back from the clubface as the laws of physics will allow, and let’s not forget the manufacturing tolerances of +/- 1 degree.

In actuality, Frank is hitting a driver with 13 or 14 degrees of loft! But don’t tell Frank …his ego could not handle it!