3 Critical Keys to Increasing Driver Distance

Posted by on Jan 24, 2012 in Clubfitting, Driver Fitting, Tips | 96 comments

What golfer isn’t impressed by the driver distance of tour players? But what about us mere mortals with our 60 to 90-something mph swing speeds? The number one thing that keeps all of us from hitting the ball farther is the physics of impact, otherwise translated to mean “if you don’t have the swing speed, you can’t hit the ball to the screen at the end of the practice range.” But there are three things in a driver which, if matched and custom fit accurately to your swing, can bring about a good bit more distance.


Critical Key #1

The LENGTH of your driver is critical. If you buy into the premise that the longer the driver, the longer the drive, you have just bought into a load of malarkey and you’ll be destined to a constant fight with your #1 wood. There is one and only one exception to this rule – if you have a swing tempo that is as smooth as silk, an inside out to square swing path and if you have a late wrist-cock release, you can get a few more yards with a longer driver length. Unfortunately, for most golfers those swing traits are rare which translates to mean a shorter driver length is better.

The longer the length of the driver, the harder it is to consistently hit the ball on-center and solid. If you miss the “sweet spot” on the face of your driver by only a half-inch, you just gave away some 5% of your potential distance. Miss it by a full inch and you lose 10% of your potential distance.

Standard length men’s drivers today are between 45.5 and 46.5 inches in length. Women’s drivers are but 1 inch shorter. Now think about this – the average driver length on the PGA Tour since 2005 has remained steady at 44.5”. If the pros could hit a 45.5”- 46.5” driver consistently solid and accurate, bet the farm they would be using that length because distance with control is a huge advantage in this game. Unless your swing is smooth as silk with a late release, tip number 1 is to be custom fit for the driver length that best matches your swing tempo, swing path release and golf athletic ability.

Critical Key #2

For maximizing your driver distance is the LOFT angle on the face of your driver. If your swing speed is 90-100mph and your driver loft angle is lower than 11 degrees, 90% of you are losing distance by playing the wrong loft. If your swing speed is 80-85 mph, the average driver swing speed of a male golfer today, you’re giving up real distance increases of at least 10 yards or more if you are not using a driver with a loft angle of at least 12-13 degrees. And if you have a swing speed under 80mph and you’re not using a driver with at least 14-15 degrees of loft, you too have more distance waiting to be unleashed.

Critical Key #3

Total Weight and Swingweight of your driver is critical key #3. In other words, we’re talking about how much your driver weighs (total weight), and of that weight, how much of it is in the head (swingweight). The total weight and the headweight of your driver have to be matched to your physical strength, your swing tempo and your golfing athletic ability. Play with too light of a total weight or swingweight for your strength, tempo and ability and your percentage of off-center hits increases.

Addressing these three points for YOUR swing through proper custom clubfitting can only be done by an experienced custom clubmaker, so FIND A CLUBFITTER near you and you will see 10 or more yards off the tee this year!


  1. Mr. Wishon,

    I have an 11-year-old daughter who is a pretty good local golfer (adveraging low 40s for 9 holes on the US Kids tour). However, she’s not as long of a hitter as I would expect for her swing speed, which is 60-62 mph. She uses a US Kid’s UltraLight 54 driver. Her typical swing specs are as follows: ~4* out-to-in path with face about 3* open to path, AoA of about 1.5 to 2* up, backspin ranging from 2,400 to 2,900, and smash factor of 1.35 to 1.4. Carry on a GCQuad is about 100 yards.

    We’re exploring a new driver but don’t want to make a move without getting something out of the investment. The US Kid’s Tour Series 54 and Ping Prodi G are the two starting options. The latter is about 20 CCs larger; however, I have not been able to find the weights of each to compare.

    I feel like her indoor carry on the Quad, which is “ideal” conditions, should be closer to 135 or 140. I have upgraded the ball to fit her speed and we’ve been working on center contact, too, so that we can get the smash factor higher. Tightening up path and face is a bit more challenging because we live in a rural area without regular access to launch monitor technology.

    I have used the information in the article to guide me for years in my game as well as my daughters. I really appreciate that you have provided additional details through the comment section, which has been very helpful.

    Do you happen to know the gram weight of the US Kids and Ping Prodi G heads? Do you think we should stick with those options or add additional driver heads to the mix? Ideally, we wouldn’t spend a ton of cash for a new driver, but I also don’t want to be penny wise but pound foolish. She and I would be grateful for any advice you may have.


    • DANNY

      That’s VERY impressive your daughter is averaging low 40s in her play at just the age of 11. Wow that is a fantastic start to the game for her. Typically a golfer with a 60mph clubhead speed with the driver would average a maximum carry distance of around 110 yds depending on the loft of the driver being used. Much higher lofts will carry the ball longer for slower swing speed players. You did not say what the loft of her driver is. But if it is less than 15-16* then that would be way too low of a loft for her clubhead speed. With her having an upward angle of attack I would say a driver loft of 16* would be right for her current speed.

      I am sorry but I do not know the weight or specs of the US Kids or Ping heads you asked about. Size of the head is not going to have anything to do with distance. At this point the size of the head is more of a personal like or dislike thing visually from your daughter’s opinion. If it looks like she swings this current driver with good control and it is not a case of occasionally “the club swinging her”, then you could start to think about going longer in length by 1″ so she can get a little bit more clubhead speed from that. But never increase length if she ever has any control issues with the current driver.

      But the biggest thing is just for her to grow so she naturally develops more clubhead speed. It’ll happen. And when she gets older like 15-16 then you can start to think about workouts that are specifically tailored for increasing clubhead speed. She’s too young for that type of training now and it would not he healthy for her body to embark on that yet.


  2. I am in the market for a new driver and looked through your recommendations. You list out a clubmaker near me but when I contacted him, he said he doesn’t do radar fittings anymore. Instead, he uses frequency of the shaft and eyeballs swing speed, tempo, and release point through a few swings at waffle balls.
    Is this a true fitting by your standards or would a person need a little more data such as spin rate and angles of attach to truly fit you for the right club?

    • FRANK

      While there are some VERY experienced clubfitters who can eyeball a lot of the golfer’s requirements to come up with proper fitting specs, it is not exactly an approach that wins the confidence of very many golfers. I know I can do that and I know several clubmakers who after MANY fittings can as well, but it’s just not the way to win over the golfer and make them feel good about the fitting session. What you might do is ask him to provide you with contact information for a couple 2-3 golfers who he has fit and contact them to ask how it went and what their impressions were and the results after the fitting.


  3. I’m 63 years old and have been playing golf for over 50 years. My swing speed with a driver is 85 to 90 mph. I have worked hard on increasing angle of attack and 9 to 9.5° of loft gives me my best carry and roll.I play 5.5 handicap now. You suggest a loft of more than 11° would suit my swing speed. I have tried them and they reach for the stars, a balloon flight with no roll out. My attack angle is positive. My average drive is 230 to 240 yards. Smash factor usually over 1.45. Spin about 3000rpm. Would I really benefit from a more lofted driver?

    • Graham

      I never like to suggest a loft based on the clubhead speed only because the angle of attack plays such an important role in determining what loft is best for what golfer with the driver. If a golfer says nothing about their angle of attack then one can only go on the clubhead speed when making a loft recommendation and in such a case there can be a situation as you describe where the loft that is generally OK for an 85-90mph speed ends up not being right because the presence of a more upward angle of attack was unknown at the time of the recommendation. Whenever a golfer has a more upward angle of attack this REDUCES what the loft should be to achieve a proper launch angle for maximizing distance.


  4. I promise this is my last question related to this…

    I added the 25g grip to the 44″ club and it feels very light. Weighing it on my non-digital postage scale it looks to be about 10.25 ounces. My 4 and 7 are both 12 ounces and I can feel the difference holding the club.

    I know you mentioned not trying to get it to a particular swing weight, but for comparison sake if I were to get the club to D3, once with a 25g grip and once with a 50g I would imagine I would have two pretty different feeling clubs.

    With the 50g grip I would have to add much more tape (with 25g grip it’s 8″x1/2″, with 50g grip it’s 21″ of tape). So the club would have the additional 25g of grip and an extra 13g of tape on the head. Seems to me I would be able to feel that, but maybe swinging the club I wouldn’t. Also wonder if that softens the flex a little just having to add more weight to the head.

    So is there a benefit to not going too light on the static weight of the club? I like the idea of the light grip just to not have more tape than necessary, but in the end I want it to work the best obviously. If I had two identical clubs I could experiment with the two grips, but as it is I think there would be too much time between trials for me to be sure which was preferable. So any information or opinion would be greatly appreciated.

    I promise I will now leave you be, and thanks again for taking the time to help me with these questions.


    • DAVE

      No problem!! At 10.25 oz vs 12oz for the other clubs, you are feeling the TOTAL WEIGHT difference which is independent from the head weight feel. These are the two separate weight feel elements of every golf club and they both USUALLY have to be balanced for a golfer to feel good about the overall weight feel of his clubs. I say USUALLY because by adding head weight through experimentation it can be possible to HIDE the light total weight of a club with a heavier head weight feel. This is because as you keep adding head weight, the presence of the feel of the head during the swing begins to exert much more influence on your overall perception of whether the club feels light or not. So my advice is to just keep adding lead tape to the head and hitting shots without thinking about a swingweight measurement. See what it takes to get to a point that is JUST SHORT of the head weight feeling too heavy and cumbersome for you to swing. Then hit shots with that over the course of a week to 10 days to see what you think.

      As long as you are OK with the hand feel of the 25g grip, keep it as your grip of choice during this experimentation. You bring up a good point about the extra amount of actual weight you’d need on the head if you do use a heavier grip. And like I said above, it is possible for many golfers to hide the very light total weight feel of a club by continuing to add weight to the head. One other way to think about a very light total weight is this – think about the tour players. There are quite a few tour players who have used very light shafts such as 55 to 65 grams which makes for a light total weight. And I think you would agree that from a golf strength standpoint and tempo, most tour players would strike you as not being golfers that should be OK with a very light total weight on their driver. But there are some tour players who do play with such light shafts and one way they do it is with a lot more head weight to prevent the very light total weight from feeling too light and making them too quick with their tempo. Same thing can work for you possibly but the only way you will know is to just keep experimenting with adding weight to the head.

      Yes, the head might start looking odd all glopped up with lead tape. Don’t worry about that for now because you’re experimenting. And yes, in any experimentation project it can tell you more if you did have two identical drivers in terms of the same head and same shaft so you could contrast different directions in your experimentation. Doing that though requires buying another head and shaft – if you can do that, great. if not you can still keep experimenting with the one club you have.

      Keep having fun with this and I will be interested to hear what happens.

  5. Waiting on my lead tape and lighter grip to show up in the mail but I couldn’t help myself and cut the driver to 44″. Today I played it as is at C2.5 and that didn’t work so well. (Tried using foil tape and 2 quarters on the back of the sole, but they were gone pretty quickly.)

    When I get the lead tape would it be fine to wrap it around the ferrule? as far as changing any characteristics of the head and ball flight? The end of the shaft seems less obtrusive visually to me for some reason.

    Other question, you mentioned cutting my 4 17* wood an inch, which I think would help. But then it would be the same length as my 7 wood at 42″ 21.5*, which I actually can hit fairly consistently. So then maybe I would have to cut the 7 to 41″, but it’s working as is and right now that’s my go to fairway (like I go back and forth on taking the 4 out of my bag and just playing the 7) and I’m not sure I want to make it any shorter yardage wise. So would it make any sense to play the 4 and 7 both at 42″?

    Thank you,

    • DAVE

      It’s good you tried to play the driver after the cut with no head weight added so you can see the importance of having enough “heft” in the head to enable you to achieve the timing and rhythm you need to hit the ball ok. Now you can do the lead tape addition a little at a time and learn some more about the importance of head weight feel AND to learn what YOU react better to with your swing characteristics and sense of feel. Don’t put the lead tape on the ferrule. It’ll look way too odd before you ever get enough on there to matter. Plus the ferrule is way above the head so weight added up there raises the center of gravity of the head which you don’t want.

      Put the lead tape on the sole or around the outer sides of the head. On the sole is fine, you just need to place it so it runs from face to back and not in a direction from toe to heel. Putting it on face to back means if you happen to hit the ground on any swings you won’t peel up the tape as much as you would if it were running in a toe to heel direction.

      Play the #4 and #7 both at 42 and see if you have enough distance difference between the two. If so, keep it that way with both at 42. Loft accounts for far more of the distance difference between any two clubs than will length so you should see adequate distance between the two at 42. If not, and if the move to 42 with the #4 is proving to be good, then you can drop the #7 to 41 and experiment with the head weight again like you should always do when you drop lengths.


  6. Well I feel like a heel for giving you the wrong information for your very descriptive response. That was a typo of sorts, the the shaft is currently 45.75

    But everything you told me still applies I think, just less tape it sounds like. Right now thinking of going to 44.5 which would be -1.25″ so -7.5 in swing weight, so D3 down to C5.5. With the grip, +5 SW, gets me back to D 0.5

    My fairways (4 & 7, though I can’t and don’t really hit the 4) are D1 so that seems pretty workable.

    But it sounds like just cut it and see how it feels and then experiment with the tape.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to comment. You must spend a lot of time posting comments because I see you all over the place online when I’m trying to read up on equipment.


    • DAVE

      OK< that makes a lot more sense. Lots of companies have their standard driver length between 45-46" so this falls into that. Everything I told you still applies, yes. Your calculations in your comment are correct. You might also try cutting down the 4 wood by 1" and doing the same lead tape experimenting for the head weight feel and you may be surprised that one improves for you as well. Length in the woods and driver is a SUPREMELY critical spec for golfers. And over the past few decades the big companies have all been pushing their lengths way too long all in a cheap effort to lure golfers into buying the clubs on the basis of hitting one longer shot out of ten and spawning the hope they can do it more than 1 of 10 shots. You may eventually find that 44 is best for you. Would not surprise me in the least. Thanks for YOUR interest. I answer all I can and in detail because MANY years ago when I used to try to call industry people to ask questions about golf clubs to learn, I rarely if ever got help. Most times I got ignored. So I got very pissed and made myself a promise that, 1) I was going to do all the work to figure all this stuff out for myself, which I did over the years, and 2) I promised that I would share whatever I learned with whoever was interested. And I have tried to do that as well, either with my books, articles, posts, comments or emails. My Dad DRUMMED the Golden Rule into me at a very young age. And that is also a big part of why I like to help people in search of the right information. Thanks much and you know where to find me if you have other questions or curiosities about equipment. TOM

  7. I’m relatively new to golf and using a stock 47.5 regular flex G10 10.5 driver, with supposedly a D3 swing weight. I’m looking at cutting it down to 44.5. From reading this that would reduce the swing weight by 7.5 points (does that -3 per 1/2″ apply to graphite too?). I don’t know how much the stock ping grip weighs, but assuming it’s 50grams, if I use a 25 gram grip that in theory adds back 5 swing weight points. Just curious if that change in grip weight is going to help at all as far as keeping the feel similar. From there I can play around with the lead tape, but I just would prefer not to. So will that keep me somewhere in the same ballpark feel-wise? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    • DAVE

      Thanks very much for your comment/question. Yes, all of the comments have to be approved before they are posted because as you well know, these days all comments fields on websites are targeted by tons of spam. I am the only person who handles this comments part of the website because I very much like answering myself, but I do not always get to check to see what’s come in to approve it every day. But since you are reading this you are now “approved”!!

      Wow, I had no idea you could buy a stock driver at 47.5″ in length !! That’s crazy and I’m pleased to hear you want to shorten it, though that may prove to be a little bit of a challenge to get the head weight feel where you need it to be able to hit the club well, or better than you did. It matters not what the shaft is made from, for each 1/2″ you cut a club shorter the swingweight drops by 3 points. So a change of 3″ is going to drop the swingweight by 18 points, which means it would go from D3 (if it is that now) to (gulp) B5 ! If you were somehow able to find a 25g grip, the change on that end of the club is 4 grams = 1 swt point. So if you drop 3″ and go to B5, the 25g grip should bring it back up to around C1. And any time you do change to a much lighter grip, yes you should feel the presence of the head more because the lighter grip weight change would move the balance point of the club closer to the head, which is the same thing that happens when you actually add weight to the head such as with lead tape. What’s different is that you are dropping the TOTAL WEIGHT of the club by moving to a 25g grip, along with shifting the bal pt lower to enhance the head feel a little more.

      Now, not too many times do we encounter a 3″ drop in length of an existing club. No question that with or without a lighter grip you probably will sense the head feel is much too head light after that 3″ cut in length. Now the odd thing about swingweight is that it is not an absolute weight such as a gram or an ounce. It’s feel is totally dependent on the length of the club too. So in cutting the driver down 3″, do not try to get the swingweight back up to what it was at 47.5″. Besides you can’t really add that much lead tape to the head to replace 18 lost swt points. A 4.5″ long strip of half inch wide lead tape represents 1 swingweight point. So you see what I mean.

      Rather what you want to do is to do the length cut, install a grip you like and if you can find a very light grip like 25g, good for you. That’ll help in the exercise to find a head weight feel that is compatible with your tempo and timing. But then you take the lead tape and head to the range. Since you are doing a 3″ length cut, start this process by adding three strips of tape, each @4-5″ long, anywhere on the head – sole or around the outer area of the head. Then hit shots and see how you feel the head weight both on the takeaway and on the downswing. Keep hitting shots and adding tape until you get to a point that you sense the head is starting to feel a little TOO heavy for your likes. Then remove some tape and hit a handful of shots. Then go home. Come back in a day or two and hit the club with the weighting as you left it. See how that feels, light, heavy or ok. Then go from there. Our bodies change from day to day so this is why we recommend doing the head weight experimentation over the course of a couple of different days to find what feels good for your tempo and timing. Hope this helps,


  8. Hi Tom,

    Great article and comment thread.
    Can you please help me fine tune my driver fitting?

    34 years old.
    5 handicap, upgrading my tech after many (>10) years.
    2 recent driver fittings at different premium fitters with Trackman.
    Both independently arrived at the exact same driver head & shaft combo.
    Only difference:
    Fitting #1 – D3.5 swing weight. Swing speed 117-123mph, carries 295-310, 10-15 yards of rollout, many fades & hard cuts, struggled to hit it straight.
    Fitting #2 – D9 swing weight. Swing speed 112-117mph, carries 280-295, 5-10 yards of rollout, but much tighter dispersion and straighter flight.
    Neither location could tamper with driver swing weight at time of fitting.
    Was told to stay away from heavy swing weights (IE D9) because I’ll “get tired” toward the end of each round and will lose shots to the right.

    Should I split the difference and order a D6?
    How do I dial this in? Really struggling to find any guidance.
    MAJORLY appreciate any help…

    Thanks SO much for your time!

    • DANIEL:

      Happy to help. Did either of the fitters spend any time talking to you and fitting you for the proper length, loft, face angle of the driver beyond just working with you on the shaft and head model? If not, then you were not fit by a competent fitter. Period. Likelihood of you having long term success with a swingweight as high as D9 is slim unless when you swung it, it did not even begin to feel heavy when you swung the club. But the likelihood of coming out with the best driver for you and your swing is slim if they did not talk about a shorter length of not more than 44″, the proper loft for your swing speed and angle of attack and the right face angle for your swing path and delivery of the face to impact.

      Probably not what you wanted to hear but this is the truth and any fitter who does not spend the MAJORITY of time on the length, loft, face angle with the shaft being no more important than these three specs, is not a good fitter and is not going to put you back on the course with the best driver for your game.


  9. Dear Mr. Wishon,

    If I know something about golf equipment I thank you, because I try to read and watch most of the stuff you publish. Thanks a lot!
    I’ve been playing this wonderful game since 1972.
    And back in those days here in Brazil we had nothing, we still don’t have much nowadays!
    Few golf courses, few golf clubs, few golf balls. My first iron set was a Wilson Staff forged blades that I played for more than 20 years.
    I used to be a good golfer, my lowest index was 3 and my lowest score in competition was 71. Never brake 70.
    I play in the course that I’m member since 1972, sure I play a lot of different courses, but on a weekly basis in the same course.
    In the 70’s the course was 5800 yds, par 71. Now, it is 7300 yds, par 72.
    When I was much younger the course was long for me, now that I’m 60+ I had to play more than 70yds per hole, and modern equipment/ball give me only 20+yards.
    There is a 230 yds par 3, that I lay up most of the times.
    That’s not fair. Is it?

    • Carlos

      Many thanks for taking the time to come to our website and share your experience. We appreciate that very much and I thank you personally for your interest in the technology side of golf clubs. That’s really great that you have an interest in reading and listening to what I teach. I’m 67 now and I am most definitely at that stage in my own game where I just have to accept that the body cannot function as it did so my clubhead speed has begun to decrease from what it was. I agree, it is not fair. But it happens for every golfer at some point because age just takes its toll on the neuro-muscular system in our bodies and makes it impossible to turn as much or to generate as much clubhead speed as we did before. There are very good physical training programs that can delay this and for many, bring back 3 or 4 mph of clubhead speed.

      But in the end, equipment can only do a little bit to help bring back lost distance. 90% of the distance we achieve comes from us and the clubhead speed we can generate. For each 1mph a person can increase their clubhead speed, they will gain 2.8 yards of carry distance with the driver. So if you do find a personal trainer with expertise in the exercises necessary to increase clubhead speed, a 5mph improvement can be worth almost 15 more yards.

      Thanks again for your interest and the very best to you in this great game,

  10. Mr. Wishon, this was a great article that taught me a lot about driver distance and its relation to swing weight. And, I learned a lot by reading your responses to comments. I think the psychology of gaining 5-10 yards gets into my head, and most golfers’ heads, way too much. I am 65 (!) years old, and the other day, I played a good 6300-yard track. I am gaming a Cobra F-Max offset driver, 11.5, light shaft, swing weight D0. With my 75-77 MPH club head speed, I hit 13 of 14 fairways and at around 195 yds. per drive. I am happy! But the manufacturers, and the YouTube testers, get into our heads by stating that some brand’s driver has better numbers than last year’s model. Even though I was fitted, they make me always question my equipment, even when playing well. I think your article made me feel more confident that my gear is correct. I am not going to get much more out of my club head speed. Thanks for listening.

    • ROBERT

      Thanks very much for taking your time to dig us up and read a little bit to help you know you have been on the right track with your driver selection and play. And thanks for stopping in to let us and the others know! We appreciate that. 195 and 13/14 fwys for 75-77mph is very, very good. The only way I can say there could be more distance out there for you is if you play moist, lush fairways that are not conducive to much roll after carry. In that case moving up to a 13* loft could add a handful of yards but not a lot. And if you are getting good roll after landing now, then ignore that and stay with the 11.5 loft.

      I too get tired of all the self promoting You Tube wannabe stars out there. I have yet to find one that really knows as much about what makes a club perform best for each different kind of golfer. All of us who design clubheads know that all the science of driver performance is finite, it is known and it all has been developed and offered for sale. But those who design for the big companies that are publicly traded and under pressure to keep up the sales numbers will never, ever breathe a word of that for obvious reasons. So what you will see from now on will be “advances” that are either highly embellished or which can only have a visible effect on ball flight for really consistent players with higher clubhead speeds. For everyone though the only area left for improvement with the driver and other clubs is proper fitting done by someone who REALLY knows and has superb experience in fitting. But since your results do very much sound outstanding for a 75-77mph speed, you are in the category “if it ain’t broke” don’t try to fix it!”

      Thanks so much for taking your time to stop by and share your experience !

  11. Hi Tom,

    I went for a driver fitting recently and was fitted for a Titleist 917D2 9.5 degree head on a Mitsubishi Diamana Red Board 50g Regular shaft. This seemed a low loft to me, and this appears to be borne out by this blog. I have only an 82mph swing speed, though I do hit up a lot (5-7 degrees). I was shown the Trackman optimiser result for one of the shots I hit and according to that, my fit was optimised. 15.9 degree launch and 2100rpm spin, fitting perfectly within each of the optimiser bars. Am I just one of the outliers who DO fit a lower lofted driver with a low swing speed? Also, I was fitted for a 14g draw bias surefit weight. What practical difference does it make putting the 14g weight in instead of the standard 12g on the standard length 45 inch shaft? I know it affects swingweight, and obviously overall weight, but can changing that 2g really make a difference to my fit? According to Titleist, it doesn’t make a difference to the amount of draw bias.

    • PETER

      Always happy to help with information and thanks very much for your interest ! The reason you can occasionally hit the optimal launch parameters with a 9.5* driver loft with your 82mph clubhead speed is in fact because you do have a substantial upward angle of attack into the ball. By swinging up on the ball 5 to 7* that is what in fact is adding loft to the shot at the moment of impact to get your launch angle up there at 15.9*. When you have such an upward A of A, that allows you to use less loft to achieve your optimal launch angle so as a “side effect” that lower loft is responsible for the spin being 2100 rpms. So in your case, “outlier” is a positive thing because most people with your clubhead speed swing with a much more downward A of A into the ball, which is what prompts them to have to use a far higher loft on the driver to be able to achieve their optimal launch conditions. But in their case by having to use much more loft, they cannot avoid generating far more spin which in most cases robs them of a few yards they might have been able to have if they were not downward with their A of A.

      Putting weight into the heel side of the head to encourage a bit more of a draw shape to the shot is a pretty minimal thing, especially for golfers with a clubhead speed under 100mph. I know this perhaps better than anyone because it was way back in 1989 that I designed the industry’s first draw biased driver head, a laminated maple head with a big heavy weight embedded in the heel side of the head. And don’t go thinking I was all that smart. I got the idea from a brief treatise on moving weights around heads in the 1968 book, The Search for the Perfect Swing by Cochran and Stobbs, which was a milestone book in kicking off the technical advancement of golf club design.

      Anyway, what all my experience with designing draw bias heads taught me was that you need more than 20g of weight in the heel and you need a higher than average clubhead speed to truly make the heel weighting force an on center hit shot into a draw shape. Below that in weight or speed and it is very hit or miss in its effect. If a golfer really needs to have a consistent draw shape on their shot or needs the head to help reduce a slice tendency, that is FAR better done by fitting the golfer into a head with a more closed face angle. But since the advent of the adjustable hosel sleeves some years back, that totally eliminates the ability of a head to offer both a change in loft AND with a custom face angle. So the big companies try to offer the draw bias weighting as a compromise that falls well, well short of what a true closed face angle on a driver head can do for accuracy and shot direction.

      last thing – unless with your 82mph swing you are also, 1) smoooth and rhthymic with your tempo, 2) later to very late with your release, 3) inside out to square with your swing path , then the 45″ length is not going to do you any favors when it comes to driver consistency and control. This really is one of my bugaboos about how the big companies design their clubs. For them it has become FAR more about making money than for doing the absolute best to help golfers play to the very best of their given ability. They know DISTANCE sells more clubs than any other thing. So they know that if you give a golfer a driver he hits ONE time longer out of ten shots, he’ll probably buy it with the hope that he’ll figure out how to make it do that more often.

      Peoblem is, that long of a length coupled with an average to forceful tempo, with an early to midway release, and with an outside in swing path is just a killer to shot consistency. Let me put it this way – for over 15 yrs, the average driver length on the PGA Tour has been 44.5″, not the 45 to 46″ used by the big companies as their standard driver length for everyone else. Now don’t you suppose with such an emphasis and reward on distance on the tour that if these guys knew they could hit the 45-46″ with enough control and consistency to be happy that they would be using such lengths? After all these are the best players with the best repeating golf swings on the planet.

      If you hit this 45″ driver consistently well enough to be happy, then forget about what I just said. You are one of the lucky ones then. But if you struggle with days you just fear pulling the driver out of the bag, then have it cut shorter and have the head re weighted to restore proper head weight feel to you during the swing, and you will be better off in the long run.

      Hope this helps and again, thanks so much for coming to the site with your curiosity to know more,

    • Thanks for your response. I do tend to hit my driver pretty straight, just not very long. In fairness to the fitter, we did try 44 and 44.5 inch lengths as well as 46. The 46 was WAY less consistent. There wasn’t much noticeable difference between the 45 and the shorter lengths in terms of dispersion and just a few yards in terms of distance. I felt most comfortable with the 45, which might have had something to do that. I didn’t see much difference either between the 12g and 14g weight, not just in terms of draw bias (I was hoping to get a draw for added length but your response indicates why the club won’t make that happen!) but in terms of distance or consistency. Thanks again for the benefit of you knowledge.

  12. Tom,
    Thank you for all the great information you have provided. I have an issue finding the right driver head to match my Aldila Synergy 75 TSX tipped 1″. CHS is 125
    AOA 2.4-3.0 Ball speed 185-188 Path 2″ inside/out
    I have played the Epic Sub Zero 9″ head weight 204 without adapter heavy weight forward. Ball flight launch around 11-12″ spin around 2300 rpm. Apex is around 130. Carry distance is around 325-330 but ball lands and rolls maybe 2-4 yards even on hard fairways. A real issue into the wind to feel confident.
    I recently tried a SLDR 460 8″ 196 grams which helped with spin 1800-2000 but the feeling of the club is a little harsh. Carry was 320 and roll out to 350
    I also tried a Rogue Sub Zero 8″. Launch 13′, BS 186, Apex 140-150 and spin 2600 to 3000. Head weight is 204 grams same as Epic but the feel felt much better.
    My question are the heavy heads adding spin? When I dropped weight from SLDR the spin was great. If I get a lighter Rogue SZ head weight then put a 17 gram weight in front and play head weight around 196 Grams would this help with spin?
    Do the heavier heads kick more and add more loft and spin at impact than a lighter head options?
    Thank you for your time and I have played some of your equipment which performs really well.

    • Harrison

      Thanks much for the kind words and for taking your time to stop by to ask for some help. It’s tough via email to know precisely where all the launch monitor differences are truly coming from because there are several variables involved that most people do not think of, and which happen to be factors that tend to show up only for a player of your extreme clubhead speed. In telling you what these variables are it may not help because some of them require a very advanced and experienced club technology person to dig into to find out.

      First of all I do not know if you are switching heads on the same exact shaft and perfectly duplicating the bottom of bore to ground dimension of the shaft installation for each head. Or if you are buying other Synergy 75TSX shafts and assuming they are exactly the same as your original shaft of this model and flex and tipping. Even with the best shaft makers, when you buy the same shaft there most definitely can be differences in the stiffness in different areas of the shaft that to a very high speed player with a very late release can bring about differences in launch angle and spin.

      Bottom of bore to ground is the distance from where the tip of the shaft stops in the hosel when installed, down to the ground. There is no standard for this among all the makers of heads so it is verry possible when you shift head models, you are experiencing a different BBTG dimension. If so that means the same shaft will play more flexibly and bring about a higher launch with more spin in the head(s) that has a greater BBTG. And vice versa for launch and spin if the other head has a shorter BBTG than your original baseline head with this shaft.

      Then you have the point of impact on the face vs the roll radius on the face vs what the loft is at that point. Here again, there are no standards for face radii among the companies on their drivers and woods. Some companies use a vertical roll radius of 10″, some 12″ and some as much as 20″. The amount of vertical curvature on the face does for sure control what the loft is going to be above and below the center of the face. With a 10″ roll radius, the loft at a point 5/16″ above and below the center of the face will be 2* different than in the center. With a 20″ roll, the loft difference above and below the center of the face would be not more than 1* different from the middle of the face. So that too is a variable that can affect the launch angle and spin greatly.

      Then you have the main thing of whether the different heads really are the lofts you think they are from the designation on each head. EVERY clubhead no matter who makes it, has a normal production tolerance of +/-1* for loft, lie and face angle. And believe me, these tolerances do pop up far more often than you might think they do. From the very best of the best of the head production factories in the industry, out of a run of 100 driver heads, you will see not less than 10-15 which are +3/4 to +1* higher than the spec and usually not less than 10 which are lower than the spec by the same amount. It happens and there is nothing any company can do about it.

      Then you have the matter of the accuracy of the launch monitor, especially with regard to backspin measurement. If these numbers are coming off a TrackMan or FlightScope HIT OUTDOORS then you can pretty much rely on the spin being ok – but only as long as you are hitting your actual play ball and not hitting range balls. If it is any other launch monitor, the launch angles would likely be accurate enough, but the spin probably is not. This is because recording backspin accurately among today’s launch monitors can only be done with Doppler Radar and only done outdoors. TM and FS’s indoor capability is good but not so good for spin recording.

      So, unless someone with GOOD experience in measuring specs were to do all the measurements on the shafts and the heads you are testing, you cannot possibly pin point where your differences are that you are seeing. And since you are a player with far higher speed, that magnifies everything a LOT. So for you, you need to know within an accuracy of 1/4* what the specs are because differences of even 1/2* are going to show up for you because of your high speed.

      Sorry I can’t help you more, but anything else would be a pure guess and not accurate.


    • My driver swing speed is in the 95 area although my 3 wood is about 94 almost the same …using that ultra light Cleveland 12degree reg flex driver still seems not getting that much distance maybe 220 with the driver. I am now 73

    • Tom,
      I am considering trying a 8 gram weight in the butt end of a 60 gram graphite X flex shaft 45.5′ with a driver head weight 203grams. My current driver is 70 grams and with the same head of 203 grams it play at D5 at 45.5′.
      How much would the swing weight drop?
      How much weight would i need to add to the need to return to D5?
      What possible changes with just adding weight in the grip only do to club head speed, launch, shaft stiffness and spin?
      Thank you again for all your help.

    • Harrison

      For weight added to the grip end of the club, for each 4g you add there, the swingweight DROPS by one point. 8g = 2 swingweight point reduction. For each 2g you add to the head, the swingweight increases by one point. An 8 gram addition in the very end of the shaft typically would be almost undetectable because it is such a small weight increase IN THE HANDS. 8 grams in the head, yes for sure you would feel thatas being a much more pronounced head heavy feel during the swing. But if you add 8g to the grip end, you would have to have a VERY refined sense of feel for the weight distribution of a golf club to even feel anything.

      The reason is because when you drop the swingweight by adding weight to the grip end of the club, you are only tricking the scale. You are NOT reducing the swingweight by taking weight from the head. So with a butt weight of 8g, the same amount of weight is still in the head. And you will have INCREASED the total weight of the club by 8g so again, if you have a VERY refined sense of feel, you might detect a very slight increase in the overall weight of the club as you swing it, but it would be very slight.

      When it comes to experimenting with weight distribution changes in a golf club, and especially so in the longest club in the bag, it is simply not possible to predict with any accuracy which golfers are going to feel what, and how much, and whether that will make any difference in swing speed or swing characteristics that affect launch angle and spin. For some golfers, a butt weight can improve swing tempo in the transition between back and downswing but typically that is when the butt weight is in the area of 20g to 30g, not as little as 8g. And then again for some golfers adding a more substantial amount of weight in the grip end does nothing.

      Years ago we ran a pretty intensive study on this trying to find the effects of butt weighting golf clubs with golfers. With putters for sure we found that an 80 to 100g counter weight in the very end of the shaft did help improve fine motor control and from it, improvements in about 75% of the golfers for distance control or pull/push tendency or on center impact with the putter. But in the full swing clubs we were never able to find any common thread between specific swing types and specific counter weight amounts. So we were left with only being able to tell golfers if they were interested in experimenting with a counter weight in the grip end of the shaft, start with 20g, go to 30g and then see what happens. You can always start with 8g if you like, and maybe it could be detectable in a positive way for you. But in our study no one we tested had any change when using a 10g counterweight. At 20g we started to see some golfers improve clubhead speed and control but not even close to more than a small percentage.

      Hope this helps,

  13. I’m interested in adding weight (lead tape) to the shaft of my irons, rather than buying new shafts. Shafts are 85 grams uniflex. I figure it makes a difference where I place the tape, below the grip, halfway down the shaft, at the hosel. Is it better to wrap it around the shaft or at flat lengths?

    • MARK

      If you want the weight addition to the shaft to NOT change the swingweight/head weight feel of the club(s), you have to add the lead tape so it is centered on a point that is 14″ down from the end of the grip. That’s the fulcrum point for a swingweight scale. Any weight below that point adds to the swingweight, any weight above that point drops it. You should though do this in strips, with the center of each strip at 14″ down from the end of the grip. If you wrap continuously around the shaft, it will create a hassle when putting/pulling the club(s) out of and back into the bag when the protrusing weight hangs up on the bag dividers.

  14. MR. WISHON

    • JIM

      WOW, WOW, and triple WOW ! Absolutely – D.C. (as we called him way back then) was a great friend in this great game back in the Mill Valley GC days. I always thought it was remarkable that all three of Steve’s road crew were very good players but DC was the best for sure. He was what I used to say, “Sneaky Good” – you’d watch him swing and not be all that impressed but darn it, the ball went where it was supposed to most all of the time. By the way, DC may not know this but Mike McCann, who was the rookie roadie among the three of them, has been working for PING at their HQ in Phoenix for many years now. I think he is one of the guys there who do fittings and give the factory tours. I remember when DC shot 58 at MVGC cuz I was still in Marin although by that time I had moved on to Marin CC to work. I think Bill Bleyle and Steve Yuhas who both were long time MVGC players were running the MVGC shop after I left. Those were really fun and memorable times at that little 9-hole track. You should ask DC if he remembers the “Boris Jones 7-Hole Open” that Steve hosted there once ! That could have been one of the greatest accumulations of rock talent in one place and to think it was at a golf course !!

      And thanks so much for digging me up and for your kind words. I’ve always been the guy in the golf equipment industry who told the truth about equipment technology, often against the practices of the big companies. So good for you that you figured out that shorter could be better. And the very best to you in this great game !! And really, if you would tell DC to drop me a line to let me know what all he’s been up to all these years, cuz I would love to hear from him – tww@wishongolf.com .


  15. Hello Tom,

    I’d truly appreciate your help. I have a set of clubs with a d5 swingweight- I really have to slow down to keep a good tempo.

    My father in laws old sand wedge is weighted at F5. It feels perfect!

    I’m now thinking of using lead powder down the shaft to up the swingweight of my irons and driver?

    Is this the best route or what should I do? I’m 6′ 7″ and I weight about 300 pounds. So I have no problems with F4 and I feel the club head the entire time.

    • RAY

      There is no question that most golfers who are much larger and stronger have to play with much higher swingweight clubs or else the clubs will feel too light and their swing tempo is going to be adversely affected. In addition, golfers can certainly “get used to” different specifications that might otherwise be thought to be too heavy or in some cases too light. Our bodies have a remarkable ability to get used to the feeling of different weight. Very often a golfer might pick up a heavier club and on days 1 to 10 it feels heavy but after some time, the body gets used to it so after some time it does not feel anywhere near as heavy as it did on day one.

      You did not say what your distance is from the wrist of your upper hand on the grip to the floor when standing comfortably erect on a hard surface floor. We use that in combination with height to determine a viable starting point for the length of the irons. Height alone cannot determine that because people of the same height very often have different arm length. But I have to imagine that at 6’7 you would need longer length irons to be comfortable over the ball. Depending how much longer, that is going to be a blessing for you when it comes to the effect on what happens to the swingweight of the clubs.

      Most every golf company makes one set of tooling dies to make the heads for their iron sets. All of these heads are typically made to one set of headweights which is chosen to allow the swingweights to come out at normal levels of D0-D2 when the irons are made to normal standard length. But as the length is increased, so too is the swingweight automatically increased. So a set of heads that would come out to a D0-D2 swingweight at std length would end up creating a set with a swingweight of D9-E2 when made to be +1.5″ longer than standard. For a higher swingweight than that, you would have to add weight to the heads in some way.

      Adding headweight by putting lead powder down the shaft is fine up to a certain point. But once you add more than 12 grams in the shaft, there gets to be so much weight in the heel side of the head that the center of gravity of the iron head will be moved too far toward the shaft. What this can do is to result in shots hit on center now feeling a little less lively and less solid. Plus, when adding a lot of weight down the shaft, the powder sits higher up the shaft so that also raises the center of gravity higher on the head, which is also not so good.

      In the end, you can put a little weight into the shaft, but the balance of the weight you need to add to get the head weight feel up there heavy enough to be comfortable to your sense of weight feel will have to be done by putting lots of lead tape on the back of each iron head. The heads may look odd with a ton of lead tape, but you just live with that because the goal has to be to get the swingweight up there high enough for you to feel comfortable about how much weight feel is out there on the end of the shaft.


  16. hi Tom!
    one very confused golfer. hope you can help! I’m cutting 1″ off my 915 d2 titliest driver it currently has a red 9grm weight inserted! what weight would I need to replace the current 9 for? cheers!

    • CHRIS

      For each one inch you shorten an existing golf club, the swingweight is going to drop by 6 points. So that means if the starting swingweight of the driver was say, D1, cutting one inch off will make it around C5. Just a tiny bit under 2 grams = 1 swingweight point. So if you wished to get it back up to D1 after the one inch length cut, you would need to add 11 grams to the head. so the 9g weight would have to stay in the head and somehow another 11 grams would have to be added. Most people either do this with a tip weight installed in the shaft, which requires removing the shaft from the head which can be a pain. Or they more commonly use lead tape, and in this case with that much to be added, it would be best to layer it flat on the sole, applied in a direction from face to back across the sole. When using standard half inch wide lead tape, a 4″ long strip of lead tape = 2 grams. Hope this helps, and best wishes to you in this great game,

  17. Tom, thanks for all of the great information over the years. I have followed your comments closely and have really changed my set make up with great results. I have made sure to keep my drivers at 44″ with a loft of 11.5* or higher. With a clubhead speed in the low 90’s I have had great success getting my fairways hit up to 60% and my handicap down to 6. I have one fairway wood (Callaway Heavenwood) that has worked great for me because of the increased loft. As far as irons go, the longest iron I have is an 8 iron…#’s 5-7 are hybrids and SO much easier to hit off the fairway and in the rough. This has also allowed me to have an extra wedge in my bag that I get far more use from.

    My only question is do you think offset driver heads have any merit? Is there any advantage over a driver head with a closed face?



    • Steve:

      Thanks very much for taking the time to stop in and offer your kind words. Much appreciated for sure ! An offset driver can be a very good way for golfers to reduce a slice who dislike or are confused by the appearance of a driver with a closed face angle. I’ve seen it many times in my career when a golfer addresses the ball with a closed face driver for the first time and struggles with how to deal with the fact that he has to make the swing with the face pointing to the left and not at the target. Offset drivers can reduce a slice because with the face being some half inch back from where it is on a non offset driver, this actually gives the rotation of the hands a split second more to continue rotating from being as open to being less open to even close to square by the time the offset face reaches the ball.

      But offset does not do that for every golfer. If the golfer never pronates his hands but keeps the right hand under the left hand through impact (ala a “slasher” type swing), then the offset can’t help reduce how much the face is open at impact like a closed face angle will do. A closed face angle is actually a degree for degree reduction in how much the golfer’s swing leaves the face open at impact to cause the slice in the first place. So closed face angles always will work better to reduce a slice than will an offset design – but you do have to coach the golfer to just let that face be pointing left and make your normal swing and everything will work fine. Most get used to it when they see the slice reduced.

  18. Mr. Wishon,

    I’m a big admirer and long time reader. I’ve never asked you anything but feel you’re the only person who could give a cogent answer to my dilemma. I’ve been as low as +4 and am now a 1. My game is all about the 4 and 5 PARs and specifically HOW I’m getting off the tee. I’m strong at 6’2″ 200lbs and routinely hit the ball 290-300yds. But, 290yds in the trees left is a stinker. I’m a fast talker, fast player and fast all around so I have a fast swing/tempo with a late release. Fast can lead to issues with pulls/hooks because if my body slows or stops at all (e.g. intimidating hole or low commitment) the driver is going left! I’ve ALWAYS played a 44.5″ driver mainly because of your well presented evidence.

    Recently, I have taken a new stock 45.5″ driver (D3 w/ Fuji 757 x-flex) which I swing at 119mph and cut it down to 44.5″. I added lead tape and 75% of shots came out high on toe. Felt awful. Couldn’t really get off tee. Next day I went to 43.5″, added head weight and couldn’t hit it well at all (90% came out low on heel). Felt even worse. Next day, I took a different shaft but similar profile (7M3 x-flex) tipped it 1″, and butt trimmed to the finish length of 46.5″ and voila -magic. I can’t hit it left if I tried and feel like I’ve found something. The club obviously feels substantial (is probably D9) and to swing it I have to really put some umph in there. Am forced to “get thru” the shot. Secondly, because of the length/heft it slows my back swing and transition and I really let it fly on the downswing. I’ve never had a driver this long (length of club) and am perplexed, ergo my post/question.

    Jack Nicklaus: “I’ve always believed that the golf club should dominate you instead of you dominating the club. In other words, you swing the club, and your body reacts to how you swing it. Doing this forces you to use your lower body to initiate the downswing. Every other sport is played from the ground up. Watch a baseball pitcher: On the windup, he moves his lower body first, then his arm; on the forward motion, he leads again with the lower body, the arm trailing. This used to be true with golf, but today I see it being taught with the upper body dominating, partly because modern equipment is so much lighter. But if kids started with clubs slightly too heavy, it would teach them to swing back and through from the ground up. They would be forced to learn the proper sequencing of motion.”

    No one on PGA Tour that I’m aware of who is “fast” has a driver of this length. So, am I setting myself up for failure? Or do I train with this club and while competing go to a 44.5″ for accuracy?

    Do you have any thoughts you could share? Has there every been a “great” with this type of club?

    • TOMMY

      Sure thing and thanks very much for taking the time to visit and write. Players who are strong, very aggressive and who tend to always fight being too quick with their tempo and rhythm typically will do better with clubs that offer a lot of resistance to their swing move. Meaning much heavier overall and heavier in head weight OR. . . . much higher in the MOI of the assembled club. Don;t get confused here. I am talking about the MOI of the whole club, not the MOI of the head on its own. MOI of the head is what controls off center hit performance which has nothing to do with tempo. MOI of the whole club is an element that can be measured and which has a huge effect on how much effort it takes from the golfer to swing the club. The higher the MOI of the club, the more resistance the club puts back on the golfer in trying to make the swing.

      The MOI of the club is controlled by two things. The total weight of the whole club from grip to head, and the length of the club. Of these two, length is TWICE as influential on the MOI of the whole club. So when you went to 46″+ and you ended up at D9, you hugely increased the MOI of the club over what it was at the shorter lengths. And that provided your strength and fast/aggressive tempo with enough resistance and work to allow you to maintain better control on the club for YOUR specific above average force in your swing.

      With most golfers, it doesn;t work that way. Most golfers will gain more control in going shorter because that lowers the MOI of the club. But with you, your well above avg strength and tempo needed something more heavy or more of an effort to swing to get it under control.


  19. Hi Tom,

    I am wondering if you could help me figure out something. I Can hit my 3 wood as far as I can hit my new Driver. The 3 wood is standard length and has a swing weight of D3, but my new driver is 46.5 and has a swing weight of D1. Will chopping the driver to say 44.5 and adding some lead tape to make it to D3 increase its distance. I can hammer my 3 wood approx 250ish, and I only recently bought the new driver hoping to get back to my old 270ish distance but I seem to not be able to get there. My 3 wood is stiff, and my driver is regular. My swing speed maxes out right now at 98 mph.

    Thanks in advance.

    • MIKE

      Sure thing and this is not as unusual as you may think. There can be a couple of different reasons for this but by far the most common reason a golfer hits his 3w as far or sometimes farther than his driver is, 1) the higher loft of the 3w gives the golfer a better launch angle for his clubhead speed and angle of attack to allow the ball to fly and carry the max distance capable for the golfer’s speed and A of A; 2) the much longer length of the driver is causing more off center hits than happens with the shorter length 3w – for each half inch you miss the center of the face, you are losing around 5% of your potential distance due to the vibration of the head and loss of energy from the off center hit.

      So what you need to do is to try a driver with 2* more loft than what the loft is on your driver now, and at a length no more than 44″. Do that and you will probably get your driver distance out there longer than the 3w.


    • Wow thanks for the quick reply Tom. I was already planning on chopping i, but I was on the launch monitor at Golftown and they said my numbers were good with my driver set to 10 degree. I hit a high ball as it is, except for the fact that I can smash my 3 wood and the trajectory is piercing and at the angle I would desire for my driver. Also, the head feels a lot heavier than my driver(Ping G). If I cut down the shaft, will I have to add lead tape to the head or can I just get tungsten powder poured down the shaft?

      Thanks for the adive Tom. I wished i had known about you before i doled out the cash for my I25 irons and new Driver.

    • MIKE

      NEVER add the weight to the head end of a Driver with lead or tungsten powder down the shaft. 99.9% of all drivers are made with graphite shafts. ALl graphite shafts have far smaller core area down the center of the shaft than do steel shafts. That means any powder ends up being much higher up inside the shaft in a graphite shaft than it will in a steel shaft. Then you have the problem of securing the powder down there. With larger ID steel shafts, there are corks made of a proper size that can be tamped down the shaft with a special clubmaker’s ram rod to be secured on top of the powder to keep it in place. Because of the much smaller core ID of the graphite shafts, a cork would have to be very small to fit and would be damaged by the forceful ramming action of the ram rod to slam it down on top of the powder. NOT A GOOD THING.

      Use lead tape always when you cut down a club. It’s so much faster, easier. And do not worry where it goes on the head. Anywhere that doesn’t distract you is fine. You won’t put enough on the head to do anything negative to the head’s CG or performance factors from having the tape on one area vs another.

      But you do need to add weight back to the head when cutting length, especially when the length reduction is 3/4″ or more. Otherwise the club ends up out of balance and becomes too head light in the swing feel which can destroy your swing timing and rhythm.


    • Thanks for all the help Tom. I will defo be checking you out for my next purchase.

    • Hey Tom one last question if you don’t mind. If I cut down this 55 gr regular shaft 1.75 inches will it affect the flex of the shaft? I have been reading that by cutting it from the butt and adding weight to the head that it will make it even more whippy. Do I have to cut from the butt and the tip? and if it is as D2 right now, how how many grams of weight will i need to add to the head to get it back to where it was?

      Sorry for so many questions Tom.

    • MIKE
      Not at all, that is precisely why I am here and the reason I enjoy helping with as much info as you need is because it is so hard to get good, truthful info about golf clubs what with all the misinformation out there. WRONG on a butt cut making the shaft more flexible. yes you are cutting from the stiffer part of the shaft, but you are making the shaft shorter in length by a good bit. EVERY time you cut a shaft shorter, no matter from what end, you make it stiffer. By cutting from the butt, you do make its stiffness increase to be less than if you cut the same amount from the tip. But you overcome the stiffness increase from a butt cut by adding weight back to the head, which makes the shaft get back to very close to the same bending property it had before the length cut.

      For a driver, each swingweight point is about 1.9 grams. So if you cut 1.75″, you drop the swingweight 3 points for each half inch, so -1.75″ = – 10.5 swingweight points. hence you’ll need to add @ 20 grams. BUT. . . with such a big length cut, don’t start right back at D2 where the club was before the length cut. start at C9 and see how that feels, and then add more as you feel you need more head feel during the swing. Often times the actual FEEL of the head weight after a length cut on a club is NOT the same swingweight as it had before the length cut.


    • ok, this will for sure be my last question. I am going to also re grip my driver, and all of my clubs and i need to go to an undersize grip due to small hands. The Ping round5lL is 52 for standard size which is on my club now, but I want to go to the Cp2 undersize grip which is 45 grams. Will I need to another 2 grams of head weight on top of the 20 grams for this if I wanted to return everything back to D2? I will tinker with it but I just wanted a reference point.

      Thanks Tom, and this will be my last question for sure haha.

    • Cut the club, install the lighter grip, add weight to get the club back to around C9 to start with, not all the way to D2 yet. What you are seeking is enough head WEIGHT FEEL during the swing so your tempo is not quick, so you don;t have to keep telling yourself to slow down to hit a good shot. When you shorten a club, the more you shorten it, the more it changes what the head weight feel will be for any given swingweight measurement. So start this out after the length cut and new grip installation at around C9 – hit shots over 2, 3, 4 different days to get a feel for the head weight – is it too little are you getting quick, or is it about right or is it a little too heavy feeling? This is a trial and experiment thing because swingweight is NOT and NEVER WILL BE an absolute measurement of swing feel.


  20. Tom,
    I just bought a Taylormade R15 driver partly because it has the highest swing weight I could find. Even then it’s only D4 as apposed to D3 or D2. I haven’t found woods I like the feel of since my Hogan persimmon woods I had in high school. I know that velocity has an exponentially greater impact on distance than mass but If you can’t hit it on the screws it’s all mute. Just wondering what the pros use, and if there is a way I can tinker with swing weight without spending a lot of money. At least until I get my swing back. Until then I feel like it’s a waiste of money to get fitted for clubs.

    • RICK:

      If you have had a considerable lay off from the game, then yes, take some more time to practice and when you feel that you are somewhat back where you were or rather, sensing that you are at a point where you are “consistently inconsistent” with your shot pattern, then think about going for a good fitting analysis with an experienced clubfitter. If you find the right fitter, he would have the ability to take your old persimmon driver if you still had it and measure all of its specs including its swing moment of inertia and use that data to create new clubs which could have the same swing feel, but with the higher COR of today’s titanium drivers. If you wish to tinker with the swingweight, best way to do that is to get a roll of lead tape and attach strips to the head. Hit some shots, add weight, hit some shots, note the swing feel and keep it up while you experiment to see what head weight feel allows you to achieve a more consistent tempo and timing.


  21. Tom,
    I noticed that the only post you did not respond to was from May 25, 2013. The question that was presented was a very legitimate question that seems to be fairly scientifically based. To restate the question, given the same swing/ clubhead speed, attack angle, swing path, loft, and lie, will a ball travel further if struck by a club with an identical overall weight but higher clubhead weight versus one with a lower clubhead weight. I don’t believe that they were trying to say that your clubs were inferior or that you would avoid the question based on that possible assumption, but It is interesting that all other posters were responded to.
    I actually came to this post, because I had a similar curiosity. What are your thoughts?

    • BRAD
      Very sorry if I missed a question. I don’t dodge any questions so I am not sure how I might have missed that. All other things being equal it is possible for a club with a heavier clubhead to generate a higher ball speed to thus have some potential for more distance. However, the difference is so very small that it’s unlikely any golfer would notice the difference before the head weight got so heavy that the golfer started to have problems making decent swings or having a problem with losing clubhead speed and losing distance that way. But yes, the physics of impact do dictate that an increase in headweight can bring about an increase in ball speed with everything else equal – it’s just that it is a very, very small increase.


  22. Tom,

    If a drivers swingweight is too heavy what would the expected miss be?
    How do you know how much of a stiff/heavier feel is related to headweight vs overall weight?. (Assuming your shaft if fit close to right flex )

    Would too thick or thin of a grip exacerbate your miss and the effects of a heavy or light swingweight?

    I play all Wishons, just got fit for long clubs – driver, FD, 5w and driving iron. The 14 FD has changed my game, unbelievable club. With both FD and driver I am fighting a tendency to go right, takes extra effort. Going to be adjusting , ia ssume the fix is in the swingweight formula.


    • JON
      Most typically, when swingweight is too high for the player, the miss is for the shot to hang out to the right and can be a little lower than usual. Mainly though when the club is too head heavy, the extra effort the golfer feels he has to make to swing the club tends to cause him to start moving around during the swing too much which in turn can cause different levels of miss hits, off center hits. Most often, when a golfer senses that clubs are too heavy in some manner, it is too heavy in the head weight/swingweight more than being too heavy overall in the total weight. When swingweight is too light, the most common result is the golfer tends to get a little too quick with his swing tempo and is constantly telling himself, “If I could just slow it down a little, I would be ok.” And yes, grips that are either too large or too small can also contribute to miss hits, most definitely.

  23. Tom will adding additional head weight to a driver with the same swing speed increase COR, like wise will lighter head weight decrease COR. Would 5grams be noticeable
    Thank you

    • Hamish
      Yes, in the math that dictates the COR of a clubhead, increasing headweight can increase the ball speed for any given COR, but only very slightly. The increase in headweight does not directly increase the COR. It has its effect in the area of energy transfer from the clubhead’s mass. But again, this is VERY SMALL in its effect. As such a 5g increase in headweight is really not going to be visible in ball speed change as that is too small. So the problem with this is the fact that the amount of head weight increase necessary to see a definite ball speed increase for the same clubhead speed is such a greater addition of weight to the head that it would increase the swingweight so much that this would start to lower the golfer’s clubhead speed. And any decrease in clubhead speed would bring about more of a ball speed drop than the increased headweight could offer as an increase. Hence for all intents and purposes, the only goal of increasing headweight is to get the swingweight to a point that it best matches to your natural sense of timing and tempo so that your swing consistency and repeatability is better.


  24. I just custom in house KBS tour shafts to Titliest CB 714 along with Vokey wedges, white KBS toor shaft to 5/9 irons and black to the wedges. It’s been a week struggling to swing well n sync . I feel that the club head is heavy, I was hitting well with KBS tour shaft stiff on cb712 , my question are:-
    1. Is CB 714 heavier than cb712?
    2. What do recommend , do I go and see the fitter again n balance out the entire club ?
    3. Or u recommend go thru a fitting session.
    4. New clubs spend close to 15 grand all pimped up clubs nothing but misery n lot of shanks ..

    Btw I play to a good 8 handicap…


    • Sonam

      I am sorry but since we perform all of our own design engineering on our own clubhead models, we do not make it a practice to look at anything about any other companies’ clubhead models. In a similar sense, if you asked Titleist questions about Wishon Golf head models, they wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about our designs.

      If you are sensing that the head feels too heavy then that is a strong indication that the swingweight of these irons is too high for you and your swing tempo, strength and sense of clubhead feel during the swing. It could also be an indication that the weight of the KBS shaft is too heavy for you and your swing as well, however the fact you say you did well with the same shaft in the other set of irons is more of an indication that somehow the swingweight of this 714 set with the same shafts was made to be too high. For that you can ask the person who did the work on the 714 irons to see if they can lower the swingweight – maybe they can, maybe not, depending of course as you originally asked, what the headweight of the 714’s is in comparison to that of the 712’s.

      If you need help with this, take a moment to go to the FIND A CLUBFITTER locator found right in the center of our home page on our website. Input your town/city and see if there is a certified clubfitter near you who can both help you with the swingweight reduction (if that is possible) as well as put you through a full fitting analysis to determine what your best fitting specs would be for your swing.

      I am curious though – how does a set of Titleist clubs come to an investment of $15,000?


  25. Thanks for the response. So, if I am understanding you correctly other than the feel of the club itself, there is no evidence that a driver with a c8 swingweight will lose distance over an ‘identical’ driver at d3 (kinda where the stock swingweights seem to be)?

    • Steffan

      Swingweight will ALWAYS be an individual fitting factor for a golfer. For each golfer, there is one swingweight that when combined with the shaft weight and length of the club, best matched that individual golfer’s swing force, swing tempo, swing rhythm, swing timing and personal sense of feel so that the golfer can swing the club more consistently and more repeatably. The right swingweight for one golfer most often won’t be the right swingweight for another golfer because of the swing differences and feel preferences that exist between different golfers. So if a golfer is perfectly matched for his swing force, swing tempo, swing rhythm, swing timing and personal sense of feel to a C8 swingweight at that particular length and shaft weight, he will gain distance and gain shot consistency. But if a golfer has a different combination of swing force, swing tempo, swing rhythm, swing timing and personal sense of feel, then the C8 swingweight could result in a loss of distance and loss of swing consistency. I can’t stress enough how swingweight is purely an individual fitting element that has to be painstakingly, and often times trial and error matched to each different golfer.


  26. Really interesting article. I totally buy into the shorter driver theory, but am interested in what impact the lighter swingweight would actually have. I have 200g head with an 79g shaft cut to 44.75”. The swing weight comes out a good few points lighter than standard spec. I swing at 105mph with a driver. What actual difference might i see from this lighter swingwieght distancewise? It would seem that the only real rooute back to a ‘normal’ swingweight is lead tape, but with weighting positioned carefully on modern clubs where best to put it?

    • Ssteffan
      Thank you very much! Yes for sure there is a matter of having to figure out what to do about the swingweight or rather, the headweight FEEL of the driver after it has been cut down in length. In truth, the golfer typically needs to go through a trial and error session using lead tape after the length is cut to add weight, hit shots, think about the headweight feel during the swing, and then react to that by either continuing to add more weight or reduce weight until they get to the point that they can still feel the headweight during the swing and it is not too light feeling nor too head heavy feeling.

      It is not really possible to say in all cases that the previous swingweight should be duplicated on the shortened driver. This is because the same swingweight at one length does not demonstrate the same headweight feel when duplicated at a shorter length. Some of the clubmakers use a rough rule of thumb for starting point to say that for each 3 swingweight points lost from the length reduction, add back 2. For each 1″ in length reduction, a club loses 6 swingweight points on average. So for example if you had a 46″ driver at say, D3, and you cut this to 44″, start with the swingweight of the shortened club at C9 and see what happens, then react from there.


  27. Tom. In your experience of fitting, do you ever find that a golfer’s preferred swingweight alters as their game improves? For example, developing a preference for a heavier swingweight following a path change that allows them to control the club head at a significantly higher speed?
    Many thanks, Duncan

    • DUNCAN

      It certainly is possible for a golfer’s best swingweight for his clubs to change if the golfer’s swing or strength characteristics happen to change. Conditions that can bring this about include, 1) if the golfer ages and loses strength, loses clubhead speed, decreases the level of downswing force and decreases the level of downswing aggressiveness, typically his best swingweight would be lower than it was before; 2) if the golfer changes his swing in a manner where he now has a shorter backswing with a higher level of immediate downswing force and/or a higher level of swing aggressiveness, typically his best swingweight would be a little higher than it was before; 3) if the golfer embarks on a physical training/work out regimen such that he increases his strength markedly, this too can mean that his best swingweight would be a little higher than it was before. Or if the golfer simply decides that he personally likes the feel of a club with a greater or lesser headweight feel, that too brings about a change in the best swingweight for the golfer.

      Higher clubhead speed alone is not usually enough to say that a golfer should increase his swingweight. It certainly can be a factor, but there are high swing speed golfers out there who still have a smooth tempo without a really high level of downswing force and aggressiveness.


  28. I am interested to examine this clubhead weight aspect further. Many years ago Callaway used to claim that their short hosel design (S2H2) allowed more weight to be positioned on the head itself, so increasing distance.

    Tom, you mention clubhead speed as having an impact on shot length (obviously), but not the club head weight itself. Does the clubhead weight have an impact on distance as well, and if so, does removing weight from the hosel and positioning itself in the head have a benefit? (I notice all your clubs have a generous hosel length.)

    I was under the impression that it was clubhead speed AND weight that affected distance (all other things being equal).

    Also, if weight does have an impact on distance, does it matter where the weight is, does it need to be behind the impact zone, or can it be in they tip / hosel?


  29. I’m a 72-year old 7-hcp. My theory is that now that I can’t generate anywhere near the speed I could in my 20s, and that wasn’t all that much, I need heavier clubs. So I re-weighted my Driver to D8, the 3-wood, hybrids and irons (up to the wedges) to D4 and the wedges to D5.
    I think that has DRASTICALLY reduced the distance I get with all the clubs.
    I have an old set of Wilson Staff irons (the ‘fluid-feel’ designation, 1-iron through pitching wedge, and they are all in the range of C5-C8. And the Wilson Sandy Andy is F-something. The staffs are about 1/2 inch short, compared to the Titleist 704s that I re-weighted, and are all weaker lofts (The 1-iron is 17.5 degrees, the pitching wedge is 51). So my next experiment is to put the staffs in the bag and play a few rounds.
    If you have any comments, I’m all ears (well, eyes)!

    • NAT:

      Typically as a golfer loses clubhead speed and strength, they do better with a reduction in the total weight of the clubs. But the swingweight (headweight feel) of the clubs has to still be fit to properly match the golfer’s swing tempo and downswing transition force so the golfer does not struggle with his swing timing and rhythm. Dropping the total weight of the clubs means going with a lighter weight shaft. You did not say what shafts you have in your current clubs so it is difficult to know what lighter weight shaft to recommend to make a difference in the total weight that could offer a little more clubhead speed. Usually though, to have an effect to allow the lighter total weight to help increase the clubhead speed a little bit, the new shaft has to be at least 30grams lighter than the old shaft. So if you are playing steel shafts in the irons, a change to a graphite shaft that weighs in the area of 70-75 grams can help to possibly gain you back a few miles per hour in clubhead speed.

      In the woods, if you are currently playing graphite shafts, it would be helpful to know the name and model of the shafts so we could try to reference those shafts to know what they weigh, and from that be able to tell you if there would be another shaft lighter enough to make a difference in the total weight of the clubs to help gain a little clubhead speed back.

      Getting the right swingweight that matches to your sense of feel to keep your swing timing and rhythm good will usually be a matter of experimenting with lead tape on the heads until you get to that point that during the swing, the head weight feel is not too light for your sense of preference and not too heavy either.


  30. Mr. Wishon,
    Of course there are SWING aspects that will determime clubfitting options, and I’m not just talking about swing speed. Attack angle is a major issue. Tweeks to address, release, shift, etc. make HUGE differences. I’m sure you know this. I have a some issues with “Clubfitting companies” who just start prescribing clubs that are 7 degrees up or 7 degrees flat….AND THEY DO!! Thank you sir.

    • Jerry:

      For several to many years, our clubfitting research has been all about identifying all swing characteristics which have a bearing on clubfitting decisions. Also to find out what fitting specs react in what way to different swing characteristics. If you are interested in finding out all about the swing as it relates to fitting decisions, that information is in our main textbook for fitting titled, Common Sense Clubfitting. That book is available only from our company. Key swing elements in addition to what you talk about with respect to clubhead speed and angle of attack include the golfer’s transition force to start the downswing, their downswing acceleration and tempo, their point of wrist cock release, backswing length, to name some of the important ones that affect several fitting specs for the golfer. In other words, you are preaching to the choir and in many cases when it comes to fitting research, we are the ones who originated these concepts and are teaching them to clubmakers through our books.


  31. I use your iron heads which I love, beautiful engineered (I know because I am an engineer!). I have used a number of club fitters but I am not totally convinced that I have arrived at my optimum Wishon set. I also need to be fitted with your driver. Do you as a company have a fitting centre?

    • Peter:

      We do offer limited fitting appointments at our R&D facility here in Durango, Colorado. If you plan to be in this part of the country for a day or two, we can schedule an appointment for you. If so, please give us a call at 800-470-0072 and ask for MATT MOHI. He would be happy to explain the process and handle an appointment reservation. Our hours are 8AM to 4:30PM, Mon to Fri, Mountain time zone.

      Thank you,

  32. I use the 919 thi head and love it, but I wanted to experiment with a much lighter grip, eg. the Winn Lite 22 gram grip. Siddenly, my swing wt. goes from a D 3 to a D 8. My overall club weight drips, maybe, 30 grams , but my swing weight increases. I know that HEFT has been dramatically affected but else is going that would affect overall performance? Thanks in advance! Dr. J

    • DR J:

      HEFT, as the old clubmakers of the linksland coined the term, is an important and very individual factor for each golfer in a golf club that has a great deal to do with how consistent your swing rhythm, swing timing, swing tempo is or isn’t. We all have a unique, individual sense for how much we want to feel the presence of the headweight out there on the end of the shaft. When we sense that it’s too “head light” and thus not enough heft, our swing gets too fast and we fight being able to properly time that transition between the end of the backswing and the start of the downswing. When we sense that it is too “head heavy” we labor with the club and we just have to make too much of an effort to swing with a good sense of timing and rhythm. When the headweight feel is just right, we get the sense that we just don’t have to work at all to maintain a good sense of swing timing.

      So whenever you mess with the swingweight or the balance point of the club by changing headweight or changing grip weight by changing length or by changing the weight of the shaft, you do have to experiment with lead tape to see if you can get back to finding that best HEFT for you and your learned and natural sense of swing timing and tempo. Swingweight can be a reference for this BUT. . . it is not an absolute measurement for what is the right HEFT for a golfer. Swingweight scales do not correlate to heft. For example, two clubs of different length but with the same swingweight will in no way have the same HEFT feel to a golfer. Two clubs of different shaft weight but the same length do not either.

      This is one of the areas that measuring the Moment of Inertia of the whole assembled golf club can do a little better job of duplicating HEFT in two clubs of different length or of different shaft weight.

      With your move to light grips, the performance of the club will be affected by what you detect FIRST in the headweight feel, second by what you detect (if you can) in the total weight feel. Nothing else is affected in the club from a performance standpoint because you still have the same exact weight in the head as you did before. It just reads a different swingweight because the light grip made the swingweight go up because of the way the 14″ fulcrum of the scale interacts with what happens to the balance point of the club when you change the weight on either end of the club.


  33. Can you recommend a club fitter in Indonesia.
    Thank you

    • Kent

      Sorry to say not directly in Indonesia. But if you ever travel to Singapore or Malaysia, we can help you there because in both locations we have VERY good, VERY experienced clubmakers. In Singapore, I can recommend Agung Pramudito at 62-21-634-2950 or email at agungpr@cbn.net.id. In Malaysia, I can recommend the people at JNG Malaysia SDN BHD in Kuala Lumpur. You can contact JNG at 60-37-980-0284 or at nathan@jnggolf.com. Best wishes to you in this great game!


  34. Fantastic points altogether, you just received a brand new reader. What might you suggest about your put up that you just made a few days in the past? Any certain?

    • Titleist

      Please excuse me, but can you clarify what you are asking? I am not certain what you mean when you ask, “what might you suggest about your put up that you made a few days in the past”. If you can respond with a little different question to clarify what you want to know, I’ll be certain to respond.


  35. Mr. Wishom,

    When building a perfectly matching set of clubs that all have identical feel, instead of trying to use different confusing math formulas or purchasing an MOI machine, can you not just use all identical components, (pre-weighed and adjusted to proper incremental specs if needed), and just use your shaft frequency meter to tip-trim and match all of the shaft flexes to be the same as each other with each different clubhead?

    All you have to do then, is butt-trim the clubs to the correct incremental lengths, and use the same amount of wraps under the grips on each club.

    Using this method, I have gotten great results–Every club in the bag from the driver to the lob wedge feel exactly the same, they all have the proper varying-kick points because all of the clubheads have incrimental weights, and they all perform wonderfully!

    If there are any faults to this method, will you please point them out to me and explain? Thanks for your input!


    • JOHNNY
      From what you describe, I assume that when you say “all identical components, pre-weighed. . . ” that you are talking about having built the set so that the SWINGWEIGHTS ARE ALL MATCHED TO EACH OTHER?? If so, fine, that along with the checking of freq for each shaft is going to result in a nicely made set of clubs. But for REAL matching of the swing feel of each club, meaning a truly SCIENTIFIC way to make each club so that it requires exactly the same amount of effort from the golfer to swing and release each club, this is the domain of MOI MATCHING.

      If you were ever curious about this, it is possible to simulate an MOI matched set without the $500 MOI Speed Match machine so that you can get some idea of how this might play compared to a swingweight matched set. If you take an existing swingweight matched set and you use lead tape on the heads to progress the swingweight UP by 0.5 swt points from club to club down through the set, this would be pretty close to making it be MOI Matched. What I mean is that if all the clubs in your present set were say, a D1 swingweight, and if the longest iron in the set were a 4 iron, you would start with the 4 iron at D1, then the 5 iron becomes D1.5, the 6 iron becomes D2, the 7 iron D2.5 and so on doing a progressive 0.5 swt point increase down through the set.

      Might be fun to do an experiment to see what happens. THanks much!!


    • Tom,

      I’ve actually done this using a buddy’s MOI speedmatch unit, I found that the Sw actually has to increase by about 1.3 per inch as you go from long to sort. The other thing I found from hitting these on the range a number of times is that for me who moves the ball around in my stance, short clubs further back and prgressing forward as the club length goes up, it doesn’t seem to work very well. I surmise that with an MOI matched set, the club releases at the same point for all of the clubs, hence you should play the ball in one spot. I’m sure you’ve forgot more about MOI matching than I know, but does this make sense as that is what happened when I tried it. Do you have to experiment by adding weight to the head to raise the MOI and get to a point were the club is bottoming out at the point you want? When I played the ball in one spot I really started to strip ’em, but I’ve played so long by moving it around in my stance, it was kinda of weird to get used to.



    • DAVE

      In the 9 yrs since we developed the equipment and the methodology for MOI matching, we have never found ball position to be any type of pre-requisite for the clubs when they are MOI matched to each other. Also in staying in touch with many of the clubmakers who have done MOI matching for years, we never hear from them that they ever see any requirement to alter the golfer’s learned or best ball position for their set up and swing. If the MOI is determined properly for each golfer based on their swing force, swing tempo, swing aggressiveness, there is no need to alter the ball position in any manner.


    • DAVE:

      When trying to do BOTH an MOI match and a shaft frequency match on clubs in a set, it does take a little “futzing” and trial and error to get both to come out where you want them to be in the finished clubs. There is no set “rule” to follow for this because the frequency part requires experimenting with different amounts of tip trim and the MOI match part requires manipulating the headweight for the shaft trim. One important point is that you do not usually want to mess with what is the golfer’s best length for his clubs. That decision has to be separate and is based on the golfer’s physical makeup with a HEAVY influence from his swing characteristics. What we mean is that once you determine what is the right length for the golfer’s clubs, then you have to keep that what it is supposed to be while you then use the tip trim and head weight to get both the freq match and MOI match done. Doing both together in the same set of clubs is not easy and will take some experimentation before you get it right for both elements.


    • Just one more question and I won’t bother you anymore. How does one determine the best MOI for the golfer. I’ve read somewhere, you ask what their favorite club in the bag is and then see what the MOI is for that club and then match the set to that MOI. But it seems to me almost everybody is going to say 8 or 9 iron, maybe a 7, probably rarily hear a 4, 5 or 6. So is there any real best way??



    • DAVE:

      Back in 2003 when we first created the equipment and the process for MOI matching, it was so new to the game that no one knew how to determine what MOI would be best for each golfer. Actually when you think about it, this wasn’t really a new problem to have because for swingweight matching of clubs that has been around since 1920, no one had any set in stone way to determine what swingweight would be right for this player or the next.

      So in the very beginning of this MOI matching project, we THEORIZED that maybe one way to determine the right MOI for a golfer would be to reference the MOI of a “favorite club” for a golfer. As the years went by, and as more and more clubmakers started to use MOI matching in their work and as we continued to do fitting research, we started to move away from this favorite club concept into one that is just more common sense. And as the years continued, it really has been established with just about all the clubmakers who do MOI matching that this other way is better.

      The process involves putting the golfer through the full fitting analysis to determine the golfer’s best fitting specs for everything BUT the MOI. Once the golfer’s best advised length, loft, face angle, shaft weight, shaft flex, shaft bend profile, total weight, clubhead, set make up and grip is all known, the clubmaker will build a test club with every one of these specs all in the club – but the headweight is left to be light with no final headweight yet established in the test club.

      The golfer then is put through a hit test in which he hits 3-4 balls with the test club after which a couple of strips of lead tape are added to the head. The golfer hits 3-4-5 balls and reports to the clubmaker whether he likes/dislikes, whether the club feels good/bad, feels head light/head heavy – and the clubmaker uses impact labels or impact tracking spray on the face to look for what’s happening for on center hit percentage.

      When the golfer says I like that and when the clubmaker sees the highest % of on center hits, the club is then measured for MOI and this then becomes the benchmark for the MOI of the rest of the set.


    • I must have missed something, as you say you tip trim to a certain frequency and the after that you butt trim to length, if you butt trim the frequency is going to go up, and depending on a bunch of variables, the amount it increases isn’t linear. But maybe I read your post wrong.

      Dave Warden

  36. Been building and fitting clubs for a number of years and I always frequency build and Sw match. I’m familiar with the MOI concept and what it is but have yet to actually try it, on myself or anyone else. I’ve seen this “MOI Certified” a few times now and was wondering how does one get MOI certified?



    • DAVE:
      OK, so you know that MOI matching is an alternative to swingweight matching to make all the clubs in a set require the same exact effort by the golfer to swing and release to impact. MOI matching requires a specific piece of equipment (MOI Speed Match Machine) to read the MOI of a golf club. In addition, the clubmaker has to conduct hit tests during the fitting session with the golfer to determine what MOI is best for the golfer’s transition, tempo, strength. MOI Certified means that we have verified that the clubmaker has the proper MOI measuring equipment, knows how to use it, knows how to fit golfers for their right MOI, and knows how to build the clubs so they all have the target MOI within a tight tolerance. Once the clubmaker passes our tests, then we will set them up on the Find a Clubfitter locator with the MOI Certified designation. If you’re interested in MOI matching or certification, please take a moment to contact MATT MOHI in our office by email at matt@wishongolf.com or by direct phone at 970-375-6671. Matt is our resident MOI Matching expert and will be glad to help you with anything related to this.

      Thanks for your interest!

  37. Dear Tom.
    Was custom fitted in Singapore. Still no improvements in my game.
    Perhaps you could help me find a reputable clunfitter/or your associate in my country Sinapore.
    Yes , I am playing with standard off the rack golf sets. Ping orange dot golf set. And japanese golf sets.
    My swing speed is around 90. Currently using king cobra 10.5. Length 45 inches. I am at 5 ft 4 inches tall. Playing graphite shats.
    Greatly appreciate your comments. Thank you.

    • In Singapore, we can recommend that you contact Stanley Kee at J2 Golf. His full contact information is as follows:

      Stanley Kee
      J2 Golf/Torque Golf Pte Ltd
      Laguna National Golf & CC
      11 Laguna Golf Green
      Singapore 488 047
      Phone – 430 288
      Email – sales@torquegolf.com

      thank you very much for your interest and the very best wishes to you in this great game,

  38. Tom,

    I am tring to MOI match my clubs manually using a swing weight scale and some guild lines from David Tuetalman’s website. I belive in the math but if I want to find out how good of a job I have done I would like to go to a club fitter who does MOI matching, however, no one seems to advertise it. how can I find a club fitter that does MOI matching?

    • CARL:
      If you go to the FIND A CLUBFITTER link on our home page, search for the clubmakers in your particular area. Of those that may be in your area, click on their listing below the map. Up will come a window on the map. On that window will be a second tab that says DESCRIPTION. Click on that tab that says DESCRIPTION. Those clubmakers who are MOI certified and thus do have the MOI matching equipment will be designated as such under that DESCRIPTION Tab.


  39. I agree with your conclusion that MOI matching is superior to Swingweight matching.

    Engineers call swingweight the first moment of inertia and MOI the second moment of inertia. It is the second moment that determines how fast the club accelerates given a fixed torque from the shoulders / hands.

    It is mathematically possible to match both the Swingweight and MOI at the same time. It is unclear if there is a benefit from this practice.

    One thing is clear, it is easier to measure the Swingweight of a club than its MOI.

    • Robert:
      Based on our work, we do not believe there to be any perceptible advantage to trying to match both Swt and MOI on golf clubs at the same time. Actually, it is somewhat interesting that given the fact swingweight was invented some 90 yrs ago, it really was a somewhat close attempt at matching the MOI of clubs. As you infer in your comment about ease/difficulty of measurement, one of the reasons Mr Adams came up with swingweight was because it was too difficult at the time to come up with a quick means to measure the MOI of a club.

      Today, wthere does exist a very easy means to measure the MOI of golf clubs. The electronic MOI Speed Match unit we offer, manufactured by Tecnorama Ltd of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, does perform a quick, direct measurement of the MOI. Only takes about 10 secs to do for each club. Yes, it is a $500 unit so it is not like the $125 for a manual swt scale, but the fact is that clubmakers can get a fast, direct MOI measurement of a golf club these days. Back when we first developed a means to measure and match club MOI it wasn’t simple – we developed a period counter to measure the period time of the club, then you had to do separate measurements of the length, total weight, and balance point and then input the 4 parameters into a software program to calculate the MOI. Today with the Speed MAtch unit, it is really fast and simple to do and really is very much like a swingweight scale in terms of ease of use.

      One other thing – the form of MOI measurement we developed in 2003 for MOI club matching is based on the wrist cock release as the MOI’s axis of rotation. It is also possible to pose the discussion that it could be beneficial to use the spine as the axis of rotation for MOI matching since we do rotate the club about our spine during the swing. We have not adjusted nor changed our methodology for teaching clubmakers to MOI match clubs to incorporate this alternative axis of rotation for MOI, but we have done calculations to determine the effect of changing MOI specific club parameters like length and weight to the load placed on the golfer during the swing. So in other words, from this work we know that matching clubs to their MOI as defined by the spine axis could be another viable means to match clubs so they require the same effort to swing. At any rate though, the current form of MOI matching about the wrist hinge axis is definitely viable and has definitely shown a good amount of data to support it being better than swingweight matching on its own.


  40. Curious about point #3: you talk about total weight and swingweight, but do not mention MOI. You specifically talk about how much of the total weight is in the head. Please address the issue of fitting for MOI vs. swingweight, and whether a player needs to be fit for both.

    • DALE:
      MOI matching of the clubs to each other is a REPLACEMENT FOR SWINGWEIGHT MATCHING. The two are not done simultaneously. In the history of golf equipment, there has always been a realization that all the clubs in a set should somehow be built so that they all should somehow FEEL THE SAME when we swing each different club. That’s been tough to do because all the different clubs in a set are made to a different length. Back in the early 1900s a clever guy from Massachusetts invented the swingweight scale as one way to do this. From that, the industry has embraced swingweight matching of clubs as a way to build clubs so that they would have close to the same swing feel.

      When scientists get involved in this matter of what to do to make all the different length clubs in a set swing with the same effort or feel, they turn to Moment of Inertia. MOI is an element that defines how much effort it takes to put an object in motion to rotate around some defined axis of rotation. Every time we swing a club, we are putting that club into rotation about an axis – in golf that axis can be our spine or it can be our wrists and hands as we unhinge our wrist-cock angle on the downswing. MOI matching of clubs is a way to build clubs so every club requires the same effort to swing and to unhinge our wrist-cock angle on the downswing (same effort to release the club to hit the ball).

      We believe after some 8 yrs of listening to several hundred clubmakers’ reports of their results from building MOI matched clubs for golfers that it is slightly superior to swingweight matching. Reports we hear from the clubmakers who do this on all the sets they fit and build for golfers say that a very high percentage of golfers notice an improvement in on center hits, an improvement in swing tempo consistency, and an overall improvement in the confidence the golfer has with his clubs. But swingweight matching has been around since the 1920s and it is still the method of club matching used by all the companies that make clubs to be sold in retail golf stores and pro shops. So swingweighting of clubs has far more awareness among golfers than does MOI matching. As such when we talk about fitting the weighting feel and weight balance elements of clubs to golfers, we still do talk about both swingweight and MOI matching because both are used in fitting and building clubs today.

      But if we had to vote for one over the other, there is no question we stand on the side of MOI matching as being the best way to fit and build clubs so the golfer can experience a more identical swing feel when using each different club in his set.


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