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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
MOI Balance Index – A Lengthy Introduction
I start with this post, I would like to announce that I am planning on doing a
Top Club Fitter/Club Maker List for 2013. This will come out at the same time my
3Jack Golf Top-50 Swing Instructor and Top-25 Short Game/Putting Instructor
Lists will be out. So expect that to come out around July.
Fitter/Club Maker list is open to anybody who does Club Fitting either part-time
or full-time anywhere in the world. If you are a club fitter and are interested
in making the list, please send me an e-mail at Richie3Jack@yahoo.com and we can
further discuss your experience and credentials. Personally, my goal is to
create a top-50 list of club fitters I believe are a step above the rest, but I
plan on doing only a Top-25 list this year due to it being the list’s first year
If you have read the forum lately
(http://richie3jack.proboards.com), I started a thread called ‘MOI Balance
Index.’ I have just discovered MOI Balance Index that some clubmakers are using
to fit clubs at the highest level of fitting.
But first, a background
into how I got into this…
Back in 2011 I had been reading articles and
golfer’s posts on the value of MOI matching. I didn’t quite understand it other
than it was supposed to be a replacement for Swingweight Matching.
long time, there were many issues I had with swingweight matching,
It’s not really a scientific measurement. Scientists do not use
‘swingweight’ in any form of scientific study or measurement.
swingweight scales seemed very inaccurate and inconsistent. I had taken the same
clubs to different clubmakers and come back with noticeably different
swingweight readings. The only consistent swingweight machine seems to be the
digital swingweight machine.
It did not make
much sense that a golfer could replace a 50 gram grip with a 62 gram grip and
the swingweight would become lighter.
Having been to the demo day version
of the PGA Show where clubs are all marked with the swingweight, they often felt
extremely different from a heft perspective despite having the same
I ended up putting together a set of Wishon 555 model irons.
The 3 and 4-irons were cavity backs, the 5-PW were musclebacks. I ended up
liking the set overall, but I noticed that once again, I hit some clubs far
better than other clubs. In this set, I hit the 4-iron and 7-iron the best. And
I hit the 3-iron and 9-iron the worst. Eventually, I started to understand what
MOI matching was about.
It is measuring the MOI of the ENTIRE golf club,
not just the clubhead.
This produces a measurement (MOI) that determines
the amount of effort to swing the club. The key is to determine how much effort
the golfer produces in their swing. Find the match and that is how you find your
optimal MOI. From there, you simply match the MOI for the rest of the IRONS
(drivers, hybrids and fairway woods are different).
With that, I took the
plunge and purchased an MOI machine
When I measured
each of my clubs, I found the following.
The worst clubs in my bag, the
3-iron and 9-iron, had the 2 lowest MOI’s of any club in my bag (2,620 and 2,638
The 2 best clubs in my bag, the 4-iron and 7-iron, had the
2 highest MOI’s of any of the irons in my bag (2,702 and 2,695 respectively).
This all led to me fitting for my own MOI and I discovered my optimal
MOI with the irons is at 2,725. And that is why I hit the 4-iron and 7-iron so
well, they were both the closest irons to my optimal MOI of 2,725. I also
started to measure the MOI of all of my old sets of irons and found in EVERY set
that the best irons I hit were always close to my optimal MOI and the worst
irons were far away from my optimal MOI.
Eventually I wanted to fit for
MOI with my driver. I used a Wishon 919THI driver for the fitting that I never
gamed because the ball would fly too low. As I fitted for the MOI with the
driver, not only did the impact dispersion improve, but the ball flight improved
dramatically. That’s when I was sold on the concept of MOI matching
One of the things I discovered after MOI matching
was that not all MOI matches feel quite the same. Furthermore, while MOI
matching greatly reduces the impact dispersion laterally (heel to toe), if your
swing is not quite on point you can still miss the sweetspot point either high
or low like you can with non-MOI matched clubs.
And while I never
experienced it myself or with a customer, I had heard some people complain that
either the long irons either felt too ‘head light’ or the long irons felt too
‘head heavy’ in a MOI matched set.
Lastly, I started to notice that not
all MOI matched clubs feel the same. I had some Edel wedges that I personally
MOI matched. But they felt fairly heavy to me and when I measured the static
weight of the clubs, I found them to be very heavy. I then removed the KBS
C-Taper shafts and found that the Edel head weights were very heavy, with the
56° wedge weighing in at 307 grams (normal is about 300 grams) and the 60° LW
weighing in at 309 grams (normal is about 302-304 grams).
replaced them with a much lighter shaft (Dynamic Gold SL) and a lighter grip (50
gram Iomic Sticky 2.3) and started hitting the Edel wedges superbly. In fact,
the 60° LW is the best lob wedge I’ve ever hit.
This is where I started
to notice the importance of STATIC WEIGHTS and the importance of weight in the 3
major components of each club (grip, shaft (trimmed) and clubhead). I started to
try this with a few customers and started to see a difference in being able to
MOI match clubs versus MOI matching clubs and finding the optimal combination of
component weights. I found that I probably play best with a 50 gram grip,
105-118 gram shaft and more weight in the clubhead. I also found a customer with
the same optimal irons MOI and he played better with more weight in the shaft
and grip and less weight in the clubhead.
This leads to MOI Balance Index (MBI).
Recently, I had mentioned what I had discovered with MOI matching and
understanding the weights of the main components. And this is something that has
been worked upon by different club fitters. In fact, one of them spent 3 years
perfecting a ‘calculator’ to determine MBI. It can be found here:
First, you need to MOI fit and match your clubs. When you
do this, you will notice a great improvement in how precise the impact contact
will be. However, you will still find some clubs that you noticeably hit better
The club that you hit best is the club that you want to find
where the balance index of the club resides. Some clubs the balance index may be
more towards the butt end of the club. Other clubs it may be more towards the
clubhead. If you can find the MBI for that best club that you have already MOI
matched, you can then match determine the MBI for the rest of the clubs and then
work to match them to the best club.
As it shows in the
spreadsheet, it is a time consuming process. And according to the spreadsheet
creator, it may not be feasible if you are running a business.
have found some very interesting things with the spreadsheet.
matters. Head weight, shaft weight, tip weight, grip weight, grip cap size,
ferrule, lead tape, etc. Everything plays a factor in your MBI
The type of clubhead matters. Driver heads will alter the
MBI from a fairway wood head. Same with hybrids and irons.
The type of
iron heads matter in MBI. A game improvement style of iron will alter the MBI
than a muscleback which will alter from a regular cavity back iron. And if you
have every hit the same club but going from a GI head to a blade head, you can
feel a different balance.
And that is in part of what MBI is really
about. While MOI matching figures out the amount of effort involved in swinging
the club, the MBI gives more of a determination of feel and helps produce the
same feel for all of the clubs in the bag.
I plan on doing MBI with my
next set of irons, which will be a set of the Wishon 575MMC irons
currently working on a few new things with my swing after my latest lesson with
my instructor, George Hunt (www.moradgolfgeorgehunt.com). After that I would
like to try out the new PURE grip model (PTX) which should come out in April. At
about that time I will probably purchase the irons and I will update my progress
working on MBI.