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Monday, April 1, 2013
The Road to Golf Club Fitting Nirvana - Part I
Over the years
I have delved quite a bit into clubfitting in hopes to find the best answers to
equipment. We have looked at MOI matching, lie angles, lofts, shaft lengths,
shaft bend profiles, grips, cavity back vs. muscle back designs and a host of
other aspects about equipment design and how it fits the golfer. Now, I am
getting into MOI Balance Index.
First, let’s go over the basics of MOI
matching/fitting and MOI Balance Index. For those who have read this before,
they can skip this post.
MOI Matching/Fitting: Typically when MOI
is discussed with golf clubs it is with reference to the club head. What we are
referencing here is the MOI of the entire golf club. We use total club MOI to
help determine the heft of the club. Swingweight does the same thing, but there
are many parts of swingweight that are faulty and do not accurately depict the
heft of the club. That and swingweight is not a scientific measurement while MOI
is a scientific measurement.
in simpler terms, when we measure the total club MOI we are trying to determine
the amount of force required to swing the club. So when we fit for MOI, we are
trying to match up the amount of force a golfer applies in their swing with the
amount of force it requires to swing the club. When we properly fit and match
for MOI, the impact dispersion will improve tremendously.
part that will improve is the ball flight. Although I find this to be more
prevalent with the longer clubs like the driver. I have also found that golfers
who struggle with topping a shot with a particular club usually have too much
heft (too high of a MOI) and golfers who struggle with thin shots tend to have
not enough heft (too low of a MOI). When the MOI fitting and matching is
complete, the irons and wedges will have swingweights that get progressively
heavier as the club gets shorter. It may look something similar to
MOI Balance Index: What many clubmakers
like myself discovered when doing MOI fitting and matching is that while the
impact dispersion will noticeably improve, there are still some clubs in the set
that do not perform as well. Furthermore, we started to see that the weight of
the components of the club (club head, shaft, grip) have different effects on
golfers even if the MOI is exactly the same.
I noticed this with a
particular customer of mine who’s optimal MOI with his irons is exactly the same
as my optimal MOI with the irons (2,725).
For me, I hit the ball better
with a 48-50 gram grip, a 108-118 gram shaft and more weight in the head. For my
customer, Bill, he hits that same MOI better with much more weight in the grip
and the shaft and less weight in the club head.
That is due to the
Balance of the club being different and our swings working better with different
balances. In my case, my swing works better with the balance of the club being
more towards the club head. Bill’s swing works better with the balance of the
club being more towards the grip.
This is mainly due to how we start the
club down and when we un-cock the wrists. In essence, we are able to generate
about the same amount of force in the golf swing; we just go about it in
different ways. I have a smoother start down move, more of a ‘float loading’
style of action combined with a later un-cocking of the wrists into impact.
Bill’s swing starts down more aggressively and his wrists un-cock earlier into
It is sort of like 2 runners running a 100 meter dash at the same
time, but with different ways to getting there. Bill gets out of the gates very
fast. I get out of the gates slower, but accelerate more towards the finish
line. But in the end, we arrive about the same time.
Whereas MOI fitting
and matching greatly helps with ball flight along with horizontal face contact
dispersion, MOI Balance index will help provide even more consistency, help with
clubhead path consistency and vertical face contract dispersion.
eventually led to the discussion of club maker Monte Doherty’s MOI Balance Index
spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is available to the public at the link
saving the Excel file first to your computer, then opening it up. If you have
2010 MS Excel, a header will pop-up with a button called ‘Enable Editing.’ You
will need to click that button in order to fool around with the spreadsheet. And
you can only do that if the file has been saved to your
There’s a few things that are very noticeably in the
spreadsheet. And in part II – I will go over the noticeable parts of the
spreadsheet and how to understand how to use it.