Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Thinking Man's Guide to Your WITB: Follow-Up

The PGA Tour rundown will be up either on Thursday or Friday.  Here's my Memorial picks:

Jim Furyk: 25/1
Dustin Johnson: 40/1
KJ Choi: 80/1
Robert Garrigus: 100/1
Scott Piercy: 125/1

Value Pick: Kyle Stanley 150/1

I had some questions with regards to the series ‘The Thinking Man’s Guide to Finding Your WITB.’ I thought I would go over some of them.

How long do the leather grips last?

They are supposed to last ‘years.’ From my experience, the pricey high-end grips I’ve found to last a lot longer than your standard, $5 grip. The Iomics I have still feel good other than the spot where I place my left thumb wearing down. That does not affect my swing or feel at all. As far as being able to grip the club, the Iomics are still in great condition and I’ve had them for over a year. The reason for the GripMaster USA grips is playing in extremely hot weather conditions, I’m looking for the best I can find to deal with those conditions.

How come no Tour pros have their clubs MOI-matched?

Probably because none of them know about MOI-matching. The OEM’s have no interest in it because there’s no feasible way for them to implement that into their clubs. We are seeing more and more clubs using portable weights on their heads. Taylor Made does this with their irons now. However, the only way to accurately measure the MOI is to have the machine, which costs about $500.

That being said, we see Tour golfers and OEM’s trying to do things that are very similar to MOI matching all of the time.

For instance, when you MOI match a set of irons the swingweight for those irons will progress at about 0.6 to 0.8 swingweight points per club. There are plenty of pros who use progressive swingweight in their sets of irons in the same manner, with the long irons at a lighter swingweight. And why do Sand Wedges and Lob Wedges almost always have a much higher swingweight than the rest of the irons?

The answer is that swingweight matching winds up having the clubs feeling different. For those Tour pros who use progressive swingweight, they feel that if they kept the swingweight the same, the long irons would feel too heavy and the short irons too light. MOI fitting and matching does a more accurate job and eliminates the guesswork of what the Tour pros already feel.

Why can’t you do MOI-fitting and matching with non-Wishon clubs?

You CAN do MOI-fitting and matching with non-Wishon clubs. It’s just that Wishon clubs are easier to do MOI fitting and matching because their clubheads are lighter in weight. Thus, all a person has to do is add weight to the clubhead and they’ll be able to find their optimal MOI and then easily match the MOI of the rest of the set of irons.

Here’s a few things to be pointed out:

- When MOI matching irons, we want a tolerance of +/- 5 kg/cm^2
- I personally can feel a difference in 15 kg/cm^2
- 1-gram of weight added to an iron head will alter the MOI by about 10 kg/cm^2

So, if a set of iron heads weigh only 3 grams more than a Wishon set of iron heads, that may affect the MOI by about 30 kg/cm^2.

Where I find Wishon clubs to be very beneficial in the MOI process is with taller golfers who add some extra length to their shafts. That’s because the extra length of the shafts increases the weight of the club and the MOI of the club. But, the reason why golfers use extra length with their irons is to help with their posture at address and so they don’t have to reach for the ball.

Where everything comes into conflict is when a golfer needs that extra length for their posture and not having to reach for the ball at impact, but they cannot handle that extra weight and MOI that comes with the extra shaft length.

If you’re a golfer who doesn’t require any extra shaft length, then you will likely be able to get fitted and matched for MOI with OEM clubs (not a guarantee). But for a taller golfer, even adding just a ½-inch to your golf shafts is going to be problematic unless you have a lighter clubhead. From there, the best solution would be to find a lighter shaft, but the golfer may not like that shaft in question.


If you favor speed control in putting, why not focus on that with the putter instead of alignment?

I believe our brain has a good ability to sense speed on a putt. Geoff Mangum discusses this in his video ‘The Reality of Putting.’ I think once a golfer has a solid grasp of how to use their brain to have the right speed, the putter becomes less important in terms of what it can provide for speed control. I think if you’re struggling with speed control, you probably do not understand how to use your brain to sense the speed for the putts.

It’s not that you will always have good speed control if you know how to use your brain to sense the speed for a putt. It does take some practice if you are going to a green that has a different speed than you are accustomed to. Also, things like spike marks, pebbles on the green can affect the speed of a putt and there’s not much you can do about that. Lastly, a poorly struck putt affects speed as well. I still think you can miss the sweetspot quite frequently and managed to have pretty good speed control. I think mis-hits affect the line more than anything.

With putting, I often try to tell myself to not over-think the mechanics of the stroke. However, if my aim is off, then one has to make compensations in order to get the putterface pointing at the intended target. I think that is more difficult to overcome unless you have the right putter for you.

Wouldn’t hybrids stay on the green just as good as long irons since hybrids have a higher trajectory?

I don’t believe that’s really the case. The term hybrid comes from the fact that is supposed to be a mix between a fairway wood and an iron (usually a long iron). Furthermore, the hybrids were really born from the increasing popularity of the Callaway 7-wood (called the ‘Heaven Wood’) back in the mid to late 90’s. Many good golfers, including Tour pros, started to use the 7-wood in a similar fashion to the way we use hybrids now. Eventually other companies saw the market for the 7-wood and that spawned the hybrid with a different design.

With that, the hybrid was supposed to ‘mix the best of both worlds’ of long irons and fairway woods. Meaning hybrids were supposed to have the 7-wood qualities of being easy to get up in the air and easier to hit out of the rough and the long iron qualities of a higher trajectory and being able to stay on the green.

The hybrids do get up in the air higher, particularly more than a fairway wood. However, their spin rate is still lower than a 3-iron. And if you’re a better golfer who shouldn’t have much of an issue getting a 3-iron or 4-iron up in the air, the irons will stick to the green better than the higher launched hybrid due to the difference in spin rate. The difference today is that the hybrids are not entirely worse at holding greens like the fairway woods were of yesteryear. But if you are looking to optimize your Danger Zone play, you’ll want to start looking at less hybrids and more irons, provided you can hit those irons reasonably well.



Bryan Baz said...


any idea why would hybrids spin less than low irons?

Rich H. said...