Monday, August 13, 2012

Why the Magic Is Gone Once You Buy A Club

I hear this a lot. In fact, I’ve experienced it myself.

Ever try that driver out that you hit 30 yards further, straight as an arrow and you feel like you can’t miss with it? Then you buy you own model and that ‘magic’ is no longer there?

Here are a few hints as to why that may be the case.



The tolerances on shafts these days are pretty good. And as I’ve said before, for the most part there is no such thing as a ‘good’ shaft or a ‘bad’ shaft, just a shaft with a bend profile, overall weight, and where the weight is located that fits the golfer’s swing.

You may get into trouble if you hit somebody’s driver well and it has a ‘stock’ shaft in it and then try to buy that driver with the stock shaft and the stock shaft not quite being the same. I think companies are better and better at their quality control with stock shafts. In fact, I’ve often heard that the stock shafts in Adams clubs are virtually the same as their after-market counterpart.

What I would avoid is if you hit a stock shaft well, there’s a good chance that you cannot just install its after-market counterpart in the head and get the same type of performance, even if the after-market model costs $300. In this situation, you may just be better off purchasing an entirely new driver yourself.


We have two major factors when it comes to why the same club may genuinely feel and perform differently.

- Loft
- Total Club MOI

The loft is so important because it helps dictate the launch angle. And if you find the right launch angle for your swing, you will greatly improve your ability to optimize your distance for your swing. And if the loft is too low or too high, you may start trying to unconsciously alter your swing to get that trajectory you want.

Here’s something that Tom Wishon posted on his forum (

"We have always offered a TWGT Hand Select Service on all of our clubheads. Within every clubhead made by every foundry on the planet, no matter who the company is, there is a +/-1 degree tolerance on loft, lie, and face angle - and a +/-2g or +/-3g tolerance on the weight depending on what model it is. (Inv cast heads are +/-2, while all forged chrome plated heads are +/-3)."

So, what does this mean?

It means that just because a driver head may be stamped at a certain degree of loft (let’s say 10.5°), that does not mean it’s that actual loft. The club companies allow for a margin of error of +/-1° for loft. So what may happen is you may hit a 10.5° driver great. Then you purchase one yourself and it may come out to 11.5°, even though it’s stamped at 10.5°.

This also means that weight tolerance is +/- 2 or 3 grams. 1 gram difference in head weight with a driver is worth about 10-12 kg/cm^2 when it comes to total club MOI. Remember, we want the MOI within +/5 kg/cm^2 from what we’ve been fitted for. We probably will not see or feel too much of a difference if we are off by 10 kg/cm^2. But, we will start to feel it at 20 kg/cm^2 and certainly at 35 kg/cm^2. It just becomes a very different feeling club.


Not only does the size of the grip matter, but the weight of the grip matters as well. It can throw off the MOI or can help throw off the static weight.

Let’s say the magic club has a head weight of 205 grams with a grip that weighs 50 grams. You then get the same club, but the head weight is 208 grams and the grip weighs 60 grams. That will greatly alter the static weight and MOI and it’s not the same club anymore.


Happens all of the time, even to the best of us. Sometimes something clicks and you hit one driver great. Then your confidence builds with that driver and you think you can hit it every time like Hogan in ’53.


If you do feel you have found that magic driver, I would make sure to get the following information down if you want to buy your own:

1. Loft
2. Face Angle
3. Lie Angle
4. Shaft and Shaft Flex
5. Length of the Club
6. Static Weight

The last 3 are the most important. Chances are you do not have the proper tools to measure the loft and face angle of the driver. Since it’s a driver, lie angle is not nearly that important. And if it’s off by 1° in the lie angle, that probably will not make a huge difference.

However, if you get the shaft model and shaft flex that’s fairly easy to replicate. If the shaft is an after-market shaft, you could get fooled if the golfer had the shaft tip trimmed an additional amount. I would ask that question, but the golfer may not know the answer. Typically, most after-market shafts are not tip trimmed.

The length of the club is extremely important. Different lengths will likely lead to different MOI and static weight properties and just the overall feel of how the club swings. And if you get a club that is longer than the ‘magic club’, it will throw off your waist bend and other alignments at address and can throw off your swing completely.

Lastly, I doubt many have a MOI machine handy. However, for $20 you can get a digital scale used for kitchens and measure the static weight of the entire club.


You want that static weight to match exactly. If you can do that and get the shaft and length of the club correct, you’ll come very close to matching that ‘magic club.’



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