There should be no difference between “Men’s, Women’s, and Senior’s” golf clubs. Let me repeat. There should be no difference between “Men’s, Women’s, and Senior’s” golf clubs. Human beings all have the same mechanical structure regardless of size, strength, age, or sex. This is why exercise machines at a health club can be used by anyone and produce the same results. The hinging points or axis are the same for everyone as well as tendon and muscle function. The only adjustment necessary in these machines is for the length of arms, legs, etc. Consequently, men’s and women’s golf clubs should be built to the same specifications, the only difference being the length of the golf club based upon the wrist-to-floor measurement of the individual golfer.
Is there one “BEST” golf club design?
It is interesting to note that every year the golf club manufacturers come out with their “new” and “improved” golf club designs. This means that the $800 or $900 you spent on a set of “brand name” golf clubs last year was wasted. Obviously the set you purchased is defective since the manufacturer has made improvements to their line this year. The fact is that “new” and “improved” is nothing more than marketing hype. The golf club manufacturers are in the business of selling golf clubs and they cannot do this if golfers are satisfied with their current set. Consequently, each year they have to come up with a “gimmick” in order to create new demand so that they can meet their sales goals.
So what’s the answer? Golf is a game based upon mechanics. The golf swing is determined by the mechanics of the human body and the golf club is designed to produce a mechanical result when it strikes the golf ball. Using the logic that skeletal and muscle function are mechanically the same for all golfers it follows that there is one mechanically perfect swing for all golfers. If there is one mechanically perfect golf swing then there can be one mechanically perfect golf club design. Bear in mind that a mechanically perfect golf club design is mechanically perfect for everyone.
It is a fact that the stronger golfer will achieve greater distance than the weaker golfer. This is the reason why golf courses offer varying tee box locations. This is just a function of individual strength that produces a higher degree of swing force but it does not alter the sound mechanical principles involved. For instance, the low loft angles of #3 and #4 irons require a swing speed of 75+ mph to be effectively played. For those golfers with slower swing speeds the answer is to substitute #5 and #7 woods for these irons. This allows golfers with a lesser swing force to maximize their distance potential, but it does not alter the mechanical principles involved.
The concept of greater loft angles in women’s and senior’s golf clubs is ludicrous.
Increasing the loft on a woman’s or senior’s golf club is the equivalent of making their #7 iron the same as a standard #8 iron. This doesn’t make a lot of sense. Golf club manufacturers do this in order to give the golfer the illusion of greater distance.
The myth of shaft flex.
There is no standardization in the golf industry as to flex ratings and the variances between manufacturers are tremendous. Also, shafting based strictly on flex does not take into consideration the many design characteristics of the club head or the shaft itself. I found that shafting a golf club based on flex, which is what all golf companies do, was like coupling apples with oranges. In other words, the shaft did not perform in harmony with the design features of the club head, but in fact, tended to work in opposition. Based upon this discovery I decided to test shaft playability characteristics in relation to specific club head design features. What I found was a distinct relationship between the two that when optimized produced a golf club where the components worked together as a single unit and vastly increased playability. In short, the shaft optimization process that I developed centers on the playability characteristics of the shaft (bend/deflection point, loading properties, and flex plane orientation), and the design specifications of a particular club head (loft angle, offset, moment of inertia, vertical and lateral center of gravity, weight, etc.). The result is a perfect mechanical marriage of the individual components that produces the ideal shaft loading and ball trajectory for the golf club regardless of the strength or swing speed of the individual golfer. The stronger golfer will hit an optimized golf club farther and with a higher trajectory than a weaker golfer, this being simply the result of applied force at impact. But the weaker golfer will still realize the maximum distance and trajectory potential that their individual strength dictates.
One of the components of our proprietary Shaft Optimization Process is the proper orientation of the flex plane of the shaft. We are the only company in the golf industry who does this. All golf shafts have a single inherent flex plane, or a plane that the shaft wants to deflect in when placed under load. It is a mistake to believe that a golf shaft will flex in the same manner in any plane around its axis. This inherent flex plane is created during the manufacturing process by variances in shaft wall thickness, by the manufacturing seam that runs all the way from the tip to the butt-end of the shaft, and by residual bends in the shaft (no golf shaft is perfectly straight). The manufacturing seam is created during the manufacturing process due to the shaft material being wrapped around a blank producing a seam where the sides of the material meet. The seam is then welded in the case of steel or over-wrapped and glued in the case of graphite. Determining the inherent flex plane of a shaft involves placing it under load and letting it rotate to its inherent plane of deflection. Once the inherent flex plane is determined it is orientated to its most stable position in relation to the face of the club head during the shafting process. If the shaft is oriented in a different plane it will try to rotate around its axis during the swing trying to locate this plane thus creating an oscillation of the shaft and club head. This oscillation results in the club-head literally wobbling through impact. When the shaft is correctly oriented in respect to its inherent flex plane it will resist twisting to any other position when placed under load and will remain stable through impact. It is as if the club-head is riding on rails through the impact zone. Our testing has shown conclusively that playing golf clubs with proper shaft orientation greatly enhances ball-striking consistency and is the reason that over 85% of all tour players have a like process done to their golf shafts (SST Puring). It is interesting to note that we were incorporating this process in all of our golf clubs 10 years before SST Puring was ever invented.
Grips on a golf club perform one task – allowing the golfer to hold onto the club.
If accuracy is the main tenant of golf then control of the golf club/consistency is the main tenant of accuracy. Through testing we have shown that larger grips provide increased control over the golf club. This is because a larger grip allows for a greater surface contact between the golfer’s hands and the golf club. This increase in control and accuracy is immediate. The greater surface contact also allows for a much greater transfer of swing force for increased distance. The grips installed on our 1 Iron single-length irons are 1/8” over-size and have less taper than conventional golf grips for maximum grip/skin contact.