As a club builder / custom fitter my demo stock is a reflection of the quality of my repair and build work. I don’t yet have fitting carts from the major manufacturers and am not sure if I will.
I have a fitting with a senior player tomorrow, he has stated that he thinks he is ready to move to graphite shafts but I think that this is a big decision for him, almost admitting he is getting old. So along with some Callaway fittings irons, I have built using some Tom Wishon heads a couple of light weight options for him to try.
I have put to together a light weight graphite 7 iron and a light weight steel 6 iron. Fine I hear you say big deal well in fact it is. Most iron heads are built to play to a swing weight of D2 with a shaft that weighs typically 120grms. Then put in a 60grm and 85 grm shaft in and the balance of the club is all out. Notice I say balance as swing weight is the balance of the head and shaft when measured on a swing weight scales (see below).
So both heads weigh 261 grms I have installed a Graphite Design G-Tech shaft in the 7 iron, this shaft when trimmed to 7 iron length weighs only 65 grms so to get the balance, swing weight, correct this need a 26 grm grip from Winn Grips. That puts the swing weight to D0 (Dzero) which should enable my customer, or any senior to pick up a good few yards. The second club I have built is another Tom Wishon iron, a 6 this time and it is fitted with a FST 90 grm shaft, this trims down to 85 grms when installed in a 6 iron head. Now I wanted to keep the swing weight on this one to D2 which is the normal swing weight for a men’s club and what most people will be used to swinging but the 85 grm shaft should help him to gain some swing speed and a few extra yards. This took a little more figuring out to balance, it needed a conventional, grip I chose a personal favorite the Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound at 46 grms and then needed to add 7 grms of lead weight into the tip of the shaft (tip weight)
Next post will be an update to let you all know how the fitting went.
Definition: Swingweight is variously defined as “the degree to which the club balances toward the clubhead,” “the ratio of the weight of the head to the grip end of the club,” or, by famed clubmaker Ralph Maltby, “the measurement of a golf club’s weight about a fulcrum point which is established at a specified distance from the grip end of the club.”
Don’t worry – it all means the same thing. And that thing is this: Swingweight is a measurement that describes how the weight of a club feels when the club is being swung.
Swingweight is expressed as a letter and number, e.g., C10 or D2. Measurements range from A0, the lightest, to G10, the heaviest. A club that is measured at D5, for example, will feel heavier when swung than a club that is measured at C7 – although both clubs’ actual weight may be identical.
Swingweight is mostly used to match clubs in a set. It is ideal (although not always critical) for clubs within a set to match in swingweight.