What You Can Do to Make Using Your Clubs Easier
There are a large number of things you can do to your clubs to make them easier to use. I will keep adding to the list as I have time. I will try to list them in order of their effectiveness so you go to the most effective solutions first. These are in addition to the clubfitting discussions elsewhere on Bob On Golf.
The Loft and Lie of Your Clubs
The lofts on your clubs should enable you to hit the ball in equal increments of distance from your shortest iron to your fairway woods. The driver is often disproportionately longer. Lofts can be checked to see if they are consistent with a normal progression. Iron lofts can be precisely adjusted if not.
The lie – the angle between the shaft and the sole of the club – can be adjusted easily on most irons. If, when you hit the ball, the sole of the club is not flat on the grass, it will twist at impact. In addition, the loft will not point upwards in a straight line to the hole, but will point off line. If the toe is lower, it will dig into the ground and twist the face open. If the heel of the clubhead is lower, the face will twist closed. In both cases the loft direction will add to the shot mis-direction.
Lie is checked by attaching a piece of tape to the sole of your iron while you hit a shot off of a hard rubber board. A mark will be left showing which part of the sole struck the ground first. If the mark isn’t under the center of the face of the head, an adjustment is needed. Usually one short iron, one long iron, and one middle iron are tested. The rest of the lies are calculated as a progression. This one of the easiest ways to make your clubs fit you better.
If you get your lies tested and the clubfitter tests only one club, watch out! The progression of lie angles is less for some golfers and more for others. In other words, the number of degrees difference from your shortest to your longest iron is not the same for everybody. For example mine are only 1/2 degree per club. Some golfers have as much as one degree difference per iron. That means there could be a huge difference between the lie of your shortest iron and that of you golfing buddy – even if his 6 iron lie is the same as yours.
It is better to test your longest iron and one of your wedges and then do a mathematical progression based on the lengths of each iron. Some wedges are the same length and should have the same lie. In other sets there is only a 1/4 inch difference in length between the wedges unlike the other irons with a 1/2 inch difference per club. It is important that your clubmaker take the length differences into consideration when adjusting your club lies.
In my set, since the wedges have only 1/4 inch difference in length, the lie differences are 1/4 degree, not 1/2 degree like the differences between my other irons.
Whether too big or too small in diameter, incorrect grip size can hinder your swing.
If the grip is too small, it will be difficult to keep the club under control. You will lose control.
If the grip is too big, you will have control, but your wrist movement will be hindered. It will reduce your ability to cock and uncock your wrists. Your clubhead speed will suffer.
Of the two, too small is worse. With a grip too big you will at least be able to control the club with an oversize grip, but your distance will be reduced.
Backweighting-Counterbalancing your clubs link
Backweighting is adding a weight to the grip end of your clubs. It increases the overall weight and decreases the swingweight. Adding this weight will quiet your hand action, and will give your light clubs more heft. Typically, most people will hit the ball farther with increased accuracy. Testing by Balance Certified (see link) with a golf robot confirms this. Jack Nicklaus always used clubs with backweighting. He kept it quiet until more recently. It gave him an advantage.
Putting and Backweighting (links below)
Backweighting is done to putters for a different reason. In lag putting, the main goal is get your ball within easy one putt distance so you can walk up and tap it in. When your stroke is too “handsy” – too much wrist activity – getting longer putts close to the hole consistently is difficult. Installing a backweight in your putter will yield immediate results. It quiets excessive wristiness. It did for me. More on putter fitting is here, and on putting technique is here.
What the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) Did to Driver Specifications link
COR is the ability of an object (the clubhead in this case) to rebound the golf ball. A good clubhead will maximize the speed the ball bounces off the face. Click on the link for more info.