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Lihu

Tuning Drivers with Lead Tape

33 posts in this topic

To begin with, I just did some experiments with lead tape at the range this Sunday, and wanted to know if anyone else has done the same.

The clubs tested were as follows:

1) TM Burner Superfast 1.0 9.5 DG X100 shaft

2) Ping G15 10.5 DG X200 shaft

3) Cobra Biocell 12 degrees) PX 6.0 shaft

4) TM RBZ 3W 15 degree (only one test with the X100 on the crown because I hit it off the deck some shots)

The test conditions:

a) 5 shots with no weight added

In all cases the tape is double or triple layer 1/4" lead tape (two strips wide for 1/2") the length of the club head (sometimes I needed to wrap it around the back a little). BTW, this was a lot of lead tape it looks obnoxiously bulky.

b) 5 shots with 10 gm added on the bottom of the club towards the heel

c) 5 shots with 10 gm added on the bottom of the club towards the toe

d) 5 shots with 10 gm added on the bottom of the club towards the middle

e) 5 shots with 20 gm added on the bottom of the club towards the heel

f)  5 shots with 20 gm added on the bottom of the club towards the toe

g) 5 shots with 20 gm added on the bottom of the club towards the middle

I attempted to use a more exaggerated reverse K than I usually use to get more launch. I might end up using the same setup from now on anyway, as the results were pretty nice.

Results:

(Club number and condition letter, 5 shots per club/condition)

Club 1 a: low shot reasonably straight

Club 1 b: higher shot pulled (gained yardage over no weight)

Club 1 c: higher shot push fade (lost yardage. . .)

Club 1 d: higher shot (about straight, gained yardage. . .)

Club 1 e: pull (lost yardage)

Club 1 f:  pull (lost yardage)

Club 1 g: pull (lost yardage)

Club 2 a: medium height shot baby fade to straight

Club 2 b: nice high shot pulled (gained yardage. . .)

Club 2 c: nice high shot push fade (gained yardage. . .)

Club 2 d: nice high shot (about straight, gained yardage. . .)

Club 2 e: nice high shot (about straight, no gain/loss in yardage)

Club 2 f:  nice high shot (about slight fade, no gain/loss in yardage)

Club 2 g: nice high shot (about straight, no gain/loss in yardage)

Club 3 a: high shot fades

Club 3 b: high shot no fade

Club 3 c: high shot slice

Club 3 d: high shot fade

Club 3 e: high shot straight (gained yardage)

Club 3 f:  high shot fade (no gain.loss in yardage)

Club 3 g: high shot straight (gained yardage)

Club 4 a: low shot reasonably fade

Club 4 d: high shot off the deck straight

I threw out any bad swing data, so some of the data is only for 2-3 shots that I felt made decent contact. This is where I really wished I have a launch monitor.

My only conclusion so far is that the Ping G15 10.5 X100 combined with 10gms of lead tape on the heel side gives me the straightest and longest drives with a high tee and exaggerated reverse K setup. I plan to see if I can add hot melt to the Ping G15 then do more experimentation with the Biocell to get the same performance as my Ping club. Not surprisingly, the swing weight of the G15 also felt the best. I didn't feel "rushed" or "held back" in any part of the swing.

I feel like this is only the beginning of the experimentation cycle, I think it might take a month or two to get through all the experiments. 20 gms seemed to work much better for the Biocell, but the relative shaft stiffness was reduced a lot by adding this much weight to the head. Some experiments might be using steel shafts on the Biocell or finding a suitable stiffness/weight/launch graphite shaft.

Ultimately, I would like to use a graphite shaft with a Biocell, and hot melt inside the head to get my desired swing weight.

One nice side effect is that all my drivers/3W had a softer sound to them.

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@Lihu, why don't you just go get a real Trackman fitting?

This was just a cheap experiment ($18 for the lead tape), and I was waiting for my kids at play league. The balls were donated by the first Tee kids. I had about 3 hours and 2 large buckets of balls at my disposal. If I didn't get free balls it might have cost an additional $14 with my range key.

It was more for fun and curiosity anyway, I really didn't expect to gain this significant a yardage. :w00t:

I plan to get properly fitted for all my clubs at some point in time, once I have a better swing and understand tuning a bit more. Also, since I like to watch the flight of the ball it would probably need to be somewhere "expensive" like San Diego.

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It was more for fun and curiosity anyway, I really didn't expect to gain this significant a yardage. :w00t: I plan to get properly fitted for all my clubs at some point in time, once I have a better swing and understand tuning a bit more. Also, since I like to watch the flight of the ball it would probably need to be somewhere "expensive" like San Diego.

Totally understandable. I just wanted to make sure you weren't doing this in lieu of a real fitting. Btw, the conclusion I drew from your experiment was.... You need to get a real fitting :-P

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Totally understandable. I just wanted to make sure you weren't doing this in lieu of a real fitting.

Btw, the conclusion I drew from your experiment was....

You need to get a real fitting

:-P

Yup, :-$ .

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Lihu,

On the different combinations where there was a yardage gain, can you tell us how much of a difference it actually was, or was it a situation where you could tell you were hitting it further but couldn't get detailed distance numbers?

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Lihu,

On the different combinations where there was a yardage gain, can you tell us how much of a difference it actually was, or was it a situation where you could tell you were hitting it further but couldn't get detailed distance numbers?

Something like 10-15 yards gain, but I was very much warmed up already.

Actual yardages are only estimates. The back fence was about 240-248 yards (depending where on the fence), so if I hit the fence it was more than 240-ish if it bounced first then less than 240-ish. Fade and draw are about <=10 yards (the distance between two trees on the driving range is about 20 yards).

Conditions 2d,2g and 2e were the best, because 9/15 balls hit the fence. This was more than with any other configuration, and the mishits were straighter. My normal carry is about 235 and I was getting something like 10-15 yards more on 60% of the shots. To me this was a sign that things were going in the right direction. I still have a lot more testing to do yet.

If I could only hit this well every time.

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Interesting stuff! Does the weight of the tape help you to wait on the shot so as not to cast club?
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Interesting stuff! Does the weight of the tape help you to wait on the shot so as not to cast club?

I think it does reduce casting, I have not taken videos yet so it's hard to say.

Anyway, here's a picture with the latest tuning I did last night (I added Duct Tape to protect the lead tape and keep my hands clean):

4" long x 1/2" wide lead tape x 1/8" thick of lead (the stack is a hair taller because of the 7 adhesive layers). It ends up being about 44gms total. Takes down the X100 shaft to about a stiff/regular (approximately PX 6 stiffness).

I also tee it up about 3" off the ground to get the best launch angle I can get.

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Where would I apply a strip or two of the tape to promote a draw, if possible?

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Where would I apply a strip or two of the tape to promote a draw, if possible?


Exactly where I put it, or a bit further towards the heel.

The idea is that the heel weight allows the face to shut quicker to give you the draw. If you want more draw, you would need to place it closer to the face rather than let it wrap up the back. Then you would have an inch wide strip closer to the hosel.

I'm planning on more experimentation.

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Where would I apply a strip or two of the tape to promote a draw, if possible?

More towards the heel, changes the center of gravity of the club, slightly.

Exactly where I put it, or a bit further towards the heel.

The idea is that the heel weight allows the face to shut quicker to give you the draw. If you want more draw, you would need to place it closer to the face rather than let it wrap up the back. Then you would have an inch wide strip closer to the hosel.

The change in CoG will have a center hit effectively come off like a slight toe hit, that's why it might tend to draw, has nothing to do with the toe closing or not.

Gear effect

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Exactly where I put it, or a bit further towards the heel.

The idea is that the heel weight allows the face to shut quicker to give you the draw. If you want more draw, you would need to place it closer to the face rather than let it wrap up the back. Then you would have an inch wide strip closer to the hosel.

I'm planning on more experimentation.

Weighting has little to do with it. You are talking about 10 - 20 grams on a 200 gram clubhead. The only thing it changes is the center of gravity so it promotes more of a gear effect for a draw.

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Weighting has little to do with it. You are talking about 10 - 20 grams on a 200 gram clubhead. The only thing it changes is the center of gravity so it promotes more of a gear effect for a draw.

It's about 44 grams measured on a weight scale, or about 22.5% additional weight to the club head. I was told the G15 is lighter than the standard 200gm head.

Yeah, I'm researching "gear effect". Thanks. Also, thanks @mvmac

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Okay, I had a little mishap in the dewy morning grass. The tape came off after the duct tape started to come loose.

I re-applied the tape, but this time 3 layers with 3 wide for a 1.5" wide. The epoxy is just a layer of protection for the lead. We'll see if that works on the soft lead.

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I slapped just a little bit on around where you did to my nike covert and Havnt hit any balls yet but just swinging it the extra weight feels great
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I slapped just a little bit on around where you did to my nike covert and Havnt hit any balls yet but just swinging it the extra weight feels great

Get some distance data and also how it feels and the weight (Size of tape and number of layers) you needed.

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More towards the heel, changes the center of gravity of the club, slightly.

The change in CoG will have a center hit effectively come off like a slight toe hit, that's why it might tend to draw, has nothing to do with the toe closing or not.

Gear effect

An excellent point is made at the 4:00 mark about the importance of getting the backspin rate correct.  Good explanation.  Spin definitely trumps launch angle.

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