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static weight vs. swing weight?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

In trying to decide graphite vs. steel with my new iron set, and the weight is one area I'm trying to understand.

I've learned the difference between static weight and swing weight. As I understand it, static weight is what the shaft actually weighs and swing weight is the feel, or perceived weight during the swing. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

 

So, if I understand correctly, as the static weight goes down, the swing weight will go up because the balance of the club is more toward the club head. Is this correct?

 

If I go with steel, I'm sure I'll want something lightweight. I'm not getting any younger and this investment will have to last for many years. So what is considered lightweight in a regular flex steel shaft?  85gms? 

 

I've already considered the other pros and cons to steel vs. graphite, so this is just about weight. Thanks guys.

post #2 of 9

Static weight would be the overall weight of the assembled club.  You are pretty much correct on swingweight.  Ralph Maltby describes swingweight as "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.", which is 14".  In one sense though, swingweight is a static measure of how the weight is distributed.

 

In most cases, as the static weight of a club goes up as the clubs get shorter (longer clubs = lighter weight, shorter clubs = heavier weight) due to the heads increasing in weight by 7g to 8g each. 

 

Depending on how the clubs are built, the swingweight should be consistent throughout the set, or it will increase.  A set that is built as a swingweight matched set (as all big OEM's do) will generally have the same swingweight from long irons to short irons, and will differ in length by .500" increments. The swingweight will slightly increase in the wedges.  A set that is assembled as an MOI matched set will differ in length by .400", and will increase in swingweight by .5 from the long irons to the short irons.

 

My irons are built as an MOI matched set, are in .400" length increments, and the swingweights are D2.5 for the 3 iron, and increase .5 points up through the GW which is D6.5.    

 

As for shaft weight, my set uses TT Lite XL shafts.  The 8 iron is built to 37".  The raw, uncut shaft weighed 128.5g, and when tipped and cut to playing length, it weighed 107.7g.  I imagine the average cut to length steel shaft will vary between 80g-120g range depending on the particular shaft.  Xcaliber makes na R flex graphite iron shaft that weighs 75g raw (@ 40"), and will weight less once tipped and cut to length.


Edited by glock35ipsc - 6/2/11 at 2:30pm
post #3 of 9

Something else to keep in mind.... since graphite is lighter, graphite shafted irons are usually around .250" to .500" longer to keep the swingweight playable and comparable to steel shafted irons.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas solo View Post

In trying to decide graphite vs. steel with my new iron set, and the weight is one area I'm trying to understand.

I've learned the difference between static weight and swing weight. As I understand it, static weight is what the shaft actually weighs and swing weight is the feel, or perceived weight during the swing. Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

 

So, if I understand correctly, as the static weight goes down, the swing weight will go up because the balance of the club is more toward the club head. Is this correct?

 

If I go with steel, I'm sure I'll want something lightweight. I'm not getting any younger and this investment will have to last for many years. So what is considered lightweight in a regular flex steel shaft?  85gms? 

 

Some thoughts:

 

Swing weight contributes to feel as does the overall weight of the club, flex of the shaft, etc.  Swing weight is more about the balance point of the club than the overall weight, I built two 5 irons with the same grip, head and length but a 105 gm steel shaft in one and a 66 gm graphite shaft in the other.  I added lead to the head of the graphite shafted club so that both irons have the same swing weight, (C-8)  but the graphite shafted club "feels" much lighter to me, and it is 26 gm lighter so that makes sense.

 

Usually when you lighten the shaft the swing weight goes down.  A club sits in a swing weight scale with 14 inches on one side of the fulcrum and the rest of the club on the other side.  When the shaft weight goes down the weight is reduced on both sides of the fulcrum and the head end actually gets lighter in relation to the grip end.

 

85 gm is about as light as your going to find in a steel shaft.  I'd call a 85 gm steel shaft a "ultralight", a 100 gm "light" and a 127 gm "standard", but thats just my personal rating system and there are steel shafts available at about every weight between the extremes of 80 to 130 gm.
 

 

post #5 of 9

I agree with the previous poster.  About the lightest "reliable" steel shaft you'll find is between 85 to 90 grams, with most closer to the 90 gram mark.

post #6 of 9

Higher swingweights in general also mean higher club head speeds which is why graphite shafts produce higher swing speeds then steel shafts in general.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by LankyLefty View Post

Higher swingweights in general also mean higher club head speeds which is why graphite shafts produce higher swing speeds then steel shafts in general.



Really?  I always thought it was because graphite is lighter than steel.  I also always thought swingweight was pretty much just a "number" that presented the balance of the components used as measured on a fulcrum and had nothing to do with total weight.  All things being equal, i.e. headweight, grip weight and shaft length, I was under the impression that steel shafts would ALWAYS produce higher swingweights that graphite shafts. 

 

Well....since I can make a sledgehammer swingweight to D3 with proper components and a feather light graphite shaft swingweight to D3 by adding weight to the head and lightening the grip, I guess what I always thought was true, is true.

 

And to take it a step further, I could make the sledgehammer swingweight higher than the feather light graphite club if I so desired.  And if I did so, I can also guarantee you'll swing the club with the feather weight graphite shaft faster than the sledgehammer.

 


Edited by Shagbag - 6/3/11 at 6:41pm
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys.  I had it right, sort of. Ya'll were able to explain what I was thinking but didn't know how to say.

After swinging different stuff, I went with the graphite shafts. Simply put, they just felt better.  I was taking normal swings with good form and it felt very natural and comfortable. Ball contact was perfect and my speed picked up 4mph.  I wasn't after speed, but comfort. (of course I'll take the speed) At 54 years old with a busted up right leg and a bad left shoulder, the graphites made me feel like I was young again. NO pain, smooth swings, solid contact and good results.  The new Burner 2.0 set should be here Monday.

Thanks again for helping out.

post #9 of 9

Swingweights and swing speed are not directly related.  I can build two irons or drivers of widely different gross weights, but identical swingweights.  It's all a matter of weight distribution.  The lighter club will have the ability to be swung faster while retaining control.  Like Shagbag said, "swingweight was pretty much just a "number" that presented the balance of the components used as measured on a fulcrum and had nothing to do with total weight".  Swingweight is all about feel.  Lighter components will result in faster swing speeds.  Most fitters will suggest graphite for just that reason; picking up swing speed that was lost to your experienced years. 

 

Congrats on your new purchase! 

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