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Should I blame the clubs/shafts for a push?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

So I had the first chance in a while yesterday to hit some balls, sort of. I had a dozen birdie balls and a grass field, and my swing speed radar.

 

I have been working on my swing for a good while, mainly addressing my last season's faults of inconsistent swing speed, slicing, and thin shots. I have flattened my swing plane, quickened it up and generally make a stronger release. I also paid attention to my right elbow and grip to make things more consistent. 

 

As a result, I went from (what I thought was) mid-high 70s on my 5 iron to about mid to high 80s. Generally I found that swinging harder and more aggressively, coupled with good body action, gave me a better and more repeatable swing. I found that the advice suggesting smooth tempo and timing is great, but it doesn't mean slow tempo. So I got a more inside out swing, shallow angle of attack, and a respectable swing speed. I also got better at bottoming out right where I wanted, so I expected to be a lot better and more consistent when I hit balls, right?

 

Pity golf doesn't work like that.

 

From the first ball I hit, I started hitting big, weak pushes. Not a lot of curve at all, just about a 15 degree right in a straight line. A few were started on line and faded when I tried to compensate, but I couldn't hit a straight ball, and I usually play either a dead straight ball or a slight fade. When I hit one especially hard, trying to hook it as hard as I could, they usually went pretty straight and 11 million miles in the air, but I had to bow my wrist, change my grip, AND come as hard inside out as I could. I literally could not even hit a hook, which I can usually do on demand. Forget about a nice high push draw.

 

Now, on the plus side, I found that my swing speed radar does not read accurately unless you actually hit balls. It turns out that my 5 iron swing was comfortably in the mid 90s, with hard swings in the order of 104. Also, some satisfaction was gained by the fact that I broke every one of the birdieballs I brought; I hit them so hard that they all got cracked straight from top to bottom, eventually shattering. Though that cost me money, It tells me I have enough power. The temp was about 50*, so they weren't brittle.

 

So, the steel shafts in my irons are about 110 grams, with a very low kickpoint, and firm flex, recommended for 75-84 mph. Obviously, they are a slight bit weak for me, especially with an aggressive tempo. I bought the set of irons assuming that I would grow into them, since I had a hard time getting distance and I was borderline R flex at the time. When I got the radar and checked my SS, I used no target and just swung on a mat, so I thought they were still appropriate for me. That screwed me over big time, since I bought more clubs with the same shafts based on that SS reading. It reads about 10% lower than the actual speed, but using a ball or even small snowballs shows the proper reading. I also was told that soft shafts cause a high hook when overloaded, and so I thought going stiffer wouldn't be a good idea. It looks like I certainly need X in my woods, since my driver is between 110 and 125. But my iron shafts are probably borderline between an S300 sort of flex and X100. I think the fast tempo probably would work with the X, but I just want to know if this is the right move.

 

I know that the clubface is open to the target, clearly. There's no way I'm coming over the top, and there's no way I'm not releasing my wrists. It looks like I have an in to out path, plus an open clubface to my target, resulting in a straight push. When I swing very weakly, within 80MPH, it seems I can hit it pretty straight or hook it if I desire. When I intentionally cast the club and tried to hit a pull fade, I could get it to start straight; however, it would fade based on how hard I swung. But when I make a full swing, I'm hitting a very consistent bad shot and can't do much to bring it to target. These clubs have a lot of offset, I should be able to hit a damn hook if I try to!

 

I've studied my swing on video, should post it sometime in the spring, and it looks correct. Every fundamental I know of seems to be checked off, and I'm getting all the power I could hope for with a more consistent ability to hit my target.

 

By the way, there's nothing more frustrating than looking at the ball going 15 degrees right, then looking at the clubface and seeing a dead center ball mark and a perfect divot. 

 

So, in conclusion, are my shafts bending like wet noodles, causing this push? My fairway wood, with a stiff prolaunch red, had less trouble; I broke the ball every time I tried it, but no push... I intend to buy a 7 iron with a true temper DG X100, and see if I can mitigate things a bit.

post #2 of 42

Yes....always blame the club!a2_wink.gif

post #3 of 42
Thread Starter 

Well, technically the shaft. Swinging full power with a shaft that's 2 flexes too weak can lead to a loss of control, no? I have no problems at 75-80 mph, but the face swings way open at full power, and I could not get the ball started on line whatever I did. I even used one of my clubs as an alignment rod, and the divots were what I wanted and along the proper line. It was definitely a push, not a slice. And my ball marks indicated I was making center contact. Believe me, I know how it feels to helplessly hack around, and this was a much more consistent and puzzling ball flight.

 

I will be hitting a large number of balls at the range tomorrow for once, so I'll let you know if I have any success. 

 

By the way, I hope you read the 1,000 word essay before you made a snarky comment, Mr. "I shatter golf balls".

c2_beer.gif By the way, I was breaking balls yesterday.

 

post #4 of 42


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut View Post

Yes....always blame the club!a2_wink.gif


Until you hit the 'Big Time", then you can blame your caddy.c4_mad.gif

 

 

 

 

This is a joke, just in case it's not apparent.a3_biggrin.gif

 

post #5 of 42

Having shafts that are too weak will cause you to hit pulls or hooks because the clubhead is lagging behind too much and by the time it reaches impact the face has started to close.  Either there is a flaw in your swing that is causing the push or you dont swing as fast as you think you do and the shafts are infact too strong for your swing.

Perhaps you arent shifting your weight correctly and arent rotating through the shot.

post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitleistWI View Post

Having shafts that are too weak will cause you to hit pulls or hooks because the clubhead is lagging behind too much and by the time it reaches impact the face has started to close.  Either there is a flaw in your swing that is causing the push or you dont swing as fast as you think you do and the shafts are infact too strong for your swing.

Perhaps you arent shifting your weight correctly and arent rotating through the shot.


Really?  I've only swung clubs with too flexible a shaft on drivers, but every single regular flex driver I've ever hit at full speed I've hit push fade/slices with, not pulls or hooks.

post #7 of 42
Thread Starter 

I use a radar unit, so the swing speed is correct. My distance the last few rounds has been close to what the SS would indicate, though my swing is only now getting consistent. My tempo is fast and I make an aggressive release, so if anything I'd need a bit stiffer than my SS would normally need. 

 

I've heard the whole deal about weak shafts causing hooks, and from what I can gather, the whole "clubhead closing up" explanation is a gross generalization. Soft shafts causing the shaft to "kick" at the wrong time makes a lot more sense to me. I've heard several people say that shafts a bit too soft will cause a hook, but shafts that are way too soft will cause all kinds of problems, including the same flight I seem to be afflicted with.

 

My only course of action is to hit the range to confirm my findings, and if I can't mitigate this problem, I'll get an X100 7 iron to try out. I just wish I didn't go ahead and buy a whole set before I got my swing to where it is now. At least I can return my driver and exchange the shaft for a Proforce V2 65x if I act quickly.

 

And yes, I know exactly how retarded and cliche this sort of thread is, but the sheer consistency and stubbornness of the push has got me annoyed. I never had a problem starting the ball on line before, despite other swing problems.

post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdl View Post


Really?  I've only swung clubs with too flexible a shaft on drivers, but every single regular flex driver I've ever hit at full speed I've hit push fade/slices with, not pulls or hooks.



Why would you hit a push/fade with a shaft that is too flexible?  The clubhead is going to be lagging behind you through impact and by the time it reaches the ball the face with have closed.  With a stiffer shaft, the shaft will whip too early and get to the ball while the path/face is still pointed to the right and would cause you to hit a pull/hook.

post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

I use a radar unit, so the swing speed is correct. My distance the last few rounds has been close to what the SS would indicate, though my swing is only now getting consistent. My tempo is fast and I make an aggressive release, so if anything I'd need a bit stiffer than my SS would normally need. 

 

I've heard the whole deal about weak shafts causing hooks, and from what I can gather, the whole "clubhead closing up" explanation is a gross generalization. Soft shafts causing the shaft to "kick" at the wrong time makes a lot more sense to me. I've heard several people say that shafts a bit too soft will cause a hook, but shafts that are way too soft will cause all kinds of problems, including the same flight I seem to be afflicted with.

 

My only course of action is to hit the range to confirm my findings, and if I can't mitigate this problem, I'll get an X100 7 iron to try out. I just wish I didn't go ahead and buy a whole set before I got my swing to where it is now. At least I can return my driver and exchange the shaft for a Proforce V2 65x if I act quickly.

 

And yes, I know exactly how retarded and cliche this sort of thread is, but the sheer consistency and stubbornness of the push has got me annoyed. I never had a problem starting the ball on line before, despite other swing problems.


Maybe you just need to learn a smoother swing.  If you have a fast temp and an aggressive release its going to be difficult to square up the clubface on a consistent basis.

 

post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitleistWI View Post

Having shafts that are too weak will cause you to hit pulls or hooks because the clubhead is lagging behind too much and by the time it reaches impact the face has started to close. 



 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TitleistWI View Post



 With a stiffer shaft, the shaft will whip too early and get to the ball while the path/face is still pointed to the right and would cause you to hit a pull/hook.


I must be tired......

 

 

From my own experience, I was more prone to going left with a weaker shaft.  I started with regular, then a uniflex.  I am sure it was a combination of SGI/UGI offsets along with the weaker shafts.  I play stiff in everything now, and I seem to be a little more consistant, though my big miss is still a pull/hook.  Shaft Fit recommends I use x-stiff in everything, and I may reshaft an old club and toss it in the bag for a bit, just to check it out.  I made a setup board to practise alignment over the winter, and much to my surprise, I was setting up closed to the target line more often than not.

 


Edited by moparman426 - 1/29/12 at 8:32pm
post #11 of 42
Thread Starter 

I think both of those explanations are fallacious. I hear them all the time, but they seem like they are plausible and get repeated a lot without being questioned because of it. 

 

I think the issue is a bit more complicated; how you accelerate and during which parts of your swing you apply power must be causing the shaft to kick; but it makes sense that the shaft can kick  not only forward and back, but also up and down relative to the toe. If your rhythm is off, or you transition without the proper sequence, the shaft could do anything. I don't think twisting has a significant effect, but the right hand is the significant source of leverage, and the angle from which you apply force will determine the main axis for the shaft to flex. So I think the timing and degree of that release, coupled with the swing path, can have a number of effects on the clubhead position and feel going into impact. By varying the release and path, a player can compensate for the shafts' effects, but the compensations would have to be exacting; a common complaint is that a softer shaft works well when the timing is perfect, but doesn't fit well normally. Ever see a high speed recording of an arrow being shot? The tip moves around by a couple millimeters dozens of times along the path of the arrow, and could impact anywhere in a 2-3mm radius depending on where the target is in the cycle. Straight as an arrow indeed...

 

So for any swing type, there is a flex profile that requires the least amount of change to work well. The swing type I have right now is consistent and powerful, and a smoother swing doesn't work for me; I lose power unless I make a long backswing, and I have trouble hitting balls off the deck unless I make body and shoulder moves to lower the club through impact. I'd rather go up to a stiff or X stiff and maybe make a grip adjustment than go back to being a short knocker who can't stop knifing the ball.

 

I will try changing my grip a bit, changing ball position, and hitting a damn pull fade to see if I can pull it off better with this set of clubs than a draw. I think I can sort out any ballflight with a driver, since it hits off a 4" tee and doesn't require the blade to be level, and also I find it inherently more difficult to work irons than woods for some reason. I'd buy the shafts and pay to get them installed, but it costs about 75% of the cost of my iron set to buy the shafts, and more than the cost of my set to get them installed. Buying a whole new set of irons would cost less than a reshaft, and I can shop for a bit better set this time.

 

And to anyone curious: my local range apparently closed down this very month. I drove 30 minutes about 5 miles to discover that, and am disappointed. Will hit range Wednesday. 

post #12 of 42
Maybe you should give up golf and take up archery, I mean what heck do the shaft manufacturers know about their own designs when they recommend a specific stiffness, torque,kick point, weight, etc.... To properly apply your analogy, I would have to toss my clubs at the ball like a javelin to compensate for the varying degrees of oscillations.
post #13 of 42
Thread Starter 

If you're going to make fun of that analogy, you should at least do a better job. Javelins are gripped in the middle, while arrows are launched from the bowstring nocked in the back of the shaft.

 

As for the manufacturer's fitting recommendations, they almost all suggest a live fitting for the very reason that shafts react in unpredictable ways at times. Those that don't really have sparse fitting guidelines, like Aldila. They have a chart of launch and spin rates, plus a chart with a static fitting for swing speed. True Temper do a bit better job, since they ask your basic swing tempo and distance, but the issue of how one loads the shaft is a lot more complex than that, as I said.

 

Now, Mizuno, on the other hand, have an interesting fitting system that actually records the swing in a more in depth way. They have a device attached to the shaft that measures certain factors of the release, and does a better job of classifying the swing type. This, in my opinion, is the direction fitting will go in the coming years, and may provide a bit better insight about how shafts work. It already works better than static fitting as far as recommending shafts to try out, and only hitting them can really determine the best shaft.

 

Simply enough, the shaft being soft will not necessarily make you hit a high hook, it will make you inconsistent and lack control. A shaft that's one flex too soft won't have the same result as one that's 3 flexes too soft, either. If it was so simple, I could get an A flex put in, and voila, no more shots to the right. Never mind that I swing almost twice as fast as the SS recommended for that flex.

post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

If you're going to make fun of that analogy, you should at least do a better job. Javelins are gripped in the middle, while arrows are launched from the bowstring nocked in the back of the shaft.

As for the manufacturer's fitting recommendations, they almost all suggest a live fitting for the very reason that shafts react in unpredictable ways at times. Those that don't really have sparse fitting guidelines, like Aldila. They have a chart of launch and spin rates, plus a chart with a static fitting for swing speed. True Temper do a bit better job, since they ask your basic swing tempo and distance, but the issue of how one loads the shaft is a lot more complex than that, as I said.

Now, Mizuno, on the other hand, have an interesting fitting system that actually records the swing in a more in depth way. They have a device attached to the shaft that measures certain factors of the release, and does a better job of classifying the swing type. This, in my opinion, is the direction fitting will go in the coming years, and may provide a bit better insight about how shafts work. It already works better than static fitting as far as recommending shafts to try out, and only hitting them can really determine the best shaft.

Simply enough, the shaft being soft will not necessarily make you hit a high hook, it will make you inconsistent and lack control. A shaft that's one flex too soft won't have the same result as one that's 3 flexes too soft, either. If it was so simple, I could get an A flex put in, and voila, no more shots to the right. Never mind that I swing almost twice as fast as the SS recommended for that flex.

If you are so concerned about specific shaft dynamics, go see a qualified fitter instead of trying to write your thesis on why generic static fittings can't fix you swing problem.....and it most likely is your swing, not the club. There is no one shaft that will perform exactly the same, over and over again, which is what I surmised you are looking for. A bad swing equals a bad shot no matter what. Then again, maybe your swing is perfect......you can change your name to iron Byron. Go get fitted properly instead of asking a bunch of people on the internet who can't see you swing. To answer your question, yes, buy all new clubs.
post #15 of 42

 

Quote:
 To answer your question, yes, buy all new clubs.

 

.. and obsess more.

post #16 of 42
Thread Starter 

 

If I was in a position to pay over 100$ for a fitting, maybe I'd do it. That would hopefully tell me what shafts would work best for me, but it won't get me any equipment. As it stands, I could order a whole new iron set for 200 with TTDG shafts. A reshaft would cost about 300$, so yeah. 

 

Can you even post anything helpful without insulting me? You made a sensible recommendation among all that derisive crap. Why not just tell me to see a fitter and leave it at that? We don't need another Shorty.

 

WWBDD, accuse me of obsessing if you want. No one would be here if they weren't. If it weren't the middle of winter with all the local courses shut down and the nearest range out of business, I'd be out there beating balls instead of troubling this forum with my frustrations.

post #17 of 42

There are numerous factors that affect the flight of an arrow that aren't involved in a golf shaft, not sure what the purpose of that comparison was. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post

I think both of those explanations are fallacious. I hear them all the time, but they seem like they are plausible and get repeated a lot without being questioned because of it. 

 

I think the issue is a bit more complicated; how you accelerate and during which parts of your swing you apply power must be causing the shaft to kick; but it makes sense that the shaft can kick  not only forward and back, but also up and down relative to the toe. If your rhythm is off, or you transition without the proper sequence, the shaft could do anything. I don't think twisting has a significant effect, but the right hand is the significant source of leverage, and the angle from which you apply force will determine the main axis for the shaft to flex. So I think the timing and degree of that release, coupled with the swing path, can have a number of effects on the clubhead position and feel going into impact. By varying the release and path, a player can compensate for the shafts' effects, but the compensations would have to be exacting; a common complaint is that a softer shaft works well when the timing is perfect, but doesn't fit well normally. Ever see a high speed recording of an arrow being shot? The tip moves around by a couple millimeters dozens of times along the path of the arrow, and could impact anywhere in a 2-3mm radius depending on where the target is in the cycle. Straight as an arrow indeed...

 

So for any swing type, there is a flex profile that requires the least amount of change to work well. The swing type I have right now is consistent and powerful, and a smoother swing doesn't work for me; I lose power unless I make a long backswing, and I have trouble hitting balls off the deck unless I make body and shoulder moves to lower the club through impact. I'd rather go up to a stiff or X stiff and maybe make a grip adjustment than go back to being a short knocker who can't stop knifing the ball.

 

I will try changing my grip a bit, changing ball position, and hitting a damn pull fade to see if I can pull it off better with this set of clubs than a draw. I think I can sort out any ballflight with a driver, since it hits off a 4" tee and doesn't require the blade to be level, and also I find it inherently more difficult to work irons than woods for some reason. I'd buy the shafts and pay to get them installed, but it costs about 75% of the cost of my iron set to buy the shafts, and more than the cost of my set to get them installed. Buying a whole new set of irons would cost less than a reshaft, and I can shop for a bit better set this time.

 

And to anyone curious: my local range apparently closed down this very month. I drove 30 minutes about 5 miles to discover that, and am disappointed. Will hit range Wednesday. 



 

post #18 of 42
Sorry, but all your going to get is generic static fitting info from a golf forum. The same info you would get from a shaft manufacturers website, and were quick to dismiss. They all still recommend getting fit. Yes, I am abrasive sometimes, and call em' as I see em', which is probably why i like Shorty being the devil's advocate.

No worries, this will be my last response to any more of your future postings.
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