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Hello all... 

Yesterday I went for my first iron fitting. The fitter used a different way to determine the shaft flex that a person needs. They use a measurement of "shaft loading" vs the popular swing speed method. I was basically hooked up to a machine and hit some shots and we determined what shafts I would need in my irons and my woods. The scale they use basically uses 5.0 in the middle as a Regular flex. So I was a 4.6 in my irons and a 5.2 in my woods. So we determined I need a little softer than R in the irons and a little stiffer than R in the woods. They explained that a person with a slower swing speed could still load the shaft higher than someone with a faster swing speed which was interesting. It is also interesting than I need a slightly different shaft in my irons than in my woods. The thing that was really crazy is that he tested the flex of each of my irons in my bag. I brought two sets of irons. I had an old set of Tommy Armours and a newer set of Ping G20s both of which are R Steel Flexes. He tested all of my iron shafts on a machine where he put the iron in a vise and then he pulled the head down and let it go. It bounced around and he got a reading that told him what flex the iron was. All of the irons were so different. None of them were 5.0 R Flex. They were all over the place on both sets. The pings were actually much softer than R in the A Flex range and the TAs were all over the place. I found this interesting because he explained that there are no standards for flexes in golf so a Stiff from company A may be an extra stiff from company B. That is definitely a disheartening thing to realize. Not only is there no standard but literally all of the shafts from Ping were considerably different flexes and the shafts from TA were all over the place. He tested my wedge set and they were XX Stiff. All of the lofts of the wedges were wrong as well. Another thing he tested was the loft of my G25 driver set to 9.0. He measured the loft and it was actually 12 or 13 degrees and when set to the 9.0 (the standard position is 10.5)  this opened the club face 3 degrees. So not only did the lofts not match hosel indication but the lie angle was 3 degrees open when set to the loft of 9, which could explain why I am pushing the driver right. He then tested my hybrid and the loft was off by 1 degree and it was 3 degrees closed. He also weighed all of the clubs and explained that most of the clubs were "shaft heavy" and "head light" which means they were not balanced very well and could make it difficult to be aware of where your club head is during the swing. In conclusion almost every aspect of every club in my bag was all jacked up. What I learned is that: 

1. There is no standard for shaft flexes which makes it nearly impossible to buy shafts on your own

2. The shaft flexes on your set of clubs can vary greatly from iron to iron which do not match the actual flex that they say they are

3. The irons are not balanced properly so you could potentially be shaft or head heavy.

4. The lofts are usually wrong on the clubs 

5. The lie angles can be open or closed coming as a standard from the company (you didn't request it to be so).  

6. When adjusting your adjustable driver you can actually open and close the club face without knowing it causing your shot patterns to change

Mama mia.... I definitely learned a lot through the process. They are going to build one of my clubs to my specs and then I am going to test that one club. If I like it I will get the whole bag done the same way. It was really eye opening. 

 

 

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Hello and welcome to TST. Quite an experience you had. Where did you get fitted If I may ask?

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A local club fitter in Philly called Izett Golf. They have been fitting there for a very long time and have almost a ridiculous amounts of high reviews so I decided to go there instead of your Club Champion or Golftec. 

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I’m not knowledgeable about fitting technology enough to make any comments. I’d be interested if some of our more ‘techno heads’ could chime in. @Adam C what do you make of this?

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How were your grips? Were your grips okay or were they FUBAR like everything else? Sounds like they did everything to your clubs short of bringing in a shaman to banish the evil spirits. 

Let me start out by saying this, if you go to a teaching pro and say you're hitting it badly, they are going to work on your swing. If you go to a club fitter, with the exact same problem, they are going to work on your equipment. 

First, the shafts. I know that it can be disheartening to hear that there's no standard for flex but the reason for that is not to dupe the consumer, it's simply the number of variables that can influence flex. It's nice to hear that they still use their old frequency machine where you went (the thing that tells the stiffness of the shaft when they lock it in a vice and twang it). Unfortunately, it's really useless in these capacities. I have a frequency machine, but I only use it as a way to measure how consistent a shaft is, aka radial quality. If you care you can find my use for it on Youtube at the Mobile Clubmaker. Beyond that, not much use to it. A club fitter will tell you that a shaft is incredibly important. It's a rocket engine in their minds. That's just not true. The goal of a shaft is to return the club head to the back of the ball in the position you put it in. It's on you. A shaft can only influence two things. Launch height and direction, but only left direction (for RH golfers and vice versa for LH). A more flexible shaft can allow the club head to flex forward and more closed, meaning higher, more left launch. But this is only the case for certain golfers who load the shaft at the appropriate time. For golfers with an early release, it doesn't matter. The shaft has already flexed and returned to neutral before you get to the ball. All this is to say, if you have issues hitting it high enough or not closing the face enough at impact, a shaft can help you but that's all it can do.

What you should focus on with shafts in my opinion is in this order.

1. Weight- by far the most important spec on a shaft, as it can influence the swing to the greatest extent.

2. Consistency- does the shaft flex consistently around it's circumference. Older shafts, especially graphite could be very inconsistent. Modern carbon fiber shafts are much better but can still be inconsistent, steel for the most part is very consistent.

3. Balance point- only an issue with carbon fiber. Influences swing weight, how the club feels and therefore can influence the swing.

4. Bend profile- used to be called kick point. Refers to how and where the shaft bends which can influence the launch height and direction we already discussed.

5. Price- depending on the golfer this can be higher up the list.

6. Torque, Paint color- torque don't worry about, some people like to talk about it, but it's not worth mentioning here.

After all these, you can pick the flex that works for your swing. But remember, the shaft's flex is directly related to the head weight and the length. A heavier head or longer shaft will make the shaft more flexible.

As for weight and lofts. Weights can be off from iron to iron. Depending who builds them or the brand, there can be discrepancies. Will it be enough for you to notice? Depends on the person and the amount. Did you notice the weight issues from your 845s. Assuming they were 845?

Lofts can also be off either right from the factory or for extended use. Never a bad idea to have your lofts and lie angles checked every so often.

As for your driver loft, lie, and face angle issues. I would be skeptical about that measurement of 12 or 13 degrees loft at the 9 degree setting. That is way outside of any manufacturing tolerance. I not saying they did this on purpose but I can take any driver and based on how I set it in the machine, or where I measure on the face, I can get huge variations in loft on the same club. The key to measuring a driver is to minimize variables and I just don't know if they did that. If you really want to know if those numbers are correct, I would be happy to measure it for you if you ship it to me. Just pay for shipping both ways.

Face angles will change when you alter the loft on an adjustable hosel. Different drivers will also be either closed, open, or square. However this only matters if you play the driver from this position and don't manually adjust your setup at address. I can take a open faced driver, close the face at setup and hit hooks with it and like wise with a closed face driver. Lie angle will also change on the driver when adjusting it, however this is of little importance with a low lofted club like a driver.

Sorry this response really got long. Basic summation, some of what they addressed was correct/important, some of it not. If you have more questions let me know. I realize I kind of went all over the place here.

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For anyone interested in what a shaft frequency analyzer does, and doesn't do, check out "Shaft flex vs Swing speed ratings" by Tom Wishon.  

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I think my grips were in ok shape but maybe I don’t know what bad shape is for grips. They have the original grips on them and the clubs are almost 20 years old so maybe they were bad lol

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Adjustable drivers do not change loft. Driver loft is manufactured into the club head . An adjustable driver just spins the head on a kind of cam opening or closing the face. If you grip an old fixed driver open or closed you will affect the loft at impact. Sounds like these guys did everything in their power to sell you their clubs. I have a similar frequency machine and it’s just a guide. It will give different readings based on the firmness of the grip. 

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They didn’t even offer to sell me clubs. They offered to correct one of my clubs and if I wanted my entire bag done it was 70 bucks. Which is insanely cheap. That is to reshaft and grip all my clubs. 

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4 hours ago, Waddaplaya said:

They didn’t even offer to sell me clubs. They offered to correct one of my clubs and if I wanted my entire bag done it was 70 bucks. Which is insanely cheap. That is to reshaft and grip all my clubs. 

Wha...wha...what? $70 to reshaft and grip all your clubs? 

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7 hours ago, tinker said:

Adjustable drivers do not change loft. Driver loft is manufactured into the club head . An adjustable driver just spins the head on a kind of cam opening or closing the face. If you grip an old fixed driver open or closed you will affect the loft at impact. Sounds like these guys did everything in their power to sell you their clubs. I have a similar frequency machine and it’s just a guide. It will give different readings based on the firmness of the grip. 

They do actually change loft. I am guessing you are referring to Tom Wishon where he talks about this, but unfortunately he has skin in the game and is a bit biased in my opinion. The hosel adapters change the hosel angle into the ball, tilting it back (grip away from the target) to decrease the loft and tilting it towards the target to increase the loft. Now it is true when this happens, it influences the face angle. Angling the shaft back to drop the loft will cause the head to fall open when set squarely and do the opposite when angled forward. Now it does become a matter of semantics in how we describe what this new club is, because the head obviously has not physically changed, so that if you sole it on the ground, and disregard the shaft, it has not changed in loft. This is Tom Wishon's argument. However I would argue that golfers will do two things consistently when setting up to hit the driver. First, they will have the club extending down at a certain angle or shaft lean. I don't know of any golfer who changes this based on hosel changes. It doesn't happen. If you like your setup with 2 degrees of forward shaft lean, that is what you will do. Likewise, the golfer will manually adjust any face angle bias to what they prefer. I have not seen many golfers set up with a face angle other than square to the target. I realize there are a few who may close it to fight a slice or open for a hook, but most will just try and aim it down the target line. When that is done, loft adjustments from the hosel sleeve are realized and do influence launch.

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Wha...wha...what? $70 to reshaft and grip all your clubs? 

I think that’s what he told me. I will find out for sure when I pick my six iron and report back. 

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I disagree. If I play with my hand position and a square face, and I rotate the head closed to add loft I now have toeither change my hand position to get back to square or rotate the face back which negates the adjustment I just made.

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On 6/2/2019 at 6:30 PM, tinker said:

I disagree. If I play with my hand position and a square face, and I rotate the head closed to add loft I now have toeither change my hand position to get back to square or rotate the face back which negates the adjustment I just made.

You lost me here. If you open the face of any club you add loft, close it and subtract loft. If I open my driver face 3 degrees, my static loft from that position will be 1.5 degrees higher. This is independent of the hosel adjustments.

To argue against the static loft changes from a hosel adapter change, you would also have to argue against the idea of bending the lofts strong or weak on irons. The premise is identical in both.

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My point is if you turn an adjustable head closed to add loft then address the ball turning the face back because you don’t like a closed face at adress( I don’t) what did you accomplish?

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38 minutes ago, tinker said:

if you turn an adjustable head closed to add loft

But that’s not how it works right? Closing the head decreases loft.

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2 hours ago, tinker said:

My point is if you turn an adjustable head closed to add loft then address the ball turning the face back because you don’t like a closed face at adress( I don’t) what did you accomplish?

Yes, if you do that you've increased the loft just like it's supposed to work. When you increase the loft on a adjustable hosel, you push the shaft forward of the face. Now if you take that new hosel position and return the shaft to neutral, perpendicular to the ground, it will fall closed if you just balance it in your fingers. However, if you setup to the ball and square the face to your target, the loft will have increased.

People will argue that this takes away the fitting element of face angle, but I would argue that face angle is not and should not be grouped into the category of club fitting at all. It's not fitting, it's a set up element. Just like ball position or tee height.

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Face angle is the first thing I look at in a driver. I don’t like a closed look at all. I prefer something that looks a hair open. I also don’t like shaft forward in a driver, I like an onset look. I 

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