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onthehunt526

Your Equipment Probably Isn't Specced Correctly

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The following is based on facts that I can show videos to prove.

Your clubs in your bag are probably not built for you properly. Yes, I said it. but I can tell you why. Anything that is mass produced, has manufacturing tolerences. Golf clubs are no exception. Your 7-iron's lie is stated at 62-63 degrees plus or minus for your dynamic fitted numbers. The tolerance is usually +/- 1 degree. But some OEMs I will not name names, can be off as much as 4-5 degrees on stated lie. Which leads me to the next angle clubs are measured with. Loft. Another tolerance of +/- 1 degree with your major OEMs... all I can say is get them checked they are usually off. 

Swingweight is typically between D1 and D2 standard in irons. I would be willing to bet you if you take a set of irons off the rack, I'd be willing to bet that they are not within .3 swingweight points throughout your iron set. 

I'm not trying to bust anyone's balls here, it's just simple fact. My suggestion is to go get your clubs checked... It's an eye opening experience.

I'll put the videos up, if there is enough hoopla.

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Hmm... you're not naming names, but my reading says irons and your signature says TaylorMade irons, so...

Even with cast irons, should I get mine checked?

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1 minute ago, Shindig said:

Hmm... you're not naming names, but my reading says irons and your signature says TaylorMade irons, so...

Even with cast irons, should I get mine checked?

Yes, typically lie angles won't change even if forged clubs. The only thing in the mix that should change is loft. And lofts will only get softer (weaker) over time, not stronger. 

Here's a video to show you what I mean.

Warning: NSFW.

 

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A pro at a high-grade local public course has a reputation as a good clubfitter.

He told me than when he fits and orders a set for a golfer, he always has it shipped to his shop. Then, he checks the loft and lie of the irons against factory specs. He said that for most OEMs, he finds two irons enough off of spec to require tweaking before he hands over the set to the golfer.

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While there may be some clubs that fall well outside of the spec tolerances I would argue most modern clubs are pretty close. Beware of club makers and fitters who will take your current clubs and start "measuring" them to show how far off they are. I can take an iron without you knowing it and make it come out vastly different depending on how I choose to measure and place in the machine. This can be done on purpose or just from laziness/ lack of experience. Same with woods. Also there are a couple things I noticed from that video that are just wrong. I didn't watch the whole video, just skipped around and saw these pieces. 

First you can most definitely change the loft of clubs over time in the strong direction from repeated strikes. Clubs don't just get weaker. That being said most clubs will not move much over time.

Second, spray on the face is not how to tell lie angle. Unreliable at best, useless at worst. Need to do a vertical line check which anyone can do on the range by themselves, or go and hit off a Trackman or GC Quad etc that measures face angles and path.

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53 minutes ago, Adam C said:

While there may be some clubs that fall well outside of the spec tolerances I would argue most modern clubs are pretty close.

I've measured every club I've ever gotten and haven't found one that's off by > 1° on any of the measurements. I think the OP's case is over-stated.

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Where do these numbers come from? 

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

I've measured every club I've ever gotten and haven't found one that's off by > 1° on any of the measurements. I think the OP's case is over-stated.

Exactly. This is club fitting shenanigans more often than it should be. Take a bunch of measurements with your current clubs to show how wrong they are either for you or against spec, and then swoop in to the rescue with all the fixes you can make until you're buying a new set or spending $100 per iron to get them "fixed".

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I don't have a lot of experience with loft/lie machines, but I did learn it's very easy to get the wrong measurements if you use it improperly, which also means it's very easy to do on purpose.

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I my swing was consistent enough that a couple of degrees makes a difference. I have my clubs dialed in for me in terms of distance, etc. My hat is off to those that can tell the difference in a few degrees on their clubs.

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On 6/17/2019 at 12:14 AM, onthehunt526 said:

The following is based on facts that I can show videos to prove.

Your clubs in your bag are probably not built for you properly. Yes, I said it. but I can tell you why. Anything that is mass produced, has manufacturing tolerences. Golf clubs are no exception. Your 7-iron's lie is stated at 62-63 degrees plus or minus for your dynamic fitted numbers. The tolerance is usually +/- 1 degree. But some OEMs I will not name names, can be off as much as 4-5 degrees on stated lie. Which leads me to the next angle clubs are measured with. Loft. Another tolerance of +/- 1 degree with your major OEMs... all I can say is get them checked they are usually off. 

Swingweight is typically between D1 and D2 standard in irons. I would be willing to bet you if you take a set of irons off the rack, I'd be willing to bet that they are not within .3 swingweight points throughout your iron set. 

I'm not trying to bust anyone's balls here, it's just simple fact. My suggestion is to go get your clubs checked... It's an eye opening experience.

I'll put the videos up, if there is enough hoopla.

100 percent agree. This is a post of mine from a few weeks ago: 

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.

20 hours ago, Adam C said:

Exactly. This is club fitting shenanigans more often than it should be. Take a bunch of measurements with your current clubs to show how wrong they are either for you or against spec, and then swoop in to the rescue with all the fixes you can make until you're buying a new set or spending $100 per iron to get them "fixed".

Although I did find it to be the case that my irons were all over the place, the fitter did measure them himself like Adam mentioned and then wanted to charge me 70 per club to rebuild a 20 year set of Tommy Armour cast irons. So it would have been 700 bucks to do the remaining bag.

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12 hours ago, Waddaplaya said:

100 percent agree. This is a post of mine from a few weeks ago: 

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.

Although I did find it to be the case that my irons were all over the place, the fitter did measure them himself like Adam mentioned and then wanted to charge me 70 per club to rebuild a 20 year set of Tommy Armour cast irons. So it would have been 700 bucks to do the remaining bag.

Interesting post @Waddaplaya. I'm not trying to say that all clubs are necessarily like this, @iacas. All I'm trying to point out is when consumers buy clubs off the rack, or get a "custom fitting" where the golfer gets his clubs built to his/her specifications, they may not be the proper specs due to manufacturing tolerances, etc.

And lie boards seem to do exactly that "lie". A lie board is usually a thick 9" by 12" sheet of plastic a 1/2" thick. I'm not trying to say golf club fitters are terrible. They aren't. All I'm saying is a custom-build is better than a custom-fit. 

When I was fit for my Exotics clubs 2 winters ago, my fitter doesn't write say 2° upright or 1° flat. He actually takes the time to write the lie angle for all irons fitted for the set. Tour Edge is actually really good about custom builds if you're willing to wait a few extra days for the custom department to build your clubs. 

As far as shaft flex is concerned, the closest thing to standard that there is would be the FCM chart. And shafts can be frequency matched. It's actually a relatively simple process of taking an uncut shaft and placing it on a frequency oscillator and matching the numbers.

My point is when you purchase mass produced golf clubs, your "standard" specs of lie, loft, swingweight, shaft flex, total club weight, face angle, etc. May be and probably are slightly off of their stated specs. 

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On ‎6‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 12:14 AM, onthehunt526 said:

The tolerance is usually +/- 1 degree. But some OEMs I will not name names, can be off as much as 4-5 degrees on stated lie.

I never had this experience and I've had Pings, Taylormade, Mizuno, and Srixon irons. It's pretty easy to tell by eye that you are 4-5 degrees off.

21 hours ago, Waddaplaya said:

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

This is incorrect. Nearly all golf shaft manufacturers have golf shaft selection guides on their website. Also, getting fit will eliminate this issue. If you are fit properly, then just buy the same golf shaft if the club is damaged.

21 hours ago, Waddaplaya said:

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

Shaft flex is a small part. Heck, a shorter golf shaft will flex less. Also, club designers take into account that a longer golf shaft will be slightly more flexible in how they design the clubhead to achieve good launch angles.

In the end, there is a lot more going on. If you go to a golf shaft manufacturer like Diamana, you'll see the bend profiles of the golf shafts. These matter more. When I got fitted for wedges I could not hit the C-Taper wedge shafts. I could hit shots with the KBS Tour. These two golf shafts are not that far off in terms of being heavy stout golf shafts. In the end, the bend profile matter way more.  

21 hours ago, Waddaplaya said:

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.

Is he measuring it exactly how Ping would?

21 hours ago, Waddaplaya said:

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

So you were not properly fit for swing weight?

21 hours ago, Waddaplaya said:

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

Depends on the manufacturer. Some actually design the adjustment to counteract this.

 

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My experience was with a set of Tommy Armour clubs bought off the rack. The manufacturers are not extremely consistent with mass built clubs, which is the point of the post. No I was not fit for those irons. The swing weights were more then 2 swing weights off between clubs. 

In terms of shaft flexes I meant there is no standard overall between companies. I understand you can get custom fit for everything under the sun. However if you wanted to buy a shaft from specs you had from a previous fitting then you should be able to figure out where the flexes fall from company to company without purchasing them and testing them for frequency. 

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11 minutes ago, Waddaplaya said:

My experience was with a set of Tommy Armour clubs bought off the rack. The manufacturers are not extremely consistent with mass built clubs, which is the point of the post. No I was not fit for those irons. The swing weights were more then 2 swing weights off between clubs. 

If your experience is only a set of Tommy Armour clubs, then how can you state for certainty that all manufacturers are not extremely consistent.

I can tell you that I have visited the PING facility and saw their process. They take great care in making sure clubs are at spec. They have processes in place to insure this.

13 minutes ago, Waddaplaya said:

However if you wanted to buy a shaft from specs you had from a previous fitting then you should be able to figure out where the flexes fall from company to company without purchasing them and testing them for frequency. 

Sounds like sour grapes to me.

If you want a closer guide, go to Titleist, Taylormade, Callaway, Mizuno, ect... and check their custom option guides. They all have a golf shaft comparison chart. You can easily find a golf shaft close enough.

Again, flex is a very small component.

Heck go to KBS's website. You can get a C-TAPER 120+ gram x-stiff golf shaft and it will feel completely different than a KBS Tour 120+ gram x-stiff shaft.

If you look at the generic specs, they are identical.

What you are asking for is impossible. That is why club fitting matters for those who care about being precise with what they buy.

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I am not claiming for certainty that all manufacturers are not extremely consistent. I am providing some data from a specific experience I had to support the original post that clubs bought off of the rack or bought from Ping like my second set were not extremely consistent. Take the information however you like. I am not sour about anything. I just find it interesting and am glad I had the experience. I certainly would like to take specs from a fitting and apply it to other clubs I may want to purchase in the future instead of paying 150+ every time I purchase new clubs. 

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8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

I'm not trying to say that all clubs are necessarily like this, @iacas. All I'm trying to point out is when consumers buy clubs off the rack, or get a "custom fitting" where the golfer gets his clubs built to his/her specifications, they may not be the proper specs due to manufacturing tolerances, etc.

I do feel as though you're over-stating the case:

On 6/17/2019 at 12:14 AM, onthehunt526 said:

The following is based on facts that I can show videos to prove.

What are you "proving" exactly? That occasionally something can be off?

On 6/17/2019 at 12:14 AM, onthehunt526 said:

Your clubs in your bag are probably not built for you properly.

If that's what you're trying to "prove" or claim you can "prove" you'd lose with me. I haven't had to adjust any set of clubs I've gotten - and I've received and measured over 30 sets of irons alone in the last decade. Not one has needed any sort of adjustment like you claim.

On 6/17/2019 at 12:14 AM, onthehunt526 said:

But some OEMs I will not name names, can be off as much as 4-5 degrees on stated lie.

Another outrageous claim I don't think you can actually back up.

8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

All I'm trying to point out is when consumers buy clubs off the rack, or get a "custom fitting" where the golfer gets his clubs built to his/her specifications, they may not be the proper specs due to manufacturing tolerances, etc.

And, again, I simply think you're over-stating this.

8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

And lie boards seem to do exactly that "lie". A lie board is usually a thick 9" by 12" sheet of plastic a 1/2" thick. I'm not trying to say golf club fitters are terrible. They aren't. All I'm saying is a custom-build is better than a custom-fit. 

Most lie boards are much thinner than that, not that the thickness matters.

And lie boards don't "lie" - they simply do a simple job, and if you understand what they do, you can use the information they provide.

8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

When I was fit for my Exotics clubs 2 winters ago, my fitter doesn't write say 2° upright or 1° flat. He actually takes the time to write the lie angle for all irons fitted for the set. Tour Edge is actually really good about custom builds if you're willing to wait a few extra days for the custom department to build your clubs.

If you know what the standard lie angle is for that club, saying 1° flat might be exactly the same as saying "58°".

8 hours ago, onthehunt526 said:

Tour Edge is actually really good about custom builds if you're willing to wait a few extra days for the custom department to build your clubs.

PING does everything as a custom build and they ship within five days regardless of what you've ordered.

I love ya man, but Tour Edge is not better at this than the "major OEMs." I'm basing this on:

  • personal experience with 30+ sets of irons over the last decade.
  • having toured various factories for PING, Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMade where these clubs are built.
  • talking with industry people.

Of course a club fitter who charges for a fitting is going to put out there that "if you're not using my services, you might be getting screwed…".

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6 hours ago, iacas said:

I do feel as though you're over-stating the case:

What are you "proving" exactly? That occasionally something can be off?

If that's what you're trying to "prove" or claim you can "prove" you'd lose with me. I haven't had to adjust any set of clubs I've gotten - and I've received and measured over 30 sets of irons alone in the last decade. Not one has needed any sort of adjustment like you claim.

Another outrageous claim I don't think you can actually back up.

And, again, I simply think you're over-stating this.

Most lie boards are much thinner than that, not that the thickness matters.

And lie boards don't "lie" - they simply do a simple job, and if you understand what they do, you can use the information they provide.

If you know what the standard lie angle is for that club, saying 1° flat might be exactly the same as saying "58°".

PING does everything as a custom build and they ship within five days regardless of what you've ordered.

I love ya man, but Tour Edge is not better at this than the "major OEMs." I'm basing this on:

  • personal experience with 30+ sets of irons over the last decade.
  • having toured various factories for PING, Callaway, Titleist, TaylorMade where these clubs are built.
  • talking with industry people.

Of course a club fitter who charges for a fitting is going to put out there that "if you're not using my services, you might be getting screwed…".

@iacas, I'm not going to discount your experience in this subject matter, you've been at this a helluva lot longer than I have. In your experience you've had no issues. I respect that and respect your opinion. 

But let me ask you specifically, do you think if you took 5 identical Taylormade 7-irons off the rack, for example, and checked their lie angle, loft angle, swingweight, gross weight, etc. In your opinion do you think they would spec out exactly the same? I think maybe within Taylormade's tolerances, but if we were being exact, probably not.

@Waddaplaya mentioned above about adjustable hosel drivers. I found an article that our friend Tom Wishon wrote a few years back, but I believe it still holds true.

http://wishongolf.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/adjustable-hosel-drivers.pdf

One more question, Erik. Do you think custom-built is better or custom-fit?

 

Edited by onthehunt526

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