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Mike Boatright

Super-Lightweight Drivers That Don't Hit the Ball as Far

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A lot of tour guys add weight to the head of their drivers making it 200+ grams and I think stock heads range from 180 to 200 correct? So my question is how light can it get before it no longer becomes hittable? I have one driver head I cut in half making it about 80 grams or so. It's so light that I can swing it 115 mph with ease and actually feels kinda good. It is of course un hittable because it lacks mass but sometime in the future as tech advances this might not be the case. We could see amateurs dipping into the 120 mph speed range quite often.

e592c89dd5edd5dc6d717d477052e419.jpg

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16 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

A lot of tour guys add weight to the head of their drivers making it 200+ grams and I think stock heads range from 180 to 200 correct?

180-210 grams typically. 

16 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

So my question is how light can it get before it no longer becomes hittable? 

You have a floor you probably can't go below just for the integrity of the shaft and clubhead. In the end it has to be legal by the USGA. Also it has to be durable enough to survive thousand upon thousands of golf ball strikes. I remember Phil broke his Callaway driver multiple times during one season because it has a composite material crown on it that wasn't supportive enough. 

I think Cleveland made a super light golf club with a 40 or 50 gram golf shaft before. It was 270 grams total. You have a 40 gram grip. So, they were in the 180 gram range for the club head. 

For a faster swing speed it just gets too hard to control. If you are talking about 40-60 grams of weight between lightweight drivers and heavier drivers then you wouldn't see significant clubhead speed improvements. 

16 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

We could see amateurs dipping into the 120 mph speed range quite often.

I doubt it. The arm speed isn't there. You wouldn't see a significant increase in club head speed if you keep lowering the weight. I doubt many amateurs would like the feel of a very light clubhead. 

 

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23 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

 We could see amateurs dipping into the 120 mph speed range quite often.

Not likely to increase ball speed, though.

http://www.tutelman.com/golf/clubs/headweight1.php#Constant_Club_Length

 

Clubhead mass Clubhead speed
(MPH)
Ball speed
(MPH)
Carry
(Yards)
Ounces Grams
1 28 132 85 <100
2 57 126 118 156
4 113 117 140 206
6 170 110 146 218
8 227 104 147 219
10 283 100 145 216
12 340 96 142 210
16 454 90 138 200
24 680 81 128 178

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2 hours ago, Lihu said:

Not likely to increase ball speed, though.

http://www.tutelman.com/golf/clubs/headweight1.php#Constant_Club_Length

 

Clubhead mass Clubhead speed
(MPH)
Ball speed
(MPH)
Carry
(Yards)
Ounces Grams
1 28 132 85 <100
2 57 126 118 156
4 113 117 140 206
6 170 110 146 218
8 227 104 147 219
10 283 100 145 216
12 340 96 142 210
16 454 90 138 200
24 680 81 128 178

Interesting cool chart do you think it's correct? 104 mph and a 227 heavy driver would go way farther than 219 yards carry that's more like 250 to 260 carry.

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19 minutes ago, Mike Boatright said:

Interesting cool chart do you think it's correct? 104 mph and a 227 heavy driver would go way farther than 219 yards carry that's more like 250 to 260 carry.

Probably 250 yards if optimized. 

The issue with a lighter clubhead is you are decreasing the amount of energy transferred at impact. 

Smash Factor.JPG

200 gram clubhead with a spin loft of 10 degrees produces a max smash factor of 1.47
113 gram clubhead with a spin loft of 10 degrees produces a max smash factor of 1.28

If you swing a 200 gram clubhead at 115 mph then you would need to swing it at 132 mph to get the same ball speed. That is not going to happen.

Here's the thing. Club makers have been making drivers for a long time. They have studied this. Their biggest selling point is distance. There is a reason why 190-210 grams has been the primary clubhead weight for over a decade now. It just produces the best combination of clubhead speed and energy transfer. 

 

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29 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

The issue with a lighter clubhead is you are decreasing the amount of energy transferred at impact. 

I agree this has been the tried and true method for centuries however maybe there is away around this. Does energy transfer always have to equal weight if it still has mass and stability? The golf ball weighs 1.68 ounces and the thin titanium plate itself doesn't have a lot of mass instead it has solidity and flexibility, The rest of the driver head isn't titanium an is essentially filler to add weight and which contributes to mass and energy transfer. In other words energy transfer doesn't always have to equal weight and reducing a meager 125 grams seems feasible. I for one have swung a 100 gram head after a while it feels normal and you can really pump it up.

Edited by Mike Boatright

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9 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

Does energy transfer always have to equal weight if it still has mass and stability? 

How much speed the ball comes off the clubface is directly related to the following,

1. Spin loft = how glancing of a blow is it in terms of the loft on the club. More lofted clubs = less energy transfer. That is they the smash factor decreases as the loft increases. 

2. The COR of the club. This is the regulated part by the USGA. The max energy transfer coefficient is at 0.830. Basically if the spin loft was zero, then the max smash factor should be on average 1.50 depending on the varying clubhead weight and mass of the golf ball. 

3. The difference in mass between the ball and the clubhead as I showed you above. 

Energy transfer doesn't equal weight, though that is a variable.  It's all based around the physics concept of collisions.

9 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

The rest of the driver head isn't titanium an is essentially filler to add weight and which contributes to mass and energy transfer. 

Ping makes a 100% titanium clubhead ;) 

9 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

 The rest of the driver head isn't titanium an is essentially filler to add weight and which contributes to mass and energy transfer. In other words energy transfer doesn't always have to equal weight and reducing a meager 125 grams seems feasible. I for one have swung a 100 gram head after a while it feels normal and you can really pump it up.

You contradicted your self here. You state that the rest of the body adds weight to help contribute mass and energy transfer. Then you say energy transfer doesn't always have to equal weight. 

How much quicker can a person swing with a lighter club? I don't think they are gaining much. A study was done that shown that a lighter clubshaft doesn't increase swing speed. A clubshaft can vary upwards of 30-40 grams on the extremes. 

The primary issue is that as you get lighter with the clubhead the equivalent speed required to produce the same ball speed as a 200 gram driver head. 

Ball Speed.JPG

Though, as with golf I would say it depends on the golfer. Maybe you get better results from a lighter club or clubhead. 

I would say a person would be hard pressed to gain the swing speed needed to overcome a massive decrease in energy transfer. 

 

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13 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

Interesting cool chart do you think it's correct? 104 mph and a 227 heavy driver would go way farther than 219 yards carry that's more like 250 to 260 carry.

That data is apparently from the 1960s, so you would get longer distances from modern equipment and optimized launch conditions. But the optimal weight is likely still around 200 grams, with a range of 170-240 grams producing not much difference in distance (lower weights producing higher speeds, about the same distance).

 

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14 hours ago, Mike Boatright said:

Interesting cool chart do you think it's correct? 104 mph and a 227 heavy driver would go way farther than 219 yards carry that's more like 250 to 260 carry.

 

1 hour ago, acerimusdux said:

That data is apparently from the 1960s, so you would get longer distances from modern equipment and optimized launch conditions. But the optimal weight is likely still around 200 grams, with a range of 170-240 grams producing not much difference in distance (lower weights producing higher speeds, about the same distance).

 

Further down the page:

 

Clubhead mass
(Grams)
Clubhead speed
(MPH)
Ball speed
(MPH)
Carry
(Yards)
100 121.7 150.3 240
110 119.0 151.0 241
120 116.2 151.1 242
130 113.8 151.1 243
140 111.5 150.8 242
150 109.2 150.1 241
160 107.2 149.3 240
170 105.1 148.3 238
180 103.2 147.1 236
190 101.4 146.1 234
200 99.6 144.8 232
210 98.1 144.0 230
220 96.3 142.5 227
230 94.8 140.8 224
240 93.4 139.8 222

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4 hours ago, saevel25 said:

How much quicker can a person swing with a lighter club? I don't think they are gaining much. A study was done that shown that a lighter clubshaft doesn't increase swing speed. A clubshaft can vary upwards of 30-40 grams on the extremes. 

I didn't contradict my self I was essentially saying the thin titanium plate is really what gives the ball it's boom and the rest is just filler for added mass and stability.

Titanium is very hard to work with and not very plyable so I doub't ping has a 100% titanium 460 cc driver head show me this?

A lighter driver head as I have studied with my swing radar with about 500 swings has shown me the truth in club head speed. Take away 100 grams and I can swing a driver 132 mph,or 115 just swinging in control with a 44 inch driver shaft and 100 gram head,maybe less.. If thy can counteract the mass problem and uses exotic materials then it will happen.

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4 hours ago, saevel25 said:

I would say a person would be hard pressed to gain the swing speed needed to overcome a massive

This is also my point here as tech advances energy transfer will not have to Equal weight. Forget everything that is known as somewhat common knowledge today it's always wrong. It's something to remember when it comes to science,medicine as it's been proven throughout history. 

 

'' Mostly Everything that is known today will one day be incorrect.''

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2 minutes ago, Mike Boatright said:

This is also my point here as tech advances energy transfer will not have to Equal weight. Forget everything that is known as somewhat common knowledge today it's always wrong. It's something to remember when it comes to science,medicine as it's been proven throughout history. 

Yeah, I'm not really following along with the conversation much, but… I would say CoR limits under the Rules would put a stop to whatever you think is going to happen here.

We still live on earth, and so long as we do, conforming golf clubs cannot disregard the laws of golf nor the laws of physics.

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Yeah, I'm not really following along with the conversation much, but… I would say CoR limits under the Rules would put a stop to whatever you think is going to happen here.

We still live on earth, and so long as we do, conforming golf clubs cannot disregard the laws of golf nor the laws of physics.

I'm not saying I have the answer nor am I saying make it illegal. I'm saying make a club with 100 grams or less with the same energy transfer as the 200 gram head within usga legal limits. It seems impossible with the laws of physics i'm saying i'm sure it's not and someone will figure it out. Another topic could be what will golf equipment look like in 20 years?

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9 minutes ago, Mike Boatright said:

This is also my point here as tech advances energy transfer will not have to Equal weight. 

If so then answer me this,

1.How does future tech get past the USGA requirement on initial ball speed for a golf ball off the driver? 

2. How does future tech get past that the USGA limits the coefficient of restitution on the interaction between the ball and the clubface? 

3.  What technology are you exactly talking about here that would give you a lightweight club head yet produce the same effect as hitting it with a heavier club head? You seem to have knowledge of this, please share it. 

As of right now I am not buying anything you say. You've asked question on it. I've given you answers on what is feasible. Yet your response is vague at best. 

 

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2 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

 What technology are you exactly talking about here that would give you a lightweight club head yet produce the same effect as hitting it with a heavier club head? You seem to have knowledge of this, please share it. 

As of right now I am not buying anything you say. You've asked question on it. I've given you answers on what is feasible. Yet your response is vague at best. 

 

No I don't really have the answer persay:-) I do kind of have an idea and it's called optimized weighting vs a lot of wasted weight, For instance take a look at the bottom of your driver it's pointless and is wasted material and weight.

Nike has already started to hollow out their drivers and adding more wight where it's actually needed. In the future they may find a way reduce it to 100 grams optimize the weight where it's needed for faster club head speed same energy transfer and of course being the face is the same titanium and legal cor.

nike_golf_club_design_2_141-681x511.jpg

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1 minute ago, Mike Boatright said:

No I don't really have the answer persay:-) I do kind of have an idea and it's called optimized weighting vs a lot of wasted weight, For instance take a look at the bottom of your driver it's pointless and is wasted material and weight.

Nike has already started to hollow out their drivers and adding more wight where it's actually needed. In the future they may find a way reduce it to 100 grams optimize the weight where it's needed for faster club head speed same energy transfer and of course being the face is the same titanium and legal cor.

A scientist you are not…

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8 minutes ago, iacas said:

A scientist you are not…

You a betting man? No I'n not a scientist either are you or most people. Anyway 100 bucks say's this happens one day ok :dance: Boom I win yup pay to 

paypal@ I win.com ha ha jk.

Edited by Mike Boatright

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Note: This thread is 1625 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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