Blueprinting woods is my way of ensuring you get EXACTLY what you pay for. These will help you play with confidence, to the best of your abilities! Keep reading to find out how I do it!
Blueprinting woods is, in my opinion, a smart way to build your longer clubs.
If you read my post about blueprinting irons, I also it shouldn't surprise you that I like to blueprint woods. Like the irons, I got this method from Joe Kwok, when I was... how to put it... rudderless when I was building clubs? He really helped improve my efficiency!
The problem is, there's more variance in the build time for woods compared to a set of irons.
I really prefer it if you fill out the online fitting form, but if you call me we can make that work, too. This will give me a very good idea on what to do.
If you look at the form, you can see there's a spot for swing speed. I'd prefer it if you had data from some form of launch monitor, but if you don't, the carry distance of your 7-iron will also work.
Step One: Pull Shaft if necessary (5-60 minutes)
Quite a wide variance in time, isn't it? That's the thing with graphite shafts, though: it could take a little bit of time, or it could take a lot.
I use a hydraulic puller, to ensure a clean and straight pull. With steel shafts, I'll use a butane torch to break the epoxy bond, but with woods, I'll switch to an electric heat gun.
The reason is, I don't want to damage the graphite fibers. I feel it's better to take my time and make sure the pull goes smoothly and cleanly than to make it quick and destroy the graphite shaft.
If you're having a new one installed, I still don't want to damage the old shaft... but if you're just having an adjustment to your old one, I definitely don't want to mess that up!
Once the shaft's out, I have to clean the epoxy residue off both the shaft tip and inside the hosel. I'll also throw the head on the scale to find out what the weight is, to start the swing weighting process.
Step Two: Spine and/or FLO the Shaft, if needed (10-15 minutes)
I don't know how you feel about spining and FLOing shafts, but here are Titleist's thoughts on it:
The Titleist Golf Club R&D group has conducted testing with tour and better players to compare performance between shafts that have been PURE'D and shafts that have not. We have never been able to see or measure any performance difference whatsoever. Therefore, we do not feel PURING adds any performance improvement or benefit.
Note that "PURING" and "FLOing" a shaft mean, in essence, the same thing: finding the Flat Line Oscillation (FLO... get it?) of a golf shaft; the orientation inside the head where it wiggles back and forth in a straight line.
Now, there are some that believe wholeheartedly in the process. That's fine... if it's something you want done, I'll be more than happy to make it happen for you. If you don't want it done, we'll skip it.
Step Three: Dry-Fit Head to Shaft and Check CPM's (15-45 minutes)
Here's another area where there can be a big swing in time.
Remember: just because it says "R" or "S" on it, doesn't mean it is. That means there could be some adjusting to the tip to make sure you're getting what you need.
If I have to make adjustments, I'll start with 1/4" cuts. You can always take more off... but you can't put any back! Once I find the correct CPM, it's on to the next step.
Step Four: Calculating Swing Weight
I don't mind using tip pins in iron shafts, but I have to admit that I'm not fond of using them in woods. The reason? They have a thicker tip! Look at this:
What's wrong is, look at the "head" on those tip pins! That's like 1/4" of space that takes away from allowing the shaft to fully seat in the hosel!
Why is this like that? Sorry for ranting...
Anyway, that's why I get leery about adding pins for woods. If they had thinner "heads", sure! But using these... I'd rather use lead tape.
But this isn't about me. It's about you. Of course, if your club head has a weighting system built into it, I'd rather go that route. But if you're OK with tip pins, I'll do it.
Step Five: Install the Ferrule and Epoxy the Head to the Shaft (5-10 minutes)
The process for woods is a little different compared to irons. I'll install the ferrule if need be, mix the epoxy, and install the shaft into the head.
Now, if you have an adapter that doesn't require a ferrule (like what Puma uses), obviously that part is skipped.
Let's stop real quick and discuss what happens with graphite shafts and spining/FLOing. If you don't want the service, the shaft will be oriented so that the logo faces up (unless you request otherwise; some like it to face down). If you want your shaft spined/FLO'd, it's possible that the logo will point somewhere other than up, or the 12:00 position.
Some people are put off by that, so this is a trade-off you need to decide if it's "worth it" to you.
Speaking of adjustable-hosel drivers: I'll set the hosel in the head at the loft that's determined that's best for you first. The shaft will then be oriented in the hosel appropriately.
Now, there's a 24-hour wait...
Step Six: Turn and Clean the Ferrule (10-20 minutes)
Fine-grit sand paper is used to grind the ferrule, so its outside diameter matches the outside diameter of the hosel. After that, acetone is used to clean and polish the ferrule, to make it nice and shiny!
Step Seven: Install the grip (10-20 minutes)
Installing the grip is the last "production" step when I'm blueprinting woods. I make sure it's the correct size, or, if you want a split size, where the top hand (the one closest to the shaft) is larger than the bottom hand, this is when all that takes place.
I can install with air, if you like, or, the traditional method using double-sided tape and grip solvent.
Step Eight: Check and Double Check (10-20 minutes)
This final step involves Quality Control. Ensuring everything's where it's supposed to be, that it's the right size/length/diameter.