April 20

Building Golf Clubs- Trials & Tribulations

Golf Club Fitting


Building golf clubs isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.  Sometimes, you get some tough jobs.

The toughest job I’ve ever done was reshafting a Hammer driver.  Yes, that driver…


If you managed to sit through that whole video, you are my hero.  I still can’t do it.  It even wakes me up in a dead sleep when I have the TV set to the Golf Channel.

Anyway, a guy tasked me for a reshaft job on his Hammer, built to specs similar to his gamer, a Cobra.

building golf clubs with the Hammer
The Bane of My Existance

He wanted a Grafalloy ProLite 35 installed.  Not that big of a deal, but his Cobra was 46.5″, which is what the Hammer was to be built to.

RELATED: The Ultimate Driver Guide!

I tried talking him out of it, but that was what he was comfortable with.

building golf clubs with the Hammer

The Hammer isn’t exactly conducive to helping with shots away from the “sweet spot”.  Well, no driver truly is; a shot hit with an open face will still result in a slice.  The Hammer, however, isn’t especially high on the list.

But the customer’s always right.  Yes, I’ll do my best to convince you otherwise, but my priority is your happiness.  Building golf clubs, fitting golf clubs, go much smoother when it’s a collaboration.

building golf clubs with the Hammer

Related: How I blueprint your golf club build (woods)

As you can see, the inside diameter of the hosel is .350″.  Yeah, it’s .004″ larger, but that’s not something to freak out about when building golf clubs.  My old Sasquatch was .339″, even though it’s stated as .335″.  “Manufacturing tolerances” is what that’s called.

Because the customer had his heart set on the ProLite, a .335″ shaft, that meant a shim was needed.  Again, no big deal.  It happens more than you might think, and doesn’t do anything other than allow a smaller-diameter shaft to fit into larger-diameter hosels.

I feel there’s a point of diminishing returns.  I’ve never thought it a good idea to try to put a .335″ shaft in a .370 hosel, for instance.  That seems like a recipe for disaster.

I consider myself an experimenter, but even I have my limits!

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building golf clubs with the Hammer
the finished product

He wanted a Black Widow “widow-maker” grip installed.  Nice grip- and inexpensive, if you’re in the market for one.

The problem was when he went to hit it.  I knew what the outcome was going to be… but it didn’t make it suck less.

First drive on the range and it curves right.  It was painful seeing that quick flash of dejection, like he really wanted it to be just like the commercial.

It’s important to be fitted for whatever stick you’re wanting to buy

I think if I would’ve been able to build it shorter and up the swing weight, it could’ve been.

The good news was, he was one of those “cool customers”.  He knew he was buying what amounted to an experiment, and he played it off like it was nothing.  But I still caught that look.

The point I’m making is, even if everything goes right, it can still go wrong.  It’s important to be fitted for whatever stick you’re wanting to buy, whether it’s a brand new club, a used club from Ebay, or something you saw on an informercial at 4:30 in the morning.

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About the author 

Justin Blair

Justin Blair is the founder of Green Lantern Golf. When he isn't bringing his 10+ years of excellent craftsmanship experience to golf club fitting, building, and repair, he's geeking out about Star Wars (he's watched them all about 8,437 times!) and things like the MCU and LOTR, he's drinking mead and craft brews. If you wanna know more, check out my About Page!

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