Retrofitting Golf Clubs: Revive Old Gear!

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Ever hear the term “retrofitting”?

Straight from Merriam-Webster:

Full Definition of retrofit

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1:  to furnish (as a computer, airplane, or building) with new or modified parts or equipment not available or considered necessary at the time of manufacture

  3. 2:  to install (new or modified parts or equipment) in something previously manufactured or constructed

  4. 3:  to adapt to a new purpose or need :  modify <retrofit the story for a new audience>

How does this apply to golf clubs?  Easy; whenever you retrofit a golf club, you change something about it.

Some examples:

  • Changing the shafts; either replacing them with the same shaft in a different flex, or from steel to graphite (or vice versa), etc.
  • Altering the Lie Angle of irons, wedges, or the putter
  • Replacing the grips, which includes increasing or decreasing the grip size

It can also include altering the length, the set makeup, or a number of other things, as well.

Retrofitting golf clubs literally allows you to revive old gear.

Here’s a very basic example of retrofitting a golf club.  See that lone piece of lead tape?  While normally lead tape is used to increase the swing weight (head heft) of a golf club, it can also be used to bring a head more in line with the rest of the set.



What I mean is, there are manufacturing tolerances.  Every club that’s mass-produced has them.  One of the things that can happen is, the head weight can be a little off.

Normally, there is a seven gram difference between each club.  The 4 iron’s seven grams lighter than the 5, the 5 iron’s seven grams lighter than the 6, etc.

When looking at this little piece of tape, it should be known that that isn’t anything significant.  Maybe a couple of grams.  But what I did was bringing up the weight of the PW so that it was more inline with the rest of the set.

It’s about consistency.  If you were a customer of mine, this is the level of detail you’d get.  Of course, you have the option to use lead tape or tip pins inside the hosel; for myself, I use tape, but some people don’t like that.

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The Cost of Retrofitting Golf Clubs

The cost of retrofitting golf clubs varies.  For me, there’s a set rate for labor; where the change occurs is dependent on what components you want to you.  If you want an expensive shaft to replace what you have, that’s going to cost more than if you were to choose a less expensive option, obviously.

I really like the comparison to suits.  To me, they’re very similar.  Comparing to cars works, as well, though.

The good tailors will tell you if having an old suit retrofitted will cost you more than buying a new tailored suit.

I’d like to think that the fitters that do retrofitting (not all of them do, sadly…) will be honest with you in the same manner.  I know I would, but I won’t speak for everyone.

About the Author

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!