January 25

Shaft Tip Weights: Are We Doing It Wrong?

Golf Club Fitting

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When we talk about swing weight, it's usually how to increase it.

It's a great idea, and using shaft tip weights to accomplish this is, as well.  But what if we've been doing it wrong all this time?

Having the correct swing weight for your swing and "golf strength is important.  If you can feel the club head throughout the swing, it increases you sense of timing.  That not only helps your backswing to downswing transition, but your release, as well.

But the traditional way of doing it isn't good.

What are we doing wrong?

First, let's take a look at traditional wood shaft tip weights, and I'll explain what I mean.  There's also a solution, I promise!

The traditional shaft tip weight

I should start here by saying that I really don't have a problem with iron shaft tip weights.  They're actually smartly made.  If you're looking for an alternative there, check out this video from the DIY Golfer.  He shows his method on a steel shaft; I don't recommend this for graphite, though.  

It's the wood shaft weights I take an exception to.  Look at this:

8 gram and 2 gram shaft weights

These are traditional wood shaft tip weights.  The smaller one on the right is a 2-gram model; the long one on the left is an 8-gram version.

Now, if you're only adding two grams, no biggie, right?

Wrong.  Look at that disk, where the majority of the weight is located.  It's about 1/8" thick!

That's where my dislike for shaft weights comes into play: I don't like giving up any amount of shaft for bonding to the hosel.  The more surface area you have, the better/more secure bond.  I sure as hell don't want to sacrifice even an eighth of an inch!

The 8-gram version is, in my opinion, even more egregious.  That long-as-hell stem is another No-Go for me, as well.  Check this out:

with shaft tip weight installed
without shaft weight installed

Cobra's hosel adapter, like the others, are very similar to a non-adapter model's hosel.  Notice in the left pic, with the shaft tip weight installed, it sits flush to the mark I made (where the tip pin's stem stops)?  Now, look at the pic on the right; see how it scrunches down that tape mark?

That's a good amount of shaft-to-hosel area you're giving up.

If there's something inside the hosel that moves up past where the "mouth" meets the shaft, it'll cause a shear point.

What's a "shear point"?

To put it bluntly, if anything gets in that area above the hosel/tip adapter, it increases the risk of breakage.  If someone gets too happy with the epoxy, it can be forced up the shaft hole.  If it gets too far in there, when it hardens, it can cause premature breakage.

I know, because I was like that, back in the beginning.  I thought "it's better to have too much than not enough".

If we're talking about the amount of screws or nails for a handyman job, sure...  But there's a point where it can be too much for shaft epoxy.  Shove that glue too far, you greatly increase your chance of a breakage.  I did- on my first two drivers (that I built for myself, thankfully)!

What's this have to do with shaft tip weights?

It's the same predicament.  If that "stem" is too far in, it creates a shear point, and you're risking early failure for an increase in swing weight.  The pictures above show the 8-gram weight is right on the borderline of creating a shear point. 

Not good, in my opinion.

But what's a golfer that needs timing help to do?  

Enter: The Wishon Solution.

This, in my humble opinion, is fantastic.

First, let me stop and say that there are other alternatives.  If we base this on a need to alter the swing weight four "points":

  • You can use lead tape.  A 4" by 0.5" strip is about two grams; it takes two grams in the head to make one swing weight "point" change... for a 4 point change, that's 16 inches of lead tape you have to find room for! 
  • There are rubber-tungsten "stickers" you can add.  Each little square is 2 grams, or one swing weight "point"; if you need to make a 4 "point" change, that's 4 stickers you have to find places to stick them to.
  • You can switch to a heavier shaft.  This is dependent on the golfer.  If they aren't strong enough to switch from a 50g shaft to a 90g model (it's generally 10 grams in the shaft to make 1 "point" change), it negates everything you're trying to accomplish.
  • You can find a lighter grip model.  Four grams in the grip equals one "point".  So, if the grip's 48 grams, you need to find one that's 16 grams lighter.  But you're really only "tricking" the swing weight scale.
  • Use a combination of the above.  There's less tape/stickers, only a slightly heavier shaft, and a slightly lighter grip.  But it's a lot of excessive searching.

But what if there was a better solution?

Because really, if you find your best performance with a certain shaft, and you like a certain grip, but you just need a heavier swing weight, why not just make it easier on yourself?

You could use Wishon clubs, with their drop-in shaft weights.  Like this:

Wishon hosel weight bore diagram

Wishon builds all their clubs with a port below the hosel.  Add a little epoxy to the sides of the weight plug, then just drop into the hosel.  Along with the help from the epoxy, the shaft "traps" it inside.

Here's what their weights look like:

wishon 2-gram hosel weight

Now compare that to the standard tip weight:

standard tip weight vs. wishon tip weight

It's much cleaner, and as a golf club builder, I appreciate not having to give up any of the golf shaft/hosel surface area.  I get the whole thing to make the best, safest bond possible! 

  • Step ONE
  • Step Two
  • Step Three
shaft weight inside the hosel bore

See what I mean?  The brass color of the shaft weight really shows up in this picture.  

Now, different metals are used to ensure the dimensions are the same, yet the weights vary.  Brass is used in the 2- and 4-gram models, lead in the 6- and 9-gram models. 

This is one of those things that makes me a happy supplier of Wishon Golf clubs at the Green Lantern Golf Store.  I can build you clubs that are both functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing and safer!


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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