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 weights. They tip weights 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:
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:
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, 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 get a breakage. I did- on my first two drivers (that I built for myself, thankfully)!
What's this have to do with shaft 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:
- You can use lead tape. A 4" by 0.5" strip is about two grams; what if you need 8 or 10 grams added? 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; if you need 8 grams added to the head 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 9-10 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 builds all their clubs with a port below the hosel. You drop in their weight and the shaft "traps" it inside.
Here's what their weights look like:
Now compare that to the standard 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
You start out with the empty hosel bore. Don't worry; the difference is quite noticeable!
What you can't see is, you want to slather some of the epoxy that you'll make for the shaft onto the hosel weight. This is one of the two ways the weight will be snug inside the 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!