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Size: 5 megs
You have 3 choices when it comes to boring out hosels – what is right for me?
You might know a golfer (or be one yourself) who has had a favorite set of irons or wedges for a number of years. But as we all get older, you find out one needs a shaft that is either lighter, more flexible or both. You go to pull the shaft or take it somewhere to do the work only to find out that the hosels are tapered and your options are very, very limited. How limited? We’ll get to that point later.
Cue the crocodile tears
I am not one that is going to weep crocodile tears in this situation as I have had to confront too many customers in this predicament. I simply give them their options and let them decide. The first suggestion is to pay through the nose for a taper tipped shaft if it exists at all in the flex and specifications the customer requires. The reason I say exists, you will only find one senior flex taper tip graphite shaft in our entire catalog. Hey, that is at least one more than all the L-flex shafts you will find. It is also one more than all of the senior flex steel shaft manufactured today.
Sure, you might be able to soft step some of the lighter weight R-flex steel shafts. But if you are on a strict budget, you are going to be in for sticker shock. For those of you unfamiliar with that term, soft stepping refers to the assembly practice of choosing a longer than normal raw length taper tip shaft for the clubhead than suggested by the manufacturer to make it more flexible. Even with this option, you may not be able to get down to the flex you require.
If you are asking why so few choices, It all comes down to a matter of economics. The component industry has worked primarily with parallel tip shafts only. Yes, there are a number of OEMs who use parallel tip shafts too, but many still use taper tip shafts in their irons and wedges, especially those devoted to better players. Those shafts are often made to order for a particular club manufacturer who is going to order thousands upon thousands at a time to fulfill production. A component supplier doesn’t have access to those same shafts. Even if one did, they might sell a few dozen of each raw length and that is not worth the investment for the component distributor or the shaft manufacturer. Enough said…
Option number two
The second option I give is to re-bore the hosel out to accept a 0.370 shaft. If you are wondering if that will cause any problems, the answer is no. This is done routinely by clubmaking and repair shops and it only removes a couple grams of weight. Sure, it might hurt the resale value of the clubs, but is that why you bought them in the first place? I’ll show some tips on re-boring in a bit.
Winner, winner, chicken dinner
In either case mentioned above it is going to cost money for labor just to re-shaft as well as the option of re-boring the hosels out to accept far more options. Remember, you (or your customer) have had those clubs all these years and hopefully you go your money’s worth. Don’t be surprised at all if you opt to have the clubs re-shafted and/or re-bored, it is likely to be more money than you bought them to begin with! You may find that you could get a brand spanking new set of irons or wedges with the shaft weight and flex you need for less. The going rate to re-shaft a single club is $18.95 (not including the cost of the shaft) and re-boring may be another $9.95 per club. Not only is time money, but so is some of the equipment necessary to do the job properly.
What are you going to need to re-bore an iron or wedge correctly? If you think a vise, pair of vise clamps, electric hand drill and a 3/8” or 9.4mm bit is all you need you may be in for a little surprise. You’ll need strong wrists because the first time the drill bit seizes up in the hosel, you will have wished you never tackled the job. It can be done (more easily on forged irons), but taking it slow is the key. You may even want to start out with a smaller drill bit, like a “U” size letter bit, so you are taking less material at a time if re-boring by hand.
The preferred method is using a drill press with a special fixture C-clamped to the base to hold the hosel directly below the drill bit. Obviously this is the set up for a large shop and not for the do-it-yourselfer.
Whether by hand or machine, use slow speeds. Plus use cutting oil to cool down the bit and prolong its life. If you are re-shafting with graphite shafts, you will also need one additional step of countersinking the top of the hosel to prevent premature shaft breakage.
As I see it you have three options; pay through the nose for the shaft specifications you need (if available at all), re-bore the hosels to accept the more plentiful parallel tip shafts or get into the 21st century by buying a brand new set of irons or wedges with shaft weights and flexes suited to your (or your customer’s) strength. But if you decide to re-bore the hosel, hopefully you have a better understanding of what is required and the best method to accomplish the job.
More information of re-boring of a hosel can be found in the Modern Guide to Clubmaking 6th edition.
Markit Spray is proudly made in the USA and is an easy and economical way for club fitters and end consumers alike to get immediate feedback on where they are hitting the ball.
There are several golf training or golf fitting devices commercially available that say they will increase your distance, allow you to hit the ball straighter and reduce you score. However there is one simple product on the market that can do all that. It is called Markit Impact Spray and is will give you immediate visual proof of what you are doing. Best part of all, it is economical and easy to use.
If you have been a Hireko customer for at least two years, you might remember that we briefly sold the Markit Impact Spray, or what I like to refer to as a “coach in a can”. I was very high on this product, not just for personal usage, but for custom club fitters who had been used to impact labels to see where golf ball contact was made on the face of the club. Sadly, I reported the sole proprietor of the product passed away unexpectedly in December of 2012. Just recently, someone purchased the company who made Markit and now we are offering the same great product for sale once again.
How simple is it to use?
If you can shake a can, pop off the cap, point the nozzle toward the club face and depress the sprayer, then you can use this product.
A picture is worth a thousand words
For most people it is far easier to learn and react to something if they have visual evidence rather than relying on feel or what someone else is telling them. This picture is an example of a driver with the Markit sprayed onto the face and what it shows when one hits the ball. The picture clearly shows a driver, but this can be any club in the bag, including a putter.
The top picture shows what we strive for; impact that is consistent and centered in the face. Near the upper portion of the face shows the dimple marks left by impact while down below is the marks from the rubber mat tee.
In contrast, the bottom picture shows general inconsistency. One shot is severally inward toward the heel, one (or more) is almost struck on the crown and others low on the face. With an impact pattern like this, it will be hard to say where one will hit the ball on a consistent basis leading to less confidence and reduced distance.
For a club fitter and their customer, it would be easy to say which head/shaft combination will yield best results by simply looking at impact position on the face. Plus, if a club fitter is using a launch monitor in conjunction with the fitting, the Markit Impact Spray will have absolutely no effect on the ball flight unlike an impact label, which can skew your results.
Even for an end consumer beating balls are their local range, if they see the impact on the face is clustered consistently toward the toe, they can make adjustments. They can either stand slightly closer to the ball and see if that helps improve centeredness of contact. If not, then they know they could be using a club with an incorrect lie angle and have that adjusted (if possible) at their local clubmaking shop. It also help you to learn how high to tee the ball for best results.
How easy is it to clean up?
It comes right off with a wipe of a clean, soft cloth and won’t leave any sticky residue.
How many usages can you get in a can?
There are approximately 225 applications per can. That’s less than 7 cents per usage and more economical than impact labels.
Put your mark on it
Markit is proudly made in the USA and is an easy and economical way for club fitters and end consumers alike to get immediate feedback on where they are hitting the ball. If you weren’t a user before, maybe now is a time get a can and help improve your (or your customers) ball striking and lowering your score.
Markit Impact Spray
50% more dense than lead powder and much safer to handle. Used for increasing swingweight.
One of the hottest trends in golf is the counterweighted golf putter and there are good reasons why.
With anchored belly putters being phased out by the USGA beginning in 2016, golfers are looking for ways to improve their putting that traditional putters can’t provide. More importantly, there will be a large number of golfers who are content with their current conventional putter which will be shocked at how well the new breed of extended length counterbalanced (or counterweighted) putters can exude new life into their short game. We are going to explain how to select the right components and why these putters work.
Selecting the Right Components (Head)
If you think you going to counterweight any putter and make it playable, then pay close attention to these do’s and don’ts. When you counterweight, you are adding weight to the butt end of the club (or putter in this particular example). This shifts the balance point closer to your hands and will have an effect on how “head heavy” the club will be so you have to make sure there is adequate head weight to start. The newer breed of counterbalanced putters comes in the 380-400 gram range. If you scour the specifications of putter heads you will immediately find your choices to be few and far between. Two choices from Hireko that will be prime examples are the Acer i-Sight Santa Rosa and the Bionik 207 Nano Mallet Belly. For those that always feel slighted, the i-Sight model is available for you lefties out there.
Both of the models were originally marketed for belly putters, but their 400g of weight are ideal for building an extended length, non-anchored counterbalanced putter.
There are two new grips just for this type of putter. These are longer than a traditional putter grip, yet shorter than grips designed for belly putters. The Winn Excel 15”Pistol and the Two Thumb Snug Daddy grips (13.5”) are longer so the golfer can grip down roughly 2 or 3” down the grip so our counterweight will be above the hands for the greatest effect. If you try to use a belly putter grip, it will be loose when installed on the shaft without some additional build-up tape and time.
In our examples, both our putters are center-shafted and require a straight putter shaft. The recommended shaft is the Apollo 43” Stepless putter shaft as it has adequate length that it will not need to be extended, plus the parallel butt section (how long is remains a constant butt diameter) is suitable for these extended length grips.
However, if we needed a curved putter shafts to create both the proper lie angle and offset for a putter with a 90º socket or post, then one suitable shaft would be the 44” Apollo Stepless Curved putter shaft as it too will have a long enough parallel butt section.
The majority of the commercially available extended length counterbalanced putters are 38” in length. This is approximately 3” longer than the most common standard length putter (35”). A good rule of thumb if you want a custom putter for yourself or for a customer, add 3” to the length of their traditional length putter. For example, if they normally putt with a 34” model, then make this type of putter 37” instead.
There are different counterweights that we sell for this and other applications and even counterweighted putter grips which leads us to something important – accounting for the grip. The Winn 15” Excel putter grips weighs @ 128 grams. This is considerably more than a normal putter grip, which may come in between 60-85 grams. So the grip itself acts partially as a counterweight.
On the other hand, the Two Thumb Snug Daddy grips are 80 or 67g depending upon their size and may require more weight to counterbalance the head or work more with putter heads that are on the lighter side.
Finding the right weight
The million dollar question is “What weight is best?” Unfortunately there is no answer to that as each golfer has a different preference for feel as well as adjusting to the speed of the greens. Yes, the amount of weight in the butt can influence how far you can hit the ball. In some cases the additional weight is zero and the counterbalance exists with only the heavier weight of the grip and in other cases it can be 50g or more on top of the grip weight. This is why I prefer to use the Tour Lock Pro counterweights.
With a handful of weights and 15 minutes on the green, you can find out very easily which weight is best for you or your customer. Pictured is 60g which happens to be my putter.
The first thing you need to do after the grip solvent has fully evaporated is to cut a hole in the butt end of the grip with the Tour Lock grip modifier. Once you have cleaned the hole from the grip tape inside, you can slide the Tour Lock Pro counterweights in and out and hold them securely with the fastening tool.
When you choke down on the grip, it will be difficult to grasp the grip 3” down on a consistent manner. These grips don’t have lines around indicating how far to choke down at this time. So make mental notes when you have putted for a little while. For instance, you can place the heel of your upper palm ½” down from where it says Winn or your bottom thumb positioned at the little chevron or intersecting lines. This way you will get more a consistent feel from putt-to-putt.
These types of putters are a great way to enjoy the benefits that a belly putter has without anchoring. Plus the overall added weight makes it impossible to have a “wristy”, unrepeatable stroke, but rather forces you to use the bigger muscles in your upper body to propel the putter. Having used one of these styles of putters personally, I can’t imagine ever going back as it is so stable and effortless to move the club in the direction of the target line.
As you have seen, these are easy to build using the right components and it takes just a few moments to dial in the right amount of weight.
Justin Rose Wins with Lamkin Golf Grips
SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 30, 2014 – Lamkin Corporation, the original manufacturer of premium golf grips, congratulates Justin Rose on his exciting playoff victory at the 2014 Quicken Loans National, becoming a two-time winner of the event. A longtime Lamkin Grips player, Rose currently uses REL ACE grips on all of his swinging clubs. He recently switched his putter grip to Lamkin’s popular Deep-Etched Paddle.
“To do it and get it done making key putts, that’s huge for my psyche going into a major championship,” said Rose following his win. Rose continues to conquer golf’s most challenging conditions with remarkable poise and skill, holing a critical 15-foot putt on the last hole of regulation. Commenting on the demanding conditions at Congressional Country Club, Rose said “I really enjoy this type of golf and this type of test. I think it tested all of us. I’m delighted.”
The Lamkin REL ACE grip, used by Rose throughout the year, is made with Lamkin’s patented ACE 3GEN synthetic rubber material. In addition to unmatched shock absorption, the compound is incredibly tacky and comfortable. The super-tacky material, combined with a medium-traction surface pattern, promotes the ideal light grip pressure needed to maximize shot distance and consistency.
Rose’s new putter grip, the Deep-Etched Paddle grip, has been a favorite on the PGA Tour for more than a decade. Made with a long-lasting rubber compound and featuring a unique deep horizontally etched pattern, the smaller shape of the grip provides players with tremendous feel and enhanced feedback.