Getting your child started in golf

The number one thing to remember as a parent is golf is simply a game and as a game it should be fun to play. Golf is also one of the only sports that can be played almost your entire life. So if the child is full of fond memories that they shared with Dad or Mom out on the course, then most likely they will do the same when they become parents. If you as a parent spoil it for them early on there is a high likelihood that your potential grandchildren may never have that opportunity to play that you bestowed upon your own children.

I have spent over twenty years talking to parents about equipment for their kids. I remember talking numerous times to this one particular parent who insisted on making his 5 year old play forged blade irons so he could learn to work the ball and know when he miss hit it. I just shook my head and asked why? His response was so he could be the next Tiger. Well, there is only one Tiger and there are only a few hundred individuals that are skillful and privileged enough to play the tour each year. Based on the conversations with him, I would imagine that his son has long given up on playing golf and probably any other sport his father wanted him to participate in.

Another thing, don’t be pushy, let the youngster tell you when they have enough fun A good friend of mine who is an accomplished golfer was so stressful when he took his three young boys out he couldn’t play himself. He was too worried that the kids would hit one another with the club, drag their clubs around on the course or on the cart path, or leave one behind next to the green because they saw a butterfly. As they were different ages, each child had a different passion for the game and more importantly a different attention span that required varying the amount of time spent on the course.

When is it a good time to start? Really any age is acceptable. You can start by letting them ride with you in the cart (they may actually think that is the most exciting part of golf starting out). If it is not busy, usually late in the evening, let them hit a few balls on the course or take them to the range. But be considerate as not to hold up a group behind you. This will help by starting to teach your child the proper etiquette and at least a few of the rules when they are young. Even if they don’t continue to play golf later on, these will provide good life lessons that can follow them as the child becomes older.

Invest in a lesson, whether it be a group, a clinic or in a camp. Make sure to get them started off correctly instead of them developing bad habits. Kids are quick learners as they are able to mimic movements more easily than an adult. They also may be less intimidated being taught by someone other than the parents where the child would be just as concerned about pleasing Dad. If you do not want to start out with lessons for your child, at least start out showing them the simple fundamentals like how to hold the club, proper stance, etc.

What equipment should they use? Most parents will simply cut down a few of their old clubs to get them started. The downside to this is that these clubs they are starting out with may actually be too heavy and stiff for the child, especially one that has not developed much physical strength or coordination. Manufacturers such as Hireko produce lighter weight heads, more flexible shafts and smaller grips specifically for the smaller junior player. Cutting down Mom’s clubs might be the better alternative, but it is nice to know that kids clubs are rather inexpensive to begin with and may make a fun activity to build the clubs with your child’s help.

The number of clubs they will need should vary depending upon the age and commitment the child has. For children less than 5 years, one or two clubs is probably just fine. For children 5 to 8 years old, a starter set may include 5 clubs consisting of a fairway wood, 7 and 9 iron, wedge and putter. A set for intermediate juniors often include those same clubs plus a high lofted driver and 5-iron.

You can add clubs as a reward for your child for doing chores around the house or for obtaining a good grade in school. You will also know when to add as they become more proficient and once they start playing more frequently either by themselves, with peers or in competition. Changes to their equipment such as extending or re-gripping or the addition of clubs will at some point become necessary. But once they have started, continue to make sure that they have fun, even if they don’t excel at this difficult game. Remind them that golf is full of bad shots or even bad days. If you are fortunate enough, you just might be able to spend some quality time with your child as they grow up playing a sport they both of you can enjoy.

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director

Understanding the difference between pro-line and store-line equipment

Are you just beginning to play and are looking for a set to play with? Like any wise shopper, you are researching for your big investment and you find a whole gamut of prices to choose from. The local pro shop has a single driver at $299, while you go to a discount or big box store and find a whole set for the same price, and that even includes the bag. You are probably wondering what the difference really is and how it may influence your game.First, let’s explain some of the terms so you will become a more informed shopper. Pro-line equipment is, well…what the pros play (for the most part with customized shafts and grips suited to them). The large companies such as Callaway, TaylorMade and Nike pay millions of dollars to professional golfers as means of endorsing or increasing awareness of their brand. Companies bank on the fact that the core golfers will eventually purchase the same brand of equipment that their favorite golfer plays, whether it is Tiger, Phil or Annika. Furthermore, these same companies will spend many more millions of dollars to advertise their brand or latest equipment in major golf magazines and television networks. Usually the marketing cost can constitute about two-thirds of the price of each club.

Store-line equipment is just the opposite scenario. Many of these clubs you find in the department stores, retail chains or discount houses will be off-brands, some of which are their own generic house brands. But this is one part of the reason why the cost is considerably lower than pro-line equipment.

Pro-line golf clubs employ engineers in their R&D departments to do extensive testing to create new and improved clubhead designs using the latest aerospace materials and production techniques. The golf professionals as well at robot and launch monitor testing, spring-board the advent of newer designs and technologies and certainly factor in the price of each club. Store-line equipment clubheads will not be the same cutting edge designs with the most advanced materials available, but more open sourced models provided by the many foundries that supplier the equipment industry.

Nearly all of the pro-line drivers will be made of different grades of titanium and fairway wood and most irons cast from stainless steel. This may not be the case with store-line equipment. As a means of cutting cost, certain materials are used for exclusively for starter or boxed sets. Driver may be much smaller (normally not as forgiving) and made from stainless steel. If the driver is large it is produced from aluminum (even though they may have names like Ti alloy or Ti matrix). Aluminum heads have to have their faces made much thicker for durability and as a result the ball coming off the clubhead will not come off the face at the same velocity as a titanium-face driver.

The irons could be made of zinc, which would be noted by the much larger hosel diameter (where the shaft is inserted) as zinc does not possess the same strength as stainless steel. It should be noted that not all of the store-line equipment may use these materials. The price of each set will more than like indicate what materials are used. Lastly, the specifications of pro-line clubheads tend to be tighter or more consistent from head-to-head than what you would find in a store-line set as well.

The shafts and grips that are found in pro-line equipment tend to be better quality than store-line clubs. Another way of cutting costs to produce a starter set is to use less expensive materials. The shafts may consist of fiberglass as an additive or as a high percentage of the overall shaft. This tends to make the shafts heavier in weight, not quite as stiff and possess a high torque (or greater amount of twisting). The results are typically a higher ball flight with slightly less accuracy. The grips on store-line clubs may be made from lesser grade of rubber or synthetic rubber compounds that are typically not as slip-resistant as grips you would find on pro-line products.

In many cases there is a big difference between a $299 store-line set than what a complete pro-line set will cost (around $2000 including the bag). There are alternatives in-between the two. One is purchasing completed clubs from Hireko, where comparable heads, shafts and grips cost about one-third that of the pro-line clubs. We utilize the same cutting edge
technology in clubhead design and offer than same name brand shafts (Aldila, Grafalloy, True Temper, etc.) and grips (Golf Pride, Lamkin, Winn, etc.) as found standard on pro-line equipment. Remember, not paying professional golfers or spending million in advertising on branding is what makes the difference without sacrificing quality.

Buying from Hireko, you can get pro-line quality at almost store-line pricing!

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director

Why are there so many golf clubs in a set and what do they do?

According to The Rules of Golf, we are allowed to carry up to a maximum of 14 clubs in the bag during a round of golf, although there is no rule that pertains to using fewer clubs. The purpose of having multiple clubs has to do with the distance each are hit from as each club has a different loft or angle to the face to provide a higher or lower trajectory. In
addition each club is made at various lengths which also has an influence on the overall distance you can hit the ball. On a regulation sized golf course there will be times that you are going to need all of the clubs in your bag in order to effectively hit the ball from all the possible lies and positions you may encounter that day. However, some days you may use only half of them.

Driver (1)
This is also referred to as a tee club because this is the one club that is designed to be hit with the ball elevated off the ground with a tee. This club is designed to hit the ball the longest as the driver has the lowest loft and longest in length. Drivers range in loft from 7.5° to 15°. The average lofts for men range from 10° – 12°, ladies 12 – 15°, while touring professionals and long drive competitors below 10°. The driver is a single club, no more than one is needed.

Fairway Woods (2-4)
These clubs are designed to be hit from long distances away on approach shots for par 4 and 5’s. These can be played off a tee too, but normally they will be played off of the fairway or out of the rough. Most golfers carry at least 2 fairway woods, usually the #3 and 5-woods, but higher lofted versions are available to replace irons to be hit from a much shorter distance, especially for lady and senior male golfers who enjoy the addition of #7 and 9-woods.

Irons (3-7)
Irons are the thin, elongated clubs in the bag. These are used to hit from the intermediate lengths between that of fairway woods and wedges. These are designed to be hit off the ground and have varied loft angles to hit the ball different lengths. The lower lofted or lower numbered clubs like the #3 and 4-irons will hit the ball the furthest of the irons, but may be more difficult to get the ball airborne and hit toward your target. The mid-lofted irons are the #5, 6, and 7-irons, while scoring irons or the shortest hitting of the irons, #8 and 9, are the easiest to hit. It used to be customary that all golfers would carry the 3 through 9 irons, but with the advent of hybrids (see below), that is not the case anymore.

Hybrids (0-3)
Alternatives to irons, these clubs look like a cross between irons and mini metal woods. These are designed to replace often hard-to-hit irons in the bag. As a beginner, consider not even getting a 3, 4 or even 5-iron and look at adding a hybrid or two.

Wedges (2-4)
If you are starting out, you are bound to miss a lot of greens on approach shots and require you to get the ball close to the hole from around the green. Wedges are the highest lofted and highest hitting clubs in the bag and designed to go the shortest distance to have the ability to stop rolling and land close to the hole. Wedges are sometimes hit as full shots, but many times as less than full finesse shots as a way to land the ball softly. One particular model, the sand wedge, was designed specifically to hit the sand trap, but you will find this club useful on a number of other shots such as from the deep rough around the green. The other wedges, a PW or pitching wedge is the club that comes right after the 9-iron and is an important addition to any bag. There is also a GW or gap wedge which bridges the gap in distance from the PW to the SW. A LW or lob wedge has the highest loft and goes the shortest distance on full shots of any club in the bag. This particular club will be more beneficial to higher skill level golfers as many beginners will end up hitting the ball short of their target with this club.

Putter (1)
Approximately 40% of all your shots during a round will be encountered on the green, so the putter is considered the single-most important club in the bag and only one is truly necessary to carry. Putters come in all shapes and sizes and are designed to be specifically on the short grass of the green.

Chipper (0-1)
This is a club designed to be hit short distances around the green and can be considered a lofted putter as the stroke that is used is similar to it. This is not a club that you will find in many golfers bag, but is listed as some golfers might find this to be useful utility-type club. Over time, golfers will accumulate a collection of clubs in their garage or basement that they do not use anymore for a variety of reasons. Starting out playing can be intimidating with all the different choices available. To purchase some sets, you may be forced to buy the full compliment of clubs instead of picking or choosing like you can on Hireko’s website. But once you start playing more often you will get a feel of what type of clubs you hit better than others. Some golfers will find wider soled fairway woods to their liking more so than irons. You may end up trying a friend’s or fellow player driver, hybrid, putter, etc and find it better than the clubs in your bag. Regardless, finding the right clubs for you will become an evolving process.

Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director

How to save golf grips using a grip shooter

Save Money. Use a Grip Shooter.

There will be instances in which you may want to save the current grip on a given club. These cases would include if the grip was brand new or if the grip was an OEM model that you could not duplicate. Often the amount of effort required in trying to save an existing grip far outweighs the cost of a new grip; you will find this out as you attempt to remove certain grips. Elastomer (like Winn), leather, cord and older grips will be very difficult, if not impossible, to remove intact and should not even be attempted. Most rubber, synthetic and air cushion grips can be removed and reused if they are in relatively new condition. The older the grip, the less chance there is of removing it in one piece. You will need a grip shooter gun (like the Hireko model MIT029) as part of your tool selection if you are going to attempt to save grips. A grip shooter and a few extra needles will cost in the $60.00 range.

SECURE THE CLUB IN A VISE: Use a vinyl shaft clamp to position the club in a vise so that the back (underside) of the grip is toward the ceiling. Allow approximately 4” of shaft to stick out from between the mouth of the grip and the shaft clamp.

Grip Shooter $49.99 each Buy Now!

PRIME THE GRIP SHOOTER: Wear goggles or eye protection at all times when working with the grip shooter as solvent can squirt in many directions if the tool slips. The grip shooter will be filled with a solvent such as naphtha or mineral spirits; other solvents tend to destroy the plastic gaskets in the grip shooter, even the grip solvents available through component suppliers like Hireko. Using the trigger, pump the gun a few times until solvent shoots out. (You may want to point this in a garbage can or paint tray as not do damage to any other shop areas.)

INSERT THE NEEDLE INTO THE GRIP: Carefully insert the needle into the back of the grip at a point approximately 2” down from the end of the grip. Slide the need at an angle; when it contacts the shaft gently push it under the grip about 1”. Be careful not to go in at too steep of an angle or apply too much force as you can bend or break the needles and this is not covered under the warranty.

SHOOT SOLVENT INTO THE GRIP: Gently pump the grip shooter trigger. You will see and feel the solvent going into the grip. The solvent will likely cause a “bubble” to form inside the grip. Pump the trigger again. Without removing the grip shooter, carefully use your other hand to compress or message the solvent “bubble” down toward the mouth of the grip. If the solvent comes out of the mouth of the grip, no more solvent is needed and the grip shooter can be removed from the grip. If the solvent does not yet go out of the mouth of the grip, squeeze more solvent under the grip and repeat the process. It may be necessary to re-insert the needle to the place where the solvent has not reached. Sometimes removing a grip with the grip shooter may require multiple insertion points.

REMOVE THE GRIP: Once the solvent has squirted out of the moth of the grip, now is the time to grasp the grip with both hand (a towel over the grip may help), gradually twist or work the grip off the butt end of the shaft until it is off. If you are unable to remove the grip at this point, repeat the previous step in the area the grip is stuck.

EXAMINE THE GRIP:
To determine if the grip is re-usable take a look to make sure none of the paint fill on the grip came off during removal. Also, look inside the grip. If you can see tape residue, chances are the grip is not good for reuse as any tape pieces will be felt when/if the grip is re-installed. A sure sign of tape inside the grip is that there is little or no tape left on the shaft.

Never guarantee that you will be able to remove a grip intact. Not all grips will come off easily; some will not come off at all. Also, be very cautious when using a grip shooter. Always keep the needle covered with some type of protector (a cork works well) when not in use. When using the grip shooter pay close attention to how you are holding it and how much pressure you are applying to it. Serious injury can result when grip solvent is shot into your hand instead of into the grip. Make sure no one else is around the work area as solvent could be squirted in their direction.

Grip Shooter Gun # MIT029 $49.99

The five most important skills in golf clubmaking

To the detriment of true golf clubmaking professionals, too many people feel that all a clubmaker does is “slap” together a head, shaft and a grip. With the modern equipment available today it is not difficult to complete the assembly of a club. As in the old days of finishing a wooden wood, whipping, installing leather grips, etc… But there are certain skills that need to be perfected

first. If you are already a clubmaker, or considering becoming one, here are five skills that will differentiate oneself between a clubmaker and someone who just slaps together components.

A. Knowledge

The most important skill of all in becoming a proficient clubmaker is “knowledge.” To just know how to assemble a club is not enough, one should have a desire to learn about all aspects of clubmaking. Understanding how each component is manufactured or studying new technologies or materials that are introduced in the industry go a long way into establishing yourself as a skilled or master clubmaker in your area.

One thing to understand is that learning never stops; the more you build, repair or fit clubs, the more that information helps in the next time a situation arises. Even if you are a beginner or seasoned veteran, clubmaking classes or joining an organization like the Professional Clubmakers Society (PCS) can be more than worth the investment.

B. Neatness

Before a club ever leaves the shop for a customer, you want to assure yourself that appearance of the club should meet your highest standard of what you would expect as that customer. It all starts from the beginning, making sure that you organize all your components ahead of time. With each step of the process, make sure to keep all the components clean so that epoxy or fingerprints are not present. Even little details such as making sure shaft labels are straight and on the proper position on the shaft and silkscreens all aligned in
an orderly fashion. You should take great pride in what you produce as this shows the quality of your work.

C. Grip Installation

Another straightforward procedure many clubmakers take for granted is grip installation. Most consumers have no idea that grips come in as many options as far as materials and sizes that are available. Understand the principles of creating proper grip sizing by knowing the relationship between core size of the grip and the diameter of the shaft. Know how to detect a round versus a ribbed grip or the pros and cons of different methods of installing tape (spiral versus lengthwise) or the different types of tape (solvent-based and water re-activated).
Lastly, make sure that the grips are installed on straight. Even grips such as Golf Pride’s Tour Wrap, which appear to have no alignment guides, actually do.

D. Ferrule Finishing

Most clubs today require the addition of a plastic ferrule to create a smooth transition from the top of the hosel down to the shaft. Ferrules come in all sorts of sizes and colors, but rarely fit exactly with the same diameter as the hosel. Therefore, the ferrule needs to be turned by hand with sandpaper, files, steel wool or acetone or by a ferrule-finishing belt on a belt sander. Either way, this is a skill that should be mastered. Many first time clubmakers avoid this step as it can be difficult or takes to much time. However, this step
distinguishes those who are proficient in clubmaking. Clubmaking books explain how to accomplish this task. But in this case, practice makes perfect. This would also be covered under the neatness factor.

E. Shaft Trimming and Preparation

There are certain steps that a good clubmaker observes when trimming and installing a shaft onto a head. One must first understand the principles of proper shaft installation as these concepts are logical once you learn how to follow the trimming charts. Remember to “measure twice, cut once” because incorrectly trimmed shafts are not covered under warranty.
Know the proper methods and degree of shaft abrading to allow for an adequate epoxy bonding surface and that a shaft. Understand that under certain circumstances, it may be required to bore the hosel of a club out to accommodate a shaft whose tip happens to be on the high side of the tolerance.

These five skills are important to follow as your reputation of becoming a clubmaker hinges on these factors. If you are new to clubmaking, you will make your fair share of mistakes. But that is what we all learn from. When in doubt, minimize the mistakes by asking questions to a knowledgeable source. Lastly, take pride in your work as this is a reflection of yourself.

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director
jsummitt@hirekogolf.com

Tips for clamping a shaft in a vise

One item that is taken for granted is clamping the shaft, whether it be to grip (or re-grip) the club or other repair orientated work. Before you clamp down on the shaft, please take note of this tip. The trend in the industry is to use very lightweight shafts, either steel or graphite. In order to achieve the lightweight nature of the shaft, the shaft walls are constructed thinner. As a result, the shafts are susceptible to cracking longitudinally down the length of the shaft. This is especially true of shafts that weigh less than 60 grams in graphite and 100 grams in steel.

In the event the shaft cracks due to excessive clamping pressure, the shaft is no longer under warranty. Gradually build up the clamping pressure so the shaft is “snug”. You may find that when clamping extremely lightweight shafts and do not wish to over-tighten, the shaft could slip from the vise clamp when trying to get the grip started. In those cases, it is better to clamp close to the tip. The tip end is generally thicker and less likely to crack as a result of too much pressure.

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director
jsummitt@hirekogolf.com

Removing steel shafts which broke off flush with the hosel


One task a club repairmen may encounter is when a steel shaft has broken off flush with the top of the hosel. There are a couple of ways to solve the problem in order to reshaft the club, but the last resort is to drill the shaft out, as will be explained later.

There are only a few tools that will be needed to complete the task. A screw extractor (or easyout), a padded vise to secure the head, hammer, crescent wrench (or vise grip or T-handle), electric hand drill, assorted drill bits and a propane torch.

First, secure the head in the vise pads so that the hosel is positioned at an upward angle in which to work on. It may be necessary to drill out
any foreign debris that might me in the hosel such as cork, swingweighting material or even dirt.

Once completely cleared out, heat the hosel with a propane torch to break the epoxy bond. This may require 30 seconds or more of heat depending
upon how old the club is. (Note: Make sure you or no one else is within line with the hosel should the shaft piece project outward from the hosel,
safety glasses should also be worn) A heat gun or a heat metal rod inserted into the shaft can be used as well, but will take much longer for the
heat to transfer. Should the head be a metal wood, then caution should be made not to discolor any painted or urethane covered portion of the
head.

Next, place the appropriate sized easyout into the hosel and forcefully pound it into the shaft with a hammer until it becomes a force fit.

Place a crescent wrench, vise grip or T-handle securely on the square end of the easyout and turn counter-clockwise to loosen the shaft piece. If you are lucky enough because the hosel is parallel tipped or a relatively new clubhead, the broken shaft piece may come right out. However, if the shaft piece fails to come out or slip, remove the easyout and repeat the
last step. (Note: Never heat the hosel with the easyout inserted into the hosel as this can change the tempering of the easyout and possibly cause it to break off within the hosel)

Once the broken piece has been successfully removed from the hosel, take it off the easyout and allow it to cool. Do not throw the piece away as you will need to measure the tip diameter to determine the appropriate size for replacement.

In certain cases this method may not work as the shaft could be rusted inside the head, it might be a taper tip shaft that has been dimpled and driven in securely (like a lot of older Wilson clubs), or in the remote case a threaded shaft. You can try to soak the hosel overnight or squirt some WD-40 to penetrate between the shaft and hosel to loosen the shaft,
then retry the process.

In the event you still cannot remove the stubborn broken piece of shaft, then it might be advisable to drill the shaft out of the hosel. On many older irons, the hosels are tapered. It is difficult to tell this ahead of time as some heads that may be normally come equipped with a taper tip shaft could have been reshafted and rebored by another club repairman.
It is suggested that a drill press and some sort of ironhead boring fixture be used as trying to drill out the shaft with a hand-held drill is difficult at best. Because there is the potential that the hosel is tapered, it is suggested that you start out with an undersized drill bit (T-size or smaller). This will help to take a little bit out at a time as well as preserve the tapered hosel.

Repairing steel shafts that have been broken off flush with the hosel can be a crap shoot. In some cases it will take very little effort, while other times you may be working on it for an hour or more. Hopefully this has shown you the in’s and out’s of tackling this procedure in the future.

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director
jsummitt@hirekogolf.com

Reshafting thru-bore hosel clubheads

As an initial step in the thru-bore reshaft, check the specifications
of the club being repaired. Most repair shops will use some type of repair
tag to identify not only who the club belongs to but also some of the
following specifications: club model and the number of club, swingweight,
length, grip, grip size, shaft and shaft flex. Also recommended, if you
have the equipment, is measuring the gram weight of the head. If a loft/lie
machine is available, check the loft and lie specification of the wood
or iron, as well as the face angle specifications on a wood. You may also
want to check shaft frequency or deflection if you have a machine to do
so. A torque measurement can be checked if you have a torque machine.
You can create a customer file with this information that can prove to
be valuable for future reference, not only for this customer but for other
customers as well. Gathering this information can serve to be valuable
self-educational material. It is now time to remove the shaft from the
head:

Shaft Removal (Steel Shafts)

The standard procedure for removing steel shafts from bore-thru heads
is to drill out from the bottom of the shaft the plug that is inside the
shaft. Once the plug is out, use a heating rod and heat the rod almost
red hot and insert it into the tip end of the shaft. By applying heat
from the inside of the shaft, the head is heated from the inside out.
What this does more than anything else is to ensure that no heat marks
form on the clubhead itself. Many clubheads have either a painted finish
or a clear coat finish applied to them; they can burn and show heat marks
very easily. Heating from the inside out enables you to maintain a good
clean cosmetic look to the clubhead.

Next clamp the shaft in a vise clamp and secure the club in a vise. Put
the vise clamp on the
shaft close to the head. This will help to hold the club more securely
in the vise; plus when you grab the head to pull and twist it loose from
the shaft you will be pulling against the taper of the shaft. With the
heat rod inserted in the inside of the shaft you will be able to feel
the heat transferring through the clubhead by touching the hosel of the
clubhead. We caution letting the clubhead getting to hot by this method.
Too much heat could again cause heat marks or burn the finish on the clubhead.
Once you feel the clubhead getting warm enough put on a pair a gloves,
hold the clubhead in your hands and twist and pull until the clubhead
comes loose from the shaft.

If you follow this method and are unable to remove the head by pulling
and twisting it loose from the shaft you will need to repeat the heating
process again. Using this method of heating from the inside out can mean
following this procedure a few times to create enough heat to be able
to remove the head from the shaft. Be Patient. However, if you have followed
this procedure a few times and are still unable to remove the head, take
the following steps. Again heat the rod almost red hot and insert it into
the tip of the shaft. Then using a head gun or torch, apply heat to the
backside of the hosel only and keep it to a minimum to avoid creating
heat marks on the head. The reason to heat the backside of the hosel is
so that if any heat marks are created that cannot be removed from the
head they will not be visible when the clubhead is in the playing position.

Shaft Removal (Graphite Shafts)

If you are removing an existing shaft from a bore-thru and you want to
save that existing shaft, use the following method. Most importantly,
remember, when removing a clubhead from a graphite shaft it is important
that the clubhead be removed by pulling it straight off the shaft. Twisting
and pulling on the clubhead to remove it from the shaft will more often
then not result in shaft tip failure. A graphite shaft puller is a must
for this job.

Clamp the graphite shaft securely into the shaft puller and follow the
instructions for the shaft puller. (You can also use a pry bar to remove
the shaft. If you are using the pry bar put the shaft in a vise clamp
and secure it in the bench vise.) You are now ready to apply heat to the
head for the purpose of removing the head from the shaft. Use a torch
as the method of heating. Apply heat to the backside of the hosel only
for a period of 15 seconds. At this time if you are using a Mitchell shaft
puller, the head should be forced off by the pressure of the spring. If
you are using the pry bar, position the pry bar between the top of the
hosel and the side of the bench vise and apply pressure to the bar to
force or pry the clubhead from the shaft. If the clubhead does not come
off at this point, wait one minute and reheat for a period of 10 seconds.
Continue this method of heat for 10 seconds/wait for 1 minute in between
until the shaft puller has forced the clubhead from the shaft or you are
able to pry the clubhead from the shaft using the pry bar. Again, be patient.
Sometimes these steps will have to be repeated as many as 3 or 4 times
before successfully removing the graphite shaft from the clubhead. The
more pressure that the shaft puller applies the less heat it takes to
remove the shaft from the clubhead.

Clubhead Cleanup

As soon as the clubhead is removed from the shaft, clean out the hosel
bore while the clubhead is still warm. This can be done in a number of
different ways. You can use a drill bit, a reamer or a hosel cleaning
brush to remove the remaining epoxy that is in the hosel bore. It may
work best to use either the drill bit or the reamer first, followed by
the hosel cleaning brush. If you do this while the head is still warm
the old epoxy is still soft and it removes very easily. Following these
steps will remove the old epoxy; the hosel cleaning brush also helps to
abrade the inside of the hosel for the new shaft.

If there are heat marks on the clubhead, you may have some success removing
or cleaning them by using unstitched buffing wheels and a Glanz Wach compound.
The buffing wheels should be turning at a fairly slow rate of speed, between
800 and 1000 rpms. Work the Glanz Wach compound into the buffing wheels
and buff the clubhead. The success rate of this procedure depends on how
extreme the heat marks on the clubhead and the type of finish that has
been used on the clubhead. Unfortunately there are no guarantees on saving
or renewing finishes on metal wood heads.

Shaft Installation Procedures

In preparing the new shaft for installation you should identify any tip
cutting instructions that would apply to the shaft you are using. Once
that has been done you can prepare the shaft tip for installation. In
a bore-thru assembly it is recommended that the shaft go all the way through
the bottom of the clubhead. If you didn’t make certain that the shaft
tip went through the club’s sole and were to put a plug into the
bottom of the clubhead changing it from a bore-thru to a blind bore assembly
you could possibly end up with less then 1” of shaft penetration
into the clubhead. This could cause excessive stress and strain on the
tip of the shaft and lead to shaft failure.

Cut the angle of the shaft at the bottom of the bore-thru before you
epoxy the shaft into the clubhead. First lightly sand the tip of the shaft
and then insert it into the clubhead. With the shaft tip extended through
the bottom of the clubhead, use a marking pen and trace the angle from
the bottom of the clubhead onto the shaft. Be sure to orient the silk
screen on the shaft into the position that you want it to be in before
tracing the angle from the bottom of the shaft. Once this is done you
can remove the shaft from the clubhead and prepare to establish the angle
cut on the shaft. This can be done in a number of different ways depending
on the equipment that you have available. You could grind the angle using
a bench grinder. You could also grind the angle using a 1” belt sander/grinder
by grinding against the metal platen that backs the sanding belt. You
could use a disk sanding wheel to grind the angle. You could cut the angle
on a chop saw or on bench grinder equipped with an abrasive cut off wheel.
A Dremel Moto Tool equipped with a cut off wheel could also be used. Do
not be concerned with getting this angle to fit perfectly at this time.
Do a test fit of the shaft into the clubhead and see how close the angle
fits at the bottom of the clubhead. If need be you can do some additional
grinding and shaping of the tip of the shaft and test fit again. The better
you can make it fit at this point the less work you will have to do later.

The next step is to epoxy the shaft into the clubhead. Be sure to do
the proper amount of tip abrasion whether you are using a steel or graphite
shaft. Lightly coat the inside of the hosel and the tip of the shaft with
epoxy. Install the ferrule of your choice and insert the shaft tip into
the clubhead rotating the shaft and working it in and out of the hosel
to make sure that you have proper coverage of epoxy on the shaft tip.
It is best to extend the tip of the shaft just slightly below the bottom
of the soleplate so that when you are finished with this club you will
be able to see the shaft tip. Clean up any excess epoxy from the clubhead
or shaft. If you have installed a graphite shaft, use a thru-bore plug
(code TBP) to plug the hole in the center of the shaft. You may have to
sand or shape the plug in order to make it fit into the tip of the shaft.
Do this test fit of the plug prior to gluing the shaft into the clubhead.
Put some epoxy on the tip of the thru-bore plug and tap it in place into
the tip of the shaft and clean up any excess epoxy. At this point it would
be best dry the club with the shaft lying on a table and the head hanging
over the table’s edge. Be sure to align the shaft and clean up any
excess epoxy. Note: if you prefer you could epoxy the shaft into the clubhead
and let the club dry and then insert the thru-bore plug. This does add
more time to the job though.

If you install a steel shaft into the thru-bore the above steps would
be the same with the exception of plugging the tip of the shaft – you
use a larger plug (code TBP1) instead of the smaller TBP. As before, the
shaft angle is cut before the shaft is epoxied into the clubhead.

Soleplate Cleanup

Once the epoxy has properly set up and is cured it is time to finish
the sole of the club. You will notice that bore-thru metalwoods have a
satin finish on the sole of the club. This makes finishing them much easier
than if the clubheads were a high polished finish. Take note that the
satin finish runs from the heal to the toe on the sole of the club. You
want to maintain that pattern when you are reestablishing the finish on
bottom of the club. To finish the thru-bore plug, you would first cut
away the excess part of the plug as close to the sole of the clubhead
as you can. To reestablish the finish on the bottom of the club there
are a number of methods that could be used. They can be done by hand using
a combination of files, and or different grits of sand paper to remove
the excess material and reestablish the satin finish. Whether you start
with the file or the sand paper depends on how much material needs to
be removed from bottom of the club. You want to remove material without
creating any heavy scratch marks. Always work towards the goal of obtaining
that nice satin finish on the bottom of the clubhead. We recommend always
working from heel to toe to maintain the “grain” of the satin
finish.

A Metal Finishing Wheel (coe MWF) attached to a bench grinder works well
for removing small amounts of material and maintaining the satin finish
on the bottom of the club. This wheel is very good for removing small
amounts of material, even steel, as well as maintaining the satin finish
on the sole of the club. We have also used a small hard drum sander, especially
if there is a little more material to be removed. Any method that you
are comfortable with that will remove the material without creating heavy
scratches and works toward maintaining the satin finish can be used here.
If the clubhead is a Callaway, which has a bi-concave sole, a Dremel Moto
Tool with a small grinding stone works very well for removing the excess
shaft material, graphite or steel. The Dremel Moto Tool will work very
well with any bore-thru metalwood head for removing excess shaft material
on a bore-thru head. As a final step in finishing the soleplate of the
bore-thru metalwood, use a nylon wheel to create and blend in the satin
finish over the whole soleplate of the clubhead. Something as simple as
the Medium Shurebrite Wheel mounted in a drill can do this job very well
also.

Installing shafts in thru-bore clubs presents unique challenges to the
clubmaker. By following the above procedures, accurate reshafts will be
a result; your customers will be amazed at the quality and accuracy of
your work. Practice on a few old clubs first if possible, then consider
yourself competent at one of the more difficult repair jobs found today!

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director
jsummitt@hirekogolf.com

Aligning curved golf putter shafts


Installing a curved shaft in a putter is actually a very simple process. In all honesty, you can install the shaft virtually any way you want, but there is only one best way to do so for each putter. Visual perception is a key to proper installation – in other words, if it looks “right”,it probably is “right!” That said, the vast majority of curved shafts are designed either to create offset and/or create a specific lie angle when properly installed in a putter. Before we start, there are three different types of bends that need to be discussed.

The simplest one to explain is the single bend shaft. It is designed primarily for a putter which hosel bore is 90 degrees. The Rules of Golfstipulate that the lie must diverge from the vertical by at least 10 degrees.  Most single bend putter shafts diverge by close to 18 degrees to create a 72 degree lie angle. Installation is as follows: the shaft as it exits the head will come straight up, then curve back toward the heel. The next type of curved shaft is the double bend. It is designed strictly to create an offset to the putter. The putter that will use a double bend shaft will already have the lie angle bored into it, but with the offset, the hands are pressed forward. To install the bend properly, the shaft will first come straight out of the hosel, then bend toward the face or the target, then back up again.

The most confusing bent shaft is a compound double bent shaft. Some will also consider this to be a triple bend shaft. It is designed to create both the lie angle and the offset of the putter whose bore is 90 degrees. This is one example of a shaft that is designed only for right handed golfers. How the bend is position is as follows: the shaft will first
come straight out of the hosel, then bend toward the face or the target, then back up again, then finally back toward the heel.

This applies to both shafts with single bends as well as to those with two or more bends. To begin installation, put the shaft in the putter with the curve (or bend) aimed directly toward the target. In most cases, this should look “right.” In the cases where it may not or in the cases of actually custom fitting the putter to the player, the shaft may be rotated slightly to achieve the proper look and lie angle. Curved shaft putter assembly is fairly straightforward once you know the basics. Today’s tip should take some of the fear out of curved shaft putter assembly!

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director
jsummitt@hirekogolf.com

How to install golf shaft extenders

A common repair that most of you will be faced with (or have been faced with in the past) is the extending of shafts. Extending shafts is a relatively simple operation that can add substantial profits to your shop. Today’s tip involves the extension of graphite shafts and steel shafts. A few tips to follow:

Extending Graphite Shafts

1. Never extend a graphite shaft more than 2″. Any more may cause premature failure due to stress where the extension is made.

2. Always use either graphite or aluminum to extend a graphite shaft. Using steel will create a shear point where the extension is made, causing almost certain shaft failure.

3. Always epoxy the extension in place, do not rely on a pressure fit.

4. Try to abrade the extension piece prior to installation to give the epoxy a better hold.

5. Saving your old graphite shafts to use as shaft extenders will save you money and will make a perfectly acceptable extender.

6. Remember that extending the shaft will make it feel a bit more flexible and that every ½” longer the shaft becomes will increase the club’s swingweight 3 points. The total weight of the club will increase equal to the weight of the extender and epoxy as well. The club’s balance point will move toward the grip end as well due to the longer length of the club.

Extending Steel Shafts

1. Never extend a steel shaft more than 2″. Any more may cause premature failure due to stress where the extension is made.

2. We recommend using a steel extender to extend a steel shaft.

Using other materials may lead to premature breakage. Wooden dowels can also be used to extend steel shafts, but these require much more work (in our opinion) than using steel extenders.

3. Always epoxy the extension in place, do not rely on a pressure fit.

4. Abrade the extension piece prior to installation to give the epoxy a better hold. This is especially vital when using steel extensions that are unplated.

5. Saving your used steel shafts to use as shaft extenders will save you money and will make a perfectly acceptable extender.

6. Remember that extending the shaft will make it feel a bit more flexible and that every ½” longer the shaft becomes will increase the club’s swingweight 3 points. The total weight of the club will increase equal to the weight of the extender and epoxy as well. The club’s balance point will move toward the grip end as well due to the longer length of the club.

Extending shafts is a common and profitable repair. Following the above common-sense rules will make the repair practical and safe.

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director
jsummitt@hirekogolf.com