Download For FREE! The New 2008 Shaft Fitting Addendum!

For the past 16 years the annual Shaft Fitting Addendum has been the definitive guide on shafts for clubmakers worldwide.Download New Catalog Ad

If you are a golf clubfitter or simply curious and want to know more about golf shafts or how different golf shafts compared to one another, then the 2008 Shaft Fitting Addendum is a must have.

For those that are not already familiar with the Shaft Fitting Addendum, the first thing you will find out is not all R-flex shafts are created equal – that is in terms of flex, torque, bend point, etc. as every manufacturer are their own standard. In reality, there are no industry standards for shafts and the reason why this book serves as a valuable guide. Consistency is the key to this text as each of the approximately 3000 shafts and over 50,000 measurements has been tested by one individual using the same set of procedures and equipment for the past 19 years.

What Type of Information Will You Find?

There are 19 published specifications listed for each shaft that include:

Flex, Uncut Shaft Weight, Tip Diameter, Butt Diameter, Uncut Shaft Balance Point, Cut Shaft Balance Point, Completed Club Balance Point, Total Assembled Club Weight, Head Weight, Grip Weight, Cut Shaft Weight, Completed Club Frequency, Butt Deflection, Tip Deflection, T/B Ratio, Cut Shaft Torque, Raw Shaft Torque, Club Length (and wood bore type) and DSFI (Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index) Rating

In Chapter 1, you will find an explanation what each of these parameters mean and how they are measured. All of this information provides insight into how each shaft is unique. For example, what is the real difference between the Aldila NV and NVS Hybrid in an R-flex? Well now you can find out by looking at several key specifications as shown in the table below.

Shaft Fitting Addendum

Each shaft is similar in Cut Shaft Weight, Frequency, Butt Deflection and Cut Torque. Where the big difference lies is in the Tip Stiffness measurement with the Aldila NVS having a lower deflection reading. This results into a much softer tip section which will assist in hitting the ball higher.

In another example, we can compare shafts from the same or even different manufacturers that are of approximately the same overall stiffness and weight. In this case the Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue, ProLaunch Platinum and New Image Red Image Graphite are all mid-50g shafts of similar frequencies and stiffness index (see chart below).

Shaft Fitting Addendum 2

Let’s say you like the ProLaunch Blue 55, but are looking for another shaft that might be similarSpring Flyer Download but may launch the ball higher because the head you had not quite enough loft. The ProLaunch Platinum or the New Image Red Graphite may be both excellent choices. The difference being the New Image has a stiffer butt section but weakest tip section to create a higher T/B Ratio and may launch the ball the highest. The ProLaunch Platinum has a lower torque measurement and subsequently be able to launch the ball higher than the ProLaunch Blue, but with less spin.

Nowhere will you find so much information on each shaft in such detail. The best news is all this information is available for free who wish to download it.

How Do I Use the Information?

While offering all of this data is great, but being able to take the information and apply it intoLM your everyday fitting is another. This is why we established the Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index (or DSFI for short). The DSFI takes the Completed Club Frequency, Butt Deflection, Tip Deflection, Cut Shaft Torque, Raw Shaft and Club Length and puts it into a complex algorithm to put a number on stiffness. No longer do you need to rely solely on the generic flex designations by the manufacturers, but you can also relate it to the clubhead speed or #5-iron distance the golfer possess and be able to make appropriate shaft selections.

Swing speed is only a starting point – certain golfers will use different flexes based on their tempo and length of their swing rather just swing speed. The 2008 Shaft Fitting Addendum can help you understand these issues. In addition, club fitters or even ordinary golfers can look for suitable replacement shafts that may not exist anymore by looking through the archived shafts (Chapters 3 and 4). Matching shafts of similar cut weight, frequency, cut torque, tip and butt deflections will help you find that one shaft you owned previously that they liked so dearly.

If you are looking to advance your knowledge on the ever-confusing world of shafts, take this opportunity to download the 2008 Shaft Fitting Addendum. This is a companion piece to one of the best books written about shafts called the Modern Guide to Shaft Fitting and also available for free. This is just another example of how Hireko is helping out clubmakers, club fitters and fellow golfers alike by providing you with such indispensable information so you can make more well-informed choices when it comes to purchasing new equipment.

Download For Free The 2008 Shaft Fitting Addendum.
Download For Free The Modern Guide to Shaft Fitting.

Use Your Eyes Not a Machine to Choose The Best Driver

Jeff Summitt Postulates That Humans Are Indeed More Worthy Than Machines

Spring Flyer DownloadIf you have recently visited a big box golf retailer, you may have noticed a designated indoor practice area where a customer can hit clubs into a net. In some cases a potential customer can have an employee accompany them and take some measurements using a device called a launch monitor. This is used to guide the employee to tell which club from the many the customer hit which might be best for … continue here.

Use Your Eyes Not a Machine to Choose The Best Driver

Jeff Summitt Postulates That Humans Are Indeed More Worthy Than Machines

If you have recently visited a big box golf retailer, you may have noticed a designated indoor practice areaDownload New Catalog Ad where a customer can hit clubs into a net. In some cases a potential customer can have an employee accompany them and take some measurements using a device called a launch monitor. This is used to guide the employee to tell which club from the many the customer hit which might be best for him or her. Before you get excited and run out to one of these places, there are some things you should know first.

What is a Launch Monitor?
The Launch Monitor (LM) is frequently used in club fitting to provide accurate and unbiased data. It a device that measures typically three parameters: ball velocity, initial ball trajectory and ball’s spin rate.

  • The ball velocity (or speed) coming off of the face of the club is measured in miles per hour (or meters per second) and not to be confused with clubhead speed that consumers might be more familiar with.
  • Ball trajectory is the height at which the ball leaves the face of the club and is measured in degrees based on the angle relative to the horizontal (ground level).
  • Ball spin rate is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). The most relevant is the back spin rate, but also measured (or calculated) is side spin rate which also has an influence on accuracy.

Many individuals need to be aware what the limits of a launch monitor are. It is merely a device toSpring Flyer Download get empirical data – that’s it and nothing more magical than that. It will not tell you what club or shaft you need or tell you how to improve your swing to obtain most distance or accuracy. Only a qualified club fitter and PGA teaching professional respectively can do those things.

Are There Other Limitations?
Yes, there are a few. Realize that an individual is hitting into a net and only gets to see the ball flight for 15 maybe 20 feet at the most. In many cases the customer is so enamored by the data from the LM they don’t realize where they are hitting into the net. Often times the employee conducting the “fitting” (I’ll use that term loosely) is relying on the average numbers the LMDownload New Spring 2008 Flyer calculates as they don’t know where the ball goes while hitting indoors into a net either. To save time, after all there may be several people lined up at once that wants to hit different clubs, the employee might only discuss with the customer the cumulative results of each club instead of a shot-by-shot dialog. Let’s see why this last statement is important.

The player hits one ball at 138 mph, 5° launch angle and spins at 1800 rpm and the next ball at 142 mph, 21° launch angle and spins at 5200 rpm. Well, the first one might have been a duck hook and the second a high pop up. But when the computer averages out the data this gives 140 mph, 13° launch angle and 3500 rpm spin rate. The employee might say those are great numbers based on a chart the LM came with and try to make a commission on the sale of the club.

Unfortunately this still may be only tell part of the story. The first ball may have been 40 yards left of the target and the next 40 yards right. Again when the computer average out the data the LM would say the ball went straight. In reality, neither of these two shots would have found your own fairway and quite possibly had resulted in 4 penalty strokes on a tight course. The direction of each ball is equally as important as the numbers it provides.

The LM will come with software to calculate not only the distance based upon the ball’s speed, trajectory and spin rates, but also show were the ball might had landed either right, left or straight of the target (and by how much). Just because a golf driver may provide more distance than another (based on calculated averages by the LM), doesn’t mean it is not the best choice if accuracy of each shot is not accounted for. Remember, a driver that may not have produced the so-called “optimal” numbers, but was able to find the fairway nearly 2/3rd of the time would serve a customer much better than a driver that found the fairway only 1/3rd of the time.

Using Your Eyes (The Old School Method)
The average golfer can save time and often money (as some stores charge for time on the LM). Just go out on the range and simply observe ball flight. After all, launch monitors are relatively new and people where able to make pretty accurate buying decisions beforehand. With the assistance of a local clubfitter, range attendant or teaching professional armed with a handful of different demo clubs, hit clubs side-by-side and make your evaluations. It will become obvious when the person hits a club when the ball gets airborne, goes further than others and most importantly goes relatively straight to where they were aiming.

Many times you can ask the facility you are hitting at if there is a certain demo club you can use to hit against your current club. In most cases they will be glad in hopes you will like that demo club better and end up generating a sale. Also look to find a “Demo Day” at your local facility as you will have an opportunity to hit a multitude of clubs. You and your buddies can do the same thing by exchanging each other’s clubs at the range. Often times people end up buying a club because they used someone else’s they hit well.

Important Hints: Take notes down as to what you hit well including not only a specific model of head or shaft, but any other identifying specifications such as loft, flex, etc. The more you know, the better you are at getting something equivalent. The greater number of clubs you have an opportunity to experience, the better informed shopper you can become in the future.

Rely on the Machine When Your Eyes Can No Longer Tell
For golfers with a very repeatable swing can use the launch monitor data with confidence. But we are talking primarily about lower handicapped golfer. Professional golfers and some top amateurs have the luxury of trying a seemingly endless combination of clubheads, shafts and balls to get every inch they can without changing their swing.

But for us mere mortals, one time when a LM can be helpful in fitting is if used outdoors in conjunction when you can also see ball flight. If you have two clubs that hit the ball what looks like the same distance and direction, the data from the LM might persuade you to buy one club over another.

Don’t get me wrong – technology is great! But in cases with individuals who have less than a repeatable swing (which is the vast majority of golfers) simply letting their eyes decide which club is best is all that is really needed. But if you do decide to see for yourself what your LM data is at one of these indoor facilities, don’t forget to ask the direction the balls went as well otherwise you might not be spending your hard earned money wisely.

Clubmaking 201: Altering the Recommended Tip Trimming

Jeff Summitt Discusses Being Creative With Tip Trimming Charts To Dial In The Ultimate Fit

Properly trimming a golf shaft can be somewhat confusing for the novice clubmaker considering all the different shafts and the number of golf shaft trimming options that are in our catalog or on our website. There is a certain amount of logic involved that goes into the suggested trimming amount for each shaft. The trimming is selected to create a desired flex based upon the weight of each head, the length is might be normally assembled to, plus the length of the parallel tip section of the golf shaft (how long the shaft remains the same diameter as the very tip of the shaft).

In some cases a clubmaker can alter the flex by deviating from what the instructions suggest. Why? On occasion, a golf clubmaker might find it advantageous to trim a different amount than what the manufacturer suggested in order to create a specific flex. But don’t worry you won’t have the Shaft Trimming Police knocking on your door!

By shaft trimming less off of the tip than suggested, this will result into a slightly more flexible club, while trimming more off of the tip makes the club stiffer. However, this should only be accomplished if the clubmaker understands the consequences and more importantly if it is at all possible to begin with.

Let’s say we are looking for a heavier graphite shaft for a fairway wood to provide a little more control for a golfer. One example if the Cadence 85 wood shaft, but it is only available in a stiff flex. Looking at the recommended trimming tells us to follow Trim Chart N.

Chart

1W

2W

3W

4W

5W

6W

7W

9W

11W

13W

15W

N

1″

1.25″

1.5″

1.75″

2″

2.25″

2.5″

2.75″

3″

3.25″

3.5″

However, what if the golfer is not quite strong enough to use the S-flex? The clubmaker can elect to modify the tip trimming to adjust for the player’s swing speed and tempo. Instead of taking off the recommended 2” off of the tip for a 5-wood, taking 1” from the tip will result into something between an R and S-flex shaft. The clubmaker alters the trimming to create something that did not exist before, but ends up fitting the player.

For the True Ace Pink Diamond Ladies and many of our other house brand shaft models for woods, the recommended trimming tells us to follow Trim Chart D.

Chart

1W

2W

3W

4W

5W

6W

7W

9W

11W

13W

15W

D

1″

1.25″

1.5″

1.75″

2″

2.25″

2.5″

2.5″

2.5″

2.5″

2.5″

This trimming schedule will start out with trimming 1” from the tip of the shaft for a driver. For a very slow swinging woman, you can opt to leave that 1” on the tip creating a softer sub-flex or a flex softer than the normal L-flex. But if you do so with the driver, you would want to trim 1” less off of each fairway wood to provide consistency within the set.

What does the 1” represent in terms of stiffness?

1” less tip trimming = @ 5 cpm (cycles per minute) lower

1” additional tip trimming = @ 5 cpm higher

10-15 cpm is generally considered by many of as 1 full flex

In our examples above we took off less than what was required, but it is possible to take additionally off of the tip to create a stiffer flex. Often there are times when you cannot take more off of the tip, otherwise you will run out of parallel tip section to be able to insert the shaft into the hosel or have sufficient shaft left to obtain the desired length. It is always helpful to calculate the possibility of trimming additionally prior to cutting the golf shaft.

While there might be certain times that the clubmakers may deviate from the recommended tip trimming procedure by the manufacturer, it is best to follow the normal tip trimming procedures whenever possible. But if you are in doubt or have a question concerning the proper trimming, contact the distributor or manufacturer of the shaft to get a second opinion as manufacturers will not warrant incorrectly cut shafts.

For More Information:

Total Clubfitting in the 21st Century Book by Jeff Summitt
Only $18.00
Includes the latest information related to fitting each and every specification of a golf club. With emphasis on dynamic fitting, this definitive guide incorporates many approaches to a “best fit” situation. Face angle, loft, lie shafts, grip and head selection are all discussed in detail.

The Modern Guide to Clubmaking 4th Edition Book By Jeff Summitt
Only $22.00
Explains in detail the proper procedures for modern clubmaking. Step-by-step photos and text explain how to assemble clubs, trim shafts, install grips – every procedure to properly assemble component clubs. Subjects covered are modern shaft installation, grip installation, swingweighting, putter assembly, iron & wood assembly, common questions and many more.

IT’S HERE! The Greatest Hireko Golf Catalog Ever Created Is Now Available To Download!

“I’ve been a Hireko customer for over 15 years. This is by far the BEST catalog they have ever made. The new clubheads are exquisite looking and I can’t wait to play with them. Plus their new shaft and grip pricing is crazy low!”
– Shannon, Clearwater, FLA

Hireko Golf CatalogDownload the new 2008 Hireko catalog and see for yourself why customers are getting so excited. From the new super long Caiman Driver to new low prices on shafts and grips we’re confident that your scores will be lower and wallet lighter.

Please Note! The best way to download the catalog is place your cursor over the blue highlighted text below then RIGHT CLICK on your mouse (not left!) and then choose SAVE LINK AS then download to your desktop.

Download New 2008 Hireko Catalog
16 meg PDF file – Download time dependent on internet connection

Download New 2008 Hireko Price List

How to Make Money in Golf Club Component Sales

Jeff Summitt Asks “What Is The Custom Clubmaking Pricing Sweetspot?”

Those that build clubs as a hobby often do so because they like working with their hands and helping others who enjoy the game as much as them. In most cases they do this without regards to making any money. If they really put pen to paper, they may find out their hobby is not making them money. But after all, a hobby is for the mere enjoyment and interest not necessarily for financial gain. Continue Article.

How to Make Money in Golf Club Component Sales

Jeff Summitt Searches And Finds The Custom Clubmaking Pricing Sweetspot

Those that build clubs as a hobby often do so because they like working with their hands and helping others who enjoy the game as much as them. In most cases they do this without regards to making any money. If they really put pen to paper, they may find out their hobby is not making them money. But after all, a hobby is for the mere enjoyment and interest not necessarily for financial gain.

However, many seek to take the next step and generate a little extra income as a part time venture or as a full blown retail shop. At this point it becomes crucial that the clubmaker understands the economics of running a business thoroughly as they understand how to build, fit or repair a golf club.

Having taught clubmaking classes for over a decade, I discovered where most hobbyists needed help. Many of those that came to learn the craft often possessed excellent hand-on skills and could quickly complete a particular task with precision and care. But when it came to understanding the business side, many were lost. Understanding the basics of pricing goes a long way towards making money in clubmaking.

What is the right pricing strategy for my clubmaking business?
There is a delicate balance that a clubmaker has regarding pricing in their shop. First, one needs to price the products / services high enough to cover all costs, but at the same time does not want to price them out of the market before they ever get started. Unlike many OEM clubs which are regulated by Minimum Advertised Pricing policies the clubmaker has complete freedom to price as he/she pleases. Of course, with so many choices, it’s easy to make the wrong ones. The clubmaker needs to completely understand their demographics, their competition and be honest with themselves of their ability and the quality of product they can produce. There are a number of ways to establish pricing in your clubmaking shop. Remember, it is better to err on the high side as it is easier to lower prices than to raise them when starting out.

  • Below Competition Pricing – Selling at a lower price than your competitors to gain market share and often rely on high volume to offset low margins
  • Parity Pricing – Compare pricing of the competition in your area and set the price the same
  • Market Pricing – Conducting research on what the potential customers in your area are willing to spend on your products or services
  • Above Competition Pricing – Offer a slightly higher price than your competitors to perceive that your product, skills and knowledge is more valuable
  • Prestige Pricing – Selling your products or services well above the competitors in your area to present your product as a perceived higher quality compared to your competition, but be aware that your customers may be leery and question the value if it is priced too high without some brand awareness

It should be a goal of any business to show a profit rather than just break even. Net profit is a term for the amount of money a company attains after all of the costs, expenses and taxes has been paid. Net profit margin is the measure of profitability of the business and calculated by dividing net earnings by total revenues. (If you setting a realistic goal, corporate America for the past 25 years averages about 8% net profit)

Here are a few tips on how to properly price of your products and services in order to succeed.

  • Your prices must cover all of your costs and potential profits
  • Establish a price (or pricing formula) you can adhere to before any potential sale occurs
  • Evaluate your pricing frequently to reflect demand, competition and your costs
  • If you want to lower your prices to your customer you either need to lower your costs or increase your volume
  • Most importantly, know the actual costs of operating your clubmaking business

The last point can be a daunting challenge for anyone that starts a clubmaking business from scratch. It may help to speak with another clubmaker that might not be in direct competition with you for advice. There are two types of costs associated with a business: fixed and variable. In nearly every clubmaking shop will have a peak season and there will not be a steady stream of cash flow, yet there are certain costs that are fixed throughout the year. Examples of fixed costs are rent, financing charges, insurance, utilities, labor and even profit. Variable costs include the inventory of heads, shafts and grips, supplies and shipping.

Leave some pricing room for the unexpected. Consider that sanding belts wear down and cut-off wheels break. Rest assured certain wear and tear on tools will need to be replaced on an on-going basis. Small items such as ferrules, epoxy, tape and other supplies will run out and have to be re-ordered. Also, what happens if a head or shaft was to break and you need to fix it for the customer? There will be additional time involved for the clubmaker to call the manufacturer, make sure it is under warranty, remove the defective part, ship to back to the supplier and then re-build it. Golf club parts will break from time to time through no fault of the golfer, so warranties are part of the business. Even consider that theft can occur or the unlikely misfortune that you tip trim a shaft incorrectly or accidental damage occurs to a demo club that you simply have to replace.

What is your pricing sweet-spot?
The proper price you choose should maximize your sales and profits, while providing enough profit to cover all your overhead and cost of goods. Let’s use a driver as an example to illustrate the point. The cost of a head is $60, shaft $25, grip $3.75, clubmaking supplies $1.25 and shipping $10. The cost of goods is $100.00. Below is an example of a forecast of how many you might sell at each price.

How To Make MoneyFirst, you could theoretically sell each club at $1 over your cost. This will require the clubmaker to do an awful lot of work to build enough clubs and equally will need to attract high traffic volume to make any significant amount of gross profits. One might think that by selling at such a low mark up that customers will be busting down their doors. Remember your customers may have no idea of what your costs are and could be suspicious of the quality at the lower price. Be realistic of how just how many customers will walk through your shop or visit your website. Without significant advertising (which will take away from your bottom line) chances are unlikely you will attract any more customers than your present traffic.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can set a high price for the driver or one that is the equivalent of what the average OEM driver sells for on the market ($299). Remember that the OEMs spend millions of dollars in advertising to create demand for their product. While you may like the gross profit selling this driver for $300, you may find at this price you sell very few.

So the goal is to find the sweet-spot, the point at which you can maximize your profits, given all that you know about your particular market. In this example, maximum gross profits are derived by selling that driver at $175, even though it did not result in the greatest amount of revenue. In retail terms, there is a term called “keystone pricing” which is doubling the cost of goods. This may be a good staring point in which you can work backwards in finding the sweet-spot price point for your market

Additional tips to help your clubmaking shop make more money

A clubmaker can also elect to have wholesale accounts such as local golf courses and driving ranges that you may do work for. Often time the clubmaker will offer a lower margin or mark up for these accounts to get the business. In turn, the wholesale account may provide the clubmaker with extra volume and income, while the wholesale account can add services and make money at the same time.

Clubmakers who have federal tax ID # or reseller # or even for those who do enough volume with a company often receive trade pricing. This is one of the ways mentioned previously in which to lower their costs to either lower their pricing to the consumer or generate high gross profit margins. Trade pricing is almost always kept confidential so the public does not what the clubmaker is paying for the components.

For those individuals considering clubmaking for profit, they should spend as much time advancing their business skills and fine-tuning the business strategy as much as they do the actual honing their selling, fitting and assembly techniques. No matter how well laid out the shop appears, the amount of sophisticated tools and measurement devises exist, or knowledgeable the clubmaker is on clubhead design, fitting, etc. many clubmaking shops fail for the long term without a solid business plan.

In closing, I would like to add one small tidbit for running a clubmaking shop; do not sell on price alone. If your business does not rely on the internet for the majority of your sales, you are going to draw customers from your local market. In addition to offering a fair price for your product, also rely on the intangibles such as the personal service, knowledge and convenience only you can provide.