Why Our Customer Product Reviews Lead To Better Products

By looking at the design features that consumers are partial to (such as function, sound, finish, appearance or size) this helps us use those features along with new technologies to create next year’s model.

Your Products Reviews are Important to Us!
It is no secret, but golf club companies today are required to more with less. Newer products are becoming increasingly more difficult to produce, yet the product lifecycle is decreasing. Consumers have an insatiable appetite for product innovation so the dilemma for manufacturers is to speed up developmental time and work more diligently. Consumers also want improved quality and want manufacturers to hold the line on pricing, while there are more rules and regulations that must be followed. This is a tall order for any manufacturer in today’s world.

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Before product development begins is when the manufacturer prepares a strategy to address all these issues. One of the ways you as a consumer can help is to provide good honest feedback on products. Often times a company’s website will have a place to consumer to voice their opinion and write a product review. The theory of product reviews is that peer-to-peer ratings from independent users will help those who are shopping on the website to make educated buying decisions. It is really no different than word-of-mouth advertising, but the population of users becomes much larger because of the connectivity of the World Wide Web.

In the product developmental world, the theory is slightly different. If the manufacturers read the reviews, they are shopping for ideas and concepts that the users liked and make a list of those they don’t. At Hireko we can draw upon the extensive product line we offer both past and present. By looking at product reviews we can narrow down underperformers, not just on a balance sheet of what did or did not sell, but why. Models or concepts that do not perform well, no matter how good the marketing is, cannot overcome bad performance reviews.

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How does this help the end consumer? By looking at the design features that consumers are partial to (such as function, sound, finish, appearance or size) this helps us use those features along with new technologies to create next year’s model. This cuts down on tooling, developmental time and production costs. These effectively help to hold down prices elsewhere or we can include added features at little no additional cost passed on to the consumer.

Hireko has an ambitious year ahead for new product developments whether all of the products ever make it to market or not. Believe it or not, your product reviews do help us plan new products for the future.

View All Customer Product Reviews.

How To Improve Your Golf Stance By PGA Master Pro Bob Burns

These Simple Adjustments Will Improve Your Game

After a few missed fairway or shots that have traveled off the beaten path, golfers typically make alignment adjustments. With these adjustments or compensations the golfer intends to steer or guide the ball to the target. (The alignment of your feet and body in relation to your target-line). If you play like an insider, someone who understands and practices the fundamentals of a sound golf swing, you too will find yourself hitting those targets.  Continue.

How To Improve Your Golf Stance By PGA Master Pro Bob Burns

These Simple Adjustments Will Improve Your Game

After a few missed fairway or shots that have traveled off the beaten path, golfers typically make alignment adjustments. With these adjustments or compensations the golfer intends to steer or guide the ball to the target. (The alignment of your feet and body in relation to your target-line). If you play like an insider, someone who understands and practices the fundamentals of a sound golf swing, you too will find yourself hitting those targets.

Becoming an Insider to the Game of GolfSpring Flyer Download

Chances are good that you’ve often felt like an outsider to the game of golf, as if you’re trying to play and comprehend the game from the outside-in—as in aiming your habitually slicing drives at or into a line of trees, or out over the rough, or sometimes even out-of-bounds, in hopes of curving or steering your spinning ball back into the fairway—or in regularly trying to swing or steer your slicing drives away from the direction in which you commonly hit them (away from the right if you play right-handed), by aligning your feet, hips, and shoulders well outside the optimal target-line.  If you do these things, you are indeed playing the game from the outside-in—and in an exaggerated manner—because in trying to compensate for the effects of your habitual outside-in swing, you are actually exacerbating them.

By setting yourself up well outside the optimal target-line, you cause the club to be taken back further outside the correct swing-plane than it would otherwise be, and you increase (rather than decrease) the chances that the club will cut across the ball, and slice it. Your instinct is to swing your arms away from the slicing direction in which you normally hit the ball; but the logic of golf is counter-instinctual if, like most golfers, you are already swinging the club from the outside-in.

Your stance should be such that you align your feet and body as the logic and physics of good golf demand, by adjusting your stance as if you are going to hit the ball “straight down the middle,” as Bing Crosby once sang—or even by aligning yourself slightly to the right of your target line, as if you mean to draw the ball from right to left—and then by swinging from the inside-out, by taking the club back inside your target-line as you start your backswing, and by following the same inside-out plane on your downswing.

This type of practice, golfers of all skill sets can benefit from. These simple adjustments will automatically improve your results and it doesn’t hurt to have a trained and watchful eye to ensure you are properly aligned.

By: Bob Burns
PGA Master Professional
2007 WI Section PGA Teacher of the Year
Top 50 Instructor and inventor of the No Bananas driver
www.bobburnsgolf.com

Improving Your Golf Grip By PGA Master Pro Bob Burns

PGA Master Pro Bob Burns Illuminates Us On Proper Grip Technique

Before most golfers even step foot on the tee box, they already have their grip set. This being first and foremost, we need to ensure proper hand placement to achieve desired results.

The Basics of Forming a Correct Grip (for a right-handed golfer)
While holding the club off the ground, waist-high, in front of you, with your left hand, and checking to see that the clubface is square to your target-line, set the grip-handle under the heel-pad of that left hand.  As you close your left hand, your left thumb should be right of center on the grip-handle (in a 1:00 position). You should see two or three knuckles on the back of your hand, which should be aimed between your target and the sky. The club should feel secure in your fingers, and you should feel the left-hand pressure of your grip in the last three fingers.

Now bring your right hand to the handshake-position. Your right palm should be parallel to the leading edge of the clubface.  As you close your right-hand, your right thumb should be left of center on the grip-handle (in an 11:00 position). Your left thumb should fit comfortably in the valley between the base of your right thumb and the heel-pad on your right hand.  You should feel the right-hand pressure of your grip in the middle and ring fingers of your right hand.

Try to maintain a firm but light grip-pressure throughout your swing—“as if you’re holding a baby bird,” as Sam Snead once said.

Weak Grip/Strong Grip
A grip that is too weak is one in which the grip-handle of the club is placed too much in the palm of the glove-hand, rather than in the fingers. Such a weak grip causes a slice—that big banana ball—especially with a driver and the longer irons. Your grip is too weak if you see but one knuckle (or none at all) on the back of your glove-hand (the left hand for right-handed players) when you’re addressing the ball, or when the V formed by your thumb and index finger on that hand points to your chin, rather than toward your rear shoulder.  By contrast, your grip is too strong if you see four knuckles on your glove-hand, and when the palm of your non-glove hand faces upward.  Such a strong grip often causes a bad hook, or a shot that flies low and left.  You have too strong a grip if either of the V’s on your hands points outside your rear shoulder.

By: Bob Burns, PGA Master Professional, 2007 WI Section PGA Teacher of the Year, Top 50 Instructor and inventor of the No Bananas driver. www.bobburnsgolf.com

Chris Burns
Bob Burns Golf
Home Of The No Bananas Driver
428 W. Edgewood Dr.
Appleton, WI 54914
(920) 991-9663
chris@bobburnsgolf.com
www.BobBurnsGolf.com

“The acer irons provided more distance and accuracy than the Callaway irons did.”

I recently ordered a Power Play weighted hybrid and Acer 905 wide sole irons to test them out and decide if I want to purchase the hybrids to replace my long irons and the irons to replace my existing ones. It is 18 degrees in Detroit today but I had to go to the range! I checked out fron the pro shop the Callaway fusion wide sole irons and hit them , then I hit the acer irons that IO purchased. Unbelievably, the acer irons provided more distance and accuracy than the Callaway irons did. The Power play hybrid was also amazing. I will be ordering the rest of the set soon. Thank you for providing such a superior product at such an affordable price!

– Steve Parker

Hi Rob,
By all means you can post my comment. Hell, you can even give out my e-mail address as a reference!!! I went and played today. The high in Michigan today was 19. There is only one course in Detroit that is open year round. I am so pleased with my clubs. They have added about 15-20 yards per club to my game. I have had to adjust my swing a little. I used to swing for distance; now I concentrate on accuracy. The clubs do all the work. The comment I get now is, “ Wow, you’re going to use a 9 iron from here?” Words can not explain how satisfied I am with my new clubs. I was hooked on the price alone, but as I stated in my previous e-mail, when I compared the Acer 905 to the Calloway fusion wide sole (which I could never afford), I was jaw dropped. What I like most is the customization. I am 6-3 and when I play with standard length clubs my back is killing me by the 6th hole. I played 18 this afternoon with no Tylenol. So, not only have these new clubs improved my game, they got rid of my back ache!!! The only problem I foresee is when spring arrives and golf is in full swing, your clubs may be the main factor why I will be sleeping on the couch. My wife will be pissed because I will ALWAYS be on the course.

Once again, thanks for making such a superior product at such an affordable price.

– Steve Parker

View Power Play Hybrids Only $40.19 Each
View Acer 905 Irons Only $21.69 Each

What Are Universal Putter Adapters?

Jeff Summitt Examines The New Putter Accessory Of The Year

One of the newest products we introduced this year is an “add-on” piece that can convert not only one of Hireko’s putters, but virtually any putter with a 0.370″ parallel bore and 90° socket into an entirely different putter regardless of the manufacturer. Ease

These precision cast, stainless steel adapters have an attractive neutral bead blast finish and there are three styles to choose from. Their inexpensive price tag and ease of installation will make these adapters a staple in every clubmaking shop. Let me explain the benefits and differences amongst the choices.h1

Long / Broomstick Putter Adapter

Long or “broomstick” putters are designed to be approximately 46″ to 52″ and have the end of the grip anchored to your sternum, Adam’s apple or chin. With the belly length putters garnering much more attention today, few manufacturers actually make dedicated broomstick putters. Typically a long putter’s head weight will be required to be heavier than a normal putter. This helps to offset the heavier weight of the grip(s) and creates the pendulum motion used with this type of putter. With the emergence of heavier putter heads (400+ grams) on the market today, there is a larger selection available as candidates to make a long putter, but with one exception and that is achieving the proper lie angle.

In the vast majority of cases it is impossible to bend the hosel without breaking from a standard lie (70-72°) to a lie that is better suited to a long putter (79°). In addition, many of the popular mallet putters heavy enough to make a long putter do not have a hosel to bend at all. Now, try to find a long bent putter shaft that will accommodate the lie angle. Better yet, try to bend one of the long reinforced tip “ski-pole” putter shafts. Chances are neither of these two things is going to happen.

So what is the solution? Hireko developed a simple yet specialized adapter that can convert the lie angle of a putter with a 90° socket to 79° for use as a long or broomstick putter. The male post is designed to fit the inside diameter of the Apollo 53″ long putter shaft. These weigh 20g each and help increase the putter’s head weight. Plus these will work for either a RH or LH putter.

If you want to experiment with a broomstick model, but eventually decide it is not right for you, the hosel adapter can easily be removed and no harm or ill-effects have been made to the original putter. The Acer CB3, CB5 and the Bionik 209 all make good candidates from our offerings, along with this adapter to make your broomstick putter.

Slant and Plumber’s Neck

Unlike the Long / Broomstick putter adapter, these two adapters (Slant & Plumber’s Neck) will take a right-handed putter that requires a compound double bend shaft and be able to use any straight .370″ shaft in its place and create the same lie angle as a regular putter (@ 72°). Some clubmaker’s have a difficult time aligning the compound double bend shafts. By installing one of these adapters into putter with a 90° socket, the clubmakers can easily install a straight shaft.

If the golfer wants to increase the weight of the putter, these two adapters will add 44g to the head. While it might sound like a lot, you might be surprised by the feel. In addition, extremely oversized putter grips are en vogue. These weigh in the neighborhood of 200g which counter-balances the putter and can make the heavy feel too light without the addition of extra head weight. Both overall weight of the putter and the head weight have an h2effect on the consistency, direction and distance the ball comes off the face.

Slant Hosel
The slant neck adapter most closely resembled the offset created by the Apollo compound double bend shaft. In fact in many putters we have tested these with, the slant adapter comes closest to aligning the shaft with the leading edge of the putter’s face for ease in alignment.

Plumber’s Neck Hosel

This is more like the popular hosel configuration made popular with the Ping® Anser putter. The Plumber’s

h3 Neck actually creates an offset where the hands are slightly forward of the putter.

Directions: Simply test fit stem into the putter’s socket as it should be a tight fit. If it is loose, this could affect the lie and/or loft, shim with shafting beads to help center the adapter into the hosel. If it does not fit, lightly hand sand stem until it does fit snug. If you want to speed up the process, you can apply quick setting epoxy to stem, seat it fully into the socket, align the adapter and allow the epoxy to harden. Lastly, install the new shaft – it’s that simple!

To Purchase Online:
Long-Broomstick Putter Adapter only $3 each.
Slant Hosel Putter Adapter only $3 each.
Plumbers Neck Putter Adapter only $3 each.

Product Spotlight: Karma “Midsize” Grip

Some items tend to get buried on a website or even in a catalog that reallyKarma Black Velvet Midsize need further explanation. One prime example is the Karma Black Velvet Midsize and White Velvet Midsize grips. The name Midsize might confuse a lot of players as to the exact size of the grip. After all, nomenclature such as Midsize and Jumbo are descriptive terms, but have no universal size associated with them.Karma White Velvet

For many clubmakers and club fitters, a “midsize” grip might indicated that the grip is +1/16” over Men’s standard size as the majority of the midsize grips on the market are this large. However, it should be noted that not all midsize grips are this large as there are no industry standard for grip size. Midsize may only refer to the relative size in-between the Standard and Jumbo version a particular model.

The Karma Black and White Velvet Midsize are actually +1/32” over standard men’s sized grips. This is the equivalent to adding approximately 4 layers of masking tape underneath the grip in order to build-up the size. A traditional midsize grip (+1/16” over men’s standard) is approximately the same as taking a standard size grip and adding 8 layers of masking tape underneath the grip.

So for golfer’s seeking a grip size larger than Standard, but in-between the most Midsize models will find the Karma “Midsize” models to be that perfect size. For clubmakers, this Power Play Caiman Driversizing option creates a time-saver by eliminating an additional step in the assembly process.

New Product Arrival! Power Play Caiman Driver In Stock March 27!
Caiman Component Driver $59.95 each
Caiman Assembled Base Price $106.59 each

Why Don’t You Publish More Information On Your Clubheads?

Jeff Summitt Examines Driver Size and Limitations

You might be surprised just how much you can tell just by looking at the shape and size of a driver head. After you read this article and with a few measurements, one should be able to approximate some information about your driver that it takes a machine costing several thousands of dollars to do. What prompted this article? I had a customer recently email me why we don’t publish more information on our clubheads. I politely responded that in many cases it can confuse the average golfer. He was interested in particular to the MOI of our heads. He wondered which of our non-square models had an MOI of 5900 g-cm2 (an explanation will come later).  Continue.

Why Don’t You Publish More Information On Your Clubheads?

Jeff Summitt Examines Driver Size and Limitations

You might be surprised just how much you can tell just by looking at the shape and size of a golf driver head. After you read this article and with a few measurements, one should be able to approximate some information about your driver that it takes a machine costing several thousands of dollars to do. What prompted this article? I had a customer recently email me why we don’t publish more information on our golf clubheads. I politely responded that in many cases itSpring Flyer Download can confuse the average golfer. He was interested in particular to the MOI of our heads. He wondered which of our non-square models had an MOI of 5900 g-cm2 (an explanation will come later).

In the Rules of Golf, there are a few specific limits outlined in Appendix II regarding clubheads, in particular a driver head, that manufacturers are required to know prior to designing a new model. Manufacturers are constantly trying to improve from one generation of clubhead to the next. Many of these changes are minute as each year passes and we get closer and closer to approaching these limits set forth by the USGA and R&A Rules Limited.

Just because there are limits, does not mean that they are necessarily achievable. One such limit is the MOI or moment of inertia about the face of the club. Many of the design variables go hand in hand. That is one change to a certain parameter will have an effect on another. This will help to explain why there are certain limitations depending upon the shape of the club.

Volume
Golf club Volume is one of the limits on size stipulated by the USGA. The maximum allowableDownload New Catalog Ad volume is 460cc (+10cc tolerance). That is if you submerge the clubhead in a calibrated beaker of water up to the hosel (if one exists), it will displace no more than 460cc. The other method is weighing the clubhead when submerged in water using an electronic scale. Some electronic scales have a tare button which will zero out the weight on the scale. All you have to do is tare the scale, submerge the clubhead, steady it, then read the new gram weight on the scale. If the weight is 460g, then the volume will be 460cc.

For a full discussion on the volume, visit Golf Club Volume Part I and Golf Club Volume Part II.

Weight
There is not a rule that governs the weight of the driver directly. Driver heads on average are 200g ± 4g. What happens when you change weight? One change is it affects the swingweight of the club. Most Men’s drivers are 45” have a weight of @ 200g and this creates a normal swingweight range. Drivers that are produced longer than 45” usually have slightly lighter heads. If heads are made shorter than 45”, clubmakers typically find ways of adding weight to the head. Weight is also a factor which affects our next topic.

For a more in-depth discussion on swingweight, please click on the article Fitting For Club Club Swingweight.

Face MOI
The USGA does have a limit on the MOI of a golf club (5900 g-cm2) about its face. This is a measurement that helps describe the resistance of twisting about a specific plane. The higher the number, the greater resistance there is to twisting, in this case off-center shots. The MOI is a function on the weight (and weight distribution) of the head as well as its physical dimensions.

For a more in-depth discussion on the moment of inertia, read Golf Club Moment of Inertia Defined.

Shape
In addition to volume, another subject regulating size according to the Rules of Golf is the physical dimensions or proportions. The maximum length from heel to toe of a driver head can be no more than 5” (127mm). This may seem like a cut and dry measurement, but the definition of where the actual heel is can be in question if the heel is not clearly defined. One contingent rule is the distance from heel to toe must be greater than from front to back. This means if the full 5” from heel to toe is met, then the breadth (front to back measurement) can be at most just shy of 5”. Most clubs come no where near the maximum breadth. As a way to describe clubs, we can categorize them based on the percentage of the breath as compared to the heel to toe dimension.

TraditionalDriver Limitations
The Traditional category had been a mainstay in golf for a very long time. From the days of the modern “pear-shaped” persimmon or wooden heads, then when metal wood first came into existence, traditional shaped clubs are still very popular today. The proportion of the traditional shaped wood has a breath @ 80% of the distance from heel to toe. At 460cc, these will possess the deepest faced models and at 200g, the MOI range will be approaching 4200 g-cm2. Even though this is far from the 5900 g-cm2 limit, these heads are still very forgiving compared to smaller heads in the past. Better golfers will gravitate toward this category of club for two reasons; it is a shape that they may familiar with and adorn at address, plus the ability to “work” the ball if need be.

Full Bodied
Starting around 2005, an industry trend started in which
clubhead manufacturers began stretching the breadth of the head to shift the center of gravity deeper or further behind the face. We will call this the Full Bodied category whose proportions to the breath are @ 85% of the distance from heel to toe. The additional 5% does not sound like that is a lot, but considering the heel to toe dimension is 5”, this equates to the breadth increasing by 0.25” (6.4mm).

Wide Body
In 2006, manufacturers began stretching the breadth even greater to increase the Face MOI and shift the CG deeper within the head. We will coin this category as Wide Body with the breath @ 90% of the distance from heel to toe. Another term that you may hear to describe this type of design is “bullet shaped”. In order to maintain the maximum allowable volume, then the head must become shallower in crown height. One trade off for the higher Face MOI is that now there is less room for error above and below the center of the face to make contact with the ball.

Super Wide Body
2007 marks the year we started to see a manufacturer develop a driver closer to the 5” x 4.99” limit. Probably a good term to describe these proportions would be Super Wide Body in which the breath is @ 95% of the distance from heel to toe. In order to maintain the maximum allowable volume, then the head becomes very shallow. The other alternative is to scoop out the crown to form an inverted shape so that it takes up less volume when placed in a beaker of water. The resultant is a higher pitched sound at impact due to creating the non-traditional crown shape. Manufacturers have to be extremely creative in producing a model in this category.

Comparing the Different Shapes
In the following table are some approximations of the dimensions we just described. For instance, let’s look at a 200g Full Bodied titanium driver without screws or additional internal weighting. At 460cc, the club can be a maximum of 5” (127mm) from heel to toe, have a breadth of 4.25” (108mm) and a crown height of 2.45” (62.2mm). Without even placing the clubhead on a MOI measuring device, the Face MOI is going to in the 4400 range. If you like that shape, but want a head with a significantly higher Face MOI, it will not occur as there are physical limits that no manufacturer can defy.

Driver Size Limitations 1

As mentioned previously, not all drivers weigh the same, plus you have to factor in the plus and minus weight tolerances in production. The last row in the table shows the approximate range if the weight was between 196 and 204 grams. Finding heads that have the ability to change to heavier weight screws is another way to increase the Face MOI although one must consider the consequences by increasing the head weight in certain applications.

It is not as easy as it sounds, but if a manufacturer can make head any lighter with the maximum volume by either creating thinner walls or utilizing lighter materials, then the discretionary weight can be re-distributed elsewhere in the head. Screws, internal weighting and carbon top clubs are examples of these as another way to increase the MOI slightly higher with the proportions in the previous charts. The problem is it is hard to make the wall that much thinner than they are presently or substitute any lighter materials than what are already employed. Plus the down side is incorporating some of these features into a design can be more prone to the head prematurely breaking from normal use.

Changes to Geometry
Due to limitations with a conventional shape manufacturers are pushing the threshold in producing heads with more geometric shapes. The triangular shape is the latest being tested by a few manufacturers. This allows the head to be broader from face to back without sacrificing crown height and still be in at the maximum 460cc as there is material devoid from the rear heel and toe areas.

Square heads naturally create a higher MOI as more weight is in the rear corners. If the heel-to-toe, crown height and breadth dimension are the same as a conventional head of 460cc, then the volume will be a higher. Therefore either face height or the breadth has to be sacrificed to allow it to conform. The following chart is a comparison if the head shape was “square”.

Driver Size Limitations 2

OK, I’ll admit “Traditional Square” shape is an oxy-moron, but at least it is the proportions we are most concerned with. As you can see, the square geometry provides a much high Face MOI values by about 12% over a conventional shaped clubs of the same proportions. But again realize the trade off as the height was reduced to achieve this.

Hopefully you gained a better understanding on not only the limits on MOI, breadth and crown height, but also why. For example, why you do not see deep face drivers that are broad from front to back? Or why certain design parameters cannot be achieved and still allow the head to conform to certain rules established by the USGA? Lastly, why certain parameters are not physically able to be produced with the current materials and technology available today? So when someone asks you what non-square driver model on the market has a face MOI 5900 g-cm2, you can safely say they do not exist.

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.

What Is A Ribbed Grip And Will It Help Me Score Lower?

Jeff Summit Explains The Ins & Outs Of Ribbed Grips

In today’s market, consumers have a wide variety of golf grips to choose from. They are offered in a multitude of materials, textures, firmness, styles and color combinations not to mention sizes. Golfers can easily be confused by subtle difference in each offering or by the terminology. One such term that I have been asked about recently is concerning ribbed grips. Not familiar with that term? Then you might be new to golf or may not have played for many years. Continue.