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Archives for July 2009 | Hireko Golf Blog

"Hireko Golf's Avatar XMOI woods are long, in more ways than one!"

Read the new Worldgolf.com review of the Dynacraft Avatar

Hireko Golfs Dynacraft Avatar XMOI Driver $99.95 Custom Assembled

Hireko Golf's Dynacraft Avatar XMOI Driver $99.95 Custom Assembled

XMOI Drivers

the following review was written by Senior Writer Kiel Christianson from Worldgolf.com:

Many golfers probably have not heard of Hireko Golf but they have probably heard of many of the brands this well respected component company has acquired over the past nearly 30 years. These brands include Pal Joey, Acer and Dynacraft.

For players looking to upgrade older golf equipment – and older technology – Hireko Golf offers very solid equipment for surprisingly affordable prices. For example, the new Dynacraft Avatar XMOI 460cc driver costs less than $100, fully assembled. For around $50 more, you can custom order a tricked out version that is almost certain to impress you with its length.

How the Dynacraft Avatar XMOI by Hireko Golf plays

We took an Avatar XMOI driver (10.5 degrees) and matching 3-wood (15 degrees) out to the practice tee and course to compare them against some big-name competitors, specifically the Nike SQ Dymo driver and 3-wood.

The Avatar driver (base price, $99.95) that we tested had been customized with an Aldila NV-65 shaft ($44 extra) and Golf Pride Tour Wrap grip ($2 extra), for a grand total of $146. The Avatar 3-wood (base price, $49.95) was likewise upgraded, coming to $96. By comparison, the Nike clubs run approximately $299 and $249, respectively.

We also tested the Avatar driver against the Nike SQ Str8-FIT driver, which originally listed at $540, but can usually be found for $300-$400.

At set-up, the Avatar has a quite traditional pear-like shape, but a less-than-traditional deep (i.e., high) face. The look will appeal to purists, as will both Nike drivers.

We found the sound of the Avatar to be significantly less “clangy” than the Nike Str8-FIT, but noticeably louder than the SQ Dymo. In essence, pretty standard for the current generation of lightweight, 460cc drivers.

What really struck me and the single-digit handicapper I asked to test the clubs was the extreme length of the Avatar XMOI, compared to the other two drivers. The single-digit player had just bought the Str8-FIT, but was in love with the other club’s length.

The Avatar was catapulting the ball a good 20-plus yards beyond his best drives with the Nike and beginning to make him question his purchase.

The same was true of the SQ Dymo I was testing. I was working on swing mechanics and trying (generally unsuccessfully) to take half-swings, yet my drives with the Avatar were landing at the 315-yard marker. Seriously.

The mystery of the added length was solved, though, when my guest-tester realized that the club looked exceptionally long. Indeed, when stood up against the Nike drivers, we found the Avatar’s green Aldila shaft to be a good three inches longer.

To put it simply: a longer shaft means longer drives. However, it also means less control. And, out on the golf course, the uber-long Avatar delivered some absolutely spectacular drives, about half of which were found somewhere near the fairway.

As for the Avatar XMOI 3-wood, well, the shaft wasn’t as disproportional as that of the driver. Accordingly, the length was not discernibly different from the Nike SQ Dymo 3-wood against which it was tested. Recall, though, that the Avatar costs $150 less.

The verdict on Dynacraft Avatar XMOI woods by Hireko Golf

The Avatar XMOI is a powerful driver, which – at least in the case of the club we tested – was fueled by an extra-long shaft. My single-digit playing partner, who tends to find the fairway on most holes, was duly impressed by the remarkable length that the solid, stable clubhead with its massive sweet spot delivered.

My performance was less accurate but equally long. It must be noted, though, that one can order shaft lengths both longer and shorter than “standard” on the Hireko Web site. And there’s no extra charge for shorter or, importantly, longer shafts.

In short, if you’re looking for an equipment upgrade at a reasonable price, Hireko Golf is a top contender.

As for my test driver, which is so long in more than one way, I’m going to hang onto it for when I enter one of those long-drive competitions.

An In-Depth Look into Putter Grip Sizing

How will putter grip sizing help your game?

When clubmakers and club fitters discuss grip sizing, many understand exactly what each size should be.  For instance we have ladies, men’s standard, mid-size and jumbo nomenclatures.  What these dimension mean is that when we measure down 2” below the grip cap, the grips have specific dimensions.  The 2” mark is the approximate position of the upper hand on the grip and has been the standard reference point for quite some time. Most clubmaking books show these dimensions for regular grips, but do not have these same references for putter models.


Continue reading “An In-Depth Look into Putter Grip Sizing” »

Download New Free Webinar “Basics of Ferrule Installation” Now!

So a ferrule is a ferrule, correct?

Hireko’s Technical Director Jeff Summitt thoroughly discusses not only the different types of ferrules and their applications, but also how to properly install them. For many clubmakers, installing ferrules can be a huge challenge. Jeff will walk you through the process so it will become second hand. Free webinar is divided into 3 parts. Enjoy!

Download Only The PDF Version Of The Basics of Ferrule Installation Slideshow Here.

Basics of Ferrule Installation 1 of 4
Basics of Ferrule Installation 2 of 4
Basics of Ferrule Installation 3 of 4
Basics of Ferrule Installation 4 of 4

Chalk One Up To The Masters Of Their Craft This Weekend

Classic Golf and Classic Paintings

What a great weekend to revere our elders who happen to create masterpieces we can relish for years to come.  Case in point was the 2009  Open Championship. While Tom Watson might have lost the playoff, it will never be forgotten for what he may have accomplished at the tender age of 59. Unfortunately I was on a plane and had to watch final round updates and highlights from the 3” x 5” personal TV on the seatback in front of me. But it certainly did not diminish the excitement of nearly witnessing history.

I had a good excuse as I was with friends this weekend appreciating the sights at the Getty Museum.  What a wonderful treasure for those in Los Angeles area!  On display were century’s old rare books, ornate tapestries, sculptures and paintings from the likes of Rembrandt, Van Gough, Monet and countless others.


Investment Cast Mold

Coincidently, one of the exhibits that just opened was about the lost wax process.  Instead of investment casting stainless steel golf club heads (like fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges and putters) using the lost wax method, this exhibit showed the casting of a bronze sculpture the way it occurred in the early 1600’s.

There are many similarities between producing a sculpture and a golf club from modeling, making of the mold, pouring of the molten metal to finishing. In golf, the lost wax process is actually a relatively new manufacturing method. It wasn’t until 1966 when Bob Mader of Confidence Golf made the first investment cast iron (prior to Karsten Solheim’s Ping K-1 iron).

So if you are ever in Los Angeles, please be sure to check it out the Getty Museum and the Foundry to Finish: The Making of a Bronze Sculpture exhibit.

Personal Feelings About The New Groove Rule

Technical Director Jeff Summitt Weighs In On The New Groove Rule

I have been asked by several of you readers to share my thoughts about the upcoming USGA groove ruling.  If you are not familiar with the changes, it involves an amendment to the current rules regarding groove width, groove depth, spacing between adjacent grooves and the radius of the top of the groove. It is not designed to eliminate U-grooves and go back to V-grooves, rather redefine the sharpness at the edge of the grooves and tighten the tolerances in manufacturing.
How companies were able to make aggressive grooves and still fall under the existing rule is still beyond my comprehension. But all it took was for a few manufacturers to decide to challenge the existing rules by manufacturing and then touting their wedges will produce greater spin, before the USGA decided to do something about it.  Fair enough, after all the USGA was created to protect the integrity of the game.

So here are my top five thoughts on the latest groove controversy.

5. The USGA set the stage for confusion galore because this rule is unlike any other in the past because it does not apply to all the golfers at the same time.

Power Play Caiman Irons Custom Assembled $29.95 Each

Power Play Caiman Irons Custom Assembled $29.95 Each

This new rule which goes in effect next year will affect less than 1% of the golfers out there.  That’s right, less than 1%!  Unless you are among the most elite golfers, you will not have to worry about buying new equipment because of the grooves on your current clubs.  Even if you are a really good amateur then you might have until 2014 to make a switch as the next tier of players will become affected by the rule.  And for us “everyday golfers”, we don’t have to worry about the groove rule on our existing equipment until 2024 as long as they were previously submitted and conformed under the old rules.  Confused still?  If you are, join the club.

4.  Check out the average golfer’s grooves next time you walk past the bag drop at your local course.  Are they filled with dirt, mud or grass from the last round (or before)?  If they are, it won’t matter what kind of grooves those clubs originally had because they are effectively groove-less in that state.  If that describes you, well your reaction might be “just eliminate grooves altogether as that will be the simplest solution for all”.  That may not sound that far fetched knowing that it took nearly 400 years of golf to starting putting grooves of the faces of clubs.  If you don’t believe me, look in the old history books.

3.  OK, maybe there will be a conforming wedge list soon, just like there is a conforming ball and conforming driver list.  Playing devil’s advocate, let’s say a player uses a groove cleaner or re-grooving tool to “clean” the grooves on one of those clubs on that list. Inadvertently, the person enlarges or eliminates the radius at the top of each groove so it no longer conforms?  After all the strict dimensions and tolerances the USGA is allowing are measured in the thousandths of an inch and this is very possible inadvertently or not.  And who is going to able to check it?

Dynacraft Prophet CNC Forged Iron $35.95 Each

Dynacraft Prophet CNC Forged Iron $35.95 Each

2.  Set up the tour courses like the ones everyday golfers like us play. Course conditions play an important role in a player’s ability to spin the ball.  To give you some evidence, I was lucky to play in a Hooter’s Pro Am several years ago. I must have been on fire that day because I was sucking the ball back on the greens – and I never do that.  My playing partners got mad at me because I couldn’t get the ball to the hole.  I was coming up short each and every time.  When you are not used to that shot, it is hard to make that adjustment mentally. After leaving the tournament later that day, there was still enough daylight to play a quick round at my home course.  With the same clubs and ball, not once was I able to have the ball suck back on the green.  It comes down to course conditions plain and simple.

1. Last time I looked, the one with the lowest score wins the tournament (unless playing the Stableford Competition).  So what is wrong with a PGA or LPGA player shooting a 15 under round of 57?  After all it might be exciting and I am sure the PGA and especially the LPGA Tour right now wants to increase their audiences and TV ratings.  Has anyone shot a 57?  None have, that is the point, not with V-grooves or these new aggressive grooves.  Plus a score of 57 is no where near a perfect score either.

This rule may do nothing more create needless hysteria amongst the everyday golfer, at least in the next 6 months to a year. For manufacturers like Hireko, we cringe over the thoughts of retooling and investing into special club head finishing machinery to make sure the grooves can conform to the new rule.  In the long run, elite golfers will put in the time and learn the techniques necessary to get the ball to land close to the hole; something of which the average golfer won’t creating an even bigger difference talent-wise.  I am sure ball manufacturers will continue with the magic to make sure the ball will spin at current levels but with the new grooves – at least for the professional ranks.

This is not the first rodeo the USGA has been involved with regarding grooves.  In the 1920s the USGA outlawed irons made with unusually wide and deep grooves.  Many of you won’t forget the controversy regarding the Ping Eye 2 irons in the mid 1980’s. I doubt this latest issue will be the last one either.

So for now, at least clean the grooves of your clubs…

What Is The International Clubmakers Guild (ICG)?

Non-profit guild represents clubmakers

Hireko is proud to announce that we are the latest sponsor of the International Clubmakers Guild (ICG).  This non-profit organization was founded to serve a wide array of individuals from golf clubmakers, club fitters and club repairmen to PGA professionals, swing instructors, component suppliers, equipment designers, engineers and even golf scientists.

The ICG is an independent; member owned and operated organization, where the membership determines the benefits and programs of the organization.  The organization is open to professionals and hobbyists alike, which is a great way to foster growth.  So if you want to learn more about the crafts of clubmaking, club fitting and repair this would be a great place to join.

Hireko is excited to be involved because we know the value of what a professional can do to service the customers in their immediate area.  Working one on one with prospective customers is the absolute best way to ensure a quality fit with the wide variety of products we distribute.  Even hobbyists who possess the willingness to learn and have a network of colleagues to call upon will develop better skills and knowledge that creates a solid foundation if they wish to advance further.  If you do decide to join, the best advice I can give you is to get involved.

For addition information on the International Clubmakers Guild, please visit www.clubmakersguild.com.

View The New Clubmaking Webinar “Basics of Shaft Abrasion” Now!

View Free Webinar Video Below and Learn More About Shaft Abrading

Are you deciding what methods are safe and efficient ways to prepare the shaft tip for a good epoxy bond? Hireko’s Technical Director Jeff Summitt will discuss in-depth the principals of shaft abrasion techniques, including both manual methods and motorized equipment for properly preparing steel and graphite shafts.


Basics of Shaft Abrasion 1 of 3
Basics of Shaft Abrasion 2 of 3
Basics of Shaft Abrasion 3 of 3

More Proof That Hireko Is Serious About Golf Club Design Innovation

Interchange Putters Remain A Best Selling Radical Designed Putter Line

Dynacraft Interchange Putters only $8 each for component clubhead

Dynacraft Interchange Putters start at $8 each for component clubhead

Without much hullabaloo back in 2006, Dynacraft International, a division of Hireko Golf, introduced a line of putters called the Dynacraft Interchange.  This innovative putter system consisted of several pieces included a milled aluminum face with a socket for the shaft, plus several different back pieces (body styles).  These back pieces would be fastened together by two screws so the backs could be easily interchanged with a single front piece.  Each of the four distinct body styles, from blade to mallets, had multiple adjustable weight ports allowing the golfer to fine-tune the putter to different course conditions.

Remember someone has to be first when it comes to innovation. Sometimes the first person to market a product or idea is never remembered for a variety of reasons.  One of which may be not devoting ample marketing to get their idea across to the public. It wasn’t until recently that adjustable clubs, most notably drivers like Hireko’s patent-pending Dynacraft Prophet ICT, are becoming more main stream after the recent change of ruling by the USGA.

Now Hireko may have very well been ahead of our time or consumers do not feel that there is a viable market for putters where you can change their bodies for course conditions or forgiveness. No one may know for sure. That is why it was surprising to see a press release from The Wire stating Honma (a very prestigious high end Japanese club manufacturer) recently introduced their all new Perfect Switch putter. It will be interesting to see if they have any better success with their system than we did.

But if you are in the need for a new flatstick, why not get 4 putters in one?  For less than $50, you can buy a shaft (AP46CP), putter grip of your choice, and the Dynacraft Interchange front piece and 4 back pieces.  In less than a minute you can unscrew the two front screws, interchange backs, screw the front screws together again and you instantly have a new putter.  Remember, with the Dynacraft Interchange there is no need to buy a new shaft and grip and try to align the shaft.  The length of your putter and your favorite grip are already set after the initial installation.

Buy Dynacraft Interchange Putters Starting At $8 Each!

What Golf Course Bargains Are In Your Area?

Economic Downturn Yields Lowest Green Fees In Yearsgolfcourse

Unless you have had your head buried in the sand for the past year, you probably are aware of the health of the economy (or lack there of).  But don’t despair as there is always a silver lining.  With everybody vying for your hard earned money, prices become much more competitive and the golf course industry is no exception.

I recently visited a local track to get in a quick nine after work.  Well, it happened to be on league night, so it wasn’t exactly quick, but that didn’t bother me. When I asked the nice young lady at the counter how much it was to walk 9 holes, she replied “That will be $7.50 Sir.”  I had to check that I didn’t have potatoes in my ears, because I thought she said “Sir”, but also only $7.50!  It was indeed correct and much less expensive than I remembered.  I can’t even go to a movie for that price.  Plus I get much needed exercise lugging my over-stuffed golf bag while breathing country fresh air.

That same night, I was thumbing through the sports section in my local paper.  There was an ad for 18 holes and a cart for $20 and after 3 PM it was only $18.  It may not be my favorite course but for that price, who cares? Golfers are getting a lot of solid bang for the buck during this soft economy.

I was talking to a friend of mine who had just joined his local country club.  His argument was that playing a decent daily fee a couple times a week would be more costly than the reduced initiation fee and monthly dues at this club.  The fact he didn’t need a tee time and could play 18 holes in 3 ½ hours or less was  icing on the cake.

The point I am trying to make is I am sure in your area there are bargains galore.  Golf doesn’t have to be expensive if you look around.  At Hireko Golf we make sure that golf can continue to be affordable and still provides customers with all the benefits of the major brands.  So tell us about what great deals are in your neck of the woods.

How much is it to play in your neck of the woods? Tell us below and leave your comment!