Tour Gear Golf Clubs – The Affordable Alternative

Perfect Set For The Budget Minded, Discerning Golfer

IN STOCK!

I want to start out by saying that Hireko’s clubs are not expensive to begin with. In fact, far from it as our club are often 2/3rd the cost of name brand clubs. But there are a certain segment of golfer’s that don’t know yet if they want to take up this game we enjoy so much and invest that much money in a set of clubs. The Tour Gear line was designed specifically for this type of golfer seeking value as well as performance.

Let’s start out with the biggest budget buster in the bag – the driver. The Tour Gear 460cc driver is the perfect confidence-building size for a beginning player. It is forged from 7075 aircraft grade aluminum to have the same size and weight as today’s titanium driver, but at a fraction of the cost.

You are probably asking “What does the player give up going to this versus a comparable sized titanium driver?” That is a legitimate question. In all honesty, the forgiveness is no different since the head is hollow and all of the weight is in its perimeter. Where the difference lies is in the face thickness and subsequently the ball velocity off of the face. Most titanium drivers have a thin 3mm face or perhaps thinner. An aluminum face has to be much thicker to withstand the force of striking a ball therefore there is a slight drop off in ball speed coming off the club.

Where the modern driver is just below the 0.830 COR limit set forth by the USGA, the Tour Gear driver would be in the neighborhood of 0.800 or roughly what the older 250cc stainless steel drivers measured. What is this amount to in layman’s terms? Figuring the beginning player, if it is a male swinging close to 85 mph and he might only give up 5 yards with all else being the same, which isn’t much especially when you consider the price difference. That is what makes this a great value.

The matching fairway woods are the same popular size and shape as some of the fairways on the market. These are produced of aluminum as well. The Tour Gear fairways come with generous lofts; the 3-wood is 16 degrees and the 5-wood is 21 degrees. The added loft will be a great benefit for the beginning golfer.

There are two shallow face aluminum Tour Gear hybrids that should hit the ball higher and more accurately than a traditional 3 and 4-iron. Lastly, the Tour Gear irons feature a full cavity back and a generous face impact area. There is also a matching filament wound Tour Gear Renaissance graphite shaft to round out this series.

While the Tour Gear series does not have a specific putter, there are five economical zinc putters in different styles that can be added to fill out the set. One can put together a great looking set for roughly a fifth of the cost of a name brand clubs.

Important information for clubmakers

For clubmakers, there are a couple of important things you should know before building any of the Tour Gear clubs. Use ferrules designed for drivers rather than those listed for fairway woods as the hosel OD on the fairway woods needed to be made larger for strength. Using the fairway wood ferrule on the Tour Gear fairway woods will create an undersized situation and not provide a professional appearance.

The Tour Gear irons are made of zinc to help defray cost therefore the hosel had a much larger outside diameter for strength than a standard stainless steel design and will require a special ferrule. Choose the one listed as “Oversized” for the irons. However, if there is one disadvantage to zinc irons, these are not able to be bent for lie / loft alterations as the hosel will break.

Hireko’s Dedication – Something for Everyone

At Hireko, we try to provide something for all levels of golfers and of course at the lowest possible prices you will find anywhere. For instance, if you are a low handicapped golfer looking for premium brand name shafts and grips custom fitted to your needs, we have you covered. For the everyday golfers looking for the best value of game-enhancement clubs that not only look great, but perform equally well, we have the widest selection you will find anywhere under one roof. Lastly, for the budget-minded golfer, the Tour Gear series was designed specifically for you.

Tour Gear Titanium Alloy Driver Custom Assembled
$49.95

Component Clubhead
$14.95

Tour Gear Alloy Fairway Wood Custom Assembled
$34.95

Component Clubhead
$9.95

Tour Gear Alloy Hybrid Custom Assembled
$29.95

Component Clubhead
$7.95

Tour Gear Zinc Iron Custom Assembled
$20.95

Component Clubhead
$4.95

Tour Gear Renaissance Graphite

$6.95 each

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WOULD YOU LIKE A 2010 HIREKO CATALOG MAILED TO YOU?

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Take the 3 Club Challenge

Take the 3 Club Challenge and Be Surprised of the Results

No other time in the history of clubmaking /fitting can golfers find out very quickly how overall weight and weight distribution can affect their game.  In one corner you have our new counterweights that can help back weight or counter-balance a golf club, which for certain individuals can help provide the proper rhythm and tempo or reduce their tendency to fade or slice the ball.  On the other hand, some golfers prefer clubs that are overall lighter and yet have a nice head heavy feel.  This is where the new breed of grips like the Winn Lite grips comes into play.  Lastly, you have your standard assemblies with no counterbalancing or use of lighter weight grips.

Find out what camp you fall into as I implore you to take the 3 Club Challenge.  Make up 3 different irons with the exact same model and number of head, shaft, flex and club length.  On one, put on your favorite normal weight (50g) grip.  On another, use that same grip but add one of our 20g counter weight plugs.  On the last, use one of the new 25g WinnLite grips.  Besides your normal weighted club, you will have one that is considerably heavier, but 5 swingweights lighter and another that is 25g lighter but 5 swingweights heavier.

If you or your customers hit these 3 clubs side by side at the range you will instantly find out how overall weight and swingweight may affect your accuracy, feel and distance (if at all) without changing any other fitting variables.

You just might be surprised so now let us hear your results…

Here were my results

I set up 3 identical 5-irons to the closest tolerances possible. You may prefer 6 or 7 irons for your own experiment.  These heads were measured in my specification gauge to be all 27º loft, 60.5º lie while the heads were within +/- 0.3g of one another.  The shafts were presorted to be within 1g of one another, but all had the same raw frequency (stiffness).  These clubs were built to 38 ¼” and measured exactly E2.5 on the swingweight scale prior to the grips and counterweight (if any) were installed. As you can see from the table, these clubs were virtually mirrors of one another.

Counter-weighting

You may want to refer back to the Tricking the Swingweight Scale article for a second to see the effects of a lighter weight grip before proceeding.  Now I want to briefly show what happens with swingweight when you add a counterweight using our same example before with our 50g grip.

When we add a counterweight we are adding to the overall weight of the club. Yet at the same time we are also reducing the swingweight.  We learned that for every 5 grams of grip weight we added accounted for a reduction of 1 swingweight point.  Counter-balancing does the same, but not at the same proportion because the counterweight is placed in a concentrated area at the very butt end of the club rather than spread out over a 10” span.  In this case each 4g of counterweight reduces the swingweight by 1 point. The club before the addition of the counter weight was D0 and 390g.  Now we are at a C5 swingweight and 410g.

4” Fulcrum positioning with counterweight

To simulate the feel, we suggested that the fulcrum point be located 4” from the end of the club rather than 14” to replicate the position of your hands on the club. This same club that produced a moment of 5806g-in is now 9906 g-in (349.42 oz-in) using the new calibration.

Below is a table that recaps the moments with each club.  Our control club with the 50g grip and no counterweight measured 9945g-in, our 25g grip club (9957 g-in) and finally the 50g grip with 20g counterweight (9906 g-in).  In each case the change was very nominal. The club with 25g grip is a little more head heavy than our control club and the club with the counterweight less head heavy.  To put this in perspective, if we were to add 10 or subtract 10g of head weight to achieve the same affects as altering the grip weight in these two examples, we would have seen a 3.5% change in the moments.  Therefore it can be said that theoretically changes in grip weight should have no noticeable affect on the feel of the club

How does this translate in real life?

As with any theory, you want to test it. I can honestly say that when I picked up and waggled each of the 3 clubs in my personal 3 Club Challenge test that they all felt the same even though there was an 11 swingweight differential. The only noticeable difference was the texture of the WinnLite grip over the other two clubs.  In a perfect world it would have been great to be able to use the same grip, but that was not possible in this situation.

I enlisted the help of a few more golfers to pick up and waggle the clubs but without saying anything about the make up of each one to tip them off ahead of time.  The first person who I handed these to agreed with me as he said aside from the texture, they felt the same.  There was one golfer said that Club A felt stiffer then Club B and that Club C was the most flexible.  However, he said nothing about the weights of the clubs.  Interesting how the perception of feel can change amongst different individuals.

I was more interested to see what changes to direction, accuracy and distance might occur.  Therefore I placed impact labels on each club and hit 3 balls toward a designated target. I repeated the test to eliminate any possible anomalies – after all I am far from mid season form.

Impact Testing

In the next diagram you will see the actual impact positions relative to the center of the club face.  Club A is the one with the WinnLite grip and the D8 swingweight.  The grouping of impact was clustered very closely in both series of tests.  If anything, impact occurred ¼” out near the toe of the club.  Ball flight was possibly the straightest of the 3 clubs at least off of the mats where the impact decals were used.

Club B was the control club or what most clubs would be built to and that was sans counterweight or ultra lightweight grip.  Surprisingly, this had the least consistency from an impact standpoint and if anything biased toward the heel.  As a result, accuracy and distance both suffered compared to the other two clubs.

Club C was the counter-balanced club and heaviest overall.  This did not affect the distance as the balls were landing in the same spot as the balls hit with Club A.  The impact position was the tightest and this club felt the most solid. In the accuracy department if I were to do anything, the ball was an occasional slight push at least off of the mats.  Hitting off of the grass without the impact decals, ball flight was the straightest. My only conclusion was the counter-balancing changed my swing path slightly altering the face angle at impact.

The test was eye opening how one could conceivably see improvement from a lighter weight grip and lighter overall club or counter-balancing the club and increasing the total weight and yet still see comparable results.  In both cases I saw an improvement over a standard built club.

Counterweight is nothing new as I commented on this nearly 3 years ago when I did detailed testing on lengths and swingweights using our Power Play System Q2 driver. The testing focused on altering the swingweight via head weight verses grip weight like this current test but there were some parallels.  You can see that article at the following link: http://blog.hirekogolf.com/2007/12/03/power-play-system-q2-testing/

With the recent edition of the new breed of lightweight grips, it will be helpful to see if switching over to those the next time you are ready to re-grip or even counter-balancing your clubs using our counterweights can improve your game.  Only by taking the 3 Club Challenge will you or your customers ever find out.


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What Did GolfGearReview.com Say About the Acer XK Pro Irons?






the following article was from GolfGearReview.com.

Review: Acer XK Pro Series irons, 3-P

Don Fisher

Before I start my review of the Acer XK Pro irons, I want to say something about what are commonly known as OEM and CLONE or KNOCK-OFF clubs. I think we all know who the major OEM companies are, and what they sell in the way of golf clubs. What is less clear, is what exactly is a CLONE or KNOCK-OFF club. Some people just assume that if a club is not made by one of the big OEM’s, it’s a cheap CLONE. Or even worse, a cheap COUNTERFEIT, a club made to be sold as the real thing to some un-expecting buyer on E-Bay. The truth is there are a lot of smaller companies selling excellent quality clubs that look a lot like some of the top OEM designs, but that are just as good quality as the top OEM products. Unfortunately, though, there are also some cheap copies out there.

Just because a set of irons LOOK a lot like some other set, doesn’t mean they’re a cheap COPY. I happen to have a TaylorMade Tour Preferred 6 iron in my hand. Looking at this top OEM club, I have to say it LOOKS, very much like a COPY of the Callaway X series iron. Fact is, if this club didn’t have TAYLORMADE stamped into the hosel, I’d never know it wasn’t made by Callaway. The same thing can be said for just about any set of irons. They all LOOK pretty much the same these days. All cavity back irons are pretty much the same as the next set. Small differences to be sure, but the designs are all very close today. Same can be said for all the sets of blades. They may not be the same, but they are all very close in design.

One thing most golfers are not aware of is the fact that MOST golf clubs are made in one of 5 or 6 foundries in China. Not all for sure, but most. So the truth is, that set of top of the line OEM irons you like, may very well be made in the exact same factory as some of the lesser known Clone clubs you’ve heard bad things about. Fact is, IF you know which clubs are made by a respectable company, you can get a very good product from the lesser known company, and save a good bit of money. The same goes for buying COMPONENT clubs. These are just clubs you can buy as “components” , and you assemble them yourself. Fact is, you can buy some excellent golf club components and build a set of excellent clubs if you know what you’re doing and what to buy. This is exactly what some of the top custom club makers are doing today. They buy top quality club heads and shafts and they build a custom set of clubs one set at a time. HIREKO is one company that sells not only components, but also completed clubs or sets of clubs. You have the option of buying COMPONENTS, or you can buy FINISHED CLUBS. It’s your choice. Now for my review.

The Acer XK Pro Series irons are designed to play similar to the Callaway X-22 irons. The design looks very much like the Callaway product, and plays very much the same as the X-22 irons. Over the years I’ve read and heard quite a bit about Acer golf clubs, but never had a chance to give any of them a good tryout. Then I heard that Hireko was the company that not only sold the Acer line of golf clubs in the U.S., but was also the factory making the clubs in a foundry in China. Hireko is not just a maker of what are known as “Clones”, but they in fact own the foundry and they make their own clubs, not clones, or “Knock-offs”. And while the Acer line of irons may LOOK a lot like some other OEM designs, they are in fact NOT clones, or knock-offs, but actual OEM clubs, made by a very well respected company. While Hireko may not be well known in the U.S., they are well known in the rest of the golfing world, especially Asia.

The Acer line of irons goes back a few years, and some of the first irons were very close copies of the earlier Callaway X-16 irons. With time the design progressed and the new Acer XK irons are the new front runner for the Hireko line of clubs. The XK irons come in the regular XK design, as well as the XK Pro Series, which is intended for the better golfer. The Pro Series have less offset, thinner top lines, and narrower soles, three things the better players tend to like in a set of irons. If you are looking for a little more forgiveness and don’t mind giving up a bit of workability, then the Acer XK irons would be a better option. If you are looking for even more forgiveness, then the XK HT would be a good choice, as it’s designed to hit the ball higher and very straight.

Because I like to be able to hit a draw or fade as required, I decided to go with the XK Pro Series irons over the regular XK set. I wanted to be able to work the ball as needed, and I didn’t think the Pro Series irons would be that much less forgiving. As it turns out, my assumptions were correct. As it turned out, I was able to work the ball right or left without too much effort, and I still get more than enough forgiveness from the irons when I make less than a perfect swing.

I had a choice of shafts for my set, so I decided to go with Dynamic Gold R300 shafts. One reason I selected this shaft is I KNOW what to expect, and I didn’t want to test a set of Acer irons, with a shaft that may not suit me. Since I have a set of irons with the DG shafts, and I like the irons, I figured it would be a good way to eliminate one part of the equation; I’d hate to test a full set of irons, and not like them due to them having a set of shafts that I don’t like. I wanted to be able to test the Acer XK club heads on their own merit, and not have to worry about the shaft not working for me. Last thing I had to do was pick a grip for my set. As it turned out, Hireko was closing out the Royal Quarter Cord grips. This just happens to be my favorite grip of any I’ve tried, so that was pretty easy to decide on.

When my set arrived, the first thing I did was examine each of the clubs, looking at the workmanship, the quality of the heads, and the finished club lengths. Everything was as good as I could hope for with nothing to complain about. The club heads all look like excellent quality. The ferrules are all fine, no gaps between the ferrule and hosel. All of the grips were installed nice and straight, something you don’t always see even from the top OEM clubs.

The best way to test any set of irons in my opinion is to first hit a few buckets of range balls to get used to them. Once I’m used to a set of clubs, it’s much easier to do a fair test of the performance. As I expected, having the same Dynamic Gold shafts in this set was perfect. It didn’t take any time at all to get used to the Acer irons.

Ball flight was nice and high with the short irons, something I like in my irons. Distance was right on the numbers compared to my current set, so that was a bonus. After warming up it was time to try working the ball left and right. Setting up to hit a small fade, I got exactly what I was looking for, a nice 7 to 10 yard fade. Hitting a nice draw was a bit harder, but that’s more me than the irons. I’ve never been as good at hitting a draw as I am hitting a fade, so that was to be expected. I was hitting more like a 5 yard draw, compared to the 7 to 10 yard fade. Overall, I’d have to say I am quite impressed with the workability of these irons.

As most of you know, sets of irons come in a few different skill level groups. Some are designed only for the better golfers, like tour pros and single digit handicap players. Next is the Game Improvement group, designed for the mid handicap golfers. Then there’s the Super Game Improvement group, designed for high handicap golfers and beginners. I’d have to put the Acer XK Pro Series irons in the Game Improvement group, but with enough workability to suit most any single digit handicap golfer and even some tour pros. Distance is very good. Ball flight is nice and high with the short irons, and plenty high enough with even the longest iron in the set.

If you are looking for a good set of quality irons, with good distance, good bit of forgiveness and enough workability for a single digit handicap golfer, the Acer XK Pro Series irons is a good choice. You have two options when buying the Acer irons, you can buy fully assembled irons, or you can buy component parts and build your own set. Either way you can’t go wrong. If you don’t build golf clubs, Hireko will be happy to build you a custom set to meet your needs and desires. You don’t have to buy the standard 3-PW set, like from most OEM brands. You can get only those clubs you want, be it 3-PW, or 6 iron to SW. It’s all up to you. You also have the choice of shafts. Not just steal or graphite, but exactly what model shaft you like best. And to finish off your custom set, you can pick what grip you like, not just the standard old factory grip you get with most OEM brands. Need your irons a little longer or shorter than standard? Again, that’s not a problem, as Hireko can build them to your spec, or you can do it yourself if you buy components. Prices for your set will of course vary, depending on how many irons you get, which shaft you go with, and what grip you order. No matter what your choices, you will be able to get an excellent set of irons for a very good price. Only have $200 to spend? Not a problem. Just figure out which irons you want and start with those. Then you can add more later as you can afford more. Can’t do that with too many top OEM brands I know of.

Bottom line is pretty simple. Whether you build your own set or have Hireko build them for you, you will end up with some excellent irons for a very good price. Irons that should last you for many years and provide you with excellent performance. I can in all honestly, highly recommend the Acer XK Pro Series irons.

For more information about the Acer XK Pro irons or other quality golf equipment, please visit Hireko Golf.

More details on the Acer XK Pro Irons.

Hireko Wins 3 Awards From Golf Tips Magazine!

Hireko Wins 3 “Great Buy” Awards
The 2010 Golf Tips Golf Equipment Buyer’s Guide gave the new Acer XDS Driver and Fairways and Dynacraft Prophet Tour Blade Irons each its distinguished “Great Buy” award. Check out the reviews below:

More details on the Acer XDS Insider Titanium Drivers
More details on the Acer XDS Insider Fairway Woods
More details on the Dynacraft Prophet Tour Blade Irons