Two New Independent Club Reviews from Worldgolf.com

Kiel Christianson, Senior Editor at Worldgolf.com has put up two new independent reviews of some of our best selling golf equipment. Worldgolf.com is becoming one of the web’s largest online golf portals and their reviews are very popular.

Hireko Golf’s Acer XF Thriver: On the tee, loft is your friend

By Kiel Christianson,

Senior Writer

What do touring pros do when faced with a tight fairway? They pull a club with more loft than their driver. And if the hole is a long one, they’ll pull a 3-wood, which is almost as long as a driver but has added loft to help ensure accuracy.

Why does increased loft improve accuracy? Simple physics: The more energy transferred upward in the form of backspin, the less energy is transferred to the sides in the form of sidespin.

The problem for average golfers is that typical 3-woods have smaller heads and thus smaller faces than drivers. This makes them shorter than drivers, which makes it easier for higher-handicap players to mishit.

Hireko Golf has solved this problem for average golfers with the Acer XF Thriver ($100, assembled).

Read rest of article here.

Acer XF Leggera Titanium Driver Custom Assembled $104.95 ea.
Acer XF Leggera Titanium Driver Component Clubhead $64.95 ea.

Hireko Golf’s Acer XF game-improvement irons are extra-forgiving

By Kiel Christianson,

Senior Writer

In 2009, unheralded Hireko Golf introduced the Acer XK irons, which were named the “best buy” irons of the year by several major golf publications.

The success of the XKs is a tough act to follow, but that hasn’t stopped Hireko from trying.

This year, the company unveiled the Acer XF game-improvement irons, which are even more appealing to mid- to high-handicappers looking for distance and forgiveness.

The XFs have a somewhat reduced topline with a brushed, non-reflective finish. These features are intended to instill players with a feeling of control and softness, and even some workability. The progressive offset for the pitching wedge through 3-iron runs from 5 millimeters to 8 millimeters, respectively, to help higher-handicap players keep their hands behind the ball, with time to turn them over on release.

Read rest of article here.

Acer XF Irons Custom Assembled $24.95 ea.
Acer XF Irons Component Clubhead $9.95 ea.

“Lighten Up Francis” – Playing by Your Own Rules

At one time you have probably heard the quote “Lighten up Francis”.  It comes from Sergeant Hulka in that classic movie Stripes.  It popped into my head after playing my latest round of golf because golf is supposed to be fun and not bogged down by a bunch of nit-picky rules and regulations.  Did you know that approximately 20% of all golfers maintain a handicap?  Well that means that the remaining 80% don’t and will often play by a slightly different set of rules.

On the first tee of our friendly match I noticed the person I met just minutes before take some duct tape out of his bag, tear a strip of it off and apply it to the face of his driver.  Did me or my playing partner tell him that he couldn’t play with us because he was violating Rule 4b in the Rules of Golf?  Heck no, we didn’t even bat an eye.  If he thought it would reduce the side spin off of his driver so he would hit the ball straighter, well so be it.  We would spend less time in the sweltering heat potentially looking for a lost golf ball.

I am sure most of you bend the rules from time to time.  For instance you might stand around on the first tee box and everyone in your foresome agrees to allow to take a mulligan off of the first tee, be able to roll the ball in your own fairway, etc.  Those aren’t allowed in the Rules of Golf.  But you won’t see the golf pro kicking you off of the course.  Why?  It is a leisurely game meant to be fun so you will come back to play.

I don’t remember anybody checking mine or for that matter any others bag to make sure that we had clubs with conforming grooves. Plus the fellow golfers I played with that day didn’t care that I had a prototype driver in my bag that would not have shown up on the USGA’s Conforming Driver list either.  However the Rules of Golf force manufacturers to meet these rules which costs them money and ultimately is passed onto the consumer in which 4 out of 5 golfers could care diddly-squat.

While my playing partner carried me most of the day, in the end I sank a little 5 footer for par on the final hole to win the point and the match and put a little spare change in my pocket.  That’s what golf is all about.  People spending 4 or 5 hours in the great outdoors enjoying themselves and their company forgetting about all of life’s worries.  So next time you play golf, take heed from Sergeant Hulka and “Lighten up Francis”.

Acer XF Leggera Driver Featured Online In Golf Digest “New Stuff”

The best selling Acer XF Leggera Driver was featured this month in Golf Digests’ online “New Stuff” column. You view the Golf Digest article online  here.

Here’s the full excerpt from Golf Digest Online:

Hireko Golf driver sheds weight

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The quest for more distance from drivers that are tightly regulated by the USGA has gone in a variety of directions, among them lightweight drivers. Hireko is the latest to embrace this with its Acer XF Leggera driver.

The head weight is 190 grams, Jeff Summitt, technical director for Hireko Golf, said. That would bring it in under the weight of the clubhead on Cleveland’s lightest driver, the Launcher XL270 (192 grams).

Hireko Acer.jpg

Summitt said that through a propietary process weight is removed from the crown area. “Instead of chemically milling the head, we do another process where we remove weight,” Summitt said. The head is made from commercial grade titanium.

Complete the club with a lightweight shaft and grip and, “you can get it down in the 260 range,” Summitt said. That would make it 10 grams lighter than the Launcher XL270.

The Acer XF Leggera coms in 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degree models (10.5 degrees only for the left-handed model) and has a price of $104.95.

– John Strege, Golf Digest


$64.95 each Component Clubhead
$104.95 each Custom Assembled

Indian or the Arrow? Ball Position and Your Trajectory

A lot of golfers can do some simple diagnosis of their game by paying close attention to their trajectory, direction and impact marks on the face of the club. How many of you have trouble getting the ball up in the air with your 3 wood? If you said yes, do you believe it is your swing causing the problem (Indian) or your equipment (arrow)? Well, here is a little help.

For a 3 wood, the ideal situation is to make contact with the ball with more of a level swing as if you were picking the ball off of the grass. Granted, the ball will be somewhat nestled in the grass due to the force of gravity on the ball, but the club may be just clipping the grass as pictured here. To keep things simple, we have a neutral shaft position and did not incorporate a forward hand press. However the principles will be the same.

In this position, the center of gravity of the club, at least on most modern non-deep faced models, will be below the equator of the ball and the ball will fly off on a nice trajectory and hopefully in the direction you are aimed at.  However, if you answered yes to the first question, this might not represent your swing except on rare occasions so make sure to read the rest of this article.

There are two ways to hit the ball low with one of the factors being as simple as your ball position.  Let’s say you move the ball back 2” in your stance.  Realize that this is barely more than the diameter of a golf ball, but watch what happens to the impact in this diagram.

In this case the club comes into impact in a de-lofted state resulting in what should be a lower trajectory.  You might also experience that the ball may be pushed as the swing arc hasn’t been completed and the face is pointing to the right of your target.  But pay attention to the impact marks on the face as they should be higher and that should give you a clue that you have positioned the ball further back in the stance than what is needed.

Other other way to hit the ball lower may surprise you and that is if the ball is too far forward in the stance.  Again, the following diagram shows only a 2” shift from the first diagram shaft which was the level swing.

By moving the ball forward in the stance, the club has passed the lowest point in the swing arc and is now traveling on the upswing. One may think they are adding loft by doing this, but look closely at the impact on the face.  It will be lower, mostly likely lower than the center of gravity of the head, resulting into a low ball flight. If you move the ball too forward and you may risk topping or even missing the ball completely.

Many golfers will insist immediately the low ball flight is caused by the arrow, But take a second to rule this it out. Regardless of what shaft you use (for instance a lower bend point shaft to get the ball airborne), it is not going to solve the problem.  The forward ball position resulting into a low impact on the face will create your low ball flight.

Next time on the range, experiment with ball position if you are struggling to get your 3 wood off of the ground.  However, if you find it is not the Indian but the arrow, Hireko has a number of game improvement fairways that can help with your trajectory problem.  Plus it never hurts to take a lesson from your local teaching professional.

BROWSE HIREKO GOLF FAIRWAY WOODS!

Collegiate Shafts from Loomis Golf.

New! We just added Loomis Collegiate Series wedge and putter shafts to select shafts below. Just click on your favorite school to purchase!Hireko is committed to providing its customers with a variety of products that fit into any budget or skill level. That is why we are proud to now offer the new Collegiate line from Loomis Golf to our already extensive product line.

A Little History
For golfers new to the game, the Loomis name may not ring a bell. But for those who have been around the block a while will remember that during the mid-90’s G. Loomis shafts were some of the hottest shafts on tour. Their shafts were distinctive, producing tip-heavy, ultra-low torque shafts that provided incredible stability. Yet at the same time, their shafts maintained a sense of feel.

SHOP FOR LOOMIS COLLEGIATE SHAFTS HERE!

 

Once the owner Gary Loomis sold off the golf division (they were also famous for their high performance fishing rods), the G. Loomis shaft brand disappeared until just recently. Jeff Meyer, who was the V.P. Of Engineering for G. Loomis during that span is now back at the helm of Loomis Golf. Their first line of shafts is called the Collegiate line which feature the licensed logos and trademarks of 45 of the top colleges and universities in the U.S. This list will continue to grow.

In keeping with the Loomis tradition, the Collegiate wood shafts are manufactured using some of the highest modulus materials available. Loomis’s unique and proprietary manufacturing process produces some of the densest laminates in the golf shaft industry and this process is what gives these golf shafts their superior feel and performance.

Surprising Results
I had an opportunity to try out these shafts. Normally I use S-flex, but decided to try some of the other flexes as well including the A (senior) and XX – yep, that’s stiffer than X-flex! Personally I wanted to see what would happen to ball flight and direction with the shafts being 47 cpm different yet with similar weight and the same torque. For clubmakers, I have included the DSFI data. This is in the same format as we use for the Shaft Fitting Addendum so you can compare them to other shafts.

Surprisingly, the senior flex produced only consistent fades, but not the hooking, slicing or the general inconsistency you might think when someone uses a shaft much more flexible than their swing speed wood indicate.  The most surprising was the double extra stiff flex.  The ball flight was dead straight, slightly lower and with no loss of  distance compared to the other flexes.  Yes, it was firm but didn’t feel like a telephone pole as you might expect.  I had to pull a couple more golfers aside who had about the same swing speed as me to have them try them.  They too experienced similar results.

Fine Tuning the Flex
The Collegiate wood shafts would follow Trim Chart G in our catalog and on-line.  However, there is some latitude for customization.

Driver 3 Wood 5 Wood and Beyond
Tip Trim 0″ 1/2″ 1″

For instance, if a clubmaker wanted to the reduce ball spin for their customer, they could cut 0.5” to 1” additionally from the tip.  By trimming an additional 0.5” from the tip, the frequency went up @ 4 cpm and the torque decreased by 0.1º.

I’m a Buckeye, what are you?
With the Collegiate line you can proudly show your colors.  Whether you are are a Dog or a Duck, a Cat or a Cougar, a Trojan or Spartan, you can sport your favorite NCAA team’s logo on your golf shaft while hitting it longer and straighter.

SHOP FOR LOOMIS COLLEGIATE SHAFTS HERE!

Task List: Improving the Quality of the Clubs You Make

For clubmakers, there are few key steps in the pre-assembly stages of clubmaking that often go unperformed that can make a difference in the final product you sell or make. Instead of accepting the tolerances of the components you received as they are shipped, there is a small task list of items that can be incorporated into your assembly routine that takes little time and effort.

Organize and inspect all of your components
Make sure to lay out all the components and make sure everything is on hand. Yes, this includes even the ferrules. Nothing is worse than promising a customer you will delivery his or her clubs on time, only to be missing the correct size or style of ferrule. This is also the time to take the wrappers from the head or sleeves for the shafts and grips to ensure they don’t have any cosmetic blemishes or nicks or scratched that may have occurred during shipping.

Weigh your heads
What may be a mundane procedure, weighing you heads is useful for a couple reasons. Swingweight and flex are directly related to the weights of the heads which will have some tolerances to them. Usually this is 2 to 3 grams either way of the weights listed in the catalog. Heads on the light side of the tolerance might require tip pins or some sort of weight added to achieve the desired swingweight. Plus by weighing the heads, you can pre-calculate your swingweight and then be better prepared to achieve your desired target swingweight later in the assembly process.

Sort your shafts
If you think that the shafts you purchased are all identical, then you better think again. There are tolerances in both the weight and stiffness that make sorting a good habit to keep. This way you can identify any problems ahead of time and be able to use the tolerances to your advantages. Obviously you cannot do this with taper tip shafts unless you have multiple sets as each raw length is dedicated to a particular head. In some cases you may pay a premium for the shaft to ensure that the shaft are consistent. A good example are the Rifle shafts from Project X that have been frequency calibrated by the manufacturer.

For steel shafts, weight sorting is all that is necessary. By using the lightest shaft in the longest iron and then the next lightest shaft in the next longest iron…and so forth, makes for a more consistent set than random installing the shafts. For graphite or composite shafts, frequency sorting is by far the best method. Instead of the lowest weight, use the lowest frequency shaft in the longest iron and proceed throughout the set that way.

Lie and loft adjustment
I find it easier to do lie and loft adjustments prior to any assembly rather than later. If the hosel accidentally breaks (which can even have to an experienced clubmaker every once in a while) you won’t have to redo all the steps in the assembly process again.

Pre-Calculate tip trimming
If you are working with a set that consists of hybrids, irons and non-matching wedges from the irons, then you might want to check the bottom of bore to ground line measurement (BBGM) first. It may not matter much if you have separate shafts for each club category, but flex can easily be affected if you are using the same shafts throughout that set.

It is not uncommon to see the wedges have a higher BBGM than the irons and the hybrid have less. By accounting for these differences when pre-calculating the the necessary tip trimming, this can ensure that flex is more uniform throughout.

Keep good notes
If you have taken the time to weigh your components and/or sort your shafts, you might as well spend the few extra minutes to write that information down either into a spreadsheet or assembly form and then save it. The reason for this valuable information is in case your customer has lost a club or the set was stolen, you have the ability to match it as close as possible using these specifications.

For additional tips and a further explanation on these key pre-assembly procedures, look in the Modern Guide to Clubmaking 6th edition. While these steps may take a little bit longer, the benefits of better quality clubs outweigh your time and your customers will thank you for that.

The Modern Guide to Clubmaking 6th Edition – Now in Full Color! $29.95 each