One product line I am very proud to offer to our customer is the Tour Lock Pro and Opti-Vibe systems. These innovative products can be used for brand new clubs or designed to help optimize an existing club making them extremely versatile. Any true custom club fitting shop serving their community should not without a set of the Tour Lock Pro weight and here are a few reasons why. Before we do, we first need to explain what these products are.
Tour Lock Pro Counterweights
These are designed to optimize the overall weight and balance of a golf club to enhance the performance that is best suited the player’s natural swing. Tour Lock Pro counterweights are available in 8, 12, 16, 20, 25, 30, 40, 60, 80 and 100 grams to fit any club in the bag from driver down to the putter. Weights are easily installed and interchangeable to improve solidness of contact, accuracy, feel and distance by shifting the balance of the club closer to the player’s hands. Using the grip modifier in a cordless drill to cut a precision hole in the grip, you simply slip in the weight; tighten with one of the fastening tools and your Tour Lock Pro weights are secured in place. If you are concerned, these do conform to the Rules of Golf.
Lighter isn’t always longer
You might be asking yourself “Does adding weight to a club make me swing it slower and not able to hit the ball as far?” Well that might be the case depending upon where that weight is positioned. Marketing departments across the industry want you to think that lighter weight clubs are the solution to longer drives or increased distance in general. For some golfers, opting for the lightest weigh clubs on the market can increase their distance, but for others they struggle to find their own fairway or target and cost them stroke after stroke after stroke.
Counterweighting, or placing weight near the hands, creates a unique phenomenon for many golfers. What is one of the biggest problems most golfers have? That’s easy to answer – they push, fade or slice the ball from their intended target. They get frustrated and they try to invent a swing that will lessen severity of their errant shots. We all know this game is hard enough without trying to manufacture swings on the fly which directly leads to inconsistency.
I have witnessed in fittings where a golfer makes a severe over-the-top swing and slices the ball with their existing club. By adding possibly a 20, 25 or 30 gram counterweight, all of the sudden the swing path become less outside-in and the ball flight becomes straighter as well as more consistent. One other thing occurs as well, with the correct amount of counterweight, the players swing speed increases because they got their timing down and release the club at a better position in the swing. This is why we call it optimizing.
By adding weight near the hands, many players will experience longer and straighter shots. The distance increase doesn’t come solely from the small increase of swing speed either. Remember, a high fade or slice will not travel as far or roll on the ground afterwards compared to when the ball flight is straighter or produces a slight draw. No other product can make such a big change with such little effort.
Don’t forget putters too
The Tour Lock Pro (TLP) counterweights are not reserved for the full swing clubs either. The heavier weights (like the 50 – 100g) in particular are great at quieting the wrists or hands and make more of a pendulum stroke. While heavier putter grips can act to quiet the hands as they act as counterweights themselves, they tend to be large and might not produce the comfort level favored by the golfer. If you push or pull you putts or have general inconsistencies with distance (long one time, way short the next), look at the option of counterweighting.
How will I know what weight to use?
This is the reason why the TLP weights are interchangeable. A fitter can work one-on-one with their client by using different weights to see if counterweighting is in the best interest of the golfer. If so, they can dial in the weight that produces the best results. A launch monitor or swing analyzer can detect the difference with great precision, but often times you can literally see the changes watching ball flight out on the range or on the putting green. In general (for a RH golfer), the heavier the weight, the more the ball goes to the left.
So what if it doesn’t work or I want to sell or trade my club in?
The hole in the butt end grip you made with the grip modifier may appear to be invasive, but there are special end caps that pop in place and seal off the hole giving it a professional finish. Plus, you can save the TLP weight and reuse it in the club you are replacing it or another one. This is much cheaper and less time-consuming than replacing the grip.
Tour Lock Opti-Vibe
This is a similar product to the Tour Lock Pro counterweights as they also fine-tune a club to enhance feel and optimize performance. The concept is similar to the TLP weights by shifting the weight closer to the player’s hands. However, the Tour Lock Opti-Vibe weights are designed to be inserted between 4-10” from the end of the grip to reduce or increase head feel and optimize overall weight, balance and club’s stability throughout the swing for any golf club. Instead of counterweights, I consider these more mid-weights. Opti-Vibe weights come in weights of 12, 20 and 30 for woods and irons, while 50, 75, 100 and 150 gram weights are available for putters.
These utilize the TLP Grip Modifier to cut a precision hole in the butt end of the grip. Next, make sure to clean out the old grip tape around the opening. The video below will show you some tips.
Next, and this part is very important, when inserting the Opti-Vibe through the hole in the grip, make sure to twist it clockwise and it will go in much easier. Slide the weight down 7” (or to the middle of the Dual Tool) for starters. Unscrew the Dual Tool from the Opti-Vibe and then proceed to use the other end of the tool which is magnetic to push the locking cap back into the Opti-Vibe and twist it to tighten it in place.
To remove or to reposition the weight up or down the inside of the shaft, just do the reverse by loosening the locking cap and inserting the tool. Once again, remember to twist it clockwise to make it easier to reposition or even extra from the hole at the end of the grip. Make sure to view the video on our website shown on the product pages.
We mentioned the special end caps that pop in place and seal off the hole giving it a professional finish or you can opt to use one of the lighter Tour Lock Pro weights too.
How will I know what weight to use and where to put it?
Again, this is the reason why the Opti-Vibe weights are interchangeable and we have our special tool. It is amazing to see what happens to ball flight and direction when you slide an Opti-Vibe weight inside the shaft and move it up and down. If you go to the product page and click on product manual, you can find some tips on how to change head or club feel or you can go to the link here.
Where I find the mid weights to be most useful is when a player has a club that is just too light for them to control. Again, the golf industry has gone on a diet and making their clubs lighter and lighter each and every year. Yes, you could re-shaft with a heavier model, but have you seen the costs of shafts today? This is not to mention the installation charge, which is often more than cost of the Opti-Vibe itself. But expect a fitting fee for the time the club fitter is working with you unless you are experimenting yourself.
The key principles to understand are heavier the weight, the greater the heft of the club and the further toward the head they are placed, the more head heavy the club becomes. The Opti-Vibe weights are designed to be positioned 4-10” below the end of the butt that is why the 7” mark is a good starting point.
Back to the flat stick
The 75, 100 and 150 gram weights are ideal for putters. While that may seem heavy, remember the weight is positioned closer to the hands and you might not even notice the additional weight, but your stroke will. You or your customer got the yips? Well, it is time to turn the tables and become un-yipped.
Many of the maladies golfers suffer from today are directly related to a club(s) that is not the correct overall weight and balance for their strength and timing. By addressing these problems with counter or mid-weights, immediate improvements can be seen without resorting to re-shafting, re-gripping, buying a brand new club or taking lessons when the entire time one had a club that was not adequately weighted and balanced.
As someone who has hit thousands upon thousands of balls with a wide assortment of clubs, I can attest how you can take a club you can’t well and all of the sudden make it a gamer. Don’t get me wrong, these products are not designed to take a club(s) this has been badly fit to golfer and stick a band aid on it. These products can also be used effectively (especially the Tour Lock Pro) on brand new clubs as a way to enhance its productivity.