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Archives for November 2012 | Hireko Golf Blog

New 2013 Lamkin Multi-Colored R.E.L. 3GEN Grips Just Arrived!

The exclusive 3GEN material joins forces with R.E.L.’s minimal surface pattern design, creating one of the most advanced grips on the market.

R.E.L. colors have been so successful Lamkin has added 5 colors in Midsize and Oversize – Gray, Navy Blue, Orange, Red and Electric Blue. Pink has been so popular that Lamkin added a standard men’s size, which can be used by women with larger hands or longer fingers and maintains the softer compound as used in the Undersize version.


RL233 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Midsize Gray $5.29 each
RL234 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Midsize Red $5.29 each
RL235 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Midsize Blue $5.29 each
RL236 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Midsize Orange $5.29 each
RL237 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Midsize Neon Blue $5.29 each
RL238 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Gray Oversize $5.49 each
RL239 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Red Oversize $5.49 each
RL240 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Blue Oversize $5.49 each
RL241 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Orange Oversize $5.49 each
RL242 Lamkin R.E.L. 3GEN Neon Blue Oversize $5.49 each


Fitting for Swingweight

Over the years I have lost count of all the customers who asked “How do you fit or test for what swingweight is best for them or a customer?” To be perfectly honest, the answers are never cut and dry as so many factors are involved in the final swingweight of a club.  For instance, the actual head weight (not the published weight as there are manufacturing tolerances) is one factor.  So too are the shaft weight and balance point, grip weight and the biggie – length.  All these have an effect on the heft or overall balance a player feels while holding the club in their hands.

The first and foremost considerations are component selection and what length the clubs will be built to.  While there is a common range of swingweights (C9-D3 for men and C3-C7 for women) they are usually only applicable to standard lengths.  Clubs built shorter or longer than so-called “standards” may fall outside these ranges and be perfectly acceptable. Plus a common swingweight like D2 (men) and C6 (women) is what a typical off-the-shelf club might be. That does not make it fitted to a player as there have been cases where golfers prefer swingweights higher or lower or outside the range listed above.

If you are looking to conduct a quick and inexpensive experiment, there is no better time than now as Hireko has some closeout products to demonstrate swingweight principles.  Take a look at the screw-weighted Dynacraft Genesis irons and additional screws we offer.  You can build up one of the mid irons with a shaft, grip and length of your choice and go hog wild testing different swingweights.

The Genesis head comes already with a 10g and 3.5g screw, coupled with the other weight screws available (or even none at all for testing purposes) gives one dozens of possibilities to try.   With an open mind, 4mm wrench and 10-15 minutes at the range you can find out quickly if the swingweight you are using now is fine or you prefer something heavier or lighter.  For reference, 2 grams of head weight is approximately 1 swingweight.  If you factor in the option between the extremes (no screws to two 12 gram screws), that is a range of -7 to +5 swingweights compared to the weights that come pre-installed.

Clubmakers may even take some of the cut grips they have saved while re-gripping and used them in conjunction with this club.   Bigger grips usually weight more than standard or smaller ones and by slipping the split grip onto the butt end of the shaft and having the customer waggle or even swing the club, they can get a feel if additional weight is prudent or not.

Additionally, clubmakers can experiment with adding weight to the butt and/or mid-section of the shaft in combination with head weight using the Tour Lock products we discussed a few weeks ago in our blog.  This would be the ultimate in fine-tuning a golf club to the overall weight and balance that will optimize performance.

Many times the only way to scratch an itch so-to-speak is to gain first-hand knowledge by conducting simple tests.  For not much money and effort, your curiosity can finally be satisfied by knowing what you (or your customer) truly needs or prefers.  Remember, a screw weighted clubhead like the Genesis iron or Power Play System Q hybrid is much more efficient and safer than layering on and off lead tape onto a club.

New Adams V4 Hybrids – Hybrids As Hot As A Driver!

The Adams design engineers have taken another leap forward in producing high-performance, easy-to-hit hybrid irons for a wide range of golfers with the introduction of Idea Tech V4. The latest refinement in Velocity Slot Technology features a revolutionary Cut-Thru design that produces the same CT levels to that of a driver.

Mike Stachura, equipment editor for Golf Digest, recently tweeted this when he first learned about the advancements in the Idea Tech V4: @MikeStachura “At Adams Golf Tuesday, we talked about this: a technology rich 7-iron hybrid could produce a CT number equal to a driver. #innovationlives”

Because the Tech V4 is offered in two distinct sets, a forged iron set and an all-hybrid set, Idea Tech V4 covers a wide range of golfers anywhere from the single-digit handicap golfer to the higher handicapper who wants to launch the ball higher and gain extra distance.

With continuous refinements being made in club design, and specifically for hybrid design, the technology has evolved quickly, and never more apparent than with the Idea Tech V4 hybrids. This new design has Velocity Slots in the crown and sole of the club, and also features a channel that is literally cut through the head of the club from the top slot to the bottom allowing for even more face deflection. It was important to seal the slots in order to be compliant with USGA regulations, so the Idea Tech V4 hybrids feature a TPU insert which also improves the feel and give the hybrids a very crisp sound similar to that of an iron.

Designers are able to optimize Velocity Slots Technology in the Idea Tech V4 hybrids by isolating each slot shaping parameter, including the thru-slots resulting in the maximized CT. With the introduction of the original Velocity Slot Technology in the Idea a12 OS hybrids, engineers saw an increase in CT of 15% vs. the Idea Tech V3 hybrids. With the use of Thru Slots in the new Idea Tech V4 hybrids, engineers have achieved an increase in CT of 33% to levelsonly seen before in today’s titanium drivers, but done in a stainless steel hybrid. In addition to the hotness of the face, the Idea Tech V4 uses a multi-material construction featuring tungsten heel/toe perimeter weighting in the long irons provides optimal CG location for increased forgiveness & higher launch.

The forged set features a 3H, 4H, 5H and 6-iron through PW using forged 8620 carbon steel with nickel plating. The all-hybrid set is 4H through GW. Both sets feature a premium PVD finish for a non-glare, sleek look. The steel shaft option in both sets is the True Temper Performance Step 75-gram shaft, while the graphite shaft is the Bassara with graduated weighting from Mitsubishi Rayon.


Hireko Golf Completes Acquisition of SK Fiber Shaft Company

For Immediate Release

November 21, 2012

Sale to focus on expanding the distribution of the most consistent graphite shafts in the golf industry

City of Industry, California – Hireko Golf, one of the golf industry’s most complete sources for golf clubs, components, clubmaking tools, supplies, and technical knowledge announced today that it has purchased SK Fiber Shafts to strengthen their commitment to becoming the largest online retailer of custom fit golf products and components. The acquisition adds a further strong golf brand to an already powerful portfolio that includes Acer, Dynacraft, Power Play, iBella and Karma Grips.

“SK Fiber is an established innovative brand that is trusted by golfers at every skill level,” said Hireko Golf CEO Gineta Lin. “Through this acquisition, we’ve added a premium quality, highly recognized name to our golf shaft portfolio while gaining a valuable competitive advantage in the clubmaking market.”

Since 1999 SK Fiber graphite golf shafts have been recognized by many of the world’s best club fitters, golfers and equipment manufacturers as the most consistent graphite shafts in the industry. By sourcing premium composite materials, implementing leading edge design technologies and paying strict attention to quality control, SK Fiber consistently delivers technically advanced golf shafts that deliver consistent performance for golfers of all skill levels to play their personal best.

“We’ve long admired SK Fiber’s enthusiasm for incorporating performance technologies into its shafts,” commented CEO Gineta Lin. “SK Fiber’s owner and chief designer Charles Blume will combine his expertise and talents with Hireko’s research and development department to continue developing technically advanced golf shafts that deliver consistent performance for enhancing golfers’ experiences on the golf course. This partnership is a win-win relationship for golfers and component buyers alike.

While Hireko will continue working with and sourcing from the same factory in Korea, the distribution of the SK Fiber shaft line will be moved to Hireko’s corporate and warehouse center in the City of Industry, California. Hireko’s expanded product selection, lower prices, superior custom service and technology centric design focus is the centerpiece in their strategy to become a leader among clubmakers, clubfitters and golfers worldwide.

Gineta Lin
ph 800-367-8912

SK Fiber Chief Designer
Charles Blume
ph 256.864.1900

Rob Altomonte
ph 614 209-7405

About Hireko Golf
For over 28 years, Hireko Golf has served the golf industry through its direct mail, website and retail channels. Hireko technical expertise has produced over a dozen nationally recognized publications and the Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index remains the dominant testing and development concept in shaft technology. Our brands include Acer, Apollo, Hireko, Dynacraft, iBella, Power Play and Karma. Hireko specializes in manufacturing and designing custom golf clubs. For more information visit www.hirekogolf.com.


Thanksgiving Holiday Wishes from Hireko Golf

The staff at Hireko Golf would like to wish all our customers (at least those in the US) a Happy Thanksgiving holiday. Remember what this special occasion is for – to be with family and friends and count the blessing we have even those who have to work such as firefighters, doctors, nurses, police, those in uniform serving our country or those donating their time to feed or help those in need. At Hireko, we have had an especially good year.  So we would like tip our hats to all of our valued customers and say “thanks” and wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

In observance of Thanksgiving Day, our staff will be off Thursday and Friday and will resume normal business hours starting Monday Nov. 26th.

What Will Now Happen to the Future of Golf Equipment?

Earlier this week, I saw an article by James Achenbach (Golfweek) announcing the retirement of Dick Rugge effective February 2, 2013.  At first, I didn’t know if I should get up and clap or bury my head in a pillow and sulk about the future of not only golf equipment, but this great game in general. If you don’t know who Dick Rugge is, he might be one, if not, of the most powerful men in all of golf as his decisions are responsible for all the equipment rules at golf’s governing body (USGA).

His decisions are paramount to my livelihood as technical director of Hireko Golf, as well as all my other peers, who have to work within the scope (within reason) of the decisions that come down from him and his staff. Here is the dilemma; on one hand golfers want exciting and innovative golf equipment that will help their game out.  On the other hand, the Rules of Golf are designed to rein in technology so that it does not give an unfair advantage to players. As you can imagine, there is a fine line to the balance of these rules. Like any manufacturer, there have been times when an equipment decision did not come in our favor and either delayed or derailed a project from ever making it to market.

Prior to his 13 year stint as senior technical director at the USGA, Rugge worked eleven years for TaylorMade where he was instrumental in the design, marketing, research and testing of their products.  Having worked both sides of the fence, I have always given him the benefit of the doubt he understands what trials and tribulations a manufacturer has from a simple idea to bringing a product to market.

Lasting impressions
In my more than a quarter-century career in the golf industry, I have seen wooden woods become metal and then titanium.  I have seen blade style irons replaced by cavity back models or hybrid-type clubs.  Balls are much better as so too is the agronomy on the courses I can play.  In each case made it easier to for me and the average golfer to play this game and yet at the same time work within the Rules of Golf.  In his tenure, there were 6 major equipment decisions that changed the game as we know it today.

At the time Dick Rugge joined the USGA there was a proliferation of technology – most notably in the driver category. In 1999, the largest driver was 300 cc. The year 2000 saw the first 350cc driver, followed by 2001 with a 400cc driver and finally a 500cc driver was made in 2002.  It was well known at this time that the larger driver would have a higher moment of inertia and subsequently makes it easier to hit the ball straighter even on off-center shots. At this point, the USGA stepped in and began to propose limits on drivers (and other clubs) as they were potentially seeing technology threaten to diminish skill level. So in October 2003, the USGA imposed a 460cc limit on clubhead size effective January 1, 2004 to this date.  We have become accustomed to it and so have the headcover manufacturers.  Would golfers like this rule repealed so they can tote a bigger brick-on-a-stick?  I would say probably not.

Spring-like Effect
One of the byproducts of a larger, thinner walled club is the velocity of the ball coming off the face.  Probably the most notable and controversial decision was placing a limit on spring-like effect.  At the time (Jan 1, 2003), the C.O.R. (Coefficient of Restitution) limit would become 0.830. Later under his leadership, the C.O.R. test would be replaced by a simpler and portable pendulum test – Characteristic Time or CT for short.  This simple test allowed manufacturers to measure their clubs using the same procedure and accuracy as the USGA.

It didn’t come without some controversy though as you had the likes of Arnold Palmer publically railing against the rule.  Plus, the USGA and the R&A had separate rules as the R&A had adopted the higher (0.860) COR limit for a period of five years before backing it down to be the same as the USGA.  This had manufacturers making models for the US and Mexico market and possibly another more active face model for everywhere else in the world creating utter confusion at the time.

As the dust settled over that interval, we now have today a Conforming Driver and Non-Conforming Driver lists for golfers to follow.  That is assuming that a manufacturer elected to submit their product at all or the driver may not conform to one of the many other rules in which it would not show up on either list.

Personally this is one rule I wish would have been repealed or not enacted at all. The laws of physics become a limit not to mention the breakage that occurs by pushing the limits.  I can understand the reason for the rule as to limit overall distance and preserve land on existing golf courses.

Moment of Inertia
On Aug. 30, 2005 the USGA published a proposal to implement a test and limit for clubhead moment of inertia (MOI). In an attempt to cap technology and to not diminish the skills of the golfer, the USGA put a limit on the moment of inertia of a golf club and assigned a value to it (5900g-cm2 or 32.259 oz-in2).  At the time, this created a bunch of buzz amongst manufactures, but that buzz didn’t last long.  In order for the limit to be reached or rather approached, manufacturers had to resort to square and other oddly shaped clubs that either golfer’s didn’t care for the shape, the high pitched sound or both.  Plus out in the field of play the MOI of an ordinary 4500 g-cm2 driver compared to the maximum allowable (5900g-cm2) showed very little advantage in forgiveness.

While ear plugs are not essential attire for today’s golfer, this rule became much ado about nothing. The 460cc limit as well as the other dimensional requirements (shown below) was enough of a self-imposing rule.

(a)    The distance from the heel to toe of the clubhead is greater than the distance from the face to the back;

(b)   The distance from the heel to the toe of the clubhead is not greater than 5 inches (127mm); and

(c)    The distance from the sole to the crown of the clubhead is not greater than 2.8 inches (71.12mm).

This is probably the least known of the rules implemented during his tenure, but at the time there was no maximum allowable length; only a minimum (18”).  In 2005, a conforming golf club (except for putters) could be no longer than 48”.  Let’s face it, the average golfer struggles hitting the ball in the center of the face and aiming at their intended target with a driver 2-3” shorter than the limit.  Plus, why punish very tall golfers too.  Maybe a fairer rule would be to assign a limit to the length of a club (again a non-putter) like 68.5% of the player’s height.  That is an average 5’ 10” male could use a driver no longer than 48” or a 7’ tall golfer could use up to a 57.5” if he or she so desires.

The latest of the rules took effect Jan 1, 2010 and was a result of a 3 year study on more aggressive grooves on wedges and irons. A few major OEMs decided to make boutique or designer grooves that would allow golfer of the highest skill level under certain course conditions gain a small advantage.  What did the rule mean to the average golfer?  First, it meant higher manufacturing costs because it more expensive to produce grooves to the provisions in the rule which is then passed onto all consumers.  Second, the average golfer doesn’t play under the same course conditions as the top tier player to ever witness any possible spin difference.  Lastly, for golfers that are short of their target, then any additional spin will just make then further from the hole.

I believe the beauty of golf was there is one set of rules for all players.  Now that doesn’t exist.  There is no clear list of conforming and non-conforming irons like there was with drivers not to mention confusion on what some players can use in certain circumstances.  There were many other ways in my opinion to limit designer grooves on golf clubs that would not have willfully harmed manufacturers or golfer’s pocketbooks.

I saved this one for last. The greatest achievement I believe Dick Rugge deserves credit for is being open-minded and allowing for adjustability in golf clubs (2008).  As someone who grew up playing with Legos or an erector set, this was the vision I wished the golf industry to take. We are not just talking about removable screws to change clubhead bias, but allowing for pieces and parts to be interchanged, albeit within the Rules of Golf.  Not only does this save in tooling costs for manufacturers so they don’t have to meet every conceivable specification, but allows freedom in custom fitting to help optimize shafts and clubhead angles to the golfer’s natural swing. I give you high marks Mr. Rugge for this, but not quite an A plus as there is always some interpretation to the Rules of Golf.

The Future
Don’t get me wrong, we need rules and regulations and I think he worked with well with manufacturers by discussing their stance and letting manufactures weigh in and give their opinion.  That is open communication and how it should work.  What will be the next major equipment decision in the future?  Will it be on golf ball distance, anchored putters or maybe an on-going concern we are not aware of?  That is all to be seen.

I hope whoever takes over for Dick Rugge’s difficult position will not look at any decisions that hinder technology nor do I want it to be a free-for-all.  Put yourself in the position of those designing as not to hamstring innovation, which is the core to golf club sales and stifle an entire industry that is not exactly growing in an increased level of participation.  But maybe more importantly, look at decisions that will affect all and not just a handful of individuals at the top of the performance pyramid.  Remember the vast majority of golfers play recreationally and do not even carry a handicap.  Plus, low score wins and maybe an occasional sub-60 round on tour will create more long-time interest in this great game.

Hireko Golf To Showcase New Products At 2013 PGA Merchandise Show

Event will showcase new Power Play Warp Speed Line

CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA – November 8, 2012 – PGA Golf Exhibitions and Hireko Golf announced today the company’s plans to introduce significant new products at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 24-26, in Orlando, Fla. (Booth #1909). Hireko is joining more than 40,000 industry leaders, PGA Professionals and retailers from 75 countries and more than 1,000 of golf’s premier companies and brands and an all-star cast of celebrities to launch a litany of new products at the show.

“We are very excited to attend this year’s PGA Merchandise Show to showcase our new 2013 Hireko golf equipment line which promotes our out-of-the-box design philosophy,” states Jeff Summitt, Technical Director, Hireko Golf. “Customers want a company that can provide them with a one-stop shop and at the same time become their partner and not their competitor. The PGA Merchandise Show is a great opportunity for us to connect with and strengthen our relationship with our dedicated customers and golf shop partners and showcase our high performance line of golf equipment and provide a great experience for attendees.”

Hireko will also feature new wares from their popular brands Acer, Power Play, Dynacraft, iBella, Apollo and Karma. Hireko’s CAD designed golf clubs are engineered not only to help golfers of all skill levels score better but their low prices will enable golf pro’s to make substantially higher margins than most OEMs.

For questions regarding the 2013 PGA Show please contact Rob Altomonte, Marketing Director, at raltomonte@hirekogolf.com.

2013 PGA Merchandise Show

Hireko Golf

Booth #1909


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A New Way to Clean Your Golf Grips

Every once in a while I hear gripes from a customer or vendor about one thing or another.  That comes with the territory.  But I just happened to receive a “gripe” that I wanted to share with all of our customers.  As a matter of fact, how about 15 GRIPES in all, as in the new Lamkin pre-moistened wipes in the convenient re-sealable package. In the category of, “why hadn’t someone thought of it before”, could this finally be an easier and faster way to clean your grips?

How Do you Clean Your Grips?
Better question yet is if you ever do.  Think about this for a second, when you play golf you probably sweat a little or perhaps a lot when it is really hot and humid outside.  The salt from the sweat and oil and dirt from your hands go somewhere and that somewhere is the outer surface of your grip.  Over time this accumulates and causes the grips to become slick and eventually hard making it more difficult to get a secure grip on your club.

I for one do clean my grips from time to time, but not as often as I probably should.  When working with rubber grips, I would mix common liquid dishwashing soap in a bucket or in a sink of warm water.  Then I would proceed to dip a soft bristled brush into the water and started scrubbing the outer surface of the grip.  Next, I’ll rinse with clean water to remove any soapy residue then allow the grips to air dry.

For cleaning synthetic over-wrap grips, such as those from Winn or SuperStroke, I do it slightly different.  I don’t use a brush and soapy water as you can scratch the outer surface and destroy the tackiness and slip-resistance of the grip.  Instead, I take a soft clean towel moistened with water or rubbing alcohol and simply wipe the exterior surface.

Note I do not immerse any grip in a bucket of water to clean them. This will saturate the underlying layer of tape and potentially cause the grip to slip on the shaft and may even ruin the grip.  In addition, it may cause a steel shaft to rust from within.

Putting the Gripes to the Test
Could simply wiping down my dirty grips with a Gripe be as effective as me scrubbing the grips with a soft bristled brush and soapy water?  I wanted to know, so I put them to the test.  First of all, each 12” x 6” Gripe is designed to clean up to five golf clubs.

The packaging may seem familiar if you have every used baby wipes or a number of other products on the market.  Simply pull the tab, unseal the front and pull out a Gripe (short for Grip Wipe).  When done, press down and seal.  Remember to place the package in your golf bag or where you store you clubs so you won’t forget to clean them in the near future.

Well I took my irons and wedges and decided to clean the odd numbered clubs with the Gripes and the even numbered clubs with soapy water.  If your grips are dirty, you will see the crud picked up on the white cleaning surface. Less than 5 minutes after wiping the grips down with a Gripe, the surface was already dry.  I had to wait a good 3 hours for the grips that were cleaned by the soapy water to dry!  After inspecting each club, I was pleasantly surprised the grips cleaned with the Gripes were slightly tackier than the soap-cleaned grips that I put some time and muscle into scrubbing them what I thought was clean.

The packaging says they were intended to use on rubber or synthetic rubber grips – after all that is what Lamkin produces.  I was curious if they would clean other grip materials as well.  No problems whatsoever.  While the Gripes were still moist, I even wiped down a few shafts and heads too. In the end, my hands smelled a little citrusy and not foul like other cleaners can be.

I give the Gripes two big thumbs up because of the convenience factor and fast-drying. The end to the procrastination of not cleaning my clubs, finally no more mixing soap and water and then waiting for the grips to dry.  If I wanted, I could have taken a Gripe or two and cleaned my clubs just prior to teeing off of the first hole given me no excuses for a slick grip and peace of mind for the rest of the round.

> Buy The New Lamkin Gripes 15 Pack Here!