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.