How To Reduce Your Golf Score and Run Up the National Debt at the Same Time

Hey, I am not making this up – this following link was reported by Senator Rob Portman (R, OH) showing how your tax dollars are at hard at work.  I am going to help save the federal government a little money here and announce another Earth-scattering way of reducing one’s golf score and that is by greatly reducing the length of each hole.  Imagine if each hole was 100 yards less how much easier it would be to score.  Not only that, think of all the money saved in maintenance like watering and fertilizing as well as reducing the environmental concerns of chemical run-off into the local waters.

Help out your elected officials and add some other tips you think that will reduce golf scores.

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The New 2014 PGA Tour Proven KBS Tour-V Shaft Arrives Next Week!

Already proven on the PGA Tour, the KBS Tour-V golf shaft offers golfers a lightweight, low spin option

Introducing the New 2014 KBS Tour V Golf Shafts
I’d like to report on the newest shaft from KBS called the Tour V. It has already been validated on the PGA Tour as it was the shaft used by the winner of the 2013 Open Championship.  Now this same shaft will soon be available to clubmakers and golfers alike.

KBS Tour V Golf Shaft

Recently I had a chance to test the shafts in our lab as well as hit the different flexes at the range against some of the other KBS shafts. At this point, it is a taper tip option so they are primarily for re-shafting name brand clubs unless want to shim them in our irons or in other parallel irons on the market.

Tour V versus KBS Tour
The KBS Tour has been a staple for the company since their inception and a shaft that you have likely hit if you had tried the KBS brand before.  When you place the Tour V side-by-side with the KBS Tour they look identical as far as their step pattern and distance to first step.  However, I can tell you they are quite different shafts as I will explain later.

For you techno-geeks like me, let’s provide you with some comparative data. Using our new shaft profiler, we are able measure the deflection or stiffness along the length of the shaft so you get more of a complete picture of how the shaft flexes.  The following chart shows the deflection of the two S-flex shafts with the left side showing the tip end and the right side is the butt. More flex is indicated when the line is higher on the chart.

If you have a hard time reading the legend, the KBS Tour V is in blue and original Tour in red. At first glance, it would appear these two shafts are mirrors of one another and that can be explained by their shared geometry.  There are just subtle differences in the different zonal areas of the shaft by most likely varying wall thicknesses.

KBS Tour Shaft ComparisonsIn addition, here is the DSFI data that we produce for our annual Shaft Fitting Addendum so you can compare them to other shafts we have tested.  Note that there are a few incomplete entries for the original KBS as they were shafts which were removed from existing clubs to be able to gather the data. However, the most important data is shown.

KBS Tour V DSFI Specs

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogAgain, the measure of stiffness (frequency and deflections) are eerily similar with the biggest differences being the Tour V is lighter weight and the balance point is a lighter lower or closer to the tip.  In fact, the KBS Tour V is close to the weight of the recently introduced C-Taper Lite, but those shafts are nowhere as close in their deflections as shown in the chart below.

KBS C Taper Lite ProfilePlayability
While the data on the shafts showed the new Tour V and original Tour to be very similar to one another, where we noticed the biggest difference was out on the range.  Using the same head and swapping out shafts, everyone who compared the Tour V versus the Tour all said the same thing; the Tour V felt much better and the ball went further.  The similarly weighted KBS C-Taper Lite had more of dull feel and didn’t produce the same results from our group of testers.  This is an important lesson. We can try to quantify feel all we want by testing shafts infinitum, but there is no substitute for first hand experience.

Additional Fitting Info
As with any taper tip shafts, there is no tip trimming required.  However, this requires the clubmaker to purchase or stock a specific raw length for each head.  Here are those recommended raw lengths. Note the recommended lengths are different than for the standard KBS Tour.

40.5”           2-iron
40”               3-iron
39.5”           4-iron
39”               5-iron
38.5”           6-iron
38”               7-iron
37.5”           8-iron
37”               9-iron
37”               wedges

Even though you do not see many 2-irons today, these can be used for driving / utility irons or giving club fitters the option of soft-stepping to create some in-between flexes.

The Skinny
The KBS Tour Golf Shaft has been the signature shaft in their line for some time.  After our range session, our group of testers all came to the same conclusion that this will soon be the new signature shaft for KBS for years to come.  Some people may get all caught of launch and spin.  If they are looking at low launch and low spin, then those select few people who truly need that combination can select the C-Taper.  If you are looking for high launch and spin, then there is the Tour 90.  In the middle stands the Tour V; a lightweight design with some meat to its bones, while surprisingly providing an extremely good feel.

> CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE THE NEW 2014 KBS TOUR-V GOLF SHAFT FOR ONLY $29.95 EACH!

View The New Video “How To Remove A Graphite Shaft” From A Golf Club!

This is the second video in our Basic Golf Club Repair series of easy to understand and step-by-step golf clubmaking videos taught by Hireko Golf’s Technical Director Jeff Summitt.

View Part 1 of the Basic Golf Club Repair Series: How to Remove a Steel Shaft here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmSBcTK7On0&feature=c4-overview&list=UU3v2rZJBh-Vfy-CM2jNWmEA

The contents of this second video on how to properly remove a graphite shaft include the necessary tools and materials needed to get started plus some handy tips.

– Bench Vise
– Heavy duty gloves
– Commercially available graphite shaft puller
– Heat source (propane or butane torch or heat gun)
– Utility knife such as Hireko model MIT053 shown here:
http://www.hirekogolf.com/the-hyde-knife.html
– Hosel cleaning brush such as Hireko model GDW9391 shown here:
http://www.hirekogolf.com/golf-components/clubmaking-tools-supplies/tools-machines/wire-hosel-honing-brush-0-370.html
– or sandpaper rolls such as Hireko’s model #SDRM shown here:
http://www.hirekogolf.com/spiral-deburring-roll-and-mandrel-7082.html
– In case you discolor the hosel, chrome cleaner such as Hireko model CHROME shown here:
http://www.hirekogolf.com/chrome-cleaner.html

Note:  You should never promise a customer that a graphite shaft can be saved.  For one, you might not know what type of epoxy was used or how many times it could have been installed previously. Shaft manufacturers will not warrant broken shafts that have been removed and reused.

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Holiday Superbundles With Free Gifts!*

Holiday Superbundles at Hireko Golf

Buy you loved ones Superbundles with Free Gifts* from Hireko Golf and save this Holiday Season!

Here’s just a few of the Superbundles Hireko is offering this Holiday season. Click here for more Holiday Superbundles!

$14.95 each
$64.95 each
Starting at $49.95
$249.99 each
$54.95 each
$45.99 each

*with Purchase

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Free Shipping On Orders Over $99!

Free Shipping On Orders Over $99
Get Free Shipping On Orders Over $99!

Please make sure to use all capital letters when entering coupon code FREE2013 at checkout

FREE SHIPPING EXCLUSIONS:

  • - Excludes items on sale, closeout, backordered, not in stock, on sale or pre-owned.
  • - Not applicable to Chairmen Club members or Hireko Distributors
  • - Free Shipping applies only to ground orders in the contiguous U.S.
  • - Not applicable to next day, 2 day or 3 day shipping orders
  • - It is solely at Hireko’s discretion to choose the appropriate shipping method. You cannot specify the type of shipping method (UPS, Fedex, Postal, etc.)
  • - Custom logo products do not qualify for free shipping
  • - Not valid on previous purchases, exchanges, special orders, or gift cards.
  • - No substitutions
  • - Free shipping expires 12/31/2013

> SHOP FOR HIREKO GOLF PRODUCTS HERE!

What Is The Secret To Success In The Golf Industry?

To survive in the retailer market, whether you are large like Edwin Watts or small like an independent clubmaking, fitting and repair shop, the key to success will be excellent customer service.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogState of the Golf Industry
Recently I saw a press release that long time retailer Edwin Watts is filing for bankruptcy.  That caught me off guard as that was one company if you wanted your products to be in it would be Edwin Watts.  I began to ask why such a well-established company is going through this ordeal and here are some of my thoughts which may or may not surprise you.

Brick and mortar trend
Let backtrack first. Sadly, the first victims in the retail golf sector were the independent or Ma and Pa retail stores, who have long since vanished.  Those were the kind of places you went for the personalized service, were convenient as you could walk out with a brand new club(s) right then and there.  With the increasing popularity of internet shopping, the convenience factor was no longer the lure to draw people into their store when purchasing was only a mouse click away.

MAP Pricing
One of the other lures that a store has to draw people in is price.  Several years ago manufacturers began implementing MAP (Minimum Advertised Pricing) and more importantly strongly enforcing it.  The penalty for a manufacturer selling below MAP is being cut off what potentially could be that one product or line that generates the bulk of their business.  Who wants to take that chance these days?

I have been on both sides of the fence.  Without MAP, you could be aggressive and negotiate price for better customers or throw in some free balls, hat or whatever.  Margins sucked though and you hoped to make it up on volume.   However, those practices are long gone as MAP pricing evened out the playing field and commoditized golf equipment.

Internet Freebies
There is a double-edged sword with a retail location.  The positive is a customer can look at, touch and feel the product and gain first-hand experience they cannot in a catalog or online. The downside is brick and mortar stores have the problem with potential customers utilizing their services and then buying elsewhere where they didn’t have to pay shipping or state taxes.  Yes, people will do this and spend 45 minutes with a sales rep (possibly tying up their launch monitor) figuring out what performed best out of a host of manufacturer’s clubs.  When it comes time for the salesperson to seal the deal, the customer says, “Let me think about it, I might be back tomorrow.”  At that point, the sales rep knows that is the kiss of death.  The customer is going online where they can save 7 to 9% on a $300 driver or $900 set of irons.  That same customer doesn’t realize that $25 or $75 doesn’t go back into their local economy and wonders why there is always a tax levy on their ballot each year.

The only way this practice will stop is if laws go into the books with uniform Internet sales tax reform.  Just don’t let our so called “representatives” in Washington DC to get their hands on one red cent of it; it should go to lower the national debt.

Limited product life cycles
Another deterrent nowadays for brick and mortar stores is the necessary evil of carrying a large assortment of inventory.  Let’s say company A releases a new model.  It takes a little time for the store to get proper stock of the most popular flexes, lofts, etc.  Edwin Watts stores were primarily in warmer weather places, but for areas north a hot new product may already be discounted by the time the peak of the season occurs.  It used to be a retailer had a couple of years that a product would be current.  Now the prices get slashed after 6 months and the retailer’s cost of goods is higher than the reduced going rate on the internet.  The manufacturer might help the retailer by giving the store free merchandise to offset their losses, but now they got more of the product people don’t want – they want the newest product.  It creates a vicious cycle for retailers.

Who is really to blame?
To a certain degree, the average consumer is because they demand newer products at a more rapid pace and the manufacturers oblige.  Believe me it is not hard to design new clubs.  You could tweak a model, change graphics and bingo you have a brand new model.  However, it is not going to be revolutionary or leaps and bounds much better than the generation or two before.   However, the biggest blame goes to shareholders of some of the major manufacturers who have flooded the market trying to gain market share. I am afraid that is an unsustainable path in the long term.  This will force more retailers to go out of business and leave only a few strong or well financed companies to act as distributors for them.  Maybe that is their end goal.

To survive in the retailer market, whether you are large like Edwin Watts or small like an independent clubmaking, fitting and repair shop, the key to success will be excellent customer service.  Golf clubs or equipment (like grips and shafts) may be commodities, but that cannot be said for customer service.  Maintaining efficient inventory levels and cash flow are two other keys.  Lastly, if you are selling on price alone, you will not survive – someone will always be willing to go lower.

2014 Datrek Golf Bags

$50 Mail-In Rebate On Garmin G6 And S2 GPS Golf Watches!

$50 Off Garmin G6 And S2 GPS Golf Watches

Purchase a Garmin Approach G6 or S2 GPS Golf Watch and Receive a $50 USD Via Mail-In Rebate Direct From Garmin!

For Domestic US Customers Only. Not Applicable To Orders Outside The Continental USA.

This rebate offer is valid for purchases made from 11/8/13 through 12/28/13 subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the rebate coupon. You can access the coupon online by clicking here. Rebate submissions must be postmarked by 01/31/14. Limit five rebates per customer. To qualify for this please complete the six steps listed on the back or lower portion of this coupon. Offer valid on  Garmin Approach S2 White/Gray, Approach S2 Black/Red, Approach S2 Purple/WhiteApproach S2 Black/Green and Garmin Approach G6.

DOWNLOAD THE GARMIN APPROACH G6 OR GARMIN S2 $50 REBATE FORM HERE!

After you fill out the rebate form and send to Garmin, your rebate check will arive from Garmin.

> CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR GARMIN GPS GOLF WATCHES AND SAVE $50 ON GARMIN G6 AND S2 MODELS!

Ready To Hit Your Irons Farther? New True Temper XP Series Arriving In February 2014!

True Temper XP95 and XP105 Golf ShaftsWhether increase distance, feel or trajectory while maintaining or even improving your accuracy is your goal for next year, True Temper has two new lightweight offerings to choose from, which will be available at the beginning of February 2014

True Temper will soon be introducing two new ultra-light taper tip steel iron shaft to deliver a combination of explosive distance with precision control. OK, I know, you hear this all the time where manufacturers make this same claim and that it is all relative to how well the shaft fits your swing profile.  I had a chance this past week to both test the shafts as well as hit them at the range against some other lightweight shafts and I came away impressed.

Download Hireko CatalogThe True Temper XP95 and True Temper XP105 (numbers indicate approximate raw shaft weight) offer two distinct models with a unique step pattern.   These are both taper tip options so they are primarily for re-shafting name brand clubs unless want to shim them in our irons or in other parallel irons on the market.


True Temper XP95 versus XP105 Golf Shafts

Aside from their weight differences (approximately 6g once assembled), there are other distinguishing features between the two golf shafts.  The True Temper XP95 is the higher launching of the two shafts.  This is due to a softer tip section and slightly softer flex.  A little more than a month ago I discussed how steel shaft geometry affects the stiffness distribution of the shaft and consequently trajectory.  The XP95 has the more active tip section as the shaft measures 0.370” below the first step while the True Temper XP95 is 0.395”.  While the weight is not much of huge difference in shaft selection, optimizing ball flight should be your first choice between these shafts. I hit the ball so bloody high to begin with so the True Temper XP105 was the better choice for me.

Our new shaft profiler measures the deflection or stiffness along the length of the shaft so you get more of a complete picture of how the shaft flexes.  The following chart shows the deflection of the two shafts with the left side showing the tip end and the right side is the butt. More flex is indicated when the line is higher on the chart. If you have a hard time reading the legend, the True Temper XP95 is in blue and True Temper XP105 in red. As mentioned previously, the XP105 is slighter firmer in the butt section, but the biggest difference coming from the tip end.

True Temper XP95 and XP105 Deflection Curves

I have been using shafts in this weight range for the past several years so these were in my wheelhouse. These shafts have plenty of feel.  After fitted for the right flex and weight for me, I was hitting the ball longer than what I had been gaming and loved how straight the ball went for me.

What would have been most similar from their previous models?

True Temper XP95 and True Temper GS95 Deflection

Our deflection analysis shows for the True Temper XP95 (in blue), the closest shafts that True Temper has offered are the GS-85 (green) and GS-95 (red) and the reason both are being retired after this year to make room for this model.  The XP95 fits right in-between in terms of weight and flex.

The True Temper XP105 golf shafts in the S300 (blue) was very similar to the profile of the popular Dynalite Gold XP (red) in the R300 flex.  This is the reason why the Dynalite Gold XP will be retired after this year too.  The XP105 sheds roughly 7 grams from the Dynalite Gold XP for increased swing speed without sacrificing what made it such a success.

True Temper XP105 Dynalite Gold XP

More fitting information
Here is the DSFI data that we produce for our annual Shaft Fitting Addendum so you can compare them to other shafts we have tested.

True Temper XP95 and XP105 DSFI Results Chart

With taper tip shafts, there is no tip trimming required.  However, this requires the clubmaker to purchase or stock a specific raw length for each head.  Here are those recommended raw lengths:

40.5”           2-iron
40”               3-iron
39.5”           4-iron
39”               5-iron
38.5”           6-iron
38”               7-iron
37.5”           8-iron
37”               9-iron
36.5”           wedges

Even though you do not see many 2-irons today, these can be used for driving / utility irons or giving club fitters the option of soft-stepping to create some in-between flexes.

The Skinny
As you can see, those wily engineers at True Temper Golf Shafts have been busy this past year concentrating on enhancing your performance. Whether increase distance, feel or trajectory while maintaining or even improving your accuracy is your goal for next year, True Temper has two new lightweight offerings to choose from, which will be available at the beginning of February 2014 (Hey, that’s not that far away).

Model #TTXP95I
Model #TTXP105I
True Temper XP95 Tapered Tip Shafts
True Temper XP105 Tapered Tip Shafts
$23.99 each
$23.99 each