2013 A Year in Review: A Golf Equipment View

Superstroke GripsHere are some of the top golf stories this past year!

Take the wrists out
One of the biggest successes in all of golf this year has to go out to SuperStroke Grips. They are makers of those large, non-tapered and colorful putter grips in which it seemed every tournament you watched on TV, someone in the final group was using one of their numerous models.  SuperStroke putter grips were so popular in fact there was a shortage over the summer as no one anticipated the demand.

Alternative weighting
Another form of taking some of the wrist out of the swing is counterweighting.  What was once a taboo practice is all of the sudden en vogue. Adding weight to the butt Tour Lock Counterweightsend of the clubs may sound counterintuitive, but in many cases can aid in increasing swing speed and putting the player on a better swing plane / path that will get the ball going to the player’s intended target line. It is not limited to putters, but to all full-swing clubs as well.  It is such a simple and inexpensive solution for a golfer struggling with their existing equipment not to mention augmenting or enhancing new equipment. We had an incredible year selling the Tour Lock products and that is bound to continue for many years to come.

Is there a replacement for the steel iron shaft?
We see virtually no steel shafts in drivers, fairway woods and even hybrids today, could irons be next?  The answer is probably not anytime soon, but the popularity of graphite iron shafts on tour has for sure raised awareness.  The touring professionals are surely not going to put something in their bag that will affect their play adversely, so the idea that graphite can’t be as consistent is no longer a decision factor.  Headed by Aerotech’s SteelFiber’s line as well as Aldila and UST’s Recoil, players were not only playing with graphite-shafted irons, but they were winning frequently with them.  With the price of steel continuing to rise and better quality graphite iron offering released, the switch to graphite for many is likely a continued trend instead of a fad.

Aerotech Golf Shafts

Ban on the anchored putter
What might have been the most controversial topic of the year came amid the success and rapid usage among long putters in the past few years. To make matters worse, most golfers are confused on exactly what was being banned by the USGA announced this past May.  Too many golfers feel that the belly and long putters are going by the wayside, but that is not entirely true.  What will be banned (starting Jan 1, 2016) will be anchoring the putter to the body – essentially the USGA was redefining the stroke.

Sadly, as soon as the rule became official, sales of all long putters went to a screeching halt.  For players like me who rely on the longer flatstick, it just means adapting. A term you might hear more of in the future is near-anchored putter. With counterbalancing, players can find they can get the same benefits of an anchored putter without having to resort to anchoring the club to some part of their body.  This type of putter retains the traditional stroke the USGA was trying to uphold.

Color de jour
Is white finally phasing out?  It might or at least being replaced with more colorful clubheads, shafts and grip options.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised if either matte black or blue is going to be the color for 2014.

Now, ain’t that tacky?
No, we are not talking about lava lamps or the Uncle Si Chia pets. If you picked up some of the newer vibrant colored grips this year, you might have noticed how tacky, sticky or gummy they were (or however you want to describe them).  There is a new breed of elastomeric or synthetic rubber grips which are made to feel both soft and secure. Combining form (color) with function (tackiness), golfers will experience a new level of traction they may not have experienced before.

How To Assemble Golf Clubs Videos
What was new at Hireko?

We continually want to educate our customers and this past year we created numerous how-to videos on You Tube on clubmaking and some repair too as a way to foster the growth of the clubmaking community.

Move on over 2013
What does 2014 have in store for you?  Only time will tell, but expect many changes for the positive from your favorite supplier – Hireko Golf.  We will continue to provide you even more products for the coming year at the lowest price, plus keep you abreast of the latest trends in components, clubmaking and fitting.

Best wishes and Happy New Year to all…

Is Bore Type Relevant in Clubmaking Today?

I am going out on a limb here, but sometime in the not-so-distant future, you will begin to see bore types in woods change. 

How the times are a changin’.  This year when I was proofing and editing our upcoming 2014 catalog I realized something, those special trim notes that give our clubmaking customers fits is soon to be a thing of the past. Many customers are already confused about how to trim a shaft, especially the trim note about bore type.

A. For M1 metal woods add 1 1/2″ tip trimming, for M2 metal woods add 1″ tip trimming, for blind bore add 1/2″ tip trimming, for through bore do not add to tip trimming. (Applies only to those shafts which have a Trim Note A next to the letter code)

They ask, “Do I need to follow that trim note or don’t I?”  Well I can safely say this; the only shaft this will apply to all of next year is True Temper’s Dynamic Gold wood shaft. That’s it – and you know how few steel wood shafts you see installed into clubs today.

Golf Driver Bore Type DrawingHowever, I am going to take this opportunity and treat this as a teachable moment as there are 5 other trim notes that apply to bore type that you will need to understand.  Here is a diagram with captions describing three of those bores.  The missing one is through (or thru) bore which penetrates through the bottom of the sole. Almost all manufacturers will lump our M1 and M2 bore designations together and call them a “standard” bore metal wood even though there are no standards.

The same concept even applies to irons where we are concerned with the bottom of the bore to the ground line (BBGM).  In most irons, standard is considered 1” and if you work on older Callaway irons, the shaft went through the bottom of the bore (bore thru).  But it is not uncommon to see blade-style wedges with a 1.5” BBGM or higher.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogDoes bore type matter then?
A long time ago when wooden woods were the only choice for golfers, the shaft penetrated thru the sole or what would be call a bore thru design.  Shaft manufacturers designed their flex around that.  Over time as a way to save time is assembly, manufacturers began making the bore of their woods to stop just short of going through the sole.  This became a blind bore design or where the tip of the shaft would rest approximately ½” above the ground line.

When metal woods came about in the late 1970’s, the shaft would seat much higher off of the ground than their wooden counterparts.  In order for the flex to be as designed, shaft manufacturers began suggesting tip trimming their shafts for the bore type.  At this point in time, the shafts were all parallel tipped and allowed for this type of practice.

In the late 1980’s, Callaway became popular with their S2H2 hosel (Straight, Short, Hollow Hosel or essentially a bore thru hosel).  Initially the S2H2 started in their irons and eventually became a staple in their woods. Once again there was resurgence in shaft manufacturers designing their flex and recommended tip trimming around this type of bore due to their volume and popularity.  It wasn’t too much later that Titlist also followed with a thru bore designs in their woods, but this time with a much longer hosel or insertion depth.

To flex or not to flex
Bore type directly affects the final flex of the shaft / club and here is why.  The difference in the BBGM of a M1 (or standard metal wood) versus a blind bore head today is 1”.  By inserting the same shaft into two heads with the only difference being their bore type, then the blind bore club will be stiffer.  How much?  It would be almost the same as if we were tip trimming the shaft an additional 1”.  When you put it in that context, then most of you will understand it is noticeable.

Today, there are no new heads with bore thru hosels.  This is good for clubmakers and repairmen as this is one less laborious step to perform.  But in the same token, there is no industry uniformity in the BBGM amongst woods, hybrids, irons and wedges today. Again, this is the reason one shaft in one head may feel slightly different when installed into another head.  With offset drivers or drivers with interchangeable adapter systems, it is not uncommon for some heads to have the BBGM as high as 2”.  Guess what, shaft manufacturers have been slow to adjust and thus the reason why drivers today are a little more flexible than they were just a few years ago.

A few manufacturers might make special notes on a through bore and blind bore heads not to insert the shaft beyond 2” as not to make the shaft any stiffer. While you may not encounter this unless you are re-shafting older clubs, be aware of it. You will most commonly find these trimming indications from Aldila and Graphite Design.

Future of bore type
I am going out on a limb here, but sometime in the not-so-distant future, you will begin to see bore types in woods change.  What was once popular will come back into favor.  Plus with all the talk about launch angle and spin rates, bore type can affect those too.  But just because you may not have to be concerned with our infamous Trim Note A doesn’t mean that bore type will become irrelevant.

 

New For 2014 Aldila Tour Blue Shaft Is The Hottest Shaft On Tour!

2014 Aldila Tour Blue Shaft

Aldila Tour Blue Specs
The New 2014 Aldila Tour Blue Shaft Is The Hottest Shaft On Tour! Now Available At Hireko Golf!

The new Aldila Tour Blue offers the same advanced performace of the Aldila Tour Green with a softer tip section to promote higher ball flight.  The constant taper shaft profile provides exceptional feel and a smooth, controlled release.  The Aldila Tour Blue is also made with the latest generation of Aldila’s Micro Laminate materials (MLT®). The ultra thin, ultra strong material allows for the construction of a shaft with outstanding performance and unparalleled consistency.

> CLICK HERE TO BUY THE NEW ALDILA TOUR BLUE GOLF SHAFT!

Download Hireko Golf Equipment Catalog

 

Can You Experience Unprecedented Driver Distances By Using Additional Loft?

Having Trouble Off The Tee? Grab a Hireko Thriver Driver and Rip Yourself a 300 Yarder

I read industry press releases from time to time, but one recent one from TaylorMade made it sound they found something revolutionary that have been available to Hireko customers for a number of years. What was it in the press release? Believe it or not, the unprecedented achievement was a driver combining higher loft (14º) with a low and forward CG. {Spoiler alert} This has been the recipe for our Thriver starting with the Acer XDS Insider to the Acer XF Thriver Driver and the most current Acer XS Thriver Driver (which has the lowest CG of the all).

Acer XF Titanium Thriver – Custom Assembled Acer XS Titanium Thriver – Custom Assembled
$94.95 each $104.95 each

Customers who have hit one of our Thrivers know it doesn’t hit the ball as high as the loft would indicate. That can be explained by the fact there is more weight concentrated on the sole which reduces spin (due to vertical gear effect). Not only that, another key to tape measure drives is solidness of contact and that is where the heavier and slightly shorter Thriver excels. This is why I say year after year this should be our best-selling driver and the number of 5 star reviews validates it.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogDon’t worry if you are confused about whether you need low spin or high spin or low loft or high loft. To be honest there is not a combination that is going to be good for all golfers. This is why Hireko offers so many different styles of clubs in various lofts. If you are unsure of what you need, seek out a qualified local clubmaker in your area who is willing to work with you. But keep an open mind to using a more lofted tee club as it could be your secret to success.

2014 Avon Grips

‘Tis The Season To Buy Closeout Golf Components! Bargains A Plenty!

Be first to snatch discounted golf components at this time of the year

Any savvy clubmaker is always looking for bargains on grips, golf shafts and golf clubheads, but there is no better opportunity than this time of the year and here’s why.  As the end of the calendar year is fast approaching, manufacturers have already decided what will be in for next year and also what will be out.  Instead of carrying over retired inventory that will be subject to taxes, it is far easier for the manufacturer to blow them out and make room on the shelves for their upcoming gear.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogEarly bird gets the worm
A bargain on any item that was just recently retired are a clubmaking shops best investment and that is why you should react fast when you see holiday or year-end sales from your favorite vendor(s). Remember the general consumer still associates a value with a catalog item within the past calendar year.

It really becomes a win-win situation for both the clubmaker and their clientele. Those bargains can go directly toward holiday gifts or to stock up on products for re-gripping or re-shafting where it can increase your profit margins and at the same time satisfy a budget-conscious customer walking into your shop looking for a deal.

Think ahead
What are the team colors of your local schools?  Think of all those high school, college or pro teams in your vicinity.  The reason for asking is a number of colored grips are on sale, which makes for great inventory items when it comes time for re-gripping season. Examples are these standard, midsize and oversized grips for the sports buffs in your area who may not know that grips come in other colors than black.

When a bargain too good to be true?
One word of caution, don’t go overboard or go on a spending spree just because it is such a good deal. Look at what you might realistically sell through in a certain time before the product might lose its’ value and you can’t command a reasonably margin without having to sell it for your cost plus your time.  Having inventory that doesn’t move for months at a time only consumes capital that is needed to run an efficient business.

> CLICK HERE TO BUY CLOSEOUT GOLF COMPONENT CLUBHEADS, SHAFTS, GRIPS AND MUCH MORE!