Does the Flex of Your Wedge Shaft Matter?

Maybe a change to your wedge shaft may rejuvenate your short game too, but just don’t assume if you see a “wedge” shaft that is the only option you have.

SK Fiber Wedge Force Golf Shaft

SK Fiber Wedge Force Shaft
Finally a performance graphite golf shaft designed specifically for the scoring wedges. Crafted with a firm butt and responsive tip section for optimal launch angles and ball spin. BUY HERE FOR ONLY $38 EACH

How often do you take a full swing with your golf wedges? Trace back to your last round and recall all those ¾ or ½ pitch shots, chips from just beyond the apron or your greenside bunker play – all of those are taken with less than a full shot. Now think about this for a second. Since they are taken with less than a full effort and your swing speed is reduced, so should the flex of your shaft be reduced as well? After all a slower swing speed player is recommended to use a softer flexed shaft than someone stronger than them. Therefore I wanted to investigate does golf wedge flex makes any difference in accuracy and feel.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogFirst, let’s look at buying habits amongst consumers. If you look at all the name brand golf wedges on the market, what kind of shafts do they have in them? The #1 shaft by far is a version of the iconic Dynamic Gold S-flex taper tip (typically labeled as “Wedge” flex). You may also see some similar weight and stiffness golf shafts in the likes of the KBS Tour Shaft or the Dynamic Gold Spinner golf shaft too. But let me emphasize this fact, in a blade style wedge from any of the major manufacturers, they do not offer a single Regular of Senior flex shaft to match what you may be using in the rest of your set. So in the minds of the major OEMs, either flex must not matter in golf wedges or they only offer this option because the professional golfers like that combination (again in a blade style wedge) and the rest of the golfing population are lemmings and buy what the manufacturers dictate. OK, maybe I am a cynic.

To test my theory, I used the SK Fiber Wedge Force golf shafts because they came in 3 basic flexes and had a similar shaft profile to one another. In addition, as the flex is reduced, the weight reduced as well. I set these up at 35.75” with a slightly oversize grip into three identical loft / lie Power Play Raw Spin 56º wedges. Each came out at D3. The rest of the specs are below.

Wedge Flex Chart 1
I should state what the 5-iron flex equivalent is.  In steel golf shafts, the frequency increases @ 4-5 cpm per club (shorter) due to the normal tip trimming or the suggested raw length of the taper tip shaft by the manufacturer.  So if we were to account for the shorter length and slightly higher swingweights on the wedges compared to the rest of the numbers irons, you would typically see a 15-17 cpm increase in frequency over the 5-iron.

The literature from SK Fiber Golf (I know we own it now) inadvertently lists the 100g model as A-flex, 110 as R-flex and 120 as S-flex.  While there may be some A-flex steel-shafted #5 irons that measure between 293-295 cpm, there are a number of popular lightweight S-flex steel shafts that do as well.  So in reality, the 100 model is not an A-flex shaft. Another way to think about it is a softer version in the SK Fiber Wedge Force shaft family (or Baby Bear) compared to the 110 (Momma Bear) and 120 (Papa Bear) just the same way that not all S-flex shafts are the same stiffness.

To put this all in perspective, if a Dynamic Gold S-flex taper tip wedge shaft was set up in the same manner, the cut shaft weight would have been @ 119 g, overall weight of 471 g (would have had to use a lighter weight head to achieve D3) and a frequency of 339.  This would have been close to the Wedge Force 120 model specifications.

I not only wanted to test partial shots but also full shots with each of these clubs.  For the record, I normally play R-flex in heavier weight steel and S-flex in some of the lighter and more flexible offerings. Another golfer who I had conduct the same test was also using R-flex in his irons and of course S-flex in his golf wedges (because that is all that came stock with them).

Finesse shots
The range I frequent for all my testing is one of the top 100 in the nation, so there are lots of flags set to certain distances to make it easier to hone in on your short yardages.  Alternating among the three sand wedges as well as different targets, I came to the conclusion quickly that having the proper length (for solidness of contact), loft (for trajectory), lie (for direction) are far more important based on the accuracy of these variable weight and flex wedges.  I couldn’t say one way or another that any one of the golf wedges was night and day difference in distance and directional control.  However, the lightest and most flexible felt the best and most natural to me.  Based on feel and no loss of control, I would have picked the SK Fiber Wedge Force 100 golf shaft or a shaft based upon the literature I honestly would have never had even tried.

The other player had a similar experience as me as far as the more flexible and lighter wedge didn’t cause him to loose accuracy.  Of course at the beginning I did not tell him what I was handing to him.  However, he could detect the weight differential of the 3 immediately, but could not tell there was any flex difference until later when I told him.  Over time, I thought the two he hit best were the lightest and the heaviest wedge, but in the end he preferred the feel of the heavier model as it was more familiar to what he had been using.

Full shots
Here is where I thought the biggest issue would be concerning distance and directional control by moving up and down in flex.  When I say a full shot, I was not referring to jumping out of my shoes and trying to hit the ball farther. Who does that with a golf wedge anyway?  What I was surprised by was the directional consistency of each one.  After all these were blade style wedges offering little in the way of game improvement features. On the other hand they are shorter so they should be more controllable and easier to make solid contact. There was no glaring tendency other than the heaviest shafted wedge may have tended to go more right of my target than the other two.  I felt the lightest one went a tad higher and further, but if so, I would have needed a launch monitor to tell me for sure.

The other player felt more comfortable with the heaviest shafted wedge for full shots.  The way he describe the feeling, he had more momentum in his swing with the heavier weight which required less effort to swing.  We could have added swingweight (via lead tape) to the head of the lighter two shafts to see if that would have changed his opinion.

Re-testing
I wanted to repeat the exercise so as not to find my conclusions a fluke. One thing I wanted to make sure I tried was to add 17g of weight to the Wedge Force 100 golf shaft with a clay-like substance that I can easily add or remove that will also stick to the outer side of the shaft when hit.  The weight was placed @ 14” from the butt end so I could achieve the exact same overall weight as the Wedge Force 120 and have the same swingweight too.  So essentially I was testing flex only (at least on paper).  After hitting several shots with the club modified this way, I can tell you that even though the overall weight and swingweight were the same, they didn’t feel alike.  There had to be a difference in the moment of inertia (MOI) between the two.  No longer could I judge distance as well with the additional weight in that position.  After removing the clay-like substance, I was back to form.

Next, I experimented by adding some weight to the heads of the Wedge Force 100, 110 and 120 shafts until I felt the performance improved. This made more of a difference than did the flex of the shaft, especially on the two lighter shaft models.  I had to wait until I got back to my lab to see what the swingweights would be and subsequent flex as the additional weight will reduce the flex as well.

Wedge Flex Article Chart 1

In the end, I had three sand wedges with completely different flexed and weighted sand wedges I had confidence I could hit my targets on both partial and full shots.

Conclusion
I’ll admit pitching chipping has never been my strong suit as I don’t practice enough.  During this exercise over a three day span, that part of my game that had been sadly neglected has now become one of my strengths.  The first night out on the course with the softer and lighter wedge shaft was probably the best exhibition I have had in years to and around the green.

There are by far more club fitting parameters to fit for in a wedge besides flex.  So maybe the OEMs aren’t wrong in only offering one flex shaft for all.  But on the other hand, feel is so integral to this game.  As most shots are made with less than full shots and subsequent slower swing speed, I would opt for a shaft weight (first), swingweight (second) and flex (third) that feels most comfortable in my wedge. That is assuming I already know what head, length and grip size I need first.

To play devil’s advocate, I didn’t use a very flexible ladies or senior graphite shaft so I am not saying that flex does not matter altogether.  But those tend to be much lighter than the shafts I tried.  Anyway, I did say that weight and weight distribution (swingweight or MOI) are more critical factors.  But those that nitpick over a whether to tip trim a little more to offset a higher bottom to bore measurement or soft step a raw length or two to create a little more feel are missing the big picture.

Maybe a change to your wedge shaft may rejuvenate your short game too, but just don’t assume if you see a “wedge” shaft that is the only option you have.  Get custom clubfit!  It can make a difference.

Grafalloy Prolaunch Golf Shaft Sale

Can You Trust Independent Golf Shaft Reviews?

Use a critical eye when viewing golf club shaft reviews

One thing you do not see me write much on in our blog are golf club shaft reviews, which can be quite a few in the course of a season.  If you (and my bosses who encourage me to do so) are wondering why, it is because there is a big dilemma that occurs every time I try to put pen to paper. I have come to the conclusion that any independent review would be unfair to our readers, not to mention our dear vendors.  Any positive or negative feedback would be only as good as how the shaft fits my unique swing.  Before I can explain what I can best do to help fellow golfers find a golf club shaft they will like, let me try to explain a few things first.

Download Hireko Golf CatalogWe are all like snowflakes
You have all heard this adage a million times before.  Go to a golf course, range or even watch golf on TV and what will you notice?  Each golfer has their own natural swing…well, like a snowflake.  No one will confuse my swing with Jim Furyk’s, Tiger Woods’ or Arnold Palmer’s.  It’s obvious, the pros don’t need the exact same swing to excel at this game; nor do you. Only equipment that complements a player’s swing has to.

One of my best friends is approximately the same age and height and we both have almost identical swing speeds with all our golf clubs.  I’ll take a new club with the shaft du jour or one that I happen to like.  He will go to hit it and says it doesn’t feel good.  The ball flight substantiates his claims too.  Then he will hand me a club he raves about the performance and feel.  I’ll end up telling him, “Meh”.

Golf Shaft fitting is all about swing speed isn’t it?
The answer to that is a big no!  While golf swing speed is a starting point, it does not tell the whole story. Speed tells you how fast an object is moving.  But the other piece of the puzzle is how and when the player loads and unloads the club.

Basics of Golf ClubmakingTo put this in perspective, loading is a force a player puts onto the golf club or golf shaft during the downswing.  The magnitude of this force is caused by the acceleration or the rate of change in the velocity during the course of the swing.  One example might be where one player exerts a very large acceleration at the initial part of the downswing. Another golfer might gradually accelerate the golf club until some point and then he/she may accelerate the club again immediately after releasing the club prior to impact. The point I am trying to make is the amount the shaft loads (or deflects) can vary even though the same swing speed is achieved at impact.

Then golf shaft fitting is all about the golf club’s frequency (butt stiffness) isn’t it?
The answer to that is a big no as well.  Recently I took three identical length golf hybrids out to the range for me and my friend to test.  Each also had a different shaft (although they were all labeled S-flex by each manufacturer).  I had to sort through my collection of golf shafts to find ones that were the same frequency (measure of shaft stiffness) and where the weights were with +/- 1 gram of one another.

Many clubmakers would assume that just because the weight, length, torque and frequencies were near identical, that these would play the same.  If you follow the Dynacraft Shaft Fitting Index I have been testing and publishing the results for the past twenty plus years, you would already know this isn’t always the case. Plus I recently acquired a new toy (called an EI Golf Shaft Profiler)  for my R&D lab that examines shafts better than what I had been using and I wanted to test a theory eliminating as many variable as possibly to come up with a conclusion.

Understanding stiffness distribution along the length of the golf club shaft
Here is a plot of deflections of those three golf shafts from the tip (left side) to the butt end (right) using a shaft profiler. To understand this chart, look at Series 3 or the deflection curve plotted in light green.  Near the tip, the deflection is far less than the others, indicating this is a stiffer tipped shaft.  When we get to the area 16” from the tip, these all have the same deflection.  As we get closer and closer to the butt end, the deflection is once again much less on the green plot line denoting a stiff butt section.  The blue line or Series 1 would have the softest tip.

Golf Hybrid Deflection Chart
My friend didn’t know the differences between these golf shafts prior to hitting them as not to form a bias.  Handing him one after another to hit, he indicated the Series 3 felt the best (most solid) to him after hitting several shots.  When he hit Series 1 (blue), he felt that it was too flexible like he had to be careful how he swung it in order to control it – something he didn’t have to worry about with the other shaft.  Remember now, these all have identical weights and frequencies (stiffness).

What he had discovered was the difference in stiffness distribution along the length of the golf shaft giving it its own unique feel. Now you know why each manufacturer produces a wide variety of golf shafts although they may be labeled R or S flex and have the same weight to appeal to specific tastes.

So how good would my golf shaft reviews be anyway?
Like I mentioned before, golf shafts that I like he doesn’t.  I hit these same three golf clubs and found the club with the Series 1 (blue) shaft to be by far the best for me.  As a matter of fact, according to the launch monitor I was 14 yards further than with the Series 3 golf shaft and with no difference in swing speed.  Well guess what, if I had given my review of these shafts, one would have been stellar and the other not so stellar.  Not to mention, if he had read the review knowing that our age, height and speed were nearly identical, he might have bit the bullet and bought the Series 1 shaft instead of the Series 3 he really liked.

How I can help golfers find the right shaft
Part of my job is to help educate customers on the products we sell.  It is not to tell which products that performs well for me and those that do not. However, if I do find a product that performs well for me, I make sure to know as much about it as I can so that I can find similar shafts to it.  The vehicle that I have used to express these findings has been our annual Hireko Golf Club Shaft Fitting Addendum which is available for free to download. By using our new measurement tool and building a better library of shaft profiles for customers and fellow clubmakers to access, they will have a better grasp of what shafts to confidently choose.

I took apart several of my golf drivers that I use in my rotation to see how their golf shaft profiles compared.  Here is a plot of 4 of them plus one additional one I threw in that I didn’t fare well with.  Can you guess which one it was? That’s right it was the one in aqua (light blue), yet again the same basic frequency as the others. One thing of note, some of these shafts are labeled by the manufacturer as regular and others as stiff, but doesn’t really matter as long as the numbers are the same.

Golf Driver Deflection Chart
Now whenever I go to the range to test a new head I have to remember to make another one up with a shaft profile my friend already likes otherwise I am not going to get any feedback on the head, only grief about the shaft he doesn’t like.

What type of golf shafts are right for your customers?
First, utilize something like our Hireko Golf QuikFit system so you can interchange different golf shafts onto the same head to eliminate all but one variable (shaft).  But more importantly when you go to set up you demo golf shaft collection, make sure to get shafts that vary from one to another so you can maximize your investment – absolutely no duplication to avoid confusing your customer and tying up your money.  Lastly, read as much as you can and personally try out the products you offer so you are intimate with them.

Save Time & Money – Epoxy Safety Tips for Clubmakers

Be wise with your golf clubmaking epoxy habits and save time and money

Hireko Golf Clubmaking Epoxy

Hireko Golf Clubmaking Epoxy Model #EP01

While your clubmaking operation may be in full gear at this time of the year, one thing you want to check on is your golf clubmaking epoxy.  Believe it or not, you are relying on its’ strength to form a long-lasting bond between any club you build or repair for your customers.  But when was the last time you checked how old it is and whether it is still effective?

Most clubmakers will assume that epoxy for golf clubmaking is good as long as there is some left in the bottles.  But that is not entirely true.  Many epoxies have shelf lives just like milk, bread or that spinach that is starting to wilt in your refrigerator.  After a year, they start to lose their strength.  After two years, I wouldn’t use it for anything golf club related.

Download Hireko Golf CatalogMark Your Bottles
No matter how organized your shop may be, I doubt you will know immediately when you last purchased it by looking through old invoices. When you receive a package with your epoxy, the first thing you should do is take your Sharpie pen and mark the date it arrived on the bottle or container and it will always be there in plain sight.  If you have the small one-job packets, don’t worry, these have an indefinite shelf life.

Individual Epoxy Packets

Individual Epoxy Packets Model #EPS-001

Buy in quantities you will consume
If you buy golf clubmaking epoxy in bulk (or in larger containers), you can save money per ounce or per club you build.  However, if it goes to waste by going past its effective date and you have to throw it out, you really haven’t saved money have you?  I guess you can still use it for small household fixes, but the point I am trying to make is buy enough to last you a full year.

By following these simple tips, you can rest assured that the clubs you assemble or repair for your customers (or yourself) is one less of life’s worries.

Model #EP01-001
Model #EP05-001
Model #EPS-001
Epoxy A+B 4oz Bottles
24 Hour Epoxy 1.0oz Tube
Individual Epoxy Packets
$8.95 each
$5.95 each
$1.50 each

Black Widow Tour Silk II Golf Grips

Hireko’s Golf Club Iron Buyers Guide

How Do I Choose The Best Golf Club Irons For My Game?

Hireko has one, if not the most extensive lines of golf irons available by anyone in the golf industry and each model is designed in house.  At first it may seem to like a daunting task to select the right one for your or your customer’s game, that’s why I want to share with you the secrets to the proper selection. What golf club irons are right for me?

Download Hireko Golf CatalogAre you a left handed golfer?
This might be your most important question to ask.  Why?  Simply because not every model can be made in left hand and make it profitable no matter what company you are talking about.  As life cycles for golf clubs in general are two or three years tops before they lose their luster and customers demand new equipment, golf club manufacturers (like yours truly) have to weigh the cost of tooling and the minimum order requirements from the foundries.  This is why only those that will be forecasted as best-selling golf irons will be offered in left hand.  Even if a model surprisingly takes off in sales that was made initially in right hand only, it will be too late to start tooling and production for the LH model as a quarter of the life cycle may have expired by the time they are in stock.  With all that said, we still offer a plethora of left handed models to suit virtually any golfer.

What is your handicap?
This is usually a question that is often asked, but I prefer not to pigeonhole certain products by handicap level, unless they made say Tour or Pro on them.  Even in those cases, there are exceptions to the rules.  You see, only a fifth of all golfers even establish or maintain a golf handicap, so essentially this question would rule out the majority of golfers to begin with.

What are your shot tendencies?
I would rather look at tendencies a player may have such as hitting the golf ball too high or too low, or maybe the customer is prone to fading or drawing the ball.  In these cases, the loft, center of gravity and amount of offset in a design are what make it unique and sets the ball at different angles from the face to correct for a specific tendency.  Sure, golf shafts also can control ball flight to a certain degree, but the bulk of the work not related to golfer’s swing comes from the head design.

Acer XF Forged Irons

Acer XF Forged Iron

How to choose the best golf club irons for your game? The following chart will act as a quick golf club iron buyers guide based on certain tendencies and help you find the right golf club iron. A couple quick notes, the models with an asterisk next to them are available in LH.  To make the chart more user-friendly certain irons make be spread out further than they actually would be.  For instance, the Acer XS Forged and Dynacraft Prophet Tour Forged Irons would fall on top of one another on the chart and make it difficult to read.

Is your trajectory too high or too low?
Often times the result of too high or low a ball flight is a direct result of the player’s swing mechanics, angle of attack and solidness of contact on the face.  For example, golfers that tend to sweep the ball at impact will likely make contact lo

iBella Obsession Irons

iBella Obsession Irons

wer on the face than someone who takes more of a divot.  Loft in conjunction with the vertical center of gravity of the head is what control trajectory.  It shouldn’t astound you that our two ladies models (iBella Bellissima Irons and Obsession Irons) will be amongst our highest launching golf iron clubheads as the lower clubhead speeds will produce less spin and height.  On the other side of the spectrum, the Power Play Caiman X2 Raw Power Irons is our lowest launching, but primarily in the mid and lower lofted golf irons.

It should also come as no surprise that the majority of the irons will fit within the medium trajectory category window as better golfers don’t want to see abnormally higher or lower ball flight than what they are used to.  While trajectory is a balance between distances and yet allowing the ball to land on the green during approach shots, direction is another key requirement as we will show next.

Buyers Guide Irons ChartUnderstanding the difference between draw versus fade enhancing

Power Play Caiman X2 Tour Blade Irons

Power Play Caiman X2 Tour Blade Irons

Before we speak about draw or fade enhancing, we need to have a starting point or what is labeled as neutral.  In this case, let’s say the middle-of-the-road iron in our line will be intended to hit the golf ball straightest for the vast majority of golf from amongst the many head designs we offer.  That means certain heads will be geared to hit the ball more left (draw enhancing), while others further right (fade enhancing) for a RH golfer.  The Power Play Caiman X2 Tour Irons would likely be the most fade enhancing due to the elongated blade length and low offset, while the Acer XF Irons and XF HT Irons the most draw enhanced.

Most golfers tend to push, fade or even slice their irons.  Certain irons do a better job of squaring the clubface by incorporating more offset or shifted the weight closer to the heel or shaft to enable the head to rotate closed.  That is why on paper the Acer XS HT and the Acer XF HT seem to be for the same type player.

More accomplished golfers are more likely to draw the ball in general and don’t need as much offset as a result.  This is why you will find fewer head that are fade enhancing as the pool of players is smaller.

Acer XS Pro Irons

Acer XS Pro Irons

Several of the entries are borderline when it comes to directional bias as they have reduced offset, but not too reduced.  This includes the Dynacraft Evolution Hybrid Irons which I consider a hollow-bodied iron more than a true hybrid.  The Acer XF Pro Irons and Acer XS Pro Irons meet the criteria as well, with the loft being the separator; one will hit the ball a little lower than the other.

Squeezing out a little more
The middle square (medium height / neutral ball flight) should fit the sweet spot of golfers playing today.  There are three very good candidates (Acer XDS React Irons, Acer XS Irons and Power Play Warp Speed Irons).  What you do not see from the chart is how they are constructed.  Of the three, the Warp Speed is the only one with a more exotic face material to help bolster ball speed and distance with all else being the same.

I hope this article has answered for you the question “how to choose the right iron set”  for my game. You can see we have a wide variety of irons to choose from, even in left hand. After reading the explanations and examining the chart, you should have a better idea of what each iron is supposed to do so you are able to confidently select the best model for your or your customer’s game.  If you are curious about an iron, I would highly recommend buying a mid-iron of the model with a shaft and flex you are familiar with.

ower Play Warp Speed Irons Win Golf Tips Editors Pick Award

Online Golf Shaft Trimming Instruction Charts Easier To Find Now! View Online Accounts Balances Too!

For those of you who have needed to find the appropriate trim chart for the shaft (and flex) you ordered we have updated our website with a nice new feature to make that task just a bit easier.  All you need to do it go to the webpage with the shaft you ordered.  Next, scroll down to where the product description is located and click on the SPECIFICATION tab.  One the right hand side of the specification table you will find the trim chart entries.  Simply click on the trim code shaded in blue and a pop up box will appear with that trim chart and any trim notes.  This is just another example of how Hireko is striving to make your club assembly operation more efficient.

Online Trim Chart Feature
Online Trim Chart Feature 2

View Account Balances
Now you view your account balances online.
1. First log into www.hirekogolf.com
2. Click on “My Orders” in the left hand column
3. Then click on “View Accounts Receivables”
and that’s it!

View Accounts Balance 1

View Account Balances 2Power Play Warp Speed Irons

 

 

 

Aftermarket versus OEM shafts – Certain “Premium” Shafts May Not Be What They Appear To Be

Don’t Get Burned – The Premium Golf Shafts You Find Listed in the Hireko Golf Catalog and Website are Indeed the Real McCoy’s

If you are paying premium dollar for premium golf shafts, should you be receiving what you thought you were ordering?  If you say “Yes”, then you better read up on a practice that is happening in the golf industry to make sure you are really getting the product and by the manufacturer you thought you were receiving all along. This article will help explain some of the difference between OEM golf companies and aftermarket golf shafts.

Aftermarket shafts versus OEM shafts What if…?
XYZ manufacturer spent months (if not years) developing a new shaft using exciting new materials and/or technology.  That golf shaft was eventually sent out on tour to validate its performance.  A few weeks later it was used in the driver of a tour player who happened to hold up the winning crystal trophy.  Word of mouth spreads and a couple weeks later starts showing up in the bags of several tour players.  The golf club shaft becomes easily spotted on TV or threads appear on-line in golf forums such as Golf WRX or MyGolfSpy.  Instantly, demand begins from the public for that golf club shaft.

Download Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogA short time later, that same shaft becomes available by a number of golf component suppliers (including Hireko Golf) often with a price tag of $149 or north of that.  Finally, Joe Q. Public can buy the exact same shaft as their favorite tour player used or won with or the one they saw in the media that they just had to have.  Are you following me?  This is the order of the universe of how those tour player aftermarket golf shafts enter the marketplace.

Hocus Pocus, what have we here?
A short time passes and all of the sudden you start to see a major manufacturer begin offering their newest golf club with XYZ-brand’s exotic new golf shaft – or is it? Maybe the silkscreen on the OEM golf shaft has marked 60 instead of a 55, meaning the aftermarket vs OEM golf shaft is a lighter version.  Or maybe the color is different, but the markings aren’t exactly like the one that you saw on Hireko’s website, catalog, Golf Digest or on a popular forum page.  You are probably asking yourself, “Hey, what the H E double hockey sticks is going on there?”

Well my friends, that is what we call “Made For” or retail shafts. These are variations off of popular or expensive aftermarket golf shafts.  These may be slightly watered down versions of the Real McCoy in order to hit a certain price point or make them a little more user-friendly for Joe Q. Public who doesn’t swing anything like or as hard as the pros.  One clue if this is the case is to look at the retail price between their stock shafts vs. after-market shafts.

Many OEM drivers will retail for $299 with their house brand shaft.  Let’s say the OEM uses a “premium” golf shaft you see in a component catalog that lists for $199 for just the golf shaft itself.  If the retail price of the club is $399, then you know it is the “Made For” version, whereas at $499, it is the real deal.

UST Recoil Golf Shaft

Abracadabra, watch me pull a shaft from this hat

There are some people who feel like there is a conspiracy theory and those that produce “Made For” shafts ought to go to the pokey for false advertising.  Others will say, “You know, the average guy probably can’t hit the real deal anyway and the retail version is probably going to be a better fit for them.”  The latter has basically a no harm, no foul approach.

But what if that “Made For” golf club shaft wasn’t even made by the company that originally designed the shaft and went through the arduous task of getting it in the hands of the world’s best players?  What if the name brand club manufacturer went to the shaft maker and said, “Hey, we want this other company to produce a shaft for us, but we would like to slap your name on it because it is good marketing.  We will pay you x-amount per golf shaft and you don’t have to manufacturer the shaft, have it sit in your warehouse until we put in a purchase order, worry about a late invoice or any returns either.  All you have to do is sit back and enjoy those royalty checks because your name is worth something to us and the general public.”

Shocked?  Believe it or not this practice does happen.  I actually applaud those shaft vendors that turn down the offer of “free” money not to tarnish their branding now and far into the future.  Do I have a grudge against any name brand club manufacturer – absolutely not!  Do I have a vendetta against any shaft manufacturer?  Again, my answer is emphatically no. For one, we sell the majority of these company’s products anyway and that pays part of my salary.  But I do feel I have a responsibility to help educate consumers and for them to understand we are not ripping them off when comparing the OEM vs aftermarket shafts.

Don’t get burned
If you want the real deal, well you are going to pay for it one way or another.  The tour grade golf shafts you find listed in Hireko’s catalog and website are indeed the Real McCoy’s – not a watered down or totally unrelated product to appear as the one you thought you were getting in the first place.  There are some name brand club manufacturers who will put the real thing in either as a premium stock offering or as a custom option, but at a premium price as well.  It’s the same story on those shafts you found on eBay for a terrific price as it is really hard to say what they are, where the came from or even who produced them.  Caveat emptor…

The Power Play Warp Speed Driver – Big Things Do Come in Small Packages

Power Play Warp Speed Driver440cc Dynamo Packs a Powerful Punch

Being the “tech guy”, I get grilled all the time by our customers as to what I play.  I guess they feel if it is good enough for me to play, it ought to be good enough for them. So if you are asking that same question, here’s my answer. Of all the golf drivers we offer, including all the ones introduced this year, the Power Play Warp Speed Driver is my personal favorite.  I actually have several built up with different shafts starting with the early prototypes that I started playing last fall, not to mention handed to fellow golfers to get their reactions.

View Technical Director Jeff Summitt’s Videoblog on the Power Play Warp Speed Driver Below

To be perfectly honest, we would have had these available by now, but we made umpteen gazillion cosmetic changes on the Warp Speed Driver to get to the final product you see today.  Now that might be a slight embellishment, but that’s part of product development. Cosmetics are just as important as the design itself or the naming that makes the difference between a successful launch and just another “ho hum” product.  I, for one, am glad we didn’t rush it to market and waited to get it right.

Looking for the most comprehensive golf equipment catalog in the industry? Download the 2013 Hireko Golf Catalog here. 172 pages of golf clubheads, golf clubs, golf shafts, golf grips, clubmaking tools, golf bags and accessories!

By now, I hope you are already familiar with the Power Play Warp Speed Brassie in this series that I spoke about a Download Hireko Catalogcouple of weeks ago.  But if you are unfamiliar with the Power Play Warp Speed Driver, its’ story is slightly different. It was designed to generate more speed upon impact.  How you ask?  We streamlined the body by reducing the volume slightly as it is only a 440cc driver.  I can tell you though, not a single player that tested the early prototypes ever noticed it was any smaller than the maximum volume most golf drivers are made today.  However, I wouldn’t classify it as a deep face driver either. Secondly, the shape was carefully sculpted to have a more aerodynamic shape to reduce drag.  Now, many companies will make this same tout. Just like car manufacturers, as each year passes, we get a little more proficient at producing better and better products.  But that’s not why I like it best about this product.

Power Play Warp Speed DriverWe also shed as much weight as we could from the crown to lower and then deepen the center of gravity.  That is just one of the key elements you can’t see as well as a slight change to the face construction for a little faster ball speed on off-center shots. These are the little details that provide you with a better performing product.  But again, that is not the main reason I like this driver best.

Power Play Warp Speed Driver CrownWhat I like best about the Power Play Warp Speed Titanium Driver is that it evokes my senses.  It is the same way people are attracted to one another.  It is the sound of their voice, the shape of the face or the color of the eyes or hair.  It is the same way with this driver.  It has a beautiful sound at impact due to the slightly smaller volume and thicker walls and the shape and colors have a look like that no other driver has.  This is my Halle Berry and Jessica Alba of drivers. Not only does it perform magnificently (*mine are optimized with a 20g Tour Lock Pro counterweight), but I am proud to show it off too.  That’s pride in ownership.

While your tastes may differ from mine, The Warp Speed Driver is just one of many fine custom golf drivers that Hireko offers that you will find in the whole golf industry.  Make sure to get properly fit. If you are unsure and asking “What size driver do I need”, go to one of the number of independent clubmakers in your area to get the proper driver length for your height, shaft weight, flex and grip size.

Model #TM1457
Model #XTM1457
Power Play Warp Speed Titanium Driver – Clubhead
Power Play Warp Speed Titanium Driver – Custom Assembled
$69.95 each
$109.95 each

Aquatix Water Bottles

LOUDMOUTH PUTTER GRIPS – FUNCTION & STYLE. WHY NOT?

Loudmouth Putter Grips

Hit the golf course with a storm of style! Pulling out this eye-popping putter grip on the green will turn some heads. But, it’s not just a flash of bright color and style. Golf is all about the feel and Loudmouth putter grips has bolted great feel and great style into one and the same grip. Did we mention logical added features like the convenient golf ball-marker storage and use built into the end cap? In play on the PGA, LPGA and other professional golf tours around the world too!

Key Product Highlights of the new Loudmouth grips :
• Unique, eye catching design with LOUD attitude!
• Polyurethane wrap stye putter grips
• Built-in magnetic ball market on all Loudmouth putter grips!
• Available in 5 wild designs
• Putter grip size .600″

 Loudmouth Shagadelic Standard Putter Grip  Loudmouth Shagadelic Jumbo Putter Grip Loudmouth Thunderbolt Standard Putter Grip
Model #LMSP Model #LMSP1 Model #LMTP
Loudmouth Shagadelic Standard Putter Grip Loudmouth Shagadelic Jumbo Putter Grip Loudmouth Thunderbolt Standard Putter Grip
$16.95 each $19.95 each $16.95 each
 Loudmouth Shagadelic Standard Putter Grip  Loudmouth Shagadelic Jumbo Putter Grip  Loudmouth Thunderbolt Standard Putter Grip
 Loudmouth Thunderbolt Jumbo Putter Grip Loudmouth Pink/Black Standard Putter Grip
Model #LMTP1 Model #LMP
Loudmouth Thunderbolt Jumbo Putter Grip Loudmouth Pink/Black Standard Putter Grip
$19.95 each $16.95 each
 Loudmouth Thunderbolt Jumbo Putter Grip  Loudmouth Pink and Black Standard Putter Grip

Check Out The New Arrivals At Hireko Golf!

Loudmouth Grips
Hit the golf course with a storm of style! Pulling out this eye-popping putter grip on the green will turn some heads. Loudmouth Grips will be the hottest grips in your foursome this year.
New 2013 Adams Golf Clubs
1 Driver or Fairway club with Adjustable Loft, Length and Length! One club will do it all! Check out the new 2013 Adams Golf Collection.
New 2013 Yes! Putters
Looking for a new putter this year? Check out the new 2013 Yes! Putters featuring their i4-Tech Insert.
New 2013 RJ Sports Golf Bags
Replace that ratty golf bag with a new RJ Sports bag. The best value in golf!
New 2013 Power Play Zero Gravity Shaft
Power Play Zero Gravity graphite shafts are lighter weight for increase swing speed whether driver, fairway, hybrid or iron.
New 2013 iBella Obsession Graphite Shaft
Created especially for the iBella Obsession collection, this very lightweight, flexible design creates added distance and feel for today’s woman golfer.
New Aquatix Water Bottles
Stainless steel. Long lasting and much greener than plastic!
New 2013 Lamkin iLine Grips
Black and Turquoise grips just arrived! Lamkin Golf Grips and IOMIC Golf joined forces to create a revolutionary new golf club grip combining the low-torque and tacky feel of an advanced elastomer material with the proven high-traction performance of the Lamkin Crossline™ surface pattern called the Lamkin iLine grips.

The Power Play Warp Speed Brassie: A Fresh New Spin on a Terrific Old Idea

The Power Play Warp Speed Brassie may just be that missing club you have been looking for all along as a control club off the tee or to reach those long par 4s

Power Play Warp Speed Brassie Fairway WoodThis year, Hireko is introducing a new type club that golfers are probable going to be unfamiliar with. That is until after today! In modern era of golf, we know there is the driver, fairway wood, hybrids, etc.  Plus, in many of the clubhead categories like the best fairway woods, they have numbers engraved on the sole like 3, 5 and 7 (which are the most common).  However, this wasn’t always the case.  History shows us all type of unique names for clubs, such as “spoon”, “mashie”, “baffy” and “cleek” to name just a few. Like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, we would like to re-introduce to you one of terms in the brand new Power Play Warp Speed “Brassie”.

History of the Brassie
For you old-timers out there, you probably recollect such a club called the Brassie fairway wood.  In fact, you might have even hit a ball with one.  For the rest of us, the Brassie was a wooden golf club with a brass sole plate – hence the name. Brass was more durable than the wood it replaced to protect the head from being hit off the ground.  One byproduct of the dense brass material was that it produced a clubhead with low center of gravity. The term “Brassie” or variants also applied to various lofted wooden clubs in the 1880s and 1890s, such as a Driving Brassie, Brassie Spoon or Brassie Iron.
VIEW TECHNICAL DIRECTOR’S VIDEOBLOG ON THE POWER PLAY WARP SPEED BRASSIE BELOW!

The loft of a Brassie was typically between 12 and 17 degrees.  In trying to replicate history, the Warp Speed Brassie is equipped with 13º of loft and outfitted with a metallic sole with a brass PVD finish.

Is the Brassie a modern #2 wood?
Close, but no cigar.  In reality, one way to describe the Power Play Warp Speed Brassie is a strong 3 wood as the weight is the same a normal 3 wood (instead of lighter like the #2) as well as lower lofted. Because of the massively large volume (we’ll get to why in a moment), we could not physically make this very special forged stainless steel fairway any lighter.

Who is the Brassie for?
The million dollar question is who is a candidate to put the Warp Speed Brassie in their golf bag?  I guess the first thing you need to understand is the purpose.  In the olden days, the Brassie could also be used off of a tee because they could provide player more accuracy and control without suffering much, if any, distance.  In keeping with that theme, the Power Play Warp Speed Brassie was developed.

Size does matter
There are a number of strong lofted 3 woods on the market, but none quite like this one. Our “Brassie” is just part of the Power Play Warp Speed line.  I’ll get ahead of myself a bit, as we have yet to introduce the other members of the family yet. But if you take a look at the diagram you will understand what we have done.

Power Play Warp Speed Brassie Compared

The Brassie has a very large footprint at address – only 12% smaller than the matching driver.  If it were the height of a typical driver, then the volume would comparable to a 380 cc driver telling you just how forgiving it is.  If you want to compare the Brassie to a typical #3 wood, then it will be approximately 24% more forgiving.  In layman’s terms – you’ll hit the Power Play Warp Speed Brassie straighter.

But remember, the face is still shallow and easy enough to hit off of the deck.  Rest assured “that ain’t gonna happen with a driver”.  We thinned the crown area out as much as possible to maintain a low as well as rearward center of gravity to get the ball up and out with less spin.

Power Play Warp Speed Brassie Face Height

As you can see, the Brassie is a versatile clubs. Undoubtedly, it is our straightest fairway wood we offer, but it is no chump when it comes to distance either.  We hadn’t even mentioned that there is a high-strength, super-thin face to boost the ball velocity coming off of the face for a combination that is awfully hard to beat.

However, if you decide on ordering a Power Play Warp Speed Brassie, there is no need for an additional #3 wood in the bag – skip to the #5.  Lastly, if you were to conduct a search for Brassie on the internet, chances are they will describe it as an obsolete club.  The funny part is if our golfing forefathers had created this beast, then Brassie would be in the lexicon of golf terms today.  Whether you are intimidated by a large driver, need a control club off the tee or a powerful fairway wood to reach long par 4s or those par 5s in two, the Power Play Warp Speed Brassie may just be that missing club you have been looking for all along.

Model #FM1458
Model #XFM1458
$29.95 each
$59.95 each