Hireko recently debuted the new Acer SHM-2 (Simple Harmonic Motion) mallet putter and we have already have received a lot of interest and questions.
Having developed the putter as well as played and tested it with fellow golfers for several months now, I would like to give you some advice when it comes to fitting.
First of all, there are a number of ways the Acer SHM-2 putter can be assembled and it doesn’t have to be counterbalanced or made longer like the video shows.
- It could be assembled as a conventional length putter for those that prefer a head heavy feel.
- It could be assembled at standard length with a counterweight.
- It could be assembled longer without counterweighting.
- It could be assembled longer with counterweighting.
OK, you may say any putter could be assembled in any of those 4 manners and you would be correct. However, for a putter to work in unison with counterweighting, we feel it is best to use a head that is heavier than the norm. The Acer SHM-2 tips the scales at 385 grams compared to 340-350 grams for your average putter head. When we were in the design phase of this model, it was primarily for options #3 and 4 as an alternative to the upcoming anchoring ban. As you already know, putting is all about preferences, so we are glad to offer such a versatile putter.
How we tested it
Our testing of the SHM-2 mallet putter started with the 44” Apollo Double Bend putter shaft to create the longer assembly length. This shaft fits over the post (or tang) and creates a face balanced design as well as an offset. We made the putter 38” long or what is 3” or perhaps 4” longer than a conventional length putter (depending on your standard), yet 3 or 4 inches shorter than a belly putter. We outfitted the putter with the new Winn Excel 15” Pistol putter grip, which is the grip length seen on many new counterweighted putters to hit the market.
Could you use belly putter grips instead? I am afraid at this length belly putter grips are going to be too long for the parallel butt section of this shaft and would require building up making tape so there would not be a gap at the mouth and look unprofessional. Even with the 15” Winn grip, you may have to build up the shaft with tape if going under 37” in length. Secondly, the 15” Winn grip is relatively heavy to act as a counterbalance as well. Some of the shorter belly putter grips (17” in length) tend to be lighter. If you decide to go to a shorter or conventional putter length, you could use a shorter compound double putter or single bend shaft (if you didn’t want the offset) with a standard length putter grip.
To fit players efficiently I wanted to use the Tour Lock Pro weights so I cut a hole in the butt end of the grip with the grip modifier. These would range anywhere from 16 to 100 grams for the testing along with no weight as all. I interchanged different weights and altered back and forth without the weight and observed patterns on putting from short range (@ 15 feet) and long range (@ 30 feet).
Observing the shot pattern
After observing not only where my shots were going, but with fellow golfers as well, what was most interesting was where misses fell. I feel overall that with counterweight, the clustering of shots improved. With no weight at all or the very light counterweight either had the putts miss short and occasionally long or generally less consistent.
Contrary to what you might think, as the weights increased, the misses started going longer than the hole. That is not a bad thing if you are always short of the hole – remember, never up, never in. However, they wouldn’t take the right breaks and fall in like some of the lighter weight did. This can be explained by the golfer releasing the putter as the balance point moves closer to the player’s hands.
Green speed played an important role in what weight seemed optimal for each golfer’s stroke. The 60g weight down to the 40g weights had the highest frequency of putts holed. After that, the putter with no counterbalance other than the weight of the grip was preferred. This is why it is important to fit the player on an individual basis and why I like the Tour Lock Pro system so well.
Putting is such an individualized endeavor and the reason why you see putters in all sorts of styles, length, weights, grips, etc. The versatility of the Acer SHM-2 will be sure to help a lot of golfers but use an open mind whether you are trying it yourself or fitting a player. One player I tested was a devout standard length, blade-style putter. He wasn’t particularly fond of mallet designs or longer lengths. I had him putt first with his gamer to get a feel for the green and then handed him the SMH-2 putter with a 60g counterweight. As soon as he tried it the first time, the putt holed out. After several more putts either making or nearly missing from 30 feet he asked when this putter would be available for sale.
Acer SHM-2 Mallet Putter – Custom Assembled
Acer SHM-2 Mallet Putter (RH) – Clubhead
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Hireko is proud to announce that we have added the entire line up of Iomic Grips to our already extensive product line.
I have probably said this a million times, we want to prove once again that Hireko is your one stop source for all your component needs. While Iomic may not be a brand that many of you are familiar with, they are highly popular in Japan where their headquarters are located and now they are making inroads into the US and other international markets.
One feature that makes Iomic grips unique is the material they are made from called Iomax. The elastomeric grips are sticky, yet soft to the touch. This is where the Sticky comes from in the naming of their products. The material was designed to reduce grip torque (yes, there is such a thing) which according to the company’s robot testing improves dispersion on off-center shots. Just think a simple grip change could help you hit more fairways and green.
Vibrant Iomic Grip colors
The material lends itself to being available in a myriad of vibrant colors and even patterns like the marbled effect in the Sticky Opus line or the molding of colors in the Sticky Camo series. These colors are non-fading and will make your clubs stand out and make a statement about you. While black (they offer that too) goes with everything, what’s wrong with personalizing your clubs with a splash of color.
The Japanese are stringent for quality and consistency. Even their grips have a mere +/- 2 gram weight tolerance. For clubmakers this is a blessing. Tight tolerances means no more weight-sort grips or take into account grip weights after you have already taken the time to balance the swingweights after you have cut the shafts, added tip pins and epoxied the clubs together.
Iomic Grips have swing grips available in junior, undersized (or ladies), standard, midsize and jumbo. The junior is obvious in the name and the midsize states “Mid” in its’ name. However, the undersized can be found by finding 1.8 in the description while their standard sized grips are labeled 2.3.
Being a Japanese company, they don’t necessarily use the standard sizing that you would find in the US. That is men’s (US) standard measures 0.900” in diameter 2” from the edge of the end cap. Instead they use the following:
Their undersized grips measures 21.8mm in diameter 5 cm down from the edge of the grip cap. This is where the 1.8 comes from – if you remove the 2 in front of 21.8mm. In addition, the 2.3 in Iomic’s standard grip sizing is short for 22.3mm. Now that we got that under our belt, let’s look at how their compare to the US sizing.
Measuring 5 cm down from the edge of the grip is so close to 2”, we won’t factor in any difference. Their undersize corresponds to ladies standard in US sizing. However, Japanese men’s standards tend to be a wee bit smaller than the US standard by 1/64”. To put that in perspective, a standard sized US men’s grip would be larger by the equivalent of adding 2 wraps of masking tape underneath the grip.
Iomic has one model called the X-Evolution that is closer to US men’s standard sizing without having to build up the grip. The midsize coincides with most midsize grips from Golf Pride and Lamkin. Finally Iomic’s jumbo grips are +3/32”.
Iomic has a plethora of putter grips too
Iomic offers standard, midsize, jumbo and belly putters grips as well. The I-Classic is more of a pistol shape, while the rest of the putter grips are paddle shaped.
If you (or your customers) are in the market for new grips, Iomic Grips have a whole host of vibrant colors to choose from; some of which aren’t present in any other grip manufacturer’s grip line. The proprietary material is soft, yet sticky to aid in comfort and reduced shot dispersion. We went over sizing so it should come as no surprise when you add one to one of your clubs to what sizing you will get or how to adjust if you have a preference for a specific grip size.