I am a huge supporter of recycling and reducing my carbon footprint on this planet. One item that is not accepted at most recycling centers is bubble wrap, like what your golf club heads are shipped to you in for protection. Instead of tossing the bubble bags into the trash to lay waste in a landfill for hundreds upon hundreds of years, try reusing or re-purposing them. Like most families, the holiday decorations will come down in the following week. Some of the items may be heirlooms or possibly hand-made and need to be protected. There is no better use for those bubble bags than around the yule time to pack those items safely for the next year.
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM HIREKO GOLF!
Our corporate offices will be closed January 1, 2 and re-open January 5.
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the workshop
Not a single tool would sit idle, most passed down from his late Pop.
The head covers were placed in a box with care,
In hopes that Uncle Nicholas’s new golf clubs would soon be there.
While his wife and children were nestled in their beds,
Robert began unpacking Uncle Nick’s heads.
With a beverage by his side and his faithful dog’s head on his lap,
He took a swig and carefully removed each head’s bubble wrap.
When all of the sudden there arose such a clatter,
Larry checked his smart phone to see what was the matter.
A weather alert calling for snow but starting with sleet,
By the end of the weekend the wet stuff could be measured in feet.
The two florescent light bulbs in the shop were aglow,
Gave the luster to his clubmaking project below.
When, what to his wondering eyes should appear,
But a Juggernaut driver, eight shinny high COR irons and more Hireko golf gear.
With only hours left before midnight, he had to be quick,
He had to remember all those clubmaking tricks.
More rapid than bogeys at his home course, out they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Weigh! now, Sort! now, Measure and Snip!
On, Sanding! On, Epoxy! on, on Ferrule and then Grip!
To the top of the workbench! no detail was too small!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away and install!”
As his clubmaking skills increased with each try,
The clubs meet without an obstacle, and set aside to dry.
So all those clubmaking videos he watched on YouTube gave him a clue,
With a rack full of golf clubs to prove, and his Uncle Nick’s too.
And then, in a twinkling, he took a look at the clock
In no time at all the fast setting epoxy was hard as a rock.
He drew each head to the belt sander as evident by the sound,
Down came the ferrules until they were all perfectly round.
He was dressed in his shop apron, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were kept clean from the graphite and soot.
A bundle of high traction grips he pulled from a rack,
That he just received from his Fed Ex driver named Mack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! learned gripping from his cousin Gary!
This part of the project would be the least scary!
Clamped, aligned and tape peeled from the liner, solvent ready to flow.
By the time he finished, those grips looked like they were installed by a pro.
The stub of a grip he held tight in his fists,
He waggled each club with a flick of the wrists.
He tried the putter, even though it stuck into his round belly,
Then he shook and he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He placed labels on the shafts he had safe on a shelf,
And he laughed and wished he made the clubs for himself!
With wink of his eye and a twist of the head,
Soon he knew he had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but continued to finish his work,
And filled the box with shiny new clubs, then turned with a smirk.
And after wrapping the box by the artificial tree,
And giving a nod, placed the package next to the 50” 4K Ultra HD TV!
He sprang to his feet, to head off to slumber,
Proud of himself there was nothing he forgot to remember.
But he quietly exclaimed, ‘fore he turned off the light
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
While many kids are getting excited to open presents left by Santa underneath the Christmas tree, there are a number of loyal Hireko customers who will equally excited to open boxes around the yule time. In the upcoming week, two new Dynacraft Prophet Irons will be in stock in time for the New Year. These two different irons will be for two completely different groups of golfers and as Santa’s helper I am here to explain these differences.
These two new Dynacraft irons are called the Prophet CB (cavity back) and Prophet MB (short for muscle back even though technically it’s not). These are models we have worked on for a very long time and should be our signature or statement irons for 2015.
|Dynacraft Prophet CB Irons||Dynacraft Prophet MB Irons|
|Super game-improvement iron||Player’s cavity back iron|
|Moderate top line||Very thin top line|
|Wide sole||Narrow sole|
|Progressive, moderate offset||Very low offset|
|Distance leader||Soft, solid feel|
Distance, distance, distance…
The Dynacraft Prophet CB is going to cater to the golfer that yearns or begs for more distance as well as much needed accuracy. These are super game-improvement models featuring a specialty high rebound face and strong lofts for greater distance, but with a tremendous amount of weight strategically positioned both low and rearward to be able to stop the ball on the greens and provide pin-point accuracy. How do I know? I played them this summer and fall. When I can hit a 6-iron as far as I used to hit my old 4-iron, all I can say is the game becomes easier and you have a whole lot more confidence playing. I wouldn’t be surprised one iota if these become our best-selling iron for the upcoming season or even two.
There is another group of golfers – typically elite or better ball strikers – who could care a less about distance and are more concerned with performance and a sense of pride of ownership. They want something they can work the ball with, have that unmistaken feel when they flush a shot and at the same time they demand a classic appearance that is well engineered and exudes sophistication like a luxury watch. That is who the forged semi-cavity back Prophet MB is for.
While the two appear to be the opposite extremes of one another, there is commonality in the core weight distribution principle to provide a well-balanced clubhead. Treat yourself or one of your customers and reign in the New Year with a new set of Dynacraft Prophet flatsticks.
VIEW TECHNICAL DIRECTOR JEFF SUMMIT”S REVIEW ON NEW DYNACRAFT PROPHET FORGED MB IRONS!
Safer Gripping Solvents Are Only A Click Away
Since the 1950s when Golf Pride created the first slip-on grips, clubmakers have used a myriad of solvents to lubricate double-sided tape to assist in installation. Some of these solvents as we would find out years later were not so healthy like trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene which are known to be carcinogens. In other cases clubmakers used solvents that were smelly and highly flammable such as gasoline, kerosene and lighter fluid. I am glad those days are over or hope clubmakers are not still using any of these because now clubmakers have access to safer gripping solvents like the ones supplied to them by Hireko and other component distributors.
Not all solvents are recommended for all applications. There are still customers who still refuse to use the golf club specific solvents available to them by the components companies and opt to use solvents they can find at their local paint or hardware store. However that is their option. They may use odorless mineral spirits, naphtha or Varsol (if they live in Canada – eh). Others may use paint thinners (and no, it is not the exact same thing as mineral spirits) and wonder why the paint or paint fill on the grip suddenly is marred on the surface.
Last week I received an email from a customer asking why the Pure Grips he installed with a “solvent” purchased from another component company suddenly removed the paint on the outer surface of the grip. Since it was not a product we have used or sold, we had to investigate. It turns out this “organic” solvent – sounds like it is harmless – was similar to their paint base, so it acted like paint remover. So if you use organic solvents on Pure Grips, be careful not to rub the paint. There is no telling if this type of solvent could be harmful to other grip manufacturers’ colored grips as well.
Of course if you are looking for a safer alternative you always have the option of installing grips with air if your shop is equipped with an air compressor or using water reactivated tape with either soap and water or straight glass cleaners as the liquid lubricant.
Winn Grips is introducing several new grips for 2015, but I would like to single out the new Winn DriTac Wrap series.
This is a “standard” weight version of the Winn DriTac Lite that have been available for the past two years. This gives two wrap-style options to clubmaker’s and golfer’s alike, but with two different purposes.
You might be wondering what the H E double hockey sticks is a standard weight grip. For years, “standard” (at least for men) is a grip that tips the scales between 50 and 52 grams. If you look across the majority of men’s rubber grips, they would fall in this range. However, all of them would be men’s standard sized grips. When you go to matching men’s rubber grips in midsize or jumbo the weight increases proportionately as more material is required to create the larger sizes. Winn Grips are different as they are constructed from two pieces; an underlisting wrapped or bonded by a strap of soft PU (polyurethane) material. In the Winn DriTac Wrap series the standard, midsize and jumbo all weigh 50 grams or the so-called “standard” weight.
How did they do that?
The secret is each PU strap is a different thickness and when wrapped around their standard rubber underlisting creates each unique size. This way they can change size without altering weight. One byproduct is the larger grips also do an even better job dampening vibration.
Why is this important?
One word: balance. You may not realize the flex of the shaft is based on using a certain weight grip (50-52g) to achieve normal swingweights (C9-D3) based on men’s standard lengths. Note shorter Ladies lengths would be less and over length men’s clubs would be more. But let’s focus on men’s standard for our discussion.
When a shaft manufacturer designs the flex into their shafts, they have to make sure that shaft is acceptable to use in a wide variety of manufacturers heads – not just one. This is no easy task. They know that most manufacturers will built to the standard swingweight range mentioned before. So if a grip is used that weighs more could throw off the intended flex unless they don’t adjust for grip weight.
For example, let’s say we want to use a jumbo-sized rubber grip that weighs 78g. Well for every 5 grams of grip weight more than standard, it will reduce the swingweight by 1 point. In this case 78-50/5 would be 5 swingweights. If the manufacturer were to add enough weight back to the head to achieve a “standard” swingweight, then this would be the equivalent of reducing the stiffness by as much as ½ flex. In the case with the DriTac Wrap jumbo there is no swingweight differential to factor in.
DriTac Wrap versus DriTac Wrap Lite
Both of these are wrap-style grips, but the Lite is half the weight or @ a 25g savings. To make this possible, Winn uses light weight compressed foam (EVA) instead of a rubber underlisting for the DriTac Lite series. Here they can independently change size (standard, midsize and jumbo) and weight (25 or 50 grams). Winn also uses an EVA underlisting on several of their Excel Lite putter grips to create a large but light combination.
One thing to keep in mind during assembly is to make sure the final swingweight of the assembled club is higher when using DriTac Wrap Lite. If not, you may be disappointed in the results. Let’s use our example before, but in reverse. The Lite version is @25g lighter or what would be 5 swingweight increase compared to a standard weight grip. If one was to make a club with a DriTac Wrap Lite at a normal swingweight, that would be the equivalent as if head weight was removed thus making the club stiffer. The correct application would be to create a club that is lighter overall, but a swingweight @ 5 point higher than standard so the flex of the club is retained and the golfer has a more head-heavy feel.
If you want an overall lighter club that has more head feel, then opt for the DriTac Wrap Lite. But if you want to maintain your current weight and balance, go with the DriTac Wrap. Aside from that, choose the appropriate size (standard, midsize or jumbo) for the size of your hand or more importantly the comfort to securely hold onto the club during the swing.
Counterweighting golf clubs may greatly improve your game.
For the past 5 years, Hireko has sold an assortment of counterweights for steel and graphite shafts as well as steel putter shafts. There are a number of reasons to counterweight such as moving the balance point of the club closer to the player’s hands to help increase swing speed, helping delay the release of the club and even to help square the face up at impact rather the watching the ball fade or slice away from the target.
In other cases counterweighting can help reduce head heaviness when building longer-than-normal length clubs or create a putter promoting more of a pendulum stroke. So counterweights are a staple for any clubmaking operation and as such we want to point out some installation tips.
First, here is a quick primer on the anatomy of the counterweights. There are three parts to the counterweight. The stem is the portion that goes into the interior of the shaft. The lip or head sits atop the very butt of the shaft preventing it from falling inside. Lastly, there is air vent hole passing through the center.
Make sure to measure the shaft first
One thing to note ahead of time is our counterweights will not fit every single shaft on the market since there are no standards for butt diameter, shaft wall thickness or how much can be taken off of the butt end to achieve the final length. So it is important for the clubmakers to first measure the inside diameter of the cut shaft with their calipers or micrometers or they can test fit the counterweight if they have them on hand.
The stem of the counterweights for steel shafts and putters are @ 0.550” (14mm). These will fit the vast majority of steel shafts with a 0.590” butt diameter or larger. Do not try to force one of these into the butt end of a 0.580” steel shaft otherwise you could split the shaft. Also, if you are using the longer putter counterweights, check to see if there is a step down or knurl on the shaft where it will reduce the inside diameter of the shaft and prevent the counterweight from penetrating the full length.
The stem of the counterweights for graphite shafts are @ 0.472” (12mm). Here it is very important to measure the inside diameter since wall thickness (not outside diameter of the shaft) will dictate whether the stem will fit. In no case should you ever try to force a counterweight into a shaft with an inside diameter smaller than this. For ultra-light or constant tapered graphite shafts you may find they fit loose inside the shaft, but there is a solution for that.
- These counterweights will likely not fit into a shaft that has been extended, especially if using extenders made of plastic, aluminum or using old graphite shafts.
- If a steel shaft was cut with a tubing cutter, this can cause the shaft to pinch inwards and this is where you want to use the flaring tool inside the butt of the shaft. You may also find the flaring tool useful to remove burrs left inside when cutting the shaft with a motorized tool.
These are a permanent solution
Our counterweights are designed to be more of a permanent solution to counterweighting as opposed to the Tour Lock Pro system which can be readily removed and re-inserted into the butt of the club. The reason they are considered permanent is these are installed prior to the grip. Once gripped, you will not have access or even know a counterweight was installed. So it is important to know how much weight you need ahead of time.
Each 4 grams of weight will reduce the swingweight by one point. For the longer putter weights, it will be slightly more.
|Plug Weight||Swingweight Reduction|
To epoxy or not to epoxy; that is the question
To prevent an unwanted rattle, the counterweights should fit tight inside the shaft. For steel shafts, I would encourage you to use epoxy (fast-setting is fine in this application) to hold them in place. That will ensure no vibration can occur. For graphite shafts, you could do the same, but if you ever wanted to remove the weight at a later date, you might consider an alternative.
Frequently on a graphite shaft, the counterweight will be loose. You can add ordinary masking tape around the stem so it matches the inside diameter of the shaft. This will prevent the counterweight from rattling in the butt as you still have the lip against the butt end and the grip tape and grip to further supporting the counterweight.
Speaking of masking tape, I mentioned before the steel counterweights will not fit a 0.580” steel shaft. You could take the counterweights for graphite shafts and build up the stem with masking or lead tape to match the inner diameter of the steel shaft. See, there is often a simply solution to everything.
In the event you want to remove a counterweight, here is the best advice we can give. If you epoxied the counterweight in a steel shaft, simply use a heat gun or torch to break the epoxy bond. Then place the head or lip of the counterweight into your vise and you can twist it out. With graphite shafts I would discourage using any significant heat as it could compromise the integrity of the shaft since they are held together by epoxy resins. This is the reason why I like the masking tape method.
Don’t worry if you see rust
These counterweights are made out of carbon steel and if exposed to humid conditions they can start to create surface rust. Don’t worry as it will have no impact on the usage. Light sandpaper prior to epoxying or adding masking tape is all that is necessary.
If Aldila offers it, now we can likely get it!
While just a few weeks ago we added the much anticipated Aldila Rogue and Tour Red series to our website, we didn’t make mention of what else we had added. The “what else” were all – and I mean all – the other Aldila shafts we hadn’t listed on our website previously. We can’t expect to sell any of these shafts unless you know we can get them for you, so here is a quick synopsis of those offerings.
Taper tipped iron shafts
There are a lot of irons currently in play that require taper tip shafts, most of which are steel-shafted. As golfers get older and look to lighten up their clubs, many look toward graphite shafts. We do offer some taper tip graphite iron shafts from the likes of Aerotech and UST-Mamiya, but we were still missing some holes. For instance, we no longer offered any senior flex shafts. Sure, you might be able to soft-step a regular flex shaft to make it slightly softer. It just isn’t the same as if you had dedicated A-flex shafts like we now have in the NV Comp 85 and the VS Proto 85. Those same shafts are available in R, S and X-flex shaft too. The other taper tip iron shafts from Aldila are the:
- NV 105 (R, S and X-flex)
- VS Proto 100 (R, S and X-flex)
- RIP 90 (R, S and X flex)
- RIP 115 (R, S and X-flex)
This provides a matrix of different weights and flexes to cover a wide range of golfers looking to retrofit their existing OEM irons.
> CLICK HERE TO SHOP FOR ALDILA NV COMP 85, VS PROTO 85, NV 105, VS PROTO 100, RIP 90 AND RIP 115 TAPER TIP SHAFTS
More parallel tip iron shafts too
We didn’t just add taper tip shafts, but also all the parallel tip shafts that will fit our irons and wedges too. These will include the aforementioned NV Comp 85, VS Proto 85 and 100 (in the same flexes) as well as the pink NV 55 shaft for ladies. These would be a nice addition to the iBella Obsession iron. In each of these cases the shafts are a dedicated length for a particular iron head or wedge rather than a master shaft that is tip trimmed like most other parallel tip shafts.
> CLICK HERE TO BUY THE ALDILA NV COMP 85, VS PROTO 85/100 AND PINK NV 55 PARALLEL SHAFTS
Look at all these 0.350” wood shafts
For those that know me well, I eschew 0.350” shafts as it doubles up our inventory. Plus most of the heads you can use them for have adjustable hosel adapters or can use special conversion ferrules to reduce the diameter to use 0.335” shafts. However, we get a number of requests and we want to service our customer based the best that we can. So we have added all following shafts that are offered with a 0.350” tip.
- NV 55 Pink (L-flex)
- NV 55 Green (A, R and S-flex)
- NV 65 Green (R, S and X-flex)
- NV 75 Green (R, S and X-flex)
- NVS 45 Pink (L-flex)
- NVS 45 Orange (L and A-flex)
- NVS 55 Orange (A, R, S and X-flex)
- NVS 65 Orange (R, S and X-flex)
- NVS 75 Orange (R, S and X-flex)
- VS Proto 60 (R, S and X-flex)
- VS Proto 70 (R, S and X-flex)
- VS Proto 80 (R, S and X-flex)
If you can’t find a weight or flex you need, then I am sorry you are out of luck.
More hybrids including the hard-to-find 0.355” tapered models
Yes, we have all the Aldila hybrid shafts too in both 0.370” parallel tip and 0.355” taper tip. If you are wondering who in the Sam Hill uses or had used taper tip shaft in hybrids, you have the following: Adams, older Ben Hogan and Cobra Baffler, Bridgestone, Mizuno Nike, Ping, TaylorMade TP, Titleist (some of which were originally steel-shafted). The ones below with asterisks next to their name are the one which are also available with the 0.355” taper tip. Note some listed here we have before but include the missing flexes we didn’t offer before.
- *NV 55 Pink (L-flex)
- *NV 85 Green (R, S and X-flex)
- *NVS 85 Orange (R, S and X-flex)
- RIP Phenom 65 (L, A, R, S and X-flex)
- Tour Blue 85 (R, S, X and Tour X-flex)
- Tour Green 85 (R, S, X and Tour X-flex)
- *VS Proto 80 (R, S and X-flex)
- *VS Proto 95 (R, S and X-flex)
Opps, I think we went batty and added even more 0.335” wood shafts
In several of the wood lines we did not offer a flex or Aldila added one mid-year that was not included in our 2014 catalog. In other cases we dropped the ball completely and never listed a particular model. Those include in no specific order: NV 44 Magnum, RIP Phenom 50, 60 and 80, NV 55 Green, NVS 45 and 55 Orange as well as VS Proto 60, 70 and 80 woods.
Another way to think of it, if Aldila offers it, we can likely get it for you. As you can see, we added more shafts than you can shake a stick at. But we want to prove once again that Hireko is your one stop source for all your component needs.
One of the most popular shaft models on the PGA Tour over the past decade, the Graphite Design YS+ series, is getting an exciting makeover.
The venerable Graphite Design YS+ series of shafts, long known for its distinct feel, is now infused with the same high performance, Nano-alloy materials as their premium Tour AD shafts also known as “DI Technology”, to create the YS NanoReloaded. When I first heard of the name, the first thought that poured through my head was the movie Matrix Reloaded and in some way they tie together. You see graphite shafts are made of a matrix of different composite materials and epoxy resin. What make a shaft perform and give it the distinct feel is all about the materials along with its geometry.
YS+ versus YS Nano Reloaded
In a blog I did a few months ago called Serious Shafts for Serious Players, we went over the differences between the YS+ and some of the Tour AD models including our deflection profiles. Let’s now look at how the YS+ (in this case the 60 gram S-flex) compares to the new NanoReloaded.
As you can see in the deflection profiles, the two shafts are nearly identical from roughly the 15” position from the tip all the way to the butt. The blue line represents the YS6+ and the red line is the new NanoReloaded version. This should come as no surprise as Graphite Design used the exact same mandrel and materials pattern. The difference occurs in the tip region where the Nanomaterial used in the Tour AD series is positioned. This should produce a shaft that lowers the launch / spin slightly, but still provide the smooth center section that players have come to expect from the YS+ series.
Not your poor man’s Tour AD DI
If you think that by adding the same material in the tip as the Tour AD DI (orange line) that YS NanoReloaded (red line) will become a lower cost version of it, you might be let down. These are two different shaft profiles. If there was a shaft that would be more comparable it would be the Tour AD BB (light blue line). Here the dissimilarity is the YS NanoReloaded would have more flex than the Tour AD BB in the tip and mid sections.
While the YS6+ and YS7+ have been readily available for a decade, many might not remember Graphite Design made other weights in the series. For golfers looking to squeeze out more distance a lighter shaft might allow one to muster a little more speed at impact. The YS NanoReloaded Five (yes they spell out the number) is available in some of the softer flexes as well.
We have been working on a newer and better way of putting a number on stiffness to help fit golfers. Today I want to unveil what our swing speed range would be based on our deflection readings.
|Model / Flex||Swing Speed Range|
|YS-Five NanoReloaded L-flex||64 – 73 mph|
|YS-Five NanoReloaded A-flex||75 – 86 mph|
|YS-Five NanoReloaded R-flex||81 – 94 mph|
|YS-Five NanoReloaded S-flex||90 – 103 mph|
|YS-Six NanoReloaded R-flex||86 – 99 mph|
|YS-Six NanoReloaded S-flex||93 – 107 mph|
|YS-Six NanoReloaded X-flex||103 – 118 mph|
|YS-Seven NanoReloaded R-flex||88 – 102 mph|
|YS-Seven NanoReloaded S-flex||96 – 110 mph|
|YS-Seven NanoReloaded X-flex||103 – 118 mph|
Don’t forget the hybrids too
There is a 75 and 85 gram hybrid offering in this series as well. According to our testing, these will be more flexible or possess a lower frequency (added feel) than any of the other current Graphite Design hybrid shafts. That is with the exception of the very tip section where the Nanomaterial has been added (for stability).