Do You Have to Remove All the Paint from a Graphite Shaft Tip?

One question I often hear from customers is whether or not you need to completely remove all the paint (and polyurethane) from a graphite shaft tip.

Before I answer that I want to first explain that proper shaft abrasion is absolutely necessary for a good bonding surface for the epoxy to adhere between the shaft and the interior of the hosel. You never ever want to epoxy the graphite shaft that hasn’t had some prep work done to the tip or the way it was shipped from the manufacturer. The outer surface of a graphite shaft is painted (sometimes with multiple layers) to provide the aesthetics and then sprayed with clear coat or polyurethane over it to protect the paint. This provides a very smooth surface that is not conducive to bonding the head and the shaft.

Download the 2015 Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogSo back to the main question; do you need to remove all the paint? The answer is no. What you want is the paint and polyurethane to be roughened to eliminate the smooth surface. In some cases it may require you to remove all the paint to be able to get the shaft to seat all the way into the hosel. But leaving a little on there, as long as it is roughed up and the shaft bottoms out in the hosel without being forced, is all that is necessary.

Shaft Abraded TipWhether you are abrading a graphite shaft on a belt sander with a graphite shaft sanding belt, using an electric motor with a synthetic abrasive wheel, by hand with a strip of medium grit sandpaper or lastly using a knife blade to scrape the paint off, it is advisable to periodically test fit the shaft into the head you are going to be installing the head into. You may encounter a shaft that may happen to be undersized. If all the paint were to be removed, this will leave a loose fitting shaft and require shafting beads to be used. This is why leaving some of the paint on is perfectly acceptable in certain cases.




Hot Steel! New 2015 Lightweight, Stepless Apollo Chroma Steel Shafts Just Arrived!

2015 Apollo Chroma Steel Shafts

The Apollo Chroma steel shafts are a high performance steel shaft for today’s game-improvement irons. This lightweight, stepless design with a striking two-tone fade finish will produce a mid-trajectory and soft feel while helping generate more club head speed and distance with less effort.



Out Of Many, One. 3 New 2015 Acer XV Irons Just Arrived!

Compare and Contrast the new Acer XV Irons

For well over a decade, Hireko had been offering X-series Acer irons which have to be beyond a shadow of a doubt the best-selling irons in all the component golf industry. While so-called off brands are not tracked like the major OEMs, the Acer irons would have had a measurable market share as some of the OEM’s iron lines over that same period. This year we continue with that heritage by offering the latest generation Acer X-series called the XV (or the number 15 in Roman numerals).

Acer XV IronsLike previous X-series Acer irons, they are offered in multiple versions to cover the needs of a wide array of skill levels and personal preferences. There is a standard version, which would appeal to the broader masses. We also have a Acer XV HT Irons or High Trajectory version. Finally we have our “Pro” model. Each of these unique products, which we designed in-house, has a unified appearance so they look like a family.

Download the 2015 Hireko Golf Equipment CatalogWhat is the difference between the new XV and your current XS and XF series?
The new Acer XV Irons takes over where the popular XF left off. These have the same basic size and shapes, but the specifications have been modified to reflect the trends of modern irons. More importantly we altered the weight distribution in the cavity area to be better balanced to provide you with more accuracy on off-center shots plus a more solid feel at impact.

View Technical Director Jeff Summitt’s Review of the New 2015 Acer XV Irons

The XV will have increased offset across the board than the standard and HT versions in the Acer XS series to help those that tend to push or fade their irons and enable them to square the face at impact better. Conversely, the Acer XV Pro Irons will have reduced offset and a little longer blade length compared to the XS Pro; two requests we have heard from our customers. So these aren’t just rebadged version of one another, but each club brings a little bit to the table that the others do not.

Acer XV Iron ProfilesDon’t be pigeonholed
I get this all the time from customers and some of it is our fault when we write the text or do the marketing for each of these irons. For instance, the HT version is for people who struggle to get the golf ball airborne. After all the face height is 5% shallower and the sole is 30% wider so it should only be for slower swingers, higher handicappers, sweepers or low ball hitters. WRONG! While true for a lot of golfers, I really don’t fit into any of those categories and for whatever reason hit the HT better than the standard version. Plus, I am not alone in that assessment.

Then the biggest misconception is the Pro versions as we have a lot of customers say that they are not at that level to play the “Pro”. Well, you got to name a product something to distinguish it and we have used the Pro moniker for more than a decade for the reduced offset version of each X-series. Granted, most golfers that fade or slice the ball would be better off with more offset. The “Pro” model could very well be short for Perimeter-weighted Reduced Offset. This still has all the game improvement features as Acer XV Irons Blade Lengththe standard model with a reduced blade length. The blade length is really only 5mm (0.2”) shorter and that is really a result of the reduced offset and lack of the gooseneck hosel. The actual face hitting area is only 1 mm (0.04”) shorter. Yes, a shorter blade length technically is less forgiving and may be slightly more workable, but nowhere near that of a blade or so-called player’s iron. So we are not lying in regards to marketing; just embellishing a bit. The fact is you don’t have to be a pro to play these irons.

Judge for yourself
This is why I encourage any of our customers who professionally fit their customers to have a sample of each of the heads. And for those Hireko Golf who might be building for themselves or an end consumer looking to purchase an assembled club – here is something you might not know. We sell individual clubs and you don’t have to buy the whole set. We would encourage you to buy a couple 6 or 7 irons in whichever series you are vacillating between and go out and hit them and see which one you like best rather than just going by what the description says. Once you found the one you like best, then you can buy the other irons around it to fill your set.



Affordable. Adjustable. Introducing The High Performing Acer XV Fairways & Hybrids

For both the Acer XV fairways and hybrids we use a “hybrid” construction that combines forging and casting techniques to create the most economical and highest performing product.

For most companies, they continue to produce their stainless steel fairways and hybrids the same way they have for years. After all this is done because stainless steel is an excellent material to make a durable club at the modern size and weight as well as one that is cost effective for both the manufacturer and end consumer. But you know, every once in a while you need to shake some things up and change the way you do something in order to make improvements and that is exactly what we did with the Acer XV series of fairway woods and hybrids.

Acer XV Fairway Woods

“Hybrid” construction
There are a two basic ways you can construct a stainless steel fairway wood or hybrid. One is the way that most companies choose and that is the investment cast method. In brief, this involves producing multiple tooling to create what will eventually be a hollow bodied structure. Wax is injected into the molds and melted onto to wax frames which are then dipped into ceramic slurry several times until it creates a ¼” shell around the wax. They are then heated so the wax drips out so later molten stainless steel can be poured into the shells. Once cooled, the ceramic is broken off and cleaned away and cut from the “tree” to form the “as cast” parts. Then the process begins to weld the pieces together, grind, polish and then finish it into the final product you see. As you can imagine it is labor intensive.

Acer XV Hybrids


The second method is “forging”. In brief, this process involves stamping out sheets of stainless steel over forming tools and cutting away the excess material. Then the welding, grinding, polishing and cosmetic finishing takes place. This is a much easier process, but the downside is one cannot stamp really intricate shapes or wall thickness like you can with the casting method unless one wants to invest in very expensive forged tooling. However, this method is faster and is more economical.

For both the Acer XV fairways and hybrids we use a “hybrid” construction that combines forging and casting techniques to create the most economical and highest performing product.

Multiple materials
Not only are we using hybrid construction but also employing varying grades of stainless steel. The crown is forged from 420 stainless so we can shed needless weight to be better able to use elsewhere. The thicker sole is cast from 431 stainless steel as well as the rest of the head (or the high performance part) that will need further explaining.

Acer XV Fairway Woods and Hybrids Cup Face ConstructionCup face
One of the keys to a high coefficient of restitution (COR) is a variable face thickness. As we said before, this is best by using the casting technique. We also chose a cup face structure to round out the XV series to enhance the variable thickness. You will also notice from the CAD picture the third piece includes the hosel as part of the face to save welding (extra weight) and distortion (tolerances in face angle and lie).

In golf club cup-face construction, part of the faceplate is incorporated into the sole, crown and skirt area of the head. This pushes the weld back away from the actual face. By moving the weld further back away from the face, the areas around the perimeter could be made thinner and deflect more, thus producing a higher ball speed to areas other than the center of the face as compared to traditional welding techniques. Even when you miss-hit the ball, clubs with cup-face technology provides you that extra spring-like effect for longer, straighter shots.

Other enhancements
Like the matching drivers and Acer XV Thriver Mini in the Acer XV series, these feature the Power Chamber Sole (for greater energy transfer to the ball) and the Gravity Port (for fine-tuning swingweight with different weight shafts and custom lengths). The Gravity Port is also moved forward for reduced spin as another distance contributor but at the same time there is a very high concentration of weight in the sole to produce a high launching head. The stock screw is 7 grams, but you can also get 2g and 12g replacement screws which allow for options galore.

Fairway options
For the fairway woods, this chart shows 4 different options available to clubmakers. After all, not all golfers are the same height or have the same needs. For example taller golfers may want longer clubs, but may not want the higher swingweight as a result using standard weight heads. Conversely, shorter golfers may prefer reduced length clubs but still want head feel only available by having a heavier weight head. Option 4 is for those that typically struggle with a 3 wood, but may not with the 5 wood. In that case it is not the loft, but rather the length that is the problem and this helps remedy it.

Acer XV Fairway Woods and Hybrid WeightsHybrid options including the Single length option
For the hybrids, here are the 4 options as well starting with the stock settings.

Acer XV Hybrid ChartOption 4 is the intriguing one as the weight allows for a single-length approach. There are some golfers that are single-length iron proponents as this allows for a repeatable swing when all the clubs are the same length, lie and swing with the only thing changed is loft. Option #4 or #2 may be an excellent option for beginners or high handicapped players looking for improved solidness of contact. However note it is not possible to alter the lies so they can be the same lie single length irons are.

Add up the all the features
As you can see, there is a lot going on and yet we are charging far less than other manufacturers offering not nearly the technology or adjustability. The Acer XV fairways can be mixed and matched with the rest of the Acer XV family for you to create the perfect set make up. Or you can purchase one of these separately to fill a gap or replace a club that just isn’t cutting the mustard anymore.