The Terrible Twos Syndrome of Golf Club Fitting: Part Eight
This touches on some elements that can be more complex when investigating them more deeply than merely what has been described in this post sequence and which I plan to explore more later, but it at least offers some general guidelines to work with at this time. So the extreme club lengths I was having fun with and gave as examples earlier could never be practically produced while keeping the club(s) reasonably playable given the golf club components usually available. (I note here that I am generally referring to golf clubs and components as being made and used from a typical adult-player perspective, as much shorter clubs that would commonly be made for and used by youngsters and their relative strength capabilities or other unusual adult circumstances can require special considerations). So while it does not have to be done in such a manner, choosing test club length based on approximate golf club swingweight value readings (particularly regarding non-adjustable-weight clubheads) is an option that can be pursued. This option can feasibly provide comfort that the test clubs will be reasonably close to a so-called standard golf club length and also fairly close to one’s playing set comparable club length. Thus, this option can be helpful if one has no idea at the outset of what (identical) lengths the test clubs and/or one’s playing set comparable club length should be made to.
Choosing the test club length based on swingweight values to begin with can also help prevent the need for excessive removal from or addition to clubhead weight in order to achieve target swingweight values that are commonly used for such testing. Test golf club length can be adjusted some so that it is more convenient to work with the clubs’ swingweights. For example, trimming the test clubs (identically) a little shorter (which reduces the clubs’ swingweights) can eliminate the need to grind weight off the clubheads (or at least not have to grind off as much) before testing begins. One might not want to engage in this kind of task for reasons including that it could be dangerous if not very careful (although even trimming shafts is not without risk[s] if not practiced prudently).
These are only possible options and there is no one clear choice for everyone regarding test club length. Any given individual may for instance just feel more confident in test results if one’s test club lengths are exactly the same as one’s (known) analogous playing set club length no matter what has to be done with the test clubheads. To this end, one might want to first see exactly what testing will be completed through the remainder of this post title sequence and then perhaps revisit and reevaluate some of this information before deciding how to put test club length into practice. As I alluded to earlier, any possible relationships between golf grip sizing and club length (as well as other grip-sizing factors) will be addressed at a different time, and to that end the length chosen for these test clubs is not really a relevant issue with respect to what facet(s) will specifically be experienced and learned through this particular testing.
To proceed with this testing most efficiently, it would probably be wise to make sure that a golf club swingweight scale is readily available. While few golfers are likely to have the full extent of tools and components at home that a full service golf shop might have, many if not most better golfers will personally have many basic tools needed to aid in performing tasks far beyond just swinging. Tasks commonly include considerable testing of a lot of equipment and equipment specifications on a fairly regular basis. One such supporting tool is a swingweight scale. I have had a few of them through the years just for my own personal use. Several models of various qualities are usually available at any given time from various sources. A cheaper model might even suffice for the purpose of learning what needs to be learned from this testing, but the drawbacks of many cheaper units can become pretty apparent over time if the scale is going to be put to use regularly.
All current models have a 14-inch fulcrum dimension to the best of my knowledge, but if buying used there is an older model called the “Official Scale” that has a 12-inch fulcrum point (the level distance from the end of a club’s grip placement in the scale to the pivot location). This 12-inch scale can actually work better for many golfers than the 14-inch standard model, but among other things the 12-inch scale measures in different units that require conversion to the units I will be referring to during this testing. To keep things simpler and until I specifically discuss swingweighting more, I will be mainly presenting this testing in terms of a standard, 14-inch fulcrum scale. There is also a mathematical formula that can be researched and used if desired to calculate a golf club’s swingweight value (although a tape measure or ruler and a total weight scale are needed anyway), but using the formula can be tedious, so I would really not recommend that route.
Now even though I will devote a discreet segment to explaining swingweighting later on, I will have to refer to the specification at times during these tests, and right here I will explain something that swingweight is definitely not. Swingweight is not a golf club specification where its measured value only comes into play, can only be experienced, and thus can only be “worked” by a golfer when his/her golf swing is essentially 100% completed already. That distinction is awarded to senseless MOI golf club matching about the butt ends of golf clubs, and there are far more important reasons than that for why I refer to it as Moment of Insanity (which I will disclose later). Only in golf does such absurdity exist on a regular basis with respect to equipment fitting.
Unless and until MOI club matching and the people that apply, promote, and/or teach the use of Moment of Insanity matching are permanently put out to pasture, you can expect a continuation of the disjointed and underachieving ways of the clubfitting industry (the independent trade in particular) that result in the current, widespread reputation of this industry as being the worst in all of sports (though other reasons also contribute to this well-deserved reputation besides MOI matching). Fortunately, the information in this post sequence adheres to solid, well-proven swing and equipment-fitting fundamentals. These are the same universal principles that apply to all activities.