Monday, February 28, 2011

Beware the "Magic Number" - It Does Not Change!!

Just about anywhere you might go these days to buy a driver in a golf equipment store, you will find some type of launch monitor that will be used to show you data on your swing speed, effectiveness of contact (Power Transfer Ratio), maximum carry distance, and other parameters.

There is a "magic number" that you should keep in mind when you are looking for a new driver. That number is 2.5 times your swing speed - the maximum carry distance that you can achieve with any driver based on your swing speed. And if your swing speed is below about 70 mph, this multiplier goes down to about 2.2 instead of 2.5......

There may be folks that suggest that you can get more carry distance than 2.5 times your swing speed with a new driver of some make. If someone tells you this, you should realize that this person is simply blowing smoke. Not possible. You might want to consider spending your $400 for your new driver somewhere else!

Now, you may also hear some sales folks say that with combinations of new shafts, grips, etc. that you can increase your swing speed by say 5 mph with new drivers also. Not likely either! - but a discussion on this topic is best left to a future blog post!


Monday, February 21, 2011

BMT - No Longer Just For Drivers....

For the past few years I have been using a driver shaft fitting system called BMT - Butt Mid Tip - to choose the best driver shafts for players. It was developed by Jerry Hoefling, Master AGCP Clubfitter.

The basics of this system are to measure a player's swing speed, overall swing tempo (time from start to finish of swing) and release point - where he/she releases his/her wrist cock. From these data, the system develops an estimated butt-mid-tip flex appropriate for the measured parameters. Then - using a data base of hundreds of shafts where measurements of shaft butt, mid, and tip stiffness have been made - it is possible to identify a shaft or shafts that are good fits for the way players swing their drivers.

The premise of using this fitting system is that it leads to using a shaft that best fits the player's swing characteristics, and so will significantly reduce the dispersion of driver results. Some prominent fitters have had 100% success rates using this system.

Over the past year I have been learning more of how other fitters have been applying this system to also fit fairway wood shafts. The way most have done this is to measure 3 wood swing speed, tempo, and release and use the same shaft BMT data - adding 10 grams of shaft weight to the shaft weight used for the driver - to find a good shaft for a player's 3 wood.

There are a lot of companies now that are developing fairway wood shafts that are meant to be put into 3 woods without any tipping. ACCRA shafts are a great example of this approach, and a number of PGA tour players are using ACCRA shafts with great results. The value of doing this is to promote a higher launch for 3 woods - or simply for your longest fairway wood.

I tested this on my fairway woods recently. A good BMT shaft fit for my fairway woods is an SK Fiber TT 80 A flex shaft. So I put this shaft into my Wishon 949 MC 3 wood without any tipping, and built my 5, 7, and 9 fairway woods with the same shaft but with enough tipping so the butt flex of all of the clubs would be the same. So far I have been very pleased with the performance results of these reshafted woods, and believe this is a great approach for fairway wood shaft fitting.


Monday, February 14, 2011

An "Alpha" for Valentine's Day!

Though it is late for any on-time presents to your loved one for Valentine's Day, thought I would make mention of a great shaft for folks with fairly low swing speeds - in the 50 to 60 mph range.

The Alpha Platinum LL shaft is a great option for low swing speed folks. It is very light weight - lower than 50 grams - and a soft enough flex that people can get great results. I have built drivers with this shaft for about 3 folks now, and each one raves about it.

A great option for that late Valentine's Day gift, or if not for someone you know who can benefit.

Another excellent product for folks with slow swing speeds is the Nike Lady Karma golf ball. Low compression, great feel, and excellent distance.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Video Goodies....

More and more folks are putting videos onto YouTube that are useful to golfers to see.

Within a week or so, I will be adding a link to my web site so that you can go to a number directly to links to a number of these videos.

Perhaps you do not want to wait until this part of the site is active to see a few of these. Here are two links that you might be interested in viewing - some videos that discuss different elements of clubfitting and the value of it to golfers....

1. Dana Upshaw (Dana Golf) from Warner Robins, GA is one of the premier clubfitters in the world. At each of the three AGCP Roundtables that I have attended, his presentations have been one of the highlights of the meetings. You can see three recent AGCP videos that Dana has recorded at There are a number of other useful videos you can see through this link.

2. Tom Wishon (Tom Wishon Golf) has a more than 30 year passion for custom clubfitting. He has produced a number of interesting videos on different elements of the value of clubfitting, these are located at

Hope these are useful to you!