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Callaway XR Drivers, Fairway Woods and Hybrids

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Callaway’s XR drivers, fairway woods and hybrids use the company’s new-and-improved Hyper Speed Face Cup technology to produce faster ball speeds — without skimping on forgiveness.

The new Hyper Speed Face Cup has an even thinner, lighter face than its predecessors. The lighter face gave Callaway engineers the ability to move the center of gravity (CG) slightly lower in the club heads, as well as add a bit more perimeter weighting. The results? Higher-launching, lower-spinning shots and club heads that are more consistent on mishits.

SPEED-FROM-R-MOTO-FACE-TECHNOLOGY

To lighten the face of the XR and XR Pro drivers, Callaway added what it calls “R-Moto” — also used on its Big Bertha Alpha 815 drivers — which is a series of ribs that connect the face to the crown and the sole. The structure reduces weight in the face by as much as 10 percent, and also transfers energy more efficiently, says Evan Gibbs, Senior Manager of R&D for Woods at Callaway Golf.

Callaway’s Speed Step Crown

Callaway also tackled an airflow issue with the XR line. With golf clubs, there’s a tendency for air to separate from the club head’s surface as it moves through space, which increases turbulence and drag.

Callaway’s XR driver uses the company’s new Speed Step crown (gallery above) to improve aerodynamics, while the XR Pro has an aerodynamically-enhanced Forged Composite Crown to slightly boost club head speed.

“THE SPEED STEP CROWN AND THE AERODYNAMIC HEAD SHAPE WORK TOGETHER TO KEEP THE AIRFLOW ATTACHED TO THE CLUB HEAD FOR AS LONG AS POSSIBLE,” SAYS GIBBS.

MORE-DISTANCE-WHERE-YOU-NEED-IT

The XR driver, fairway woods and hybrids also use what Callaway calls an Internal Standing Wave — a forward-leaning weight pad behind the face that helps lower CG for reduced spin and more ball speed.

Like the drivers, Callaway’s XR fairway woods and hybrids were also the beneficiary of aerodynamic improvements.

Callaway’s XR line offers two different driver models (Standard and Pro), three different fairway wood models (Standard, Pro and Deep) and two different hybrid models (Standard and Pro).

The standard models are the most forgiving option throughout the line for players who need more spin, forgiveness or both. The Pro versions have more compact head designs and offer a lower-spinning trajectory

xr-fwy-3-deep-face-2015

The XR Pro 3 Deep fairway wood (14 degrees) is a specialty 3 wood model with a deeper (read taller) face than the Pro model. It combines a larger face with a lower-spinning trajectory to create a club that golfers can use from the tee as a second driver, as well as from the fairway.

SPEED-FROM-MAXIMUM-SHAFT-LOAD

The XR line’s stock shafts are True Temper’s Project X LZ, which are designed to help golfers to maximize shaft load at the top of the swing transfer more energy into the ball at impact.

Standard XR drivers, woods and hybrids will be available in stores on Feb. 20, 2015, and the XR Pro and XR Deep models will be available on March 20, 2015.

XR driver

XR Product Shots-130 copy

Price: $349
Lofts: 9, 10.5, 12 and 13.5 degrees
Shaft: True Temper Project X LZ (Mitsubishi Rayon Bassara 52, no charge)

Design Features:

  • Speed Step Crown
  • R-Moto face
  • OptiFit Hosel offers 8 different loft/lie configurations

XR Pro driver

xr-driver-pro-address-2015

Price: $399
Lofts: 9 and 10.5 degrees
Shaft: True Temper Project X LZ (Matrix Black Tie and Fujikura Speeder 565, no charge)

Design Features:

  • R-Moto Face
  • Forged Composite Crown (lowers spin by 300 rpm compared to X2 Hot, according to Callaway)
  • Aerodynamic head design
  • OptiFit adjustability

XR fairway woods

XR Product Shots-187 copy

Price: $229
Lofts: 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25 degrees
Shaft: True Temper Project X LZ

Design Features: 

  • Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup
  • 200 less rpm of spin compared to X2 Hot woods
  • Redesigned head shape — flatter leading edge, higher toe, shallower face height

XR Pro fairway woods

xr-fwy-pro-address-2015

Price: $239
Lofts: 14, 16 and 18 degrees
Shaft: True Temper Project X LZ
Design Features:

  • Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup
  • Internal Standing Wave for lower CG
  • Deeper face for better performance off the tee, and a more sloped crown to make working the ball easier, especially hitting a draw.

XR Pro 3 Deep fairway woods

xr-fwy-3-deep-address-2015

Price: $239
Lofts: 14 degrees
Shafts: True Temper Project X LZ

Design Features:

  • Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup
  • Internal Standing Wave for lower CG
  • Progressive face height and deeper face are designed primarily for shots off the tee

XR Hybrid

1200x580-XR-Hybrids-Press-Center-bold-bg

Price: $219
Lofts: 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees
Shaft: True Temper Project X SD

Design Features:

  • Forged Hyper Speed Cup Face
  • Redesigned head shape and repositioned weight for 46 percent lower CG than X2 Hot hybrids
  • Internal Standing Wave for higher MOI and ball speed

XR Pro Hybrid

Price: $229
Lofts: 16, 18, 20 and 23 degrees
Shaft: True Temper Project X LZ
Design Features:

  • Compact head design for better players
  • Forged Hyper Speed Face Cup
  • Redesigned head shape for lowest CG ever in a Callaway hybrid
  • Internal Standing Wave for MOI and more ball speed
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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Jerry Spencer

    Nov 17, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Who cares what a club looks like? I rather have totally ugly club that performs to my expectations. Calliway clubs do that for me.

  2. sean mcsweeny

    Apr 20, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    I have just purchased the xr pros is the weight on the bottom of the driver exchangeable and what are the advantages ?

  3. LindyLoulie

    Feb 8, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    I wonder what clubs all the haters play?? The only brands that don’t change frequently are Titleist and Ping. So what?!? If you base your hatred on the looks and haven’t even hit them I guess you’re not being objective about the performance at all. Perhaps y’all are scratch golfers who could hit it a mile and within three feet with a broomstick??

    If the folks involved in the golf equipment R&D departments had no interest in finding a better way to make golf a little bit easier and more enjoyable for us amateurs looking for a bit more distance and forgiveness in our clubs we’d all still be killing ourselves playing those “great” old classic ’76 Wilson Staffs. I still have mine — in the closet! I loved them back in the day, however Father Time has taken his revenge on my ol’ body and hands. I truly appreciate having the opportunity to continue to play and enjoy the game even tho I have gone from a 3 to a 16 due to major health issues and the resulting lost distance. The wonderful advancements in equipment have made that possible.

    As for the new Callaway XR line… I had the opportunity to hit the XR 7 iron in my configuration — Men’s length/Senior flex — and the ball exploded off the face like a rocket! I gained 12 straight/15draw yards over last year’s X2 Hot. LOVE IT!! Can’t wait for my custom order to arrive! BTW, I for one like the looks. I actually prefer the look of the XR Pro at address due to its thinner top line and less offset, however I hit the standard XR a bit further, so that is what I opted for. I have not had the opportunity to hit the XR driver, fairways & hybrids, but if the irons are any indication, I’m sure the “woods” will be great as well.

    While I do not appreciate the fact that Callaway’s — and all other companies’ — policy of bringing out new models about every 6 months leads to rapid depreciation in value, I do appreciate having the opportunity to re-gain some of my lost distance along with greater forgiveness through new technology. I still have to know how to manage the course, make a good swing and have a sharp short game. Also, I still have to putt well, so the challenge of the game is still there, and it is what keeps me coming back for more!

    Now, all you haters go out and hit the new clubs before you hate on ’em! If you still hate them don’t buy ’em!

  4. Michael M

    Jan 15, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    same pos new paint on some

  5. Jgolf

    Jan 15, 2015 at 10:38 am

    It seems like these releases are coming fast and furious. But really it follows the one year cyle.
    BB 815 & BBDBD relpace BB & BB Alpha. XR 7 XR Pro replace X2 Hot & X2HP. So I figured we would be looking at an early summer release for the “Speed Enhanced Driver” to replace the BB V Series.
    But after visiting their website, they are billing this as “Crazy Speed” so maybe XR combines the X2 Hot and V series. When Callaway droped the FT Optiforce on us, they did say they were going to keep bring products to market when they have better tech. That being said, I agree with Leon. How much less spin do I want with my average club head speed. I know….more ball speed, etc.
    I’m a huge Callway fan, but I’m not feeling these so much.

  6. Golfnut99

    Jan 14, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    I am confused as to what everyone is yapping about with the graphics??? What is considered traditional today? The g30 graphics look like a spaceship with a sort of horned frog look at address? The XR pro dr/fwy/hy look about as clean as it gets out of anything in the industry. I am a 120 sis guy and hit both the fwy wood and hybrid in the pro model and std driver all with the stock stiff shafts. I have already pre ordered the pro in everything!!!! That’s how impressed I was. The ball just shot off the face and the club has great feel and sound. I have been a tmag guy for a long time ( u want to talk about cheap graphics look no further than r15 or aero burner??? ). I thought I would never replace my stage 2 tp fwy or my sldr 430 but this line has me super excited for 2015. Good stuff Callaway!!!

  7. Lee H.

    Jan 14, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I’m not crazy about the cheap looking graphics, but I’m sure the clubs will all perform, including the irons. That’s what really matters…The XR line is a replacement of the X2 line, not the BB Alpha line that just came out (for those complaining about product cycles)…I am heading to the PGA Show for the 1st time and these are definitely on my list to try out. I’m more curious about the irons though since I’m sticking with my X2 driver.

  8. bogeybirdiebogeybirdie

    Jan 14, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    When Callaway, Taylormade, and (insert any major brand here) come out with new equipment and “new” technology every few months, it really begins to discredit them and unfortunately show how stupid we are as consumers. If we truly believe that they come up with something revolutionary every 16 weeks, then we need to put these club designers in charge of cancer research and world hunger. They could wipe those out in under a year! However as long as the ignorant consumer (us) continue to buy $400 drivers and accept $50 trade value 4 months later for the next $400 driver, they will continue to change the crown color, add sliding weights, adjustable everything, and claim it will add 5 mph to our swing.
    P.S. If that last statement was true we would all have 250 mph swing speeds by now!

  9. Wilson63

    Jan 14, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    This replaced the x2 hot line and the 815 series replaced the original alpha series? Don’t really understand how this is confusing? Also, I have not a fan of the color scheme at all, but I mean the x2 hot pro 3 wood was one, if not the best 3 wood of 2014. So it’s the performance for me that counts. Can’t wait to hit it!

  10. Jgolf

    Jan 14, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Actually it’s seems like these new releases are coming in fast and furious. But they are holding steady with the one year cycle on the Drivers, Fairways and Hybrids. 815 & 815DBD replaced BB & BBA. Now Xr & Xr Pro replaces X2 & X2HP. So I figure we’re gonna see a new version of the “Speed Enhanced Driver” mid summer to replace BB V Series. Callaway said when they dropped the FT Optiforce on us they were going to keep bringing new releases when they have new technology.
    That being said, I agree with Leon. How much less spin do I want with my very average clubhead speed. I’m a big Cally fan. But I’m not feeling these.

  11. Dan

    Jan 14, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    I didn’t even read the article but I’m willing to bet that in order to increase distance they moved the MOI to here which resulted in this and they changed a price to increase face speed. All of this research was done in less than 12 months time. Next year they will change the MOI to a different location and charge you $429

  12. Matthew Bacon

    Jan 14, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Brought to you by BMW M Series

  13. dsw

    Jan 14, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    This is my first time posting on GolfWRX and I just had to respond to this horrendous line of clubs. My dad plays Callaway clubs and when I picked up golf a few years ago, I chose to play Callaways too, but this is just ridiculous. Callaway…what the heck are you thinking? Just horrible.

  14. jgpl001

    Jan 14, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    This is ABSOLUTE NONSENSE

    It’s nearly one new club a week, even TM would be proud of this charade

    So how long do I have wait for the 815 DD to drop in price, next week maybe???

  15. FTWPhil

    Jan 14, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    Callaway doesn’t seem to like #6 hybrids again. One year they have them, and the next they don’t. Kind of like when they made the RAZR X in a #6, but not the RAZR X HL. Not everybody who wants a #6 wants Edge Combo sets.

    • Thibault

      Jan 15, 2015 at 4:17 am

      Have a look at the Big Bertha HY line, they even carry a 7H

    • Large chris

      Jan 15, 2015 at 8:10 am

      My Grandma loves her 6 hybrid

  16. Jason

    Jan 14, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I’m sure they are great clubs, would love to hit a bucket of balls with them. But I have to say that color and graphics scheme on the bottom is pretty Wal-Mart looking.

  17. Leon

    Jan 14, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    Now, I can hit 300 yards with less than 1000 rpm spin by switching to this trash. Wait, did I mention my swing speed is about 90 mph? Never mind, callaway told me that I can reduce 300 rpm spin rate by using their new drivers every time I switched. So I figured it out that my spin rate right now must be something less than 1000 rpm. Great.

  18. Troy

    Jan 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    I am a loyal Callaway customer and have been for nearly 20 years.
    I am no fan of the soles of any of the drivers or fairway woods, they look cheap.
    With that being said, one does not see the soles of woods or drivers that often, but wish they would make them look a little more classy/traditional.

  19. steve

    Jan 14, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    Cant believe they went back to the project x shafts, those are terrible. I figured they would stick with the tour blue and green since they were such a huge improvement.

  20. Dpavs

    Jan 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    Yuck.

  21. Regis

    Jan 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    Wow. I just ordered a 2014 Big Bertha Alpha today because the price had dropped enough. Had to debate between the Alpha, The Big Bertha, the X2Hot or the V series. Didn’t even consider the 815 series. I’m a Ho and TMAG is my go to brand but even I’m confused as to where Callaway is going. Can’t imagine what the retailer is trying to juggle and this is just one brand.

  22. John

    Jan 14, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    I thought the 815 double black diamond just came out? What was product cycle on that line? My goodness. Is there a race between Callaway and TM for who can come out with the most woods in a 365 day window?

  23. Johnny Miller

    Jan 14, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    So X2 didn’t work at $329… Callaways solution: $349 and $399!!

    • Scooter McGavin

      Jan 14, 2015 at 2:41 pm

      Actually, or store sold a ton of X2 Hot woods.

      • Johnny Miller

        Jan 14, 2015 at 5:17 pm

        before or after they dropped $100?

  24. Person

    Jan 14, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I am confused; why are people still eating up these gimmicky looking clubs?

    • RobG

      Jan 14, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Who cares if they look gimmicky, its the performance that counts.

      • bradford

        Jan 15, 2015 at 8:35 am

        Do you also believe that a razor with 6 blades does a better job?

    • POS

      Jan 14, 2015 at 12:19 pm

      They don’t look any more gimmicky than those POS Titleist drivers

  25. Curt

    Jan 14, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I like the all black look so I can live with the colors on the bottom. I just won’t look underneath.

  26. frendy

    Jan 14, 2015 at 10:44 am

    Turbulators!

  27. Callaway X Hot

    Jan 14, 2015 at 9:23 am

    I assume this is the replacement for the X2 Hot line of woods. Will they be coming out with a set of XR irons also?

  28. CB

    Jan 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

    I hope it performs because it looks horrible.

    • POS

      Jan 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm

      Looks great, performs great. Just like all Callaways always do.

  29. Zach

    Jan 14, 2015 at 9:01 am

    whoa! No 2 or 5 deep?

    • Dakota

      Jan 14, 2015 at 9:51 am

      They will becoming out around the time of the XR Pro driver, I think the Cally rep said sometime in mid-march, but march for sure.

  30. Scooter McGavin

    Jan 14, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Color scheme seems to be a bit all over the place. But i suppose if they perform, that’s what really matters.

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Equipment

What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

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@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

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It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

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