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The drivers that the Top 10 longest hitters on the PGA Tour are using

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What drivers do the PGA Tour’s longest golfers use to bomb their tee shots? Here’s a tally of what the top 10 in driving distance on Tour are using by driver manufacturer.

  • Cleveland: 2
  • Callaway: 1
  • Nike: 1
  • Ping: 1
  • Titleist: 2
  • TaylorMade: 3

But this is GolfWRX, so of course you want to know more. Below is a breakdown of the driving-distance leaders on the PGA Tour in 2014-2015, the specifics of their drivers, shafts and how far their average tee shots flew.

*Denotes photo is not the player’s gamer driver, but a stock image

10. Keegan Bradley

KeeganBradleyWITB

Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro 63X Tour Spec
Average driving distance: 306.1 yards

9. Patrick Rodgers*

NikeVaporPro-681x456

Driver: Nike Vapor Fly prototype (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 757 (X-Flex)
Average driving distance: 307.7 yards

8. Brooks Koepka*

Titleistd4

Driver: Titleist 915D4 (9.5  degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage S 70X
Average driving distance: 308.2 yards

7. Tony Finau*

TonyFinau

Driver: Callaway XR Pro (9 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI-8X
Average driving distance: 309 yards

6. Charlie Beljan

CharlieBeljanDriver

Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Miyazaki B. Asha 5X
Average driving distance: 309.8 yards

5. J.B. Holmes*

JB_Holmes_Driver_M1_430

Driver: TaylorMade M1 430 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 83X (Made for J.B. Holmes)
Average driving distance: 309.9 yards

See all the clubs J.B. Holmes is playing

4. Adam Scott

Titleistd5

Driver: Titleist 915D5 Prototype (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Silver TiNi 80X
Average driving distance: 311.6 yards

See all the clubs Adam Scott is playing

3. Jason Day*

TaylorMade460

Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees, adjusted to 9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon KuroKage S TiNi 70X (tipped 1 inch)
Average driving distance: 313.7 yards

See all the clubs Jason Day is playing

2. Bubba Watson

BubbaWatson

Driver: Ping G30 (9 degrees at 8.25)
Shaft: Grafalloy Bi-Matrix Rocket Pink X-Flex (tipped 0.5 inches)
Length/Swing Weight: 44.5 inches, D4
Average driving distance: 315.2 yards

See all the clubs Bubba Watson is playing

1. Dustin Johnson*

TaylorMade460

Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661X (tipped 1 inch)
Length/Swing Weight: 45 inches, D7
Average driving distance: 317.7 yards

See all the clubs Dustin Johnson is playing

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56 Comments

  1. bim

    Dec 11, 2017 at 10:50 am

    i don’t understand how a left hander can get into this list

  2. Stephen A Davis

    Jun 8, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Guys- like most people you tend to focus on what a pro is using- not me- I want to know who that 70 year old is doing to hit 350 yard drives, and 9 irons 200 yards! Me I am 70 years old in July 2017, I use a Taylor Made 2013 head with my replacement shaft which is an EXTRA stiff graffalloy x65 gram extra stiff shaft. I hit it 245 yards with a 5 -10 yard draw, nine iron 135 stiff shaft yards made by yards Gigagolf , TRX PowerMax Slot Irons. with a solid 8 handicap. Who give a rats behind on all the million dollar precision clubs which , except touring pros can obtain. Where the news on my style of Golf that real golfers need. not bragging, but I ain’t half bad. Plus I use
    A U S MADE TAPE MEASURE ( real feet) ((not a Chinese foot) TO CHECK MY YARDAGE, NOT TV HYPE!

  3. Merle

    Jan 18, 2016 at 4:22 am

    Appreciation to my father who stated to me regarding this weblog, this website is truly awesome.

  4. Tourgrinder

    Dec 28, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    Bad attention to detail by Golfwrx. Not a big deal, but I wanted to see where both Day and Johnson placed the movable weights on the M1. Then I noticed the photo shown is the same photo, most probably a TM stock photo and not the actual M1 head of either golfer. And I here I thought Golfwrx was into full and complete details and real, true photos of the actual clubs. The Cleveland photo shown is most likely a stock photo as well, although not as objectionable because of its nature.

  5. Benny

    Dec 26, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I loved this article. So much that I searched hard for a Tour Issue Cleveland. I went right toYTC’s (your tour collection) ebay site and bought a Tour Issue Cleveland 290 Classic 9.0 / 2* open, (thanks Marc for the deal)! Lets hope I can bomb it like Keegan come spring…

  6. Pingback: The Drivers the Top 10 Bombers on the PGA Tour Use | Honourable Society of Golf Fanatics

  7. SeanM

    Dec 23, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Eight different drivers among the 10 longest hitters. Further proof that it’s the “Indian, not the arrow”. These 10 guys could play any one of those 8 drivers and still land in the top ten longest.

    • JohnTNO

      Dec 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Really don’t think Bubba could 😉

      • Jack

        Dec 23, 2015 at 11:04 pm

        I think he’ll still out drive me with my right handed driver though!

    • Gorden

      Dec 26, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      It is the Indian with a team of fitters for each one….as for we armatures it is up to how you feel about the company who’s name in on the product. IE, if your a Callaway guy or a Ping fan you will find the Cleveland and Taylormade a piece of junk, as if your a Cleveland guy you find Ping and Callaway nothing but a waste…….that is the fun of golf play what you like because that is what your going to play best with (unless your under 18 years old with a lot of professional swing coaches leaning you to one club or the other, the Country Club kid with access to every club on the planet).

  8. justincase

    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    This is a Lazy report. How about the lengths of the drivers and the swingweights of each one. Grade: D

    • Matt Tippin

      Dec 26, 2015 at 6:53 pm

      It’s awesome when morons like you ask for things that are stated in the article. justincase you get an F.

  9. Carlos Danger

    Dec 23, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Im always amazed at the weight of the shaft the Pros who use the Cleveland Classic have. 50-60 grams

    Im no pro, but I hit it a long ways and would have no idea what to do with a club that light…maybe I should try:)

    • Tom

      Dec 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      justincase all the info is available in the above article just piont and click.

  10. Pingback: Which is the Best Driver for 2016? - D'Lance GolfD'Lance Golf

  11. JJ

    Dec 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    it should be noted how the PGA tour calculates “Average Driving Distance”, Two par fours or fives are selected for each round. The holes chosen are ones that play down wind and down grade. The tour takes the average distance of those two drives, Not saying that the above players don’t bomb it, but the numbers are slightly distorted to help sell equipment and advertising.

    • Jack

      Dec 23, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      That’s interesting. But it’s still very hard to average 300 yards. Occasionally bomb a 300 yarder possible, but average!

    • Pete the Pro

      Dec 24, 2015 at 6:51 am

      Nearly right. The figures are collected for various reasons. One of them is to better inform golfers about performance. If the manufacturers failed to capitalise on the better results, it would be unusual. In my view, there is nothing wrong in trying to sell golf equipment. Golf instructors, for instance, use data collected to help inform their clients. Club fitters use the data to assist golfers get fitted with the best clubs for them. Measurement is two holes but they need to be wider faiways on a good driving hole where the players are most likely to use the driver. Data becomes complex if it’s a narrow par 4 and half the field hit 3 wood, hybrid and longer iron for position.

    • mhendon

      Dec 24, 2015 at 9:36 pm

      Well unless they’ve changed the way they choose the two measuring holes you’re wrong. As I’ve always understood it they try to choose two hole in opposite direction so one is down wind and one into the wind and generally they try to choose flater holes where the majority of the field will hit driver.

  12. Jon

    Dec 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

    That is somewhat of an eclectic mix, especially with Cleveland having to representatives in the mix and Callaway with just one. The one item I would like to know is the playing length of these drivers. How many are 45″ and under? Or 45″ and over?

    • Tom

      Dec 23, 2015 at 3:35 pm

      you must be using an app that doesn’t allow you to see ( it’s there) the information your requesting?

      • Jon

        Dec 24, 2015 at 9:48 am

        Sorry, my bad. I guess 2 of the 10 are listed and the 2 that are listed, Bubba & DJ, are the ones I didn’t look at.

  13. Simon

    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:39 am

    Cleveland classic is still a beast of a club.

  14. Liv2Golf

    Dec 22, 2015 at 11:00 pm

    One thing is very apparent. There is no magic club, shaft or swing that creates power & distance. You just have to find what works for you!

  15. Chuck D

    Dec 22, 2015 at 10:43 pm

    I like seeing Kuro K representing with 3 shafts in the mix!

  16. emb

    Dec 22, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I find it funny that there are two cleveland drivers on here and I have literally never seen anyone, anywhere, EVER, using one. Not saying its not a good driver as obviously its being used well by many pro’s, just I’ve never seen anyone who’s not a pro using one.

    • cody

      Dec 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      it is what i play.

      • Carlos Danger

        Dec 23, 2015 at 12:49 pm

        has he ever seen you?

        • cody

          Dec 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm

          no, but i was simply stating there is at least one person out three. On this forum at one time it was very popular. up there with a 9016d

    • Regis

      Dec 23, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Not that I count for much but I gamed a few Cleveland Drivers recently including the 588 and the Black. They are great drivers, especially for the money and especially for lower swing speed golfers. The only problem I see is that a some of their recent offerings are not adjustable and although they come with very good stock shafts-Matrix Black Tie and Mitsubishi Bassara E Series they do not offer the wide variety of stock shaft options that are offered by the big sellers. They are also not a big presence in big box stores. But I see a few in guys’ bags and any Senior or low SS player should seek them out.

    • Tom

      Dec 23, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      One of the best kept secrets.

    • Jack

      Dec 23, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      It’s a good club. I’ve tried it before, and it’s well regarded. I think the styling is a bit classic, but that’s intended!

    • tiger168

      Aug 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      how arrogant of opinion and close minded golfer!

      I always pay respect to other golfers on the course and praise their good drive with whatever big stick they have at the time.

      I also do that in the parking lot when people bring classics to the courses. Nice driver, I always say, And you will hear a lot of interesting stories and make a lot of friends.

  17. Jack

    Dec 22, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Are these more what we shouldn’t be using then? Yeah I know we need to get fitted etc to be sure, but I’m pretty sure most of us’ swings are nothing like the pro’s. I went to an indoor range last night (don’t know how accurate but it’s close) I can max out 260 in no wind, flat conditions, but my average is only 220. Yeah those mis hits and hooks count too. These guys all average over 300. I used to tell people that I hit 250 when people ask (but of course they didn’t say average LOL). But max and average really is not the same thing. Changing up my swing so hopefully will get some consistency and distance gains.

    • Ian

      Dec 23, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      If this helps you as much as it’s helped me you can check out an iPhone app (also works on newer iPads) from the app store: Perfect Form Golf.
      For the price of a bucket of balls it helped me to acquire tempo (since mine was crap), this allowed me the timing to finish my shoulder turn, get my hands extended but with relaxed wrists, then get my elbows in front on the down swing with the net result I got huge distance gains.
      But since the effort level had dropped I could also keep accuracy. Your mileage may vary but I went from 200-220 to 285-300 (yeah, I know, my golf buds didn’t believe me either until they saw it for themselves). I then used the app to compare my irons, chipping/pitching, and even putting to a 3D motion capture avatar of a pro swing against mine in slo-mo, and got improvements there as well.
      For whatever reason actually seeing the differences overlaid, versus being told about them seem to be the key to getting really fast improvement. My swing is a work in progress and winter up here slows things down, but I was pretty much blown away at how far from a decent swing mine actually was, and how quickly I could start bringing the pieces together for decent tempo and kinetic sequence. Like I say, your mileage may vary but I guarantee there will be some significant component that you will be able to modify to get closer to your goal.

  18. Joey5Picks

    Dec 22, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    I want to know what kind of socks the shortest hitters wear so I can avoid those.

  19. mhendon

    Dec 22, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I find it interesting both Titleist players are using prototype models not available to the public. For years people ragged on taylormade for that very reason. Oh and if I’m not mistaken I believe Keegan is using a Srixon driver unless he went back to the Cleveland.

    • Tim

      Dec 22, 2015 at 9:58 pm

      Went back to the cleveland, but he’s using a 53 gram shaft made specifically for him. Not the 63 it says above.

    • emb

      Dec 22, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      D4 is available at retail thru titleist’s MOTO program

    • Prime21

      Dec 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      The D4 is available, pay attention.

      • mhendon

        Dec 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

        I actually knew that and figured I get corrected on that one. But to me if its not in retail and it’s a major up charge to get it then it’s still an exotic head similar to what Taylormade was always complained about by so many WRX’ers.

  20. jon

    Dec 22, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    guys, he’s just the listing clubs that the top 10 longest hitters use, he’s not saying that the top 10 hitters have gotten in this list BECAUSE of their clubs.

  21. tom

    Dec 22, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    Pretty cool there are two Cleveland Classics on there.

    • Tom

      Dec 22, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      I agree. Absolutely love my Classic 290 even though I only hit it 250.

  22. DJ

    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Is Rory not on here due to not enough rounds or what? With koepka and finau going Nike, they will have 4 guys on this list if you include Rory

    • Benny

      Dec 23, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Thats correct. Rory was shown in the putting article but was the only one not to have Strokes Gained Putting because he did not meet the approved amounts.

  23. Tim

    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Get Tom Stickney on here to write a real article about what these 10 guys do similarly in their swings. They could all hit it the same if you swap the sticks…

  24. Chris

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    I am nearly positive the shafts Jason Day, Adam Scott, and Brooks Koepka are using are the kuro kage xts, not the regular kuro kage tini.

  25. cody

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I like seeing the cleveland on there. That is what i play. mine is the tour version as well with a 3 degree open head.

  26. Michael

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Silly season on WRX.

  27. Johnny Utah

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    What I would like to see is:

    The grips, the shafts, the wedges the top players are using.

    • Andrew

      Dec 22, 2015 at 4:41 pm

      There’s a link under each player about showing their WITB.

      Pretty sure though you’ll mainly find wedges by their sponsors, golf pride tour velvet and some variant of Dynamic Gold Tour Issue across all the players

    • Prime21

      Dec 22, 2015 at 10:46 pm

      Geez, I guess they better do an article on that then, cause you’re quite important. You do realize they have a WITB on EVERY player right?! R E A D

  28. Ryan

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    So they are playing what they are paid to play… WOW.

    The putter article was a little more significant, as some were using a non sponsored brand… this is one, i dunno.

    What is next? “The HATS the least tan players on tour are wearing?”

  29. juels

    Dec 22, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    Um… These guys could all hit Tour Exotics, Mizunos, Wilson or any other brand that still releases quality equipment and still be in the top 10….

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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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