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10 takeaways from Callaway’s club tinkering podcast

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In Callaway’s latest series of podcasts, the team talks with Gerritt Pon, Senior Club Performance Analyst, an industry veteran and fitting specialist who has personally built clubs for Phil Mickelson. The three audio files run roughly 50 minutes in length (total), so we extracted some of the more valuable/interesting pearls of wisdom from the Fitting Room podcast series. Want to hear the entire interview? You can find the full series on the Callaway Media Productions website.

The topics covered range from beginner to advanced. Here’s a selection of the quality information from the talk with Mr. Pon, which range from the most basic information to advanced topics.

Where tinkerers should begin

Pon says that loft and lie are the most important part of any sort of club tinkering for amateur golfers. Proper loft and lie can take a golfer from hitting shanks to striping it, which is more than can be said for almost all other adjustments.

Lie angle rules of thumb

Generally, if a player is consistently missing right, s/he ought to be playing clubs that are more upright. Likewise, if the golfer misses left, a flatter lie is necessary.

The first wood adjustment to make

Photo courtesy of Callaway.

Pon adjusting a driver at the Ely Callaway Performance Center (Photo courtesy of Callaway).

Callaway recommends that before making any adjustment to the moveable weights in their woods, golfers should dial in an optimal loft.

Swing weight basics

Every two grams of weight added to a club head adds one swing weight point, so shortening a shaft an inch changes swing weight by six points. Adding weight to a wood head can be done externally (using lead tape) or internally (with glue injected into the club head). Also, weight can be added to the grip end to reduce swing weight, but different rules apply. It takes five grams of weight to lighten the swing weight by one point.

Who tinkers?

Tinkering seems to be more correlated with personality type than handicap. For example, tour pros span the range from massive tinkerers to not really making many equipment adjustments.

Interesting fact about different-colored grips

Pon says he’s found different-colored models of the same grips can weigh different amounts.

Spin 101

With respect to spin, when a club spins too much, the ball will balloon. When it doesn’t spin enough, the ball will tend to fall out of the air.

So you want a 55-degree wedge?

In making a 55-degree wedge: Better to weaken 54 than strengthen 56 for most golfers, as the 54 would have more bounce. Weakening a club makes the leading edge look straighter. Strengthening adds more offset. Pros tinker most with their wedges ahead of major championships, particularly the Masters (where players prefer less bounce).

Phil Mickelson: club builder

Phil Mickelson ground his own lob wedge for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay. He wanted a 64-degree with zero degrees of bounce.

The Callaway OG wedge

Roger Cleveland has made a special OG “Office Grind” wedge for Callaway employees: 64 bent to 60, ground to zero bounce.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. sumsum

    May 2, 2016 at 9:55 am

    Callaway production team :

    “Is your ball going left?! Just flatten the club!

    Is your ball going right?! Just raise the lie up!

    At Callaway we think the Shaft doesn’t matter, Head / offset don’t matter, grip doesn’t matter, hell your swing doesn’t even matter. Just adjust the lie and you are on your way to straight shots all day!!”

    ……morons

    • Desmond

      May 3, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      Who’s the moron?

      You might look in the mirror.

      It states “where tinkerers should begin…”

      “Begin” is a key word.

      • Mad-Mex

        May 3, 2016 at 9:58 pm

        So sumsum, from your post it appears your knowledge of golf clubs would one were you have designed many clubs, so, what is your most successful design?
        Let me guess,,,,, NONE?

  2. JustTrying2BAwesome

    May 1, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Haha OG wedge. I love it

  3. B Clizzle

    May 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Callaway should research better adhesive or how to glue the heads properly…
    Clubs I bought last year have have the heads fall off
    8 iron three times and the rest twice
    Never gonna stray from ping again

    • Ming Yeung

      May 1, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      funny thing you say that, i found the callaway and tm woods on the non adjustable heads were the most difficult to remove, took me at least twice as much heat and elbow grease to even break the dark expoxy. ping irons i found to be the easiest to remove. mizuno irons took the longest to remove

      • B Clizzle

        May 1, 2016 at 7:08 pm

        Well I just know I see a little gap near the ferrule and head…then after one swing the head is twisted
        And I don’t leave them in my car
        They stay at the course

  4. Tex

    May 1, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    But what is Roger Cleveland’s feelings on the XE1 bent to 60?

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “What’s your favorite fairway finder club and shot?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from dgarland, who asks fellow GolfWRX members what their go-to club and shot is when they must hit the fairway. Our members implement a range of clubs and different types of shots and techniques, and the thread gives a fascinating insight into the games of other golfers.

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.

  • PingGuy68: “Usually a hybrid is good for me if finding fwy is in doubt.  But lately, I’ve been goofing around a bit with an eye 2 2-iron I bought on a whim.  It is surprisingly easy to hit.  Nice low flight with no curve, 200 yards for me.”
  • agolf1: “A bunt driver.  Grip down 1-2 inches, tee ball lower, and swing easy.  Style points, no.  Reasonably effective, yes. I just think the 460 cc head is a lot easier to hit (covers up mistakes) than a small headed fw or hybrid (I can still hit these clubs, but when something goes wrong then you are in the rough and way back from where you expected).”
  • FlyingLaw1: “I choke down a driver a couple of inches and move it back in my stance. Tee the ball down a little and basically swing it like a 5-iron. Goes about 15-20% shorter than a standard driver but I can’t miss with it.”
  • GolfTurkey: “Aim left and unleash a power fade. Sniping double cross hook finds the adjacent fairway every time.”

Entire Thread: “What’s your favorite fairway finder club and shot?”

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Equipment

Snell MTB-X joins MTB golf ball lineup; all MTB balls now available in Optic Yellow

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Snell-MTB-X

Snell Golf has unveiled its latest model of golf ball – the MTB-X, with the company additionally now offering all MTB golf ball models in Optic Yellow.

The Snell MTB-X is the successor to the company’s MTB Red ball, and its two new models consists of the MTB Black and MTB-X. The MTB Black is designed for players who seek a softer feel, with the ball aiming to provide players with a medium level of iron spin. The MTB-X, on the other hand, looks to offer players both a firmer feel and higher iron spin. Both of the new models are designed for low driver spin to provide players with maximum distance off the tee.

The new addition from Snell is offered in a one dozen “MTB Test Pack,” featuring two sleeves of each MTB model and a fitting guide to help players choose which ball works best for their game.

Speaking on the new addition, Dean Snell, owner and CEO of Snell stated

“In 2018, customer feedback of our MTB RED model led us to a new design target. We felt we could provide high spin for approach shots while lowering driver spin and maximizing distance off the tee. The new MTB-X model has accomplished both of those goals and has added the elite feel & durability of a cast urethane cover.

“Players who enjoyed the MTB RED model will find MTB-X to be very long, extremely durable, and offer improved aerodynamics for strong performance in windy conditions.”

The company are now also providing every MTB model in Optic Yellow.

The MTB-X is available to pre-order now from SnellGolf.com, with shipments scheduled for early April. Pricing for the MTB models starts at $32.99 for a dozen, with the price being reduced to $27.99/dz should you order five dozen.

 

 

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Whats in the Bag

J.B. Holmes’ Winning WITB: 2019 Genesis Open

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Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 83X

3-wood: TaylorMade M2 HL (16.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 93X

Irons: Srixon Z U85 (3), Srixon Z-785 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Wedges: Cleveland RTX 4 (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron 009M

Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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