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10 Things You Need to Know About Ping’s i200 Irons

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When Ping released its iBlade irons, our review called them “intelligent blades,” a fitting description of an iron that was designed to look and feel like a blade, but offer more forgiveness.

The Ping i200 irons are again blurring the line of blade and cavity-back irons. They’re made to have the forgiveness of cavity-backs, but deliver the clean looks and workability you’d expect from more compact irons. They’re so well rounded, in fact, that Ping expects 20-40 percent of its staffers will put the i200s in play in 2017, including Lee Westwood and Brooke Henderson… and many more Tour players will have them in play as part of a combo set.

The Phoenix-based company also has a few tricks up its sleeve with this release, including a “secret-menu option” for those who need a little boost.

Ping’s i200 irons (3-9, PW, UW) are available for pre-order today, and will sell for $135 with steel shafts ($150 with graphite shafts). Here are 10 things you need to know about them.

1) Workable AND Forgiving

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How is it possible that an iron built for forgiveness can still be workable? Isn’t it impossible to both produce more side spin AND eliminate side spin at the same time? Not exactly. Marty Jertson, Senior Design Engineer at Ping explains:

“Think of iBlades as a sports car and [Ping’s] G or Gmax irons as luxury sedan,” Jertson says. “iBlades are more workable because you have more control over the face alignment and how the face returns to impact. The reduced torque pressure makes it easier for you to turn the face, but they still increase inertia around the center of gravity CG, making it the Holy Grail of blade irons… workable AND forgiving.”

Ping uses the same concept in its i200 irons, only to a lesser extent than the iBlades. While their compact head shape and thin top rails allow the golfer to manipulate the face as it moves through space, the physics of the iron’s design mean higher inertia around the center of gravity.

So if iBlades are intelligent blades, Ping’s i200 irons could be considered the sports cars of cavity backs.

2) “Smoosh Central”

You’ll notice a familiar look with i200 irons… something similar to Ping’s S55s irons, which have garnered a cult-like following.

Golfers liked Ping’s S55 irons because of their clean looks and sneaky forgiveness, according to Jertson, so Ping engineers wanted to maintain aspects of the S55 design while enhancing feel with the i200s.

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The i200 irons, made from 431 stainless steel, have a soft feel that makes it seem like the ball stays on the face longer; or as Jertson calls it, “smoosh central.” That’s due to the materials and new construction.

Ping’s i200 irons have a thicker top portion of the face and a thinner lower portion, helping drop the center of gravity (CG) for a higher launch. It also gives the irons more ball speed on shots hit low on the club face, where most players tend to contact their iron shots. The i200 irons also have longer CTPs (custom tuning ports). They’re made from elastomer and have been moved closer to the face in the i200 design, helping provide golfers a squishy, yet powerful feel.

Overall, the club faces have a thickness of about 0.68 millimeters, which is about half the thickness of the S55 irons, according to Ping. That leads to both more ball speed off the face and more moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of ball speed retention in mishits.

3) A New Look, Down to the Details

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The i200s are designed with straighter leading edges in the long irons (3-7 irons) and thinner top rails on the short irons (6-PW) than their i predecessors. The irons also have a shape that looks more rounded near the toe, along with a smoother transition area from the hosel to the club face. The more blended transition means they will appear to have less offset than they do.

The progressive look of the irons throughout the set will play well for golfers looking to create a combo set with the iBlades (short irons from the iBlade set for more precision, long irons from the i200 set for more shot height, forgiveness and distance).

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Inspired by vintage blades, the i200 irons also have a longer ferrule than previous i irons for a more classic look. Little things like the metallic iron numbers are buffed to offer the look of precision, as well.

4) The Low-Toe Theory

Throughout Ping’s history, the company has designed irons with more weight in the toe section of its club heads in order to center mass in the head; without added weight in the toe, CG tends to be heel-ward.

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Like Ping irons from the past, the i200 irons have cavities that are machined to move weight into the high- and low-toe areas. For golfers, that means a more forgiving iron, especially when hit off the toe, which is the likely miss for most golfers.

5) The Importance of Yardage Gapping

Ping looked to data from its Tour players and their past iron releases to develop iron lofts in the i200 iron sets.

The long irons, which have thinner faces, go about 6-8 yards farther than the previous i-series irons, according to Jertson. In order to prevent the short iron yardage gaps from being too wide, the short irons in the set are made with thicker faces, effectively reducing ball speed.

If you want more distance with each iron, respectively, Ping has something for you…

6) Sauced Up with the Power Spec

New with the i200 irons is a secret-menu option called the “power spec,” which systematically jacks the lofts on each iron.

“It’s like ordering animal style at In-and-Out,” Jertson says. “We’ll juice the irons with stronger lofts … golf’s supposed to be fun, right?”

Plus, the stronger-lofted irons are good for high-spin players looking to flatten out their trajectory. Here’s a look at the loft specs.

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 1.43.41 PM

7) Full-On Swing Weight Command

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A major part of club fitting is getting the correct swing weight, and Ping uses what it calls Custom Tuning Ports (CTP) to help golfers dial in those specifications.

“Swing weight progression is very important,” says Jertson. “If it’s 1.5 points light, that could definitely throw you off. [Golfers] need consistency, so tempo, speed and shaft have to match.”

As Jertson explains, you can hedge against a certain miss using swing weight. For example, if you tend to miss right you’ll want to make the head lighter, effectively lowering the swing weight and helping you to “get the club around” better, he says.

The CTPs used in the i200 irons range from 4 to 32 grams each, the “standard” being 10-12 grams. They’re longer from heel to toe than in previous Ping irons, which helps makes the clubs more forgiving. The tuning ports also have a dampening effect to improve sound and feel.

8) Ping looked to its wedges when designing the soles

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Bounce, a term that’s mostly associated with wedges, is just as important in iron design. Generally speaking, more bounce means more forgiveness, so the i200s are made with more bounce than the iBlades and previous i-series irons. With a rounder leading edge that’s designed with 1-degree more bounce angle, the irons won’t want to dig as much, thus reducing divot size and depth.

The “hottest i-series iron was the i20s,” according to Jertson, and these irons will perform similarly through the turf.

9) Hydropho-what?

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Ping engineers designed the faces of the i200 irons with milling marks to help repel the water and grass that lowers spin and alters flight. At impact, the milling marks are said to create a more consistent trajectory by increasing friction, meaning less flyers and knuckle balls.

The iron’s finish, called Hydro Pearl Chrome, enhances hydrophobicity, or the ability of an object to repel water. The angle of the milling marks and the grooves is designed to do the same.

10) Custom Only

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The stock AWT 2.0 shafts from Ping are made by Nippon, and increase in weight as golfers move from their long irons to their short irons. It’s a “very complex shaft thats very expensive with variable steps and variable wall thickness that’s great for the masses,” Jertson says.

There are also various aftermarket shafts available from Ping at no upcharge: True Temper Dynamic Gold, Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 105, XP 95, and Project X.

i200 Specs (3-9, PW, UW)

  • Stock steel shaft: PING AWT 2.0 (R, S, X)
  • After-market shaft options (no upcharge): Project X 5.0, 6.0; XP 95 (R300, S300), N.S. Pro Modus3 105 (S, X), KBS Tour (R, S, X), Dynamic Gold (S300, X100)
  • Stock graphite shaft: PING CFS 65/70/80 (Soft R, R, S)
  • $135 per club (steel shaft); $150 per club (graphite shaft)

Related: See more photos of the Ping i200 irons in our forums, and join the discussion. 

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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.

39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Jannette Simpliciano

    Feb 4, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    This blog about 10 Things You Need to Know
    About Ping?s i200 Irons. has helped me enormously, is a
    very good topic. What product helped me lose weight, I recommend you see here: https://s96.me/fit (or click on the name).
    Kiss you All!

  2. Hammer

    Feb 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Hello fellow golfers , after playing 3 more rounds of golf on my home course , I have but one thing to say, WOW I love these I200 Ping irons. So consistent, so forgivable and so easy to move left or right. Need I say more.

  3. Hammer

    Feb 14, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    I am a 4 handicapp golfer that has been playing the Iblades since they came out. I thought these were the best irons ping ever made. With great hesitation a friend of mine convinced me to try his I200 irons with the same 95 steelefiber shafts I have in my irons. He does not have the stronger lofts in his irons. WOW were these irons a surprise, they definitely have a softer feel than my Iblades and even though some of the lofts were weaker than my irons , there was no loss of distance at all. I also felt the ground interaction with the sole to be much improved. Although these irons are not pure blades , the ability to move the ball left or right was very easy. These are now my favorite irons to date. Last but not late the forgiveness in these irons was also slightly improved it seamed. I would need to play more than 2 rounds to be sure however. I have purchased these from my local golf store and already put my shafts in them, I will give an update after several more rounds are completed

  4. Forsbrand

    Jan 17, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Look really nice irons lots of playability and forgiveness

    I for one need to be looking at a good sized head early Sunday mornings after skinful the night before, peanut headed blades make me so nervous

  5. Pat

    Jan 17, 2017 at 6:34 am

    Any word if there is going to be a ping g200 coming

  6. edge of lean

    Jan 17, 2017 at 4:37 am

    Grown on me in the last week. Will have to hit them now. I suspect it will turn out to be another case of great clubs I can’t afford right now.

  7. Hitter

    Jan 17, 2017 at 2:23 am

    These look great.. will have to go some to beat the S55s

  8. Rolo

    Jan 16, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    WRXrs will be disappointed that there is no option to de-power spec the loft since they hit it so far already.

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      I just loathe the the golfers who are condescending to other fellow golfers if they don’t play 28 degree 5 iron etc. If you want to play a 28 degree 5 iron go ahead, more power to you. Personally I prefer my 5 iron to be about 24 degrees. My choice for which I need no one’s approval.

    • hdcp0

      Jan 16, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      LoL….so true

  9. Jim

    Jan 16, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    Didn’t the I Series just come out last year? Why would they release a replacement so soon?

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Actually I think the I series irons came out about September 2015 Typical Ping 18 month release cycle.

  10. birdy

    Jan 16, 2017 at 11:16 am

    i200? sorry…i don’t see whats so great about these. look like an old tm rac. the name is odd.

    i’m sure they are great irons…but nothing stands out that makes me think ‘have to hit these’

  11. golfraven

    Jan 16, 2017 at 10:35 am

    Will certainly give those a demo. My i20s need a succesor.

  12. AC

    Jan 16, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Fantastic! The more the iron looks like a blade or CB but performs like a GI club the better. I much prefer the solid no frills iron vs those gimmicky colorful irons.

  13. Ay Eye

    Jan 16, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Wait, so there won’t be an i30?

    • Mikec

      Jan 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      No, it went i20, i25, iE1, i200….there never was or will be a i30

  14. Lee

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    The ‘Power Spec’ loft option oh dear! As we all know if you get fitted properly the shaft, grip, loft and lie will be matched to your playing characteristics anyway.

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

      Oh Goody – We had the obligatory these aren’t a blade comments from Juan & know we get the “hey everybody go get fitted properly” comment. Personally I like the power loft option & am sure I could get properly fitted for the power lofts if I decided to go that route.

  15. Shane

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Why only the 5.0 & 6.0 offered as no upcharge in the Px? Where’s the 5.5?

  16. Juan

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:19 am

    They may be good irons, but there is nothing blade-like about them. Large head, offset, thick sole, and the large cavity in the back. There is nothing about them that calls to mind a blade, and marketing speak aside, I doubt the performance truly resembles that of a blade, either.

    • Buford T Justice

      Jan 16, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Yes, Yes, Yes. Because you personally need the performance of a real deal blade, and could in no way benefit from a club like the i200.

      This review is for the i200, however, the blade brigade must pipe in and remind us that this is in no way, shape, or form, a blade.

      I think I’ve got it, champ! This isn’t a blade, doesn’t perform like a blade, and the article doesn’t suggest it’s a blade. Evidently i200s are good enough for Westwood on the men’s side, and Henderson on the women’s side. So, keep fighting the good fight, sparky.

      Oh, and let us know how you do at the CareerBuilder at La Quinta the weekend.

      Oh…wait…nevermind.

      • birdy

        Jan 16, 2017 at 11:14 am

        calm down cupcake…no one said these weren’t good….they simply aren’t blades. don’t resemble blades. looks like you’re an awful angry person in the morning

      • Buck

        Jan 16, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        Why the personal attacks? He was simply stating his opinion about the product in the article. Birdy is right, you seem like an awful angry person. “There are a lot of decaffeinated brands on the market today that are just as tasty as the real thing”

        As far as the clubs, they are good looking irons, but I just don’t see $135 worth of club here. To each their own

      • Juan

        Jan 17, 2017 at 10:23 am

        The article compares them to blades 4 times by the end of the first “thing you need to know”. Ping makes good irons, and I’m sure these will perform well, but my comment is in response to what I believe to be an inaccurate comparison to blade irons. The items I mentioned are all different than most blade designs that I have seen.
        I made no statements as to whether one head design is better than another, so the personal attacks are unwarranted.

    • DaveJ

      Jan 16, 2017 at 3:09 pm

      I dunno, that at address picture looks pretty blade-like to me, which is the main thing they were going for, right? A more forgiving smallish cavity back that still feels pure like a blade, looks like a blade at address, yet still has a bit of workability sounds like a quality club. Obviously they aren’t MP33s, but they have a similar look behind the ball, even if they play quite a bit differently.

      DaveJ

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 5:13 pm

      They may be good irons, but there is nothing DIVER-like about them. Large head, offset, thick sole, and the large cavity in the back. There is nothing about them that calls to mind a DRIVER, and marketing speak aside, I doubt the performance truly resembles that of a DRIVER, either.

      • Juan

        Jan 17, 2017 at 10:25 am

        Does anyone read? The article compares the irons to blades several times.

        • Scooter McGavin

          Jan 17, 2017 at 12:23 pm

          Do you even read? Just because the article references the iblades and uses the word “blades” it doesn’t mean it was trying to describe the i200’s as blades. In fact, it describes them as “the sports car of cavity backs”. But somehow you interpreted the author as saying that the clubs were blade-like… even though it said nothing of the sort. They were comparing them to the iblades and the technology used in that model to reduce head size and to explain how this model fit into the Ping lineup. I swear, people don’t read anything in context anymore and just throw up the red flag as soon as they see a buzzword they are looking for.

  17. LOL

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:16 am

    LOL GolfWRX guys are going to LOVE the POWER SPEC JACKED LOFTS

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 11:12 am

      I think they compare to Mizuno JPX 900 forged in head size, but even in the power specs Ping’s are weaker than the mizuno’s.

  18. T

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Jacked lofts……. had to keep up with Taylormade somehow. Nothing to do with Tour input. Just didn’t want to get left behind by Taylormade.

    • LOL

      Jan 16, 2017 at 9:17 am

      PING has been jacking their lofts way before these oddly named irons. I like the idea of the iblades, but these not so much.

      • Billy

        Apr 25, 2017 at 6:53 am

        Hit them. Went to a demo days looking for Srixon, Mizuno, or Callaway and these blew me out of the water. Normally an S300 guy. I tried the AWT first, then XP 95 S300, KBS Tour S and Pro Modus S. No comparison for me. The AWT is the one. I went back up and down the other companies tents 3 times. I bought the i200s.

  19. Dat

    Jan 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

    A great successor to the S55. Should have stuck with that moniker imo.

    • John

      Jan 16, 2017 at 10:21 am

      iblade is the S55 replacement. These replace the previous i series. Two completely different clubs.

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

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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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