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Tour Proto No More: TaylorMade launches P750 and P770 Irons

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You may remember that we first spotted TaylorMade’s Tour Proto irons being tested at the 2016 RSM Classic in November. The company announced that the irons will be available for purchase on March 17 with new names: P750 and P770.

P750

234132-P750-17_IRN_3quarter-979e77-large-1484691673

The P750 irons are currently being used by TaylorMade Staffers Jason Day and Justin Rose, who were key in the development of the irons. TaylorMade calls the irons a “true forged blade with a shallow cavity,” and they look the part. The irons are designed with narrow soles, thin top lines, minimal offset and tight leading edges to give better players precise control over their trajectory and shot shape.

To create the P750 irons, TaylorMade uses a new multi-step forging process that delivers “a high-tonnage strike, three times more forceful than a standard forging press.” The company says the result is a more precise club head that requires “minimal hand polishing” after the forging process.

234129-P750-17_IRN_Sole-0acbc0-large-1484691672

The faces, grooves and cavities of the P750 irons are CNC milled, and 5-gram tungsten sole weights are co-forged in the irons to put the center of gravity (CG) in a position that TaylorMade says “delivers optimum workability for the best ball strikers.”

They’ll sell for $1600 for eight irons (3-PW) with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold shafts and Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet 360 grips. A variety of custom shaft options, many available at no added cost, will also be offered.

P770

234123-P770-17_IRN_3quarter-a2e54b-large-1484691253

The P770 irons use a larger, multi-piece design to offer more distance, height and forgiveness to golfers who need it. The irons maintain a tour-quality look, however, with less offset, thinner top lines and shorter blade lengths than their predecessors to maintain workability and feel, according to TaylorMade.

“We spent countless hours working with our PGA Tour players to develop the most complete players iron we have ever created,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Iron Creation. “Drawing inspiration from some of our most successful irons, P770 challenges the status quo of what a players iron should be.”

234124-P770-17_IRN_Exploded-a3f9fa-original-1484691254

To create the irons, TaylorMade engineers focused on lowering CG while enhancing the forgiveness of the irons. Key to the design is a 70-gram tungsten “wireframe,” which is welded to the face of the 3-7 irons to boost performance (the 8-AW use a one-piece forged construction that delivers improved precision). The tungsten wireframe, which gives the irons their muscular appearance, is lightest at its center and heaviest on its ends to maximize moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of ball speed retention on off-center hits.

234127-P770-17_IRN_Wireframe_Tungsten-20b064-original-1484691258

The 3-7 irons also feature a undercut positioned behind the face to boost performance along with shallow face profiles, shorter hosels and tapered face-thicknesses, a design that makes the top of the club faces thinner and the bottom of the club faces thicker to push weight lower in the club head while enhancing sound and feel.

The P770 irons will sell for $1200 for eight irons and are offered in 3-PW, AW with KBS FLT steel shafts (S and X flexes).

Related: In-hand photos of the P750 and P770 irons. 

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80 Comments

80 Comments

  1. LouF

    Aug 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    I can buy the P770’s for $1,050. Or APs, $1,050. Apex CF16s, $1,050. Mizunos from $1,000 up. Cobra King Forged, $1,000. Srixon Z765, $1,000. I wouldn’t pick up P750’s could care less what they charge, not aimed at my game.

    But Taylormade is ruining the game and making it unplayable? I don’t even play TM but really? This has been going on for some time, nothing new.

  2. Walter

    May 3, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    I was just at the driving range and someone had left one of these P770 irons behind, it was the 8i with a Steelfiber i95 shaft. So I decided to hit it a few times before I turned it in to the proshop. All I can say is NICE, very nice, felt better than my Mizuno’s. Don’t know what the SW was but it was light, probably guess at a D0. Just comparing to mine which have the Nippon NS 950gh shafts. I wish he had left the whole set I would have loved to hit a few of the other irons too. Might have to watch for a set of these on ebay in the coming years.

  3. good wood

    Feb 5, 2017 at 3:15 am

    I still like my R9 driver and fairway metals better than all the newer stuff. The rocketballz were horrible! My Taylormade sponsored club pro couldn’t even hit them. Several of the guys at PGA superstore in Texas told me to stick with the R9 fairway metals. And the R11s was a total dud also, at least that was what I was told by a vendor that has full access to the tour. And Yes, he showed his badge and lanyard.

  4. JR

    Jan 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I buy as much equipment as the next guy and play to a fairly decent standard (never been higher than six in 45 years playing). In that time the one piece of equipment I’ve bought that I know took shots off my game is my laser rangefinder. So, as much as I like the look of the new TMs, I know they won’t make me swing the club any better. And, at the end of the day, if the swing is defective then no club is going to correct that.

  5. mike

    Jan 20, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    This looks like the cb and mc 2014 with a face lift everyone
    I have the 2014 and will not change for the same thing forged 8-aw like the cb2014 and mc………
    Dang….taylormade are realyy losing it…..bring some mb for lefties at least…….

  6. DJ

    Jan 19, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    stick with what you got and with what works. Bridgestone J40 DPC 5-PW. with 2 extra 6 irons off ebay for practice (punishment). and i got another brand new set (5-PW) in storage for $600 of Amazon 14 months ago.

  7. Jamie

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:37 am

    why are people getting so butt hurt about the price of these irons? who cares? don’t buy them. do you get hurt when ford sells a truck for 60k? No, you buy their 30k truck. and this isn’t why the game is being “ruined” as so many of you put it. its losing participation because its difficult, expensive, and takes 5 hrs.

    • Buck

      Jan 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      First you say that “this (club prices) isn’t why the game is being ruined”, and in the next sentence you claim that participation is dropping because it is too expensive. smh

    • The dude

      Jan 20, 2017 at 6:36 am

      Ding…

  8. NevinW

    Jan 19, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Anything is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. There are plenty of other choices for great clubs that are a lot less money. If they sell them, they will keep making them at that price, if they don’t, they will stop. Either way it has no effect on me or my golf game.

  9. tlmck

    Jan 19, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Buy Malibu TE’s. You’ll be just as satisfied and richer.

    • tlmck

      Jan 19, 2017 at 6:01 am

      Meant Maltby TE. Damned spelling correction.

  10. Sh

    Jan 19, 2017 at 2:38 am

    Calm down, people. $1600 is MSRP. Which means it’ll be $1199 retail. Sheesh.

  11. Charles

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:53 pm

    What an ego play. “If PXG can do it so can we”. I’d love for someone to explain the $400 price diff between models.

  12. TonyK

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:30 pm

    1600 Shanks

  13. WolfWRX

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    $1600 is insulting. No wonder people are quitting the game in droves. This follows on the heels of major price rises by both Mizuno and Titleist in the last six months. It seems golf is in an unsustainable cycle of ever increasing costs and a smaller and smaller market. Perhaps this is the norm now? Gotta keep the shareholders happy after all.

    • The dude

      Jan 20, 2017 at 6:39 am

      Shank

    • JR

      Jan 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Wolf, it isn’t mandatory to pay these prices. I played a second-hand set of Cleveland TA5 irons for 10 years and I’d rate them as highly as anything produced by the big names. The problem we have now is that golf has become a game for ‘posers’ who have to be seen using the latest kit by the ‘designer’ brands – Ping, Mizuno, TaylorMade, Callaway, Cobra and now, it seems, PXG. Guys at my club are wearing Galvin Green waterproofs all year round because they were stupid enough to pay $800 for them and, apparently, want everyone to know it. If you play golf with me I’ll be more impressed if you shoot 69 with a set of irons you spent $300 on than if you shoot 83 with a set of irons you spent $1600 on. If you swing the club like a demented lumberjack trying to hack off his own foot then it doesn’t matter what you spend on equipment – you ain’t gonna get better!

  14. Matto

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:06 pm

    Go buy some steel billets, hire some forge time, make the multiple dies needed for stamping, buy shafts & grips, import them and tell me how you go price-wise.

  15. The dude

    Jan 18, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Plenty of people will buy them…..plenty of people buy Rolex watches …..$90k cars…etc…and with Trump in office …we will only be paying a flat 15% fed tax rate. It’s all relative you cheap f*cks!!!

  16. Tom Duckworth

    Jan 18, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Yea $1600.00 is ridiculous and yes we can thank PXG for that.
    They don’t care if they sell less sets they will make as much off of one set as they use to selling two.

  17. Titlehead

    Jan 18, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    Lefties???

  18. Dude

    Jan 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Why aren’t there slots on the face and sole? I thought that was revolutionary TM tech that would help all players?

    • WolfWRX

      Jan 18, 2017 at 7:51 pm

      Ha – so true. It was obvious those face slots would be gone within a year or two despite the absurd technological claims made at the time.

      • dog

        Jan 19, 2017 at 3:59 am

        slots reduce spin giving higher handicaps more distance hence why they are in their game improvement irons, the players these are targeted towards usually dont need extra distance and definitely dont want want reduced spin with their irons, also why most forged/blade clubs lofts arent as strong as game improvements, slots are irrelevant for low handicaps

        • LD

          Jan 19, 2017 at 5:56 am

          “slots are irrelevant”
          The only part of your post based on truth.

          • dog

            Jan 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm

            Taylormade P750 7 iron loft – 34*
            Taylormade P750 6 iron loft – 30*

            Taylormade RSi 1 7 iron loft – 30.5*

            another part of my post “based on truth”
            do your research before you comment

            • Bud

              Jan 20, 2017 at 4:25 pm

              Jason Day played Psi Tour irons last year which had slots.
              7 iron loft – 34*

              Now he’s switching to clubs without slots. Apparently he doesn’t think they are relevant either.

              • JR

                Jan 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm

                Really? You think Jason Day is playing the irons he wants to play? When you’re being paid $50 million plus a year to promote a manufacturer’s gear you play with what they tell you to play with.

              • rodger Davidson

                Aug 24, 2017 at 7:48 am

                No he didn’t.
                He played with the same irons as he did in 2015, the RSI TP irons. He only had a PSI iron as his 2 iron that he used off the tee.

        • Shankalot

          Jan 23, 2017 at 3:05 pm

          You actually know what you are taking about. Great explanation. I consider you the 1% on this site.

          • mike

            Jan 29, 2017 at 8:04 am

            Yes its true but i can tell you the way these guys play and go to the range and hit thousand of bucket plus there hole season….let me tell you that there club are good to go to the garbage….no groobes anymore….i play 30 game a year and im pretty sure 2 more years and ill be good to change me too my irons….

  19. Mark

    Jan 18, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    $1600? Are they taking the p£$s? They look cheap and nasty not premium product.

  20. DC1

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I guess TM has subscribed to the ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ pricing theory. I’m very happy with my cally apex irons from a couple years ago, and will watch these to see how they perform in the hands of regular golfers. On pricing, I have to agree with everyone else that the list prices won’t hold at all…and yes, six months later they will be available for less than half of msrp. That’s just where the market is, unless TM only wants to sell these sticks as very limited editions with fancy colored grips.

  21. Jonny B

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    $1600 = SHANK

  22. Philip

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Are you sure that you were talking to a US representative and not a Canadian who gave you Canadian prices? At this point Miura (before they raise prices for the buy out) are looking affordable.

  23. Ayeayeejeff

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Just can’t get behind a domestic set over 1500 stock. really am impressed with the look of both of them though, so from a design aspect well played Tmade, from a marketing standpoint, I hope you didnt mass produce these puppies.

  24. Brian

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    I am waiting for the typical “6 months and I will buy them for half the price” comment.

  25. ColmMcC

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    I think I’ll stick to my PS2’s and spend 600 on lessons …. so game improvement and a $1000 saving ….
    Good looking Irons … but I thought mine were for the 4 months it took them to bring out the PSi’s and made mine “old” …. … I still cant manage the churn rate on these clubs .. I had my old coin foirged RAC’s for 13 years – loved them … and guess I will keep my PS2’s for a little longer as they are just bedding in ( or is that I’m just bedding in 🙂 )

  26. Mr.Nodoubt

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Sick. Great job Taylormade! A down company charging 1600 for a set of players irons. Genius…

  27. Rich

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    $1600.00 are you serious!!! If you think spending $1600.00 on a set of irons is going to help your game you are NUTZ!!!!

  28. Deadeye

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:00 pm

    I’m not even going to bother to reply.

  29. Buck

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Well, someone has to pay for all those Tour players they added this year.

  30. Kosko

    Jan 18, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    What has happened to the price of irons for cripes sake…. Always been a Mizuno guy and they are up to 1200…. the days of a <$400 driver and irons under a grand appear to be gone sadly.

    • Buck

      Jan 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      Spot on, and the reason why I will be building myself a set of Maltby irons.

      • Teaj

        Jan 18, 2017 at 2:19 pm

        I normally change my irons every year but have kept mine for 2 whole years…. I know right, kind of a big deal. But I am with you once my irons have no more grooves left I will opt to build my own set.

        Heads 4-PW = $242.90
        Shafts (if you don’t want to use your old ones (7 Shafts) = $180.95
        Ferrules = $6.95
        Grips (12) = $40.80
        Epoxy = $16.65
        Grip Tape = $12.60
        Grip Solvent = $9.20
        Tip weight kit = 6.95

        Total with Shafts $517 + $20-40 for shipping and then tax in Canada
        without Shafts $336.05 + shipping and Tax

        Maybe this will be the new way people purchase Clubs

        • James

          Jan 18, 2017 at 3:55 pm

          I’m going to be adding custom-fitting to the list of services I offer over the summer as a coach based near Marbella. I’m absolutely going down the route of component company because the product is just as good, arguably better, but the cost to consumers is so much less as you spell out. It just makes more sense

          • Neil Cameron

            Jan 19, 2017 at 6:29 am

            wishon from Diamond Golf Uk is your best bet

  31. Boobsy McKiss

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Great looking irons.

    I really wonder goes on in the meetings of these companies when it comes to pricing their stuff. Is the CEO some brash hard head that tells the CFO to take his numbers and shove it? I can’t imagine highly paid CFOs and CMOs coming up with these ridiculous prices.

  32. Smitty

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:38 am

    $1200 and $1600 for these irons?! GTFOH Taylormade!! I don’t care how good they look or how many hours you put into working with Tour pros. That is absolutely insane.

    • Anthony

      Jan 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      That’s nothing!!! In Australia they will be $1999!!!

      • john

        Jan 19, 2017 at 12:04 am

        actually they’re $230 per club in Aus in AUD (which is $1610 AUD or $1210 USD), golf stuff is often cheaper here but don’t tell anyone coz then they wont be able to scream about the australia tax

  33. Clay

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:26 am

    That i200 is looking better and better.

  34. birdy

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:25 am

    i like the look but the price is ridiculous. they better be offering any shaft as free upgrade.

  35. Rolo

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:23 am

    “TaylorMade calls the irons a true forged blade with a shallow cavity”

    That’s like saying this is a true real banana with a taste of orange.

  36. CB

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:20 am

    “true forged blade with a shallow cavity,” – doesn’t that make them cavity backs not blades?

  37. Jeff

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Irons without slots on the bottom and sides, has Taylormade lost it’s mind? Any iron that doesn’t have a slot is garbage and is 20 yards shorter. I bet the PWs don’t even go 200 yards.

  38. Tom

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Tax Return Boy’s.

    • Glfhsslr

      Jan 18, 2017 at 11:31 am

      Who gets a Tax return lol

    • Tom

      Jan 18, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      or those who pay taxes

      • WashedUpHasBeen

        Jan 18, 2017 at 2:09 pm

        FFS It’s called a tax refund. A tax return is what you file in order to get your tax refund.

        • Tom

          Jan 18, 2017 at 3:24 pm

          Aww thnx.. I’m looking forward to getting money back in the form of a refund from the state and feds.

  39. golfraven

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The cleanest looking clubs from TM for quite some time. I guess they looked at Mizuno and Ping for quite a while and decided to fusion both looks together. Will be interesting to demo those but will likely mot end up in the bag cause I am not typically a TM guy.

  40. ultimate hacker

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:49 am

    ill just grab some nice blades at that point, nothing hits pure like a blade. but not everyone can use them..

  41. LDav

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:35 am

    1600 for irons is crazy however the 1200 option is basically a revised PSI Tour with a much cleaner look and most likely a better feeling off the face. the 1600 option I would say, replaces the past generation MB’s

  42. Dj

    Jan 18, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Hard pass at that price

  43. Xav

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I’d rather bag the i200’s anyways… $800 for the set! Plus they look better cast or not…

    • Egor

      Jan 18, 2017 at 11:39 pm

      i200s are said to be amazing from a friend who is a club fitter. Can’t wait to hit them. I left the TMaG irons train several years ago. I still carry an R15 and Stage 2 3w I picked up for 1/5 the new price.

  44. Brian Moore

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:56 am

    30 degree Pitching Wedge this year?

  45. LD

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:55 am

    $200 an iron with DG shafts? No thanks. I thought the Ping i200’s were overpriced a bit, but this is ridiculous.

  46. Mr Muira

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Blah Blah Blah.

  47. Beef

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Yes I had to read that twice… $1,600 is a lot of money. Saying that, this has the makings of a very tasty mixed-set provided the lofts aren’t jacked beyond recognition.

  48. SRG

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:40 am

    $1600!? That’s absolutely outrageous

  49. Dat

    Jan 18, 2017 at 9:20 am

    $1600? What?! Is this supposed to be a 1/2 price PXG competitor? Taylormade has lost their minds.

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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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