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Don’t do this to your clubs at home!

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There are several club building tasks that can be done at home with just a few basic tools—changing grips, for example, is one of the most popular do-it-yourself jobs. But with so many ways to customize and tweak your clubs, and the growing popularity of unique finishes, there are still some things that should be left to the professionals with proper tools, like stripping chrome.

Chrome is chemically applied to metal by using an electrical charge run through a bath containing an electrolytic salt (chromium anhydride) solution. The electrical current passing through the bath causes the chromium metal in the bath to fall out of solution and deposit onto the metal placed into the solution. This process creates fumes and requires a lot of chemicals to do it properly.

CHROME PLATING — NORTHWEST CHROME

If you have to dress up like Walter White to do club work, it’s best to leave that job up to someone that has the proper setup and the ability to dispose of excess chemicals.

Alternatively, there are some metal finishes that can be removed quite easily at home with over the counter products. The most common is the baked-on jet black finish found on Titleist Vokey wedges and Cobra Irons – all it takes is some grocery store cleaning vinegar, and some patience. You just have to remove the heads from the shafts, let them soak fully submerged for 3-4 hours, and then do a final cleaning with fine steel wool, it’s just that easy.

There are a number of how to’s on this including one from our friend Bryan LaRoche aka BryanGolf on Instagram.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Greg

    May 19, 2020 at 11:24 am

    I wouldn’t do this. Chances are it’ll affect how the club performs and one would ruin a perfectly good club. Not to mention destroy any resale value.

  2. MichaelKucera

    May 17, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    I’m an expert in plating and coatings. DO NOT try this at home. I wouldn’t golf heads to your local platers either. The local platers are set up for volume not individual lots.

    • chip75

      May 17, 2020 at 5:15 pm

      Michael, out of interest, when plating or de-plating how are the depth of grooves accounted for? Wouldn’t the process make the grooves deeper or shallower? or are grooves freshened up after chroming?

  3. Colin Jenkins

    May 17, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Rust remover gets the black finish off heads and you don’t have to remove the shafts. Leave for 30 mins and buff off.

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Equipment

WRX Insider: Top 5 equipment stories at the PGA Championship

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This week at Harding Park had a few key stories to track from a WITB standpoint. Some were huge, some were subtle. All are interesting.

Here are the top five equipment stories from the PGA Championship.

#5. Fleetwood goes to Ventus

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 07: Tommy Fleetwood of England plays his shot from the 14th tee during the second round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 07, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Tommy Fleetwood has one of the most eclectic bags on Tour. The Englishman is the epitome of finding the right 14 sticks no matter what. This week at Harding Park, he made what I would call a pretty substantial change to his driver set up. Being a player that has trusted the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 TX for a while now, Tommy not only switched shafts but switched companies going into the ever-popular Fujikura Ventus Black 7 X.

According to my source, Tommy was fighting a left miss with the normal setup and was searching for a way to stabilize the head a bit. The Ventus not only helped that but also kicked up the ball speed a touch. Obviously it helped, at the time this article was written he was two back of the leaders having put on a ballstriking display with a Friday 64.

#4. Fleetwood swaps in TM Proto 4 and 5-irons

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 07: Tommy Fleetwood of England plays a shot on the tenth hole during the second round of the 2020 PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park on August 07, 2020 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Tommy also swapped out his Srixon Z765 4 and 5-irons for two TaylorMade prototypes. The switch was in an effort to bridge the gap between his 5-wood and 4-iron. In past weeks, he had tested a TaylorMade SIM Max 4 Rescue. The switch required him to strengthen his 5-iron to gap properly, but ultimately that recipe wasn’t the right fit.

#3. Koepka goes back to his M5

If anything has been holding Brooks Koepka back this year, it has been his driver. Notoriously an intimidating player off the tee (especially on tough golf courses), Koepka had been struggling in 2020.

He started the season with SIM Max and quickly swapped that for the Callaway Mavrik he used up until early this week. According to my source, BK liked the ball speed and feel from the Callaway but felt going back to the M5 he used in 2019 put him back in a comfortable pocket, and as you can see, he is right at the top of the leaderboard again.

Another interesting nugget is the M5 switch required no tweaks, straight into the bag. When no wrenching is needed, you know that club is dialed.

Koepka has also gone back to his trusty Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron. Previously, BK had the TaylorMade P790 UDI in play, but this return comes as no surprise—that particular club draws strong affections from certain players, namely Koepka and Tony Finau.

#2. DJ lands on a 7-wood

Height, spin, and gapping have become a huge theme in the past weeks—especially in that no man’s land between 3-wood and 5-iron. Dustin Johnson is a player who is not afraid to experiment, and he has checked off every possible box.

At any given point this year he has had a 3-iron, 4-hybrid, utility, and now a 7-wood. Although these changes will be course-specific, the trend I’m seeing is players are looking for spin and versatility wherever they can find it. Most clubs in that range tend to be low spin, so if there is a way to find 400-500 RPMs flying out of the same window, its a bonus.

#1. Tiger ditches the “Elder Wand” (it won’t last)

At this point, I think the story even made it to CNN. When Tiger switches anything its world news, especially his trusty Scotty Cameron. In this case, he moved into a Scotty Cameron “Timeless Prototype,” which is a lead into the 2020 Studio Select collection at retail.

Two things going on here

  1. Ability to manipulate head weight to match up with green speed. Tiger’s gamer is, by today’s standards light at 327 grams. This experiment allows him to add subtract weight out of the head via weight ports in the sole.
  2. Added length to take the pressure off his back. Not the first time a player has done this. Freddy Couples, Rocco Mediate, and many others have gone to longer putters to encourage more upright posture.

At posting time, Tiger putted it all over the place on Friday, so although this switch is newsworthy, it won’t last. He’s just putting the Elder Wand in the reflection chair as I do with my kids.

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Whats in the Bag

Jason Day WITB 2020 (August)

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  • Equipment accurate as of the PGA Championship.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM Max (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Kuro Kage XTS 70 X

3-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15.0 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 80 X

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (18.0 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 80 X

Irons: TaylorMade P760 (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X Seven

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 Satin (50-09SB, 54-11SB, 60-10SB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Taylor Made Itsy Bitsy Spider Limited Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

More photos of Jason Day’s WITB in the forums.

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Whats in the Bag

Paul Casey WITB 2020 (August)

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  • Equipment accurate as of the PGA Championship.

Driver: TaylorMade SIM Max (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Orange 75 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade M3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 80 TX

Irons: Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal Pro (3, 4), Mizuno MP-5 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 120 TX

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52-08F, 56-10S), Vokey Proto 60-T (60T)
Shafts: Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus 3 120 TX

(Pics c/o Titleist’s Aaron Dill)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Fastback

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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