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Why You Should Be Playing Heavier Equipment

swingweight fujikura speeder 757

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#1 zakkozuchowski

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:04 PM


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Why You Should Be Playing Heavier Equipment


By Brad Hintz


GolfWRX Contributor


While I’ve been playing golf for the last 35 years, I only started tinkering with equipment for the last 17 years. I started with regripping and then graduated to full blueprints and rebuilds for myself and close friends and family. This came in handy when I had delusions of trying to compete with the guys in the Long Drivers of America (LDA). While my swingspeed is fast enough to necessitate the replacement of caved heads and broken shafts from time to time, I was humbled back into the amateur ranks very quickly. But the LDA guys were one of the early groups that made me realize that lighter shafts aren’t necessarily better for distance.


When golfers think of a great classic driver, the seasoned ones would talk about persimmon and steel while most WRXers will speak with reverence to the TaylorMade R510TP.  This first re-launch of the Tour Preferred series was notorious for the high price tag as well as what justified the cost: the legendary Fujikura Speeder 757 shaft.  At one point, you were not considered a player if you didn’t have a Speeder 757 in your driver. At 78 or 79 grams (based on flex), it was much lighter than steel. But its tight profile and low torque made for a very accurate shaft that produced a lower spin rate and allowed for good distance when you wanted to take a healthy swing at the ball.


Today, the manufacturers continue to promise distance gains with a marketer’s perfect formula: lighter total weight and longer shafts. Many WRXers have poo-pooed this concept of longer shafts over the years, professing their love for 44.5 inch drivers. You can go back to the inception of this board to read the questions of how to get a D2 or D3 swingweight on a club that has had the stock length cut down. Today, with some drivers measuring as long as 47 inches, you may have to add 15-20 grams of mass to the head to get the balance back to the club.  Some of my early recollections of reshafting include removing the lightweight and big butt shafts from Callaway Great Big Berthas and Goldwin AVDP drivers to install 86 gram EI-70 shafts. My drives were much more accurate with the heavier driver shaft.


Until recently, this trend was applied only to woods and hybrids. But the next phase in the lighter/longer march by the OEMs has been irons. Lofts and lengths have literally made each iron one club longer than a similar numbered iron 25 years ago. And your 120-gram KBS or 130-gram True Temper Dynamic Gold shaft are now being substituted for 85-gram steel or 65-gram graphite. This was the norm for senior and ladies clubs for years. But these lighter weight clubs are now appearing in the men’s market as well.


Thankfully, most of the player or “pro” models still come with heavier shafts. But even there, you still have driver shafts in the 50-gram range, and they seem to be getting lighter each year. This follows the old club thought:


“Swing the lightest club that you can control.”


Posted Image

But control always seems to take a back seat to potential distance. I’m sure I could pick up 10-peak yards on a perfectly struck shot with a lighter driver shaft. However, the rest of my imperfect shots would suffer accuracy issues, whereas my heavier shaft would allow me a more consistent face contact and greater AVERAGE distance.  My thought when I have built clubs for friends and family was to “swing the heaviest club that did not noticeably cost you distance.”  My vindication for this is that your scoring clubs -- wedges and putters -- are trending heavier or maintaining their shaft weights. Read the GolfWRX thread about increasing accuracy and distance by going back to steel shafted drivers here: http://www.golfwrx.c...sic-should-look


I believe the quickest way to get someone to get excited about the game is to have them strike that one pure shot. Tin Cup described it as a “tuning fork going off in your loins” to Rene Russo, and he was right.  Hit that one shot and you will be back for more.  My experience has shown that more golfers would have more accurate shots with greater average distance with shaft weights in the following ranges:


Driver: 65-75 grams, 300 gram or more total weight

Fairway Woods: 80-130 grams

Hybrids: 90-130 grams

Irons and wedges: 110-140 grams


Compared to lighter equipment, most of your average male golfers will find the center of the face more often and realize more purely struck shots. This will increase your average distance and minimize the difference between your great shots and your misses.


The one argument that I cannot deny is the lighter weight in your bag if you are a walker. But consider that a golf ball weighs around 45 grams. The difference between heavy and light equipment for someone with three wedges is the equivalent of roughly three sleeves of balls in your bag. If that’s enough to break your back, then you should consider weight/endurance training or move to a push/pull cart. Fatigue at the end of the round from heavier gear is quickly fixed by strength training and sessions at the practice range.


Next time you visit your local clubfitter, pick their brain about being fitted into a slightly heavier shaft in your fairway, hybrid or driver by stressing that you want a more consistent and accurate swing instead of distance. You may find a new favorite club in your bag.


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#2 avrag

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:44 PM

I like these thoughts.
However, for people with slower swings, this means that they will have to go to a clubfitter, who can get real speciality shafts.
I just checked the custom shaft options for Titleist fairway woods, just because they offer the most options. There is only one shaft in the 80gr weight range, which is available in R flex, and that's the Aldila NV 85, at least in Europe. Other than that, you have to go light or you have to go stiff.
Now you might say that the slow swingers do actually need the lighter shafts. Judging from what I see every time on the course, when somebody is wielding a 46.5" driver with a 50gr shaft, I can only say that even for the swing speed challenged people like me, this is not true. .
I see a gap. There definitely is a gap.

#3 markp

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:07 PM

Great subject I wish the OEM's would go back to heavier shaft's in their woods and hybrids, and shorten standard club length would make it alot easier to reshaft a driver and get D2 or D3 swing weight vs ending up at C8 orC9

#4 KYMAR

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:17 PM

HOLY SHOOT! A wrx sponsored article I could not only stand to get to the end of, but actually enjoyed the reasoning behind it's premise! I would say more but i am going to go throw my 90G Epic in my F11 3 wood.

Well done Brad.
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#5 DaveMac

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:40 PM

Heavy has its place, it is a good match for high ball speed and quick tempo players. Heavy is also the most common option for wedges, but heavy it is simply not for everyone. It is not about heavy or light weight, it is simply about the 'right' weight.

OEM's have a wide range of custom shafts; it just requires a little research and testing on our part to find the correct model.


#6 markp

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:46 PM

 DaveMac, on 27 November 2012 - 06:40 PM, said:

Heavy has its place, it is a good match for high ball speed and quick tempo players. Heavy is also the most common option for wedges, but heavy it is simply not for everyone. It is not about heavy or light weight, it is simply about the 'right' weight.

OEM's have a wide range of custom shafts; it just requires a little research and testing on our part to find the correct model.
You are right about that and is great for irons, as for driver or fairways you can order heavier shafts witch is great only thing is if you request a certain swingweight  only a few OEM's will do that.

#7 bobcat

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:00 PM

I have always been a strong believer in heavier equipment.  I STILL play a 757 Speeder in my Driver, (77 grams),  and use Fuji Vista Pro 90 shafts, (90 grams), in both my FW's and Hybrids.  I use Steel shafts in my iron set and wedges.  I have no intention of EVER going with any ultralightweight equipment.  The OP is right on that real distance comes from better control and control is enhanced by heavier equipment.  

Great post by the OP!

Edited by bobcat, 28 November 2012 - 12:56 PM.


#8 Sean2

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:04 PM

Lately I've had some "luck" experimenting with heavier shafts in irons, which surprised me because all the experts told me that lighter was better.
Hey...be nice.

#9 PingDrv00

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:25 PM

I will agree with this premise well.  In the recent fitting that I had for the 913D3 we thought we had found the right fit, with the D+ 62 gram shaft.  The fitter told me he wanted me to try the D+ 72, and bingo both consistency, ball speed, and swing speed went up.  We also tried the same thought with irons, and I ended up with the best results with Dynamic Gold as well.  At least in my case the heavier weighted shafts tended to smooth out my own inconsistency.
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#10 Mulligan26

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:37 PM

Heavier has always been better for me 72g in the driver 85g in the 3w (95g next year!) 125 in the irons and 130g in the wedges. I actually want to try a heavier swing weight in my irons to help from getting over antsy when I want to nuke one


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#11 GIGTony

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

This is a valuable post.  Most golfers can get value by being tested with shafts of different weights.  Weight is important not just related to swing speed.  Shaft weight affects the golfer's club path - heavier shafts promote a more in-to-out path, lighter shafts promote a more out-to-in path.  

I am sure there is a good reason, beyond that they are so strong, that PGA players often play driver shafts of 80 grams or more.  I am certain that Sergio does.

I am also not sure I have seen any data that suggests that even a small majority of PGA players play the very light shafts.

#12 Hstead

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:18 PM

I have always found that heavier driver shafts fit me better.  I hit the ball farther with better dispersion.  I switched to a AXE 60g shaft this summer and it took me a while to get used to it.  I could play with it, and this was the first 60g shaft I have ever been able to keep down, but I had to make some adjustments in my swing.  I used to have my own LM in my basement and I had experimented a lot with shafts and I knew 80g shafts were better for me.  But I turned 40 and thought maybe I could gain something with the 60g.

I recently was fit for a 913 and sure enough, I walked out with the 82g D+.  I hit a ton of shafts that day in all weights and there was no comparison for me. I actually swung the 82g the fastest and the dispersion was night and day.  I hit light weight shafts high and right.
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#13 indianwoodpro

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:34 PM

:beruo:   E = mc2
E = 1/2mv2  

Energy imparted to the golfball = 1/2 mass of the club x velocity x velocity.
although the velocity is a squared component the mass of the club is also very important,

#14 Fade

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

 indianwoodpro, on 27 November 2012 - 08:34 PM, said:

E = 1/2mv2  

Energy imparted to the golfball = 1/2 mass of the club x velocity x velocity.
although the velocity is a squared component the mass of the club is also very important,

You describe the kinetic energy of the club (or club-head) but it isn't all imparted to the golfball. The clubhead doesn't lose all its energy at impact. Clubhead mass plays a role, but the formula for energy imparted to the golfball is more complex than you suggest.

#15 mwmilk123

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

983k with a fuji pro95 and a 975d with a DG s300, 2 best drivers i ever owned!

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#16 jdweaver

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:54 PM

I've been playing heavier weight in my 3 wd and hybrid for quite a while. Recently made the transition to some heavier PX 6.0 in my MP32 and my iron play has improved tremendously. Been feeling like I needed to do the same for my driver and I'm a little more excited about it after the great results with my irons.

#17 Shambles

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 10:42 PM

 DaveMac, on 27 November 2012 - 06:40 PM, said:

Heavy has its place, it is a good match for high ball speed and quick tempo players. Heavy is also the most common option for wedges, but heavy it is simply not for everyone. It is not about heavy or light weight, it is simply about the 'right' weight.

OEM's have a wide range of custom shafts; it just requires a little research and testing on our part to find the correct model.


I agree.

The whole idea is getting the right weight for you and your swing. Thankfully, there is a range involved and the weight needed does not have to be all that precise, so for any given time, clubs off the rack will work well for most players. There was a time I felt the need to make my clubs heavier for myself and added 3 grams to each iron. It worked for me and was distasteful to all my friends. I played them that way for 2 or 3 years and have since returned to the standard weight for reasons of my own. Clubs are a very personal affair and there are many ways to adjust them for your personal preference. However it's all a matter of what feels right to your hands and the search can be extensive and, done wrong, very expensive.


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#18 pdaero

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 12:03 AM

It definitely comes down to what the player matches to - I've found that I like a driver with a shaft around 70g, FW around 85g, hybrid 90-105g, irons in the 120-130g range, and wedges in the 130g range to maximize my control while helping with distance, and especially keeping my tempo in check. I get wayward QUICK when I begin my swing too quickly, and heavier shafts help with that.
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#19 tx33

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 03:30 AM

"swing the lightest shaft you can control"' for distance means going light(er) for >80% of 'normal' players. For high swing speed players (such as LDA wannabees & a disproportionate amount of WRXers :rolleyes:) with a strong transition shafts nowadays can become too light. There is only so much you can 'trick' with swingweight. Also the players feel (total weight, swingweight, balance point) can have an effect on how fast/accurate the club is swung. It's all about finding the right fit for your swing. Check out Tom's articles on shaft fitting. Those should IMHO be stickied in the WRXshop.

#20 Howard Jones

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:36 AM

Im in with DaveMac here, but i like to make a point that says that i consider total weight as more important than flex if we should put it on the edge. Most better players can adjust to a flex miss fit, but its close to impossible to adjust to a weight miss fit.

This year has been quite special when it come to OEM re-fittings in my shop
- Like always a shorter club is needed,(driver,woods and hybrids) but a red line trough it all has been lack of total weight.

Never forget what weight that fits you when you look for a new club. DONT jump on the super light trend, unless you find that to fit your needs. Look for shaft weight progression when you go shorter. Better players can look for up to 5 grams for each 0.5 shorter club when going from driver to woods, and up in hybrids.  NEVER go lighter in shaft weight as clubs go shorter if you found the level that fits you. Just compare your clubs to each other and you might find the problem if the is a miss fit somewhere.

Shaft weight is "#2 after shaft length who is #1 as fitting parameter.
- When length and weight is found, its time to look at flex and bend profiles, not before.


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#21 craz-e

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 04:57 AM

Heavier weight helps me maintain my tempo as well, something I can struggle with

#22 dpb5031

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:05 AM

Count me as one who has benefitted and improved since going lighter, and I'm a 1 hc with driver swing speed in the 105-107 range.  I weigh over 200 lbs., and am someone most would consider physically strong and athletic. I also used to play the Speeder 757, and did so with much success.  

I have had great success since going from 130 gram Dynamic Gold to 115 gram Ping CFS shafts in my irons (standard length and D2 swingweight.  I have also had great results with Cleveland's TL 310 with Myazaki ultralight C.kua 59x shaft, 45", D3 swingweight.

It may take a bit of time to adjust, but I believe most good players can do so easily if they give it a chance.  The benefits of "lighter" for me have been slightly longer drives and less elbow tendonitis problems.

#23 Golf Ball Wacker Guy

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

When you guys talk about going heavier, what kind of swing wights are you talking about?. I recently made the mistake of thinking I can reshaft my own irons. Thought I did enough question asking and research. I have been fighting with getting swing weights consistent and down. So this topic caught my attention. Needless to saw this hobby ended quickly

#24 tmfool

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:39 AM

heavier has merit - especially when consistency (and dispersion) are the goal

tried just about everything out there -- funny how Rombax 75 (driver) and Vista Pro 90 (3wd)
produce fw in reg
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#25 coops

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 08:48 AM

Used a Blueboard 83S then 73S for several years in my 9015D, at 44 1/2" length.

Now using a Nunchuk (~ 100gms ) at 44" length.
Have not seen any noticeable decrease in clubhead speed  ( using the usual indoor practice areas at Wilding golf, each bay with radar).

As far as swingweights... you can take a club made with a plastic head and a balsa wood shaft and make it swingweight at D2, and take a club with a soiid steel head and a solid rebar shaft and make it swingweight at D2.... but they won't feel remotely the same when you swing them :stink:   (and the plastic head would explode f you hit a ball with it....).

Swingweight was designed as a reasonable and easy way to get clubs to feel reasonably similar when swung  BUT it only works if the shafts increase in length by 1/2" per club, and the shafts remain the same weight ie ALL steel, same model.
Back in the day, this was fine as everyone used steel shafts in all their clubs inclcuding drivers, Fw's etc.

nowadays... jump from a 120g steel shaft 4 iron to a hybrid with a 70gm shaft and you can make a guess on how well the swing feel is going to match despite matching swingweights.

Tom Wishon has repeatedly pointed that if you do decide to use a lighter shaft for your driver, you would do well to have a higher SW compared to your irons to help you 'feel' the clubhead throughout the swing... or you could go down the MOI matched route and ditch swingweights altogether.


#26 rocker40

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:08 AM

What swingspeed is the breaking point?  What weighted driver should a 95-100 swingspeed play?  Ive tried the 70+ shafts and can get
more control over the driver but then i lose swingspeed because im not comfortable swinging that much weight?

Is the idea to go heavier and then shorter?

Ive always used a 60-65g shaft, but i do plan to experiment with a 70+ shaft.

Edited by rocker40, 28 November 2012 - 09:09 AM.


#27 Joshzilla

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 09:33 AM

I've recently been turned on to heavier shafts in my clubs, as well.  I had been playing shafts between 65-72 grams in my three wood.  Recently decided to take a chance on an 83g stiff Blueboard and it is easily my favorite club, with the most consistent results (not to mention long!).  Playing shafts in my hybrids in the high 90 gram range.  My irons are Dynamic Gold S300 and I like them, but I think I would benefit from a slightly higher swingweight.  My wedges are Dynamic Gold S400's and I love the feel.  It keeps me on play and I know where I am in my swing.

My driver is a 65g shaft and it is on it's way out.  Gonna try a 72g...but really tempted to go with something in the 80g range.  Heavier definitely seems to benefit me, especially when it is something with a noticeable kick.
Nike Covert Tour 2.0 w/ KK TiNi 60x
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#28 Florida Gator

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:07 PM

I agree 100%
Driver:  44" R11 with an 84 gram Bi-Matrix- this thing is a sledgehammer, it is also very accurate.
3 Wood- R11 12.5* with an 86 gram V2- Std Length- another accurate sledgehammer
Hybrid Rescue 11-  100 gram V2 Tour- 1/2" Over std
Irons and wedges- Project X- all 1" over std Mizuno/Vokey Length

The heavier clubs smooth my tempo and help to keep me from flailing my arms and chicken winging.  They also feel much better at the higher weights.

#29 Joshzilla

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

 Florida Gator, on 28 November 2012 - 01:07 PM, said:

I agree 100%
Driver:  44" R11 with an 84 gram Bi-Matrix- this thing is a sledgehammer, it is also very accurate.
3 Wood- R11 12.5* with an 86 gram V2- Std Length- another accurate sledgehammer
Hybrid Rescue 11-  100 gram V2 Tour- 1/2" Over std
Irons and wedges- Project X- all 1" over std Mizuno/Vokey Length

The heavier clubs smooth my tempo and help to keep me from flailing my arms and chicken winging.  They also feel much better at the higher weights.

What's you typical swing speed?  I'm usually in the 100-105mph range and the 80g driver shaft is kind of intimidating.
Nike Covert Tour 2.0 w/ KK TiNi 60x
Taylormade SLDR TP 3 wood
TMag RBZT 3-PW w/ KBS Tour
Ping Tour-S 54 & 60
Taylormade Ghost Tour Daytona 12

#30 getting_to_scratch

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

Heavy aids in the feel and translates to confidence IMO.

When they first came out with those ultra light drivers I never had one because I couldn't feel where the club head was during the swing...

Plus 1 on the add weight dept...

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