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How and why to add lead tape to golf clubs

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Many tour pros apply lead tape to their clubs to alter the weight of the club, how it feels, affect the ball’s trajectory, and to help cure a swing defect.

Despite the increase of weight adjustability features in modern drivers, lead tape’s enduring prominence in today’s game is necessary to note. Here we’ll take a look at the ins and outs of the sticky stuff and how, why and where to add lead tape to your driver, irons, wedges and even putter.

Where to apply lead tape to help your golf game

Lead tape can be applied in a multitude of ways to a golf club, and its function is to increase the swing weight of the club, as a 1-inch strip of lead tape typically weighs about 1 gram. So not only can it help fix a common miss or change shot shape, the added weight can, in theory, help you hit the ball further and straighter.

Driver

Applying lead tape to your driver can help you fix your big miss

Applying lead tape to the big stick in the bag can alter a multitude of different factors. Let’s take a look at where to use an inch of lead tape depending on what your desired goals are/what your primary struggle is with the club.

Reduce a hook or to promote a fade

Add tape to the driver’s toe either outside the driver or beneath the toe, as the tape will slow down the clubhead’s rotation by restricting the release of the toe resulting in the clubface staying open longer.

To stop slicing the ball or promote a draw 

Place a strip of tape on the heel portion of the driver, typically on the bottom of the clubhead. In doing so, the heel will be weighed down by the added weight from the lead tape, allowing the toe to release more.

Higher trajectory and more forgiveness

If you’re struggling with a low ball flight and a lack of forgiveness on your drives, you can apply lead tape to the rear portion of the sole away from the face. This will pull CG (center of gravity) more rearward, resulting in a driver offering higher spin and launch.

Lower ball flight and spin

If you want a more penetrating ball flight off the tee, then apply lead tape on the front portion of the sole near the face. Doing so will reposition the CG low and forward, reducing spin rates while giving you a lower ball flight. 

Increase Swing speed

Placing led tape on the shaft of the club underneath the grip is a practice which Jack Nicklaus and Sergio Garcia have implemented throughout their careers. The method, known as counter-balancing, is said to make the club feel lighter and is designed to help a golfer gain extra swing speed. This has mostly gone out of fashion in favor of counter-balanced shafts and butt weighting, but it’s still on the menu. 

Depending on how big your miss is, use one strip to begin and adjust from there depending on results.

Irons

David Duval lead tape nike irons

C/o: @thejdog1. Applying lead tape to irons can help ball striking and shot shaping

The same general rules will apply when using lead tape with your irons.

Blades

Most pros will apply lead tape directly behind the middle portion of the iron with the added weight designed to help with accuracy. However, based on shot shape, using tape on either the heel or toe is certainly not uncommon.

Cavity Backs

If using cavity back irons, then place the lead tape directly into the cavity in the center of the club. Adjust to heel or toe depending on shot shape desire.

Wedges

Phil Mickelson Wedge Lead Tape

Phil Mickelson is a lover of lead tape and it often features on his clubs

Since you don’t shape your wedge shots, lead tape is applied directly behind the center of the wedge. In doing so, the heavier swing weight can benefit ball flight and ball striking. Some pros believe placing lead tape lower on the club will help increase launch as well. 

Putter

Tiger Woods putter lead tape

Tiger Woods using lead tape on his GSS Scotty Cameron at the 2019 Open Championship

Yes, you can even apply lead tape to your putter, and it’s something 15-time major champion Tiger Woods has done in the past. 

  • Sole of Putter: Placing lead tape on the sole of the putter will help square the putter at impact assisting those who struggle with opening or shutting the putter face.
  • Behind center of clubhead: Tiger often places lead tape in this position when competing on slower greens, with the added weight helping him hit putts hard enough.
  • Shaft: Players will sometimes add tape to the shaft to improve the overall tempo of the stroke.

How to apply the tape

The most important factor in applying lead tape to the club is ensuring the area is clean. Lightly sanding down the area with sandpaper can be beneficial also, to make sure the area is flat. After applying the tape to the desired spot, flatten it out with a golf ball.

lead tape golf

Lead tape remains a popular accessory on the PGA Tour

Is lead tape safe?

Yes, but avoid storing the stuff in your golf bag and use gloves when possible. Always store the tape in a safe and dry location.

Is lead tape legal?

Yes, but it must be placed on the club before the start of a round. The USGA states in Rule 14-3 that “Lead tape may be applied to the head or shaft of the club for the purpose of adding weight (see Decisions 4-1/4 and 4-2/0.5)”

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of the benefits of lead tape, and how you can apply it to help your game.


A final word from our friends at @leadtapechronicles about the sticky silver stuff.

“Lead tape on each club serves a purpose. Not every club has the same weight in the set so it is a great way to get a matched feel throughout your set, or help a certain club accomplish a certain tendency with ball flight.”

 

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Tony Dyck

    Dec 14, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Here we go again. Some guy (who should know better) perpetuating this myth that a few grams of lead tape is going to change your shot shape. Expected better from an editor on WRX.

  2. Nihonsei75

    Dec 13, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    A few layers of thick Gorilla tape with nail polish for the edges gives cool color and shaping to contours and cavity options, cut to precision! Can’t add pics 🙁

  3. geohogan

    Dec 12, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    An alternative to lead tape for hollow woods and irons
    is poly stuffing. The kind used to stuff cushions.
    Weighed in advance, a measured amount can be stuffed.(doesnt retain moisture)

    It expands equally when pushed inside the cavity of woods and hollow irons
    to increase weight equally without upsetting center of gravity.

    Can also be used to muffle sound of some irritating sounding clubheads.

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Equipment

2021 TaylorMade Spider X, EX, S, and SR putters offer improved roll, feel, and forgiveness

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Building putters is about creating options and incorporating technology. For TaylorMade’s all-new Spider putters for 2021—including the Spider X Hydro Blast, EX, Spider S, and SR—it’s the little details that make big differences.

“With this new class of Spider putters, we focused on removing two of those variables: aim and alignment … While each putter brings something unique to the table, they are bonded by a foundation of forgiveness, stability, and True Path alignment that makes it easier to aim.” – Bill Price, Product Creation, Putters & Wedge

The idea of a “classic” golf club or putter shape won’t generally have people reminiscing about a TaylorMade Spider, but the design has been around for well over a decade—and although it has gone through some design tweaks over the years, the modern Spider is here to stay

Spider X Hydro Blast

This putter is all about small changes to an already great design with the most notable being the Hydro Blast finishing process. The new Spider X also features

  • The classic Spider X head shape, available in both a face-balanced double-bend and a smaller slant neck with 21 degrees of toe hang.
  • Multimaterial construction to offer maximum stability and increased MOI.
  • White True Path for a high-contrast look that is easy to align

Availability and Price

Preorder for the Spider X Hydro Blast starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $279.99.

The new Spider X will be available in stock lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35″ be completed with a KBS Chrome C-Taper Stepless shaft and Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider EX

With the Spider EX, TaylorMade is flexing its putter design capabilities when it comes to face technology to improve roll and feel. The Spider EX features a new co-molded insert made of white TPU urethane and small aluminum beams angled at 45°. This combination of materials gets the ball up and rolling quicker and also creates a soft yet solid feel to improve player feedback.

Speaking of feedback and feel the Spider EX has a newly designed “Fluted feel” shaft with a more flexible portion starting 5″ below the tip to add stability while also maintaining a softer feel through the stroke,  and is slightly larger than the Spider X to increase MOI.

Availability and price

Preorder for the Spider EX starts today, March 2, with putters arriving at retail starting March 12 with a price of $349.99 – See chart for full color availability.

The stock options will include lengths of  33″, 34″, and 35″, the TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to top it off a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S and SR

It’s about options and alignment. The Spider S uses geometry and topline sights to help golfers who prefer to use the width of the ball for accurate sighting.

The Spider S also offers the same Fluted Feel shaft and white TPU Pure roll insert to create a soft feel.

The Spider SR is the “Stability Monster” of the 2021 TaylorMade putter lineup and utilizes multiple weights around the head to raise MOI.

While the Spider S’s alignment system is for players who use the front of the putter, the SR places the True path alignment away from the face and between the wings. This allows golfers to use the clean topline and parallel wings to line up to the intended path while still offering a visual aid to behind the ball.

Availability and Price

The Spider S and SR putters will be available for preorder March 2 and will land at retail beginning April 9, with a price of $279.99. The stock configurations will include lengths of 33″, 34″, and 35 and they will be completed with a TaylorMade Fluted Feel shaft and to topped with a Super Stroke Pistol GTR 1.0 grip.

Spider S options

Spider SR options

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Equipment

‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been trying to help out WRXer ‘RkoDavey’, who is struggling to chip with forged wedges. ‘RkoDavey’ kicks off the thread saying:

“For most of my golfing life, I’ve struggled to chip with my sand wedge but usually have no trouble when I use my gap wedge, and I’m starting to wonder if this is related to my equipment. My gap wedge is part of my P790 iron set, but no sand wedge is available, so I play an Adams Tom Watson forged 56-degree wedge (bounce is 13 degrees).

 I can’t tell you how many times I chunk little greenside chips with my Adams wedge, but if I chip with my gap wedge, the club seems to glide right through the turf, and I have much better results. My problems arise when I have little green to work with and need the ball to stop quick–my gap wedge simply isn’t the right tool for that type of shot.”

And he poses two questions for fellow members to help him out:

“First, is there something about forged wedges that makes them radically different from your typical gap wedge that comes with a set of irons? I had this same issue with the previous irons I owned, and I wonder if it’s my equipment or if it’s all in my head.

Second, what recommendations can you give for a 55 or 56-degree sand wedge that will perform similar to my gap wedge?”

Our members have been sharing their thoughts 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.

  • IPA4me: “Check the bounce. Also, consider cavity back wedges for the added forgiveness.”
  • mootrail: “You’re comparing your super hot face hollow body set wedge to an ancient stamping with zero modern wedge design parameters. They might be perfectly fine for some, but the first thing to do is to toss them out. There are a few hollow body wedges out there, but it’s your swing and conditions first. You need to get to the shop and test them out.”
  • jomatty: “I’d check the leading edge between the two clubs.”

Entire Thread: “‘Can’t seem to chip with forged wedges'”

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: GtiClay

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of GtiClay.

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: GtiClay

GtiClay WITB

“I used to do the WITB more often here. It’s been a REALLY long time. Maybe more than 10 years, and I, unfortunately have only 1 year where I played more than 20 rounds in a year since then. I’m gonna play more… a lot more in the coming years as I’m turning 48 this year and want to have a damn good birthday week at Bandon when I turn 50.

My goal is sub 5 handicap by then. I have still been mostly playing i3 blades and TM 300s. But I want to convert to ‘legal grooves’, so I just picked up my first new set of irons in maybe 15 years. The i210’s… so here’s my current WITB.”

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (10.5 degrees turned a bit to “lower” as I like a slightly open face at address)
Shaft: Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X @ 44.5″

3-wood: TaylorMade R9 paintbreak TI (15 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped Ozik Matrix 80M Black Tie X

5-wood: Tour Edge Exotics “ladies edition” (18 degrees)
Shaft: Tipped OG Aerotech SS85 X

Irons: Ping i210 (3-9i)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 46 @ 47*, 54 @ 53*
Shafts: KBS Tour 130X

Callaway PM grind 60*, shaft TBD

(note – this is cold weather setup.  I plan to drop the 3 wood and add my 2019 PM grind 58* and 64* with S400 when it warms up and I need it.)

Putter: Scotty Cameron JAT, TaylorMade Ghost Marenello 355g, both at 34″.

The JAT is somewhere else and due to Covid I haven’t been able to get it, but as soon as I can, I’ll put it into play.

Grip: Stock Pistol

Golf Ball: I love the Callaway HX balls in the wind, but will play most any premium urethane ball that is on sale.

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord BCT midsize with 2x extra tape.

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

 

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