How to Swingweight a Set

March 23, 2011

This particular article will be helpful for LG, so I decided to go ahead and build up a post about this.

I recently swingweighted my iron set–KZG ZO blades. The shafts were shorter than I was used to, so I decided I wanted them to play at a higher swingweight in order to make up the lost leverage.

First things first, get your supplies in order:

1. Two-part epoxy – depends on size, but enough for this job is $5 or so.
2. ferrules – make sure you get the right size for your irons, which can range from .335 to .370; I bought mine on ebay, and you can really spend any amount of money you want to on them. Approximately $5, we’ll say. Search on ebay for “ferrule .XXX” where .XXX is the tip diameter you need.
3. Swingweights. This part is a little more difficult, and can be expensive. A full set of swingweights isn’t a good idea. I would recommend you figure out what you need first and then go online and buy them. I got brass weights on ebay from a great seller todd1186 (he’ll combine shipping if you just ask, see http://cgi.ebay.com/6-Gram-Brass-Tip-Weights-370-Steel-Iron-1-Dozen-/250722289456?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a60368730).
4. A swingweight scale. These can be anywhere from $20 used up to hundreds. If you’d prefer not to use one, you can always take them to your local golfsmith or edwin watts store and ask them to spec it out for you. If they’re not busy, they might actually do it, especially if you’re telling them you’re considering having them swingweighted.
5. Acetone. $4 at home depot
6. A kitchen/postal scale. $4-$6 on ebay
7. Lead tape (or other weight)

Now, that’s about it for supplies–sans paper towels, newspaper, and other cheap stuff.

Once you know what your current swingweight is, you can decide what you want it to go to. Typically, you will want to increase swingweight because OEM sets are typically a little light on the scale. Typical sets will run D0 or lighter. Most pros like Read the rest of this entry »

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Those who frequent the PF know how much I appreciate the ability to perform your own customization and repair work. Especially given the winter weather, I’ve spent a lot of time indoors and have had time to work on equipment (and posts about that work). Today’s post is no different.

I recently got a wild hare when I saw a post on GolfWRX about restoring a Scotty Cameron TeI3 putter (in 2 hours!). The pictures are gone, but the instructions still hold: http://www.golfwrx.com/forums/topic/444256-how-to-restore-a-scotty-tei3-in-2-hours/.

Following this advice, I got out the sandpaper (from the repainting thread, https://thepowerfade.wordpress.com/2010/11/30/repainting-a-club/) and purchased Birchwood Casey Super Blue and Alex Ultra (for elastomer). The B/C cost me about $9 (which was overprice–it should have been under $6, but it was convenient) and the elastomer cost me $4. I also purchased Sally Hansen Hard As Nails fingernail paint to do the paint fill ($2).

The instructions do an excellent job of laying out what to do, but I also got some personal attention from the OP. I purchased a TeI3 with a problem and decided to set myself to work. Here is what it originally looked like:

As you can see, there are rust spots and a few dings, including one on the rear flange and a pretty significant one on the face.

I started by taking a single bastard file (that’s what it’s called…really) which is basically just a flat file with only one line of “cutters.” As stated in the WRX post, I left the insert in the cavity while filing to make sure they were at least planed with respect to each other. The difficult part is getting it consistent without making big scratch marks. I found that the dings came out pretty easily, but the file itself left scratch marks that I had to massage with light pressure on the file and progressive grits of sandpaper to get smooth.

Once I had the dings out, the KEY is to make sure you POLISH IT with sandpaper–and do it EVERYWHERE. Don’t skimp. All the little crannies, all the surfaces, make sure each of them SHINE with at least 800 grit. I went up to 1000 or 1500 (cant remember which) just to be sure. It hurts. It takes forever. At this point, I was thinking “why the hell did I do this.”

Then, you blue it with B/C. In my experience, this was awful. I could never get it dark enough to make it look like either (1) original or (2) how the OP on WRX did. You have to put the gun blue on, then wait 30 seconds, wash with cold water, then smooth with steel wool, then rub with degreaser (I used Simple Green), then wash the degreaser off with cold water, then dry with a hairdryer until bone dry, and then reapply until the color is as dark as you want. However, I got to the point where I would put the blue on, work with the steel wool, and the color would come right back off with the steel wool. I finally resigned myself to the fact that it wasn’t going to get any darker and it looked OK as a light brown finish. After some more smoothing with steel wool, I cleaned it, oiled with baby oil, and degreased to make a nice clean surface. I put in the elastomer (as per the WRX post), screwed the insert in, and cleaned off. Then I applied the white “paint fill” (nail polish) and the gold paint fill (gold instead of copper because I had some gold lying around). The result is below:

Practice pointer here: if you’re using gun blue, WEAR THE GLOVES like the OP says. Otherwise, your hands end up smelling like cat piss for about 3 days (I know), and you can’t wash it off. Further, do the sanding outside/somewhere ventilated. And, most importantly, don’t be afraid to take your time. The project is kind of complicated (especially the first time). In fact, I’d recommend you don’t do it, but, then again, I did it, so I can’t prevent you from it. Hopefully it will turn out better for you. I just didn’t know how to gun blue. All in all, though, I’m actually pretty happy.

What it costs/what I needed:
1) a TeI3 putter (anywhere from $70 to $170 depending on how bad it is)
2) gun blue ($6)
3) elastomer ($4)
4) “paint” (about $5)
5) sandpaper (already had from previous postings, but about $10)
6) steel wool (about $3)
7) a hair dryer (you should probably have one)
8) paper towels (minimal)

For those of you who don’t follow PGA Tour policy changes, you’re missing out on a “hot” debate at the moment.  Camps are split on whether PGA Tour members should be required to play every event on the tour schedule at some point within a certain number of years. Essentially, the point of such a rule is to give a sponsor some assurance that, if they sign a long-term promotional deal, the top players on the Tour will play in their event.

The center of the debate is, of course, Tiger Woods.  Fans will know not only that Tiger does not play every event; he rarely plays what could be considered a full schedule for a regular touring pro.  Because he prefers to be in top form for each event he plays, he has set his annual schedule up so that he “peaks” for certain events.  This schedule has centered largely on a few choice events and the majors.  Tiger is not the only pro to take this tack to the Tour.  Rarely will any of the top players be found playing events such as the Viking Classic in Madison, MS.

My personal feeling is that such a rule is misguided.  Though I understand the desire to make the Tour’s product more valuable to potential sponsors, such a rule only pollutes the quality of the available product.  While we watch in awe as these players decimate the hardest courses weekend after weekend, we must realize that very few (if any) players currently play every event on the schedule in any number of years.  We think these pros would have no problem on any course they ever play, and while that’s true, they are only able to shoot those scores in the low 60s with local knowledge they develop from years of playing the same courses. Tiger’s schedule has afforded him the opportunity to learn the courses that really “fit his eye” and shoot amazingly low scores year in and year out.  Consider the difference in your own game if you were to only play one course for an entire year versus playing a different course every single weekend.  True, professionals are much better and should play any course significantly better the first time around than we do, but the difference between shooting 72 and 67 is nearly all in putting, which can be largely dependent on local knowledge.

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Response from JK:

I agree somewhat and disagree somewhat. I agree with you that the overall product of such a rule might dilute the quality of the Tour. Part of why we watch is to see those rare moments when the best battle the best and the chase comes down to the wire. Plus, implementation of such a rule would be very difficult–what happens if you don’t play in the required tournaments? You get fined? Kicked off the Tour? Forced to go to Q-School?

Still, I hesitate to agree with your disdain for such a plan. As I’ve already stated, the fun in viewing a PGA event is seeing the best in the world going head-to-head. That seems to be a MORE LIKELY occurrence if the best in the world are forced to play more often. In years gone by, it seemed like every week held a new battle. These battles led to some of the best and most infamous moments in the history of the Tour: Billy Mayfair dueling Tiger; Bob May’s duel with Tiger; Fred Couples’s magicly sticky ball at Augusta; Craig Stadler’s towel incident. Not all of these things happened in majors.

More importantly, the Tour as a whole benefits from such a rule. First, it attracts far better sponsors because those sponsors are guaranteed that they will have the best in the world at some point, creating a bigger viewing audience. Moreover, I think it helps the players themselves. Right now, there’s a lot of young talent that gets lost in the mix because the top 3, 4, or 5 players in the world dominate the air during any given tournament that has any field worth viewing. If the field were dispersed, you might see Anthony Kim win 2 tournaments in California then see Dustin Johnson win two in Florida, while Bubba Watson was in a duel with Phil Mickelson in another tournament. How much publicity would that generate leading into the Masters? The viewing public would think there were many horses in the race, which makes it far more interesting. Right now, the viewing public thinks there are only a few good players at the top and, otherwise, a pretty lacking field. Whether true or not, such an arrangement would make the game more exciting for everyone.

Just my opinion, though.

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Reply from LG:

I agree with you, JK, that the value of any given sponsorship would increase.  It certainly enticing to think that every single player on the Tour would be required to play in your event at some point during the next three years.  What we really need to resolve this issue is some data that tells us how much a “premium” tournament sponsorship goes for versus a “regular” tournament sponsorship is worth.  (Any help on that front, PGA Tour?)  With respect to enforcement, I think such a rule could be enforced through sanctions, fines, and peer pressure much as any other rule is enforced.  (See, for example, the groove rule).

As far as the epic battles, I think the reduction in the quality of play would limit the number of these kinds of epic battles.  If players don’t know the course as well, how can they make those huge putts?  Also, If everyone is required to play every event, it seems less likely that the top players’ paths will cross in any event.  Wouldn’t it be a shame if Tiger or Phil had to miss the WGC-Accenture Match Play to play in the Mayakoba Classic?!