Let 2nd Swing’s professional clubsmiths use old and new techniques to make your club all your own with precision grinding, grip fitting, individualized club stamping and so much more. Check it out today! Very cool.

hand stamping

Customization: Hand Stamping

The Art of Clubsmithing: First up, Custom Hand Stamping

2nd Swing Golf offers premier golf club customization services.

hand stamping

When I look at a golf club that has been customized, I immediately become intrigued. 

Not only does this mean that you enjoy golf enough to collect a set, but that you also take pride in the clubs that help you get goosebumps when that ball really listens to exactly what you are talking about. That feeling once is a cure for even an entire lifetime of bad play.

So if we can achieve that feeling more often through the aid of customization, I say let’s get those teeth clenched and fists pumping as you stare down a flagstick.

From the weighting of the head to the size of a grip, any club can be modified and better suited to perform the feats you require. Any swing can be hindered or improved on by the properties of one’s golf set. Not to say that our human nature can not overcome through trial and understanding our ability to adjust to any steel rod with a chunk of metal on the end.

It is just that with each unique swing, we can find that unique customized club for you. We can set that club to your desired specifications and design it to help you send that ball to its proper destination. And, yes, that comes with priority shipping without an up-charge of a swing modification.

hand stamping

Let’s get to the real heart of why I write to you today. I am currently challenged with the task of detailing the workings of our professional club smith, Robert Reitz.

Reitz has been on staff with 2nd Swing Golf working daily on the art of club customization for many years as a complement to his love for the game. I am lucky enough to spend some time with Reitz watching him work and capturing some images of the processes involved in his modifications as the company’s lead photographer.

I have to say that there was a time before I began my work at 2nd Swing when I said, “I know a lot about golf.”

Through Reitz’s work, he has been continuously letting me know that I had no idea what I was talking about.

Through a series of updates, I will let you all know my findings. From the perspective of watching the customization take place, to the literal calculated benefits that can be received from each unique customization.

Since I felt compelled to tell you a bit about the premise of my mission, I think today I should leave you with a quick article on hand stamping.

Hand stamping is basically driving a steel stamp into the back or face of an iron, wedge or putter.

hand stamping

After you decide on what you would like embedded into your club, you are then ready to get to work. Common stampings would most likely be one’s initials, along with college or team names and symbols of encouragement. From my initials of D.R.B., to a slogan like “Roll Tide,” stamping is something that could possibly help bring the confidence for consistency, or at the very least, deliver a smile.

When hand stamping, you must first secure the club to a solid mount. Reitz uses industrial double-sided tape to fix the wedges to our reinforced workbench. Then, the metal stamp is struck firmly into the club. The striking is where the skill comes in for this particular modification.

With the quality of the stamp and the weight of the hammer aside, if the stamp is struck too hard or too soft, the impression could be faint, or have a halo from the tip of the stamp being driven into the metal. A quick double tap also can end in a hologram effect in the metal.

So a skilled hand with proper force always is recommended. When a club is properly hand stamped, there will be a mushroom effect around the stamp where the metal is pressed up and out of the impression, thus the term. This is a sign that the club has been genuinely hand stamped.

Once we have the stamping firmly impressed into club, we can now look to coloration. Color is added with a paint marker for ease of use, or you could use a tiny brush and a steady hand. Either way, it is best to use paint that is bondable to metal. The excess then is wiped from undesired areas, and the club is ready for play as soon as soon as the paint is dry.

hand stamping

This customization is something that can be done by our club smith. For more information on all forms of customizing clubs, just email Reitz at robert@2ndswing.com and set something up.

This added personalization can help you play proud. And for the good people of the Upper-Midwest, join me in getting back out there this year and enjoying this life we call golf.

Thank you.

 

 

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Customization: Shaft Tipping, Cutting and Gripping

The Art of Clubsmithing: Custom Shaft Tipping, Cutting and Gripping 

Start with the right fit for you

Distribution of force during a golf swing starts from one’s core and flows down through the arms, along the shaft and is delivered at impact between the ball and the clubhead.

Now, that sounds simple enough (Right?), but there are many points along this chain of distributed energy where power and control can be lost. As we all know or could imagine, in golf we should try and harness every foot or pound of torque and every variable per second of velocity.

The problem is if we lose control and power in the shoulders, elbows or wrists — then we lose control of the shaft’s effectiveness and the club itself. The loss of power in one’s body is a whole separate issue and requires a swing analysis, or at the very least, a lesson or two.

However, with the shaft, we can always find a match that’s best for you. 

clubsmithing

Let’s get a run down-on shafts. Shafts come in different flexes, here are some flex suggestions based upon swing speed. These figures are taken from TaylorMade’s fitting system:

Shaft Flex Selection (Driver)

Carry Distance – Swing Speed – Flex

Less than 180 yards — Less than 75 mph — Ladies (L)

180 to 200 yards — 75 to 85 mph — Senior (A)

200 to 240 yards – 85 to 95 mph  –  Regular (R)

240 to 275 yards — 95 to 110 mph — Stiff Firm (S)

More than 275 yards — More than 110 mph — Tour Extra Stiff (X)

clubsmithing

Shaft Flex Selection (6-iron carry distance)

Carry Distance — Swing Speed — Flex

Less than 100 yards — Less than 60 mph — Ladies (L)

100 to 130 yards — 60 to 70 mph — Senior (A)

130 to 155 yards — 70 to 80 mph — Regular (R)

155 to 175 yards — 80 to 90 mph — Stiff Firm (S)

More than 175 yards — More than 90 mph — Tour Extra Stiff (X)

clubsmithing

The importance of torque in golf

Torque is basically how much the shaft twists and allows the clubhead to open or close at impact. The firmer the shaft, the less torque is distributed down the shaft. So the head will be less active on impact with the ball if there is less torque.

Flexes are extremely important for proper contact when ball striking. This is because the “shaft kick” and the torque of the shaft during impact. This will change the loft of the club as well as the angle of the face at the moment of impact.

Everyone should know that flex absolutely is extremely important and helpful for any and all players. Flex can help add yards to any drive as well as help a club become square at impact if the shaft is properly fit to your specifications. With this said, if improperly fit the shaft can hurt yardage as well as create some serious problems with the clubface at impact. Proper shaft fitting is something that no player should overlook if they want to improve their game.

Torque is a specification that is found on most shafts and can be played to your advantage. However, if unchecked the torque can really throw off your ball flight by affecting spin rates. 

There was a previous article on our blog that detailed shaft “kickpoints.” Kickpoints are very important for every player. The kickpoint is part of what defines the degree of loft at impact. If we want to drop the ball flight down, we can get a shaft with a firm tip.

The shaft Master winner Bubba Watson uses is a Bi-Matrix Shaft with a steel tip to help almost eliminate tip flex. To increase the height of your ball flight, we can find a shaft with a lot of tip flex to help add loft to your clubface at impact.

Now that we see the importance of flex, let’s get into the modification process. Just about any shaft can be tipped to fit into your club. Where older clubs are shafted straight into the head, newer clubs have shafts tipped to allow of adjustability as well as ease in changing shafts.

clubsmithing

Tipping a shaft involves the removal of the paint from the tip of the shaft to allow the epoxy glue to form a strong bond to the shaft. This is done either with a hand tool or a grinding wheel.

A grinding wheel can remove the paint, however. So to be more precise with the paint removal, it is usually preferred to have the paint removed with a hand tool to guarantee that the shaft’s graphite composition is not damaged and that only the paint is removed.

Once the paint is removed, the inside of the shaft tip is scoured with a tool to give greater surface area inside the tip. This also allows the epoxy to have a stronger bond to the inside of the tip. With the proper epoxy mixture we then coat the inside of the tip as well as coating the tip of the shaft itself. The tip is then slid onto the shaft and adjusted to insure the epoxy is even inside the tip  and that the tip is properly aligned with the shaft to allow for the adjustability to be correct with the manufacturer’s specs.

Once the tip is secured and the epoxy has dried creating a strong bond, we can now move onto shaft cutting. Shaft length is equally important as shaft flex. With a shaft that is too long, we can face difficulty with the control of the clubhead. The longer the shaft, the stronger one’s wrists must be to get the club square at impact.

clubsmithing

But a longer shaft will produce a higher swing speed. A good analogy for this is to reference the gears on a bicycle. With a larger gear, you can get faster speeds with the same effort given for a small gear. However, to start pedaling in high gear can prove extremely difficult. In golf that would be like having a shaft that is too long to consistently hit square by leaving the clubhead open at impact.

Here are some Taylor Made’s specifications on shaft lengths:

Men’s New Modern Standard Length

Club – Graphite – Steel – Ladies

Driver — 45 to 46 inches — N/A — 44 to 45 inches

3-wood — 43 inches — 42.5 inches — 44 to 45 inches

5-wood — 42.5 inches — 42 inches — 41.5 inches 

7-wood — 42 inches — 41.5 inches — 41 inches 

Utility No.  3 graphite — 40.5 inches — 40 inches — 39 inches 

Utility No.  4 graphite —  40 inches — 39.5 inches — 38.5 inches

Utility No.  5 graphite  – 39.5 inches — 39 inches — 38 inches 

Utility No.  6 graphite – 39 inches — 38.5 inches — 37.5 inches

3-iron – 39 inches — 38.75 inches — 38 inches 

4-iron – 38.5 inches – 38.25 inches – 37.5 inches

5-iron –  38 inches — 37.75 inches — 37 inches

6-iron  – 37.5 inches — 37.25 inches — 36.5 inches

7-iron – 37 inches — 36.75 inches — 36 inches

8-iron – 36.5 inches — 36.25 inches — 35.5 inches 

9-iron — 36 inches — 35.75 inches — 35 inches

Pitching Wedging – 35.5 inches — 35.5 inches — 34.5 inches 

Gap Wedge — 35.5 inches — 35.5 inches — 34.5 inches 

Sand Wedge — 35.25 inches — 35.25 inches — 34.25 inches

Lop Wedge — 35 inches — 35 inches — 34 inches

Note: All the estimates are different on their standard length and loft. These figures are an average.

Any shaft can be cut down to find the point where we achieve maximum clubhead speed without sacrificing control. One thing to keep in mind is when a shaft is cut down, it will become stiffer. As the strength of the shaft remains the same, the distance between flex points is decreased. So, you always have to factor in the cutting process when assessing your desired shaft flex.

Cutting is done with a high-powered cutting wheel from the desired length at the butt of the shaft.

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Once the shaft is cut, we can now grip the club. Gripping is done by wrapping the butt of the shaft with grip tape. When wrapping the shaft, we can add extra grip tape to add girth to the grip. If we have a midsize grip that we would like to make a little bit larger, we can wrap the shaft several times with tape to add grip size.

The grip is then slid onto the shaft with an air-compressed gripping attachment. If you want to kick it old-school, you can bust out your bottle of grip solvent and force that bad boy onto the shaft by hand. But I can personally attest that the air gun makes gripping a whole new game when it comes to ease of use.

clubsmithing

Once the shaft is cut, we can now grip the club. Gripping is done by wrapping the butt of the shaft with grip tape. When wrapping the shaft, we can add extra grip tape to add girth to the grip. If we have a midsize grip that we would like to make a little bit larger, we can wrap the shaft several times with tape to add grip size.

The grip is then slid onto the shaft with an air-compressed gripping attachment. If you want to kick it old-school, you can bust out your bottle of grip solvent and force that bad boy onto the shaft by hand. But I can personally attest that the air gun makes gripping a whole new game when it comes to ease of use.

clubsmithing

At 2nd Swing, we have a large selection of upgraded shafts for any and all to come in and try. We have professional fitters who can help you find exactly what shaft flex, tip strength and shaft length works best for your unique swing. We also have a large selection of grips that can be added to your new or current clubs. Remember you are always welcome in either of our Minnesota locations to try out all of our inventory as well as free fittings with all club purchases.

If you happen to be out of state, or would like to browse the possibilities from the comfort of your own home I strongly recommend taking a look at 2ndswing.com. From rare and unique clubs to the best deals on genuine pre-owned clubs, 2nd Swing has you covered. As always, it is a pleasure to write to you on the possibilities of club customization and how all of this can help you enjoy a round on our fine U.S. courses.

For any customization questions or requests, please do not hesitate to email 2nd Swing Golf clubsmith Robert Reitz at Robert@2ndswing.com. We are also happy to talk about your game via telephone at (612) 216-4152, or go online to 2nd Swing’s fitting page.

Please see our images of the tipping, cutting and gripping processes for more details. Thank you for the read, and I hope all the best as you march the fairways this year.

 

 

 

 

clubsmithing

Golf Club Customization: Hot Melting and Club-Bias Weighting

Golf Club Customization: Hot Melting and Club-Bias Weighting

The Art of Golf Clubsmithing: How custom golf club work can improve your game

“You can talk to a fade, but a hook won’t listen.” – Lee Travino

Words that can easily be understood by golfers who have lost a drive deep out to their weak sides. The question really is: “How do I correct this?” 

There are drills and training aids to help your clubface become more square with the ball on impact. These can help you build good habits, but there is an additional way of going about this. 

Add weight to the toe of your driver.  

With a heavy toe, you could add resistance between you and closing the clubface on impact. Lead tape is a solution, although not one that is as structurally sleek as other options.

Golf Club Customization

Now, you may hit the TaylorMade SLDR driver, a SuperQuad — or any other driver with adjustable weights. That would mean that you can adjust the sliding/fixed weights to become fade or draw biased.

Fade biased is to help get the ball to hook less from right to left.

And draw biased is to help the ball slice less from left to right (That’s for right-handers.).

To have a club with a fade bias, we would add weight to the toe of the driver. This is to try and help keep the face more open at impact. Thus removing the spin that causes a hook.

Golf Club Customization

For a club with draw bias, we would add weight to  the heel of the driver. This would try and help close the face on impact. Thus removing the spin that causes a slice.  

Golf Club Customization

I found a lot of language out on the Internet that really confused me on which was a draw bias and which was a fade bias, so hopefully this will be a bit clearer. 

Now for how hot melting applies to all of this. Hot Melting is a procedure where a driver is internally filled with a specific amount of a special glue/adhesive. If the glue is added to the toe, the club can help you hook the ball less. If the weight is added to the heel, hot melting can help you slice less. 

Golf Club Customization

There also is an affect on the sound of the club when you insert hotmelt. This soft glue can help take the bang out of your driver by absorbing/dampening the sound waves bouncing around in your driver just after impact. So if your club needs a silencer, you can add some hot melt to the very center of your driver as to not offset the weight of your driver. 

Is there a rattle in your driver? Small pieces of old glue and metal can clang in your head making it seem like you have a long maraca at the tee. With hot melt adhesive in your driver, those loose pieces will stick to the adhesive and stop that jingle-jangle. 

A good question here is: “Does hot melting aid players with straight or very controlled ball flight paths?”

Yes, hot melting is something that is done on tour to help subtle ball-flight adjustments. If we want the ball to have a slight bend to the right, we add a slight amount of hot melt to the toe. The same concept can be applied to your driver with the proper fitting and attention. 

There also is an affect on the sound of the club when you insert hotmelt. This soft glue can help take the bang out of your driver by absorbing/dampening the sound waves bouncing around in your driver just after impact. So if your club needs a silencer, you can add some hot melt to the very center of your driver as to not offset the weight of your driver. 

Is there a rattle in your driver? Small pieces of old glue and metal can clang in your head making it seem like you have a long maraca at the tee. With hot melt adhesive in your driver, those loose pieces will stick to the adhesive and stop that jingle-jangle. 

A good question here is: “Does hot melting aid players with straight or very controlled ball flight paths?”

Yes, hot melting is something that is done on tour to help subtle ball-flight adjustments. If we want the ball to have a slight bend to the right, we add a slight amount of hot melt to the toe. The same concept can be applied to your driver with the proper fitting and attention. 

Golf Club Customization

2nd Swing Golf offers free fittings for any clubs purchased from us. We use the same hot melting technologies as the TaylorMade Tour Van.

If you want to have an adjustment done on your club, have your club fit at one of our two Minnesota store locations. We can help you find what bias you need.

Or if you already know what you want done with your club, please contact us or our on-staff clubsmith Robert Reitz directly via email at robert@2ndswing.com to discuss what modification you desire and to what specifications. If you would like help over the phone on what works best for you, please call (612) 216-4152.