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Things That Amaze Me
There's a line in an obscure movie called "Joe Versus The Volcano" starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. They are in the middle of the Pacific, on a boat sailing to Joe's fate with a volcano, when Meg Ryan shares that her daddy told her that most people live their entire lives half asleep. They miss most of what happens around them. But the others, well, they live their lives in constant amazement.

I've always identified with that concept, and try to stay amazed at this wonderful world around us. But today's amazement is with the golf clubs I keep running into as more and more acquaintances realize that we can show them more about their golf clubs than they ever knew. Here are a couple of recent "case studies."

“What specs?”

One of the better players at our club wanted to have us build him a set of the new SCOR4161 pre-production proofs, which we have not made available for sale. I agreed, and so he asked to have them ½” long to match his custom-fit blades from a major brand. We built them to that spec and delivered them, and when I asked a few days later how he liked them, he told me they were too long. I was puzzled and had him come by the shop with his clubs and let’s see what was up. Well, turns out his custom-fit major-brand blades were all ½” short of standard, not ½” long as they had been fitted and ordered. He’s been playing them for almost two years and is just now finding that out.

“Tolerances”

In a conversation the other day with another friend who’s taken a keen interest in what we do with custom wedges and scoring clubs, he told me about a set of custom-fit, custom-built irons he had received from another major brand a few years ago. Seems he was fitted 2* upright, but when he got the irons, he was hitting them awful and the divots were “strange”. The pro put them on the loft/lie machine and found that the lie angles ranged from standard up to 5* up. As he tells the story, when they called the company, they were told that “our tolerances for lofts and lies are plus or minus 3 degrees.” I can’t imagine a “pro line” brand having that kind of tolerances, but if that’s true, that could mean a full club difference, or a 7- and 6-iron that are just alike, or worse.

“Bursting the Bubble”

This last one happened just last night. Our younger assistant professional, who has worked for us at EIDOLON in his spare time, is taking a new position at a club in north Texas. He’s just joined the staff of still another major brand, so he has his new sticks and bag with his name on it, and he’s a proud puppy.

Before he leaves on Sunday, he wanted to come in and re-shaft his hybrid, and get a set of the SCOR4161 production proofs built so he could show them off at his new gig. So, his hybrid was measuring out to be a very soft Regular flex, which I knew was wrong. To figure out where the hybrid needed to be built, we took measurements off his new irons and I was appalled at what I found. So was he.

His irons were ordered to be stiff shafts, tipped ½” to make them a little firmer. What we found on the frequency analyzer was a reasonably consistent set of sticks . . . but with shaft frequencies running between an ‘A’ and Regular flex! They were at least two full flexes softer than what he thought he had, and that explains his high and erratic ball flight. Needless to say, his bubble about his first staff gig was burst wide open, and a sales rep will be getting a call this morning.

It’s no secret that many major brands are taking drastic measures to reduce costs. Some are even moving club assembly to China and/or Mexico, which makes me sad, especially for the majority of golfers who don’t have access to a full club facility to know what they are buying. [That won’t happen here, I promise you!]

The moral of this story is not to pound on the major brands, but to advise you to be cautious when you purchase mass production clubs of any brand. When you build tens of thousands of drivers or sets of irons, you have to rely on assembly-line procedures to get it done. Assembly lines require tolerances. And that’s not good for your golf.

Smart golfers would have any new club(s) they purchase checked by an independent professional for adherence to spec before you ever strike a ball with them.

I’m just sayin’ . . .
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
el_pato_real says:
100% agreed. I took my special ordered irons directly to a lie/loft machine to check them out. They were spot on, but I know that doesn't always happen.
7/8/11
 
Bravanboy says:
My Ping irons were ordered as 2* upright - Green Dot. After a period of playing with them they were measured to be standard - Black Dot. So much for going to be measured for, and ordering, a "Quality" set of clubs.
7/9/11
 
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An albatross is a double eagle.
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psulion32 says:
In my experience when you special order specs that are not standard their tolerance is much closer than when you just take something off the shelf. But I agree, have everything you buy checked out by a place that knows what they are doing.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
 
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