Tales From The Golf Lab
A side story to what we do every day at SCOR Golf – building what we believe to be the finest scoring club concept to ever come along – is that the word is out locally that we have a sophisticated golf equipment laboratory that can dissect any club to find out what it really is. More and more friends and acquaintances come over to have us tear apart a golf club to see just what it is, and then they go out into the world and tell the horror story. I’ve shared a few of our “discoveries” with you over the past few years, but they just keep coming and it’s not like me to keep things to myself.

The challenge to me as a golf blogger who is, first and foremost, a golf club geek, but who also happens to run a premium golf club company, is that I don’t want to seem like I’m always bashing the major brands. But darn it, these guys keep sending me case studies that wear me out, and I want to shout from the rooftops what I see on a weekly basis to help my readers avoid these kinds of situations. Here are two of the past week or so, and a tip for all of you who are in the market for any kind of golf clubs.
  1. What kind of shaft is that anyway? A friend of mine sees me on the range from #13 fairway a couple of weeks ago, and walks over with his 3-wood and says, “Terry, I can’t hit this worth a s---. Can you figure out what’s wrong with it?” I took his club, a major brand with a graphite shaft, and put it on the frequency analyzer. The shaft, marked “Stiff”, was between a ladies and seniors flex! And it was so non-symmetrical that it oscillated all over the place. There was no way he could ever hit it. I shared that with him, and told him to have the pro send it back. But he told me he’d rather just have me rebuild it with a good shaft. I put a UST Mamiya ProForce in it and he loves it.

  2. Are these really ‘custom’ irons? So, another friend who knows what we can do in our lab brings in a brand new set of forged blades he had custom made by another major brand. He told me flat out, “I know what I ordered; I want to see what I got.” So, we charted the lengths, lofts and lie angles and swingweights, and they were pretty consistent – ½” long, 1* upright. But when I put them on the frequency machine, they were pushing the ‘X’ flex profile, though ordered as a Stiff. The puzzling thing was that though they had hit his requested D0 swingweights, the clubs were much heavier in total weight than I would have guessed. So he said, “Tear ‘em apart and see why”. So we pulled the heads off this brand new $1,000 set of irons, and cut off the grips. That’s when we discovered this particular brand’s method of getting the lighter swingweight – they use weighted tape under the grip. So, the customer wants a lighter club, and they make it heavier in the butt to fool him into thinking it is. I personally find that appalling.
So, the moral of this story is simple -- you have two choices in golf equipment. One, you can buy from the major brands and blindly choose to believe you got what you ordered and your shot problems are all your own fault. Or, two, you can make it a point to learn more about what makes golf clubs tick, find a qualified golf club professional who can accurately tell you what you bought, and you can hold these guys accountable.

It’s your money, but I’d be really p---ed off if I had spent $300 on that 3-wood or $1,000 on that set of irons.

And don’t get me started on this trend to adjustable drivers . . . . or ask me and I’ll tell you what I see with those dang things.
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.

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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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