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Authorized Miura Dealer in San Francisco

MOI-MATCHED CUSTOM FIT WITH THE RIGHT SHAFT FOR YOUR SWING.

We are a featured dealer and fit with the full range of Miura clubs.

GOLF CONDITIONING
Monday
Aug222016

Club Head Speed

Club head speed at impact with the golf ball is the main factor in determining ball speed and distance achieved. The faster you can swing the club, the longer the ball will fly. Hit the ball straight with good impact quality and the ball will gain more distance, the holy grail of driver performance. It also matters for irons.

Greater clubhead speed is helped by having less weight in the club, and it's achieved most easily by using a light weight shaft. New graphite fiber formulations have yielded exceptionally stable super light weight stable shafts for drivers. Similarly, new steel alloys and manufacturing methods have improved lightweight stable steel shaft playability. 

Not all lightweight shafts are created equal. Differences in the distribution of stiffness (EI) and weight and materials strength through the length of the shaft are important in matching shaft responsiveness to a golfer's swing mechanics. Quality of materials and shaft production consistency also matter.

Most golfers are conditioned to the generalization that high torque shafts are "whippy" or too soft and difficult to control at any swing speed. While it was true for many early production shafts produced with generic graphite materials that made them flex like fishing rods, those days are long gone.

Current lightweight graphite shafts made with premium composite mixtures and unique construction methods can be engineered for unprecedented stability while retaining great feel and balance. Many pros today on the major pro golf tours win with graphite shafts in their irons.

Similar arguments apply to steel shafts for irons. Modern lightweight steel made with premium alloys and updated production methods can yield responsive shafts with exceptional stability that outperform heavy rebar-like stiff steel shafts in common use today. It translates into consistency of performance and feel that you experience on the course and at the practice range. 

Clubs with lightweight shafts yield the best performance when their overall club balance complements the swing. It's a function of differences in the way golfers transfer energy to the club during the downswing. Each golfer responds uniquely to the feel of the shaft, the weight of the club head, and the overall balance of the club. Getting these adjustments optimized in club fitting translates into improved distance and accuracy.

Wednesday
Aug102016

Wedge Shaft Fitting 

Wedge fitting is typically incomplete. The focus is almost entirely on features of the club head, e.g. loft and lie angles, sole grind, bounce, leading edge, weight, etc. It's the heart and soul of wedge fitting. But too often, that's where it stops.

The effects of the shaft on how wedges play and feel are generally ignored. Consequently heavy, stiff shafts that can feel like rebar are often used. It keeps costs low but degrades performance. For those of us who don't reach the green in regulation, pairing the right shaft with the right head and best sole grind can be a game changer.

Why be concerned about shafts in your short game clubs? Wedges are used in about 20% of the shots in a typical round for every golfer at all skill levels. With putting contributing to 40% of a typical score, it's easy to conclude that wedges account for one-third of all shots made from everywhere on the course that isn't a putting green.

As with all other clubs, wedge performance is enhanced by improving the feel of a shaft. It is a major factor in how a golfer responds to a club during the swing. Shaft feel reflects distinct characteristics engineered into the shaft including stiffness distribution, torque, materials, shaft wall properties, and the way weight distribution and total weight affect overall balance.

In our experience. all golfers, from beginners to advanced can feel subtle differences between shafts. Starting with a soft-forged wedge clubhead and a large group of distinct shaft options, the best combination for every golfer can be identified. Launch monitor data quantifies trajectory and shot distribution to help guide the selection. 

The roots of developing improved feel in wedge shafts came from professional golf. Tour players wanted a shaft that delivered increased ball spin, had more weight with a softer feel, and greater control over ball trajectory. The Precision Golf "Spinner" shaft was the first successful response to that request. It was a specific design not a generic shaft that's quite different from the current replacement.

Today there is a whole world of choices for wedge shafts designed to match your distinct ball flight and performance goals. Shaft manufacturers are taking advantage of new materials and production methods to offer several different models for customizing a wedge to exactly the feel and control that matches a player's game. 

For all clubs, the shaft that works best with any player can only be determined by direct testing. No chart, forum post, or marketing brochure can substitute for your individual response to a wedge in chip shots, lob shots, and full swings. We find that personal testing of different shaft designs is a key part of finding the right wedge for the benefit of your short game. 

Monday
Jul182016

Golf Ball Spin Axis

A golf ball spins around an axis of rotation during it's flight. The axis of rotation is often termed the spin axis. The forces that create spin are surprisingly complex, but we can stick to just a few basic concepts to understand how the spin axis relates to the ball flight we see on the course. 

At impact the ball develops back spin around a single axis of rotation: club loft and club face curvature are major factors in determining spin and launch angle. The spin axis can be horizontal or tilted but it remains a single backspin axis -- "there can be only one". However, spin is an axial vector and can be considered to be the product of a vertical component and a horizontal component. It allows us to say "side spin".

The direction of the club path and the direction of the launch angle of the ball off the club face also can be considered as vectors. These two vectors define the geometric plane of the ball during the initial flight of the ball after impact. The geometric plane that describes initial ball flight, the D-plane (a term defined by T. Jorgensen in "The Physics of Golf" 2nd Edition 1999), is perpendicular to the spin axis.

If the orientation of the club face is exactly the same as the club path at impact, the ball will have a spin axis of 0º and the ball flight will be straight. If the face angle of the club is oriented in a different direction from the path of the club head at impact, then the ball spin axis (and D-plane) will be tilted and the ball flight will curve.

For a right handed player, if the club face is oriented to the right (open) of the club path, the spin axis will tilt to the right and the ball may fade or slice to the right. If the face is oriented to the left (closed) relative to the path the spin axis will tilt to the left and the ball may draw or hook to the left. 

Launch monitor analysis reveals that face angle is more important than club path in describing ball flight curvature. Just a modest amount of open club face at impact can yield a banana-shaped ball flight, an effect that's more noticeable with lower-lofted clubs.

Ball impacts that are not in the center of the club face also affect spin axis. These effects are increased with drivers compared to irons where the center of gravity of the club head is located further behind the club face allowing gear effects to magnify the tilt of the ball spin axis. An impact more than a half inch off-center can tilt the spin axis by greater than 20º.

Analysis of the factors that alter spin axis helps to isolate and quantify problems in your swing mechanics. For example, the effects of a backswing that's too far inside with an open club face, a loss of posture through the downswing, an outside-in club path with a loss of posture (standing up) through the impact zone will be revealed by launch monitor data. 

Ball spin axis can be affected by each of these swing traits, and the effects can be magnified by a shaft stiffness profile or a club balance that does not fit your swing mechanics. If you are a golfer at any skill level who wants to refine your game, we recommend integrating both launch monitor and swing mechanics analysis into your search for the "right stuff".

Wednesday
Jun222016

MOI Matched Clubs

Matching irons and/or wedges to the same MOI as measured at the grip end of the clubs results in sets that have a consistent sense of feel for every club in the bag. The short irons have the same swing feel as the long irons. The same effort is used in swinging each club. It promotes consistency and repeatability in shot making.

We have been building MOI-matched irons sets for more than ten years. It's long enough to learn that MOI matching yields more consistent club performance than swingweight match sets. Swingweight matched irons are built to a single club factory standard. In contrast, MOI-matched clubs are built to complement each individual golfer's swing movement pattern through the set. Custom MOI-matched is always better.

It's possible to build a complete set of clubs, driver through fairway woods, hybrids, irons, and all wedges, to have the same MOI. It means that if you have experienced club fitting that determines your optimum MOI, then swinging every club will involve the same kinetic energy. A golfer who is in control of their swing technique will experience extra-ordinary performance from a fully MOI-matched set through the bag.

Sets built to these standards break many of the traditional rules or guidelines for building club sets. The typical standard that woods and irons can be built to the same swingweight, and that wedges are often built to someone else's standard make no sense given today's understanding of performance optimizing.

In our experience, MOI-matched clubs through the entire set can transform your game. Without conscious effort, you stop being concerning about bringing a different swing to each club. Your focus at address is entirely on optimizing your swing technique because the clubs already perfectly complement your golf movement pattern -- your swing mechanics.

We find that realizing the full benefit of MOI-matched sets requires building to a higher level of spec tolerance than is generally done in any shop, and that factory built sets just can't achieve this goal and have all necessary inventory choices. But when tight tolerances are the basis of custom MOI-matching in the build, your game can reach a new level of consistency.

As a typical golfer who searched for consistent performance from the entire set of clubs in my golf bag, it wasn't until close MOI-matching was fully built in that this ethereal goal seemed within reach. It's experienced in performance on the course, the only place it matters.

Golfers who are on a quest for the lowest score they can achieve owe it to themselves to play custom built clubs that are closely MOI-matched -- to a tolerance level that far exceeds what is generally recommended. We think it's the holy grail of club craftsmanship.

Thursday
Jun162016

Stock or Aftermarket?

A key question in buying new clubs is whether to get the stock shaft "off-the-rack" or upgrade to an aftermarket shaft. The answer is clear: there is no way to know which shaft is best for your swing without testing. The only way to avoid guesswork is by clubfitting with a broad selection of high quality shafts.

We recommend testing with aftermarket shafts that are manufactured in the shaft company's home factory. The benefit of recent technology is often compromised in shafts that have been contracted out to large bulk production manufacturers who substitute lesser quality graphite and materials to lower costs and meet price targets of the large golf companies. 

Aftermarket shafts in club fitting should include models with the most recent technology including new graphite formulations and construction techniques. We have been recommending specific new lightweight driver shafts to golfers and others in the golf industry because of their positive impact on club head speed and ball flight performance on the course where it counts.

Shaft testing is most effective when it's done with a radar launch monitor that can measure ball trajectory, ball velocity, ball spin, launch angle, club head path, and club head speed.

These factors are the key measurables that allow reasonably accurate calculation of carry distance (more meaningful than total distance), ball dispersion, and ball spin axis (essential for understanding ball flight). Measuring face angle requires a high speed camera with an effective orientation to the club head at impact.

Why is it important to do direct testing instead of following charts and online recommendations? It's because each golfer responds uniquely to the stiffness and weight distribution in any given shaft design -- what works best for your friend may not work best for you. The combination of swing mechanics variations and shaft stiffness/weight/torque differences is greater than current analytics can resolve. It's why direct shaft testing is the most effective way to match the right shaft to your swing mechanics.