SEARCH our site
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
Wednesday
Mar302016

Is your 6-iron a 5-iron?

Modern golf club marketing promises golfers that new iron models can yield distances up to "2-clubs longer" and can generate faster ball speed. Some of the best selling iron sets in golf currently are based on these claims. Nothing more.

The major way increased distance and ball speed can be achieved with classic iron club head designs and modern production technology is to make the club lofts stronger -- e.g., decrease the loft of a 6-iron to that of a 5-iron or a 4.5-iron. 

That change reduces ball spin on impact and allows the ball to travel at a faster speed. There are books explaining the physics of ball flight and the roles of golf ball dimples and club face loft on aerodynamic lift for the golfer who is a technology enthusiast. We use this information when fitting clubs to reduce ball spin for increasing distance.

The effect of loft on ball spin is significant. Checking our favorite reference charts for performance differences between a 6-iron and a 5-iron with a 4º change in loft shows that as much as a 15% decrease in ball spin can be achieved by playing a 6-iron with a 5-iron loft. And there is a 2-3% increase in ball speed with the change to a 5-iron loft.

The facts of physics can be verified with your clubs, your swing, and a launch monitor. Club heads that have been properly fit with the right shaft for your swing and adjusted for optimum lie angles will help you hit the ball in the center of the club face. A center hit maximizes distance and accuracy, an off-center hit reduces it. All clubs obey these rules.

Does it matter if your 6-iron is a 5-iron? The answer is not for playing golf if you select clubs from your bag with the correct loft for the distance needed on your next golf shot -- e.g., it doesn't matter whether there is a 4, 5, 6, 7, etc. stamped on the club sole. It only matters when you buy a new set of clubs if, in the words of an immortal rock song, you don't want to get "fooled again".

Saturday
Mar262016

Craftsmanship Matters

Having built and re-shafted hundreds of iron sets in recent years, I've had an opportunity to see and experience the full range of what's good and what's not in iron sets. One inescapable conclusion emerges: craftsmanship matters. 

By that I mean quality of forging, close adherence to production tolerances, and care in assembly is necessary if you are to get full performance from your golf clubs. There are no shortcuts to achieve your best play on the course. Forged classic designs are your assurance that the right adjustments can be made to lie and loft angles to maximize accuracy for both irons and wedges.

Whether playing in weekend social games or in club and local tournaments, there is no satisfying substitute for custom built clubs that have been properly fit to your swing mechanics if you want to play your best. That type of fitting will require a couple of hours or more to refine the options. And building the clubs can be an all day project if we are matching irons and wedges and hybrids in the same set.

Fitting will involve using a radar launch monitor and impact tape to help find the optimum shaft and clubhead combination for your swing. Club fitting with your premium golf balls or your preferred brand will get you a step closer to finding your ideal clubs for the course. The bottom line is: maximizing every part of the clubfitting experience is the best assurance that your playing goals can be achieved.

Each golfer has a unique reaction to the way a shaft/club loads during the swing. A quick transition from backswing to downswing, a smooth start to the downswing, an early vs. late release of your wrists through the downswing, full rotation of your lower body and upper body through the impact zone, and a fast rate of wrist rotation at impact all put distinct loading stresses on the shaft. With this many different ways to load a club in the swing it's not surprising that custom fit/custom built clubs will outperform standard factory assembled clubs.

These thoughts bring us back to the point where we started: craftsmanship matters. Paying attention to every detail in fitting shafts and club heads to your swing mechanics, and refining every aspect of building the clubs to the specifications determined by the club fitting all matter if you want to get maximum enjoyment from playing golf.

Thursday
Aug202015

Spine Flex Analysis Pt 1

Analysis of 3D motion capture data from a basic K-Vest TPI system identifies key movements in the golf swing that are essential for the efficient transfer of power to the club. Timing of the flexion (forward bend) of the thoracic spine with pelvis rotation is a central factor in this story that we will examine in future articles. 

Here are some of the data from our swing motion analysis of a scratch golfer who wants to relate swing mechanics to club performance. His goal is to achieve increased distance. The results reveal how he generates power, what happens in the downswing to limit clubhead speed, and what would be the most effective combination of swing and club adjustments to achieve lower scores. 

The upper left panel shows the club path through the initial part of the downswing at a capture rate of 180 times/sec. The lower left panel shows the pelvis-upper body-hands (club) kinematic sequence of a golf swing. The other panels break down this sequence into "bite-sized" pieces for analysis. 

More to come in Part 2.

Friday
Jul102015

Rotational Not Linear

Two of the more contrasting styles of teaching the golf swing is the Rotational School and the Linear School. Golf swing theories swirl around the game endlessly but they can generally be grouped into the above two contrasting styles.

The linear school instructors would have you keep your spine angle straight and start your downswing with a significant slide towards the target. To hit the ball straight the golfer must compensate by lifting up the lead shoulder, swing the clubhead steep into the ball, be square to the target line in the downswing, and flip/roll the wrists through impact. 

The rotational school instructors would have you keep your spine dynamic and flexible, start the downswing by rotating the lead hip away from the target, open the hips through the downswing, and hold the clubface square through impact. The arms only need to be straight at and just after impact.

There are more differences and variations of course, but it's easy to see that there is little in common between the two styles. But which style is best? We like to look at how the top golfers on the big tour hit the ball, or how long ball hitters in baseball swing, or at the best players in any ball and stick sport where distance and accuracy matter.

Watch these athletes swing the stick at normal speed and at slow speeds. Note when the hips start rotating to the target during the swing movement pattern, where the hips are facing at impact, observe the dynamics of the spine during the swing towards the target. You will reach one inescapable conclusion: distance and accuracy is best achieved by a fully rotational swing.

But many golfers complain of back pain and some instructors are telling us that the cause is rotation during the swing. Restrict rotational movement they say and the pain goes away. Well, that's a great way to hit short and put excess stress on the hip joints. 

Bottom line is the most effective golf swing is a rotational movement pattern with dynamic spine and arms that minimize muscle tension and permit full loading of your swing energy into the clubhead at impact. The hips open to the target through impact, weight has shifted almost completely off the trail leg. Wrist lag is maximized prior to the impact zone and the club face is square through impact.

It's easy to overthink the process. Remember, we are just swinging a club and allowing our body to develop explosive rotational energy through impact with the ball. Restricting essential movements work against your main goal -- distance with accuracy.

Sunday
Jul052015

Fitting for Consistency

One of the most misunderstood fundamentals of golf performance is consistency and how to improve it. In our experience the two major areas that sabotage performance are instruction methods that focus technique improvements on changing small segments of the swing, and playing mass assembled factory built clubs made with mismatched components.

The golf swing is a complex movement pattern where each segment depends on the motion qualities of the previous segment. The ability to swing a club in a repeatable way depends on your golf posture and range of motion. Attempting to correct a swing problem is difficult if you don't know the basics of your motion mechanics. Qualified professional instruction is recommended. 

The club assembly problem is easier to understand. We have seen enough mass assembled factory sets to know that poorly matched or off-spec clubs can sabotage consistent play. The quick fix is to find a qualified independent custom club fitter/builder and have your clubs rebuilt to specifications that match your swing as determined by swing analysis or detailed fitting. Or get a custom set that's fit and built specifically for you.

Fitting clubs for performance consistency requires using a radar launch monitor that measures the key parameters of ball flight and club head movement. Quantitative measurement of several variables is required to know which shaft and clubhead work best for you. Watching ball flight on a practice range is not sufficiently accurate for finding the right clubs.

Building clubs for consistent performance requires characterizing and measuring the key properties of each component used in assembling the club. Shafts and club heads should be matched and be within acceptable manufacturing tolerances. MOI-matching iron sets and wedge sets provides a substantial advantage.

Consistency is important for all golfers at any skill level, and it's perhaps the most essential requirement for scoring low. You need to know that when you swing the club through the impact zone the ball will go to your intended target zone every time. Those zones are not found in the trees, in hazards, or out of bounds.

Scoring low requires consistency. It holds true for golfers at all skill level. It's the key to full enjoyment of the game.