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."
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.
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 ]
I wish I had a compentent professional around me. I just don't trust the so called professional in my area. They don't have the proper equipment, the best the can do is check my lie angle.
I couldn't imagine getting an answer on the phone that their "loft and lie tolerances are plus or minus 3*". That's outrageous!!! i could Eye-up a club closer than that for crying out loud!! It makes me glad that i had everything checked when i bought it.
SD Charlie says:
Jeez! Those anecdotes are pretty "amazing", but I suppose those are the dangers of buying mass-produced products. It also point to why my Eidolon wedges (52 and 57) are the most consistent clubs in my bag - they're hand-built by someone who cares about what they do. I'm really excited about the SCOR range, and I will definitely consider picking some up when the time comes. Keep up the good work! I've got some questions bubbling, so I should be submitting a few soon.
I find most of the club makers promises to be BS. It's refreshing that there are a few club makers that really care and don't make BS claims. Thanks Eidolon for being one of the good guys.
Terry has expressed it many times. The only way to get better at golf is to have sound fundamentals, good course management skills and practice, practice practice!
Good equipment is important, but to a limit.
I was shooting some great scores with the cheapest set available from Dicks.
I just had so many gaps in my game, it was the reason i upgraded.
A good player could probably beat you with a shovel and a rake like tin cup LOL
I'm tempted to take out my OLD clubs sometime and see what i shoot with them.
I might have to do that next week.
Experiments are fun
I love "Joe Versus The Volcano"
Am I the only one who would like to know the names of the companies who made the junk mentioned in this post? I'd like to know who to avoid.
@ Shallowface - WedgeGuy is to classy to give up the names.
Bryan K says:
I want to find out how your colleague's call to the sales person ends up going tomorrow.
And wtf? 3* of tolerance?
Thank you Bryan. I do not think it would be right to put companies' names on stories like this, but unfortunately, these occurences are too frequent. Think of the numbers of drivers, irons and other clubs the major brands put through production daily. And the constant stories of downsizing, outsourcing, etc. The post was just to tell the tales, and warn you to be careful when you purchase.
The new scor site looks great Terry. I did notice the use of the word "techniligy"
under the single club link. I didnt know if this word should be trade marked. I Look forward to building a set in the near future.
@ Agustin - Well, without specifics, the entire industry is sullied. Nothing classy about that.
I'm sure there's a lot of junk out there, and a lot of good product as well. But if a company really has 3* of tolerance on lofts and lies and isn't ashamed to say so, why not let us know who that is? I want to make sure to avoid them like the plague.
As far as getting new clubs checked, I've heard that different brands of loft/lie machines can give different readings. How is one supposed to trust anything? I may be getting my new set bent out of spec, and voiding the warranty to boot. So that's not the solution in my opinion.
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