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Club specs & what they do

TECHNICAL STUFF

Club Length

Affects distance (longer = more), accuracy and consistency (longer = less). However, with drivers in particular, a longer shaft may reduce accuracy & consistency more than it increases distance.

Club loft

Affects launch angle, backspin, trajectory and distance. More loft will increase launch angle, spin and trajectory, but more loft could either increase or decrease distance (particularly with drivers). Wood loft is measured differently to iron or putter loft.

Club Weight

Mainly controlled by the weight of the shaft (which can vary from about 130g to below 50g). It can affect swing tempo (speed & consistency), clubhead speed & distance (lighter = faster if the club balance is properly matched to the player), swingpath (out-to-in/in-to-out), feel and accuracy/consistency. Needs to be considered in conjunction with:

Swingweight or Moment of Inertia of the assembled club

The 'swinging balance' of a golf club. Affects feel and - together with club WEIGHT, affects swing timing (too light = inconsistent), distance (too heavy = less), how consistently you hit the ball on centre and achieve consistent trajectory and accuracy (too light = worse, particularly if the club WEIGHT is also too low).

Shaft Flex

Mainly affects feel, but can also influence distance by affecting trajectory (but probably by less than you think). Needs to be matched to how a player LOADS the shaft rather than just clubhead speed and definitely not to ego! On balance, slightly too flexible is usually better than slightly too stiff

Shaft Bend Profile

Broadly speaking, how shaft stiffness is distributed from butt-to-tip (whether it is relatively soft or stiff in the butt section, mid section or tip section). Needs to be matched to your swing type ( e.g. 'hitter' vs. 'swinger', fast/slow tempo, etc.). The same shaft will not necessarily perform the same for two golfers, even if they have similar clubhead speeds ..

Shaft Torque

How much a shaft twists (lower torque = less twisting). Affects accuracy, but not usually significantly (unless you have an aggressive swing & high clubhead speed). In general, avoid low-torque shafts if you don't hit the ball very far - they will probably feel 'boardy'.

Angle of Attack
(AoA)

The path of the clubhead at impact, relative to the horizontal. AoA affects launch angle but not spin, whilst loft affects both launch angle AND spin. Shaft bending at impact changes the loft, not the AoA.

Lie Angle

Crucial for accuracy & consistency in the short irons & wedges, less so with low-lofted irons, hybrids, fairway woods & drivers.

Sole Angle ('Bounce')

Affects consistency with irons & wedges. Needs to be matched to turf & sand conditions on course(s) you normally play and be considered in conjunction with both Angle of Attack and:

Sole Width and Sole Radius

The width & curvature of the sole from front-to-back and toe-to-heel. Like the bounce angle, the front-to-back radius can affect the way the sole of the club reacts to contact with turf or sand with a particular Angle of Attack.

Set Make-Up

What clubs you need (and what clubs you don't), to cover all the types of shots you need to play, with no big yardage gaps and with maximum accuracy & consistency and no problem clubs in terms of trajectory or ease of use. Probably the most neglected aspect of any set of clubs

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