What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by David Santwyk-Anderso » Fri, 10 Aug 2001 10:48:37


Firstly, I seem to have lost contact with RSG with no new posts for about a
week...anyone else having a problem? (email me with any info if you wish) (but
remove extra dot com from the address!)

Now,  why swingweight? Is it really relevant?

I am quite familiar with the physics of club design and the mechanics of the
swing, the notion of 'swingweight', what it is, how to measure it and how to
calculate it.

However, I am not at all sure as to why one would see any value in producing a
particular swingweight for a set of clubs,

I would have thought that the key issue in connection with club specifications
is how they enable you to deliver a maximum club-head speed at the point of
impact while retaining a square face to the ball along required line of flight.
In my mind 'swingweight' contributes to this only if it is as low as possible. A
high 'swingweight' adds nothing to achieving the primary purpose...so why would
you choose, for instance, D6, which you can only really use if you are strong
enough. What does it do for you? I know it is probably just a question of 'feel'
in controlling the swing plane....but surely anything higher than about D3 is
quite unnecessary for this?.

Is it not a fact that the only elements in club specification that contribute to
the highest *usable* club-head speed are 'maximum club length you can really
handle', combined with 'lowest swingweight' possible at this length, and the
lowest overall weight possible with the club. It is only when this *usable*
maximum club-head speed is known that you can specify the appropriate shaft flex
and club-head loft that combine in producing a ball trajectory to give you a
maximum distance available.

I am interested in how others view 'swingweight' as contributing to 'distance',
if at all.

cheers
david

--
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler" -  Albert
Einstein

Remove extra dot com from address

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by dsc » Fri, 10 Aug 2001 21:45:29


Quote:
> Firstly, I seem to have lost contact with RSG with no new posts for about
a
> week...anyone else having a problem? (email me with any info if you wish)
(but
> remove extra dot com from the address!)

> Now,  why swingweight? Is it really relevant?

> I am quite familiar with the physics of club design and the mechanics of
the
> swing, the notion of 'swingweight', what it is, how to measure it and how
to
> calculate it.

> However, I am not at all sure as to why one would see any value in
producing a
> particular swingweight for a set of clubs,

> I would have thought that the key issue in connection with club
specifications
> is how they enable you to deliver a maximum club-head speed at the point
of
> impact while retaining a square face to the ball along required line of
flight.
> In my mind 'swingweight' contributes to this only if it is as low as
possible. A
> high 'swingweight' adds nothing to achieving the primary purpose...so why
would
> you choose, for instance, D6, which you can only really use if you are
strong
> enough. What does it do for you? I know it is probably just a question of
'feel'
> in controlling the swing plane....but surely anything higher than about D3
is
> quite unnecessary for this?.

> Is it not a fact that the only elements in club specification that
contribute to
> the highest *usable* club-head speed are 'maximum club length you can
really
> handle', combined with 'lowest swingweight' possible at this length, and
the
> lowest overall weight possible with the club. It is only when this
*usable*
> maximum club-head speed is known that you can specify the appropriate
shaft flex
> and club-head loft that combine in producing a ball trajectory to give you
a
> maximum distance available.

> I am interested in how others view 'swingweight' as contributing to
'distance',
> if at all.

I don't think swing weight has a direct impact on ball flight or distance.
Swing weight is for feel. The proper feel (for where the club head is and
what it is doing) helps you to put it where it needs to be at impact.
Putting it where is needs to be at impact helps deliver consistently long
and straight shots. Having all your clubs "tuned" to the same feel (and a
feel that is right for you)  just makes that whole process alot easier.

dsc

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by DJD » Fri, 10 Aug 2001 23:53:23

<snipped>

Quote:
> I am interested in how others view 'swingweight' as contributing to 'distance',
> if at all.

> cheers
> david

David,

Swingweight is a measure of balance, nothing more. You place a fulcrum
14 inches from the but end of the shaft and measure how much mass it
requires added to the ***end to balance the head end. Total weight and
length are factors only to the extent that they affect that balance. A
telephone pole can be swing weighted to A0 and a kid's plastic putter
can be swing weighted to E9.

What measuring and adjusting swingweight does do in ensure that clubs of
the same design within a set all have a similar balance. That is all,
but it is very important because how a club balances is directly related
to how a club feels. For some people a SW of A5 feels best, for other
E1. But if their 5 iron is D2 and their 6 iron is C3, one (or both) of
those clubs is going to feel very awkward and uncomfortable to swing.
Make both clubs the same swingweight, preferably a SW that feels good to
the golfer, and they will both feel much more natural and comfortable to
the golfer.

--
Dan Driscoll
Member USGA, NCGA
RSG FAQ: http://SportToday.org/
RSG Roll Call http://SportToday.org/~kirby34/rsg/driscolld.htm

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by RJ » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 01:36:23

Dan...

I wonder though... if you had a 5 iron set up at C5 and another of
similar design set up at D5 and were able to generate similar club head
speed with both clubs, the D5 iron would go father, correct?

RJ
...

Quote:


> <snipped>
> > I am interested in how others view 'swingweight' as contributing to 'distance',
> > if at all.

> > cheers
> > david

> David,

> Swingweight is a measure of balance, nothing more. You place a fulcrum
> 14 inches from the but end of the shaft and measure how much mass it
> requires added to the ***end to balance the head end. Total weight and
> length are factors only to the extent that they affect that balance. A
> telephone pole can be swing weighted to A0 and a kid's plastic putter
> can be swing weighted to E9.

> What measuring and adjusting swingweight does do in ensure that clubs of
> the same design within a set all have a similar balance. That is all,
> but it is very important because how a club balances is directly related
> to how a club feels. For some people a SW of A5 feels best, for other
> E1. But if their 5 iron is D2 and their 6 iron is C3, one (or both) of
> those clubs is going to feel very awkward and uncomfortable to swing.
> Make both clubs the same swingweight, preferably a SW that feels good to
> the golfer, and they will both feel much more natural and comfortable to
> the golfer.

> --
> Dan Driscoll
> Member USGA, NCGA
> RSG FAQ: http://SportToday.org/
> RSG Roll Call http://SportToday.org/~kirby34/rsg/driscolld.htm

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by Kenny Stul » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 02:12:35

RJ,

Maybe, maybe not.  It depends on how the swingweighting was accomplished.  
Assuming identical lofts and attack angles, you've got two things to look at on
the club side of the impact that will materially affect the distance the balls
goes.  Those are clubhead speed and clubhead mass.  If you got that D5 by
adding mass to the clubhead and the clubhead speeds are the same, then you'll
get a litle more distance with the D5 (but not much).

Say you got the C5 by ***weighting the D5.  The clubhead speed and mass are
the same in both cases, so you'll get the same distance with both clubs.

My guess is that if you gave a C5 and a D5 club (similar clubs except for
the swignweight)to one of your rsg buddies, he's going to be able to hit the C5
further because it has a lower moment of inertia and is therefore easier to
swing (you'll get more clubhead speed).

--
Kenny Stultz
RSG Rollcall: http://SportToday.org/~kirby34/rsg/stultzk.htm


Quote:

>Dan...

>I wonder though... if you had a 5 iron set up at C5 and another of
>similar design set up at D5 and were able to generate similar club head
>speed with both clubs, the D5 iron would go father, correct?

>RJ
>...



>> <snipped>
>> > I am interested in how others view 'swingweight' as contributing to
'distance',
>> > if at all.

>> > cheers
>> > david

>> David,

>> Swingweight is a measure of balance, nothing more. You place a fulcrum
>> 14 inches from the but end of the shaft and measure how much mass it
>> requires added to the ***end to balance the head end. Total weight and
>> length are factors only to the extent that they affect that balance. A
>> telephone pole can be swing weighted to A0 and a kid's plastic putter
>> can be swing weighted to E9.

>> What measuring and adjusting swingweight does do in ensure that clubs of
>> the same design within a set all have a similar balance. That is all,
>> but it is very important because how a club balances is directly related
>> to how a club feels. For some people a SW of A5 feels best, for other
>> E1. But if their 5 iron is D2 and their 6 iron is C3, one (or both) of
>> those clubs is going to feel very awkward and uncomfortable to swing.
>> Make both clubs the same swingweight, preferably a SW that feels good to
>> the golfer, and they will both feel much more natural and comfortable to
>> the golfer.

>> --
>> Dan Driscoll
>> Member USGA, NCGA
>> RSG FAQ: http://SportToday.org/
>> RSG Roll Call http://SportToday.org/~kirby34/rsg/driscolld.htm

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by Perfect Impac » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 02:18:28

Quote:

> Dan...

> I wonder though... if you had a 5 iron set up at C5 and another of
> similar design set up at D5 and were able to generate similar club head
> speed with both clubs, the D5 iron would go father, correct?

> RJ

You know, contrary to expectation, that is not necessarily true.  It is
because swingweight is not a true test of clubhead mass, but of distribution
to an arbitrary balance point.

You can have a heavy grip and a heavy head and have a lighter "swing
weight".

But the other applicable factors are the greater effort applied to get a
heavier club to the same speed....

Lots of tradeoffs, etc.  The final chapter on weights is not yet codified.
I want to know everything I can when stuff is discovered empirically AND by
tests...

GH

Quote:



> > <snipped>
> > > I am interested in how others view 'swingweight' as contributing to
'distance',
> > > if at all.

> > > cheers
> > > david

> > David,

> > Swingweight is a measure of balance, nothing more. You place a fulcrum
> > 14 inches from the but end of the shaft and measure how much mass it
> > requires added to the ***end to balance the head end. Total weight and
> > length are factors only to the extent that they affect that balance. A
> > telephone pole can be swing weighted to A0 and a kid's plastic putter
> > can be swing weighted to E9.

> > What measuring and adjusting swingweight does do in ensure that clubs of
> > the same design within a set all have a similar balance. That is all,
> > but it is very important because how a club balances is directly related
> > to how a club feels. For some people a SW of A5 feels best, for other
> > E1. But if their 5 iron is D2 and their 6 iron is C3, one (or both) of
> > those clubs is going to feel very awkward and uncomfortable to swing.
> > Make both clubs the same swingweight, preferably a SW that feels good to
> > the golfer, and they will both feel much more natural and comfortable to
> > the golfer.

> > --
> > Dan Driscoll
> > Member USGA, NCGA
> > RSG FAQ: http://SportToday.org/
> > RSG Roll Call http://SportToday.org/~kirby34/rsg/driscolld.htm

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by DJD » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 02:39:27

Quote:

> Dan...

> I wonder though... if you had a 5 iron set up at C5 and another of
> similar design set up at D5 and were able to generate similar club head
> speed with both clubs, the D5 iron would go father, correct?

> RJ

RJ,

I'm sorry, but that is not correct. If a ball is struck on the same
spot, by clubs of the same design, at the same swing speed, then it will
go the same distance, regardless of the swingweight of the clubs. All
else being equal, clubhead speed, not swingweight, is what determines
how far the ball will travel. The weight (or mass) of the club is
already accounted for in the calculation for swing speed, you don't get
to use it twice. :-)

Remember, swingweight is all about balance. Increasing the swingweight
(in same design clubs) to D5 just moves the balance point closer to the
***end of the club. SInce the clubs are the same design and set-up,
the only way to increase the swingweight is by adding additional weight
to the clubhead. But if you do that then you need to apply additional
effort (force) to achieve the same swing speed as the lighter C5 club.
But that is because the entire D5 club now weighs move and more mass
requires more force to accelerate that mass.

--
Dan Driscoll
Member USGA, NCGA
RSG FAQ: http://SportToday.org/
RSG Roll Call http://SportToday.org/~kirby34/rsg/driscolld.htm

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by Gary Youn » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 05:39:33

Where are the physicists when you need them?  Surely a clubhead with a
greater mass will exert more force upon a golfball than will a club with
less mass when hitting the ball at the same speed.  Will a wrecking ball
made out of aluminum tear down a building as well as one made out of steel
if swung the same speed?


Quote:

> > Dan...

> > I wonder though... if you had a 5 iron set up at C5 and another of
> > similar design set up at D5 and were able to generate similar club head
> > speed with both clubs, the D5 iron would go father, correct?

> > RJ

> RJ,

> I'm sorry, but that is not correct. If a ball is struck on the same
> spot, by clubs of the same design, at the same swing speed, then it will
> go the same distance, regardless of the swingweight of the clubs. All
> else being equal, clubhead speed, not swingweight, is what determines
> how far the ball will travel. The weight (or mass) of the club is
> already accounted for in the calculation for swing speed, you don't get
> to use it twice. :-)

> Remember, swingweight is all about balance. Increasing the swingweight
> (in same design clubs) to D5 just moves the balance point closer to the
> ***end of the club. SInce the clubs are the same design and set-up,
> the only way to increase the swingweight is by adding additional weight
> to the clubhead. But if you do that then you need to apply additional
> effort (force) to achieve the same swing speed as the lighter C5 club.
> But that is because the entire D5 club now weighs move and more mass
> requires more force to accelerate that mass.

> --
> Dan Driscoll
> Member USGA, NCGA
> RSG FAQ: http://SportToday.org/
> RSG Roll Call http://SportToday.org/~kirby34/rsg/driscolld.htm

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by Mike Daleck » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 10:16:30

Quote:


> > Dan...

> > I wonder though... if you had a 5 iron set up at C5 and another of
> > similar design set up at D5 and were able to generate similar club head
> > speed with both clubs, the D5 iron would go father, correct?

> > RJ

> RJ,

> I'm sorry, but that is not correct. If a ball is struck on the same
> spot, by clubs of the same design, at the same swing speed, then it will
> go the same distance, regardless of the swingweight of the clubs. All
> else being equal, clubhead speed, not swingweight, is what determines
> how far the ball will travel. The weight (or mass) of the club is
> already accounted for in the calculation for swing speed, you don't get
> to use it twice. :-)

Ummm, I'm going to have to disagree with this.  Part of what determines
ball speed is the clubhead speed at separation.  A heavier clubhead will
slow down less as a result of contact with the ball, thus creating
higher clubhead separation sspeed, and thus higher ballspeed for a given
swing speed.

Mike

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Dalecki  RSG-Wisconsin 2001 Info:  http://dalecki.net/rsgwis
I do not patronize spammers!  Help keep RSG clean.
Expect the same etiquette from me on RSG as on the golf course.
RSG Roll Call:  http://u1.netgate.net/~kirby34/rsg/daleckim.htm
-----------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by Colin Wilso » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 11:39:45

Quote:

> > > I wonder though... if you had a 5 iron set up at C5 and another of
> > > similar design set up at D5 and were able to generate similar club head
> > > speed with both clubs, the D5 iron would go father, correct?
> > I'm sorry, but that is not correct. If a ball is struck on the same
> > spot, by clubs of the same design, at the same swing speed, then it will
> > go the same distance, regardless of the swingweight of the clubs. All
> > else being equal, clubhead speed, not swingweight, is what determines
> > how far the ball will travel. The weight (or mass) of the club is
> > already accounted for in the calculation for swing speed, you don't get
> > to use it twice. :-)
> Ummm, I'm going to have to disagree with this.  Part of what determines
> ball speed is the clubhead speed at separation.  A heavier clubhead will
> slow down less as a result of contact with the ball, thus creating
> higher clubhead separation speed, and thus higher ballspeed for a given
> swing speed.

What is "separation speed"? Isn't the ball on the clubface for such a
short time that it hardly matters?

I have always understood that there are two determinants of ball
velocity ... clubhead speed at impact and clubhead mass (changing the
former has something like ten times the effect of changing the latter).
So I think you have to go back to what *makes* swingweight in the first
place.

As I understand it, swingweight is a measure of the mass of the
components balanced around the 14" fulcrum. You need a head that's 20
grams heavier to make a D5 club as opposed to a C5 club with all the
other components being the same. Providing you can swing it at the same
speed (and that's a big proviso), you'd get some small extra distance
simply by virtue of the extra clubhead mass.

Or you can use identical heads to make clubs with swingweights as
different as C5 or D5 by making one club much longer, and/or increasing
the mass of the other components like the shaft, or maybe by installing
a super heavy grip on the low-swingweight one.

If one club is much longer, and you swing it *exactly* the same, it will
produce more ball velocity because of the increased clubhead speed at
the end of a longer lever. But in reality you can't swing it exactly the
same, you swing it slower because it feels heavier, which largely
negates the extra length. That's probably why all drivers are 44-5",
give or take an inch or so.

If you increase the shaft weight, it might make a minimal contribution
to ball velocity by virtue of the slightly increased extra mass of the
club. If you increase the grip weight to lighten swingweight, I can't
see it having much effect.

The answer to the question "what does swingweight contribute to
distance?" is probably that the ideal swingweight allows you to swing
the clubhead at the fastest velocity.

I think. :-)

Cheers
Colin Wilson
-------------------------------------------------------------
RSG Roll Call: http://u1.netgate.net/~kirby34/rsg/wilsonc.htm
Trentham Golf Club: http://www.trenthamgolf.com
-------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by JoePe » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 15:24:10

Quote:

>The weight (or mass) of the club is
>already accounted for in the calculation for swing speed, you don't get
>to use it twice. :-)

I'm going to have to disagree. Ultimately the equations boil down to momentum.
Now you can arrive at the calculation differently but the fundamental equation
is:
(clubhead mass * clubhead velocity) = (ball mass * ball velocity post impact).

Obviously in the golf swing, velocity is much greater contributer to the
equation than clubhead mass, but the mass still matters.

Your other point I think speaks to the heart of the original question.
Swingweight has no direct influence measuring either clubhead mass or velocity
and therefore has no direct impact on figuring distance.

However, indirectly, by swingweighting clubs, we make sure each club feels the
same in our hands. This leads to consistency, which in turn leads to all sorts
of good things the the appropriate timing on the downswing and centered hits --
which are probably the two greatest factors in figuring distance.

In tha sense, swingweight's importance is not in matching a right swingweight
to your swing, but in matching the swingweight of one club to all the others in
your set.

--
JoePete

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by Colin Wilso » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 19:20:57

Quote:

> I'm going to have to disagree. Ultimately the equations boil down to momentum.
> Now you can arrive at the calculation differently but the fundamental equation
> is:
> (clubhead mass * clubhead velocity) = (ball mass * ball velocity post impact).

Are you sure of this?

Typical driver mass = 200g
Typical driver velocity = 100mph
Typical ball mass = 45g

200 * 100 = 45 * x
200 * 100 / 45 = x
x = 444.44 mph

No wonder they're driving it further these days. ;-)

Cheers
Colin Wilson
-------------------------------------------------------------
RSG Roll Call: http://u1.netgate.net/~kirby34/rsg/wilsonc.htm
Trentham Golf Club: http://www.trenthamgolf.com
-------------------------------------------------------------

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by Kenny Stul » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 20:54:58

JoePete,

I think the point that both you and Mike missed in Dan's post (at least the way
I read it) is that he's talking about the mass of the *club* not the
*clubhead*.  Then what he says is true:  The overall mass of the club is
accounted for in the determination of the final swingspeed.  If I have a
quibble with that, it's only that in the case of a golf swing it make more
sense to talk about the moment of inertia of the club rather than the mass of
the club.

Certainly, at impact, on the "club side", the three things that matter are the
mass of the *clubhead*, clubhead speed and the coefficient of restitution
betweent the ball and the club.

--
Kenny Stultz
RSG Rollcall: http://u1.netgate.net/~kirby34/rsg/stultzk.htm


says...

Quote:


>>The weight (or mass) of the club is
>>already accounted for in the calculation for swing speed, you don't get
>>to use it twice. :-)

>I'm going to have to disagree. Ultimately the equations boil down to momentum.
>Now you can arrive at the calculation differently but the fundamental equation
>is:
>(clubhead mass * clubhead velocity) = (ball mass * ball velocity post impact).

>Obviously in the golf swing, velocity is much greater contributer to the
>equation than clubhead mass, but the mass still matters.

>Your other point I think speaks to the heart of the original question.
>Swingweight has no direct influence measuring either clubhead mass or velocity
>and therefore has no direct impact on figuring distance.

>However, indirectly, by swingweighting clubs, we make sure each club feels the
>same in our hands. This leads to consistency, which in turn leads to all sorts
>of good things the the appropriate timing on the downswing and centered hits
--
>which are probably the two greatest factors in figuring distance.

>In tha sense, swingweight's importance is not in matching a right swingweight
>to your swing, but in matching the swingweight of one club to all the others
in
>your set.

>--
>JoePete

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by dsc » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 21:43:13

Quote:
> The answer to the question "what does swingweight contribute to
> distance?" is probably that the ideal swingweight allows you to swing
> the clubhead at the fastest velocity.

That cannot be correct. It might be correct to say it allows you to swing
the clubhead at the fastest repeatable/controllable velocity... but I doubt
that that is even true. Swing weight has little if anything to do with how
fast you can swing the club. big changes in swing weight are accomplished
with only very minor addition/subtraction of weight at the head.

The ideal swing weight give *you* the best feel for where the clug head is
throught out *your* swing.
This allows *you* the best chance to make *your* ideal swing at *your* ideal
tempo... repeatedly with all the clubs in *your* bag. I highlite *your*
because swing weight is a very personal thing.
IMO you need to be able to feel the head of the club. If you can't you
probabaly have less of a chance of making a quality swing.  So the proper
swing weight for anyone is probably the minimum swing weight they can feel +
just a tadd more.

dsc

 
 
 

What Does 'Swingweight' Contribute to Distance?

Post by dsc » Sat, 11 Aug 2001 21:49:58

Quote:
> In tha sense, swingweight's importance is not in matching a right
swingweight
> to your swing, but in matching the swingweight of one club to all the
others in
> your set.

Which all match your personal preference for swing weight.

You can give me a perfectly matched set of clubs with the absolute minimum
swing weight of (A0?) and I probably cannot play well with them. Same if you
give me a perfectly matched set that has the heaviest possible swing weight.
But give me my set... which is not pefectly matched from club to club (D1 to
D4), but fairly closely matched to my preference/needs and I can play pretty
well. Now I may gain something by getting all my clubs to say D2  (my target
weight)  and in fact I have made some adjustments to increase the seight of
clubs that were a bit light. But taking weight off a club that is a couple
points too heavy is not as easy. OTOH... can I really tell the difference in
1 or 2 swing points... I doubt it. I can probably feel 4 swing points.

dsc