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Backweighting

dave.

Well-Known Member
Mar 20, 2005
5,926
2
Is it really this good? I've copied this from a fitter who posted it in another forum

Keyser,
Heres the counterweighting story as best I know it:
• Golfsmith conducted a test in 2004:
– Over 30 testers, a mix of Harvey Penick teaching pros and students
– Age range about 40 to 80 years
– Handicap range scratch to high mid-handicappers
– Two test drivers used:
• Both 10.5 degree loft with a Spine Aligned, 65 gram graphite “R” flex shaft at 45 inch length
• Clubs were identical except one had a 65g butt weight
• Swing weights were D2 and B3 respectively
• Butt weighted average club swing speed 2 mph higher, launch angle 1 degree higher, and carry distance was 9 yards more
• Over 70% hit counter-weighted club farther
• Average distance gain was 14 yards
• 15 of 23 testers gained more than 5 yards
• Directional accuracy was improved
Why did the butt weighted club appear to be better?
• At the time no one could explain it in a way that most golfers and club-fitters could relate
• Now, several years later, our explanations include:
– Counter-weighting was not needed very often in the past because golf clubs were heavier than today’s clubs with graphite shafts and lighter grips and the player could feel the club
– As golf club total weight was reduced by lighter shafts and grips, many golfers lost club feel and weight addition was needed to improve swing dynamics
• Counter-weighting restores the feel needed to maintain swing plane and to more easily feel the golf club
• Counter-weighting increases total weight of the golf club and moves club balance point closer to the grip. Some players feel head weight loss, but most do not.
• Butt-weighted shafts were tried but limited because it was one weight fits all
• Counter-weighting results in a substantially higher mass in the butt and it gives the fitter different weight options. The swing speed increase from lighter shafts is not adversely affected because the added weight is in the hands
• Bottom line is that more club weight from butt weights restored feel and control without any swing speed reduction
Types of golfers that benefit
• Aggressive Transition move: Potential for substantial improvement in accuracy and control. Counter weights increase the club total weight and gives these golfers more feel and control of the golf club
• Very Quick Tempo’s: Counter-weighting for this golfer creates a “smoother” tempo which leads to better control and accuracy
• Early to Midway Release: Many of these golfers increase their swing speed and club center contact increasing ball speed and distance. Additionally, swing path and face angle at impact often improves
• Outside-To-Inside Swing Path: More weight in the hands, often improves swing path considerably. More weight in the hands reduces the golfers ability to “Cast” the club outward and helps them “Drop” the club into the slot. Last year Keith Chatham reported he had seen a 50% improvement in a few golfers with Out-to-In swing paths. He said, “their final swing path is still Out-to In, however, now they play a controllable fade instead of their dreaded slice.”
• After testing for Length those Golfers whose on-center hits are very close but just not quite on-center.
The Test Process
• Counter-weighting may not improve the performance of every golfer, but it could
• After competing your normal fitting process, conduct counter-weighting tests during a follow-up session. I call it a tweaking session
• Use a subset of the clubs you have built from your fitting. I use the driver and 6 iron
• Conduct ball striking tests with these clubs 4 strikes each weight, from no weight to 40g or maybe 60g in 10g increments. The data will tell which weight is best
Conclusions for counter-weighting
• Certain golfers see improvement in ball striking:
– Swing speed, ball speed and distance increase
– Better swing path, contact quality, distance control, direction and feel
– 30% increase distance 70% direction and distance control
– Counter-weighting changes swing weight, but not golf club MOI as seen from the club handle.

Now we are into Optimal Weighting. Here’s that story:
• Since 2004 when golf club counter weighting was demonstrated to help golfers hit it longer and straighter, the success rate on longer has been 30 percent and straighter, 70 percent. Over this period club fitters used counter weighting as a final step in the fitting after determining for each golfer the best weight, length, face angle, lie angle, shaft flex and profiling and so on for their golf clubs.
• We have transitioned from partial success with counter-weighting to almost total success with Optimal Weighting Technology.
• What do we know about golf club Optimal Weighting Technology? Optimal weighting technology is the optimization of golf club total weight and balance point for each individual golfer’s swing mechanics!
• Recently the success rate for both distance and direction improvement has increased dramatically with the use of a new Tour Lock product called the Opti-Vibe Power Weight. Distance and direction improvement for almost all golfers is being observed, and this product even works on a golfers existing equipment.
 

Clugnut

Gimme some roombas!
Aug 13, 2006
3,423
1
• Swing weights were D2 and B3 respectively



Some players feel head weight loss, but most do not.


LOL. I quit reading after this. Their testers couldn't tell a difference between D2 and B3? Seriously?
 

Bignose

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2006
426
2
I am still somewhat skeptical. I think it really is just a fix for overactive hands in the swing, because otherwise the physics don't bear out the results claimed. Things like putting more mass into the club should decrease the swing speed, not increase it. I think that if you learn a swing with passive hands that these issues shouldn't need a band-aid on them.

What I would like to see would be a follow-up survey. Now that is has been 4 to 5 years, how many players are still playing back-weighted equipment? How many players have significantly reduced their handicaps? How many players have seen the honeymoon period end? It isn't so much how backweighting helps on a specific day, but how much it helps in the long term.
 

SiberianDVM

I love Hooters
Moderator
Jul 25, 2005
8,773
1,525
Augusta, GA
Country
United States United States
I butt weighted my Cobra driver last year using a 20gm lead weight. I have never hit a driver better than I hit this one.

And, right now I'm hitting the driver better than any other club in the bag. Of course, that may be because I only hit it with the ball teed up.

My next experiment may be to try back weighting in some other clubs.
 

BigJim13

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Aug 13, 2006
11,808
3,126
I backweigted my driver and fw woods last year at the beginning of the season. I have never hit them worse than when I had them backweighted, all I could manage was short little pop ups...dont know why... just didn't work for me.
 

Bignose

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2006
426
2
I butt weighted my Cobra driver last year using a 20gm lead weight. I have never hit a driver better than I hit this one.

And, right now I'm hitting the driver better than any other club in the bag. Of course, that may be because I only hit it with the ball teed up.

My next experiment may be to try back weighting in some other clubs.

I think that it would be interesting if sometime you would try hitting a non-backweighted driver, but wear a second glove (like on your other hand) (or a glove if you don't normally wear one). Because that would also be adding that same extra weight. And see if you get the same results. Or maybe just wear an extra ring or two.

I always just seems like it is an incredible amount of difference ascribed to such a small amount of weight. I'm not trying to discount the difference in feel it can make, but from a physics point of view it always just seems like such an insignificant amount shouldn't be making that much of a difference.
 

Clugnut

Gimme some roombas!
Aug 13, 2006
3,423
1
Or how about a watch? That would add a large amount of weight right at the same area.
 

LyleG

gear head
Aug 10, 2006
6,388
28
Country
Canada Canada
LOL. I quit reading after this. Their testers couldn't tell a difference between D2 and B3? Seriously?


With all the weight that causes the swing weight change being placed directly in line with the players hands you will not notice the change in swingweight. I have personally tested this on at least 50 players and most actually believe the backweighted club feels more head heavy.

Backweighting works best on fast tempo players, with a mid to late release. I have seen no benefit at all to slower swingers, or players with an early release. With putting however (after a short adjustment period) every player I have tested improved, especially inside of ten feet.
 

indacup

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jun 1, 2007
1,519
37
Iowa
Back weighting in putters seems to be more successful than any other clubs....the weight enhances a pendulum effect....which in return, helps with the release of the club.

In the experimenting we've done, we've seen no improvement in terms of feel or performance in steel irons...

Now, as far as drivers and woods go, some people have felt a difference...and with some, we've been able to document performance (distance and accuracy) improvements...not huge...but noticable.

Back in the early 1960's The clubfitter at MacGregor went to make a new driver for Jack Nicklaus....and found his driver which should have come in around a D-8, actually came in closer to a D-2.

He pulled the grip and found a cork filled with lead that the previous fitter had done.....unknown to Jack.

They tried a normal balanced driver, but Jack had no luck...he said the weight in the back of the shaft kept his hands more stable throughout the swing....maximizing impact.

From then, until recently, all his woods were back weighted...all his Masters wins were done with backweighted clubs.

Me personally, I have my putter, driver and Fw's backweighted....the irons and hybrids are not....and I loved it in my putter...and initilly didn't see the value in the woods...untill a couple years ago when I dislocated my left ring finger....it was hard to swing the club...until I backweighted them...and then it was much easier to hold, swing...with less effort.
 

cybear

Sneak-e-bad Golf
Oct 31, 2014
4
8
Midlothian, Virginia
Country
United States United States
I used this grip in a Ping Rapture 10.5 driver for the past three years.

"The Boccieri Standard Secret Grip features a 17 gram tungsten back-weight and a 40% heavier compound which raises the balance point of your golf club. The specially designed built up lower hand improves your consistency, control and distance. The Secret Grip is endorsed by Jack Nicklaus who used back-weighting technology during his career."

I never really notice the swing weight change. Distance remained about the same for me. But my accuracy improved. I went from high 60's % of fairways hit to the low 70's. Just bought a new Cleveland Driver this past Wednesday, debating installing on this club. May wait and play it a while first to get a good feel of how the Cleveland plays on the course as compared to the Ping Rapture.
 

herb200mph

New Member
Mar 30, 2020
1
0
Country
United States United States
About backweighting and clubhead speed. If you just jam a bunch of weight under the grip, you end up with an imbalanced club. My experience is: 1) backweight, 2) grip down on the club so the weight protrudes outward from the but of your hand. This creates a pendulum situation where, when weight is added high, the bottom will move faster. So, add the weight, choke down on the club and the club head will travel much, much faster at impact. FYI - I have a patent (in the 90's), on a back weight device that does just that which was approved by the USGA. Couldn't find money to develop and market it. There are "copies" of my system now available, and I wish them all the best in their business venture.
 

Rockford John

New Member
Sep 9, 2020
2
0
Country
United States United States
Am open to backweightng but, it seems that would it change the feel/swingweight. Does this not totally change the sw and as such timing/tempo?
 

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