Are your clubs safe to play?
This week we fixed numerous sets of badly built clubs that had their heads fly off! Learn how to prevent this from happening to you before it's too late.
According to Golf Digest, nearly 40,000 golfers are admitted to emergency rooms after being injured by golf balls and flying club heads.
And what we’re really concerned about are the flying club heads.
At the top of your backswing, a club head can reach speeds in excess of 100 mph or 160 kmh in under 0.2 seconds!
That’s some massive acceleration! And given that a clubhead that’s forcibly removed from a shaft will have sharp edges, the chances of serious injury can be high.
As more and more of us are vaccinated against COVID, and as the economy continues to open, golf courses are starting to get busy again. In this last week, we got a frightening amount of club repair work relating to heads coming loose!
We’ll be honest. This isn’t our favorite type of work. It’s incredibly labor intensive, but it’s something we’ll continue to do as long as we can as a service to the industry.
As club fitting became popular in the last several years, more and more “club fitters” started popping up.
There’s a perception that it takes basic building skills, and in a way, it’s true that basic building skills will get them as far as handing a club over to you.
The lack of proper training doesn’t show until heads start flying.
In this week, we’ve seen practically the whole catalogue of bad work, from improper cleaning of the heads and shafts, oil films, using the wrong types of epoxy (such as heat resistant epoxy - this must be the most common), using way to much epoxy (which loses strength when too much is used), overground shafts caused by aggressive paint stripping on a belt sander, and in one case, the shaft wasn’t even fully inserted in to the head!
Edit: It's one week after this blog post, and we've seen lots more badly modified clubs. But this particular one takes the cake! The club builder thought that tape would do the trick! I know - because I feel the same way - I'll believe it when I see it - so here's a pic!
Before you head back onto the course, do take some time to give your clubs a quick health check:
- Ensure that the Hosel and the shaft form a straight line. Rotate the shaft and see if you notice if there are any points where it’s not straight.
- Ensure that the Hosel is firmly attached to the shaft. Hold the shaft and head firmly and twist the head as hard as you can in all directions. This will not damage the joint which is meant to take the full impact of you striking the ball.
- Ensure that there is no gap appearing between the Hosel and the Furrell. This indicates epoxy failure.
- Repeat steps for all your clubs. Typically, when one shows an issue, problems with the others are just around the corner.
The Hosel is the part of the head that the shaft goes into.
The Furrell is the plastic collar above the Hosel that goes around the shaft.
When you go to get your clubs reshafted or modified, make sure that the shop that’s doing the work for you is both a Certified Club Fitter and Certified Club Builder.
Before letting anyone work on your clubs, check the following:
- What is the background of person who will work on your clubs - where are they trained? Are they even trained?
- What sort of materials are they using?
- “Fitter” is a term that is very loosely used in the industry. Repair should be done by a Certified Builder, and fitting done by a Certified Fitter. Ideally, the person whom you consult needs to be trained in both and certified in both, to make sure your clubs are workable.
Smashing Drives is a Class A Certified Club Fitter and a Class A Certified Club Fitter. We’re also the official custom shop for Titleist and TaylorMade.
To maintain our reputation, we take great pains to ensure that your clubs are properly fitted. For example, we’ll never belt sand your shafts, and instead prepare your shafts by hand. We also use exclusive adhesives that only available to OEMs’ (eg, Titleist’s and TaylorMade’s) Tour Pros.
Not only will this ensure that your heads don’t come off, this ensures that there’s no loss in energy between the shaft and the head when you strike the ball. When we work on clubs for Tour Pros, every little bit counts, and we pass this know how and benefits on to you, our customer.
Don't wait till it's too late. If you're unsure about the safety of your clubs, come down and let us check to be sure.