Golf: The Tools of the Trade

The golf industry is flooded with complicated terms, such as ball compression, shaft torque, offset, loft, and more.

How are these measurements and classifications found? How do golf shops and dub repair facilities build clubs to exact specifications? The answer is that these entities utilize an entire sub-industry of golf tools and machines, which exist largely unknown by the general public.

In this article, we will dive into the specific tools and machines that are designed and used in golf!

  1. Golf Ball Compression Tool

Golf balls are advertised by compression. Slower swing speeds usually mean a soft flexible ball will enhance your performance. In contrast, a fast-swinging player will see better accuracy and consistency with a harder ball.

How can you test a ball to make sure the advertised compression rating is accurate? Well, ProCheck has created this compression tool to help. The device tests a golf ball and lets you know the compression on a scale from very soft to very firm.

This is a great tool and can be excellent for a golfer looking to further hone their equipment.   

  1. Golf Shaft Deflection Board

Most golfers know that shafts are characterized by flexibility. Much like golf balls, a slower swing speed usually benefits from a more flexible whip-like shaft. In comparison, a fast swing speed will get the most distance and accuracy with a stiffer shaft. However, there is no golf industry standard for the various advertised flexes.

A regular flex from one company may be stiffer or more flexible than a regular flex of a different company. Shaft stiffness can even change within the same brand’s various product lines. Luckily, there is a tool to test for this.

The shaft deflection board utilizes a weight to measure the flexibility of golf shafts. This standardizes the measurement process and enables golf enthusiasts and professionals to directly compare various shafts. 

  1. Shaft Torque Testing Machine

This is a much more specialized machine than the previous items on this list. Shaft torque is an important characteristic of a golf club. Much like shaft stiffness, a shaft has the potential to twist under force. Shaft manufacturers must put special emphasis on designing shafts that have optimal torque performance. This machine tests shaft torque and provide that valuable insight. Due to its specialized nature, it probably only makes sense for shaft manufacturers to own this device. 

  1. Golf Shaft Extractor

A golf shaft extractor is an important tool even if you are just getting into customizing your clubs. Pulling the shaft out of a golf head can be a difficult and intimidating process.

A golf shaft extractor grips the head and the shaft and enables the two components to separate cleanly and safely. There is a wide assortment of options available. Some are hydraulically assisted and others rely on simple mechanical action. 

  1. Golf Shaft Bending Machine

Bending wedges, putters, and even irons is a common process to dial in the specifications to the individual golfer. These bends are required to be made on a specialized machine. The machine ensures the bends are made precisely.

In our experience, the Mitchell Golf TourGauge Bending machine is one of the best. It allows for precise bends to be made without sacrificing the integrity of the shaft. While useful for club repair facilities, this is a machine a consumer could use. Although, we certainly encourage practice on some cheaper equipment before you try to adjust a Scotty Cameron. 

  1. Golf Frequency Meter

Golf shafts like most things have frequency responses. Shaft manufacturers work to build shafts with optimal frequency characteristics. In order to measure this, there exist frequency meters for golf shafts. These meters are usually only useful to engineers and researchers creating golf shafts. However, equipment like this is how we can achieve such dramatic shaft improvements year after year. 

Hopefully, some of these tools and machines have piqued your interest. Understanding how a specification is measured or adjusted can also increase your understanding and appreciation for the work of constructing golf equipment.

Leave a Reply