5 Things Every Club Builder Must Know

Learn from the Best

While some golfers are content to leave the club building to the experts, some of us can’t get away from our DIY nature.  Whether it’s simply gripping our own clubs or doing complete builds, many golfers want to get their hands dirty.  The problem that most recreational builders run into is a lack of knowledge.  There’s information everywhere – on forums, websites, etc – but in most cases it’s the blind leading the blind.

What we’re bringing to you today is very different.  In collaboration with Club Champion, the country’s premier club fitter and builder, Plugged In Golf presents the five things every club builder must know.  These tips come directly from Nick Sherburne, Master Club Builder and Founder of Club Champion.

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#1 – Buy Quality Tools

According to Nick, Rule #1 is, “Buy quality.  Having the proper machinery is HUGE.  I cannot stress enough how a properly built club makes a huge difference in performance, and that can’t be done with poor tools.  At Club Champion we prefer Mitchell for a lot of our tools.  They make quality equipment and stand behind it.  Their digital bending machines are the most accurate and best in the business.  We do use Golfsmith digital swing weight scales, and we find those to be very accurate and great to work with.”

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#2 – Learn to Install Grips Correctly

“There are so many mistakes that amateurs make when gripping clubs,” Nick says.  “Scratching the shaft when they cut off the old grip, not cleaning old tape off the shaft, not using the right length of tape, not getting the grip fully installed, or stretching the grip out too much.  These mistakes can lead to uneven or incorrectly-sized grips.”

“If you want to grip clubs faster and better, get a tape dispenser, use a heat gun to make removing old tape easier, and use plenty of solvent.”

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#3 – Measure Everything

If you want a set of clubs with perfect swing weights, everything must be taken into account.  “Amateur builders often make mistakes with swing weight because they fail to take all the components into account, or they get their club lengths wrong.  You must use a club measuring jig when measuring length if you want to be consistent.  Another thing that’s often overlooked is the length the grip cap will add to the shaft.  This can throw off length and swing weight calculations.  Finally, to ensure the highest level of precision, we bend our clubs before we swing weight them because bending can affect swing weight.”

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#4 – A Good Cut Requires the Right Saw

When it comes to cutting shafts, the right tool is essential.  “We use a chop saw with a .035” cut off wheel for both steel and graphite,” says Nick.  “This will ensure a thin and very accurate cut.  Novices will use pipe cutters on steel and that will lead to a blunt or uneven cut, and some novices will use hacksaws for graphite which can lead to a choppy, uneven cut and splintering on the shaft.  Most of the problems with cutting shafts, especially graphite, come from using the wrong tool.”

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#5 – Putting It All Together

Lots of mistakes happen during assembly and gluing.  Among the most common is not mixing the epoxy thoroughly.  Nick says this is, “maybe one of the most underestimated steps.  Always take the time to mix and make sure the mix is done well.  You can’t over-mix, only under-mix.  Proper mixing will lead to the best bond.”

Many builders get hung up on what type of epoxy to use.  According to Nick, long set (slow curing) is best.  “Generally speaking, long set has a higher heat resistance and shear strength making it the better choice.  That being said, some of the 3M epoxy has the same shear strength and heat resistance as long set but cures in 30 minutes.  But I would suggest a novice use long set epoxy to ensure a better bond.”

Is there such a thing as using too much glue?  “I don’t believe in over gluing.  More problems come from not using enough glue.  That being said, don’t use so much it jams up the shaft too much.  The key is to make sure the entire hosel walls are covered with epoxy and that the entire tip is covered as well.”

Matt Saternus

3 Comments

  1. Nice article, Matty!

  2. Olin Chamberlain

    Love your news letter

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