How to Measure & Adjust Swing Weight – Golf Club Building 101

Getting That “Just Right” Feel

Every golfer has had the experience of picking up a club that “just felt right.”  Similarly, we’ve picked up clubs that felt terrible.  Both experiences are likely related to swing weight.

Swing weight is an under-discussed topic among golfers, but it has a huge impact on how a club feels and plays.  In this edition of Golf Club Building 101, Club Champion Founder Nick Sherburne will teach you how to build your clubs to your perfect swing weight.

Tools & Supplies You Need

Swing weight scale

Level

The Tools You Want

Tip weights

Tungsten powder

Hot melt gun or syringe

Lead tape

The Process

Step 1: Get your “dry” swing weight.  The is done by putting the club head on the shaft – which has already been cut to length and gripped – without epoxy.  Place the club on your swing weight scale and see where you stand.

Step 2: Account for ferrule, glue, and plastic wrap.  Adding the ferrule and glue will add about one swing weight point.  If you’re building a new head, the plastic wrap can add between 1/3 of a point (for an iron) and 1 point (for a driver).  Make sure to consider all this before going forward.

Step 3: Determine your target swing weight.

Step 4: Add weight to the head.  Adding two grams to the club head will raise the swing weight by one point.

If you’re working with a steel shaft, the easiest way is to add tip weights.  Tip weights are typically sold in weights of 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 grams.  Install the weight into the shaft with epoxy before gluing on the head.

If you’re using a graphite shaft, tip weights can be more difficult to use because the interior diameters of graphite shafts are inconsistent.  Because of this, Nick prefers tungsten powder.  Tungsten powder is mixed with the epoxy to add weight and raise the swing weight.

Finally, for adding weight to woods, you can use hot melt.

Step 5: Install the club head.  Get the full breakdown of how to do this properly HERE.

Alternate Methods

If you want to skip all this messiness, you can use good old lead tape.  Some players don’t like the way it looks, but others prefer it.  The nice thing about lead tape is that it’s not permanent.  You can add a few grams, try it, and go back to a lighter swing weight by simply peeling the tape off.  To get off the sticky tape residue, I use Goo Gone.

Common Mistakes

Bad math.  If you’re not confident in your ability to do the swing weight math, do an extra dry measurement with the tip weight installed but not glued in.  Once you’ve glued it together, you can add more weight via lead tape, but you can’t remove weight without taking the club apart.  Measure twice, glue once.

Pro Tips

Make sure that the surface you’re using for measuring swing weight is level.  If the surface is tilted, your swing weight measurements will be off.  Additionally, keep your swing weight scale in the same location for consistent measurements.

Nick also notes that using tungsten powder in your epoxy is a tough skill to master and should probably be left to experienced builders.  This process is largely about trial and error, and there’s no way to shortcut experience.  If you want to try this method, experiment with some expendable clubs before using it on your gamers.

Watch the Video HERE

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

7 Comments

  1. Scott Kefalas

    Great article. I prefer to build my clubs without grips on the shafts to allow air to escape through the shaft. I have an array of cut grips that I put on the club to obtain the dry swing weight.

  2. Dana Horton

    Any ideas on if you want to reduce swing weight rather than add? I’ve got some clubs which measure out at D10 after lengthening them.

  3. Does going from standard to midsize grips charge swing weight?

  4. I’ve always been flabbergasted that 99.9% of club fitters never consider swing weight, especially for metal woods. Then again, when you go down this rabbit hole it gets deep fast while profit margins plummet. It takes time to figure out and is at the heart of the old “feel is real” saying in golf. For a driver, swing weight is more important than anything in my experience. I recently bought a driver from a friend who swapped a stock 47g grip to a heavy 63g midsize grip. That’s a little over 3 swing weights! (2g in the head, 5g in grip and 9g in shaft weight all equal 1 swing weight). You can very easily end up with a club suited for grandma. D4-D5 is best for almost every adult male golfer for the driver. It’s been tested tried and true. If the industry isn’t going to sell products to help people mess with swing weight (probably a good idea to keep us from ourselves) then retailers and fitters should at least advise and publish more articles like this one to inform players about the massive swing weight changes, feel and playability that simply changing a grip can have on a club you’ve invested a lot in and was designed by engineers to play within a certain spec. Ultimately, feel is real for all golfers, and you might not guess at how often pros ness with driver swing weight. Rarely with irons once they find it. Be careful when swapping driver grips. Most people can feel the difference in 2 swing weights and you may be wondering where that long accurate drive went.

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