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Golf Club Components

"Improve your game by understanding golf club components."

Golf club heads can be made from many materials. Zinc and Aluminum alloys are primarily used in beginners sets and putters. HST Aluminum is a much harder aluminum and is popular in very large drivers. 431 stainless steel is a softer stainless steel very commonly used in high quality iron heads. 17-4 stainless steel is a harder steel found in professional quality irons and wood heads.

Maraging metal is a stainless steel put through a very special hardening process that makes it very very hard and is a popular material for the faceplates in the highest performing woods. Titanium is the most expensive material used in building golf clubs heads and combines light weight and excellent strength.

Titanium is used today in the highest end woods manufactured. Pinemeadow Golf carries a wide assortment of titanium woods.

Do not confuse Ti-Alloy with Titanium. Ti-Alloy products are Aluminum products with trace elements of Titanium that attempt to take advantage of the Titanium name. Ti-Alloy products are among the least expensive and are meant for beginners and junior golfers.

Other materials include ceramics, graphite and plastics. We don't see those much anymore, but they should begin to make a return in the next few years as manufacturing technologies improve.

To conclude our section on materials, we rank golf head materials as follows:

Beginner woods: Aluminum, Titanium alloys
Good woods: HST Aluminum
Better woods: 17-4ph stainless steel, 431 stainless steel
Best woods: Titanium (usually in drivers only), maraging metal, bi-metal, tungsten insert

Beginner irons: Zinc
Better irons: 431 stainless steel
Best irons: 17-4ph stainless steel, bi-metal, tungsten insert

Putters: material choices are immaterial. The shape, weighting and type of inserts generally override materials in your decision.
 

Golf Club Component Differences

Golf heads are made in a variety of shapes. Key design principles are weight distribution (perimeter, low center of gravity, etc.), size (traditional, oversize, super-oversize) and styling (keel sole, deep face, wide body, etc.). There are not very many utility patents in this area, so most clubmakers can use most shapes that they desire without violating another company's rights.

Golf heads come in a variety of weights. Here there are some important factors. To achieve the desired swing weight there is an important dynamic between the weight of a golf head, the length of the club and the weight of the grip and shaft.

Don't worry too much about it because every decent club maker uses golf club casting foundries that cast golf heads with the correct weights. It would be pretty rare to find a golf head maker that messes up in this area.

Generally, if a club is made from the same materials, using the same shapes, with the same weight distributions and overall weight, it should perform the same as another club similarly constructed.

This is a key concept to understanding why golf club clones perform as well as the name brands it is just molten metal shaped into a form. If the metal is the same and the shape similar, the result should compare very well.

The trick is that many companies and retail stores do not explain or know what their clubs are made from. For example, an Aluminum driver that looks just like a club made from stainless steel will be inferior to that club and vice versa.

We will do our best to tell you the straight truth about products and what they are made from so you will be educated to judge quality for yourself. Look at a product on our web site ( Pinemeadow Golf ) and you will see specifications for materials, size and weight.
 

Golf Club Shafts

We have been in the golf business for many years and have bought shafts from every significant steel and graphite shaft maker. We find much greater quality differences in graphite shafts versus steel shafts, but the good news is that the quality of graphite has improved significantly over the past ten years.

In fact the quality of graphite shafts and their affordability is much better than just two or three years ago. So, here are our short thoughts on shafts and why we use whom we do as suppliers.

In our opinion, the shaft is as important as the head of a golf club. In fact, we often find greater performance differences in using different graphite shafts with the same head than we do using different heads (provided the heads are made from the same materials) with the same shaft.

Did that make any sense to you? Well, it's the truth.

So, the bottom line: SHAFTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT.
 

Graphite Club Shafts

Graphite shafts reduce the weight of your club (it is actually quite remarkable to feel the weight difference in an entire set of clubs made with steel versus graphite shafts) this is good for all players, but especially women and seniors.

Graphite shafts weigh from 50 grams to 85 grams, while steel shafts generally start at 120 grams. Graphite shafts reduce the shock at impact this is good for women, seniors, aging baby boomers and those of us with joint problems.

Graphite shafts allow for longer clubs this is good for distance (but maybe not quite so good for control). Graphite shafts have greater construction alternatives so that they can be designed to affect the flight of the ball to a greater degree than steel shafts.
 

Related Pages

Golf Swing Biomechanics Part 1 - How to make a perfect golf swing every time - Improve your golf swing with these tips on using the proper grip and posture when addressing the ball.

Buying Custom Golf Clubs - The basics of buying custom golf clubs - Overview of club components - Advice from a custom golf club maker.

Buying Golf Clubs - Tips on buying the right golf clubs for your specific needs - Differences between graphite shafts and steel shafts.

Three Golf Swing Secrets - The three most important parts of the golf swing - Discover three secrets that will make you a better golfer - Flat left wrist, straight plane line, and lagging clubhead.

Perfect Posture - Understand how your posture affects your swing mechanics - Quick tips for improving your swing by improving your posture - Knees, back, and shoulders.

Perfect Posture Part 2 - The correct posture for holding your club - The quick posture setup to use during your round - How to adjust your posture for different clubs.

One Piece Takeaway Part 2 - The one-piece takeaway movement - Improve your posture and improve your swing - Practice exercises for developing the right swing posture.

How To Fix Your Shank - Advice on how to correct your swing to avoid shanking the ball - What a shanked shot is and how to fix your shank - Easy practice method to keep your club vertical at impact.

How To Play A Water Hazard - The best way to play a water hazard is to ignore it - Trying to loft a ball over the water causes you to top the ball and hit it directly into the water.

Clone Golf Clubs - Clone clubs can save you a ton of money - Tips on what to look for in clone golf clubs and the best places to buy them.

Golf Club Clones - Where to find the best deals on clone golf clubs - Compare price and features on golf club clones and save big.
 

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