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The Process of Optimization

January 18 2010 at 6:52 PM
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Matt King  (Login theputterman)
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Process of Optimization

Optimization process begins with terminology.

Optimization is the term used when:

 Raising the static weight and balance point of a golf club to match the individual swinging

 Placing weight in a position around the hands to increase feel and awareness of the golf club

How does Optimization work in a driver:

 Utilizing lighter weight shafts ( i.e. 50, 55, 60, 65 grams ) and then redistributing the weight taken out of the shaft into an area around the hands, increases controllability of the club making it easier to keep on a better swing plain.

 The result of a better swing plain equals more on center hits off the club face. This will also help in accuracy, and hitting more fairways.

 Raising the balance point allows for easier club head release ( i.e. more club head speed and an increase in ball speed ) equating to longer ball flight.

 Adjustability of the internal weight 4-10 inches down inside the shaft from the butt end, allows for fine tuning the release of the club head. ( i.e. Lower, 7-10 inches delays the club face from closing. Higher, 4-6 inches allows the club face to close easier )

 Individuals that draw/hook the ball the position should be lower. Individuals that fade ( not slice, that’s more a mechanical issue and lessons should be applied ) should be higher.

 When starting the optimization process with the driver, be sure have them hit the driver with out the weight in. At this time watch for general tendencies, and ball flight. Ask what their usual tendancies are when swinging 80%, and what they are when trying to step on it on a long hole. ( long par 5 and they want to get there in 2 ).

 These weights are hook killers. Individuals that snap hook the ball, this is the product for them. Start the weight at 7 or 8 inches and continue down until the hook is gone.

Note: The above weight positions are general and do not apply to everyone, as an instructor you need to watch how the body as well as ball flight react to the weight placement. Some individuals may benefit from an opposing position of weight placement. ( i.e. the individual likes more club head Feel, place the weight lower.)

Process of Optimization

How does Optimization work in a putter:

 Raising the static weight and balance point increases the controllability of the putter. Helping keep it on a better path.

 The ability to alter the raise in static weight and balance point are key.

 Finding the right static weight and balance point depends on the player.

 Start with a 100g internal weight at 4 inches. Ask them how that weight feels. (press the issue, make sure it’s not to heavy.) If they say it’s a little or too heavy, go to a 75g at the same position. And so on.

 Adding weight to the grip automatically raises the balance point. After finding the right static weight, adjusting or fine tuning the balance point is next.

 A connection between the grip and the putter head can be fine tuned buy raising or lowering the internal weight. This is how to fine tune the balance point. Lowering the weight increases putter head feel. Raising the weight puts more weight into the hands, allowing the putter head to release easier or less putter head feel.

 Great optimizations come when the player feels fully connected to the grip and putter head.

 Watch distance control, ball dispersion around the hole, smoothness of the putter head at the take way, how the ball rolls.

 This process usually take 10-15 min. The more time you spend the better the optimization.

General fitting parameters always apply

 Optimization is the last step in club fitting. Loft, length, lie, and then optimization. Utilizing a lighter weight shaft that still fits the individuals swing profile is key. The more weight that can redistributed to the hands will carry over to higher performance gains in the optimization.

 Consistent Optimal Loft at Impact ( OLI ) is created from a great optimization. OLI is the loft determined at the time of the putter fitting. ( Think Phil Mickelson, forward press = 4-5 degrees de-loft. His putter might have 7 degrees. But at impact he has 2-3 degrees. 2-3 degrees is his OLI ) Fine tuning the balance point to create a feeling of connection between the grip and the putter head is we create repeatable Optimal Loft at impact, resulting in a better rolling ball off the putter face

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