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Swing Weight Made Easy


Hi Frank,

Can you explain the term swing weight and whether or not a golfer can distinguish the difference between a D3 and D4 swing weight. I am going to purchase a new #3 hybrid club to accompany my #4 and # 5 hybrids. I was going to purchase the older version which matches my existing clubs but was considering purchasing the newest version. I have to admit, I am a sucker for the latest and newest gear! Anyway, the older version has a swing weight of D3 and the newer version D4. I have tested the newest version and it feels heavier. Is this "feel" difference have anything to do with swing weight? Thanks much for your insight!






First, if you really like your existing #4 and #5 hybrids and they seem to be working well for you then it is advisable to get the matching #3 hybrid rather than a new model. You don't want to introduce other variables which may exist between clubs if you don't have to.

On the other hand, if you have tested the #3 and it is doing really good things then go for it. Some good golfers have different models or even

different manufacturers' clubs at either end of the set; not often in the middle, i.e. wedges or 2-irons but rarely a maverick 5- or 6-iron mixed in.

In your case having, a different model for your #3 hybrid is not a big deal especially today where any significant performance differences between last and this year's model is highly unlikely. For example, this year's driver is not going to make a measurable difference in performance compared to last year's model -- assuming both have been fitted correctly. If this was the case then claims that last year's model which was, "state of the art" when introduced is suspect. "State of the art" does not change that quickly.

 Yes, this year's model is better -- and probably measurably so -- than a five year old driver but still not good enough to cure your wicked slice. This will require a lesson or two and is probably a lot cheaper than a new driver.

Now to your question -- sorry but I was distracted in trying to make sure you understood that there is not too much magic available between models from one year to the next -- which is the easy part of this answer.

Very few people can tell the difference between two clubs which have a difference of three swing weight points i.e. D0 to D3. A club, e.g. a driver, will change by one swing weight point if you added a 2 grams weight to the club head. This is equivalent to two one dollar bills or two hundred dollar bills -- they both weigh the same, its just that your wallet feels heavier with hundred dollar bill in it. 

Swing weight is a static balance which was introduced about 80 years ago based on balancing Francis Ouimet's -- US Open champion 1913 -- clubs. It was found that the same weight could be added to the butt end of each club in his set and they would balance on a fulcrum 14 inches from the grip end of the club. This is still the system used to swing weight clubs.

I hope this get you into the swing of things.