Angle Adjustments: A Golf Clubs Industry Guide Part 2

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How does bending influence bounce?

Any change in a club’s loft will correspondingly change the club’s bounce. The relationship is one-to-one. As you decrease the loft of a club by one degree, you reduce its bounce a degree at the same time. The bounce angle increases equal to the amount of any loft increase. A one or two degree change in loft will not cause a bounce or dig sole with today’s golf clubs. But if you are changing lofts on older more flatter-soled irons, bounce should be taken into account.

If you do change the loft more than two degrees on a club, sole grinding may be necessary to restore the sole angle to a more playable position. Changes in lie do not affect the bounce of a club in any manner.

Can you be sure that a club will not break during bending?

Even the most skilled repair professionals can occasionally break a club. Generally, breakage is a result of some type of inconsistency in the metallurgy of the club. Cast clubs may have voids in their internal structure. These voids are effectively weak spots that when subjected to pressure from bending will often cause hosel breakage.

In addition, the club may not have been heat-treated properly and can be very brittle. The hosel of the iron may have been bored off-center resulting in inconsistent hosel wall thicknesses. Breakage can occur when bending pressure is applied to the thinner hosel area. None of these manufacturing inconsistencies can be identified prior to bending.

A properly manufactured club may be bent many times without breaking. There is no worry about bending a club that was bent last year or last week. It can be re-bent without any negative effect on it.

Are all bending machines accurate in their readings?

No, in fact all machines with fixed measuring gauges will not be accurate when measuring clubs with offset, progressive offset or face progression hosel positions. Machines that adjust for all hosel positions, such as Mitchell® Angle Machines are accurate regardless of the offset or hosel design of the golf club. Mitchell® machines are capable of bending and measuring clubs simultaneously. Spec Gauges are not required when measuring in a Mitchell® Angle Machine.

What is Proper Club Head Registration?

Club head registration is the key element when bending or measuring clubs. Proper registration requires the club to be clamped securely in the bending machine with the face square and horizontal by positioning the club’s score lines parallel to a horizontal reference point. Score lines are manufactured into the club’s face parallel to the face attitude. The face attitude at impact is what directs the ball’s flight.

The club’s sole and its imaginary ground line have nothing to do with the attitude of the club’s face at impact. Measuring the club’s lie off the center of the club’s sole in a specification gauge is impossible to do accurately and it is almost impossible to repeat the measurement. Loft and lie angles are accurately measured from the club’s face attitude (horizontal score lines) to the shaft plane.

How much can a club be bent?

The common industry answer is “2 degrees.” This limit is only recommended when changing the lofts on irons due to the potential effect such bends will have on the sole angle of the club. If the hosel design and manufacturing processes allow, the lie of an iron can be bent 3-4 degrees or more with no compromise to the integrity of the head. This is especially true of clubs made with long hosels.

Practice on a few old irons in order to become comfortable in bending lie more than 2 degrees. It is easy to do in a machine that securely holds the club. Machines without adjustable sole clamps will often allow the iron to slip during bending, making the repair professional think the club bent when it didn’t.

Metallurgy
MATERIAL HARDNESS PRIMARY USE
Aluminum B50-60 Woods, Putter
Carbon Steel B60-70 Irons, Putters
304 Stainless B75 Irons Only
Beryllium Copper B70-80 Irons, Putters
431 Stainless C18-25 Irons, Putters
100% Titanium C24-28 Woods
6-4 Titanium C32-36 Woods, Faces
17-4 Stainless C34-38 Woods, Irons, Putters
450 Steel (SuperSteel) C36-40 Woods, Irons
15-5 Stainless C36-44 Woods
Beta Titanium C40+ Woods
Maraging Steel C45-55 Woods, Faces
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