Does Your Weight Conform

By Frank ThomasApril 23, 2008, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is the latest in a weekly Q&A feature from GOLF CHANNEL's Chief Technical Advisor Frank Thomas. To submit a question for possible use in this column, email

QUESTION OF THE WEEK:Every week we will select the best question and Frank will send one lucky golfer a personally signed copy of 'Just Hit It'. Last week's lucky winner was Bob, with his question on the Masters Course set up.
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Does Your Weight Conform?
Hi Frank,
I really enjoy your column and read it every week. I purchased two XYZ drivers with different shafts and lofts. These drivers come with four adjustable weights, two 2 gram and two 10 gram. After tinkering with the weights in each driver, I decided to try one driver with all 10 gram weights (two from each club). It is a little heavier but I have picked up about 20 yards of distance(from 230 to 250). Is my driver still conforming with four 10 grams weights instead of the two it was shipped with? Have I increased my driving distance because of the added mass?
Randy, MN

First, thank you for your kind comments.
I have excluded the brand name of your driver in your question to discourage our readers from promoting special favorite products and in your case, the brand is irrelevant as the question has little to do with the type of driver but rather how you have weighted it.
By placing four 10 gram weights in the weight ports of your driver -- supplied with only two 10 gram weights and two 2 gram weights -- is not a violation of the rules. There is no restriction on the weight of a driver head. I dont know how the USGA will react to increasing the weight of a driver which may at the same time increase the MOI of one which is at the maximum limit by design. Increasing the overall and peripheral weight of a driver head will increase its Moment of Inertia and may place it over the limit. I dont think this is going to be the case with your driver but I dont believe the USGA, when placing a limit on the MOI thought about this eventuality.
Having said this, the additional 16 grams in head weight will project the ball a little faster, but only if you have the same head speed. The same head speed is highly unlikely as it requires an increase in energy on your part. Even if you had the same head speed this increase in head weight will contribute very little to the distance and certainly no where near the magic 20 yard increase you are experiencing.
As an aside; it is amazing how most new products feature something, which will give us more distance and the implication is, 20 yards. Golfers also come off the course claiming that the new club ' as long as it behaved itself -- or ball, has given them 20 more yards. One infrequently hears, This new drive has increased my distance by 7 or 13 yards. The increment is always 20 yards.
In your case Randy you have actual measurements, which I am sure you have checked. The only way one driver of identical make and model will give you increased distance of 20 yards is be because you have, through the relocation of weight, changed the c.g. (center of gravity) of the head and thus the face presentation to the ball and thus been able to launch the ball more efficiently. This would mean that your launch conditions were so far off to begin with that you should probably not have selected this driver in the first place.
So, bottom line is that you may be able to gain 20 yards only by launching the ball more efficiently assuming you were way off to begin with but this has nothing to do with -- or very little -- the increase in weight.
Randy, the Magic is in you not the club.
Good luck
Going for Gold
I've finished 'Just Hit It' and '...may the church say amen!' I could bore you with all the things I've learned from your insight (both from your newsletter and book) but I'll narrow it down to the most important; I've moved up to the gold tees and this game is fun again!
But there is a problem; this has now put more pressure on my putting. You see, now I'm on more greens 'in regulation' and have something I rarely had to deal with 'from the tips' - BIRDIE PUTTS.
If higher MOI is good for the other 13 utensils would it not follow that increasing MOI in the 'flatstick' would help on hits not made on the sweet spot? I believe I recently saw an ad claiming less loss of distance and line on 'off center' hits with this particular putter with 'high MOI'. I think everyone takes ads 'with a grain of salt', so here's your chance to give us the straight talk.
Oh, and thanks for the autographed copy of the book!
Dennis, NC.

Thank you for your kind comments and I am pleased that you enjoyed my book Just Hit It. I have been getting similar comments from many readers who are having fun and enjoying their game more than they have for some time. I do think, however, that we all have some work to do to make the introductory process to this wonderful game a little less intimidating and to get things changed to better accommodate those who have been in the game for many years but now finding it less enjoyable.
I hope that the last chapter will act as a call to action for golfers and operators to help us speed up play, offer nine-hole fees, install tees which are a more appropriate challenge for a wider range of golfing skills and other various other suggestions. I also try to help guide golfers through the process of proper equipment selection to help their game and their wallet. I also try to provide simple explanations of technical terms being used to sell equipment and which may or may not affect you game. But Dennis you already know this so I thank you for supporting our game and the cause.
Regarding higher MOI for putters, you are absolutely correct in your assumption. The original Ping putters introduced in the late 1960s, did exhibit a higher MOI ---- ( Click Here for an easy to understand explanation of MOI) --- than most other putters and were very popular because the off-centered impact was not as dramatically affected as with standard blade type putters with a lower MOI. For years we didnt change this design of toe heel weighting and many of todays custom putters are still of this Ping style.
Over the last ten years, however, the mallet putter has become popular and is something I recommend as it has a high MOI about two axes making it more forgiving on miss hits both up and down and from toe to heel. The effective sweet spot is thus bigger as evidenced by less of a fall off in distance on miss hits in two directions.
The Frankly Frog design is another step ahead of the standard mallet putter by having split weighting at the back to enhance balance and promote a smoother stroke by increasing the MOI about a third axes. This split weight concept in putters has now been copied by several major manufacturers which tends to prove that only true innovations are copied and also imitation is the best form of flattery.
Dennis, thanks again for your kind comments and I hope your experience with the book will encourage others to read it and start enjoying their game a little more.
Extinction of the 2 Iron
Someday I am going to splurge on a new set of irons. But I am afraid that by the time I do a 2 iron may not be offered in the set. I appreciate the benefits of technology, but I like my 2 iron. I use it off the tee almost half the time. Anyway, my question is whether it is possible to get an extra 3 iron and fold, spindle and mutilate it into a 2 iron, or is it too much difference in loft and lie?
Thank you very much.
Steve, PA


As much as you like your 2-iron I am afraid to let you know that it following the 1-iron on its way to taking a prominent place on the list of extinct clubs to be found in museums and attics of old houses or in the bags of some of us who just wont give up.
The fact is that you may need to replace it one of these days, or maybe not. The grooves on a 2-iron are almost inconsequential to performance of a 2-iron which has the loft of a strong 1-iron used in the days of Ben Hogan. So if you want to hang on to this club and you have really fallen in love with it and most importantly have developed confidence in it, then get it re-gripped and stay with it. The shaft will not wear out so it is going to be good for at least another twenty years or more as long as your performance remains constant.
If, on the other hand you are adventurous enough to even consider trying something else, which may ' and I emphasize may ' possibly perform as well as your 2-iron, then I do suggest that you sneak out without your clubs in the trunk to see what a 15 degree hybrid has to offer. It will probably have a little less loft than your 2-iron, and be about inch longer but when you hit it, you will find it will have a slightly higher trajectory than a 2-iron but so much more forgiving than your friend that you may even consider having a heart to heart with the 2-iron.
I know this is going to be very hard but it may be worth a try. Be careful how you let your 2-iron know when the time comes. It may ' if hurt ' start misbehaving.
Please dont try to turn an extra 3-iron into a 2-iron. It was not meant to be and you will be very disappointed and also lose a friend in you 2-iron which has stood by you for so long.
Obviously if you cannot make the leap to a hybrid then be assured that the two iron you have will continue to do its thing for many years.
Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to Helping Golfers. Frank is Chief Technical Advisor to The Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as Technical Director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN System and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email
Frank Thomas

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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”

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Perez: R&A does it right, 'not like the USGA'

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:28 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Pat Perez didn’t even attempt to hide his frustration with the USGA at last month’s U.S. Open, and after an opening-round 69 at The Open, he took the opportunity to double down on his displeasure.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA,” Perez said of the setup at Carnoustie. “They've got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you've got the greens receptive. They're not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn't. The course is just set up perfect.”

Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Concerns at Shinnecock Hills reached a crescendo on Saturday when the scoring average ballooned to 75.3 and only three players broke the par of 70. Of particular concern for many players, including Perez, were some of the hole locations, given how fast and firm the greens were.

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”