Driver swingweighting: a worthwhile process?

The concept that golf clubs should have a uniform weight distribution means that manufacturers invest significant time and money tailoring the swingweight of their clubs. If golfers are unable to perceive significant changes in swingweight, however, and the effect of swingweight on club performance is small, the current manufacturing tolerances on swingweight can be widened, allowing time and cost savings in the assembly process. Testing was conducted using 30 skilled golfers each performing ten tee-shots with four differently weighted drivers. Clubhead mass was varied using screwed inserts of different known masses and the effects on impact location and clubhead speed were both measured. Changes to golf club weight distribution, measured using the swingweight concept, were found to have little effect on player performance and, in general, golfers were unable to perceive small changes in club swingweight. Manufacturing tolerances for component masses appear to offer sufficient control over golf club weight distribution, suggesting that mass balancing procedures may be relaxed during club assembly to provide production time and cost savings.