Editor’s note: We asked Master Clubmaker Bill Totten to share his best advice about the tools he relies on most. Here's his explanation of four tools whose benefits can be dramatic, but that many clubmakers overlook.
Tour Lock Pro Weights
Every now and then a tool comes along that is useful both in the shop and on the golf course. Most tools used in clubmaking reward the clubmaker with efficiency, making tasks in the shop easier to perform and consequently more profitable. Rarely do they actually connect with the golfer, but there is one tool that will undoubtedly have your customers asking for more: counterbalancing. Its consequences will be felt at the golf course, and most often they will be positive.
Try using a Tour Lock Pro Grip Modifier on a customer's putter. The Tour Lock Pro Grip Modifier cuts a hole in the end of the grip and allows the installation of Tour Lock Pro Weights. The weights are available in 10-gram increments from 20-50 grams, and also 75 and 100 grams. The weights are used to change the balance and the feel of the putter. One universal theme of most of our recent putter fittings is length, and shorter is the word. With a shorter putter, most customers may notice a change in the feel of the club. Instead of automatically thinking of additional head weight, try adding weight to the butt end of the club with the Tour Lock Pro Weights. It will satisfy the need for more heft without taxing the wrists, which is common when weight is added to the head. Once the putter gets dialed in, remember that there are 13 other clubs that may benefit from a weight distribution change as well.
Golfsmith Grip Sizer
Now that you are the guru of the grip, check to see if the golfer has the proper grip size on their clubs. Our new Grip Sizer measures the golfer's hand fast and with greater accuracy than any other grip measuring tool. Super accurate and simple in design for ease of use, it will guide you to the starting point for fitting the proper size grip to the golfer’s hand. The Grip Sizer measures the length of the hand and adds to the grip size based on the length of the longest finger. Measurements are in decimals for greater sizing accuracy and easy conversion to the grip installation. A measurement for finished grips is also noted on this unique tool.
True Temper Sensicore
Sensicore is the vibration dampening shaft insert developed by True Temper. Up until now it was installed by True Temper in a select number of their shafts. Today it is available in packages of eight that any clubmaker or golfer can install in their own shafts. Since it weighs just a shade over 4 grams, and because its location inside the shaft is usually very near the fulcrum of a swingweight scale, the Sensicore will have minimal if any effect on the golf club’s swingweight, total weight or moment of inertia (MOI).
To install Sensicore in a new assembly, make sure the club is cut to length on the butt end of the shaft. To retrofit existing golf clubs, simply remove the grip and any tape inside the butt of the shaft. Slide the Sensicore into the shaft as far as possible by hand. Use a half-inch wide dowel to push the Sensicore to its final position. True Temper installs the Sensicore 12 inches clear of the butt end of the shaft. To duplicate this, simply mark the half-inch dowel at 12 inches and push the Sensicore into the shaft until the mark is at the butt end of the shaft.
Sensicore will fit into any shaft. It relies on a friction fit, with the spiral foam “grabbing” the inside of the shaft. No epoxy or glue is necessary.
Golfsmith Ferrule Setter
One of my favorite tools is the Deluxe Mr. T Ferrule Tool. It aids the installation of ferrules and makes the assembly process a breeze. Since most clubmakers have a dedicated area for assembly, an advanced design of the original concept is now available. The Ferrule Setter is new, redesigned since last year’s model. The 2008 version has three, different-sized holes for the three different shafts used in clubmaking. The .370” hole is for parallel tip and tapered tip iron shafts, the .350” aperture is for .350” wood shafts, and the smallest hole is for .335” wood shafts. The advantage of the hole matching the shaft size is that it allows the ferrule to be installed without damaging it. The shaft slides straight into the hole in the Ferrule Setter, so the edges of the ferrule cannot be mangled. (Each hole can even be adjusted to your preferred shafting depth.) This depth will determine how far the ferrule is set from the tip of the shaft. In most cases, one inch is perfect. After the ferrule is set to this depth, the clubhead is used to set the ferrule to its final depth.
A foot or two away from the edge is the optimal distance to bolt the Ferrule setter to the workbench. To use, simply coat the shaft tip with a thin coat of epoxy. Next, place the ferrule on the workbench and place the shaft tip through the ferrule. Push the ferrule onto the shaft by placing the shaft tip into the appropriate-size hole in the Ferrule Setter, and use the body and arms to push the ferrule up the shaft. To set the ferrule to the final position, place the head onto the shaft tip and push down. The ferrule will slide until the shaft tip bottoms out in the hosel.