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Rational Blog: Thoughts on Golf and the World

Drive Like Bryson DeChambeau

By Gisle Solhaug |

Drive Like Bryson DeChambeau

Would you like to drive the ball like Bryson DeChambeau? Several factors are making Bryson the longest Driver on the PGA Tour. One of them is the massive grip on his Driver. You see, the more energy you create in the downswing, the higher the clubhead speed. Kinetic Energy is a function of speed and mass (weight). By optimizing your Driver's weight, you will maximize your clubhead speed, giving you more distance.

This is how it works.  

The optimum weight for your Driver depends on your body. Do you have a lot of fast twitching muscle, or do you have more slow twitching muscle? A simple experiment will tell you the exact optimum weight for your Driver. If your Driver is too light, you will create good speed with your hands, but as the mass is low, not much energy is produced. Further, the energy generated in the downswing is not efficiently transferred to clubhead speed. Almost every golfer plays with a Driver that is too light for maximum distance. If your Driver is too heavy, the speed of your hands suffers, and the energy created goes down.

This is what you need.

In addition to the simple tools you get from Rational Golf, you need to measure your clubhead speed. The best option is a TrackMan or similar launch monitor. If you do not have access to one, you may want to try this out in a club-fitter shop. 

From Rational Golf, you can order a hole cutter, called a Shaft Access Tool, an 4 mm hex key (unless you already have one), and various weights that will fit inside your shaft after cutting the hole at the end of the grip. I propose starting with four weights; 10, 20, 30, and 40 grams. You may order this at https://www.rational-golf.com/shop

This is what you do.

You make a hole at the end of the grip using the Shaft Access Tool in a drill or electric screwdriver. You then proceed to make five drives. You then hit five drives with one of the weights installed. 

Here is a video showing you how to install the weights; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz61Hm5hV5M. It would be best if you do not tighten the weights too hard for this experiment. Then it is easier to remove them. Any mishits should be deleted, and the shot repeated. In this example, you will hit a total of 25 Drives. 

Make sure you get some rest in-between the five sets. You record the clubhead speed of every shot. You delete the two lowest clubhead speeds from each set and take the average of the remaining three shots. You can then plot the graph of clubhead speed as a function of weight added and see for which weight the clubhead speed is maximized. It is a good idea to plot this in an Excel Spreadsheet. If you send me an email, [email protected], I will forward you a simple spreadsheet. Using a spreadsheet has the advantage that it can tell you if the optimum weight is somewhere in-between the weights you used for the experiment. Note that the weights from Rational Golf are available from 6 grams to 100 grams in steps of two grams. These weights fit every shaft in the market.

The Result

The resulting graph will look like an inverted U. The top of the graph is your optimum weight. Here is an example from an experiment I did with a World Long Drive Champion. An average clubhead speed of 138.5 MPH was achieved with a Total Driver weight of 338 grams.  Further increase in clubhead speed is expected as you get used to the new weight.

For further improvement in distance and consistency, you should experiment with the ball position.

BioMatch

Once you have optimized the Driver weight, you may want to let the BioMatch Algorithm optimize the weight of all your clubs so that you can groove one consistent swing for all your clubs.  BioMatch will provide better dispersion with all your clubs. Find your nearest BioMatch Fitting Center at https://rb.gy/fzjxu6 or visit www.rational-golf.com

 

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Why do Golfers Still Use Swingweight?

By Gisle Solhaug |

Golf club makers have for almost a century matched golf clubs according to various versions of the Swingweight method. Swingweight is an arbitrary method without any basis in science.  Even the inventor states that in the patent document.  Most club fitters and club makers are still relying on this outdated method that was invented as an approximation to Moment of Inertia around the center of the grip (MOIG).  It is a general method of measuring heft of all kinds of sports equipment, such as tennis rackets, Baseball bats, etc.

Howe Scale Company in Massachusetts produced the scale. Kenneth Smith started to use this system for matching the golf clubs he was producing. Later his company was also producing such a scale. At some stage, Kenneth Smith recognized that there were some deficiencies in the Swingweight system. For all the clubs in the set to have the same feel, he realized that the woods had to be two Swingweight numbers higher than the irons. This was accepted amongst professional golfers at the time. To correct for this, Kenneth Smith introduced the Official Swingweight Scale in the late 1940s. The balance point of the new scale was set at 12 inches rather than 14 inches. The idea was that all the clubs, irons, and woods, should feel the same when they had the same Swingweight. The Official Swingweight Scale measures the Swingweight in ounces, indicating the load that has to be applied at the grip end to balance the golf club. The Official Swingweight Scale did however not catch on. The original Lorythmic Scale created by Robert Adams is still used by all the major golf club manufacturers (Maltby, 1995).

If a set of clubs having the exact same grips and completely identical shafts trimmed incrementally are matched by Swingweight using only the clubhead for making adjustments, then the MOIG of each club will be reasonably matched. This was the original intent of the Swingweight process. When the Swingweight method was introduced it had some credibility as all the shafts in the set of clubs at the time were made out of wood. However, today, with the more modern shafts, that have purposeful variation along their length, and the tendency to mix and match a variety of shafts within a single set, the less likely it is that a Swingweight matched set is relevant as a method of matching golf clubs. 

Another flaw is that the Swingweight method tries to make all the club FEEL the same by trying to make all the clubs have the same moment of inertia around the center of the grip (MOIG).  If you still believe in Swingweight, you should at least measure the MOIG rather than rely on an approximation.  These instruments are available at Rational Golf.

The Holy Grail of Golf is to build a set of clubs so that the Golfer can apply the same consistent swing to all the clubs.  BioMatch lets the golfer groove one consistent swing with all the clubs in the set.  The Holy Grail of Golf Is BioMatch.  The golfer will apply the same torques and forces with all the clubs.  By applying the same consistent swing to all your clubs, you will have one set of muscle memory rather than thirteen.  BioMatch makes golf an easier game to play.  Dispersion and consistency improve dramatically.

So Why Do Golfers Still Rely on Swingweight, even at the highest level?  Do golfers not believe in Science or even simple physics?

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First BioMatch Fitting Center in The Netherlands

By Gisle Solhaug |

Gradus ready for BusinessAlex Blankendaal (38) and Gradus van Ginkel (40) just opened a new golf shop, called “Custom Golf” in Heerhugowaard, the Netherlands. Alex is the entrepreneur, while Gradus is the club builder. Both of them did their BioMatch training with Steve Low at designer Golf in the UK. They are both excited to start their BioMatch business in their new Golf Shop, which covers every golfer´s needs.

Check out their website at https://www.customgolf.nl/

BioMatch offers effortless improvement to any golfers game by matching the golf clubs within the set and to the body of the golfer. The revolutionary system applies to any golfer´s clubs, old or new. The online BioMatch application, available at www.rational-golf.com, creates a model of the golfer swinging each club and thereby determines the optimum weight for each club. The target weight is achieved by adding a specific proprietary weight inside the shaft at the grip end of each club.

 

BioMatch is the last step in the club fitting process. Once the weights are installed, the golfer´s game will improve effortlessly as he or she now only has to groove one swing in the subconscious mind. Steering of the club is no longer necessary and is discouraged. The method provides significantly better accuracy and slightly more distance to golfers at all levels. BioMatch is a must-have for any golfer who cares about their scores, or even the enjoyment of the game.

Rational Golf is appointing Club Fitters to BioMatch Fitting Centers Worldwide.

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20 Balls, 1 Spot

By Gisle Solhaug |

20 Balls, 1 Spot

To hit 20 consecutive balls of the middle of the Driver clubface takes consistency.  Consistency comes from playing with a set of #clubs that are matched so that you will have the same swing for all your clubs. 

Gregory is here pictured during a training session at #IMG Golf Academy where he is a Senior.

Once your clubs are matched with #BioMatch, you can groove one consistent swing for all your clubs.  Check it out at www.rational-golf.com.
When practicing with one #club, and your #golf clubs are not matched, the proficiency with the other clubs will go down — causing you to improve at a very slow rate.

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Flynt Lincoln Golf Studio Appointed BioMatch Fitting Center

Flynt Lincoln Golf Studio, located in 504 Cottage Street, Springfield, Massachusetts, has been appointed BioMatch Fitting Center.

Flynt Lincoln is in full swing matching golf clubs with the revolutionary BioMatch One-Swing Golf Club Matching system for his customers.  BioMatch will provide more accuracy and distance to all Flynt Lincoln Golf Studio´s club-fitting customers and thereby improve its competitiveness.

BioMatch offers effortless improvement to any golfers game by matching the golf clubs within the set and to the body of the golfer.  Thereby taking back the accuracy and distance that Swingweight matched golf clubs are robbing you off.  The revolutionary system is applied to any golfer´s clubs, old or new.

Flynt has a long history of amateur accomplishments in the New England region. In 2019 he made the decision to share his expertise and help others excel to their fullest potential.  “I’ve always loved helping others improve at golf and using technology is a great way to simplify and speed learning. After all, why guess at what you can measure”

Flynt is a 14-time Club Champion at Longmeadow Country Club, a Massachusetts State Amateur Champion, 2-time Massachusetts State Father-Son Champion, Massachusetts State High School Champion, 4-time U.S. Amateur participant and Western Mass Golf Hall of Fame inductee.

  • Trackman owner
  • Certified Science and Motion Putting Instructor
  • BioMatch Fitting Center
  • Certified U.S. Kids Coach
  • Attended numerous national teaching, coaching and educational seminars

The online BioMatch application, available at www.rational-golf.com, creates a model of the golfer swinging each of his or her clubs and thereby determines the optimum weight for each club.  The target weight is achieved by adding a specific proprietary weight inside the shaft at the grip end of each club.  BioMatch is the last step in the club fitting process. 

Once the weights are installed the golfer´s game will improve effortlessly as he or she now only have to ingrain one swing in the subconscious mind.  Steering of the club is no longer necessary and is discouraged.  The method provides significantly better accuracy and slightly more distance to golfers at all levels.  BioMatch is a must-have for any golfer who cares about their scores, or even the enjoyment of the game.

BioMatch replaces the arbitrary Swingweight method of matching golf clubs.  The more scientifically inclined golf professionals do understand the problems the outdated Swingweight method creates and are turning to BioMatch.

Flynt Lincoln Golf Studio is now trained and fully equipped to implement the patented BioMatch method for its customers.  Flynt is impressed by the results that BioMatch brings and grabbed the opportunity to become an accredited BioMatch Fitting Center.  Flynt Lincoln Golf Studio is now set to revolutionize the club fitting business in the New England region.

The founder of Rational Golf LLC of Florida and inventor of the BioMatch system, Gisle Solhaug, is excited to work with Flynt as Rational Golf will be able to better serve golfers in the North East. 

Flynt Lincoln can be reached on [email protected].

Gisle Solhaug, of Rational Golf LLC, can be reached on [email protected].

Rational Golf is seeking investors and club fitters to accelerate growth.

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Indy Golf Lab and Wadden Golf Academy Appointed BioMatch Fitting Centers

I spent two full days with legendary club maker Leith Anderson at his Indy Golf Lab, and Biv Wadden, founder of Wadden Golf Academy, last week.  Indy Golf Lab is located in Zionsville, Indiana, just upstairs at Correct2Compete.

Leith has earned his place among the most experienced club fitters in the world by completing over 10,000 personal fittings and building over 2,000 sets of clubs by hand. He has been recognized as a Golf Digest “Top 100 Clubfitter” in both California & Indiana and he has authored hundreds of articles about custom club fitting and club making. All that experience just deepens Leith’s interest in the mysteries of custom club fitting. He loves working with every client to find their true “magic clubs.”

Biv Wadden is a Class A Teaching Professional with the PGA of America, a Level 3 SAM Putt Lab Instructor, and a Level 9 Certified Clubfitter with the Association of Golf Club Fitting Professionals (AGCP).  He provides golf instruction and custom club fitting to his students in the western and northern suburbs of Chicago.

Over the two days, we matched the golf clubs of 9 players, varying in abilities from high handicappers to PGA Teaching Professionals.  Eight of the players were tested on a FlightScope Launch Monitor before and after the BioMatch Fitting.  All eight subjects showed an instant substantial improvement in dispersion and consistency in distance.  One teaching professional showed a dispersion that was just unreal.  All subjects ended up with a very consistent maximum ball flight height (apex) through the set of clubs.  Some of the players only had a small increase in distance while others had a 15-yard increase in Driver Carry.  As their sub-conscious minds get used to having one consistent swing for all the clubs, the test subjects will continue to improve effortlessly.

The BioMatch algorithm optimizes the weight of each club to give a coherent release pattern which results in consistent ball flight through the set of clubs.  Rational Golf LLC is appointing BioMatch Fitting Centers Worldwide.  Interested parties may contact [email protected] for details.

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STA International Performance Center Appointed BioMatch Distributor for China

By Gisle Solhaug |

 

 

Rational Golf LLC of Florida has just signed a distributor agreement with STA International Performance Center of Shenzhen, China.  STA International Performance Center will deliver the revolutionary BioMatch One-Swing Golf Club Matching system directly to its customers as well as to golfers throughout China through a network of club fitters.  Through BioMatch, STA International Performance Center will provide more accuracy and distance to all its customers, and thereby improve its competitiveness.  Club Fitters interested in joining the revolution can contact Frank Chen, CEO of STA International Performance Center, at [email protected]

STA International Performance Center is now trained and fully equipped to implement the patented BioMatch method to its customers.  Frank Chen has visited Rational Golf in Florida on two occasions to secure the deal and to learn the BioMatch system.  STA International Performance Center are stocking weights and MOIG Instruments and is now set to revolutionize the club fitting business in China.

The founder of Rational Golf LLC of Florida and inventor of the BioMatch system, Gisle Solhaug, is excited to work with STA International Performance Center as golf is booming in China.  Gisle can be reached on [email protected]

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Does Swingweight Still Serve a Purpose?

By Gisle Solhaug |

Have you ever wondered what #Swingweight is, how it came about, and if it is still relevant?A typical Swingweight Scale

Matching of golf clubs has been considered the Holy Grail of golf since the beginning of golf club manufacturing about 500 years ago. A properly matched set of clubs will provide superior consistency with regard to ball flight, direction, and distance. Golf enthusiasts have explored a few non-scientific methods over the last hundred years, most notably the Swingweight method, still used by the vast majority of golfers today. The golf industry seems to have given up on the search for a scientific method of matching golf clubs. 

Robert Adams developed the first known system for matching golf clubs within a set in the 1920s (US Patent No. 1,953,916, 1934). He measured Swingweight, the upward force at the grip end of the club when balanced on a point 14 inches down the shaft on a “Lorythmic” scale using an arbitrary system of letters A to G and numbers 0 to 9, with A0 being the “lightest”, and G9 the “heaviest”. Other scales were developed, but none proved popular. 

If a set of clubs having the exact same grips and identical shafts trimmed incrementally are matched by Swingweight using only the clubhead for making adjustments, then the MOI of each club will be reasonably matched. This was the original intent of the Swingweight process. When the Swingweight method was introduced, it had some credibility as all the shafts in the set of clubs at the time were made out of wood. However, today, with the more modern shafts, that have purposeful variation along their length, and the tendency to mix and match a variety of shafts within a single set, the less likely it is that a Swingweight matched set is relevant as a method of matching golf clubs.

Another glaring flaw in the Swingweight system is that it does not take the properties of the golfer into consideration. It is an easy way for club manufacturers of matching golf clubs as they can produce standard clubs that will, supposedly, fit any golfer. There is, of course, no such thing as an off-the-shelf set of clubs that are fitted or matched to every golfer. 

When Robert Adams was matching his set of golf clubs by waggling the golf clubs in a horizontal plane, he was attempting to measure the moment of inertia of the club around the center of the grip. The moment of inertia around the center of the grip is henceforth referred to as MOIG. One can imagine how difficult it would be to adjust all 13 clubs until they all felt like having the same MOIG. There were no instruments available for measuring the moment of inertia of golf clubs at the time. Robert Adams made an instrument that would provide an indication of whether all the clubs in a set of golf clubs would have similar MOIG. He found that all his balanced clubs would have similar upward force at the end of the grip when balanced over a fulcrum 14 inches from the grip end. As an instrument for measuring the MOIG is now available from Rational Golf LLC of Florida, it would be irrational to continue to use the approximate method of Swingweight. Matching by MOIG would be a step in the right direction for matching golf clubs; however, there are further complications to overcome. The mass of the clubs and the properties of the golfer´s body also plays a role.

The Swingweight Scale is meant as a tool for adjusting the clubhead weight of golf clubs for all the clubs in the set to have the same feeling, heft or MOIG. However, most club fitters misuse the scale today. Most club makers today believe that the Swingweight of a club will be reduced by adding weight to the grip end of the club. This is due to a flaw in the Swingweight instrument. As weight is added to the grip end, the device will show a lower Swingweight. However, the feeling of heft when waggling the club has not changed. By adding 50 grams of weight to the butt end of a typical 7-iron of Swingweight D2, the new Swingweight becomes C1. However, the heft or moment of inertia around the center of the grip has not changed. Thereby the intended property of the club as described by the Swingweight system has not changed. However, the measured Swingweight has changed considerably. 

It seems that the industry, in general, pays less attention to Swingweight these days. The Swingweight of every club sold is specified, but it is not unusual to see a set consisting of clubs of various Swingweights. In general, every new development in golf club technology brings the golf club further away from the original clubs used for developing the Swingweight method.

The Swingweight method is an attempt to make all the clubs feel the same. There is, however, no reason to believe that a set of clubs that all feel the same would be superior. The ball really could not care less for what the golfer feels. To make all the clubs in a set feel the same, all the clubs would have to have identical MOIG, Mass, and center of gravity. If we are only considering how a club feels when swung, we may ignore the center of gravity as its role is insignificant. A better approach is to make a set of clubs in such a way that the golfer can apply the same consistent swing for all the clubs in the set.

If you still believe Swingweight is a good way of matching golf clubs, consider this:

1.    The fact that Swingweight is not measured in a mathematical number system should be a dead giveaway that it is not a physical property. It is measured in a combination of a letter and a number. For example, C3 and D2. How much is C3 + D2? Or C3 divided by D2? Definitely not a physical property. Robert Adams, the inventor of the Swingweight scale, states in the patent document that “swing weight in itself is a rather indefinite quality”.

2.    The Swingweight measuring scale does not have a zero. All physical properties have zero value in the absence of the property. For example, if you have 0 Kg of chocolate, you have no chocolate. Zero Kelvin means that there is no temperature, etc.

3.    Physical properties can be related to any object. For example, temperature and mass can be determined for any known object or substance. It would, however, be difficult and meaningless to attempt to determine the Swingweight of a car, bus, or a pencil. Swingweight is not a physical property.

4.    The Swingweight is related to the center of gravity of the golf club. However, the center of gravity of a golf club does not enter the equations describing the motion of a golf club being swung. It is only relevant when the golf club is static. Newton’s second law of circular motion states: Torque = Moment of Inertia x Angular Acceleration.

5.    The Swingweight is measured around a balance point 14“ down the shaft. 14” is not a physical constant such as, for example, π (3.1416...). The selection of the balance point is random. If for example a balance point of 12” or 16” had been chosen instead, golf clubs would have been different, still completely wrong, but different. At one point in time, the golf community found that 12” worked better than 14” and the Swingweight scale was changed accordingly. Later it was changed back to 14”. Quoting, Robert Adams, the inventor of Swingweight “I have found in actual practice that satisfactory results are realized if the fixed point be located a distance of fourteen inches from the grip end”. He further explains “the preferred distance is approximately fourteen inches for golf clubs, although the distance may be varied somewhat from this preferred value.”

6.    During one period the golf community would match the irons to one Swingweight and the Woods to a different Swingweight.

7.    It does not make sense that the Swingweight is increased if one installs a lighter grip. Similarly, by adding weight to the grip end of a club the Swingweight becomes “lighter”. Adding a pound to the grip, and your Swingweight would become “superlight”.

8.    Club fitters will normally advocate a high Swingweight to large, strong persons and a lower Swingweight to smaller and weaker persons. One way of increasing Swingweight is to install a lighter grip, thereby lowering the overall weight of the club.
It does not make sense that a smaller, weaker person should swing a heavier club than a large, strong person. Still, the clubs of skinny young girls are fitted with heavy grips. Then they are told to come back when they are stronger, and the club fitter will change to lighter grips.

9.    There is no logical explanation for why a set of clubs that happens to have the same upward force at the grip end, when balanced on a fulcrum 14 inches from the grip end, should perform better than any other set of clubs.

10. It is commonly believed in the golf community that Swingweight was designed purely for golf clubs. According to the Swingweight patent (US patent no. 1,953,916) which is available for anyone to look up online, the Swingweight concept was designed for sports equipment in general. The patent document mentions sports like tennis and baseball.

It is absurd that today’s “high-tech” club heads, shafts and grips are assembled and matched by an obsolete method, creating a set of mismatched clubs. It is causing golfers to learn a different swing for every club. As each club needs to be steered differently, at a subconscious level, consistency and dispersion will suffer.

 

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Congratulations Rory!

By Gisle Solhaug |

Congratulations on your second FedEx Cup Rory!

What few people know is that the Hammerhead technology TaylorMade use in his driver was provided by Rational Golf LLC.

Hammerhead is a way of conserving energy normally used to bend the shaft for propelling the ball.  This increases the Smash Factor without violating the COR regulations.

TaylorMade has no ownership in this invention and the technology is available to Golf Club Manufacturers through Rational Golf.

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Great Victory for Gregory and BioMatch

By Gisle Solhaug |

Gregory Solhaug of Norway and IMG Golf Academy in Bradenton, Florida, just won his first AJGA tournament. The UHY / Celadon Championship hosted by Marina Alex was played at The Saint Andrew´s Golf Course in New York.  The 16-year-old entered the final round T5, yet fired a 4-under-par 67 to erase a five-stroke deficit. Solhaug finished even-par-213, one stroke ahead of the field to win.

Gregory is one of several players from the IMG Academy that is taking advantage of the BioMatch one-swing golf club matching system available on www.rational-golf.com. BioMatch is a scientific way of matching your clubs so that you will have one consistent swing for all your clubs, resulting in better dispersion and score.  Gregory was the only person playing with a matched set of clubs in this tournament.

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