Rational Blog: Thoughts on Golf and the World
Thirteen Different Swings
Golfers play with 13 different full swing clubs of random Mass and Moment of Inertia. These are the two physical properties that affect how a club behaves when swung. Still, these two properties are ignored by the golf industry. The subconscious mind of the golfer thereby has to learn one swing for each club. It also has to tell them apart by waggling the club before swinging it. To swing one club in an efficient and consistent manner is an achievement. To learn thirteen different swings and be able to tell them apart at a subconscious level is next to impossible.
Even if the club makers wanted to produce clubs of optimal Mass and Moment of Inertia, it would not be easy to do as the properties of each golfer comes into play as well. The physical properties of each club would have to be optimized for each and every customer.
Brain Maps (Muscle Memory)
It gets worse; it has been found that while growing one brain map, another brain map may shrink. This, as brain maps are competing for neurons and space (Zumerchik, 2010). For example, by practicing with a 9-iron, the proficiency of the other 12 clubs will drop. The only way to solve this problem is to have one brain map that covers all thirteen full swing clubs.
Rational Golf LLC of Florida has solved the problem by creating an algorithm, named BioMatch, that makes a computer model of the player´s body swinging each of the clubs in the bag. Based on input such as body mass and height and various properties of the clubs the algorithm calculates how much weight has to be added to the grip end of each club for the upper body, hands, and clubhead to be synchronized at the impact position, while the golfer applies one consistent swing. This is how the BioMatch method of golf club matching takes the complexity out of golf.
The BioMatch method of matching golf clubs is available on www.rational-golf.com. Any golfer or club fitter may use the site to carry out the calculations and order a tailored set of weights to be inserted into the grip end of the clubs. The original weight of each club has to be entered on the website, so keep a kitchen scale handy. Club fitters that have converted to the BioMatch method of matching golf clubs, and thrown away the Swingweight scale, are able to measure the moment of inertia. For those that do not yet have access to a moment of inertia scale, the moment of inertia will be estimated based on club weight and a database of clubhead weights.
Rational Golf has developed a method that golf club manufacturers can implement for taking online orders and optimize the weight of each club to suit each customer in an efficient manner.
The inventor of BioMatch and founder of Rational Golf LLC, Gisle Solhaug, can be contacted on [email protected]
Strong art direction and design, coupled with effective messaging and copywriting, earns ThreeTwelve Creative a 2016 Davey Award.
Rational Golf owner, engineer and inventor Gisle Solhaug invented a proven scientific method of helping golfers to improve their game -- and then came to ThreeTwelve Creative for help in developing the Rational Golf branding and web application that would bring his method of matching golf clubs to golfers everywhere.
BioMatch; Best of Both Worlds
There are disadvantages, as well as advantages, of having all the clubs the same length. When all your clubs have the same mass, moment of inertia, and length you can apply the same consistent swing to all your clubs. Being able to use the same swing for all your clubs is a huge advantage. However, your "shorter" clubs will be less accurate, and your "longer" clubs will have a lower than optimal ball flight as compared to a standard set of club. BioMatch gives you the best of both worlds. You keep your standard length clubs while still being able to apply the same swing to all your clubs. And I mean all your clubs, not just your irons, as is the case with the single length irons.
The current popularity of single length irons proves that there is a need for matching of golf clubs. BioMatch fills this need without the golfer having to buy new clubs, and it does so for all the clubs in the bag.
BioMatch gives you more distance on every club as well as deadly accuracy with every club in the bag. BioMatch is easily applied to your existing clubs by installing the recommended size of weight to the grip end of your clubs. The patented BioMatch application builds a model of your body swinging each of your clubs. Thereby, determining the optimum weight to be added to each of your clubs for your body, hands, and clubhead to be synchronized at impact. Your game will improve, effortlessly, once you have installed the weights.
See www.rational-golf.com for details.
These days' instruments for measuring the moment of inertia around the grip end of the club are available at a low cost. This has brought about the opportunity of matching a set of clubs by making all the clubs have the same moment of inertia. Some golf club manufacturers, such as Big Fish Golf of Singapore and Wishon Golf of Colorado, are matching their clubs my moment of inertia. This is a step in the right direction from the Swingweight method as it is an actual physical property. There are, however, two problems with the moment of inertia method: The golf club does not rotate around the grip end of the club. Thereby the moment of inertia around the grip end is not all that relevant. Secondly; the system does not specify the mass of the golf club. The importance of the overall mass of the golf club has pretty much been ignored throughout club making history.
The BioMatch method of matching golf clubs specifies the optimum mass of each club. One important factor in determining the optimum mass is the moment of inertia around the center of the grip. BioMatch makes a model of your body swinging your clubs. BioMatch thereby determines the optimum weight of each club so that your upper body, hands, and clubhead are synchronized. The optimum weight of each club is achieved by inserting the appropriate size of weight into the grip end of each club. Once that is done you can apply the same swing to all your clubs. As you now only have one swing to ingrain in your mind, your game will improve effortlessly as accuracy and distance improve.
In his latest book, Best of Tampa Bay, Sven Boermeester devotes a full page to Rational Golf LLC as an example of the many start-ups in the Tampa area. The founder of Rational Golf, Gisle Solhaug, invented the BioMatch method of matching golf clubs. The article explains how this patented invention is set to make the game of golf easier to play for all. Check out the article, and a great book, right here.
Most golfers have a problem slicing their Driver, but not the other clubs. This would, of course, not happen if all the clubs were matched. In a matched set of clubs, all the clubs will go straight, as long as you can hit any one club straight. So why does the Driver slice? Because the moment of inertia of the Driver is too large compared to its overall weight. This causes the hands to be too far forward at impact. In other words, you are hitting the ball with an open face. As your hands are too far forward at impact position they are now on a path towards the left, away from the ball, causing a slice spin.
The large moment of inertia of the modern Driver is mainly caused by the increased length of the Driver. In an attempt by golf club manufacturers to produce more distance, they have increased the length of the Driver. This may work for you if you are able to steer the club with your wrists into a position where you can control the ball flight. Steering should not be necessary. It complicates the game as you have to steer each club differently, as they are not matched. If your clubs are properly matched they should all behave as intended with relaxed wrists. Relaxed wrists will also provide more distance.
Golf club manufacturers are fighting the open face by manufacturing Drivers with a closed face. However, the slice spin remains as your hands are moving right to left at impact. Some club manufacturers try to further reduce the slice by adding movable dead weight to the club heads. The dead weight further increases the moment of inertia of the club which again will add to the problem. When moving the weights around on the clubhead the center of gravity of the clubhead is no longer aligned with the geometric sweet spot, causing further problems. This all adds up to a very unstable condition. It is like trying to balance a ball on top of another ball.
When adding weight to the grip end of the club, your hands will slow down slightly. And due to the added weight, you body will create more kinetic energy. This added kinetic energy translates to added club head speed. Meaning that your club will release faster making your club head catch up with your hands. The BioMatch method of matching golf clubs calculates the exact weight to be added to each of your clubs for the club head to catch up with your hands exactly at the point of impact.
The BioMatch method calculates the specific weight to be added to the grip end of all your clubs. The BioMatch system is available online at www.rational-golf.com. The weights that are specified in the BioMatch Report can be ordered by a click of a button. The weights are easily installed with the accompanying tool.
It is a lot easier to learn and maintain one swing rather than 13. BioMatch does magic to any golfer´s game.
Swingweight Table From the table, the calculated force corresponds to a Swingweight of D7.8. Measuring the club in a Digital Swingweight Scale gives the same Swingweight of D7.8. The club used for this example is a TaylorMade 5 hybrid. The fact that a letter scale and a measuring tape can replace the Swingweight Scale, which has been utilized for almost a century, will come as a big surprise to the majority of golf club fitters. This ought to raise some concerns even for the die-hard Swingweight supporters. As the center of gravity does not enter any equations describing circular motion, the Swingweight of a body cannot be related to how a body acts under circular motion. Newton’s second law of circular motion states: Torque = Moment of Inertia x Angular Acceleration. There is, therefore, no relationship between Swingweight and how a golf club behaves when acted upon by a golfer. Ever since the Swingweight principle was developed in the 1920s, it has been the accepted method for matching clubs within a set, so they all feel alike when swung. In short, it is a measurement of the weight distribution of the club. And with the introduction of lighter shafts, grips, and club heads, the possibility of a wider range of Swingweights, and thus more inconsistency from club to club is greater. When Robert Adams was matching his set of golf clubs by waggling the golf clubs in a horizontal plane, he was in fact 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 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. The clubs used to develop the swingweight method all had similar wooden shafts. That is no longer the case. The Swingweight system is therefore even less useful today than it was 90 years ago.
A drawing showing the forces acting on a golf club positioned in a Swingweight Scale is provided bellow. The three forces acting on the golf club are as follows:
The force F, acting downwards at the grip end of the club. This is the force measured by the Swingweight instrument.
The force G is the gravitational force acting on the golf club. It is simply the weight of the golf club acting at its center of gravity. The location of the center of gravity can be determined by balancing the club on a knife-edge. The center of gravity is located at distance BC from the fulcrum.
The third force is acting upward at the fulcrum. The fulcrum is located 356 mm (14 inches) from the grip end of the club. This force equals the sum of force G and force F, acting in the opposite direction.
From Newton´s Laws of Motion, it is established that the sum of all moments acting upon a body at rest is zero. By adding the moments acting on the golf club about the fulcrum in the Swingweight instrument, denoting clockwise as the positive direction:
Sum of all moments = ∑M = (G x AB) - (F x 356 mm) = 0
F = G x AB / 356 mm
The Swingweight of any golf club can thereby be calculated when the mass and center of gravity is known. Swingweight is purely a function of mass and center of gravity of the golf club. For example, a golf club is found to have a mass of 349.8 grams and a center of gravity located 824 mm from the grip end of the club. These measurements were carried out on an actual golf club using a scale, a knife-edge, and a measuring tape. From Newton´s second law of motion, the vector force G = 0.3498 Kg x 9.81 m/s^2 = 3.431 N. The distance AB = 824 mm – 356 mm = 468 mm = 0.468 m. Hence;
F = 3.431 N x 0.468 m / 0.356 m = 4.510 N
From a table that I will forward next, you can look up this number and see the Swingweight.