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]
Rational Golf LLC of Florida has signed a distributor agreement with Designer Golf Ltd club fitting studio of the United Kingdom. The contract gives Designer Golf the rights to deliver the revolutionary BioMatch One-Swing Golf Club Matching system directly to its customers. BioMatch will provide more accuracy and distance to all Designer Golf´s club-fitting customers and thereby improve the competitiveness of Designer Golf.
BioMatch offers effortless improvement to any golfer's 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.
The online 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 her 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 searching for new solutions. One such example is Bryson DeChambeau's single length irons. Entering the properties of the single length irons into the BioMatch algorithm proves that his Irons are matched. BioMatch achieves the advantages of the single length irons without the disadvantages of the single length irons such as reduced accuracy with the “short” irons and lack of distance and height with the “long” Irons. Besides, the other clubs in DeChambeau's set are not matched to his single length irons. BioMatch matches all the clubs in your set. The putter is the only exception. As the putting stroke is a completely different motion, it does not interfere with the subconscious routine of swinging the other clubs.
Designer Golf Ltd, located in Daventry just north of London, is now trained and fully equipped to implement the patented BioMatch method to its customers. Steve Low, Managing Director of Designer Golf Ltd, was stunned by the results that BioMatch brought and grabbed the opportunity to become the UK Distributor with both hands: “After applying the method to my clubs I was shocked to see the dispersion, or lack of such, shown on my Flightscope. Designer Golf is now set to revolutionize the club fitting business in the United Kingdom and welcomes customers from all over Europe”.
The founder of Rational Golf LLC of Florida and inventor of the BioMatch system, Gisle Solhaug, is excited to work with Designer Golf as he will be able to serve golfers in the UK better. The cooperation with Designer Golf will be used as a model for how Rational Golf will appoint and work with distributors worldwide.
Golfers are welcome to learn more at www.rational-golf.com. Club fitters in Europe should contact Steve Low, club fitters outside Europe should get in touch with Gisle Solhaug.
Rational Golf LLC is seeking investors to accelerate growth.
I am talking about the picture of the beautiful club-fitting studio with all the latest technologies in club heads and shafts. Then on the table is a Swingweight Scale! What a waste of time, money and technology. This instrument is preventing every golfer from reaching his or her potential. Instead, the Mass and MOI of each of your clubs should be optimized to fit your body. Then your subconscious mind only has to ingrain one swing rather than 13. This patented technology, named BioMatch, is now available to every golfer online and it is easily applied to your existing clubs. Your game will improve effortlessly as accuracy and distance increase.
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.
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.
Robert Adams of Waban, Massachusetts, made the first known system for matching golf clubs within a set in the early 1920s. His Swingweight Scale is called the Lorythmic Scale. It measures the upward force at the grip end of the club when balanced on a point 14 inches down the shaft. Robert Adams stated in his patent that approximately 14 inches is the preferred distance for golf clubs. No scientific reasoning for choosing 14 inches was offered. The Swingweight is measured in an arbitrary system of letters and numbers. The letters range from A to G, and the numbers range from 0 to 9. A0 being the lightest, and G9 the heaviest. 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.
If a set of clubs having the same grips and completely identical shafts trimmed incrementally are matched by Swingweight using only the club head for making adjustments, then the MOIG (Moment of Inertia around the center of the Grip) of each club will be reasonably matched. This was the original intent for the swing-weight process and worked reasonably well for the clubs of the time. However, because swing-weight is a static property of a club and moment of inertia is a dynamic property of a club, Swingweight matching is, at best, an approximation of the technically more useful MOIG matching.
With the more modern shafts, that have purposeful variation along their length, and the tendency to mix and match a variety of shafts and club heads within a single set, the less likely it is that a Swingweight matched set will resemble an MOIG matched set. Because the Swingweight Scale is not an MOIG measurement device, it does not produce a set of clubs with a matching moment of inertia.
Below is a graph showing that there is no relationship between Swingweight and MOIG. The graph was made by taking measurements of a random set of golf clubs. If swingweight had been related to the moment of inertia, the graph would have resembled a straight line.
There are a number of things that can go wrong in a golf swing. If the clubface is half a degree off, the ball can end up 20 meters off target. If the ball is hit 5 mm off the sweet spot, it will have a detrimental effect on distance and direction. The actions of, and timing of firing, the hundreds of muscles involved must be held in the subconscious memory of the golfer. One may think of this set of finely tuned actions as a software subroutine. Obtaining the required accuracy with one club, and embedding it in the subconscious mind, is an achievement. To create and memorize a different subroutine for each of the thirteen clubs in the bag is next to impossible. The golfer must also be able to differentiate the thirteen routines and call upon any one of them at random. With many years of endless practice, one may get close to mastering this at a subconscious level.
Even professional golfers at the highest level can win a tournament one week, and then miss the cut the following week. It is difficult to maintain the thirteen subroutines. Therefore, throughout the history of the game, people have tried to match golf clubs within a set so that they all will behave as intended, using one swing. One subconscious subroutine could then be utilized for all thirteen clubs. It is much easier to maintain one set of tasks rather than thirteen. Especially when they are so similar that it is difficult to tell them apart.
This discussion does not include the putter, the fourteenth club in the bag, as it uses a fundamentally different set of movement and does therefore not interfere with the subconscious skills of swinging the thirteen clubs.