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cutting a shaft vs. choking down


statgrad
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I’m new to club making and have a question that would seem basic, so please pardon the simplicity. What would be the difference between choking down on a club regularly versus just cutting the club down? For example, consider a PX 6.0 in a 6-iron. What would be the difference between having the club at 37.5 inches and choking down a half inch versus cutting the shaft to make the club 37.0 inches and not choking down on the club?

 

Intuitively, I would expect the swing weight of the longer club to actually be lighter. By choking down on the longer club, I’ve effectively moved the fulcrum toward the head to the same point as the shorter club, and now have a half-inch of shaft back-weighting the club. Is this correct?

 

What about flex through the swing? If I grab down on the club, will the club flex any differently than if I had just cut a half inch off the club?

 

Thank you all for the input.

Driver: Wishon 919THI,  Matrix Radix 7321, 75g
3W, 5W:  Wishon 929HS, Matrix Kujoh, 75g
4-P: Mizuno MP 18, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120, S
Wedges: Vokey SM7:  50*, 54*, 60*
Odyssey Pro Type 4 HT Blade

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Feel of headweight will be the same for both, those grams above your hands does not matter.

 

Flex the same, the part outside your hand is not in play anymore, so its same same.

 

The difference that matters is grip size who will be smaller when you lower your hands instead of playing it with the grip in the right position, plus you will have a hard job to lower your grip to the same spot from stroke to stroke

 

If it feels and works good when you lower your grip, just cut them shorter

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Technically, when you choke up, you have made the club more upright and would tend to have the toe dig. I notice this when I choke up a lot. Say an inch or so.

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Technically, when you choke up, you have made the club more upright and would tend to have the toe dig. I notice this when I choke up a lot. Say an inch or so.

 

Actually the club hasn't gotten more upright, it's your swing plane that has changed, not the lie angle of the club.

 

But that's not really what the OP's asking about. That's asking about comparing two playing lengths that are the same, not different as in your case.

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Technically, when you choke up, you have made the club more upright and would tend to have the toe dig. I notice this when I choke up a lot. Say an inch or so.

 

Actually the club hasn't gotten more upright, it's your swing plane that has changed, not the lie angle of the club.

 

But that's not really what the OP's asking about. That's asking about comparing two playing lengths that are the same, not different as in your case.

 

That's what I mean, "effective" lie angle due to change in the bottom of the swing changing causing the plane to be more upright, the club itself does not change, so a more upright lie angle would be needed, "all else equal", to make the club's impact position with the turf ideal. But if you are choking up just a little bit, very hard to notice....

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Ping G410 LST 3W Tensei CK Orange 70 S
Ping G410 5W  Stock Alta S
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RTX Zipcore 56 and Full Face 60,  DG spinner
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Technically, when you choke up, you have made the club more upright and would tend to have the toe dig. I notice this when I choke up a lot. Say an inch or so.

 

Actually the club hasn't gotten more upright, it's your swing plane that has changed, not the lie angle of the club.

 

But that's not really what the OP's asking about. That's asking about comparing two playing lengths that are the same, not different as in your case.

 

That's what I mean, "effective" lie angle due to change in the bottom of the swing changing causing the plane to be more upright, the club itself does not change, so a more upright lie angle would be needed, "all else equal", to make the club's impact position with the turf ideal. But if you are choking up just a little bit, very hard to notice....

 

As previously stated, It’s irrelevant to this posters question because the discussion is of two clubs being played at the same length.

 

With that said let us clarify something. When a club is made shorter by cutting, or is played shorter by choking up, the EFFECTIVE lie angle becomes flatter as the club head migrates closer to the body and the toe drops.

 

When a club is made longer with an extension or a longer shaft is installed, the EFFECTIVE lie angle becomes more upright.....the toe elevates as the club head migrates away from the body

 

In either case, the actual measured lie angle does not change. That can only occur with physical bending of the hosel or by sleeve adjustment.

 

If you add an inch to any club it “plays” more upright. If you cut down any club an inch it “plays” flatter. The measured lie angle on a machine does not change.

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My opinion has moved back and forth (or up and down in this case) on whether to cut it down or not. Right now, if the amount to cut down is very little (1/2"), I'm in the "don't cut it down camp." For more than that, I'll be more inclined to cut it down. I've cut down clubs the right length and not liked one thing about that experience and ended up putting back the length I just cut off. And I've also cut down clubs and been very happy about the result.

 

In my experience it has been more about grip size in the decision to cut down or not (as HJ said). I switched to a midsize grip last year and I like everything about it but maybe the last 1/4" of the grip at the butt. Just a hair too big so I've kept the slight overlength in my irons and adjust where I want to grip it. YMMV

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Choking down is more easily undone once it dawns on you - “nope, I still suck.”

Lol, same. Reading forums made me cut driver down to 44", but as someone who only plays for fun just felt I was missing out on an extra yard sometimes ;). Nowadays just leave it 45+", reduce the taper of the grip, and draw silver Sharpie lines at 45, 44.5, 44, 43.5".. all about options!

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I once took an inch or so off a driver shaft. It felt like a broomstick after that. I reshafted and gripped down after that.

 

A driver will actually not get stiffer by any significantly measurable amount by taking an inch off it. Cutting it down an inch or choking down an inch results in the same playing stiffness. I’m sure you felt what you felt, but it was a psychological response.

 

What most people experience in thinking the club gets stiffer is a reaction to the swingweight getting 6 points lighter. Most people do not like the way a driver feels if they trim it by a significant amount and don’t add back some weight to the head to get the SW back up to a level they are familiar with.

 

The head will fell very light in your hands which many people also interpret as the club feeling stiffer. The club will actually get slightly MORE FLEXIBLE if you add back some weight to the head after cutting it. Just over 11 grams would have returned it to its pre cut swingweight. People sometimes find a lighter swingweight is enjoyable and only add back a few grams and play the SW a bit lighter than standard.

 

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Nothing wrong with grip down. Many tour players do that ( BTW where is Anthony Kim these days ? ).

 

The only draw back gripping down on the golf shaft is not every time you'll put your hands at the same spot. It's non-conforming to put tape to mark where you wish to grip down at for tournament play ( At least that's what i remembered ). If the grip has a logo or some OEM printing that could be used to mark the spot to grip down would be nice.

 

I remembered my father;s golf clubs had those long golf grips ( first the leather then the rubber type ), at least 3"-4" longer than today's grip.

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Nothing wrong with grip down. Many tour players do that ( BTW where is Anthony Kim these days ? ).

 

Still gripping down. Just not with golf clubs.

Ping G400 9º TFC 419 Stiff at 45"

Jazz 3 wd Powercoil Stiff
Rogue 3iron Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
X2 Hot 4-PW Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
Vokey SM2 52º cc, Ping ES 56º and ES 60º
Ping Sigma2 Valor at 34.75"
MCC Align Midsize

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Total weight will be different.. also the feel

 

I hate to seem confrontational. So I will apologize in advance. I always feel the need to chime in when people concern themselves with things that they shouldn’t worry about.

 

Total weight is irrelevant in this case. Cutting an inch off a Graphite driver shaft is about 2-3 grams of weight. No human on earth could detect this overall weight change taken from the butt end of a club.

 

Certainly the club will feel different being played shorter, but it isn’t because of total weight, it’s because of swingweight.

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Total weight will be different.. also the feel

 

I hate to seem confrontational. So I will apologize in advance. I always feel the need to chime in when people concern themselves with things that they shouldn’t worry about.

 

Total weight is irrelevant in this case. Cutting an inch off a Graphite driver shaft is at most 3 grams. No human on earth could detect this overall weight change taken from the butt end of a club.

 

Certainly the club will feel different being played shorter, but it isn’t because of total weight, it’s because of swingweight.

 

This...

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Nothing wrong with grip down. Many tour players do that ( BTW where is Anthony Kim these days ? ).

 

Still gripping down. Just not with golf clubs.

 

LOL, seriously ? I like him, hope he is doing well, life is not just golf.

No one seems to really know what he is doing. I think if you google "enigma", his picture shows up.

Ping G400 9º TFC 419 Stiff at 45"

Jazz 3 wd Powercoil Stiff
Rogue 3iron Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
X2 Hot 4-PW Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
Vokey SM2 52º cc, Ping ES 56º and ES 60º
Ping Sigma2 Valor at 34.75"
MCC Align Midsize

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Thank you all for your input on this. I will play choking down consistently for a while because of one commenter said "It is more easily undone once you realize...."

Driver: Wishon 919THI,  Matrix Radix 7321, 75g
3W, 5W:  Wishon 929HS, Matrix Kujoh, 75g
4-P: Mizuno MP 18, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120, S
Wedges: Vokey SM7:  50*, 54*, 60*
Odyssey Pro Type 4 HT Blade

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  • 3 years later...

What shortening the shaft does for you is allows you to hit the sweet spot of the club face more often.   For a driver for example, most players can't really effectively handle a 45.5 (and now 46") drivers, as they're all over the club face when making contact.   You will lose more distance not hitting the sweet spot than you will gain from the longer driver.   For 30 years, every time I got a new driver, I'd have it cut down to 43.5", just for that reason, and I'd hit it 15-20 yds farther than when I'd hit a 45.5" driver.   Now, with the lighter shafts and face technology, I have them cut down to 44.5".   The distance & accuracy for a slightly shorter driver far exceeds that when using a longer stock driver, and I'd venture to say it would be true for 90% of amateur golfers.   And even with my 44.5" driver, I still choke down when playing into the wind to get that penetrating ball flight, and it STILL does farther than it would have otherwise.   I like the cutting it down method myself, but that's just me.   Both work out about the same.

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