08 July, 2011
Weighted Golf Clubs: Toe vs. Heel
A golf club is composed of the grip, shaft, club head and club face. When you swing the club, each part must line up perfectly in order to produce a straight shot that goes the proper distance; this is especially true of the club and face. Minor changes in weight help ensure that perfect alignment is realized.
The toe of the golf club refers to the far side of the club head, opposite the shaft. When manufacturers place a biased amount of weight in the toe, the club is referred to as "toe weighted." With this weight distribution, the toe rotates slower and results in an open club-face at impact. An open club-face produces spin that leads to fades or slices. This type of shot has a flight pattern that travels to the right of right-handed players, and to the left of left-handed players.
The heel is located where the shaft meets the club head. Placing weight at the heel creates an effect opposite that of toe-weighted clubs. The heel rotates slower, creating a closed club-face on impact. A closed position leads to draws and hooks. This type of shot is characterized by flight patterns that curve to the left for right-handed players and to the right for left-handed players.
Heel-toe weighting adds extra weight to both the heel and the toe. This distribution creates a larger sweet spot on the club face. The sweet spot refers to the optimal location on the club face to strike the ball. Heel-toe weighted clubs are favored by amateur players who benefit from the added forgiveness of a club with a larger sweet spot.
Many players attempt to use heel- or toe-weighted clubs to counter fundamental swing problems. The best shots start with good swings, and weighting systems are used only to make minor adjustments. If you are considering a heel- or toe-weighted club, try adding lead tape to your current club-heads. The lead tape mimics the characteristics of a club with integrated weights. Taping is temporary, customizable and more affordable than buying a full set of new clubs.
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