Swing weight - Sergio Garcia and Darren Clarke

Was interested to read in Golf World (UK publication - not sure which is the sister publication in US but probably published there also) on equipment tips from pros …

“When it comes to club set-up, few players are as quirky as Sergio. He likes them to feel very light, with the main weight centred in the butt end rather than the head. His clubs are also shorter than standard, his driver being 43 inches, the shortest Taylor Made work with on tour. The fairway wood is an inch-and-a half shorter than normal, while all his irons are short too. ‘when you shorten clubs, you lose overall mass, so to counter that we put weight plugs under the grips’ says Taylor made’s Sean Brady. This brings the overall weight back up, but it does mean that the swingweight stays light. Garcia’s driver registers at C9 or D0, while his irons are D1 and his wedges are D2. Sergio has plenty of lag in his swing and very much gets into a ‘late hit’ position, so the setup in his clubs helps him to square the face at impact.”

Whereas darren Clarke is reported as :

“The key to Clarke’s bag lies in the swingweights of his clubs. Being from the ‘old school’, he likes to feel plenty of mass and will have them registering up at D8…What is quite unusual here is that Darren’s wedges feel lighter than his irons when , for the vast majority of players, it’sthe other war round…Clarke has True Temper’s new Monaco shaft…135 grams…lead weight in the hosel…wedges are D6…”

Does not say what Sergio’s overall club weights are…intersting contrasts …

Regardless of what any tour player’s personal preferences are in the short term, the laws of physics remain the same.

The original ideal behind inventing lighter golf shafts was not to decrease the overall weight of the club, it was to be able
to redistribute the mass, putting more weight behind the sweetspot at impact. The golf ball itself likes mass centered directly behind the strike.

Any adjustments players make to their gear with excessive heel or toe weighting is countering something in their golf swing that is not working as it should. If you are a good player, don’t have trouble hitting the sweetspot, and swing the club correctly, then you’re not doing yourself any favors moving mass away from where it should be.

A touch of lead in the shaft here or there to fine tune swing weights and balancing is not going to do harm.

Thanks for the reply so quickly - Please don’t think that I posted to stir up trouble - just to ask for debate.

What interested me initially was Sergio’s desire for the clubs to feel light…did not specify whether they were light (ie. overall weight).

The only published Hogan swingweights I know of were in Vasquez’s book - everyone surprised by the relatively low swing weights (D1)…and assumes them to be wrong…what did he know…he was only shagging balls etc…especially when everyone else says that the dead weight was really heavy …

My 1962 Powerthrust 5 iron is about a D7 in current spec (38 inch) (head weight = 268g)

Using swingweight calculator excel file from internet (myostrichgolf.com/) and Vasquez’s stated spec for Hogan (37.5 inch shaft) and assuming same head weight as mine, 127 g raw shaft weight at 41"…the SW estimator shows 15 gram butt weight needed to bring SW down to D1…gives total weight 449 grams.

ie. a heavy club deadweight(static) but low swing weight…

Anyone try this ? Any clubbuilder like to do the experiment?? I/m going to have a play myself but do not have Sw scale…so I use :


Seems Sergio has potentially similar specs although I suspect that his club heads are lighter…

Interesting information GB.

The 43 inch driver length is a bit surprising. I’m at 44 with mine and didn’t think anyone used one shorter that that. He’s able to average over 290 with it every year which tells me he has some very fast hands.

If you want the club to “feel” lighter in your hands… butt weighting will do that. Also increases the static weight of the club.
Not a bad idea… but I think weight is always better added behind the ball. Increasing head weight requires firming up the shafts also… unless you like crooked golf shots. :confused:

Ihad the same question today; Dont we need the higher swing/total weights for the longer irons which need more of a drop onto P3???

You wanna know Ben Hogans (among others) real specs? Go buy this:

cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Toney-Penna … 3366845113

Nice find! It would be interesting to read that stuff! With that kind of item I guess that authenticity is the key. How did the item get from Tony Penna to Babe Zaharias etc…provenance…

In Power Golf, Hogan gives us some stats “The weight of my wood clubs is 14 ounces, but 13 and 1/4 to 13 and 1/2 ounces seems to be a good weight for the average player”

I had thought of writing to the Hogan Foundation and asking if they would let me and an authentic lub making guru basically do the specs on Hogan’s clubs - do everything except take them apart…mass, balance point, MOI, swingweight etc…even 3D scan the clubheads or whatever…just to settle the mythology which surrounds his clubs… not sure how they would react though…and I don’t know any gurus…