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Swing Weights: The Overlooked Key to Good Clubfitting

What is the correct swing weight for me?

Golf can be confusing.

There’s so much going on and there is a lot to learn when you’re just starting out. Heck, even if you’re an experienced player, it seems like you can always learn something new.

Whether it’s a new type of shot to hit, which new clubs to use, the correct swing weight, and the best gadgets to help your game. Many players are focused on buying the right equipment and clubs. Using the right gear makes golf a little bit easier (but far from an “easy” sport).

There are many components that go into buying a club, or set of clubs. Consider things such as club head size and weight, shaft stiffness, weight, grip, and swing weight. Most golfers forget about this. Swing weights but it plays a big role in using the right equipment.

In this post, we’ll break down what swing weights are, why they matter, and how they can impact your golf swing. 

Swing Weights Explained

If you’ve played golf for any length of time, chances are you know it’s important to play golf clubs with the proper weight. A set of golf club that is too heavy can make it difficult for you to swing aggressively, and could lead to injury. Lighter clubs can reduce your accuracy and cause you to spray it all over the course.

You can usually Feel if the weight of a club is right for you as soon as you pick it up. But there’s a difference between swing weight and total weight, so let’s break it down.

Definition of swing weights

First, swing weight measurement has been around for a while.

This measurement of golf clubs has been around for more than 100 years, even though it was invented in the 1920s. It’s hard to believe that 100 years ago, when golfers were playing old school woods and hickory shafts, they were concerned about their swing weights. 

Robert Adams was the one who created and measured this. He taught himself how to balance golf clubs and determine the club’s swing weight. This is not to confuse with the overall weight of a golf course. 

Swing weight refers how heavy a club is when you swing it.

It’s not so much a finite measurement like other parts of the game. For example, certain shafts are absolute – whether they are 40 or 80 grams. Grips can weigh 25 to 35 grams, depending on their size and manufacturer. 

The swing weights are different and indicate how the weight is distributed across the golf course. You must first consider these four factors to determine your swing weight. 

  • Length of your golf club. The length of your golf club is the most important factor. The length of the shaft is the largest factor in overall length. The shortest clubs are the putters, which measure between 33 and 36 inches. The driver is the longest club, typically measuring 44-46 inches. The brand will determine the length. If you want to shorten or lengthen, we can do that. 
  • The clubhead’s weight. Some clubs are ultra lightweight to help increase swing speed while others are much heavier, such as wedges. Heavier clubs are more natural and require a higher swing speed. This will also affect swing weight. 
  • The grip’s weight. Grip weights can vary depending on size, brand, and other factors. 
  • The shaft’s weight. This also plays an important role in the equation since shaft weights vary widely between golf clubs. For drivers and fairwaywoods, anything more than 70 grams is considered heavy by most golfers. Some irons, which weigh 130 grams, are heavier and more stiff than others. 

How do you measure your swing weight?

Measuring swing weight can be more difficult than you think.

You can use a scale to determine your physical weight. The same applies to a head or a shaft of golf. You can also use a tape to measure the length of your golf club.

But a swing-weight measurement device isn’t something you just have lying around in your garage or house. Instead, it’s a special balance scale to determine the overall swing weight. 

The device places club at the fulcrum, which is where club is balanced 50/50. Based on the four factors, this point can change. After the club is perfectly balanced a clubfitter would adjust a sliding weight to balance the other part of the club – this is the counterweight.

The club’s counterweight balance would then determine its swing weight. This is very technical and we don’t recommend that you attempt to do this yourself. It’s not as simple as regripping a golf club at home. 

Swing Weight Scale – Breaking Down Swing Weight Numbers

So how do you read the swing weight scale? Not like a normal scale either… 

Keeping with the “complex” theme of this topic, they don’t make it easy to read this scale. Unlike a traditional scale, you don’t just get one number and can go on with your day.

Instead, you receive a combination letter and number to determine the club’s overall swing weight. The values range between 0 and 9, while the letters range A-F. 

The shaft is heavier the higher the number. The heavier shaft is also the further you go in the alphabet. That’s why an F9 shaft is the absolute heaviest while an A0 is the absolute lightest. 

If you’re like most golfers you’re probably thinking… What are the standard swing weights of men and women?

It’s a good question because this information isn’t as easily found when buying clubs online or in store vs. the weight of the head or shaft. 

Men’s swing weight is D1-D3. Women’s clubs are much lighter and the standard range is between C5-C7. These numbers are only estimates. You can always verify the club’s weight online.

While there are a ton of options in terms of swing weight numbers/letters, it’s important to note that going from one weight to another is a small amount. A few ounces is all that separates one swing weight vs. another… not grams like in shaft measurements. 

What Can You Do to Change Your Swing Weight? 

Changing the swing weight doesn’t take much as it’s such a small difference from one swing weight to another. That’s why a lot of different factors can change your total swing weight.

Several factors can influence the swing weight points, including:

  • Change the length of your club. Since one of the four measurements is total length, shortening or lengthening a club can play a big role in swing weight numbers. It can also adjust the flex of your golf club. For example, that’s why we recommend buying clubs for juniors vs. sawing down an old set of yours. These clubs will not only be too stiff and heavy for juniors, but they will also be way off the swing weight point.
  • Changing grips. I love to play with new grips because it makes a big difference in my grip pressure. I feel that if my grips are worn down, I may find it difficult to grip the grip properly, which causes tension in my forearms. While it’s a great idea to swap out your grips Before they get worn down, just be careful about which grips you swap out. Grip weights can have a significant impact on total swing weights, even though you may not have noticed it until you read this article.  Changing size and brands can affect the club’s swing weight Without you even realizing it.
  • Replacing shafts. Using the right shafts in your woods, irons, and wedges also plays a significant role in tempo and grooving a consistent swing. Most players are obsessed with buying the best club heads, but they forget to consider the proper shafts. Sometimes you need to swap shafts, heavier or lighter, but don’t forget it can impact the club’s swing weight as well.  A shaft length or weight change can have a dramatic impact on the club’s dynamics, as the balance point changes.
  • Lead tape If you’re the type of player who uses lead tape, be careful as it can affect the total weight and thus, swing weight pretty easily. Some players prefer to use the tape on their short irons. Others prefer to use wedges or other clubs to add weight. Click here to find out more about lead tape, and how it can improve your golf game. 
  • Sliders and interchangeable weights. Even small things like adding weight with a new screw into your driver can impact the swing weight.
  • New golf clubs. Buying new clubs is exciting and one of the most fun parts about golf – always searching for new equipment to play better. You should be careful when changing your club head. This can have a huge impact on your swing weights. It will change if you swap from a lightweight clubhead with a lighter shaft to a heavier club head with the exact shaft. I’ve found that when upgrading drivers and staying with the same brand, it doesn’t impact the club head weight too much. If you’re ever not sure, make sure you check out the specs on the club makers website as they display more swing weight data. 

Each of these can adjust the club’s swing weight, but imagine changing more than one thing. You might feel different when you swing the club if you take it to a fitter to change the grips or shafts. 

That’s why it’s always a good idea to swap out one thing at a time and see how it feels. When you only alter one variable at a time, you can determine what works and what doesn’t. If you swap out more than one thing, it’s much harder to figure out what is working and what isn’t working. 

Does weight swing matter?

Swing weight is important and can have a significant impact on your game. Swing weight is important, even though it’s not like changing a grip or reshafting your club.

Here’s why swing weight matters… 

Because if a club has a higher swing weight than your swing, it’s going to feel really difficult to swing the entire round.

This can make you feel tired and less capable of making your normal swing. It can also affect your ball flight and possibly cause injury. You can also lose distance if your swing speed drops and the club feels heavier.

The debate continues in a world obsessed with distance. It seems that the more distance you have, then the better. However, the wrong swing weight can make swinging hard nearly impossible. 

A club or head with a too light swing weight can have a negative impact on your golf game. When a club is too light, it’s easy to overswing and not maintain your proper path. While it’s easier to swing faster, you’re likely going to spray it all over the golf course too. 

It can also negatively impact your tempo. If you’ve ever done any speed training with SuperSpeed Sticks, I’m sure you know this first hand. While those devices are great for increasing total speed, that’s their sole purpose… not to hit golf balls with them.

Instead, you can use them off the course to improve your swing speed. It can be very difficult to control your pace if you play too light or heavy clubs for too long. Which is one of the most important things in golf, even if it’s not discussed as often we think it should. 

To improve your ball striking ability, you need to strike at a consistent 2:1 tempo. However, clubs with the wrong weight swings make it almost impossible. 

Golf Clubs: How to Buy New Golf Clubs

When buying new golf clubs, keep the swing weight spectrum the same.

Swing weight matching will make it much easier than switching between clubs with large weight differences. Otherwise, a new golf club that is too heavy or too light will change the club’s swing weight drastically and could negatively affect your game.

FAQs about Swing Weights 

Are you curious about swing weights and how they can affect your golf swing? Continue reading to learn everything you need about the right swing weight. 

What is the best golf swing weight? 

The best swing weight for you is the one that fits your swing.

As you will see in this blog post swing weight is the difference between how heavy or lightweight a club feels to your swing. Every golfer has a different opinion on the weight of the club, since no two players are exactly the same. 

You want to find a weight that feels good for your swing and allows speed. This will help you transfer energy properly, improve your speed, find the best ball flight, and maximize your distance.

Remember, a lighter weight isn’t necessarily the key to more distance. While it can help you produce more speed, it’s not everything as you might lose accuracy in the process. A heavier weight can help you achieve greater accuracy, but it will also reduce your distance.

Both are necessary in this crazy game. That’s why it’s so important to find the best of both worlds so you can max out the distance, hit it straight, and master your tempo. 

Should you use the same swing weights for each club? 

This is a valid question. There seems to be some debate on the subject. Some clubfitters believe all clubs should be similar or as close as possible in order to maintain a consistent pace.

Other clubfitters believe fairway drivers and fairway woods should be slightly lighter. A lighter swing weight can increase speed and acceleration in clubs that are more focused on distance.

Personally, my driver is my favorite club in the bag so I’m always pretty hesitant to change much. Even switching to a different grip resulted in weight being lost and the need to purchase a new one. The driver shaft plays an important role in this process. You should choose the right driver shaft for your needs and stay with it.

What is the best swing weight for irons and how do you determine it?

The best swing weight is the one that suits your swing and tempo. Irons are more complicated because there are graphite and iron set weights that vary greatly. 

Some lighter flex graphite shafts may only weigh 70 to 80 grams. For more skilled players, you might use steel shafts that weigh 115-130 grams or more.

You must remember that your swing speed and strength are all important factors in choosing the right one.

How does swing weight impact swing speed?

Absolutely. Swing weight is a major factor in overall swing speed.

If a club is too heavy, you won’t have as much swing speed as a club. A lighter weight can result in faster swings.

How can I increase my swingweight? 

There are many ways to add weight, including lead tape, a longer shaft, heavier screws in woods/drivers and grip changes. 

Is D3’s swing weight too heavy?

This would be too heavy for some golfers, but not for others. Remember, swing weight isn’t a set number like shaft weight or grip weight. 

Is it possible to change the shaft and increase the swing weight?

This depends on the changes you’re making with the shaft(s).

For example, if you swap one for another and it has the exact same shaft length and weight but you only change flex, the club’s swing weight will remain the same.

The swing weight scale will be affected if the shaft is changed from one that is heavier to one that is lighter. The same applies if the shaft is shorter or longer, and the fulcrum point also changes. 

How does the lie angle affect the swingweight?

The weight of your clubs will not be affected by changing the angle of your lie to make them flatter or more upright.

It will only adjust the club’s appearance at address and bend as necessary. It is important to not bend the club too often, or too much, to protect the integrity of the club. 

What is the difference in D1 and D2 swing weights? 

Each swing weight is associated with a number and a letter. The numbers range from 0-9. While the letters range from A to F, the numbers are 0 to 9.  The swing weight for each club is calculated when the letters are paired together.

A “D” swing weight is pretty standard with most men’s clubs and in the middle of the scale. A move from D1-D2 is only about a couple of ounces. Since it’s such a small amount, it’s hard for a casual player to see the difference. 

It would be more obvious if you changed from a D1 to E1 or F1. Remember, an ounce isn’t much more than the weight of a penny so we’re talking about very small increments. 

Is swing weight affected by changing grips?

Change your grip could impact the swing weight. But like shafts, it depends on the changes you’re making.

If you add a few rolls grip tape to the grip to increase its size, it will adjust the club’s weight and counterbalance. If you switch from a mid-sized grip to a regular grip, you would subtract weight because the golf club will be lighter.

The swing weight can also be affected by changing the grip weight. But if you just replaced the grip with the exact same grip you’re currently using (or a new one that is the same), it would not adjust swing weights. 

Do I need to be fit for clubs?

Clubfitting is a great option, but it’s not for everyone.

Many golfers don’t need a custom fitting session yet with a certified club fitter. A club fitting session can help you improve your game as you increase your ball speed.

You don’t want your clubs to not match your game. A fitter can help:

  • Learn how to determine the right grip size
  • Get into the right swing weight
  • You can try a variety club head options to determine club head speed.
  • Teach you more about lead tape and see if it’s right for each golf club.
  • Find the right shaft weight and decide if you require a heavier club.

Club fitting is great, just make sure you’re playing consistently enough and/or want to keep improving to make the most of it.

Final Thoughts on the Swing Weights 

This blog post should help clarify this confusing topic. Again, it’s a tricky subject with golf equipment because swing weight isn’t an actual weight like pounds on a scale. Or how much your shaft weighs in your driver.

Instead, it’s a complex number that is determined from a scale that was built about 100 years ago. It still works well to determine the swing weight for each golf club in your bag. While you don’t need to go buy one online to find the balance point for each club, it’s good information to know.

Swing weights can have a significant impact on your game. Consider how much the swing weight of a shaft or grip you are changing is an important consideration. 

Once you buy clubs that you like, don’t tinker too often. It is important to remember that even the smallest things can make a big difference in your swing weights. Among these factors are:

  • Changing grips
  • Add lead tape
  • Head of the club
  • Club lengthening
  • Buy a set of golf clubs or a club.
  • Replacing shafts with a new shaft length or weight (not shaft flexibility) 

You can find more. Even small adjustments can make a difference in your overall weight.