Regardless of your experience, if you are hooked like I am, you already know that golf clubs can be pretty expensive. Of course, being the techie that I am, I drool over the latest and greatest clubs. Unfortunately, the best clubs are hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a set of irons. Sure, you can buy used but youll can still shell out $500 for a used set of Callaway or Taylormade irons that may or may not suit you. So, after quite a bit of research and shopping on eBay, Ive built a high-end set of irons made specifically for me for about the same price as a cheap Walmart set. You can buy all the components from one place like GolfWorks or Golfsmith, or shop around on eBay. In the end you'll have a set of custom clubs that you'll be happy to talk about and use as the reason for your great (or poor) performance on the course.
Now take all the money you saved and take some lessons! You'll be glad you did and will enjoy the game a whole lot more.
Step 1: What You Need
- 8 shafts (graphite or steel, your choice). 8 will make you a 4-SW set. (no one uses a 3-iron anymore). Make sure your shaft tip size matches the type of heads youll be using (i.e. .370 shafts for .370 hosel bore on the heads).
- Club heads. I'll focus on irons, but most of the steps in this instructable also apply to woods and hybrids. You can spend anywhere from a few dollars a head to a few hundred, so you might want to start off cheap before going to an expensive set. I've found great sets of heads on eBay for a fraction of their retail value.
- - Rubber shaft holder and bench vise
- - Ferrules (these are the black decorative trip pieces that hide the transition from the head to the shaft)
- - Grips. Go to your nearest big golf store and try some out, there are hundreds to choose from
- - Grip tape and solvent. It is available in either a spray can or liquid, I prefer the spray
- - Tubing cutter for steel shafts or hacksaw with a fine blade for graphite shafts
- - Dremel or other rotary tool with sanding drum
- - Shafting Epoxy
- - Masking tape, small wooden stick, paper towels, sharpie marker
- - Old Tshirts or rags
- - The GolfWorks catalog (www.golfworks.com)
Step 2: Selecting and Cutting Your Shafts
Although there is no one standard, most factory irons are made for the average American. So, if youre between 5'9" and 5'11", the factory standard length will be about right for you. If you are over 6' or under 5'8" you should go longer or shorter to match your height. Womens clubs are usually one inch shorter with more flexible shafts, but if youre a woman over 5'9" you should make the appropriate changes (you will basically end up with men's irons with "lite" flex shafts).
Use the chart to determine the length of your 5-iron. Measure the distance between your wrists and the ground while wearing your golf shoes. Take both measurements and average them. Use the following chart to determine the length of your 5-iron. Each larger/shorter iron differs by 1/2 inch.
Determine the proper length of your clubs and cut the shafts accordingly using your tubing cutter or saw. Do not use a tubing cutter for graphite shafts! Remember that club length is not the same as the shaft length, since the shaft will go into the club head anywhere from 1 to 1.5 and different club heads will be of different heights. Once cut, mark each shaft with a piece of masking tape so that you dont accidentally put the 4 head onto your Pitching Wedge shaft. Also, only cut from the butt end, not the tip since cutting the tip will affect the stiffness of the shaft.
If in doubt, it is always a good idea to use an existing club for reference.
Step 3: Test Fit Your Club Heads
While youre test fitting your club heads, also mark how far the ferrule should go onto the shaft. TIP: warm up the plastic ferrules with a heat gun to soften them up, otherwise it will near impossible to get them up the shaft. Push them as far up the shaft as you can by hand and push the rest of the way with the club head. Cover the ferrule and club head with tape. Not absolutely necessary, but there is a good chance that youll get epoxy on these and you want them to look professional. You can wipe the epoxy off when it is still wet, but it will damage the ferrules so I just tape them. I also draw a line with a marker so that I can line up the shaft with the logos the way I want them. I assembled the shafts and grips with the logos such that I dont see them when addressing the ball.
Step 4: Attaching the Club Head to the Shaft
Using a stirring stick or toothpick, carefully dab the epoxy mix onto the shaft tip. It doesnt have to be perfect and don't use too much, it will only ooze out of the hosel when you install the shaft. It is amazing how strong the stuff is. Line up the marks, clean up the excess epoxy and set the club on a cardboard box. Repeat for all the clubs and set them to cure overnight.
Resist temptation and dont touch them for 24 hrs!
Step 5: Now We Wait...
Also, don't try to put on the grips until the heads have cured!
Step 6: Intalling the Grips
Line up the grip the way you want it and QUICKLY push the grip all the way onto the shaft. The solvent dries quickly so if you don't use a lot of solvend and don't go fast, youll end up with the grip stuck halfway onto the shaft and youll be forced to cut it off and start over. For that reason I use an air compressor to install my grips but thats a topic for another Instructable.
I'll try to post more pics this weekend.