How Do I Calculate Golf Swing Weights?

By Justin Johnson

The concept of golf club swingweight is among the most misunderstood items in golf equipment. Simply put, swingweight is the relative weight distribution between the clubhead end of the golf club and the grip end of the club. While most clubmakers recognize the importance of swingweight, most golfers without equipment expertise do not know how to measure it and how to adjust it if necessary. Swingweight is expressed with a letter-number combination, with "A" designating the lightest clubs and going alphabetically to "G" for the heaviest clubs. Most women's clubs are in the "C" category, and most men's clubs in the "D" category.

Obtain Swingweight Rating

Place the golf club in a swingweight scale. Make sure the butt end (grip end) of the golf club sits snugly against the end of the swingweight scale. A swingweight scale can be purchased from golf supply stores such as Golfsmith. Scales are available in a traditional style that uses a fulcrum to measure swingweight or in a digital format.

Adjust the swingweight scale display if necessary to get the reading. The swingweight scale will show a reading from A0 to G10, with A0 being the lightest and G10 being the heaviest.

Make note of the club's initial swingweight. This is the basis from which you will be adding or subtracting weight in order to adjust the swingweight.

Adjust the Swingweight

Adjust the swingweight of a club by adding or taking away weight from the clubhead. For metal woods, weight can only be added. Add a strip of adhesive-backed lead tape to a metal wood clubhead or an iron clubhead. To remove weight from an iron clubhead, use a grinder to lightly reduce the sole (bottom part of the iron). For every 2g of weight added to a clubhead, the swingweight will be increased by one swingweight point (from D3 to D4, for example). The opposite occurs when weight is removed from the clubhead.

Adjust the swingweight of a club by adding or taking away weight from the grip. By adding 4g of grip weight, the swingweight of a club is decreased by one swingweight point. By removing 4g of grip weight, the swingweight of a club is increased by one swingweight point. If the golfer does not wish to change grip styles, a weighting mechanism such as a weight port can be installed in the butt end (grip end) of the shaft and filled with tungsten powder to achieve the same results.

Adjust the swingweight of a club by increasing or decreasing the club's overall length. The length can be increased by installing a longer shaft or using extensions with a current shaft. To decrease length, trim the shaft from the butt, or grip, end (do not trim from the tip of the shaft, as it will stiffen the shaft's flex). For every half inch of length added, the swingweight increases by three swingweight points. For every half inch of length removed, the swingweight decreases by three swingweight points.

Adjust the swingweight of a club by installing a heavier or lighter shaft. The swingweight increases by one swingweight point for every 9g of shaft weight added. The swingweight decreases by one swingweight point for every 9g of shaft weight removed.

Place the club with the selected adjustment(s) performed on the swingweight scale to record the new swingweight. Make notations of each adjustment so they can be reversed if the changes in the club are not satisfactory.

About the Author

A southeastern Ohio native, Justin Johnson is a finance professional with accounting and financial planning experience in various manufacturing industries. He discovered a love for writing as student at Pensacola Christian College and after learning many lessons in the workplace, he enjoys writing business and finance pieces.

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