Swingweight measures the distribution of a golf club’s weight, rather than a club’s actual weight. Clubs with more weight than usual in the clubhead relative to the grip have higher swingweights, and those with higher-than-normal weight in the grip area have lower swingweights. So if you add weight to a golf club’s grip, the club’s actual weight increases, but its swingweight decreases. Swingweight measurements are expressed with a letter, ranging from A on the low end to G, plus a number from 0 through 9, with 9 denoting a greater swingweight than 0. Most amateur golfers will be comfortable with a neutral swing weight of D-0.
Add lead tape to your clubhead. This is the quickest and easiest method to increase swingweight. Golfers use lead tape because they believe it will help correct swing flaws. For example, adding tape to the clubhead’s heel (the portion closest to the shaft) can help reduce a slice, they believe. Club experts say the results are only psychological. But the added clubhead weight also increases the swingweight. If you’ve improved your swing or grown physically stronger, adding swingweight may be beneficial. Top professional players generally use clubs with higher swingweights than those of average players.
Place lead insert into the shaft at the grip end to reduce swingweight or add lead tape just below the grip. This technique is referred to as “counterbalancing.” Adding weight to the grip end won’t affect the ball’s flight, but it can improve a club’s feel. For example, if you’ve switched to a club with a lighter shaft, the club’s weight may feel too concentrated in the clubhead. Adding weight near the grip may give you a more comfortable feel. Said two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen: "I put (lead tape) on a few wraps below the grip. It feels more balanced with the tape.”
Change the club’s shaft. Take your clubs to a club repair professional and ask him put in a different type of shaft. If you’re looking for a higher swingweight, for example, you can have your heavier steel shafts replaced by shafts made with a lighter material, such as lightweight steel or graphite. Be aware, though that a longer club shaft made from a lighter material may weigh the same as your former shaft and have no impact on a club’s swingweight.
Alter the club’s grip. Installing a larger or smaller grip will affect the swingweight in the same manner as adding tape near the grip. If your new grip is heavier than the piece it replaces, the swingweight decreases; if the new grip is lighter, the swingweight increases.