Nepali Times
Tee Break
Weight off your club


Wany amateur golfers are fascinated by the thin strips of heavy lead tape they see plastered to the back of a pro's club. They often ask me if lead tape can help them fix their own swings.
Better players-those who hit a ball that starts straight but curves slightly at the end-can fine tune their ball flight by using lead tape to adjust the weight and balance of their clubs. However, lead tape isn't a swing cure, nor will it straighten out a full-blown slice or hook.

On a shot that starts out straight, how the club face reacts at impact can determine how much the ball will curve near the end of its flight. By adding small amounts of weight to the toe or heel of the club, you will be surprised how the club face can square at impact and the problems of the ball being a fade or draw at the end can be changed. Adding a bit of tape behind the sweet spot can increase the height of shots. Also, lead tape can be used to fix that one club in the bag that feels different and produces a different ball flight from other clubs.

Below are some tips on how to tweak the flight of a golf ball by using weights. Lead tapes are available in rolls or strips. A one-inch strip weighs from 0.7-1.5gm, depending on the brand.

To hit the ball higher:
Everyone likes to hit the ball higher, which allows the ball to hover in the air for a long time. If your ball flight is low, then your distances could be much shorter than your golfing buddies, especially with your driver. To launch the ball higher, you can try adding weight at the back of the club.

A driver's center of gravity is typically located towards the back of the head, down low and slightly towards the toe, which is where you can add some tape. This may help you increase the trajectory of your ball flight. To get the best effect, experiment by adding a strip at a time, try hitting some shots and find an ideal modification that suits you.

To enhance a draw or reduce a fade:
Adding weight to the heel of the club helps rotate, or close the club face through impact. The larger the club head, the harder it is to square the club face at impact, which is why many of the latest oversize drivers feature extra heel weighting.

To reduce a draw or enhance a fade:
Adding weight on the toe of the club will slow the rotation of the club around its axis. This should help you hit the ball straighter or get a ball flight moving slightly left to right.

Perhaps you can shape your shots away from the trees and bushes using these tips. Feel free to ask your golf professional for help on these modifications.

Deepak Acharya is a golf instructor and Head Golf Professional at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort & Spa, Kathmandu.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)