as presented at the
Professional Clubmakers Society Annual Members Conference Feb. 25, 2007
An Alternative to the Traditional ½ inch Length Increment
Length Technology® is a Registered Trademark of
Dan’s Custom Golf Shop
long irons are too long and my short irons are too
Length Technology® is my thesis
to the golfing industry.
Have you ever been troubled by the condition of ‘My long irons are too long and my short irons are too short’? Every set of clubs I’ve owned in my 35 years of playing this gentleman’s game have fallen into that scenario.
Technology® addresses this condition
through CAD modeling the entire set by correlating the ‘lengths
and lies’ to the golfer in their athletic address
position. Imagine having one single, stable athletic
address position for every club in the bag. Holding every
club in the same hand position and still utilize varying
lengths and lies that fit your math model, perfectly.
I have a strong mathematical background, with precision accuracy (micro measurements) being my primary function for the last 18 years.
- Currently a Precision Inspector (Metrologist) for the General Motors Canadian Regional Engineering Centre as a CAD programmer for the Coordinate Metrology Lab
- Past Chairman (2 years) of the ‘Association for Coordinate Metrology Canada’ - devoted to educating & understanding micro measurement technology
- Durham College Graduate - Mechanical Technology Program
- Certified by the Ralph Maltby’s Clubmaking Academy in:
- Assembly and Repair
- Professional Clubfitting
- Masters Program (only 3 in Canada)
- Certified Rifle Centre
- Certified by the Golf Clubmakers Association (GCA) with Professional / Advanced Status
- Owner of the Proprietary Length / Lie / Fitting System - True Length Technology®
- Currently pursuing Certification with the Professional Clubmakers Society
When I reviewed published lie angles verses length throughout the industry, the lie angle progressions did not add up mathematically to the traditional lengths.
Company A - Lie angles increment in ½ degree per club,
Company B - Lie angles increment in 1 degree per club,
Company C - Lie angles vary and don’t seem to follow a progressive pattern.
How could each of these (different) lie angle designs all have (identical) finished lengths?
During any lesson, I was always taught to ‘get into my athletic address position’
- Feet shoulder width apart
- Knees slightly bent
- Spine tilted forward near 30 degrees
- Arms hanging down and slightly out from your body
When I did this my 7 iron fit and played like it was built for me
- Slight amount of grip cap above my hand
- Lie angle looking correct at address
- Hit the ball straight
However, my 3 iron would have nearly one inch of butt cap above my wrist at address, and my pitching wedge would be down into the palm of my hand. It seemed that there was roughly an extra 1 ½ inches between my longest and shortest clubs that just did not seem to fit my position.
Some players will adjust their spine tilt, knee bend, distance between their feet, etc. for every club in their bag. This will result in the golfer having to recall and execute 13 slightly different setup positions to maintain one common hand position. No matter how good of an athlete you are, this is still a very difficult task.
I felt that if I was a visually handicapped golfer, I would setup in my athletic position consistently - waiting for my club. Would I know the position I was suppose to be in if I was holding my 3 iron verses my pitching wedge? Would there be a difference? My thoughts were ‘No, I am ready to hit, give me my club please.’
In trying to understand how these theories worked with my existing clubs, I began to think, that just maybe, there was a more scientific approach to length verses lie relative to my athletic address position.
The birth of - True Length Technology®
My first attempts at alternative lengths
were building in 0.4 inch, 0.33 inch and 0.25 inch increments,
which did help, but this too did not fit perfectly. After
many different attempts, I decided to try ‘Math Modeling’ a
set based on my athletic address position. As I began plotting
lie angles on my CAD system, it became apparent rather
quickly that any uniform increment length cut (not just ½ inch)
was not mathematically correct. True Length Technology® proves
that the length cut has to be progressively less per club,
as your clubs get shorter and more upright.
If you picture a set of triangles and compare
- one at 56 and one at 57 degrees,
- one at 64 and one at 65 degrees,
The length differential between the 56 & 57 degree angles are greater than the length differential between the 64 & 65 degree angles. Herein lays the proof that any static number like ½ inch or ¼ inch variation per club is not mathematically sound. Each increment has to be progressively less than the last increment as the clubs get shorter.
Length Technology® clubs
do vary in length. Just in less than the traditional ½ inch
increment. In fact the length variance is perfect from
club to club, giving one very athletic and repeatable
setup position and posture for your personal setup.
As all custom club fitters know, one size does not fit all. Matter of fact, only one size fits you and you alone. As all custom club builders know, length and lie are imperative, but builders only have access to a few charts that are ‘recommended build sizes’ - 2 charts for men, 1 chart for women.
If you look at some of the old ‘Club fitters Rulers’, a single ‘recommended length of golf club’ fit over 3 ½ inches of Wrist to Floor (WTF) variations, except if you were a women, then your clubs would simply be 1 inch shorter. How much sense does that make? Someone with a 34 WTF is playing the same lengths as someone with a 37 WTF. This again is not mathematically sound.
True Length Technology® Status
Length Technology® system
has charts that vary from a Series 0 to a Series 12.
Every chart is a Math Model of perfect proportions for
each individual series. The math behind the True
Length Technology® build charts
is the result your athletic address position. Not everyone
addresses the ball in the same manner and therefore the
target build chart is still susceptible to variation.
You, as a fitter need to find the correct series target
length and build to the appropriate Series chart.
Note; WTF measurements
are used but only as a starting point within the fitting
process. A full dynamic fitting is still recommended using
the True Length Technology® Fitting System.
- Hitting balls allows the fitter to be aware of swing tendencies and club head paths that do influence ball flight.
- Individual swings certainly do play an active role in determining the correct final lengths and lies.
- Dynamic fitting is still a necessary step due to different bend profiles of shafts, and the dynamics of the individual’s swing. The math model would remain intact if all lies within the set were altered to the same degree, resulting in an averaging out of today’s swing flaws.
- The traditional lie board adjustment may be used for every club as an alternative to the averaging method described above.
- The golfer who sets up with the traditional stance will often find that the WTF measurement will often correlate to the Initial Target Series Chart and will indeed be very close to the final build specification.
- Single axis golfers and some women
who carry their arms out and away from their body will
in all likelihood need a set of greater length and possibly
an alternative lie, deviating from what their WTF target
indicated. Again, True Length Technology® is
not a WTF system and traditional fitting procedures will
insure a sound fitting to the individual.
- People with disabilities, that cannot get into that traditional position may need a variation in length and lie, but will end up in their best athletic position - common to every club.
- All of the above scenarios need to be addressed by the fitter in determining what the proper ‘actual’ build size will be. Once the Target Series Build Chart has been determined, the builder needs to build to the specifics of that Target Series chart keeping the math model intact.
Each True Length Technology® fitting
set has its lengths correlated with its lies - set to a
perfect math model for all Series Build Charts. The golfer
gets to actually swing a 4, 7 and PW that fts their math
profile. When the correct Series is in your hands you will
instantly know you have found you specifications for length,
and a great indication of lie.
Traditional fitting methodology still does apply, where the customer needs to go through;
Wrist to floor measurements
- Statically fitting with a variety of clubs
- Dynamic fitting with a variety of clubs
- Hitting balls with a variety of lengths
- Hitting balls with impact stickers
- Watching ball flight
- Dynamic fitting procedures still apply
The most satisfying feeling is, when the correct length and lie are determined, you are confident that the entire set will fit the golfer like never before.
Here is an excerpt from Ms. Nadine Foreman, a Teaching Professional from the Durham College Golf Administration Program in Oshawa Ontario, Canada.
Technology has helped my game because of the confidence
which I now have stepping up to every single iron in
my bag. As a golf professional, I have taught the fundamentals of the game to players, and taught them that they should be swinging with the same swing each and every time. However I now realize that’s not possible, without the help of True Length Technology.
Even though I might teach the ‘perfect posture’ as I see it, while my student is holding their 7 iron, they cannot possibly duplicate that stance and posture with their 3 iron. I found in my own game, that I was so comfortable standing over my 6-8 irons, however when I would get to the longer irons, I had to put so much more power into my swing, to make the result happen that I wanted to.
True Length Technology , when I step up to a wedge, 8
iron, 5 iron, or 3 iron, I get myself into my perfect
posture first, and my hands are in just the right spot
now without having to manipulate that club in my hands
or alter my posture for the iron I’m holding.
I have control and spin with my wedges, I have the ability to work the ball as I like with my long irons. I no longer have to factor in that 15 yard draw that I know my 3 iron used to produce. I can fade or draw the ball as I need to, with the rest of my shots going straight, using my comfortable swing.
me, True Length Technology has not only improved my game,
it has improved my teaching ability, and the learning
curve of my students.
They can perfect that 7 iron posture and fundamentals, and easily transfer it to any club in their bag.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at any time. Next thing we’re working on is the putter!
CPGA class "A" Professional
Ms. Foreman is
not paid to use my system, and in fact bought her set because
of True Length Technology®. Her
statement reflects that of pretty much my entire customer
base. Once you have tried True Length Technology®, I’m
confident you will become a believer as well.
Does the shorter length separation affect the distance separation between clubs?
- No, in fact many report back that they have actually increased distance due to more on center hits.
How are the Swingweight affected?
- A long set of clubs (Series 10) often will be built with the lightest head weights possible to help maintain a manageable feel and swingweight to the set.
- A short set of clubs (Series 2) often will be built with heavier head weights to help maintain playable characteristics, feel and swingweight.
- A mid length set (Series 6) can be built to a single swingweight or on a progressive slope (very similar to a Moment of Inertia set).
- Sometimes Swingweight is simply a resultant that cannot be controlled due to length and actual head weights, but as a custom builder you can minimize the variation.
What happens if I need a very upright (or flat) set due to my swing (and I don’t want to change it)?
- The entire set will need to be upright (or flattened) from the TLT standard, but in a uniform progression. If 1 club needs to be upright 2 degrees, then they all need to be upright 2 degrees. Remember, you still want to keep your math model intact. Dynamic fitting can certainly be an asset in determining the final lie target within the math model.
Do wedges follow the same length / lie technique?
- This depends on your type of wedge play. I keep the length of my Gap, Sand & Lob at the same length, but this means that their lies will also be identical. If you are only using half shots with some wedges than special attention may need to be taken to tune the lie as head flattening can be to a lesser degree.
Why are Drivers and Fairway woods built to a much flatter degree than what the actual head specification is?
- Wood shafts are thinner in the tip area and are prone to different bend properties. As the club is swung the Center of Gravity of the larger head is trying to get in line with the shaft axis at the hands. The size of the head and the location of the COG cause a higher degree of head flattening during the swing. Research has shown that woods built to their corresponding WTF charts have proven to be the most effective.
True Length Technology®
One common hand position, relative to a perfectly math modeled length and lie will result in:
- A very repeatable athletic address position
- A very repeatable swing pattern
- More on center hits
- Less fat shots
- Less thin shots
- Improved feel and playability
- Less physical stress on the body
- Final result - Improved scoring.
Dan's Custom Golf Shop
5493 Old Scugog Rd.
Web site: www.danscustomgolfshop.com
BACK TO TOP
TM / ® True
Length Technology is a Trademark of Dan's Custom Golf