Moe’s Favorite Clubs

 

Brand / Grind

Moe told me that these were his favorite clubs.  They are Topflite “Bird-over-ball”.  You can see Moe’s workmanship on the leading edge where he ground the bottom of the club into a straight line.  He liked thin and straight leading edges. According to Tom Aird, it added needed bounce to the club.   He even squared off the toes of the clubs.  You can also see the amount of lead tape he applied to increase the weight.

From Tom Aird:

“I have had the clubs pictured above since Moe gave them to me in the 80’s. They were his favorite clubs and he stopped using them because he hit so many balls the faces became concave and the metal compressed making the depth and width of the grooves non conforming.

It might also have been around the time LYNX Canada signed him to play their clubs. Most of your description is correct… However… the reason he ground off the leading edge was to blunt them. Most “players clubs” or “blades” as they were referred to back then had a very sharp leading edge.

One day on the range I asked Moe why he Had ground them off. His response… while still hitting ball…Why ? Why ? Why do you think…. still hitting balls…Look !! Look!! I can’t hit it fat the club just glides… just glides. Most of the modern era clubs have a rounded or blunt leading edge. The model was Spalding Executive “Top~Flite”.”

Grip

Notice the wrapped grip, larger than a normal grip but still a bit tapered.  You can see that the wrap extended well down the shaft, longer than a normal grip.

Of course you can see the worn spot on the face of each club only to imagine how many balls were hit with these clubs.

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-7-31-51-amLength

These particular clubs varied in length.  But it was said that Moe often experimented with single length clubs.  If you look at this picture below, you can see Moe’s hitting sequence where he is choking down on the club (making it shorter).

Weight

The swing weight of a golf club specifies how heavy the club feels to a player swinging it. Swing weight relates not only to the club’s weight, but also to the distribution of the weight. A club with more of its mass concentrated in the club head has a higher swing weight and requires more energy for the golfer to swing it at a specific speed.

In the 1920s, club manufacturers invented swing weight as a measure of the dynamic feel of the golf club. The value relates to the moment of inertia of the club at a fulcrum point, near the grip end of the club. Moment of inertia is the resistance of an object to rotation, just as mass is its resistance to linear motion.

Swing weights use a letter-and-number combination that represents the range and the specific reading. There are six ranges (A through F) and each has 10 values (numbered 0 through 9). A0 is the lightest, and F9 is the heaviest. Most men’s clubs fall in the range of C9 to D8, with D2 being the standard. Ladies’ clubs are usually between C4 and D0. One point on the scale is equivalent to a weight difference of .07 oz. at the club head, about the weight of a penny. Few players would even notice such a small change.

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Stronger players should use higher swing weights, and weaker ones require clubs with lower values. The correct swing weight is one that is light enough for the player to achieve enough club head speed for proper distance and ball flight, but heavy enough to transfer sufficient energy to the ball and keep the club on track in the downswing.

Adding or subtracting weight to the club anywhere except at the fulcrum point changes a club’s swing weight. Attaching lead tape or removing material from the club head, using a different weight shaft, or changing the grip size all have an effect on swing weight. The length of the club also has an impact. Changing the shaft length by half an inch or choking down on the club half an inch changes the value by 3 points.

There is something to be said for single length clubs but keep in mind that Moe added significant weight to the head.  If you choke down on the club, you must add weight.  In effect this will increase the swing weight but from choking down, you substantially lighten the club.  When weighted for swing- weight, these clubs would weight E-5 or E-6.  Take in account the grip weight, the weight of the head and the fact that Moe choked down three inches and in effect Moe’s swing weight was somewhere around D-8.  Still heavy for a normal golfer.

 

 

 

Comments

11 comments on “Moe’s Favorite Clubs”
  1. bill dyson says:

    when I changed clubs to CGA grips and length I did not consider swing weight. Is the something to consider?

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Yes. Swing weight can change dramatically when you change grips and length. It is something to consider.

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  2. Ron Forrest says:

    what is your take on the single length iron & hybrid , I’m just building a set , I ‘m hoping it well make my swing more constant also should work well with the single plane , I’ll let you know soon

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Ron. I am somewhat torn on the concept and playability of Single Length Irons / hybrids. Recently I did some experimentation and found that I liked the concept of Single Length Long Irons down to the 7 iron but having wedges that are 7 iron length was impractical for feel. There are limitations to how far you can hit a 7 iron length hybrid so longer clubs will always need to be “longer” for distance. Swing speed is a definite factor and for the average golfer with 85 mph swing speeds (or less), single length clubs will not really help because length of club is a major speed factor. Single Length clubs will be more beneficial for higher swing speeds. IMO.

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    2. update on building a set of single length clubs , I have been using them over a month , it took a few games to get use to but have become more constant & haven’t noticed any loss in length . I built irons PW to 7 iron & 6 to 4 hybrid , have reg. shaft & used Jumbomax grips in the medium size , decided to keep the wedges in the shorter length like Todd suggested .

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  3. Mark B. says:

    Awesome post Todd. Do you remember if Moe also increased the swingweight of his sand wedge? In footage Moe gripped down on his SW, leading to believe he had a higher swingweight on it as well. Also, do you remember what kind of shaft he had on his SW, if it was stock or if he used an X-shaft like for his other clubs (from what I’ve read). Thanks!

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Hi Mark, All of Moe’s clubs were very heavy. One day I was practicing with him and Nick Weslock – also known as “Nick the Wedge”. Nick kept telling me that a Sand wedge needs to be D-8 swing weight. I somewhat agree in that usually we are cooking down on the wedge which lightens the club. It must be heavier than other clubs. Also, I rarely swing a full swing with a Sand wedge, most Sand wedge shots are short game, Pitch and bunker shots where the hands are choked down. So YES, the Moe’s clubs were heavy and I agree with Nick – at least D-8 swing weight.

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  4. Christopher P Johnson says:

    Todd ~~ In reference to your take on single length clubs, have you tried both the Cobra F7 and the Sterling Golf models? I’m totally committed to the training of GGA, and currently playing TaylorMade Aeroburners, but considering either the M2’s or one of the single length options. Please advise…

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  5. Todd Graves says:

    Christopher,
    Yes, I have tried the Cobra F7 and Sterling Golf Clubs. While I think there is some merit to the Single Length clubs you never really can have “ONE” length clubs because the woods must be longer for speed. Next is the wedges. Since you want to reduce the speed of the lofted clubs, such as the 56 and 60 degree clubs, you probably want more control. This means a shorter set of wedges. Now you have THREE lengths of clubs in your bag: WOODS, IRONS, WEDGES. IF you swing below 80 mph, which most amateurs do, then you probably want some length in your longer irons and should be hitting a few hybrids. With 80 mph speeds you have a huge gap between your 4 iron and your 4 wood. (probably up to 25 yards) This might lead to another length of club in your bag at hybrid length. Now you have FOUR lengths of clubs in your bag.

    As you can see, the only Single length clubs you are left with is a 4,5,6,7,8,9,PW.

    So with your Single Length Irons, you now hit your long irons better but do you really hit the longer short irons better? I found that I hated the short irons being longer. (My personal preference probably).

    Overall, The only benefit I found was that I like the shorter long irons.

    I also had trouble understanding ball position with Single Length clubs because effectively ball position is relative to loft of the club.

    Todd

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  6. Bill McKinney says:

    Todd, what were his lie angles in relation to standard and also his own natural standard? I always assumed they were upright, but now I believe they may have been a tick flat even.
    Thanks

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Moe’s lie angles were very difficult to figure out. Mostly because people gave him clubs and he never really adjusted them. The clubs that I measured were slightly flat – at least the ones that he adjusted. Usually they were two degrees flat.

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