What to consider when bending golf clubs
Not every iron or wedge can be bent. Cast club heads made of industrial steel are all on the so-called "unbendable list". This is a list of all clubheads that clubmakers are not allowed to bend. The risk that the club will break at the hosel is too high. Even forged clubheads made of the wrong steel cannot be bent. There is basically only one combination that can be bent without risk and without further problems. And that is forged soft steel clubheads and there are several forging methods and processes available. Basically almost all irons we offer on ExactGolf like all Miuras, Honmas TR20, Vegas and some Mizunos.
There are the following reasons why you want to bend a club head. On the one hand to adjust the lie individually. Because the ideal lie for a player can change more often and thus it is necessary to optimize it. The "Japanese standard" of the lie is usually 1° flatter than the "Western standard". If you change from clubs of a western manufacturer to a set of Miuras it might be necessary to make the lie 1° steeper. Then the lie would remain the same when changing clubs. On the other hand you may want to change your lofts, especially if there are gaps to the previous or following clubs like woods, hybrids or wedges.
Change of the swing weight when the lie is changed
At first you don't think much about changing the lie but it is the case that the swing weight changes at least very slightly. The reason is simply that a different lie makes the club either longer or shorter. If you make the lie flatter, the club gets a little longer and the swing weight heavier. If you make the club more "upright" it will be shorter accordingly. The effects are not dramatic. But when it comes to very tall or small players who actually need +4° or -3° lie, the difference in swing weight is noticeable. Per 4° lie the swing weight changes by about 1 unit. So if you build a club that should have 4° up and D4, the same club would have D5 with 0° lie change.
Change of the bounce with changed loft
By the way, the lofts on wedges are changed most often and this is also understandable. As soon as you buy a new set of irons and the pitching wedge has different lofts than the previous one or flies shorter or further for some other reason, it is necessary to change the loft of the following and further wedges accordingly. The problem especially with wedges is the bounce. Because the bounce changes with the loft. Let's assume we have a 56° wedge with 12° bounce. If we bend it to 54° it has only 10° bounce. If we bend it to 58° it has a full 14° bounce. The latter can be a problem especially for players who prefer less bounce.
You should therefore not be too radical with the wedges. The bounce is absolutely crucial depending on the type of player and very good players notice every degree more or less. So you can't just change the lofts of the wedges at will without changing the club itself.
The bounce also plays an important role in the irons and is decisive for the interaction with the turf. If you recklessly increase the lofts and lose a few degrees of bounce, you can risk that the clubface will interact too much with the ground.
What you should know
There are three critical things to consider when you are considering bending your club:
- Is the club head even bendable? If it is a club head from the western manufacturers who usually cast clubs and work with industrial steel, the issue is already settled at this point. Another reason to buy Japanese clubs next time...
- Do I change the lie so much that the swing weight also changes?
- Before the loft is changed, the bounce should be considered.