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Why Do Some Golfers Add Lead Tape to Their Clubs, and What is the Effect?

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Question: Why Do Some Golfers Add Lead Tape to Their Clubs, and What is the Effect?
Answer: There are two reasons golfers add lead tape to their clubheads. One reason is a good one, and works; the other reason is a myth and does not work.

For the bogus one first: Adding lead tape in an effort to change the center of gravity of the head (to make the ball fly higher, lower, more to the right or left) simply will not work. The CG has to be moved at least a quarter-inch for the golfer to notice a flight change in the ball with the same clubhead. To move the CG by a quarter-inch requires no less than the addition of 10 4-inch-long strips of half-inch wide lead tape, all placed in the same area of the head toward which the CG movement is desired.

The right reason for using lead tape is to increase the swingweight of the club; i.e., to increase the feel of more weight or "heft" in the clubhead. For that purpose, one 4-inch-long strip of half-inch wide lead tape will increase the swingweight of any club by one point, as in from D0 to D1.

Most golfers will detect a difference in the headweight feel of a club when the swingweight is increased by 2 or 3 swingweight points, but only the most sensitive feel players will ever note the difference of 1 swingweight point.

When should you think about experimenting with adding lead tape to the clubhead? If you sense that you can't feel the presence of the clubhead in the swing, if you feel that you fight being "too quick" with your swing, of if you are experiencing a fairly high incidence of shots hit off the heel of the face, adding lead tape to increase the swingweight very well could help improve the problem.

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