A golf club’s swing weight measures its "resistance to being swung in a circle,” according to Leaderboard.com. Swing weight does not measure a club’s total weight, but rather its distribution. Indeed, two clubs that weigh the same may have different swing weights. For example, if one of the identically-weighted clubs has a heavier head, it will have a greater swing weight.
Swingweight measures the distribution of a golf club’s weight, rather than a club’s actual weight. Clubs with more weight than usual in the clubhead relative to the grip have higher swingweights, and those with higher-than-normal weight in the grip area have lower swingweights. So if you add weight to a golf club’s grip, the club’s actual weight increases, but its swingweight decreases. Swingweight measurements are expressed with a letter, ranging from A on the low end to G, plus a number from 0 through 9, with 9 denoting a greater swingweight than 0. Most amateur golfers will be comfortable with a neutral swing weight of D-0.
Numerous golfers, from pros to recreational hackers, have added weight to their drivers or other clubs for years. They believe that adding weight to clubs can affect a golf shot’s path or its trajectory, but equipment experts will tell you the results are psychological. In reality, the amount of lead tape typically added to a golf club has little, if any, effect on the ball's direction or trajectory. But if you believe, as tour pros like Phil Mickelson does, that lead tape can help your game, don’t add tape during competition. The Rules of Golf permit players to add tape to clubs before, but not during, a round.
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Swing weight is a confusing concept in many ways. It isn't really a weight and it isn't measured in ounces or grams. Two clubs that are very different from each other in total weight might have the same swing weight, while two similar clubs might have different swing weights. Not all club makers agree that swing weight is a useful measurement, but all club makers know how to measure swing weight. It's the de facto standard for matching all the clubs in a set.
Lessons and practice comprise one way to improve your golf shots, but modern technology offers a few shortcuts. If you don’t have time to improve the way you swing the golf club, adapt your club to the way you swing. One technological breakthrough that even some top pros endorse is the concept of movable weights, typically within a driver. The clubhead contains ports into which small weights are screwed. The weight configuration you choose determines how your shots are affected.
A golf club’s swingweight refers more to the club’s balance than its total weight. Swingweight measures the weight of the club toward the clubhead relative to the weight of the club toward the grip. A club with a heavy swingweight is more massive on the clubhead side; a lighter swingweight places more weight on the grip end. Professional and skilled amateur golfers are more likely to use clubs with high swingweights, which may be difficult to balance for recreational golfers. Most golf-club sets are built with a neutral swingweight. But as a golfer improves, he may wish to adjust those clubs to a heavier swingweight. Other golfers with mismatched sets of clubs acquired over several years may want to adjust the swingweights of some clubs to make the set more consistent.