Counterbalancing a Mizuno Bettinardi

Halebopp

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#1
I've most probably talked about linking the feel of counterbalanced putters somewhere in here. I was planning on experimenting with my C-01H as it has a heavier head but since my BC-3 needs a new grip anyway, I thought I would tinker with it for starters.

Adding weight to the head is the biggest problem as I don't want to spoil the heads with lead tape. Adding weight to the shaft is the second option, according to Tom Wishon (of Wishon golf), you can add 20 grams to the tip without noticing the difference in CoG unless you're a very good putter.

The best way to add weight to the tip would be a tip weight or tungsten powder. For now I've settled for some fishing weights made out of lead.

I tried to look for a heavy bolt from a hardware store but settled on a threaded rod. One meter weight around 300 grams so 20 centimeters is around 60 grams, The long nuts weight 12 grams each and there's room for 8 of them before the steps in the shaft get in the way. There's a smaller, eight-gram nut to the top end. Thus I could make it anything from 68 to 166 grams.

The one problem I didn't think of is that if I wanted to make the shaft longer, maybe 36.5" from the current 35", the nuts might not fit the extension. I need to order some from the UK while I order a new grip. Even with the shipping, new grips are still about 2/3s of the price they are over here. :(

I wonder what are the odds of me needing to go to a pro shop to clean up the mess I'll make out of this. :D

(Apologies for the big pictures)



 

Halebopp

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#2
This is much easier than I thought! :)

I attached two of the fishing weights to a piece of string so that I could get them easily out from the tip and secured the string with a piece of tape to the outside of the shaft.

Then I sawed a 25-centimeter piece of the rod (~75 grams), attached a couple of the nuts and it was set. I have to say the feeling off the face wasn't good. After a couple of attempts to secure the weights in the tip better, I removed them altogether. The feel off the face returned to normal but the head doesn't feel too light at all. With the screws tightened against together and the lower ones resting against the step of the shaft and the top nut fitting into the shaft very snugly, the weights don't move about at all but once I figure out how many of them I want, I'll secure them with tape.

What I found interesting is that the left-over 75 cm bit (225 grams) fit the putter very well also. Certainly gave a different, more head-heavy feel but it wasn't bad at all.

Some more pics for anyone who cares. :)





 

Halebopp

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#3
I got another idea. If I glued one of the long nuts inside the shaft, against the step that stops them from going lower, I could actually make the whole rod with the rest of the weights removable. Or I could add/remove nuts and alter the weight. All it would need is a hole on top of the grip.
 

PaulBoy

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#4
Nice description & pics sir! - Looks like a lot of work you are putting in, but I suppose you must have a few months before you can get back out on the golf course? - Keep us posted how your project works out ...
Paul
 

Halebopp

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#5
Thank you, Paul!

It really isn't much work at all but you're right, there would be no need to make the finishing touches before the Masters if I didn't want to. :( 

I'm definitely not going to try the adjustable weight system on my Bettinardis. Maybe I can find some crappy putter for next to nothing and experiment without any worries.

I settled on  using 6 nuts, two at the bottom and four on the top, squeezed them tightly against each other and then wrapped clear packaging tape all around the threads and the nuts themselves to secure them in place, to stop any possible rattling developing over time and to simply make it a tight fit.

I can hold the putter upside down, without a grip and the weight stays in place. It doesn't make any noises even when inserting it into the shaft.

The whole thing with the tape weights 151 grams. Superstroke has 75-gram weights for their grips and Tour Lock has weights up to 100 grams so this is well beyond their heaviest weights. The grip I'll most probably put on the putter is 10 grams lighter than the one I'm using for testing so it'll feel a bit lighter when finished.

I certainly like the feel and the performance indoors but after a day of toying around with it, the putter doesn't feel heavy at all anymore. You get used to it so quickly. My brains are telling me not add any more weights to it, though.

I guess the next step is to go practice putting with it in an indoor range to see if there could be any issues with longer putts. I'm also thinking about keeping the old grip until the start of the season to give me a real feel for it on actual greens, which are much slower around here than any of the artificial mats used indoors.

There's also the issue of extending the shaft and how it would work out. Maybe I could even lengthen the shaft by adding a couple of those normal nuts to the end of the rod.

Anyhow, the first picture shows how the completed weight assembly sits inside the shaft. I hadn't noticed before that the rod is pretty pretty much the same length as the grip. The shaft is 35" and the lower nuts would need to be an inch higher in a 34" shaft and so forth because of the steps.

The second picture shows the difference in center of gravity between the putter and a normal C-01H.





 

DCB

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#6
Looks like a major engineering feat. I changed my BC 3 to a Super Stroke grip and got the right weight to give me the best feel when making a shot. A little trial and error, but, a lot less engineering involved. 

Hope you work out how best to tackle this.
 
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#7
Good work Haleb. I guess the nights are a bit long in January? :)

I like the use of a rolled towel to check for swing weight. But how do you calibrate it?
 

Halebopp

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#8
DCB, I certainly hope I can skip the error part once I put the new grip on it. :D

NotOhBoy, our days are getting longer by the minute, the sun rises at 9:25 and sets at 15:44, that's over 6 hours of daylight hiding behind the clouds and an hour more than in mid December! :D

It's actually just a towel on top of a kettlebell and I admit it's not quite up to par with what we used and talked about on measurement technology courses in the university. :) 
 

Bonobobananas

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#9
Great stuff HB but does it work? :)
 

Halebopp

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#10
Bonobobananas said:
Great stuff HB but does it work? :)
On a carpet it seems to work, certainly on the short putts keeping me from using smaller muscles to make the stroke and making myself push or pull the putt. Some people say distance control can be an issue with the heavier putters but we'll find that out in April. :)

The head does feel just a bit light but I hope extending the shaft from 35" to maybe 36.5" and putting the lighter grip on it will change the feel enough. I was hoping I would've got the new grip and the shaft extension in the mail today alongside some other stuff but no such luck.
 

Halebopp

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#11
Look at my new broomstick! :D

I got the bits and pieces in the mail today. The shaft extension and the new Winn grip. It didn't take long to learn the butt is 0.60 in the putter rather than 0.58 (for which I ordered the extension) but a couple of wraps of packaging tape and now the extension is stuck inside the shaft. No need to worry about it coming loose.

My self-made weight fits the shaft very snugly so all's good. All I need to do now is decide to which length I want to cut the shaft. The old grip does help a bit as I can move it up and down to figure it out. I have to say the broomstick is working surprisingly well. It feels like I don't have any control over the club but the results are very consistent.

Don't worry though, I won't keep it that way. :D



 

Bonobobananas

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#12
Excellent work chap :D
 

Halebopp

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#13
Blah, the first sign of trouble.

I sawed the shaft close to 37 inches and put the weight in place. Now the shaft vibrates quite badly at impact. It didn't vibrate at all with the weight but without the extension, nor with extension and without the weight. Added some layers of tape around the weight and had to actually hammer it down the shaft but it didn't help. Maybe the extension isn't in place firmly enough for all the extra weight. The other possibility is that the end nut doesn't fit inside the .58 shaft and thus sits on top of it as opposed to the actual end of the putter shaft, which is .60 and thus the top end of the weight gets to move about. So the answer might be more tape to the top end.

At least now I have time to think while trying to pull the weight out of the shaft. :D
 

PaulBoy

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#14
That's a bit of a pain to say the least! - The grips I have seen with fitted weights (like Super Stroke) have the weight wrapped in foam to presumably stop this sort of vibration / rattle happening? - Maybe you could use something similar, like the stuff you lag pipes with? - Keep up the good work ... Paul
 

Halebopp

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#15
Thanks for the support and idea, Paul! And Bonobo too!

I was able to remove the weight after a bit of a fight. :)

I filed the inside of the butt and the bottom of the nut, which allowed the nut to drop just slightly inside the shaft. I also added a couple of layers of tape to the top and that helped with the vibration. There's no vibration anymore if I hit the sweet spot but anything outside of it and it's clear I need to figure out the bottom end of the weight also.

I tried adding a couple of layers of tape but it just doesn't fit through the narrow part of the extension. I didn't even think about the foam idea (despite having checked all the ready-made options :D ), I might have some of that very thin wrapping stuff (with what they wrap all electronics) but I'm not sure if even that is thin enough to get through the bottleneck (see the terrible picture below).

Now it seems like I'll try to make the nuts more round to fill in the space as the corners obviously can't take much more tape. The other option would be to pull out the extension and build the weight "around it" letting me skip the bottleneck.

Maybe I'll try some foam, toothpicks or narrow strips of tape on the sides of the nut first 

 

Halebopp

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#16
All I could add to the sides was very small bits of thin cardboard. That didn't solve the problem completely and when I tried to pull the weight out, the slices of cardboard didn't come out. When removing it I ended up shoving it further down the shaft.

I did found some of the material in which they wrap TV screens etc. in before those are put into the styrofoam and it almost works.

What I haven't tried is stuffing the part of the rod not covered with the nuts with that stuff 

Now it looks like  need to pull out the extension and see if I can build the weight around it. That'll be a tedious process though hammering the whole thing in and pulling it out every time.

For the first time I'm slightly frustrated. The putter performs very well at 37 inches and with the weight and I thought all I needed to do was to have someone install the grip.
 

Halebopp

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#17
Edit. I might've been celebrating a bit early. :(

I thought I had it finished but not yet, still some irritating vibrations on occasion. I also remembered another way to extend the shaft, using the bigger nuts on their own towering on top of the shaft. Maybe I should explore that route also. :)
 

Halebopp

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#18
I paid a visit to my dad yesterday to borrow his heat gun and vise to get the weight out again. It did come out but with the shaft extension in place. You can actually feel the putter shaft bulge slightly when inserting or removing the weight so the feeling certainly isn't because the weight is loose inside the shaft.

After a visit to the hardware store I tried building the extension from nuts at the end of the rod but it came out worse than what I already had.

Today I got a new idea. The reason the feel isn't the same as it was without the shaft extension is probably because I'm using the same step in the putter shaft as the low point for the weight. With two inches of added length that point is now two inches further away from my hands.

According to my math, the weight could be about three inches shorter but the center of gravity (for the weight) moves up only one inch. Seeing if it helps needs to wait until tomorrow though as the neighbours might not appreciate me sawing metal at this hour. :D
 

Halebopp

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#19
Here you go! :)

After a couple of more evenings of tinkering I decided stacking the weights as far up as possible was the best way to go. With a bit of math I figured out how long the threaded rod needed to be to get the right weight and then jam-packed it with the long nuts and then added as many layers of tape as it could take.

Despite the 1 in 15 weird-feeling putt, I thought I'm not too keen on figuring out completely different ways to add weight. Weirdly enough if I had explored other options, my next stop would've been to a store selling spare parts for tractors as they seemed to have all sorts of bolts etc. A much better selection than what the hardware stores carry. :D

After a couple of dozen of putts at home I haven't come across a single putt that felt weird, probably thanks to the grip, which hasn't been cut in half.

The shaft is pretty much 37 inches now (the C-01H next to it is 34"), the weight assembly weights around 150 grams and is 20 cm (8 freedom length units) long, so about two thirds of the grip length. The head doesn't feel too light at all, the shaft extension certainly helped with that.

The Winnpro X 1.18 grip is 10 grams lighter though, so you could say the added weight is around 140 grams. I needed a new grip for the putter anyway so the only cost was the weight itself. It was slightly over 10 Euros, 9-10 GBP and with a couple of more nuts, I'd have material for two or three other weights. Slightly cheaper than an Odyssey Tank. :)

I also had the orange Lamkin grip installed on the EZ pitching wedge. It does look good but maybe slightly Fowlerish. :D

 

Bonobobananas

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#20
Quality HB, I love it :)
 
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