Find the Right Balance: Golf Club Swing Weight Chart

Published on 06/16/2023 · 6 min readGolf Expert Jorge Arteta explains exactly what swing weight is, why it is important to every golfer, and how to find your correct swing weight.
Jorge Arteta, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Jorge Arteta

Image courtesy of TaylorMade

The swing weight of golf clubs is something that the average golfer probably doesn't think too much about. It might just slip through when looking to buy clubs, but the answer to the question in the headline is yes, swing weight matters! This article will explain why.

Golf clubs each have a weight. Club manufacturers and fitters use a swing weight scale to measure this weight, which is not measured in grams, ounces, or even shaft weight.

As a golf professional, I am privileged to work with golfers of all skill levels. I often have beginner golfers who come to me with clubs that were free, hand-me-downs, or fresh out of the box. One of my female students, who was a brand new golfer, had been given a very nice set of clubs and was very excited to use them and learn the game with them.

Upon looking at them, however, I noticed they were men's clubs, and I mentioned that she might find them to be heavy. She tried them anyway and hit them fairly well for a new golfer. Three weeks later, even though she continued to hit the ball pretty well, I got her a set of women's clubs to demo, and she immediately hit the ball even better. I asked her about the fundamental difference that she felt, and she said the women's clubs were much lighter.

Experienced golfers know the swing weight of a club can affect their tempo, as well as their angle of attack, swing speed, spin, and ball speed—all things that can affect the golf swing outcome. Let's look at the definition of swing weight and why it matters to a golfer.

What Is Swing Weight?

In general, swing weight is how a club feels during the golf swing. It is not measured in grams, ounces, or pounds, but is a given point on a swing weight scale that identifies the weight of the club. The chart below shows how swing weight is stated. Looking at the first part of the chart below, A0 is the lightest weight on the scale, while F9 is the heaviest weight.

There are four primary items that impact swing weight: club head weight, grip weight, shaft weight, and the length of the club.

On average, the typical swing weight for women’s clubs is about C2 to C9. The average weight for men’s clubs is about D0 to D8. There is no right or wrong number in general, as the feel is personal to each golfer. How you swing at the different weights determines the best weight for you.

Looking at some club examples, the stock version of the Taylormade Stealth men's 2019 irons are steel and have a swing weight of D1 for the 7-iron. This is an iron for the mid to high handicapper. Many golfers can swing this club pretty easily at this weight. However, change the grip to a different style, size, or weight and the swing weight can go down to D0 or up to D3.

The standard Taylormade Stealth women's 2019 irons have a swing weight of C2, which is much lighter than the men’s version. Add a few pieces of lead tape, and that can move the swing weight up to C5. As a golf professional and teacher, I encourage my students to keep their golf bags as consistent as possible. If they go to change a grip on one iron, I remind them to get the same grip or that particular club could feel different than the others.

The same goes for woods and shafts. If golfers have a very different club compared to the others, for example, a TaylorMade 3 wood but a Callaway driver and 5 wood, then at least get the same grip on all of them so that they all feel similar. I’m not a fan of mixing up too many clubs in the bag, but I understand why it’s done. If a club works, then it works. If ain’t broke, then don’t fix it.

Feel is a top priority to golfers. The more consistency you can have in your golf set, the easier it will be to play. As you can see, there are many ways to affect swing weight. The bottom line is, does the club feel good to you when you swing? That’s all that matters.

Where Did Swing Weight Come From?

In the 1930s, clubmaker Robert Adams designed the actual swing weight scale (Figure 1) and the measurement identification system—A0 to F9. The scale was called the "Lorythmic Scale." Robert Adams then came up with a fulcrum point on the scale that was the base of the weight measurement, which was 14 inches from the butt end of the grip. The club would be put on the scale and there was a sliding weight (Figure 2) that is moved until the balance point of the club is found. That is where the measurement D2 would be found, for example. That process is still used in today’s club-making world.

In the 1940s Kenneth Smith purchased the rights to the swing weight scale from Robert Adams. He began to experiment with the scale and thought that the fulcrum point should be about 12 inches instead of the prior 14 inches. The 12 inches never took off in the golf world, and the standard today is still 14 inches.

How to Find the Proper Swing Weight

One major decision that you will need to make is what shaft material to go with (see this article for more insight: Graphite vs. Steel Shafts: Which Is Right for You?). Your Curated Expert can also help with this question, and it really goes back to what was said earlier: personal feel. Graphite shafts are lighter than steel shafts, which will lower the overall swing weight of the club.

If you already have clubs that you are happy with, but are unsure if they are the proper swing weight, going to a club fitter should be your first choice. They will consider many factors and should have multiple tools available to test your equipment. Also, a PGA golf professional, perhaps at your local golf club or driving range facility, can help as well. There are many certified fitters, including Curated Golf experts like myself, available to help you with your choice of new equipment as well.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many factors that affect swing weight, and many different swing weight options available. The final decision will be the golfers’ though. It’ll be up to you to determine how a club feels when you swing it: does it feel heavy, does it feel light, or does it feel just right?

A friend of mine is both a teacher and player, and she enters many professional women’s tournaments. We went to a golf store just to look around, and she ended up testing a Tour Edge 3 wood. As soon as she hit it, she felt as if they made it just for her. Eight years later, she still has that 3 wood in the bag. Although she’s changed other clubs and irons, she is not letting that 3 wood go anywhere. It’s her “Just Right.”

Here’s to finding your “just right”! Have fun and enjoy the next round!

If you want more information on swing weights or just want to talk to someone about the right clubs for you, reach out to me or one of my fellow Golf Experts here on Curated, and we can help get you going!

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