This weeks entry started off just like almost every other skirmish on the site, with Todd wagging his tongue when he really shouldn't. Here's the relevant entry:
I was talking yesterday with one of the most influential individuals in golf and we were talking about high end fitting and custom high end product.
In other words he was talking to his business partner.
We were talking about off the rack clubs or used equipment, and he said to me and I quote...."I don't care about that guy. There's a place for him and it's called Golfsmith. The rest of them can worm around Ebay looking for next best deal. Frankly, we don't care about them." It's harsh, but it's true. That mentality works against playing better golf by proper fitting and superior equipment. The "old guard" just doesn't really fit into where BSG is going.
This is a very veiled reference to Tom Wishon.
As for Tom Wishon, good guy, smart guy, but even he made this statement in 1997. I received this from an Industry individual as example that we shouldn't pretend we know everything, and should always stay humble in the way we present our "opinions". "The Insider's Guide to Golf Equipment" written by Nick Mastroni. On page 38 of the 1997 edition Mr. Wishon is quoted as saying: "Rebound velocities- that's where the real mythsare about titanium. Ive heard a number of manufacturers tell customers that a titanium clubface actually rebounds backward at impact, then snaps forward, as if to'slingshot' the ball off the clubface. This is a load of hogwash! The material in a clubhead has a totally different coefficient of restitution than the golf ball does. Even if a clubface deformed somewhat at impact, which it doesn't, the ball would be gone before the clubface had a chance to re-form outward. This is something that does not happen, cannot happen, and is a total myth. There is no inherent difference in the way the ball comes of the face of a stainless steel versus a titanium driver." Take from it what you will, but not everyone knows everything, and we shouldn't act like we do. Mr. Wishon told us to buy his fitting book. What if I had bought this one. Just a joke....just a joke. Seriously, Tom is pretty much a class guy, and one of the pioneers of the industry, but the group of trolls that worship the man really reflect badly on that entire group of component oriented guys, and it's disappointing to see him bring a high and mighty attitude to MY site in response to a bunch of trolls getting him worked up. Fitting is art coupled with science. There is no "book" that tells you how to fit players perfectly. Most of it is opinion. I have mine, and others have theirs, but to imply that one is better than that other is ridiculous. Mine comes from a mix of sitting in on Tour fittings, being at OEM test and pro fitting facilites, and intimate understanding of the properties of our products. This isn't 1987 Lynx, and prolite shaft technology. It's a whole different world now. NASA aerospace engineers are designing golf clubs and shafts. It's not like it was 20 years ago. As I said before, I know Tour and super high end product and where that is going. Some guys knows components and are terrific at custom fitting. We both do what we do very well, but I shouldn't pretend to be all knowing about what they work with, and vise versa, because we will both come out looking ignorant if we try to do that.
IOW, Tom's take on the state of the industry in 1997 doesn't match the current reality. Stunning that!
Tom took a few days, but replied today with:
Your quote - Take from it what you will, but not everyone knows everything, and we shouldn't act like we do. Mr. Wishon told us to buy his fitting book. What if I had bought this one. Just a joke....just a joke.
My quote - "The Insider's Guide to Golf Equipment" written by Nick Mastroni. On page 38 of the 1997 edition Mr. Wishon is quoted as saying:
"Rebound velocities- that's where the real mythsare about titanium. Ive heard a number of manufacturers tell customers that a titanium clubface actually rebounds backward at impact, then snaps forward, as if to'slingshot' the ball off the clubface. This is a load of hogwash! The material in a clubhead has a totally different coefficient of restitution than the golf ball does. Even if a clubface deformed somewhat at impact, which it doesn't, the ball would be gone before the clubface had a chance to re-form outward. This is something that does not happen, cannot happen, and is a total myth.
Todd, I gather you are in your 20’s so you probably are not aware of the evolution of Ti as a driver head material. I’d like to tell you a few things about titanium woodhead manufacture, circa 1996, which is when Nick Mastroni contacted me for information for his 1997 book.
The number one reason golf companies began to look at titanium for making driver heads starting in the early 90s is because the companies could see from the original steel Big Bertha that bigger drivers were lighting up the industry. With its 4.5 g/cc density compared to 7.8g/cc for steel, titanium would enable them to make larger drivers than would ever be possible with steel alloys. No one really understood then what we learned in the late 90s about the relationship of yield strength and modulus to actually make the face flex, which in turn would make the ball compress less, lose less energy as a result, and leave the face a little faster.
When the top clubhead production foundries bought their first vacuum casting furnaces in the early 90s, they ALL had a heckuva learning curve to deal with. Stainless steel can be cast in open air. Titanium cannot because it oxidizes horribly, which ruins its mechanical properties. What’s more, molten titanium has a viscosity closer to molasses while molten steel’s is more like water. Casting titanium into very thin wall sections was a nightmare for these companies to learn and it took them YEARS to learn how to do that.
None of the big clubhead foundries even thought about forging titanium woodheads. Their expertise lay in investment casting, so that’s how they started to make Ti driver heads. Up until the late 90s, the few foundries that had the money to buy a vacuum casting furnace to make Ti driver heads ($1.2 million back then for ONE small vacuum furnace that would make only 150 heads per melt run) struggled with reject rates of 30-50% per run.
By 1996 with 2 yrs experience under their belts, reject rates were still 20%+ because of the sheer difficulty of casting titanium into porosity free heads. The FACES were cast as a part of the body, which NO ONE does today. To make these Ti driver faces withstand 120+mph swing speeds, the faces were all cast at 3.2 to 3.5mm in thickness. The only titanium alloy capable of being investment cast was 6/4. Even under the best processing, 6/4 has the same yield strength as 17-4 stainless steel, the alloy of choice for all cast steel woodheads then and still today. The largest of the Ti driver heads at this time were 250cc because the foundries simply could not make a Ti driver head any larger and have it stand up to impact due to the difficulty of casting 6/4 Ti to be porosity free.
Take a 250cc driver head made ALL from investment cast 6/4 with a face of 3.2-3.5mm thickness and you have a driver with a COR that was the same as what a well made 17-4 stainless driver of 200cc. Hence in 1996 when Nick Mastroni from GOLF magazine contacted me for a comment for his planned book, my comment was totally accurate for the time.
I gather that you have never learned anything that you found through further experience and study to be different today from what it was 10 yrs ago. Or in another form, why do you suppose a senior writer from GOLF magazine came to me for information for his book at the time when he had the whole industry to contact. I guess he figured I knew something about this stuff, even back then.
It was only when foundries started to turn to forging faces separately or plate forming to make Ti driver heads that we all discovered what the better strength to elasticity ratio of some TI alloys over steel could do to the face flexing and resulting decrease of the ball compressing against the face. And that is why no Ti driver heads have been made with cast faces since these other production methods were initiated and perfected. Cast bodies today, yes, but there are no cast titanium faces in woodheads anymore because of what we learned when you were probably still in high school.
Now hold on a minute because I have an offer to make to you.
Your quote - It's a whole different world now. NASA aerospace engineers are designing golf clubs and shafts. It's not like it was 20 years ago.
It’s obvious you seem to think that I am living in the dark ages of golf club technology with nothing but a few “trolls” who listen to what I have to say. I believe I am not, so here’s what I would like to do. I hear you guys live in Las Vegas, one of the top getaway destinations in the country. You go find a hotel and book their ballroom for a day – you pick the date – and you and I can sit down and have a discussion about golf equipment. If you want, you can promote it on your Forum to your members and if you like, charge a few bucks for admission. I’ll pay for the ballroom, soft drinks and snacks for everyone and you can keep all the money from admission from anyone who wants to come to listen to us. And we’ll just sit down and talk about golf clubs for how ever long you wish.
How about it? You name the date and I’ll be happy to be there so we both and any of your BSG members who join us might be able to learn a little more. OK? My email address is email@example.com so let me know what works out best for you.
Once again Todd takes a swipe at Tom and Tom replies with class and an invitation to talk clubmaking. The fact that Todd doesn't understand the history of golf isn't all that surprising. In 1997 he was likely just trying to understand how to start his baseball card company. You could say that Tom has forgotten more about clubmaking than Todd has ever known, but I'm not sure that's true. I don't think Tom has forgotten very much. Then again Todd doesn't know very much.
Not surprisingly Todd pulled Tom's post shortly after it was posted.
Interestingly, after pulling the original post, Todd posts the following:
"Tom and I are actually discussing everything privately. In all honesty, I'd LOVE the chance to sit down with Tom Wishon and discuss golf clubs. He is one of the pioneers of our industry. Who WOULDN'T love the chance to sit with Tom Wishon and discuss clubs. I imagine I would just be listening most of the time. He and I do different things certainly, but when it comes to the dynamics of the golf club, few people know more than Tom Wishon. Maybe we could have Tom on a chat or something at some point in the near future if he's open to it.
As for calling me one of the "brightest brains in the golf club industry". That's a stretch. I know about the products I test and sell, and I am confident in my ability to fit my customers into those products, but you are giving me MUCH too much credit. My knowledge of making golf clubs isn't anywhere near Tom Wishon. Thanks for the compliment, but it's not deserved. I'm just a guy who runs a golf site and sells high end golf clubs.
Also, wanted to add that Mr. Wishon is REALLY a class guy. He also requested that all threads bashing BSG be removed from the forum he sponsors. First class move in my opinion. I'd like to take a moment to say I am sorry if anything I had ever said was taken the wrong way about the man. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Wishon and always have. As Mr. Wishon has asked that all BSG-negative threads be removed from other sites, I ask that none of my admins or mods comments on Mr. Wishon in the future. Let the members lead that discussion from here on out. Myself included."
Which prompted the following from Tom:
"Hmmm - did he say that I called him "one of the brightest brains in the golf club industry"?
I did NOT say anything of the sort in any email exchange I made with him this AM. I simply asked him to stop attacking me and my work in his posts, and if he did that I would disappear and not make any other responses or posts.
That is ALL I said in my email exchange with him this AM."
Todd is making up conversation with Tom to try and smooth things over, at least until the next time he sticks his foot in his mouth.
Just to check and see what someone posted vs what was really said on the inside.
tomwishon Today, 02:31 PM Post #27
Joined: March-17 06
Member No.: 26,128
AZ Devil Cat:
I am sorry that I am not as coherent in this Forum's procedures/ways as I should be. Are you Todd who wrote the posts about my lack of shaft knowledge? Or are you someone who sent Todd's post to me to read and offer a response?
Anyway, since that post came to me and this thread has a request for a comment on this, happy to oblige - and then I have to get back to work!!!
(QUOTE) Tom Wishon huh? Wishon makes a fine component clubhead, but to be 100% honest, the shaft companies are looking sidways at him about his less than up to date statements on golf shafts. I doubt he even knows there IS a difference in Tour clubs. He is a COMPONENT maker. That's another hilarious thing about these loser morons. It's PROVEN that there are obvious CG differences in Tour heads, and ANY OEM that is being honest will tell you the same thing. It's really not even a debateable subject. It's like trying to refute the earth is round. Todd
(TW RESPONSE) Less than up to date statements about shafts?? Not according to Robin Arthur, he being the composites engineer who designed the Graffaloy ProLite and every Grafalloy shaft until TT bought them. I've also had off the record emails over the years from people who used to work for this or that shaft maker who told me that there are shaft companies out there today who really do not know precisely what the shaft does in the swing, and what swing movements have a direct effect on the shaft's bending and performance and feel.
(TW RESPONSE) I doubt he even knows there IS a difference in tour clubs. Wrong - not only my experience in designing sets for Verplank, Lietzke, Crenshaw and Payne says you're wrong there, but also my experience in having worked on the buy outs of Lynx and Snake Eyes gave me that experience in seeing all the different molds and heads from Lynx that had been specially made for their tour players. Also, some months back there was a thread about this very subject on GEA Forum that I commented on using my experience in this area. Just because I have chosen to work in the component side of the industry does not mean I don;t have real tour design experience - I do.
(QUOTE) What you are saying is correct. Different materials offer different combinations and thus do translate in performance. You can clearly limited to what you can do with steel. Mr. Wishon's point is that two shafts with the indentical weight, torque, balance point, length and overall stiffness will perform the same regardless of the material. How can that not be true? You can spec a shaft and rip it down, then recreate it. I know of one major shaft company who ripped down an Altus and recreated the bend profile and all specs precisely using the materials that they normally construct their products with. The result, while both shafts were identical in measurable specs, performed entirely differently when they put it on the Byron. Material differences allow construction in a way that cannot be replicated in some cases. You can replicate the specs and the profile, but not the performance.
(RESPONSE) If you're testing shafts with an Iron Byron, that's a mistake right there. Unlike the Golf Labs robot, Byron does not gear its swing from torque inputs, which is how a real human swings the club. Therefore, Byron will never replicate a human swing in the sense of the arms beginning to slow down when the release happens, which in turn sends centripetal force to the club/clubhead, which in turn combines with the slowing down of the arms in the swing to cause the clubhead to flex the shaft forward at impact. Byron can't do that and it is why all companies with Byrons are getting rid of them and replacing them with robots that have multiple servo-motors to more closely simulate a human swing.
(RESPONSE) Two shafts with the identical weight, torque, balance point, length and overall stiffness will perform the same regardless of the material. This is true in PERFORMANCE because we've done it a number of times in controlled testing. But PERFORMANCE is not the same as FEEL of the shaft. And when it comes to fitting accomplished players, FEEL IS HUGELY IMPORTANT in shaft fitting. In fact among most tour players, FEEL IS NUMBER ONE in shaft fitting because their confidence is so triggered by the feel they perceive when hitting any club/head/shaft. Fitting a shaft to match a specific FEEL requirement of a player is without question the most difficult task in all of clubfitting. It took me two years to learn how to do this for Scott Verplank because he has such a precise sense of feel for the action of the shaft. But when I figured out how to do it for HIM, then I had to learn all over how to do it for Payne, who also had a real precise sense of FEEL that was different than Scott's.
Enough, I'm done - going back to my work and will recommend that Todd get a copy of Common Sense Clubfitting to see if there is something in there that might help him learn a little more about this great craft of clubmaking and fitting.