How it all came to be

March 9th, 2017
 
VIDEO: Transcript

Jaacob Bowden: One of the more interesting things to me about this process of – I’ve never been a part of making golf clubs before so I didn’t it really – and I’m kind of a golf geek and I know there’s a lot of golf geeks out there too, so can you tell us a little bit about the process of how we went from idea to concept, to whiteboard, to the steps that it goes through to get a finished product? Personally, I found that so interesting.

Tom Wishon: Well, it is. Yeah, I mean, that’s a fun part of my job. Having started designing club heads in 1986, I’ve evolved to where – I began in what people would say a dinosaur stage of making hand models an actual hand drawing blueprints to now incorporating a little bit of the old school, little bit of the new technology as well, and the design, but still, any of the processes once I get the concept of how I want to design something, I will hand made an epoxy model for each one of the heads because I play the game and I’ve played well at times, have an extremely good eye for what I want when I put the club down on the ground, and I need to see physically in my hands. I can’t start the design on a computer, on a CAD screen because I just can’t see what it looks like in the playing position well enough to say yes, that’s what I want or no, so I had make all epoxy models of the heads, tweak, grind, [0:01:32] machine and all of the things until I get the look I want with that, then once that is and I will go ahead and check dimensional specs, and be able to check volume of it so I know I’m on track with what the head weights need to be. Even with the epoxy models, I can check center of gravity to know where I am at from the placement of that. Obviously, the final of that goes in the CAD program with that, but once I do the epoxy models, and that I’ll do a basic set of dimensions which is about 57 different things on each club head, and that is going to be turned into a CAD program, and then the CAD program is all set up so that everything can then be converted from a CAD file to then machine that dies, the most that are actually used to produce the bodies of the heads or in the case of the low loft clubs, also produced the faceplates, the high COR faceplates for the heads. From the CAD file, I will get than what people will call a 3-D printer model or a rapid prototype model. This is only for me to be able to check shape, to make sure that the CAD file now has everything that I did in the hand model, the handmade model for each of the heads. Once I approve that, then dies are cut, first prototypes are manufactured and those are the first testing samples that come in for hit testing to see if everything is moving along based on your test results and the actual measurements of the first production, preproduction heads, then tweaks and changes can be made which we did to a few of the heads on this set. The dies were changed to incorporate whatever little tweaks we do, a next set of test prototypes, and we go through hit testing measurements. If that seems to be pretty good, then we will bring in more of a focused group of different golfer types to be able to hit it and get feedback from them, not just a performance but on cosmetics and looks of the head as well, so like Jaacob said, this was something that he came to me and the fall of 2013, I began work on it right after he left, and it was an ongoing process to make sure that everything was right because remember, the goal is performance on this. The concept of single lengths is solid from this identical Springfield because everything that relates to the feeling of the golf club is identical, and that the identical set up and stance, and swing repeatability you get from having all the clubs be identical. That part is set in stone whether or not you can get it to work, and work properly, that’s what I took an awful long time to do in this set and that’s where we’re really pleased that it works, it’s probably the best way I can put it.

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