ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby Ded2Journey » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:35 am

Hello All,

I've been debating sharing this news with all of you, but I figured it's worth knowing. So...another thing that was accomplished over the last few months (other than hickory golf :lol: ) with the help of fellow ABS'r StuC (99% his effort) was to build, modify, and test an "ABS spec" modern driver (at least a baseline prototype). I recieved Stu's blessing a few months ago to share this news...but I wasn't sure anyone would care. I don't want to go into details, but I will say it is fun to hit. I seem to be hitting a lot of fairways too...only took 40 pieces of lead tape (not an exaggeration :mrgreen: ).

Anyway, it is possible to have them made...ABS technique works unbelievably well with them (3W and hybrid included, made a few of those too)--but you will have high spin rates due to the mass of club. It flies much farther than a persimmon, but mishits fly a little more offline too. I would argue that you do get some net benefit from the frying pan technology, when using a modern ball. I know we would like to move onto a revised version of this club (based on our testing), but it takes lots of money for that...stay tuned.

If you guys have any questions, just post them here...I'm sure I could go get some trackman data during the season.

FINAL NOTE: All of Lag's and Bradley's notes were used to develop it. They were not consulted and have not signed off on any of this (so if "ABS Spec" is an issue, apologies)...I'm just tired of keeping it in my head. Thx.
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby k2baloo » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:10 pm

I'm actually getting modern clubs this year as I want to play in the state am. I'm a bit of a long shot to qualify with modern stuff, so doing it with vintage is impossible for me. Wish I could, that would be a laugh, but there's just no chance I could pull that off...
Already ordered some blades and wedges at a good deal. CTaper shafts and 3* flat.
I'm going to build my own driver and 3 wood. Should be pretty easy. I'm ordering the heads 3* flat and slightly open and they have 2 weight ports so I can play them a bit short and still get the weight up without a problem. Heavier shafts are my preference. If you want ABS dead weights, you'd probably need a steel shaft, but I'm going heavy graphite. So they'll be a bit lighter, but the MOI will be similar to my vintage woods.
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby LesMurray » Fri Mar 29, 2019 6:58 am

Good to see you guys have made progress. I spoke with Stu last summer and was looking forward to seeing the how this was coming along.

Stu was mentioning that the lie angle was the big key because of the disparity of how modern irons are set up compared to modern drivers. Are you saying that you need the extra weight as well to keep from missing it off the planet?
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby k2baloo » Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:04 am

Curious of what lie angle you are playing. If flatter than 53/54* I'd be interested in knowing how you did it. I'm planning on 55* for myself, which should be plenty flat.

As far as 40 pieces of lead tape, I'm curious why so much? Either way, I'm glad you found something that works well.
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby Stu Carlburger » Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:23 pm

The driver that Ded2J is playing, our first prototype, is currently set at 50* — though I think in the end, he will probably be able to go even flatter, especially if the shaft is longer.

As far as how we did it, well ... We retained the services of a club designer here in Austin, and he connected us to a foundry in Taiwan and we collaborated to get the lie set to our specs. It’s currently four piece construction but the 2.0 version that’s coming soon will be investment cast and have a proprietary universal hosel adaptater so it can accept any OEM’s adapter tip. The current prototype is set at 10.5 loft But we’ll be offer lower loft as from out testing a the shallow(er) entry with the modern head create a lot of spin. Ded2J kills his but if I had to guess he’d pick up 25-30 yards of he had a 7 degree loft versus 10.5. I hit it dead straight but only 265 -270 at best because of the spin.

1.0 was to prove it “worked” and wasn’t an abject disaster with everyone hitting toe shanks. We found quite the opposite actually — average players hit one or two big pushes then straight and even draws. The main issue is that the 1.0 version doesn’t look and set up a well as we’d like — we didn’t anticipate the toe in look being so dramatic and it might be made more apparent by the dramatic change in lie angle. Again, it was a test. Ded2J has been putting it through its paces and making lots of notes for our next round of design.

Now is where the real work, and expense, comes in. Four-piece construction allows for the lie to be created by the hosel-crown connection being welded at a lower lie. Investment cast, by contrast, require a new tooling — and a $5000 tooling fed — for every loft and lie. I’m in the process of securing second round financing and finalizing a strategic partnership that could really open the gates wide once we’ve got a branded 2.0 in hand.

This has been a fascinating journey, especially in my dealing with the OEM’s and many of the “industry” insiders. Nobody can really say why the lie angle started moving in the wrong direction with drivers — they got longer AND more upright. In speaking with them it’s as if it was an act of god of some sort, and all we get is mumbling a of, “shaft droop” and “negligible d plane effect.” I was told emphatically that lie has little to no effect on drivers, but when I asked why they changed the lie (and the correlation between length and lie) I was told I didn’t understand the D Plane. Fine, you’re right , it has no effect ... so what set of data was so compelling that it prompted a reversal of the length/lie correlation? No, you don’t understand... it has little to no effect ... sigh. Clearly the person I was speaking with either didn’t have a clue or knew but didn’t want to say.

I know exactly why they did it. The engineers saw that most people slice, so they kept moving the lie angle upright to get the ball strarted left — even though they said it had no effect. Basically, you suck and have a horrible golf swing so we have to build in training wheels ... it works with the robot! Problem is, humans aren’t robots and even a beginner senses the geometry of the club and attempts to balance it, and thus we now see the handle raise as a fundamental being taught. As if golf weren’t hard enough we now need a vertical alignment ... not to mention one that is biomechanically very weak and unnatural. Or, maybe take it a step farther. Maybe they tweaked to geometry and found that 59.5-61* is enough to be hittable at times, but jacked up enough to be nearly impossible to develop consistency with. After all, their business is selling drivers and if people found a driver they could actually hit they might not buy a new one every other year.

Either way it’s pretty sad that we cannot get answers other than, “trust us ... we’ve got scientists and engineers working on to make the longest, easiest to hit, fastest, most powerful ... did I say longest? Drivers ever. We called bullshit and decided to do it on our own.

Whatcha guys think?
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby LesMurray » Fri Mar 29, 2019 4:43 pm

Waiting for the go fund me page ;)

What weight are you targeting? Are you looking at something around 14-15 oz?
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby Stu Carlburger » Sat Mar 30, 2019 7:54 am

I’ll let D2J speak on weights and such as he heads R&D, I consult on design but am more focused on transactionals and financing. That said, 2.0 will (hopefully) have adjustable weights and such so a player should be able to customize the weight to suit their preference and without 40 strips of lead tape or hot melts. Another aspect that we’re planning on incorporating is backweighting — creating what I call the “sword effect.” It doesn’t take much to really give the club a “heavy but light” feel. Over all it’s heavy, but the backweight creates a “floating” feeling in the head that I think is extremely powerful and conducive to proper technique in that it sort of amplifies the power/force of one’s wrist sets and forearm rotation.

I don’t have the science on this effect, and we had a topic in here a while back that I started basically asking if backweighting restricted club shallowing. As a result I removed the weights. What I’ve found since, is that “head heavy” feel that might seem to create a passive shallowing is still perceptible (albeit less pronounced) while the weight in the handle makes retaining all the wrist set/cup and forearm rotation much easier — kinda the best of both worlds. Further, the re-rotation and torquing through the strike seems to have a burst not present without — opposing forces and such. If there is a modern advance I think is highly useful to ABS’ers are the ultralight super stuff steel fiber shafts.

With those one can effectively take the weight out of the shaft and distribute it to the butt and head and achieve a very cool (and easily customizable) feel. I like the feeling of a super butt stiff shaft, heavily back weighted, but overall still lighter than a full on ABS Spec persimmon. I have a 1.0 version with an X100 in it and butt weight to drill with and it’s a beast. D2J is a lot stronger than me, but no matter what the weight is if one can keep speed up with more mass the compression is better. I struggle to create overall speed. Overall what I want is a club that has options, and for me drilling heavy and gaming a little lighter really works well.
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby Ded2Journey » Sat Mar 30, 2019 8:17 am

k2baloo wrote:Curious of what lie angle you are playing. If flatter than 53/54* I'd be interested in knowing how you did it. I'm planning on 55* for myself, which should be plenty flat.

As far as 40 pieces of lead tape, I'm curious why so much? Either way, I'm glad you found something that works well.
k2baloo wrote:I'm actually getting modern clubs this year as I want to play in the state am. I'm a bit of a long shot to qualify with modern stuff, so doing it with vintage is impossible for me. Wish I could, that would be a laugh, but there's just no chance I could pull that off...
Already ordered some blades and wedges at a good deal. CTaper shafts and 3* flat.
I'm going to build my own driver and 3 wood. Should be pretty easy. I'm ordering the heads 3* flat and slightly open and they have 2 weight ports so I can play them a bit short and still get the weight up without a problem. Heavier shafts are my preference. If you want ABS dead weights, you'd probably need a steel shaft, but I'm going heavy graphite. So they'll be a bit lighter, but the MOI will be similar to my vintage woods.
LesMurray wrote:Waiting for the go fund me page ;)

What weight are you targeting? Are you looking at something around 14-15 oz?


K2, Outstanding news on competing this year! I like your setup...and I know we all wish you the best of luck. As far as the lead tape is concerned, Lag discusses this in his ABS spec posts. Basically, Heavy, Stiff, Flat...it's like an equation or recipe that must be followed. The stroke of genius came for me when I played hickories, you get a sense for something at a magnified level. I'm sure now it was divine inspiration...but I'm a bit spiritual (too many psychedelics I guess :mrgreen: ). We've tried every conceivable (cost effective) way around it, with Stu's help...to little or no avail. Trust me...we've created new rabbit holes!

Just think of it as a Sacred geometry for now...

Les,

No target weight because mass has a profound effect on the modern ball, especially taped on the bottom of a hollow head. Weight is a funny think when you have a hollow head and a modern shaft. You must go far stiffer and far heavier than imaginable, which has a direct impact on the way a modern golf ball responds. They aren't designed well for what we do. In order to progress we have to design a head with far more creative ways of carrying this weight (Or do what Sergio and Rahm do). They must be able to carry this weight symetrically--think in terms of the mass of exceptional woods (HINT: Light but Heavy--Stu's brilliance here). Additionally, finding heavy driver shafts nowadays is tough--so we had to scrap the idea--because our experiments with steel failed time and again. SO...Now we need to build the "feels" into the club...much like the Spoon I hit, which IMMEDIATELY triggered that "sacred geometry" I discussed briefly above.

So, very advanced club design will be required--but you can trust when this thing is finished, the era of elite ball striking will begin. Especially, if a few Juniors get a hold of them!

To me it all goes back to all the facts we knew about Hogan's and Moe's drivers...once you understand the BASIC physics behind that, you can go into golf ball "science". From there...we loop back to club design. Shouldn't take too long...I dream about hitting this next "design" at Augusta when I sleep now. Maybe 2020... :lol:
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby k2baloo » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:12 am

I'm well acquainted with Lag's thoughts on weight. I wasn't necessarily surprised you added weight, just the amount you added! I'm thinking 40 pieces of lead tape has to be at least 40 grams. That just confuses me for a few reasons (assuming this is all added to the head):
- Old clubs (persimmons/hickories) didn't have heavier driver heads than modern woods. The main difference in the weights was in the shaft.
- Adding 40 grams to a clubhead has roughly the same effect on the club's MOI as adding 120 grams of shaft weight!!
- Adding this much weight effectively weakens the shaft. 200 gram driver head + 40 grams tape = the same as a 240 gram 3 iron head. So you're needing some mid or long iron shaft to combat the insane weight. Also, this leads to more shaft droop...
- Lowers balance point a ton resulting in a really high trajectory.

All that being said, I think it's awesome you all went out of your way to build a custom head with a 50* lie angle. I hope the next version works out even better for you!

Last Questions:
- What size head was version 1 and what are you thinking for version 2?? I'm hoping you plan something under 460CC.
- Did you do any validation on the lie you chose? Would be easy to do, just mark a straight line on a ball and tee it up with the line vertical. Hit it and if the line is vertical on the face then the club is being delivered with the sole level to the ground. Or if you have a good LM, hit some balls and see what the toe up numbers are.
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Re: ABS Modern Driver? It exists...

Postby Ded2Journey » Sat Mar 30, 2019 11:50 am

k2baloo wrote:I'm well acquainted with Lag's thoughts on weight. I wasn't necessarily surprised you added weight, just the amount you added! I'm thinking 40 pieces of lead tape has to be at least 40 grams. That just confuses me for a few reasons (assuming this is all added to the head):
- Old clubs (persimmons/hickories) didn't have heavier driver heads than modern woods. The main difference in the weights was in the shaft.
- Adding 40 grams to a clubhead has roughly the same effect on the club's MOI as adding 120 grams of shaft weight!!
- Adding this much weight effectively weakens the shaft. 200 gram driver head + 40 grams tape = the same as a 240 gram 3 iron head. So you're needing some mid or long iron shaft to combat the insane weight. Also, this leads to more shaft droop...
- Lowers balance point a ton resulting in a really high trajectory.

All that being said, I think it's awesome you all went out of your way to build a custom head with a 50* lie angle. I hope the next version works out even better for you!

Last Questions:
- What size head was version 1 and what are you thinking for version 2?? I'm hoping you plan something under 460CC.
- Did you do any validation on the lie you chose? Would be easy to do, just mark a straight line on a ball and tee it up with the line vertical. Hit it and if the line is vertical on the face then the club is being delivered with the sole level to the ground. Or if you have a good LM, hit some balls and see what the toe up numbers are.


So, exactly...the lead tape is nothing more than a go between until the next phase. This just allows my technique to stay tight and my feels to stay vibrant. Through my journey, I would attempt to play a modern club or clubs and it was like a disease that worked it's way through the bag after a short period. Most probably think I'm mental, but I watched the deterioration on 4 separate occasions--attempting to merge modern and ABS concepts through the bag (wedges to Driver experimentation for almost 3 years). Stu and I spoke almost daily for a year as things came to fruition and this is how far we got with it as a side project. Thus, the light but heavy concept using modern shafts and clubhead design should provide us with something very close to a persimmon--in the next design phases.

NOTE: The tape is the super thin stuff, so each strip might be .5 grams tops. In reality, I actually only added 24 grams of total weight to the head. I also butt weighted with 5 grams. The shaft is a Loomis X-Flex...frequency matched at 7.8 without the lead tape and 1" tipped. Probably closer to XX flex now. Lead tape got my ball flight back up...but added a bit of spin. Stu has a great number of concepts regarding dynamic loft and AoA for the next phase. Essentially, lofts will decrease below 9 degrees given each players level of skill using more advanced release protocols.

1. 460, with maybe a 30+CC drop. More to come as discussions with the foundry begin...it depends on what they have available in their inventory. Stu can expand on this...his area more than mine. I'd love 400CC or less, but I doubt that is something modern foundries carry.
2. The lie was validated using modern Titleist AP2 lie progression through the bag. Additionally, Lag validated it as a great starting point a few months back when we asked.
2a) We have done multiple lie angle tests with my swing and have found it to be about 2 degrees too upright still, at 44". At 45" we believe something as extreme as 45 degrees could prove beneficial (given advanced technique). Stu has done tons of research into this as well and can expand here too.

You guys interested in seeing the next designs? I think we'd love some feedback...ball is rolling, right?

FINAL THOUGHT: Understand, this was done out of necessity...not because I love the modern game. I just want to be competitive and Stu wanted to help. Figured its worth being clear about this.
"People have always been telling me what I can't do. I guess I have wanted to show them. That's been one of my driving forces all my life." -Ben Hogan
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