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You can't adjust loft and face angle independently

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We've discussed this at length. Lots are believing Nike and Cobra's marketing speak on this subject. Tom Wishon was asked this very question on another site. Here's his answer regarding this:

 

I dunno, but if anyone wants to change the loft INDEPENDENTLY of the face angle, it has to be done by making the face on its own adjustable - as in a mechanical way to tilt the face to a different loft.

 

Here's a link to a patent for such a face design -

http://www.google.co...ng face&f=false

 

In this patent, click on the DRAWINGS in the column on the left so you can see how they are describing this is done. It involves using little Belleville washers to "shim" the face to be re attached at a different loft angle. Doubtful that anyone would do this because of two reasons - 1) making a head with all those attachments to allow attaching the face at a different loft would use up a whole lot of the 200 grams of headweight that you have as a limit for the weight of a driver head. so the resulting driver head using this patented technology would have to be fairly small in size, probably not larger than 350-375grams, and that just would never sell in today's market.

 

2) The Belleville washers used to shim up the face piece to create a different loft are considered to be a form of a "spring". So bet the farm that if anyone brought out a driver like this, it would be ruled to be non conforming under the USGA's "spring face rule" that was first established way back in the 1920s.

 

At any rate, if anyone has one of these new Nike drivers and wants an honest evaluation of whether their claims about changing loft and face angle independent of each other, I sure would be willing to check it out and send the driver back to whoever owns it - because I am not likely to go out and buy one just to be able to see what they are claiming.

 

It's important to say that the whole basis for these adjustable hosel pieces which change the angle of the shaft into the hosel goes way back to the days when woods were made from trees and the face angle and lie were created by the angle that you drilled the bore into the hosel. By changing the angle of the drilling machine, that was how you got a closed, open, flat or upright lie. But in no way could you angle the bore into the hosel to change the loft separately and independently from the face angle.

 

So when you wrench and rotate any of the adjustable hosel pieces from any company, what you are doing is the same thing as what the old clubmakers did when they drilled the bore for the wooden heads by changing the angle they aimed the drill down the hosel.

 

Hence any design that truly can change loft independent of the face angle would have to do that by making the face with a tilting and locking mechanism. And for a clubhead hit with up to 4,000 lbs of stress on the face, that would be no small engineering task to do.

 

TOM

 

PS - but as I said, if anyone has one of the new Nike drivers that claims to change loft independent of face angle, please send it to me and let me inspect it - and if it does do this, I will be the first one to say so and to applaud their engineering prowess.

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That's exactly how I thought it worked. Can be done but too hard and heavy.

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Seems like if the angle the shaft enters the head was changed in a perpendicular plane to the face, the loft could be changed without affecting the face angle. The adjustable clubs I've seen don't change that angle in that perpendicular plane. If the head is held stationary, the shaft is moved forward and up at the same time to increase loft, which also closes the face and increases the lie angle at the same time. I haven't seen them all though.

I could be totally wrong with that idea. It works in my head though! :D

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Your example defeats itself. You said it closes the face angle to increase loft. Which is exactly what I've been saying and Mr. Wishon affirmed has to happen, the angle of the face has to change to change the loft, no two ways about it.

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The AHT (adjustable hosel technology) has been around since the mid 90's (Golfsmith had an AHT club in the 95' catalog). Same thing was discussed then as it is now.

 

Click the link in the quote from Wishon and look at the drawings. That's the only way to keep the face angle the same and change the loft. Ain't happening, too heavy and the USGA would deem it illegal due to the device to manipulate the face would be considered a spring.

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Your example defeats itself. You said it closes the face angle to increase loft. Which is exactly what I've been saying and Mr. Wishon affirmed has to happen, the angle of the face has to change to change the loft, no two ways about it.

I said that's the only way I've seen it done. Didn't say it's the only way it could be done.

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I was going to stay out of this, but it's really not in my nature.

 

First - Cobra does not claim to decouple loft and face angle. The AMP Cell is a traditional, single-axis, adjustable driver with a sole designed in such a way that when placed on ground, will align itself in a neutral position. Functionally speaking it's the equivalent of TaylorMade's ASP plate set to the neutral position. No more, no less.

 

Let me preface the next bit by saying that I have the utmost respect for Tom Wishon. His knowledge of golf clubs and their components is eclipsed by few. On several occasions we have have used him as a resource, and I expect we'll continue to do so in the future.

 

That said, Tom was not born of Zeus himself. His is not infallible, nor should we believe that, just because he personally hasn't figured out how to do something, it absolutely can't be done.

 

I'm not saying he's wrong. I'm merely suggesting that he could be.

 

Rudimentary physics tells us that a true de-coupling of loft and face angle are, as you have suggested, impossible. There is an absolute relationship (.66666 to 1 if memory serves). If you're dealing with a system where rotating a shaft along a single axis is your only option, then yeah...that relationship remains constant and unavoidable (which is why TMaG and Cobra have relied on sole technology to put the face angle back where people like to see it).

 

If my understanding is correct what Nike (and Harrison before them) have done is create what amounts to a sleeve within a sleeve which while not truly decouple the relationship can in fact alter...and alter it again...and again based on the position of each of the cogs. A dual axis system allows you to modify an otherwise absolute relationship. Once you've done that, shape and orientation (of what you might think of as gears) give you a near infinite number of possibilities for how that relationship can be modified (even if some relationship - coupling - must always exist).

 

This is reasonably simple to illustrate. Take a clubhead, put it on the desk in front of you. Turn it only at the hosel, and face angle always changes with loft. Now give yourself a 2nd axis. As you rotate the club, allow yourself to add or remove loft along a second axis (push down on the front of the club). I absolutely can rotate the club open, and then de-loft it. The club stays open...the loft decreases. A 2nd axis (a sleeve within the original sleeve) is what makes this possible.

 

You can debate whether material construction makes it practical. I'm told it does require a difficult machining process. But that's far from impossible. It's also absolutely possible to develop a system that allow for what is effectively an individual face angle and loft adjustment - even if it's not a literal decoupling in the truest technical sense. The relationship always exists, but it can be altered in order to achieve the desired results - which in this case means a functional decoupling of loft and face angle.

 

What I was told is that if you for example have two 8 position sleeves, you have 64 possible positions. Of those 64 only 10-12 will yield what amounts to isolated loft/face angle adjustments (basically 1/4° increments). The other 52-54 produce either redundancies or more traditional results that do not alter natural static relationship between loft and face angle.

 

 

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That's why he said if anyone has one they want to send and him check if in fact it does (and he has things to measure that no one else does). But he's also studied and tried to engineer something that will work to do this and not make it insanely heavy. Like I said, I disagree with things he says at times myself (his wedge flex and stepping stuff, I know is marketing speak), but neither he nor Maltby have ever agreed with being able to adjust them independantly.

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