What is Counterbalance Weighting in Golf Clubs?

Kathy G. Jensen

When hitting your golf shots, are you looking for improvement in consistency and accuracy?  How about increasing your distance?  There are several ways to obtain these objectives in: your personalized golf swing, customized golf equipment, practice, exercise, launch monitors, or other sources.  The trend is to always improve in some area to either increase distance, improve direction and contact, and lower your golf score.

As a PGA Golf Professional, Instructor and Club Fitter, it is my role to open up all possibilities to players so they can find out what they like to feel and find improvement in all areas.  This article is simply another thought to some players that are searching for a better sensation and experience in hitting or putting.  There is a buzz in the golf world about weights: weights in the heads, interchangeable weights, slider weights, heel and/or toe weighted, perimeter weighted, why not weights in the handle or grip portion of the golf club?

Weights in the handle or grip end of the golf club is another technology to take a look at called “counterbalance”.  The extra mass that is placed at the grip end of the club is to counter a heavier head.   This is not a new concept, just becoming more beneficial through development and technology.    It has been noted that even Jack Nicklaus use to apply lead tape under his grips to counterbalance his golf clubs.  There must be something to this process then.

Counterbalancing Weights on golf clubs, in most cases, increases the club head Kinesthetic “FEEL” and weight directly connected with your hands and grip.  It puts a sense of direct heaviness on your physical hands to hold the core handle portion of the entire club.    There are products that have weights that are transposable and can be installed in the top of the grip end of the Driver, fairway clubs, hybrids, irons, wedges or putter.  They have been tested and invented by Engineers on the effective proportions advisable for certain players and set make-up.  This is all directed for Golf Professionals or Club Fitters with an understanding in weights to help guide you to achieve your golf goals.

Counterbalancing is most effective and noticed in putting, however, the benefits of counterbalancing can be felt from the driver to the wedges.  In putting, the detection of applying more substance of weights or even the size of the grips are having more awareness due to the fact that anchor putters are searching for a solution before the USGA Rules apply for a change in anchor putters.  Counterbalance, I believe, can help in this area.  This weighting improvement boosts the club’s overall moment of inertia (MOI), so that the club swings and feels more stable throughout the stroke.  For players that use an anchoring method can now switch to a more conventional putter for more feel and stability in their stroke by using counterbalance Weights.

One company that specializes in counterbalancing or Back Weighting is Balance-Certified.  They are the leaders and have devised a system that allows golfers to achieve results by figuring how much weight is needed.  They have found out putters seem to benefit the most from counterbalancing.  The increase total weight of the club gives more overall kinesthetic feel and players notice an increase to their sense of what is happening when the putter is in their hands with a sense of control and balance throughout the motion.  Counterbalancing is all about kinesthetic feel and there is no ideal answer to what will work for each player.

For the most part, golf is a game of feel.  The bottom line is counterbalancing technologies have been designed to enhance and magnify the vibration response of the golf club in your hands.  The vibration information is the sensation that a player kinesthetically feels with their hands at impact.  This valuable information will help the player understand where on the golf ball impacts the face of the club.  Most tend to describe these types of amazing hits as a numbness to ball impact.   Special weight systems create a damper absorbing golf club vibration.  Making the grip end of the club numb to the golf’s hands.  Keep in mind this vibration response is the definition of feel.

Golf is a game of our senses, and FEEL is a vital part of improving your accuracy, consistency and power for more distance.  Balance Counter Weighting technologies are scientifically designed to enhance your golf feel.

Kathy Gildersleeve-Jensen, PGA, is the PNW PGA Section Golf “Teacher of the Year” 2012 & Golf Digest 2013 Best in State Golf Teacher. She can be reached at kgjgolf@gmail.com