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|Boccieri Golf's Heavy Woods promote more controlled, connected swings without sacrificing distance. (Courtesy of Boccieri Golf)|
Boccieri Golf has built a solid following on the concept of "heavy": Boccieri's Heavy Putter, by virtue of its namesake weight, aims to keep the small hand, wrist and forearm muscles out of the putting stroke. The result, theoretically, is a pendulum putting stroke that relies on the large muscles of the shoulders and trunk.
Over the past couple of years, Boccieri has extended this idea throughout the entire set of clubs, culminating this year in the line of Heavy Woods, which are part of the company's larger "Control Series."
"While most manufacturers are going lighter, we've defied convention by engineering these clubs with a 50-gram back weight in the butt-end of the shaft and heavier heads," said Stephen Boccieri, president and CEO of Boccieri Golf. "Extensive research and testing shows this improves tempo and stability, ensures the sweet spot is delivered consistently to the ball and results in superior distance and accuracy."
As Boccieri says, the idea is the same as with the Heavy Putter: Smooth the stroke and tempo in order to deliver the clubhead more consistently to the ball on the same plane.
When I showed the 19-degree (5-wood) Heavy Wood ($200) to Andrew Hollingworth, a 3.3 handicap, when we played the Harvester Golf Club in Rhodes, Iowa, he was, frankly, a bit bemused.
"I can see the concept for putters," he said, "but for clubs where you're taking a full swing, it seems strange."
Then I reminded Hollingworth of my own swing tendencies, including an often-rushed transition, and the sensation of becoming "disconnected" at the top of the swing.
"Oh, yeah," he conceded, "I can see how having more weight could help."
Indeed, the allure of the Heavy Wood for guys like me is precisely the feedback that the club provides: I swing plenty fast, and distance is not an issue. Instead, my swing falls apart at the top of the backswing, where, if I'm off kilter, I feel like I can no longer feel the clubhead, and I start redirecting the club all over the place or even re-gripping. Let me tell you that this almost never turns out well.
With the Heavy Wood, I felt as if I always knew where the club was. It was like there was less manipulation of the hands and wrists, and I was less likely to take the club as far back into my John-Daly-wrap-around position, which, also, rarely turns out well. The 50-gram backweight system seems to connect the 75-gram Aldila NV shaft directly to the 455 Carpenter Steel clubface, and my overall control benefited considerably.
As for a low-handicapper, Hollingworth thought the club felt solid but was still leery of the weight. "Yeah, that would take some getting used to," he said.
The Heavy Woods by Boccieri extend a proven concept from the putter throughout the entire set. And the effect is the same: more control, less mid-stroke compensation.
The potential downside of the Heavy Wood is also fairly obvious, however. The heavier weighting will slow down swing speed somewhat. For players with faster swing speeds, this will not be an issue.
In my case, I found the Boccieri 5-wood was flying only about 10 yards short of my normal 3-wood (and 10 yards longer than my normal 5-wood). This makes sense, as the extra mass behind the Heavy Wood pounds the ball further -- simple physics.
The upshot of this yardage adjustment was that I was able to replace my old 5-wood and old 3-wood with the 19-degree Heavy Wood and gain space in my bag for another higher-loft hybrid.
One other small question about the Boccieri Control Series is how it affects players who like to carry their clubs. If you have an entire Control Series set -- from Heavy Putter up through Heavy wedges, irons, hybrids, fairway woods and driver -- I would think all that accumulated heaviness would really start to wear on one's shoulders.
But perhaps that's a small price to pay for finding your ball well down the fairway shot after shot, hole after hole.
For more information, visit www.boccierigolf.com.
October 24, 2011
Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.
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