1Worth THE WEIGHT
adjustable weighting technology is without question the hottest
trend in driver head technology, and clubmakers have been
waiting for a component version ever since last year's introduction of the
popular TaylorMade r7. In December, the wait ended with the arrival of the Snake Eyes
Viper Ti-4 driver head.
The Viper Ti-4 is a 430cc titanium beauty that incorporates four strategically located weight ports around its generous perimeter. Currently available in
three lofts, 9 degrees, 10.5 degrees and 11.5 degrees, the Viper Ti-4 offers six different center of gravity (CG) adjustments that work wonders in conjunction with the bulge and roll of the clubface. Each clubhead is shipped with the weight screws configured in the club's neutral, higher trajectory orientation. The four screws (rwo two- gram aluminum screws and two eight-gram copper screws) represent 20 grams of weight that can be moved around the circumference of the clubhead's skirt area.
Each weight screw can be installed and removed using an alien wrench (supplied with the head) by either the clubmaker, clubfitter, or the golfers themselves. As the configuration of the weights are moved around, the clubhead's center of gravity is altered resulting in a different back and side spin influence to the golf ball.
A handy reference chart (Chart 1) guides the clubmaker in selecting the proper ball flight for each individual golfer. The chart, which comes with each Viper Ti-4 driver head, also serves as a quick reference for clubmakers during both the golf club assembly and
The concept of adjustable weights is not new to golr.
For manv years there
have been pursuit-, by
club designers to popularize weigh: adjustable golf clubs, but the concept has
never previously been successful with the mainstream consumer. However, the winners of both the 2004 U.S.
Open and the 2004 PGA Championship used drivers that featured adiusrable weighting, legitimizing the
technology to the golfing public.
The 20 grams or discriminatory weight proved to be a
challenge when designing this 430cc-volume
head. Toolmakers are reluctant to pursue this combination, the head size would not be light and durable enough to withstand Golfsmth's rigorous durability testing.
It was a long process,
bur rhe R&D team finally conquered the challenge wi:h help from extensive robot
and player testing. Lets take a closer look at how weight adjustment offers greater fitting flexibility to
the clubmaker and golfer.
The clubhead is cast in 6-4 titanium with a 6-4 titanium
face plate plasma welded into place. Plasma
welding is a highly refined joining process when compared to traditional Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG I
welding. It incorporates a finer welding arch that results in a weld bead that is less than half the width of a bead
created by a TIG weld. This saves precious weight and allows for some of the discretionary weight required
for the screws and the ports.