While most golfers will buy their equipment off the rack, others will have their clubs made by a clubmaker - or even build their own clubs.

Buying off-the rack is just that - one size fits all. Well, one size for males, one for females, maybe some slight modifications for seniors. The better equipment companies realized that and offer fitted clubs, in which grips, shaft flex (the flexibility of the shaft), shaft length, grip size and some other parameters can be fitted to the player.

At 6'5", I started playing with a regular set - ending up with severe back pains. Then, I met a club maker, who fitted my first set. Now, he wasn't that good a clubmaker, as I found out later. No back pains - but the clubs were literally unplayable. Time for a change...

The Internet is the place to find everything - including clubmaking tools, supplies and books. After studying a couple of books and some excellent web sites, I decided to cut my clubs down by two inches. This involved regripping them - something that is very easy to do.

I immediately felt that the clubs were playing somewhat better. But there was room for improvement.

So I decided to build a set of golf clubs.

You do not really need much, as a golf club consists of a head, a shaft, a grip and some smaller material used to hold them together. Basically, those are sticky grip tape, which holds the grip to the shaft, some epoxy, usually with a curing time that is longer than that of most household epoxies and a ferrule, which sits on top of the shaft and reduces stress on the shaft.

Assembling a club consists of measuring and cutting the shaft to length, abrading the tip to make sure the bond to the head is as good as possible. You then push the ferrule over the thin end of the shaft and glue the head to the shaft with epoxy. Waiting for the epoxy to dry is the worst part of the job, btw. You want to grab the club and play... Once the epoxy has set, you wrap the butt end of the shaft with grip tape (double-sided sticky tape), wet it using one of a wide range of solvents, slide the grip over it and let dry. Now you clean the club, polish the ferrule and end up with a real golf club. At a reasonable price, too...

Those who play it might know that golf can be addictive. Building your own clubs can result in a similar addiction, so be warned.

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