816H1 Modification

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By Doug E

  • 7 Replies
  1. Doug E

    Doug E
    Urbana, MD

    I was curious as to what the ramifications might be if I were to fill in the Active Recoil Channel with silicone. Other than possibly affecting sound, is there likely to be any performance difference? Would it make the club non-conforming in any way? Love the club, hate having to clean out the slot after most shots.

    I wouldn't think the amount of silicone necessary would change the headweight all that much, if at all, but I like to feel the clubhead anyway. I also don't feel like the silicone would inhibit the face from flexing less than it is designed to do. In fact, from what I can tell looking at the new 818H hybrids, it seems pretty much as if that was the design fix for the annoying problem of having to clean the channel.

    I certainly have the skills and tools to do the job to a manufacturer-quality finish. And, I could easily remove the silicone if I don't like the result. However, I would like to know before I waste my time if anyone else has tried it, and what result they got, or to hear from Titleist what their designers' thoughts might be.

  2. 19hole

    Woburn, MA

    First, the club would become non-conforming and you couldn't use it in competition.

    Second, the face dynamic would change drastically. I suspect that the face would not flex in the same manner.
  3. Doug E

    Doug E
    Urbana, MD

    Under what criteria would the club be non-conforming? I'm not suggesting you are wrong by any means, which is why I asked the question in the first place, but I am interested to find out what characteristic would make it non-conforming, other than the fact that it was modified and that modification was not approved one way or the other by the USGA. That part I could understand.

    However, there are instances where modification of a club without running it by the USGA does not necessarily render it non-conforming. For instance, the addition or subtraction of lead tape (assuming it is not done during the course of a round).

    I did a quick perusal of Rule 4, as well as Appendix II and did not find anything that would prohibit filling the channel with silicone. If anything, that might restrict the spring effect as opposed to enhance it, which would then be an issue. Essentially, the new 818H hybrids have their channels enclosed with a hard rubber(?) of some sort. Does adding silicone alter the dimensions, shape or dynamics of the club? I'm not sure. Is MOI affected? Not sure of that either. Again, I would like to hear from Titleist designers on that.

    As far as the face dynamic changing drastically, would it really? How so? As a designer myself (not a club designer) I understand the basic dynamics of how things work. I'm not saying it wouldn't change at all, but I don't feel that it would be that drastic. I could be totally wrong, but I'd love to see if that is, in fact, the case.

    I guess I can just test it out and if I don't like it remove the silicone.
  4. Mike H

    Mike H

    19Hole why do you believe those to be non conforming it sounds a lot like when people use hot melt or lead tape?

    Also about your face comment. The ARC is not attached to the face so why would you expect the face flex to be different. I could see club dynamic possibly changing but not around the face per se.

    I am very interested in this as well and I have never thought about doing this and do look forward to some informed comments on the topic.
  5. 19hole

    Woburn, MA

    Filling the channel fully with anything will change the rebound/flex characteristics of the face. If there is something in the channel, it will resist the face flexure.

    The change you propose is more than just adding some lead tape to the club. You are changing the dynamic of the club by filling in an open area that was left open by design.

    I would bet you would see a significant difference in how the face reacts if you were to run an FEA analysis with the channel empty and the channel filled with different durometer elastomers.
  6. Doug E

    Doug E
    Urbana, MD

    Basically, Titleist has already done this with the new 818H. They had a problem. The ARC, although it did what it was designed to do by offering more face flex (simply put, I realize), there were a lot of complaints about the channel having to be cleaned after every shot. So their designers were pretty much charged to come up with a way to fill the slot for the next iteration of their 8 series hybrids, while still allowing for the same, or possibly even more, face flex. And from what I know about the 818s, they were successful with the new design. I'm not so sure I won't be able to accomplish the same basic idea with a soft silicone fill. It's extremely flexible and will compress quite easily.

    I'm sure Titleist put a lot more R&D into coming up with just the right material, combined with some minor design changes, but since I am going to try it on an old 816H I don't really feel like the risk is all that great. I have had the club since it came out a couple years ago. Now it's time for new 818Hs anyway. So, I have nothing to lose. And since no one has replied with any proven data or experience, I guess the only way to know for sure is to try it. I like to tinker.

    One last shout out to Titleist, any thoughts based on design trials on why this is not a good idea other than it doesn't necessarily meet USGA conformity....yet?

  7. I am also interested in hearing some comments on this. I was thinking of doing this on one of my 816,s just to see how it would react. Like you said Doug it is really a pain cleaning that channel after every shot.
  8. I did this to my hybrids and my 5 wood, no change in the performance and the silicone holds up! I've play at least 75 rounds with it and it's doing the job, no groves to clean and it looks the same as when I put it in. I used GE black silicone and it works great! I've reviewed the rules and I don't see a thing that would make this a non-conformance.

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