Lamkin Grips

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Harrison Golf recently introduced a new product that they’ve been working on for some time called the Shotmaker. This is a shaft insert that is designed to reduced shaft deformation and vibrations at impact, which Harrison believes can cause inaccuracy with the driver. They supplied the product to THP for a review and I had the opportunity to use it over a number of rounds of golf and range sessions. Harrison advertises that it is the “first legitimate accuracy booster” and that it will “Improve accuracy up to 40%”. Those are both very broad and very bold claims. It is essentially a piece of very light graphite that fits inside a graphite driver shaft with the goal of stabilizing the tip section. It’s removable and conforms to USGA standards. Harrison claims that the insert does not change the stiffness of the driver shaft since it can move with the shaft.

Installation

The Shotmaker can be purchased with an installation kit that includes a locking Grip Cap, a telescoping rod, and a drill bit. You are able to drill a hole in the butt end of the grip, install the Shotmaker, and then seal the grip with the locking cap to ensure USGA conformity. The other benefit of the locking grip cap is that it is designed to offset the weight of the insert, thus avoiding any changes in swing weight. You can also take the grip off, install the Shotmaker, and re-grip the club. I opted to go with the drilling method. I followed Harrison’s suggestion and read the instructions carefully before getting started. I learned that the Shotmaker is very fragile and it is important to handle it gently. Installation was extremely simple after getting the hole drilled in the grip. Just place the insert in the shaft, stick the telescoping rod in after it, twist until you hear a click, and do the same for the locking grip cap. It took me about five minutes from start to finish.

As for removing it, I did have a bit of difficulty. The hole I drilled did not have clean edges and the insert would not come back out through it. I had to pull the grip to get it out, which wasn’t a big deal since I needed to re-grip anyway. This was most likely a user issue, but it’s worth mentioning.

Testing

I was very interested to see how the Shotmaker performed and thought that the best way to start testing it was to get it on a launch monitor. The following numbers were taken from an aboutGolf simulator, which is recognized by many as a very accurate judge of launch conditions. I used the same driver, the Taylormade R9 SuperTri with a Miyazaki Kusala Silver shaft, and ball, the Bridgestone B330-RX, for both the before and after measurements. I chose to use the ‘E’ flex Shotmaker as my swing speed can approach 97 to 99 mph on good days and it seemed like the middle of the road option. Truthfully, I was not really sure which flex would work best for me, so I guessed.

Here is a rundown of my statistics with and without the Shotmaker installed. These are all averages.

Total Carry SS BS Backspin Sidespin H Launch V Launch Height Offline
Shotmaker 209 202 94mph 126mph 4244 187 2.28° 15.11° 34 yards 12 yards
No Shotmaker 214 208 97mph 129mph 4275 218 3.53° 16.45° 39 yards 18 yards

You can see a couple things pretty quickly. First, I have a real backspin problem that saps my distance with the SuperTri and the Shotmaker didn’t help me with it. Secondly, there were some small improvements in my directional numbers with the Shotmaker installed. Specifically, about a 15% improvement in side spin, which I don’t have a huge issue with to begin with, and I was six yards closer the center on average. I will say that I didn’t sense any noticeable differences in the way the driver felt at impact with the Shotmaker installed, though it did appear to feel less flexible.

I didn’t see any corresponding improvements to my accuracy when I took the Shotmaker onto the golf course. I will stop short of saying I was less accurate with it installed, but I did not see the positive results I was hoping for. I put it to use throughout a number of rounds of golf and struggled quite a bit with accuracy during that time. I will not attribute those struggles to the Shotmaker, but I will say that I didn’t see any positive effects from it. I was disappointed to see this, but not incredibly surprised. My misses are generally caused by swing flaws and I don’t believe the Shotmaker is designed to counteract that. I’m not sure my accuracy issues are really a product of shaft deformation as much as they are a product of the swing I put on the club.

Afterthoughts

After finishing my testing of the Shotmaker and discussing some of my observations, I was contacted by Harrison who advised that the Shotmaker doesn’t fit properly in every shaft on the market, which can decrease performance or possibly render it unusable. Apparently, my Miyazaki shaft is one in which it does not fit exactly right. Looking back it would have been useful to know this information considering I publicly discussed the shaft I was going to be using it in.

One glaring problem that I see is there is not any definitive documentation from the company detailing all of the shafts the Shotmaker is compatible with. Apparently this is being handled in the form of a word-of-mouth discussion on a forum at the Harrison website. You may want to consult the company or a fitter before choosing to purchase the product, though I do wonder how easy it is for a fitter to do their job if they aren’t being supplied information from the company that builds the product. There is a 30 day guarantee, but the time and effort involved could be frustrating if you find that your shaft is incompatible.

Summary

I have some mixed feelings about this product. On one hand, I did see some small improvements in side spin when testing it on a launch monitor. However, those results didn’t translate to the course. I did not see any reduction in back spin, which was probably the one thing I was hoping for the most. Afterwards, I was told that the product does not work optimally with my shaft and I may need to try it out with a different shaft to see the benefits. I was also told there is no real official list from the company as to which shafts are compatible with their product. As a consumer, that isn’t really a great option for me. I was already fit for a shaft that I like, so purchasing a different one that is compatible with the Shotmaker doesn’t make a lot of sense financially or for my golf game. In the end, this is a product that appears it may work for some golfers, but I would recommend speaking to a trusted fitter before purchasing it. At $150, the Shotmaker is not a small investment and I would advise against fitting yourself into it. There seems to be a large amount of guesswork involved and I don’t feel that is a great approach when finding equipment suited for your game. As always, thanks for reading and best of luck out on the course this year. You can see more about this product on their website www.harrison.com. You can also pick up this product at online retailers such as Blind9Golf.

Ryan H.

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Category: Accessories, Drivers, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Editor and writer Ryan Hawk lives in northwestern Illinois with his fiance and son. He's been a writer for The Hackers Paradise for two years and has been involved with a number of THP events.

Comments (24)

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  1. Michael Cook says:

    Thanks for the review Ryan! This seems like a decent product but golfers are seeing mixed results. Appreciate you giving us on course and simulator feedback.

  2. Dmb012 says:

    Thanks for the great review Ryan. I think the purpose of this product is great, but it just needs some more work to make it better. I hope that they come out with product system later that can really help some golfers control their tee shots.

  3. Damaikis says:

    Great review! This is certainly an interesting product.

  4. Chunkylover77 says:

    Great honest review Ryan. Seems like the company just released this product too soon without doing the testing needed.

  5. Paulo says:

    Nice review Ryan, great read.

    An interesting idea for a product, and one which just didn’t really do it for you it seems. There’s been a lot of talk on the forum about it too. I’d like to see them run with this idea and refine it if they really believe in it.

    This line says it all for me though – ” I’m not sure my accuracy issues are really a product of shaft deformation as much as they are a product of the swing I put on the club.”

    I think that’s true for most of us out there!

  6. Yoccos says:

    Loved the review Ryan and like the fact you had both numbers and on course results. I think with anything like this is, if it’s probably too good to be true it is. I do think too that a disclaimer should be out there about the shafts and for $150, why not just go through a proper fitting and get a shaft suited for your game? That’s a huge investment to just guess or have some authorized fitter guess if your shaft isnt on their compatible list.

  7. yorkem says:

    Great honest review there Hawk. It seems like there should have been much more information supplied by the manufacturer, especially when it comes to what shafts it would fit in. At that price for them to say you should go get another shaft seems a little off to me. I appreciate the review, and until they supply full information this is not a product I would consider.

  8. ddec says:

    Good honest review Hawk. I was a little skeptical of this product when I first found out about it. Seems like something that could be a quick fix for some people. Personally I’d rather be fit for a shaft that gives me optimal performance. I know there is a 30 day guarantee, but 150 seems pretty steep to me for something that may or may not work in my current golf shaft.

  9. Coolbreeze says:

    Very solid and honest review Hawk. I have used the shotmaker and I felt that it hurt my ball flight and game and didn’t help with anything. I had it in two different shafts which I was later told the shotmaker didn’t work in. hmmmmmm, interesting.

  10. Dr. Teeth says:

    Hawk, I liked the write up! As you know, I have been have good success with my Shotmaker and I am scheduled to get my third round on a LM tomorrow. This will be the final test for me to see if it is truly performing. I really liked your honest thoughts about the product and the process. Great stuff!

  11. 9-Iron Man says:

    Excellent review Ryan. Very honest and to the point. I too think it’s strange that they don’t have an official shaft list. That’s a lot of money to spend on something that may not work for you. Well done, great review.

  12. Perkins Rooster says:

    Thanks for the review!

  13. Puttin4Bird says:

    Great write up Hawk. It sounds too good to be true in my opinion and I learned long ago if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true. The whole thing about not “fitting” in your Miyazaki is just crazy and then not to have any real list of shafts it fits in is even more crazy to me. Great work on the review and also great advice to others NOT to just guess on the fit for them. Too bad this thing didn’t work, it sounds like a great idea.

  14. tadashi70 says:

    Sorry you did not have all the inforamtion you need to have a successful test of this project. Nice piece either way. My thoughts are at that price get fitted at Gtec and purchase a new shaft. Thanks for the info RH

  15. ghsace says:

    Great honest review of this product. Most of my questions were answered and I did have many when I first heard about it. Nice job!

  16. 10YardDraw says:

    Great honest review Hawk, I saw some great success with the shotmaker but it started to rattle really bad so I sent it back. One thing I am confused about though is people saying for that price go get fit and get a shaft, sorry guys but where in the world are you going to get fit and get a quality shaft for 150 bucks, I dont see that happening.

  17. Hanks says:

    good honest review Hawk!

  18. Robert says:

    Like anything else, it’s important to do your due diligence. Before I bought one of these I looked on the website and found a list of shafts that it wouldn’t fit. I then called the company to confirm that it would fit my shaft, and to discuss which flex would be best for me so I wouldn’t have to just guess.

    I would also point out that Harrison offers a 30 days money back guarantee which includes swapping a shotmaker of a different flex if you feel yours doesn’t fit you. But Hawk is right in the ideally you would try several flexes while being monitored. Realistic expectations are important too. If the clubface is wide open at impact no amount of technology is going to save the shot. In my experience the shotmaker will tighten up your pattern but isn’t going to turn lousy drives into good ones. I bought one about 2 months ago and am glad I did.

  19. TripleBogieTim says:

    Nice write Hawk, thanks for the honest input. I, like you think my problems with the driver are more from swing flaws and don’t really see this helping…although I wish it did.

  20. DawgDaddy says:

    Thanks for the review Ryan, at that price the product seems to be a poor option. As other have said, that goes a long way toward a fitting and a new shaft that fits you.

  21. fastmc says:

    Ryan, Thank you for a through review. Your independent test did confirm dramatic improvement in accuracy with the Shotmaker.

    Launch monitor is the only objective measurement of performance. From the launch monitor data, your offline distance narrowed by 6 yards, that was a 33% improvement in accuracy. The 15 % reduction in spin spin was purely icing on the cake.

    The 5 yard reduction in distance is likely a direct result of a slower swing speed, 94 vs. 97 mph. With the same swing speed, there will likely not be any loss in distance, but rather a slight gain.

  22. Ryan H. says:

    ^^^This is a company representative if you haven’t figured that out yet.

    Maybe the difference in accuracy was related to a slightly different swing too. Either way, to say that the difference is dramatic is a quite the overstatement. There is no part of me that believes shaft deformation is the main reason amateurs suffer accuracy issues.

    I’d invite readers to look through this thread and judge for yourself – http://www.thehackersparadise.com/forum/showthread.php?24479-Harrison-Shotmaker-THP-Preview . There was far too much deceit and backtracking for me to feel comfortable with spending my money on this product.

  23. Rugger02 says:

    It would make sense that a product like this may not help with backspin if you hit down on the ball. I have a P17 on the way for an OEM Project X 6.0 that I hook occasionally. I was fitted for the shaft and can hit it a mile but it feels a bit loose at times for my taste. If the shotmaker does what I want it to the $120 isn’t so bad compared to a good fitted aftermarket shaft. I’ll follow up after playing a few rounds with it.

  24. Rugger02 says:

    It gave the shaft the stiffer feel I was after. It seems to help straighten shots but I need to play more to know if it is worth the price. The club does feel heavier but it doesn’t seem to reduce distance. I am unsure at this point of whether it will affect ball striking by reducing club head feel but the ball flies a little straighter. So far so good.

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