Golf Club Head Manufacturing
Many clientele are only vaguely familiar with the golf club head manufacturing processes. While there are an abundant way to manufacture club heads these here are the most common approaches.
- Irons & Wedges: 17-4, 431 & 304 Stainless Steel, 8620 Carbon Steel
- Drivers: 6-4 Titanium
- Fairways & Hybrids: 17-4 Stainless Steel
- Putters: 17-4, 431, & 304 Stainless Steel, 8620 Carbon Steel, Brass and Others
- Irons & Wedges: 1000-Series Carbon Steel, 218 & 410 Stainless Steel
- Putters: 1000-Series Carbon Steel
- Specialty Faces for Woods: Beta Titanium, Maraging Steel, High Strength Steel
- Drivers: Non-Beta Titanium faces, crowns & soles
- Fairways & Hybrids: Stainless Steel faces, crowns & soles
- Specialty Faces for Woods and Irons: Beta Titanium, Maraging & High Strength Steel
- Putters: 100% Block Milled to Skim Milling Surfaces
- Faces/Scorelines: Grooves and Surface Flatness
- Specialty Operations: Can vary on all types of club design
- Irons, Wedges & Putters: Zinc and Aluminum
- Woods: Aluminum
Investment casting, also known as the lost wax casting process dates back nearly 5,000 years ago. It is a highly refined process using today's technology. Most golf club manufacturers cast their club heads in the U.S. during the 1970's and early 80's. Manufacturing shifted to Mexico in the mid-1980's and then Taiwan and eventually China in the 1990s.
Forging is a process where force is used to re-shape metal into the desired shape. Some golf manufacturers misrepresent that a product is forged when it has been stamped from a sheet of metal. There is a major difference in the two processes. Forging a golf club head from a billet of steel or titanium is a special process to those involved. The properties of the material in question are superior over that same material in a cast or stamped manufacturing method.
CNC (Computer Numerically Controlled) Machining produces shapes to consistently perfect dimensions when all controls are in place. It is easiest to mill soft metals such as aluminum, carbon steel and 303 stainless steel. While other materials are not impossible to mill, the amount of machining time and end mill (bits) consumption make it cost prohibitive for most club head applications.
Iron manufacturing is covered on the Investment Casting and Billet Forging pages and the unique characteristics of wood production are highlighted here. Casting, stamping and forging are the primary manufacturing methods for premium woods.