Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Spring Cleaning: Make sure your gear is ready for the new season

By James Achenbach
Golf Week Magazine - January 20, 2007

Winterizing your golf clubs is not exactly the same thing as winterizing your automobile, although the process can be as crucial for clubs as it is for a car. In this case, winterizing means checking, measuring, bending, fixing or altering golf clubs. The objective is to optimize performance by creating consistency in a set of clubs. In the months before the golf season begins in earnest, golfers have the perfect opportunity to take this essential step and gear up for the new year.

Among golf club evangelists, Charlie Rodi is one of the most passionate. In regard to winterizing golf clubs, his commandments ring loud and clear:

1. Change your grips.

2. Investigate different grips and make a firm decision about what kind of grip you prefer – firmer or softer,round or ribbed.

3. Check the loft and lie of your clubs. This means all your clubs, not just your irons. The performance of many hybrid clubs, for example, can be improved drastically through a simple lie adjustment.

4. Measure the frequency of your shafts. Make sure the shaft stiffness is consistent through the set.

5. Look for rust inside steel shafts. Rust can lead to shaft failure. Although it has nothing to do with clubs, pick one golf ball and use it throughout the year.

Rodi’s long road in golf started when he met highly regarded golf professional Tag Merritt in San Diego. “He was a pioneer in fitting with (club manufacturer) Henry Griffitts,” Rodi said. “He inspired me. I was just a kid, but I wanted to become a club pro and a teacher.

A scratch player since he was 14, Rodi turned pro at 21 and bounced around the mini-tour circuit. Along the way, he became intrigued about golf club components and the way they are matched (or not matched, as the case may be). He was fascinated by the effect of loft and lie adjustments on ball flight, or the way that changing a shaft can change trajectory and dispersion. Rodi was hooked. He left tour golf behind to become a clubmaker, eventually rising to director of club fitting operations for the Jim McLean Golf Schools.

In 2002, Rodi established his own shop, Charlie’s Golf, located along the busy Washington Street corridor that leads to La Quinta and the PGA West mega-golf development. Early on a recent work day, a woman bustled into Rodi’s shop, concerned about a ferrule (she didn’t know the name for it, other than “that little thing”) on one of her graphite shafted clubs. It had moved a fraction of an inch down the shaft, away from the hosel.

After examining the club, Rodi told her, “It’s cosmetic. The shaft is still securely connected to the clubhead. The ferrule shouldn’t slip any more.If I were you, I wouldn’t worry about it. The club is fine.” If she wanted to leave the club, he said, he would move the ferrule back and glue it. She departed, club in hand. Honest Charlie had turned away another customer. “I’ve got to live with myself,” he said. “That was nothing.”

Later that morning, a man wanted new grips. Another man was after new shafts. Now that was something, because Rodi believes many golfers use improper shafts for their individual golf games. For virtually every person who enters his shop, Rodi is an educator and a businessman. Invariably, he explains golf club theory to these golfers and talks endlessly about shafts. In the never-ending quest for better golf clubs, he clearly has maintained his child-like enthusiasm.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Clubfitters can determine if the lie and bounce are correct on a wedge, as on the club shown.

From the world according to Charlie Rodi, here is a collection of sage advice for properly maintaining golf equipment.

Tip 1:

It is critical to achieve proper set progression. That is, the shaft stiffness should allow one club to feel like another club during the swing. The shot pattern, or direction, should be the same from club to club. Furthermore, the yardage gaps between clubs should be consistent. A few years ago, Rodi checked the irons of PGA Tour veteran Fred Funk and found that essentially he had two 5-irons in his bag. The 6-iron and the 5-iron produced nearly identical trajectories and distances. Funk was amazed at this discovery, but Rodi wasn’t. “I see it all the time,” Rodi said. “It is important to check your clubs at least once a year. They (loft and lie) can change through frequent use or travel.”

Tip 2:

Irons that are too upright tend to produce shots that are pulled or hooked. Irons that are too flat cause the opposite effect – a push or fade. It isn’t just irons, either. In recent years, club manufacturers have switched philosophies – today’s drivers and fairway woods are more upright to reduce cuts and slices.

Tip 3:

Most golfers don’t think of hybrids as bending, but almost all of them are made of steel and thus are easily bent. If a hybrid is producing a little too much draw, for example, flattening the club 1 or 2 degrees can alter the shot pattern drastically.

Tip 4:

Grips are made in two styles, round and ribbed. Dating to the original Reminder grip from Wilson, ribbed grips have a ridge down the back. The purpose is to help the golfer place his hands properly on the club. Rodi points out, however, that the rib doesn’t have to be exactly in the back. “Bernhard Langer was famous for installing his green Victory grips so that the Reminders were extremely weak (creating a weak grip). He never wanted to hit the ball to the left (a draw or hook).”

Tip 5:

Grips are available in different sizes that are larger or smaller than standard grips. The standard wisdom is that smaller grips encourage more hand action, while bigger grips do not. For golfers with arthritis or other hand problems, larger grips can make golf clubs much easier to hold securely. Softer grips are preferred by many older golfers.

Tip 6:

When golfers visit Rodi for a golf club evaluation, he tells then to bring their entire starting lineup. “All the clubs,” he said, “even the extras that are in the car trunk. I also tell them to wear their golf shoes. When we get on the launch monitor (to measure swing and ball flight characteristics), it is important to create a real-life situation.

Tip 7:

Some golfers attempt to change their own grips, but Rodi cautions against it. For one thing, it is easy for neophytes to stretch grips during installation, creating a different feel. For another, removing old grips from graphite shafts can result in nicks and gouges in the graphite material. Steel shafts are not subject to this damage.


Rodi has a few other observations that apply to amateur golfers: He said that switching balls can be detrimental to scores. “On a chip shot, one kind of ball may run considerably farther than another,” Rodi said. “Every golfer needs to be familiar with the ball he is playing. This unquestionably will save strokes. “I believe that ball selection should take place from the putting green out. In other words, you should pick a ball more for control. That includes putting – find a ball that feels good to you on the green.”

Rodi tells all golfers to avoid mats on practice ranges. “First, the ball usually will not react the same way it does on grass,” he said. “Second, all that pounding can alter a club’s loft or lie. Third, you can injure your hands and joints.”

Never go to a range and hit drives when the balls have sand particles on them, Rodi said.

“There’s a reason that caddies stand there and toss one clean ball at a time to their players,” he said. “Sand particles can make an imprint in the face and lead to a cracked driver. Sandy balls on driving ranges are a nightmare. You can get a little sand pellet buried in a scoring line of the driver face, and eventually the face can just bust open.”

Driver loft also has become a crusade for Rodi. Many golfers do not use enough loft, but he cautions that some players now are using too much loft. “Above everything else, I believe in finding the truth,” Rodi said. “I do not think golf clubs should be made to reinforce the flaws of any golfers. There are many fitters out there who do it this way, and I think it’s wrong.

“I feel strongly that a golf club should be built to encourage a better motion. That’s why I take so much time to explain to people what I am doing.”

Rodi, who has added a custom studio for putters from Yes! Golf, also spends a lot of time fitting putters to individuals. “You would be surprised,” he said, “how many golfers pay no attention whatsoever to the loft, lie or length of their putters. There may be no club in the bag that needs to be customized more than a putter.”

Perhaps all this advice is too much. On the other hand, Rodi believes that many contemporary golfers want to know as much as they can about their golf clubs. “This has changed,” he said.

“Golfers used to be kind of oblivious to their golf equipment. Now I see all kinds of golfers, from high handicappers to touring pros, who want to know everything.

These are my kind of people.”

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Customize your driver with the click of a mouse!

Tour Players, club professionals and clients alike receive the highest level of service while in Charlie's shop or via the internet. All orders are professionally built and tailored to meet each players individual and specific needs.

Clients can rest assured that only Master Club Fitter, Charlie Rodi is building and constructing their golf equipment.In reference to driver builds, ProFit involves an intricate process of launch monitor testing.

Charlie helps the client to understand how the proper length, loft and shaft specifications (weight, torque level, bend profile/kick point, tip section design and stiffness/frequency) relate to a players' ball flight pattern.

During the client's fitting, swing speed, ball speed and ball spin rate are tested to determine the proper loft of a club head and shaft design. When clients order custom drivers, they are trusting in the professional fit [ProFit] implemented by Charlie.

Exotic builds such as the Callaway FT5 with a Rombax Fujikura shaft are now available to not only Tour Players and Club Professionals, but also, any golfer who may desire such an exotic and creative build combination.

When ordering online, client players can utilize Charlie for questions on their individual specifications, or simply request Charlie to build their ideal-driver.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


Finding a club that fits

By Kate Longworth CBS2 Sports

For the past five years, Charlie Rodi of Charlie's Golf in Bermuda Dunes has been helping golfers take their game to the next level by eliminating the complaint of faulty equipment. Charlie takes golfers through a step-by-step analysis to determine the perfect club for each individual's swing.

Charlie has serviced over 100 professionals including Fred Funk and Masters Champion Bernhard Langer. He also enjoys working with the average golfer because he believes you can truly notice a change in their game when they have a club that fits their needs.

Charlie designs the drivers and putters in his fitting studio where he goes through a step-by-step analysis of a golfer's swing through computer tracking. He also measures the clubs to fit the length of each golfer as well as applies the correct gripping for their needs.