Golfers, like other sportspeople, are always on the lookout for easy and innovative ways to improve their gameplay. Lead tape is one of the most popular cost-effective enhancements that can produce a noticeable difference in your striking abilities.
In earlier days, the lead tape was used by nearly everyone due to the little effort and investment needed. Despite being affordable and easy to use, lead tapes are a convenient way to tweak your clubs without spending the big bucks.
These days, manufacturers are making highly advanced golf clubs that have rendered lead tapes useless in many cases. However, a significant chunk of the modern golfing community still uses lead tapes for their golf clubs.
This article will explore everything about lead tapes, their benefits, some common misconceptions, and how you can use them on your golf irons. Also, as they are made from lead, a toxic material, we have added some safety tips for you.
What Is Lead Tape
As the name suggests, the lead tape is a tape made from lead. Lead is among the heaviest of metals, and a tape made from that material is bound to be heavy as well. Its heaviness is the primary reason it is used in various sports ranging from tennis to golf.
It helps in tweaking the weight of the playing equipment that can lead to improved performance and results. In golf, players add lead tape to their golf clubs to modify their weight and swing characteristics.
Related: Golf irons buying guide
Is Lead Tape Legal
According to the rules prescribed by the United States Golf Association (USGA), the use of lead tape is legal as mentioned in rule 4.1a(2)/1 – Meaning of “Repair.” However, this rule also says a condition under which players can use lead tape on their golf clubs.
The lead tape must be put on the golf club before the round commences. Players are not allowed to add or alter the lead tape’s position after the round has started.
However, there is some relief in case your lead tape falls off during the normal course of play. You can refix the fallen tape, and if it doesn’t stick, you can use a new tape for the same purpose.
Benefits Of Using Lead Tape
There are several benefits of applying lead tape to your golf irons. But most importantly, it is known for adding extra weight to the clubs, altering its swing weight.
You can modify the swing weight according to your preferences which will help you hit straighter and longer shots. You can apply it to different areas of the golf club to produce a desired shot shape.
Misconceptions About Lead Tape and Golf Irons
There are several misconceptions about lead tapes in the golfing world. The most common of these is that lead tapes can alter the center of gravity (CG) of a golf club to make it more forgiving or increase its performance. However, this claim is false as lead tapes are simply ineffective when shifting the center of gravity.
Despite lead being a heavy metal, you’ll have to use ridiculous amounts of tape to notice a significant difference in the CG positions. According to some estimates, this could potentially mean using ten half-inch strips in the same area.
How To Use Lead Tape On Golf Irons
There are endless possibilities when it comes to the optimal placement of lead tape on your golf irons. The perfect tape position depends on your desired shot shape and the type of iron you’re using.
In the case of blade irons, the most common practice is to place the lead tape slightly behind the middle portion of the clubhead near the weight. Many professionals also put lead tape on the toe and heel of their clubheads.
While for cavity back irons, most players place the lead tape directly on the cavity in the middle of the clubhead. Some of them also add some tape to the heel and toe for their desired shot shape.
Most importantly, before you apply lead tape on your golf iron, you must make sure the area is clean and doesn’t have any debris or mud particles. You can use sandpaper to clean the area.
Although manufacturers boast about lead tapes’ safety, lead is a toxic neurotoxin that is extremely harmful for human beings. Therefore, you should be very cautious when using lead tapes and always ensure they’re away from the reach of children.
Always look for safety precautions mentioned by the manufacturers. Also, wash your hands after using it and avoid placing it in your golf bag where it can come into contact with your stuff like towel and clothing. It would be best if you considered wearing latex gloves while operating lead tape.