Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where is your foundry?
A: Hemiji Japan. All of our forged club heads come from Ishihara-Shoten in Hemiji Japan. Ishihara-Shoten has been making golf clubs for over 40 years and has made clubs for almost every major OEM and winners on ever major world Tour.
Q: What kind of steel do you use for your forged clubs?
A: 1018 Soft Carbon Steel, the softest and most responsive steel in golf. All of our forged irons and wedges are made from 1018 carbon steel. 1018 carbon steel is the softest, most responsive steel in golf. Before coming out with our first Scratch wedge in 2003 we tested many different grades of steel and our 1018 carbon steel forgings provide by far the best feel of any clubs made in the world.
Q: What sets Scratch apart from other golf club makers?
A: We spare no expense in making our clubs the best, highest quality golf clubs made anywhere in the world. We make the best golf clubs in the world period. Our only concern when we make our clubs is making the best golf clubs that can be made. Instead of spending a ton of money on traditional advertising and paying Tour players we spare no expense to make our clubs the best anywhere. Our raw forgings cost as much as 20 times as much as our competitors finished heads. We have the best forgings in the world, made from the softest and most responsive steel in golf and we offer wedge grinds that are specifically designed to fit the player instead of designed for the masses. Our cast wedges are produced using the softest steel that can be cast into a golf club and the finishing and milling process are the highest quality most expensive used anywhere in the industry. When you see the Scratch S on a golf club you know it is of the best made golf clubs anywhere in the world.
Q: How did you develop the Scratch fitting system?
A: The Scratch fitting system was developed through years of research and development and real world player testing with a wide range of handicap players. Before Scratch Golf sold our first wedge we spent over a year doing R&D on what grinds worked with what types of players. Prototype Scratch wedges were ground in countless different grinds. These prototype wedges were player tested by players ranging from multiple Golf Professionals to higher handicap players. This player testing allowed us to put together by far the most comprehensive wedge fitting system the industry had ever seen. The testing allowed us to map out the exact sole characteristics that a player would need based on their angle of attack and short game specifics. The fitting guide identified the 3 swing types that people use when swinging a wedge and helped explain what makes a player fit into one of these 3 categories. The Scratch Golf fitting system is the only wedge fitting system that allows the player to be fit into a proper wedge grind every time. It is real world tested has been proven over and over again to be the best in the industry with no close second.
Q: Will having the right grind benefit all golfers or only better players?
A: We have found that everyone benefits from playing the right grind, however higher handicap players can benefit even more than better players in a lot of cases. Simply put all golfers benefit from playing the correct grind. We have found that in many cases higher handicap players can benefit even more than low handicap players. We have found that our higher handicap customers are playing with wedges that do not fit them more often than low handicap players. The higher handicap player also has a much harder time adjusting to a wedge grind that does not fit. The bottom line is, everyone will benefit from a wedge that has been properly fit. You simply cannot play to your potential without it.
Q: How did you develop your wedge grinds?
A: Our wedge grinds were developed the same was as our Fitting System, through years of R&D and real world player testing. Each of our wedge grinds is a product of the R&D and real world player testing that we did before introducing our first product in 2003. Prototype Scratch wedges were ground in countless different grinds. These prototype wedges were player tested by players ranging from multiple Golf Professionals to higher handicaps. This player testing allowed us to put together by far the most comprehensive line of wedge grinds the industry has ever seen. Each grind is designed to fit into one of our 3 identified swing types and is specifically designed to work for a a particular swing profile.
Q: How did you determine which of your grinds to include in the 1018 wedges?
A: The 6 standard grinds that are included in the 1018 wedges are the most popular grinds that we make for each Swing Type in our Tour Custom wedge line. When Scratch Golf stated in 2003 we made only our hand made Tour Custom wedges and irons. We found that we were making the same 6 grinds about 75% of the time. These 6 grinds each corresponded with one of our 3 swing types. We decided to release these 6 grinds as the 1018 and 8620 line of wedges so our customers could enjoy the best wedges in the game of golf at a lower price point with a shorter wait time.
Q: Why dont you have a grind that works for everyone?
A: Quite simply, there is no one grind that works for everyone. There is no wedge grind that will work for every player. Everyone has a different swing and to have maximum success the grind on the sole of the club must be designed to fit the way the player swings the club. A player that is a Sweeper/Slider needs a completely different sole grind than someone who is a Digger/Driver. When a company tries to make a grind that will fit everyone they end up making a grind that almost works for a good range of people but truly works for nobody.
Q: Do you pay Tour players to use Scratch clubs?
A: No, we do not pay Tour players any money to use Scratch clubs. Tour players use our clubs because they are the best clubs made anywhere in the world and they help them shoot lower scores. In fact, Scratch is the only company on Tour that does not pay up front for players to use their clubs. We get Tour players using our clubs because they are better period. Other companies get Tour players using their clubs by sending them a large check. Even our main staff professional David Duval is not paid up front to use our clubs
Q: What kind of grooves do you use in your clubs?
A: The standard groove in our Tour Custom and 1018 Wedges for 2010 is our proprietary ?ABC? U groove. 2010 Professional Condition of Competition V grooves are available by special order. The standard groove in our Tour Custom and 1018 Wedges for 2010 is our proprietary ?ABC? U groove. ABC stands for ?All Bite, no Chew? and deliver exactly that kind of performance. These square shaped grooves are the maximum width and depth allowed by the USGA for maximum spin from any lie. The edges of the grooves are rounded to reduce chewing up your golf ball. These grooves spin as much as any on the market but cause less damage to the cover of your ball. These grooves do not conform to the new USGA Condition of Competition for Professionals but conform for Amateurs until 2024. 2010 Professional Condition of Competition V grooves are available by special order. These new V shaped grooves are designed to maximize the total groove area of the club under the new USGA rules for maximum performance.
Q: Why do you only offer certain grinds in specific lofts?
A: We only offer the grinds in the lofts that we feel they will most benefit the player. When designing the grind and loft options for the 1018 wedges we were careful to make sure that we chose the grind and loft combinations that would allow the player that is using the wedge to hit all the shots that wedge is designed to hit. Some of our grinds are better for higher lofted wedges and some are better for lower lofted wedges. The EGG grind for example is designed to be a lob wedge grind for someone who needs a wedge that is versatile for opening the face around the green or use from the sand. This is something that is very common in a 58* and 60* wedge but not common or useful in a 53* wedge. Therefore the EGG grind is the standard Driver/Slider grind in 58* and 60* but the TNC is the standard D/S grind in the 52*, 54* and 56*. Another example is the SND and SFU grinds designed for the Digger/Driver. The SND has no heel and toe relief and is best suited for fuller shots or other shots around the green with the face square. The SFU has aggressive heel and toe relief and is designed for versatility and opening the face of the wedge around the green. Because of the differences between these 2 grinds the SND is the standard grind in 52*, 54* and 56* for the DD, lofts that are more likely to be used for fuller shots and other shots around the green with the face square. The SFU is the standard grind for the D/D for the 58* and 60*, lofts that are more likely to be used for opening the face around the green. For the Sweeper/Slider the PDG has a fuller sole and is the standard grind for the 52*, 54* and 56* while the RPD grind has more relief and is a little more versatile so it is the standard S/S grind in the 58* and 60*.
Q: What is the difference between a plated and non-plated finish?
A: Plated finishes (Polished Chrome, Satin Chrome, Smoked Satin, Nickel, Copper) are more durable and feel slightly harder than non-plated finishes. (Raw, Antique, 3X Black) The plated finishes that we offer are the most durable of any of our finishes. The Polished Chrome and Satin Chrome are the most durable followed by the Smoked Satin,w Nickel and then the Copper. All of the plated finishes will not rust until the plating is worn through which takes a very long time. The non plated finishes all wear and rust with use. The Antique finish is a little more durable than the 3X Black and Raw.
Q: Because you use a softer metal do your clubs wear out faster than other forgings?
A: No, our 1018 carbon steel forgings last just as long as any other forged clubs on the market. Our 1018 carbon steel forgings are just as durable as any other forging on the market. One of the main reasons is because of Ishihara-Shoten?s proprietary heat treating process. This process is done right after the club heads are forged and makes the metal much stronger and less resistant to wear compared to other forged clubs that are not heat treated. In fact, we have had Tour Professionals use our wedges for over 18 months before asking us to make them a new wedge.
Q: Is your headquarters in Chattanooga, TN or Eugene, OR?
A: All our operations are moving to Berkley, MI. Scratch started in Eugene, OR. We moved our studio in Chattanooga in 2009 is where we make all of our hand made Tour Custom clubs. That is where PGA Tour Professionals like David Duval, Cristie Kerr, along with our customers from the general public come to get hand made custom golf clubs made. It is where the majority of custom work is done. By the end of 2013 we will have moved all of our operations to Berkley MI, to accommodate our new retail store.
Q: How did you come up with the names of your wedge grinds and what do they mean?
A: Most of our grinds are named after the initials of the first customer that we made the specific grind for. We decided early on to give each of our grinds a 3 letter code name so that we could classify each of them internally. Most of them are named after the first customer that we made the specific grind for. We just used their 3 letter initials. They have no real meaning other than as an internal identification system for us to classify each grind.
Q: What custom options are available in your retail 1018 and 8620 wedges and retail irons?
A: We offer free customization on our 1018 and 8620 wedges including your choice of stampings up to 5 letters, paintfill colors, ferrule color, custom length, lie, loft bending and custom shafts and grips. We do not charge for customization even on our retail 1018 and 8620 wedges. Each club is built for you to your exact specs and you can customize it just for you for no extra charge. Included in this we offer your choice of stampings up to 5 letter. You get to choose the paintfill colors and the colors of the ferrule. You can also get whatever length you want and we will bend the lie and loft to your specs. We also offer pretty much any shaft and grip. All of these options are available at no extra charge. Most are available for no upcharge, higher end shafts and grips are available for a very reasonable upcharge.
Q: What is the normal turnaround time on a 1018 wedge or a retail set of irons?
A: Lead times for stock orders based on demand and being in season have stretched to 1-3 weeks depending on specifics of your order. For more information call 248-268-2812.
Q: What is the normal turnaround time on a Tour Custom wedge or set of irons?
A: Generally 6-8 weeks from the time that we get the shafts and grips in stock. Each of our Tour Custom wedges is ground by hand to the customers exact specs from a blank raw forging. This process is designed to produce the finest wedges and irons made anywhere in golf today. The end product is a completely custom made one off piece but the process takes time to do correctly. The clubs take about 6-8 weeks from the time that the order is placed as long as we have the shafts and grips in stock. If we have to custom order the shafts or grips it takes 6-8 weeks from the time that we get the shafts and grips in stock. Since the clubs are made one at a time by hand we need to have the shaft and grip in our hands before we can get started to assure the proper weighting of the club. Turnaround time can also be affected by finish as the plated, Antique and 3X Black finishes take more time to do than the Raw.