How much lead tape does it take to *really* alter shot shape? We found out | RoboTest

lead tape robo test golf

Lead tape can change the launch and spin characteristics of your driver.


Adjustable weights are everywhere these days. They can be found in drivers, fairway woods, hybrids — and even irons. It’s never been easier to tune ball flight or corral a slice with the turn of a wrench.

It all sounds so simple, right? But what happens if you’re bagging an older-model driver that doesn’t sport adjustable sole weights, or still has a bonded hosel? For those who want to make adjustments to launch, shot shape or spin, there are a few ways to tackle the issue.

You can find a shaft with an ideal kick-point, add hot melt to the head or slap on strips of lead tape to get the job done. Of the three options mentioned, lead tape is likely the most economical and allows you to move the tape around the sole to fine-tune performance characteristics.

While most pros tend to rely on adjustable weights and internal hot melt to make alterations, a few continue to embrace the benefits of lead tape, including former Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama. It’s important to point out that most pros use lead tape in small doses to make incremental changes.

Of course, a substantial amount can also turn your neutral-biased driver into a slice-killer — provided you know what the heck you’re doing.

In the latest edition of GOLF’s RoboTest series, the gear crew went to extremes to find out how much lead tape was needed to make a noticeable change in shot shape. With a massive assist from Golf Laboratories’ swing robot, nearly 16 grams of lead tape (around 8 swing weight points) was added to the toe and heel of a 10.5-degree Ping G430 driver to make the ball move in either direction.

Exactly how much did the ball move? Check out the above video to see the final results.

Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at GOLF’s affiliate company True Spec Golf. For more on the latest gear news and information, check out our latest Fully Equipped podcast below.


Jonathan Wall Editor

Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at

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