I was recently asked to start a new thread based on a post I wrote over in the 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' forum. It was a thread based on an interview with Nate Ferguson. 'larry10s' kindly asked me to explain what I had discussed with Warren Bosworth. First, let me say that I am a self-stringer and very picky about my gear. I've always done my own racquet mods and I've tried just about everything at one time or another, but this whole mess started when I decided to look into what it would take to have some lead weight molded into the handles of my sticks. This, in and of itself, occurred after a largely frustrating effort to get a new frame that could do what I wanted it to do. Long story short, I was asking Warren Bosworth about the cost of this (and maybe custom molded pallets in the process) when he asked what I was trying to accomplish. The following is my impression of his viewpoint. The main principle is this: everyone has their own preferences in terms of swingweight, balance, etc. That being said, the most effective means to modify a racquet is to add the weight where it alters the playing charictistics the most. This would be at 12 o'clock and under the butt cap, the poles of the frame. For example, say you started with two identical frames. One, you modify one by adding X amount of weight exactly on the balance point. The other, you split the same weight between the poles in a proportion that keeps the balance point the same. (This will only be 50/50 if you have racquets with even balance, not HH or HL) These two frames will then have the same weight and balance, but will play very differently. The mass in or near the center of the one frame will add to the swingweight, but will do little to 'work' on the ball. The racquet with the mass at the poles is a completely different story. Just look at what so many pros' are doing these days. Personally, I wanted to keep the balance of my racquets stock at 7 pts HL, but to make them more stable with more plowthrough to help combat opponents who hit a heavy ball. I went from lead at 3/9 o'clock and near the top of the handle (a la John Cauthern) to the polarized method and I'm beyond thrilled. For the record, Bosworth clearly admitted that weight at 3/9 o'clock DOES have some benefits (matter of preference) but that any lead I was putting in the handle is best served under the butt cap. There was a lot more depth to the conversation, but this was the basis of it. Also, for the record, I do not consider the Cauthern method to be completely without merit, just inferior for the MODERN game of tennis. Cheers!