Written By: Tony Covey
Why can’t every OEM just use the same tip adapter for their adjustable drivers?
I think we all know the answer. No two function exactly the same, and most manufacturers believe their system is more useful, more intuitive and better engineered than its competitor’s products. Every manufacturer thinks its adjustability system is the best adjustability system in golf.
There’s probably also something to the notion that once the consumer has a handful of shafts with your tips on them, he’s going to be more inclined to keep buying the drivers they fit into. There’s money in adapters and it’s in most everyone’s best financial interest to be different.
What Can You Do?
For obsessive gearheads it’s a problem. You’ve got a dozen shafts (conservative estimate), and nearly that many heads from nearly that many manufacturers, and every time you want to play your new favorite shaft in your old favorite head you find yourself pulling one OEM tip (hoping like hell that shaft holds up for the 7th time), and gluing somebody else’s tip on it.
It’s not a lot of fun, but it’s the price we pay for loving our toys.
Finally you have another option.
Club-Conex’s products are well-known in fitting circles. Before most OEMs offered interchangeable anything in their fitting carts, Club-Conex provided club fitters with a means to quickly swap out heads and shafts during fitting sessions. Those Club-Conex products basically eliminated the need for fitters to pre-build two-dozen 6 irons in order to cover every shaft model and flex they offered.
Club-Conex products, including the new UNI-FIT system, are entirely brand agnostic. Logos be damned, they work with nearly any head, and nearly any shaft.
It hasn’t always been tulips and puppies for Club-Conex, however. While previous generations of Club-Conex products (FAZ-FIT, and FUSE-FIT) work well-enough for irons, they don’t translate well to the driver. Both products require an insert sleeve to be epoxied into the clubhead, and neither provides any support for today’s adjustability.
Club-Conex’s recently introduced UNI-FIT system solves both of those problems.
Club-Conex’s UNI-FIT system is a universal hosel adapter system that’s compatible with every major OEM’s current system (Wilson and new Tour Edge adapters coming soon). Once you have the Club-Conex UNI-FIT adapter installed on your shaft it will work with any manufacturer’s driver (or fairway) head without the need for any additional epoxy above and beyond what you need to secure the Club-Conex tip to a .335″ shaft.
In addition to the hosel adapter a second glueless sleeve is required to make the manufacturer-specific connection. You’ll need the requisite manufacturer sleeve for each brand of club in your arsenal. Bear in mind, that’s one per brand, not one per head, and definitely not one per shaft.
If, for example, you have 3 different shafts that split time between a TaylorMade SLDR, SLDR 430, and a that new R15 you just bought, you’d need 3 UNI-FIT .335 shaft adapters, and one UNI-FIT TaylorMade adapter.
Should you decide to add a Cobra FLY-Z+ to your arsenal, you’d only need to purchase a single UNI-FIT Cobra adapter for your 3 shafts to connect to the new head as well. Buy a Titleist 915? No worries…pick up a single Titleist sleeve and you’re good to go with all 3 shafts. No epoxy necessary.
Should you suddenly become ambidextrous, that’s no problem either. UNI-FIT works with both left and right-handed clubs. No special or additional parts required.
Each UNI-FIT OEM converter ($23.99-$26.99 each) ships with a retention screw and a washer. O-rings are available for those who plan to use the UNI-FIT system for an extended time or perhaps even exclusively.
UNI-FIT is designed for use with .335″ shafts. Your questionable .350″ tip, made-for shaft isn’t going to work…not that you’d really want it to.
Club-Conex recommends adding .250″ to the shaft manufacturer’s tipping instructions. This helps alleviate the loss in depth to the adapters design and allows the shaft to retain the same feel and playability as it would otherwise.
Other aspects of installation are consistent with OEM adapters. Prep the tip (Cub-Conex suggests .875″), glue, etc..
An optional OEM screw removal tool is available for $11.99, but experienced builders can probably find some other perfectly viable way to remove the OEM part.
You will also need the proprietary UNI-FIT Torque Wrench which retails for $25.99.
As a general guideline, a raw length of 43.625″ will produce a club that plays to 45″. Allowing for differences between manufacturers, that finished number can actually vary by 3/8″ from club to club, so if you’re planning to use the shaft in heads from different OEM’s, you may have to settle for an average playing length in the ballpark of your ideal. I’d also recommend saving the cutting until after the epoxy has cured and you can accurately measure the finished length.
As you might imagine, Club-Conex’s UNI-FIT is an imperfect system, but that’s to be expected considering the scope of the problem it seeks to solve. Compared to majority of OEM hosel adapter designs, the UNI-FIT system is complex. It’s not hard to make the actual adjustments, but it’s probably going to be a while before you’re familiar enough with the one dot, two dot system that you can get by without the reference chart.
Adjustability itself is also somewhat limited. While each manufacturer offers its own range of loft/face angle and lie adjustments, the UNI-FIT hosel adapter is limited to 2° of total adjustability (1° in either direction) along with flat and upright settings. The sum total of all of that is 12 settings for any and all drivers.
For a good number of us, 1° either way is probably close-enough, and will get you most of the way to what the OEM tip offers anyway. Guys playing all lofts in a single head models from Cobra, Tour Edge, Nike, or Mizuno won’t be able to reach the extreme edges provided by the OEM adapter, and that could be an issue for some.
With Cobra, for example, you lose 1/2° on either side of the middle. With a Nike driver (8.5° to 12.5° with OEM adapter) the usable range is limited to 9.5° to 11.5°, and you’re not going to be able to adjust face angle separately as you would with Nike’s own adapter.
Weight, and by extension, swing weight could be a concern as well. Club-Conex has done a solid job in keeping the weight of its two sleeve system in check. In most cases the Club-Conex system is 1.5 grams or less heavy (less than 1 swing weight point) than the OEM adapter it replaces. In other cases, Club-Conex actually offers a weight savings over the OEM adapter. For example, Club-Conex’s Nike system saves 3 grams over the OEM adapter, while the Callaway adapter saves 4 grams (2 swing weight points) over the OEM sleeve.
Finally, as you can see from the photos the diameter of the adapter is a bit bigger than that of the equivalent OEM adapters, which might be an aerodynamic and an aesthetic concern for a few of you.
I suspect for some there’s a deal breaker among the list of limitations, while for others, all of this represents a very small price to pay for the most versatile hosel adapter system in the industry.
Who is UNI-Fit For?
Club-Conex UNI-Fit is primarily designed for club fitters, and the fitters I’ve spoken with about UNI-FIT love the system (as do a number of the shaft guys who test with multiple heads).
Take any shaft model in a fitters inventory. At a minimum he offers it in R, S, and X flex (that’s 3). Conservatively the fitter will carry most shafts it in two weights (that’s 6). The fitter carries heads from Titleist, Callaway, TaylorMade, PING, and Cobra. 6 just became 30. Care to add senior flex or a 50 gram option? Larger fitters often stock an even more robust inventory. UNI-FIT allows them to reduce inventory (and that reduces costs) without reducing the breadth of options available to their customers.
For fitters, Club-Conex UNI-FIT is nearly a no-brainer.
For hobbyist and hardcore gear whores it’s less cut and dry. The cost to outfit your first shaft is a bit steep. Between the UNI-FIT hosel adapter, OEM adapter, and the wrench, you’re looking at roughly $75. If you’ve only got 2-3 shafts in your arsenal, you don’t switch between different manufacturer’s heads often, or you’re already sitting on a pile of OEM adapters (the ones that haven’t been obsoleted), than you’ll probably be just fine continuing down the OEM adapter route.
If however, you’ve got an arsenal of shafts and half a dozen gamer heads, then, well…you have a problem. If therapy isn’t an option, the Club-Conex UNI-FIT system is the next best thing. After that initial $72 (and the cost of any additional OEM adapters), you’re good to go. Put any of your shafts in any of your heads. No pulling, no epoxy, no waiting, and no additional risk of damage.
Sounds pretty good to me.
For more information visit clubconex.com.