People often refer to the shaft as “the engine of the golf club.” Fujikura prefers to think of the golfer as the engine, and their new shaft, packed with their latest construction technology, as the Fuel.
With the new Fuel shaft, Fujikura is unveiling its Fuel Rod Technology. This is comprised of a Combustion Chamber and a Load Injector Tip. If that sounds to you like a lot of crap that a marketing department made up…you’re probably right. But here’s what matters: this shaft is freakishly straight. If you’re interested in hitting more of your second shots from the short grass, you need to keep reading.
Notes, Feel, Price, and Miscellaneous
For this review, I want to jump straight to the feel of the shaft, because I love it. The first thing I noticed with the Fuel was that it’s slightly counter-balanced: you feel a bit more weight in your hands than in the head. During the swing, the Fuel can be described as butt-soft and tip-stiff. I felt a really nice “load” of the shaft in transition and a decent kick in the downswing, but the tip felt absolutely rock solid. There’s very little torque-y feeling to this shaft, even in the lighter weight version.
The Fuel will definitely not be mistaken from any of the flashier shafts on the market: it’s a basic black shaft with orange graphics. The one unique visual feature of the shaft is the transition from a shiny carbon-fiber black to a matte black. While I was initially pretty underwhelmed by the look, it did grow on me over time.
The Fuel will be available in 50, 60, and 70 gram versions with flexes ranging from R2 (senior) to X-stiff. The MSRP will be $225. There will also be a complimentary hybrid shaft in 85 gram and 95 gram versions.
For the Performance testing, I hit each of the shafts in a Callaway RAZR Fit 10.5 head on a FlightScope X2 launch monitor. I hit 20 “good” shots with each shaft, changing frequently so that fatigue was not an issue, nor did I get grooved with one shaft to the detriment of fairness.
Testing was done at Golf Nation in Palatine, IL, one of the best indoor golf facilities in the country.
*NOTE: Testing has moved back inside for the winter, and our FlightScope seems to be producing somewhat different numbers indoors compared to outdoors. To greater or lesser extents, ball speed, club head speed, and spin are all coming in lower than they did outdoors, hence the carry number is smaller. That said, it’s still an apples-to-apples comparison, so no attempt has been made to “normalize” the numbers: we’re publishing the numbers straight off the FlightScope, as always.
You can see from the dispersion chart that the majority of my shots landed in very playable territory, which is really the major selling point of this shaft, in my opinion. The dispersion with the 70X and 50S were a bit worse because they were too stiff and too light for my taste, respectively.
One thing to know about the Fuel is that it really feels quite stiff-to-flex. I’ve preferred a few X flex shafts lately, but with the Fuel my best results came with the 60S and 70S.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the launch and spin were very consistent across the weight and flex range. If you want to try a light weight shaft, but you’re afraid of it being “whippy,” the Fuel is worth a look.
The Peanut Gallery
For this review, I was lucky enough to have a number of other people test the Fuel. The first was Golfspy Tim, who sent me this straightforward text:
“This shaft seems to make the ball go straighter.”
Additionally, I had some of the regular Peanut Gallery members test the Fuel. Not one hesitated about putting the Fuel in their bag. One player, a PGA Professional who plays near scratch, told me that while he hasn’t liked much from Fujikura in the past, he really liked the Fuel and would like to put one into his 3W.
Finally, a master club fitter who tests absolutely everything told me, “Fujikura really has something with the Fuel. I normally play a 60X, but even with the 60S I was hitting ropes.” He loved the feel and said the results just couldn’t be argued with.
There are lots and lots of good products every year, but only a couple that are different enough to make you say, “Wow, that’s really good.” To steal one of T’s favorite words, “the Fujikura Fuel is special.”
The Fuel is the first shaft that got 100% “I want to bag that” approval. If you need a little feel and kick, it has that. If you want a stiff tip and limited “torque-y-ness” ©, it has that. Bottom line: it’s just damned straight. And long.
If you’re a longtime Fujikura fan boy, the Fuel will validate your love. If you’re not, give the Fuel a chance to change your mind. You can thank me later.
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