- Fujikura is adding two shafts to the Ventus line: TR Black and TR Red.
- The TR models feature increased torsional stiffness in the handle section.
- MSPR is $350.
The Fujikura Ventus shaft family is getting two new siblings—TR Black and TR Red. That brings the total number of Ventus kith and kin to six. In 2019, Fujikura launched Ventus Blue. Shortly thereafter, it added Ventus Black and Ventus Red.
Side Note: Three years for a flagship shaft is a long tenure. The fact that it was more popular at retail and on Tour in its second year is equally abnormal. The Fujikura Ventus is the reigning heavyweight champion of the shaft world. Instead of a gaudy belt, it boasts retail sales figures and Tour usage stats that border on the absurd. It’s not abnormal to see +/- 25 percent of players in PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions with some version of Ventus in the driver.
At times, it seems like it would be reasonable to suggest that Fujikura Ventus is the stock shaft of the PGA TOUR. Surely, I jest.
OK, moving on. Earlier this year, Fujikura introduced Ventus Blue TR which maintained the VeloCore architecture of the Ventus Blue profile but with an additional layer of spread tow of ultra-stiff carbon fiber in the mid-handle section. With TR Black and TR Red, Fujikura applied the same materials as it did with Ventus Blue TR, with the same intention: to lower launch and spin by increasing the torsional stiffness “where golfers need it most” according to Fujikura.
With any successful application of a new material, the question then becomes whether that material can produce the same benefit in other profiles. Fujikura’s answer is a resounding, “Hell ya.”
VENTUS TR BLACK and TR RED
If TR Blue sits between Ventus Blue and Ventus Black, then TR Black is basically the Super Ventus. Ventus Black is a stout profile. Ventus Black TR is hulking. The salient point is that TR Black is exactly what Fujikura says it is. It’s a lower-launching, lower-spinning Ventus Black with a stiffer handle section.
Likewise, Ventus TR Red is a slightly beefed-up version of the standard Red. And, again, the difference is due to the addition of a nearly weightless layer of spread tow composite fabric in the handle section.
What makes a Fujikura Ventus a Ventus is the full-length Pitch 70 fiber in the bias layer. That’s the secret sauce and what drives a good bit of the story around performance. To clarify, VeloCore technology remains the defining material and technological characteristic of all Ventus “VeloCore” branded shafts. Comparatively, the Ventus TR series maintains the same overall feel as the original Ventus counterpart but with amplified torsional stiffness in the handle section.
As such, I’d characterize the launch and spin profile of each Ventus/Ventus TR series roughly like this: Ventus Red (high/high), Ventus TR Red (mid/high), Ventus Blue (mid/mid), Ventus TR Blue (mid/low), Ventus Black (low/low), Ventus TR Black (ultra-low/low).
Let me offer a word of caution when discussing the launch and spin characteristics of any shaft. First, shaft characteristics are relative. For example, the Ventus Blue might have a mid-launch/spin profile within the Ventus line. However, the entire Fujikura Ventus line tends to skew a bit lower regarding launch and spin than many competitors.
It’s like having two teachers that both teach Algebra I in the same school but the students all know which class is more difficult. Furthermore, you must consider that, regardless of profile, shafts will perform differently based on individual swing characteristics. In this and every other case, it’s advisable to work with a qualified fitter to avoid a $350 mistake.
FUJIKURA VENTUS TR COSMETICS
As stated, the base color scheme for Ventus TR remains unchanged. The two noteworthy cosmetic updates with Ventus TR are the small, yellow “TR” emblem and the exposed carbon fiber in the handle section. I appreciate the subtle adaptation and any opportunity to showcase visual technology tends to be well received by consumers.
I’ve played the Ventus Black 6x in my driver for the last two years. It’s an ideal match for my semi-violent transition and over-active hands. But most importantly, it’s efficient. Put differently, my top-end ball speed might be 1-2 mph faster but the frequency with which I generate that ball speed is more consistent.
Prior to giving the Ventus TR Black a spin, I had no intention of replacing my Ventus Black. Why would I? It’s a shaft without any noticeable deficiency, for me. But I was curious. And though I haven’t made up my mind just yet, initial testing suggests the Ventus TR Black is marginally lower spinning with about one degree lower initial launch. Again, those are my numbers.
Less spin isn’t necessarily a good thing when you play at an elevation of 5,000 feet. I like to live close to +/- 14 degrees launch with 2,500-2,700 rpm backspin. My Fujikura Ventus Black 6X sits pretty much in the middle of that range. The upside of TR Black is that my high-right block, which tends to spin far too much, spins a bit less. However, the spin floor for TR Black might prove to be a bit less than ideal. My current thinking is to bump up my driver loft to 10 degrees and see what happens. Stay tuned.
I’m equally intrigued to see how the Ventus TR Red stacks up against the Ventus Red 8X in my 5-wood. Again, the Ventus Red 8x is a solid fit for me but I did tip it an extra inch to get the spin/launch where I needed it.
The challenge with any sophomore release is to somehow improve upon the original while somehow making it unequivocally better. Most sequels are Caddyshack II and not Top Gun: Maverick, right? Therein lies the onerous task and it’s wise for Fujikura to capitalize on the most successful product in the company’s history by expanding the Ventus line as opposed to replacing it.
Ultimately, Ventus TR is likely the best fit for the golfer who required extra tipping on the standard Ventus Black or Ventus Red to dial in launch and spin. Beyond that, all three Ventus TR shafts give fitters additional discrete options to help dial in the ideal launch and spin requirements for each player. Moving forward, it’s reasonable to ponder where Fujikura might go next. Shaft gurus will note that Graphite Design constructed an entire franchise based effectively on a dominant profile (Tour AD) which it then tweaked and leveraged into roughly 13 different profiles. Might Fujikura construct something similar with Ventus?
PRICING and AVAILABILITY
The Fujikura Ventus TR Black and TR Red will be available through authorized Fujikura retailers at the end of August. Retail price is $350.
For more information visit FujikuraGolf.com.
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