The premise and the impetus are both simple; there has been no significant innovation in putter shafts in decades.
I’d wager that probably Matrix, definitely UST, and likely even Fujikura – who created a putter shaft for the Japanese market – might belabor the point, but the relevant bit is that Adams Golf founder, Barney Adams, has reentered the equipment market with a product he believes will make you a better putter.
Adams is confident enough that his new Stability Shaft is a breakthrough golf technology that he named his new company Breakthrough Golf Technology. How’s that for direct?
Stripped down to the proverbial nuts and bolts, the stability shaft, is a 4-piece, multi-material replacement for your apparently obsolete steel shaft. The butt section features 9-layers of zero taper, high-modulus carbon fiber. A 22-gram aluminum insert reinforces the structural integrity. Finally, an aluminum connector is used to bind the graphite portion to the stainless steel tip.
Sans the aluminum insert, it should be pointed out that, from a construction standpoint anyway, the Stability Shaft is at least similar to UST’s Frequency Filtered Putter shafts. Incidentally, UST bills their shaft as The First True Putter Shaft Technology in More than 70 Years. As I said, there may be disagreement about exactly how much innovation there’s been and how long it’s been since it happened. There is an apparent divergence in how the two technologies work.
For its part, UST claims the benefits are the result of amplified feel. Their shaft reduces vibrations, which allows the golfer to more accurately perceive where on the face impact occurs, which in turn, teaches the golfer to make centered impact more consistently.
The technology story of the Stability Shaft is a bit more robust. According to BGT, the Stability shaft is 25% stiffer and has a nearly 50% reduction in torque. The reasoning behind why this matters is that as putter heads have gotten heavier, the shaft has remained unchanged. There’s some legitimacy to this thinking. Just as with a driver shaft, a heavier head will make the shaft play comparatively softer, and that could have real-world consequences. How pronounced that is with the lower speed and transition force of a putter…I’m not sure.
As the story goes, when a lower torque and stiffer profile is combined with the vibration dampening benefits of the graphite-based design, the real-world benefits are a consistently square face at impact, tighter departure angle (starting line), lower launch, and a higher smash factor.
I’m not sold on the idea that a higher smash factor with a putter is necessarily beneficial. Launch angle is a fitting variable, and depending on the loft of your putter and how much shaft lean you have at impact, lower launch – without additional adjustments – could just as easily be a net negative as a positive. That said, the purported consistency benefits are intriguing. If a putter shaft can legitimately provide a more consistent starting angle and more consistent smash factor, then it probably will make you a better putter.
According to BGT, the Stability Shaft technology has been validated with high-speed cameras, Quintic, SAM putting lab, and Trackman. Additionally (and admittedly subjectively), 90% of golfers said the Stability Shaft has a more stable feel than their current shaft.
Charts provided on the BGT website show less oscillation of the shaft post-impact, but given how long the ball is actually on the face, what happens post impact, doesn’t count for much beyond feel. Still, at the heart of the claims is the notion of stability, and in that respect, a shaft – even a putter shaft – that’s more stable at impact could potentially act as an MOI enhancer, reducing face twisting on off-center hits, resulting in more consistent ball speeds.
Despite being the very definition of new, the Stability Shaft has received some of that all-important tour validation. Both Justin Rose and PING staffer KJ Choi are using the shaft, and I suspect that if either has any appreciable success, you’ll see more than a few names you know putting it into play.
My gut reaction is that some of the claims are sketchy, but the putting game is one of millimeters and fractions of degrees, so it’s at least possible that Barney Adams’ new groundbreaking technology could live up to its name.
Specs and Pricing
The Stability shaft is available in a variety of different tip diameters and neck styles to fit a variety of putters. Minimum Advertised Price is $199. For more information, visit BreakthroughGolfTech.com.
What Say You?
Would you be willing to pay $199 for a putter shaft if it really could improve your putting? Should we put the Stability Shaft to the test?