Ventus was the most played driver and wood shaft on the PGA TOUR during the 2020-21 season. It also found favor with boutique club fitters and as an in-line custom option through equipment brands.
And though I don’t love it, the made-for, non-VeleCore Ventus shaft serving as a stock option in the TaylorMade SIM2 and Stealth releases says something about the popularity of Ventus. Namely, that there’s a clear value in leveraging the Ventus name, even if one might label the practice somewhat dubious.
That aside, Ventus’s full-length pitch 70-ton fibers made us consider whether a shaft could improve the forgiveness of the clubhead. Maybe it didn’t shift the entire paradigm but Ventus started a conversation with golfers that involved looking at the entire club as a system, rather than a series of components.
How do you improve on a product that doesn’t have an obvious deficiency? Particularly when the consistent message from notoriously picky professional golfers is “make it better but don’t change anything”?
Every product launch involves an element of risk. However, with Fujikura Ventus TR, the company isn’t replacing any existing Ventus models. Think of it like your favorite ice cream shop adding a new flavor.
Fujikura Ventus TR – What’s New?
VeloCore is what makes Ventus, Ventus. And with Ventus TR, the unique application of pitch-70 fibers in the bias layer remains the staple technology. If VeloCore sounds more like a new at-home workout regimen, here’s a recap.
With that, Ventus TR maintains all the same technology as the original Ventus with additional modifications to the torsional stiffness in the handle section.
Quick sidebar: Torque is the measure of how resistant a shaft is to twisting. But, like other shaft metrics, the process by which companies measure torque isn’t universal.
Fujikura Ventus TR Materials
The consensus amongst Tour players and fitters is that the original Ventus Blue could get a little loose for some players in transition. So Fujikura went back to the lab and tested potential modifications using, ENSO, its 3D motion-capture system.
Long story short—Fujikura beefed up the butt and midsection of the shaft using a nearly weightless Spread Tow fabric. It’s simple to make a graphite shaft stiffer by making it heavier. But with Ventus TR, that wasn’t the assignment. Spread Tow references a flat, woven construction that leaves less room for resin to pool in any voids.
Compared to Ventus Blue, Fujikura states that it increases torsional stiffness by 10 percent on Ventus Blue TR. From a material standpoint, the remainder of Ventus TR is the same as the original Ventus Blue.
Ventus TR Performance Benefits
According to Fujikura, Ventus TR offers golfers more consistency because of less shaft deformation during transition. Consistency is a convenient catch-all term as it’s generally positive yet not specific. However, Fujikura isn’t shying away from the belief that Ventus TR is more consistent in every meaningful way: ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, start line, etc.
Is the Ventus TR for You?
The most likely targets for the Fujikura Ventus TR are golfers who use the Ventus Blue or Black but need something that sits in between the two. Put another way: a stiffer Ventus Blue or a softer Ventus Black.
Ventus Black is an exceptionally stiff profile that can feel boardy, particularly if you don’t have an aggressive (or semi-violent) transition. Ventus TR should generate a higher trajectory with slightly more spin than Ventus Black but with a softer feel in transition.
Conversely, if you like the overall launch conditions of Ventus Blue but prefer a more stable butt section, Ventus TR might be the solution.
To be clear, Ventus TR isn’t as stiff in the handle as Ventus Black so it’s not quite a Ventus Black handle/midsection + Ventus Blue tip section but it’s pretty close.
Fujikura Ventus TR gives us a glimpse into Fujikura’s current thinking around its flagship shaft.
By selecting to augment the Ventus line with modified torque profiles, Fujikura opens the door to additional expansion within the Ventus family.
One possibility is that Fujikura could offer each base Ventus profile (Blue, Black, Red) with several discrete “TR” variations. This would give fitters the opportunity to address the specific swing characteristics of more golfers. If you’re looking for comparisons, Ventus could become something like the AD Tour series from Graphite Design that offers 10-plus shafts based off a dominant EI profile.
Based on my ENSO evaluation, I played a Ventus Black 6x driver shaft throughout 2021. That said, in limited time with Ventus TR, it offers more feel throughout the swing. For me. That last bit is important. On paper, Ventus TR should launch a bit higher with more spin. However, Ventus Black sits on the low end of my target range for launch and spin. So it’s possible Ventus TR could provide some benefit. TBD.
Pricing and Availability
The retail price for Ventus TR is $350 which is the same as existing Ventus Blue, Black and Red models.
Ventus TR is available through authorized Fujikura dealers.
For more information, visit Fujikura.com