MyGolfSpy University Launches Shaft U – Powered by Fujikura
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MyGolfSpy University Launches Shaft U – Powered by Fujikura

MyGolfSpy University Launches Shaft U – Powered by Fujikura

At MyGolfSpy, our job is your game, and it’s why #consumerfirst is the philosophical bedrock upon which we operate. Knowledge is power, and with better information, golfers can make more informed decisions.

To that end, MyGolfSpy is partnering with industry experts to form MyGolfSpy University, a repository of information on a variety of topics where the goal is to expand the working knowledge base of all golfers. Now, more than ever, consumers rely on unbiased research and recommendations to make purchasing decisions.

We’re all thirsty for objective information and only by democratizing knowledge in the golf industry can we continue to give you exactly what you deserve – the truth.

Shaft U Powered by Fujikura

We’ve teamed up with Fujikura, a leader in the industry, to examine the rarely straightforward world of golf shafts. It’s as good a place to start as any given the copious amounts of misinformation surrounding shafts. The lack of real information often leaves consumers perplexed and thinking a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering might be a prerequisite to understanding basic shaft design. It’s not – and it shouldn’t be.  Some of the confusion is born from the reality that brands can benefit when specific facts remain clandestine, but more importantly, there’s a large body of information which has historically been characterized by the absence of uniform agreement on basic measurements, specs, and terminology. The result is a growing body of puzzled consumers who often perpetuate false information for no reason other than the lack of conflicting information doesn’t challenge anyone to think differently. In the absence of information, people will create their own truth.

Another complicating factor is the physical structure of a golf shaft. Regardless of how much (or little) technology went into materials, design, or construction, once the paint is applied, everything pretty much looks the same. A $500 shaft doesn’t appear any different than a $50 one. It’s a challenging topic, rife with potential discussion points where ultimately the number of questions might outnumber concrete answers, but the goal is to move the conversation forward and provide a solid template of understanding for you, the everyday golfer.

WHY FUJIKURA?

Fujikura is an ideal partner because Fujikura knows shafts and has established itself as a category leader. Its rich history is filled with pioneering technologies and built on a dedication to a continual process of innovation. Moreover, it understands and promotes the idea that a more educated consumer is ultimately a benefit for the entire golf industry.

HISTORY

Fujikura Rubber LTD started in Japan in the early 1900s, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that it diversified and began exploring basic sheet wrapped graphite shafts. As has been well documented, 1971-1974 marked Japan’s “Second Post-War Golf Boom” which was fueled by golf tournaments broadcast during the late 1960s and the burgeoning Dankai Generation (Japan’s Baby Boomers). Fujikura, like other Japanese brands, saw a business opportunity and worked to capitalize on the growing demand of what would become Japan’s most important leisure activity.

In the early-mid 1990s, Fujikura arrived in the United States primarily to support the signature burnt orange TI Bubble shaft it manufactured for TaylorMade. At this time, shaft companies made product exclusively for club OEMs. There was no division between made for stock shafts and higher-quality aftermarket shafts. They were one and the same. Aldila, True Temper, Graphite Design, Mitsubishi, Fujikura; every shaft company worked directly for the OEMs which provided consistent revenue but to a degree, stifled innovation.

In 1997, Fujikura launched Triax, a key technology of the original Speeder shaft series. Triax was inspired by the Department of Defense satellites which used similar geometry to provide enhanced stability. Fujikura leveraged the concept to reduce shaft deformation and ovalling (loss of shape) during the swing. Shortly after that, every shaft company had its own tech story built on shaft stability. It’s not that Triax was some magic elixir, but by being first to market, Fujikura pushed the shaft design conversation forward. It also formed the basis for mutually beneficial relationships with aerospace companies which are still intact today. Moreover, Triax gave Fujikura a bona fide differentiator it could leverage to attract more affluent clientele.

Some companies have a knack for impeccable timing, and in the early 2000s, the Vista Pro series gave Fujikura its first multiple weight, multiple flex aftermarket shaft line.  Justin Leonard who would finish his career with 12 PGA Tour victories (including the 1997 British Open and 1998 Players Championship) and a relatively famous putt at the 1999 Ryder Cup at Brookline, was the de facto Fujikura brand ambassador through much of the early 2000s, playing the Vista Pro shafts in various configurations.

In 2005, Fujikura added several strands of woven material (at 0/90 degrees) to form the basis for the 5-axis Rombax technology – a shaft which would go on to win at every level of professional golf. Seven years later, in 2012, the Fujikura Blur shaft became the first shaft to utilize TeXtreme spread tow carbon fabric. It’s the same material Cobra used in the construction of the crown on the King LTD (2016) driver to set a new standard for low-spin, high MOI heads. The Fujikura Speeder Evo Blue (2014) was the first shaft to use Toray T1100G prepreg materials, and this year, Fujikura’s Ventus shaft features full-length Pitch 70 Ton Carbon Fiber, which is 150% stiffer than T1100.

It’s not that Fujikura uses materials or design philosophies which have never been replicated or implemented by other brands. TeXtreme isn’t a propriety material, and neither is Pitch 70. In this regard, it’s best to think of it more like recipe ingredients. Fujikura may have been the first to stock the cupboard, but it’s the creative and innovative application of the materials which continues to place Fujikura at the forefront of the shaft technology dialogue.

Forging new territory isn’t taking the path of least resistance, but wherever the finish line, someone has to get there first.

INTERNAL DIFFERENCE

There isn’t a single facet of shaft design or production which occurs outside the confines of Fujikura’s control. Simply, from farm to table, it owns the entire process, save for producing the native prepreg and carbon fiber sheets. Everything else is taken care of in-house. In the Haramachi, Japan facility, the R&D prototyping area sits alongside manufacturing, which makes going from concept to production significantly more efficient. Additionally, the proprietary design software used by Fujikura was developed internally to best fit its needs.

Then there’s ENSO. To date, there are three ENSO systems in existence, two of which are owned by Fujikura (one in Japan and one in the United States). The other belongs to PING. Fujikura started using ENSO in 2008 and started fully integrating it into daily practice in 2013.

The challenge in explaining ENSO and what it can do is the risk of diluting the full measure of its capabilities. Caveats aside, ENSO is a camera-based system (the system uses nine 3D motion capture cameras which record at 1000 frames/second) which measures in excruciatingly fine detail the behavior of seven strategically placed sensors (four on the shaft, three on the clubhead). Three cameras are dedicated to each element of the swing, allowing Fujikura engineers to pick apart and examine the relationship between any number of variables to better understand how specific shaft characteristics might alter performance given a particular set of swing characteristics.

It doesn’t take much mental wandering to consider the future possibilities of ENSO – and whatever ideas you’ll come up with by the end of this article, it’s likely Fujikura has already batted it around, picked it apart, and come up with something better. Beyond the R&D conversation, ENSO has (and will continue to have) a significant impact on how efficiently and accurately a player can be fit. Consider what it might look like for a fitter to record a swing (or several) and run it through an ENSO database which would produce a match accompanied by a confidence interval. Based on your swing characteristics, the Ventus 6X is a 98% match. Leaving cost out of the conversation (since we’re just spit-balling here), could ENSO help engineers create a personalized shaft for a given player based only on that players’ swing fingerprint?

There’s no guarantee this will happen any time soon, but the point is that it could – and that Fujikura is working on and thinking about these possibilities every day.

In terms of production, Fujikura cuts and rolls every shaft in house, by hand. And the majority of the people doing the work have been with Fujikura for several decades, not several months. Some elements of the shaft production process are automated (heat transferred labels, curing, cellophane wrap application) but every Fujikura shaft, and nearly every other shaft on the market other than TPT is made by hand.

Fujikura isn’t a follower. It doesn’t sit idly by waiting to import other brands’ R&D or design specs. They are plenty of shaft companies which do because from a cost perspective, taking the wait and see approach often makes more sense. The resulting products are generic and less tailored, but in a portion of the industry were differences are often minute, consumers are often none the wiser.

What you won’t hear from Fujikura are whiz-bang marketing terms or loud and ostentatious performance claims. To a degree, it’s a comfort Fujikura has earned by working its way to the top of the industry where it doesn’t need to take excessive risks or play more aggressively to try and establish a foothold or sufficient market presence.

VALIDATION

There are any number of ways to assess the overall well-being of a brand, but if a company is getting passing marks on professional tours and reeling in the cash at retail, it’s reasonable to assume things are going well. Citing statistics from the 2018 season (excluding 2018-19 wraparound events) Fujikura and Mitsubishi Chemical basically spilt 44% of the tour market down the middle (22.6% Mitsubishi – 21.4% Fujikura). Historically, Fujikura and Mitsubishi are 1 and 1a in terms of tour usage with the brands flip-flopping the top two positions frequently. The next closest competitor is at 15% with the remaining 41% or so split amongst the rest of the pack. Perhaps most importantly, players aren’t paid to play Fujikura shafts. It doesn’t offer any pay-for-play contracts or performance-based incentives. It’s $0 if you miss the cut and $0 if you win. That’s typical across the shaft industry, though challenger brands such as LA Shafts (formerly Matrix) are exploring new models (fractional ownership) to gain a foothold on tour.

In the retail sphere, Fujikura is inarguably the most dominant brand accounting for 42% of all aftermarket wood shafts. This includes all driver, fairway wood, and hybrid/driving iron shafts sold via aftermarket custom fittings or OEM upgrades. Fujikura has a global network of 600+ charter dealers, but it’s how Fujikura consistently works to take care of and communicate with its dealers which sets it apart – and above – its competitors.

Nick Sherburne, a co-founder of Club Champion, says that as vendors go, “Fujikura is so hands-on and supportive…They’re constantly asking what they can do to be helpful, and this is a tremendous asset to our fitters.” From the consumer perspective, golfers are more likely to trust recommendations if they believe the fitter knows what he’s talking about. In turn, fitters are more likely to discuss brands for which they’re the most knowledgeable. For all the nuance involved in fittings, sometimes it’s an elementary difference which matters the most.

Brian Gott (Gott Golf) is a nationally renowned clubfitter in Denver, CO and relies nearly exclusively on Fujikura for his matrix of shaft options. “There’s no one better when it comes to customer service and the quality control if phenomenal. The performance is certainly there, and they have a shaft to fit every player and price point,” says Gott.

Founder and CEO of Cool Clubs, Mark Timms, concurs with Gott and Sherburne. “Fujikura really kind of started it all,” he said. The “it” is the concept of a dealer network and providing fitters with a full suite of aftermarket products at various weights, flexes, bend profiles and price points.

But the bottom line is still performance. In the fitting world, Timms says, “We don’t really get golfers coming in asking for a certain brand or shaft model – what they want is performance.” To that end, Fujikura has never disappointed Timms – in fact, he’s personally bagged a Fujikura driver shaft for the better part of two decades – and it’s not as though he’s short on access.

CULTURE

People are the gatekeepers to the culture of any organization, and while Fujikura doesn’t have a monopoly on passionate employees, it does appear to be the type of place people go – and stay. President and COO David Schnider has been at Fujikura for 19 years. Alex Dee, Vice President – 21 years. Jeremy Butler, Director of Sales – 15 years. Chad Embrey, Sales Manager  – 18 years.

Stability in key leadership positions allows for organic growth and development according to a shared vision. Consistent behavior from key players breeds trust, which is the foundation of successful leadership. When the organizational anchors stay the same year after year, companies are better positioned to engage in critical conversations while remaining committed to a shared vision.

Part of Fujikura’s culture is that it’s an aspirational brand. “What we do for a living showcases who we are as people,” says Austin Tudor, Fujikura’s Product Marketing Manager. In this sense, it’s more than a paycheck. There’s no better example of this than Pat McCoy, Fujikura’s Director of Tour Operation. Pat has spent two decades working with the best players in the world, taking in feedback and serving as a liaison between Fujikura and PGA Tour players. The knowledge bank he’s developed in why other tour reps often use Pat as a sounding board, and while anyone with a couple hundred thousand dollars could theoretically start a shaft company, no amount of capital investment could replace McCoy’s experience.

Words are cheap, and platitudes can come off as trite, but for brands with a track record of success, it hasn’t come about accidentally. Internally, Fujikura staff refer to this day-to-day intentional practice  as “Rocket Surgery.” It’s meant to signify the convergence of rocket science (several Fujikura employees qualify as such) and brain surgery (there are no know surgeons on staff) which is implicit in every shaft design, whether the price is $99 or $349. The materials and construction certainly differ, but it’s the same people doing the thinking. Think of it like having Alister McKenzie build a putting green in your backyard.

PURPOSE

The premise is that information allows us to move conversations forward, rather than staying stagnant in our thinking. But to create equal knowledge, it’s imperative we increase access. Our approach at MyGolfSpy has always been to seek performance above marketing and help consumers navigate the often muddy waters of the golf equipment industry. To do so, we must confront some difficult questions and engage in conversation on challenging topics. So, sharpen your pencils, grab an extra three-ring binder and get ready to get your learn on.

First homework assignment –

Tell us what shaft topics you’d like to see covered? Post your thoughts below.

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For You

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Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris is a self-diagnosed equipment and golf junkie with a penchant for top-shelf ice cream. When he's not coaching the local high school team, he's probably on the range or trying to keep up with his wife and seven beautiful daughters. Chris is based out of Fort Collins, CO and his neighbors believe long brown boxes are simply part of his porch decor. "Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different."

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

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      John

      5 years ago

      Went for a driver fitting yesterday, and even though I swing bang on 100 mph, my swing was getting the most out of a Pro 2.0 Tour Spec 6X, with the 7X being a close second. Would love it if shaft companies would speak to performance characteristics more in terms of how they react to the swing and what their intent for timing instead of just dumbing it down to low/mid/high launch. I know I’m probably only speaking for the type that are on here, which make up about .5% of the golfing public. But still! lol

      Reply

      donn rutkoff

      5 years ago

      My question, how much can I shorten a driver shaft on a store bought club, at the butt end of course, before it affects the flex? Because, I have long arms, 36 inch sleeve, but have spine curve (worse than Stacy Lewis had I think), and this makes my back and shoulder muscles uneven, and I have less control on regular 45 inch driver. I measure about 1 degree flat on most clubs, closer to 2 degree on Ping chart. I am a reg flex on irons but am between reg and senior on driver, depending of course on who’s name is on the shaft. I shorten everything, around 1 inch, but want to try cutting another inch of driver if it won’t throw me stiffer.

      Reply

      Steve

      5 years ago

      While I tend to agree with some that the article is profiling Fujikura company and their shafts, it’s a start. The responses to it are asking fairly technical questions. I am interest in some things like who decides what shafts are available stock for a driver and the shafts that are available as a upgrade? I contacted a local company that advertises fitting and when I went in to get information, the person admitted that they were more interested in lessons. I then went to another and scheduled a fitting. First I had to driver about an hour to get there. Even warming up I never really felt comfortable physically as well as what they recommended. ( no aha moments). The next stage would be one two local golf stores where the shafts on site maybe limited. I’m looking forward for further information.

      Reply

      Nik

      5 years ago

      I would like to see how club head weight specifically in drivers and fairway woods interact with different shaft flexes, kick points and shaft weight.

      Reply

      Jack B

      5 years ago

      Question about stepped steel shafts: Is more bending happening where the steps are or between the steps?

      Reply

      Jack B

      5 years ago

      Why the conventional wisdom that slow swingers need a low bend point shaft?

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      Usually (not always) slow clubhead speed players have trouble getting the ball to launch high enough. The low bend point shafts tend to launch the ball higher as well as increasing clubhead speed slightly. They also tend to close the face slightly which helps people who tend to slice. Somebody who already hits the ball high enough and doesn’t tend to slice can use a mid bend point shaft which is neutral.

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      A discussion / explanation of sheet wrapped versus woven / braided graphite shafts (Paderson / others?) would be interesting. There are probably some performance differences between them. Whether those differences are advantageous for golfers with certain swing characteristics would be fascinating.

      Reply

      Dan Beveridge

      5 years ago

      Tell me, I am a big believer that the head of the driver is the first thing to fit and then as the process continues the weight of the shaft is more important than flex.
      That being said the motion of the player is also what you are trying to pay close attention to.
      What say you?

      Reply

      Joe Domill

      5 years ago

      Hi I am senior player with a slow swing. Can the proper shaft be determined for me ,by flex,shaft weight torque

      Reply

      Dave Tutelman

      5 years ago

      (1) How does the shaft flex profile (EI profile) relate to launch conditions and/or ball flight?

      (2) How does the shaft flex profile (EI profile) relate to what kind of golfer or what kind of swing it fits well?

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      Dave – I often read your analyses of all things technical in golf. Thanks for your continued analysis of shafts, golf clubs characteristics, swing characteristics, and club making and measuring equipment. Between you and MyGolfSpy, my technical knowledge of golf has been
      greatly enhanced.

      Reply

      Brent

      5 years ago

      I’d like to see more on fitting for junior golfers. Ages 10-14. Swing speed between 70-80 mph. How does cutting affect shaft performance? etc.

      Reply

      Stephen Pearcy

      5 years ago

      I think this a great undertaking as long as it remains honest to the goal – a better understanding of golf club design. The majority of manufacturers` claims are nothing more than hype and the exposure of what works and what doesn’t will lead to an enlightened market place in which a new innovator can successfully take on an established hypester.

      Reply

      daviddvm

      5 years ago

      I really enjoyed the article, good history lesson. Thanks Chris.
      I like the idea of comparing shafts in a similar fashion as MGS compared balls, we found out a lot about balls that way.

      Reply

      808nation

      5 years ago

      Are second hand or pulled shafts still good to play with?

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      I used to work for a top 100 custom clubmaker. We often used pulled shafts when we had ones that were a good fit for the particular customer we were fitting. We used only top of the line models though. That, along with proper fitting, is way more important than getting the newest shaft. I use old Penley shafts in my woods and they work well. They were top of the line shafts when new. They are also a good fit for me – stiff tip X flex and fairly heavy which I like. Obviously shafts that are a poor fit don’t work well regardless of being high quality. One shaft quality I don’t see discussed much is shaft torque. That changes the feel and playing characteristics quite a bit. High torque shafts feel softer. For a player who squares the face at the last instant, they can be problematic.

      Reply

      Nathan Aulenbach

      5 years ago

      A few topics I would like to be covered is the importance of swing weight. Not all of
      Your clubs should weigh the same. But what is the correct weight balance between shafts? Also explain more helping people know bend profiles of shafts and how they know which one is right for them? I basically feel like most places if you swing this fast you need a stiff or Reg flex shaft. That’s how most conversations go. Being a hockey player I know what kind of flex point suits my shot better than others. But for golf all I know is that I need a stiffer shaft because I have a fast swing speed. That’s it

      Reply

      Scott

      5 years ago

      I have tried their shafts time and time again. Have never been a big fan of them. True Temper has a get quality shaft or shafts that you can choose from. Also, they are not the only company out their either. Nippon is another great shaft company. Most tour players have them in their bags. They make a shaft for all skill levels. That’s my 2 cents worth

      Reply

      Kevin

      5 years ago

      I’d love to know if technology like the enso can be used to create something similar to the mizuno shaft optimizer for woods and all other clubs.

      Reply

      Jas

      5 years ago

      I`ve been fitted @ Club Champion & by a Club Pro. Both did me no good but waist my hard earned $$.They both seemed like they were in a hurry. Hittin 5 balls with a club & taking the best 3 does’nt mean anything. As a senior player with a slow swing speed & a hook problem w driver. I dont no If I can be helped, but I`m not happy with the $$ they took from me. Fed up

      Reply

      Jwal

      5 years ago

      I’m concerned about this first university lesson. I have always considered MGS to be brand agnostic, but this read like a commercial for Fujikura. While I appreciate their input, I feel this was a sales pitch.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      5 years ago

      This isn’t actually the first university lesson. It’s an introduction to Fujikura as a brand, and while we will be partnering with them on Shaft U, my hope is to write similar articles about other shaft companies in much the same way we approach our “Know Your JDM Brands” series.

      Reply

      Tim

      5 years ago

      I thought the same thing, but I will give MGS a chance to run with the idea. Graphite Design and Oban are two other shaft manufacturers that I think make very high quality graphite shafts. Nippon seems to make very high quality steel shafts based on all the reviews I’ve read by engineer types that get into that type of information. That’s all great, but the best quality shaft might be the worst for you if it’s not fit for you. The readers who say they got fit and it didn’t help them either have a swing that is so inconsistent there is no way to get true launch and spin numbers, or they went to a terrible fitter. It’s not complicated to look at a chart and tell what launch angle and spin rate are best for a given swing speed. As far as fast tempo players versus slow tempo players; I’ve heard differing theories on that. I’d like to see and article with 3-4 experienced clubfitters and listen to their thoughts on topics like how tempo affects shaft performance. Also, counter-balancing; is it legit. It may have to be two articles: one for low handicappers and one for higher handicaps. I hope they deliver on their idea.

      Reply

      Ian Dahl

      5 years ago

      How do different swing characteristics factor into a shaft fitting?
      Are there generalities to determine the best length/weight for a driver shaft?
      It would also be great if there was an easily accessible classification/leveling of shafts between brands. If you like Fujikura Ventus 7x, you may also like…

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      There are a number of factors. The best shaft weight is the one that helps you get the maximum distance with control. That is usually the lightest one with other traits that work. But there are a number of other factors as well. If you need to increase your shot trajectory (hit it higher), a shaft with a low bend point will help. If you hit the ball too high, a stiff tip – high bend point shaft would be better. Obviously, your swing speed influences how soft or firm a shaft would work for you. However, two players with the same clubhead speed at impact sometimes use different flex shafts if the quickness of their swings is different. A very flowing, smooth swing works well with a shaft on the soft side of what clubhead speed would indicate. On the other hand, a quick swing with a fast transition from backswing to downswing puts more stress on the shaft and requires a shaft on the firm side of what clubhead speed would indicate. Club length also influences shaft flex. A club that is 2 inches longer than standard will play a full flex softer than what it is marked. One inch overlength will be a half flex softer than marked. The same ratios work with shorter than standard lengths. There are other factors, but those are the major ones.

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      I forgot to address clublength and spin. A fitter will start by measuring from wrist crease to the ground when the player is standing upright and relaxed. 35 inches is considered standard. For every inch the measurement is lower or higher than 35 inches the clublength is adjusted 1/2 inch. All of this is a starting point. Swing traits can cause adjustments. For example a very upright swing may require a slightly shorter length than indicated by this formula. A flatter swing could require a slightly longer length to reach the ball. The amount the player bends his legs and/or bends over can also cause variances. It is fairly easy to see when a golfer is struggling to stay down (clubs too short), or stand up more (clubs too long).
      Also, longer clubs can take stress off the back.
      As for spin, a low bend point shaft will tend to spin the ball more and a high bend point will tend to reduce spin rates. The angle of attack of the clubhead will also influence spin. The spin rates and shot trajectory should work together.

      Reply

      Monty

      5 years ago

      Examine and if applicable reveal the myths and realities of “made for” vs “real deal” shafts.

      Reply

      John P

      5 years ago

      I’d like to know if what some online sources say about PUREing or splining shafts has any merit. I know there are fitters who test shafts doing frequency analysis with different orientations and based on some theory or other they orient them in your clubs a certain way. Does this really make any difference in performance? If there is a benefit to shaft alignment, is it significant for both steel and graphite shafts? If there was once a benefit to doing this have manufacturing tolerances made it obsolete?

      Reply

      ChasingScratch

      5 years ago

      I second this question. Also would like to see how consistent each batch of shafts produced is concerning torque, stiffness, etc. I read in the past how a batch of shafts labels say x-stiff might have a few that are more along the stiff profile than x-stiff.

      Reply

      Rob

      5 years ago

      An easy to understand definition of “made for” shafts that so many internet keyboard experts complain are not the “real deal” shafts. I know this has been touched on before, but the waters are a bit muddy still for me on it.

      Reply

      Johnny Cowboy

      5 years ago

      Which is more important, length of shaft or width? Can anything be done to lengthen a shaft naturally? Do shafts lose stiffness as they get older?

      Reply

      John Barba

      5 years ago

      I think you might have the wrong forum for that question ???

      Reply

      3 putt

      5 years ago

      Is there an industry standard for flex? Do all shafts labeled stiff or regular regardless of producer have the same flex? What and how are those parameters set? Same question for the bend profile or kick point or whatever today’s term is – are they the same?

      Reply

      Adam

      5 years ago

      I would also like to see an answer to this question as some threads on the forum state that stiff flex in one brand could be regular flex in another brand. Why has there not been a universal standard applied to the flex of a golf shaft?

      Reply

      Joey5Picks

      5 years ago

      The answer is no, there’s no standard. Just like in clothing one company’s large is another company’s medium. About all you can count on is with a given shaft, a stiff is stiffer than a regular. But even “stiff” are more toward a “regular” due to (male) golfers’ egos.

      Reply

      wbn

      5 years ago

      No, not all flex ratings are the same. The best method I have found is the use of a frequency machine. It will give you a truer picture of the shaft.

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      As Dave Tutelman points out on his website, a frequency machine tests the butt flex of shafts. The tip flex is equally important. That can be measured by turning the shaft around (sticking the tip end in the frequency machine) and testing it that way. It requires a different size weight to test the tip flex as well as a separate list of frequency categories.

      James

      5 years ago

      I’d really like to see some iron shaft fittings with different levels of players. I know most guys go with steel shafts but I’d love it if guys were fit to what was best, no matter the materials were. Maybe do a comparison of what the “customer” would have picked compared to what really worked best. Expose the bias we all have especially toward iron shafts.

      Reply

      Terry

      5 years ago

      I really enjoyed the article, but it did appear to be a Fujikura endorsement. Below are couple of questions that I have regarding shafts and specifically new drivers which have been providing an extra 10yards for the last 20 years.

      1- Why are we as golf consumers required to buy drivers with shafts specified by the manufactures. Why can’t we just by the newest Taylormade, Callaway, Ping head and get fitted for the shaft that works best regardless of shaft brands or OEM packaging.

      2- Is there a difference in shafts materials used in packaging a new product release as compared to the aftermarket shafts. As an example is Fujikura models for a specific driver packaged by Taylormade the same as the aftermarket shafts or has shaft material been changed to hit a certain cost point by the OEM?

      Reply

      Randy

      5 years ago

      What are the key measurements to derive shaft recommendations?
      What is Kickpoint and why does it matter?
      Does grip selection matter much to the choice or performance of a shaft?
      Is there a consistent measuring method of the relationship between the longitudinal axis of the shaft and the club face? And how does that change with swing speed and club head weight?

      Reply

      Herbert Wohlf

      5 years ago

      A comprehensive explanation of shaft weight, flex, kickpoint and the effects these have on trajectories, distance etc. Please start with a Shafts 101 course. A primer/refresher course if you will. What effect does “tipping” have ? What happens when you take an inch off the standard shaft of a driver? Etc,etc.

      Thank you for everything you do.

      Reply

      Bunker Shot Birdie

      5 years ago

      Can you do a test similar to the ball test but on a smaller scale? I would like to see if a shaft really does much. For me I have changed shafts in my driver and have not seen much change.

      Reply

      ~j~

      5 years ago

      I’ve played around quite a but with driver shafts, working on replacing a 2H shaft now. I’ve found, on an eye-ball test, most driver shafts had similar ball flights. the main differences were feel and spin though. The differences between 2 lo/lo shafts, a Black Tie vs HZRDUS Black may be marginal, but compare either of those to the Pro Force V2 HL and you’ll immediately know what I’m talking about.

      Reply

      Sean Simpson

      5 years ago

      Are there rules of thumb to find best fit for your fairway woods if you feel you have a good fit for your driver and irons? Is it best to stay with the same shaft, just heavier?

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      Using the same shaft for both sometimes works, but it depends on several factors. When Henrik Stenson won the British Open he used a high launch low bend point shaft in his 13 degree fairway wood that he kept using for tee shots. Apparently with that low lofted head, the low bend point shaft was necessary to get the flight up to what he wanted. But, I doubt he uses a low bend point high launch shaft in his driver. The combination of head and shaft are what matters.

      Reply

      Andy

      5 years ago

      What a fantastic idea! I am looking forward to reading (and seeing?) all that you have to write (and show?) on this topic. As a high handicap and someone just getting into golf club information, I would beg you to start with the basics.
      What do the markings on the shaft mean and what effect do they have on my swing?
      Why do we generally have steel shafts on irons and graphite shafts on woods?
      How does a shaft promote higher or lower ball flight?
      Past that, I’ll be thrilled to learn anything you have to offer.
      Thanks!

      Reply

      Ice

      5 years ago

      Clubfitters vary on whether or not the shaft is an integral role in spin & launch characteristics. How influential is a driver shaft?
      Shaft weights are lighter than ever, What role does shaft weight play in driver performance?
      Is lighter really faster?

      Reply

      Johnny Penso

      5 years ago

      I’ve seen many tests that show lighter is faster, slightly, and that launch and spin don’t change very much from shaft to shaft. An interesting test to me would pit high launch shafts with high launch balls vs low launching shafts and balls to see if combining the two can bring significant results. The MGS ball test showed you can have as much as 20 feet difference in peak height between balls at 115 SS. Combining balls and shafts to see how the combinations work, after testing shafts independently of course, would be really useful information.

      Reply

      Rob

      5 years ago

      The first topic I would like covered is to explain the cost associated with graphite shafts and why $500 has become more “normal”. Exotic materials aside, can there really be more than say $15-$30 cost per shaft to manufacture? If so, I’d love to hear a breakdown of where the money goes. Since they don’t pay players, it must go to other things such as marketing, R&D and of course profits.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing or asking for a witch hunt but more curious as to the insides of a shaft company and explanation of how to justify spending $300-$500 on a shaft vs. much less if two shafts play the same. Once you find shafts that have a similar bend profile, weight and general torque then they will essentially play the same, regardless of materials used.

      Reply

      Wally

      5 years ago

      What is the importance of torque in a shaft and is the premise of low torque equals stiffer shaft equals for better players(faster swingers) hold true?

      Reply

      Tyler

      5 years ago

      I second this.

      Reply

      Larry Young

      5 years ago

      It seems to be common in the market for shafts to be labeled low launch low spin, mid launch mid spin and high launch high spin. Why don’t we see high launch low spin shafts?

      Reply

      ~j~

      5 years ago

      I think the difficulty comes in due to higher launching shafts generally having, or maybe better put, require softer tips. Firmer the tip, the less spin/height one would get. I think Graphite Design is the only manufacturer marketing high launch, low spin shafts, better overall quality of the shaft material and pre-peg is my guess. Works for them though as they’re a mighty popular brand with the pros for woods and hybrids…

      Reply

      ~j~

      5 years ago

      I think it stems from the assertion that higher launching shafts, kickpoint a side, generally require softer tips, which also add spin. I think Graphite Design is the only one advertising Hi launch, Low Spin shafts.

      Reply

      Bob Pegram

      5 years ago

      The easiest way to get high launch with low spin is to use a tip stiff high bend point shaft with a head that has more loft. That is what I do. Interestingly, I have found I hit the ball farther with a higher spin ball like a ProV1x, TP5, Srixon XV, etc. When Tiger Woods was using Nike clubs the measured loft of his driver was 11.25 degrees even with his swing speed.

      Reply

      SoCal Dave

      5 years ago

      Tremendous article on a Tremendous Company/product that has changed the game for the Better!
      TY MGSU!!

      Reply

      Brian Fuhrer

      5 years ago

      What is shaft torque and how does an average golfer know what torque is right for their game and a specific club?

      Reply

      Jacques Lemoyne

      5 years ago

      Golf Shaft Torque -How Much Really?
      By Carter Penley
      OK, OK. So you’ve heard and read enough about golf shaft torque to fill the National Library of Congress – and what have we learned? Well, I can share with you what I have learned and not everyone will agree with; but here is my two cents worth.
      There’s more torque than what is on the shaft specification sheet, which is what most club builders rely on, and that’s what I want to discuss in this article.
      First of all, when it comes to designing a golf shaft, and, more specifically a golf club, there are two areas of physics we must contend with: static and dynamic functions.
      Static testing is generally done without motion or activity, such as checking the flex or torque; both of which are done by simply hanging a weight at a certain position on or about the shaft. Dynamic testing is done during or with motion, such as frequency or by a person swinging the club.

      Dynamics is the reason that when two assembled clubs are having exactly the same static measurements, they will not always feel or hit the same. Thus, dynamic measurements incorporate physics: all the mechanical properties of the components and materials, and the most difficult of all to analyze – the “human factor”. I say this because players will say shafts with too much torque, say 5 degrees or more, slice the ball, and shafts with too much flex, say “R” or less, cause a very highball trajectory and lose distance! Well, if all of this is true, how can Joe Bianchi, a long drive specialist, who swings at 140 mph and hits a ball in competition 350 plus yards, hit two balls that I witnessed over 420 yards and stay in a 50 yard grid, using a club with an “L” flex shaft and 5 – 6 degrees of torque?
      Considering the above statement, let’s take a look at and make some static measurements not usually discussed by club makers or club manufacturers in general. For the purpose of this article, I will use that long drive shaft of Joe Bianchi’s; a shaft I designed, designated as the •Parabolic Action” model. The following table shows degrees of torque for the shaft only, then the shaft with a grip assembled, and finally, the shaft with a grip assembled and the player’s grip. It also shows the actual torque value differences:

      Standard Graphite Shaft Parabolic Action Torque Difference
      Shaft only 4° 7° 75%
      Shaft and Grip 10° 13° 30%
      Shaft, Grip & Player 16° 19° 18%

      As you can see, once you bring all the factors into play, the torque of only the shaft may not be as significant as many would have you believe. When you take into account the above data, there is not much difference in a shaft with 7 degrees or 4 degrees of torque. I believe that’s why Joe Bianchi and a host of other strong, fast swinging long drive specialists (four players qualified for the Chrysler Nationals with this shaft), hit a 7 degree shaft better than most players can hit a 5 degrees shaft or less. It’s more a control function (human) than a shaft function.
      P.S. Let’s not get crazy now, there are limits to everything. Remember: no black and white, only a sea of gray.

      Reply

      Matt

      5 years ago

      Ping Tour 85 X-stiff shaft

      Reply

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