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Driver Shafts, Is It Really All Its Cracked Up To Be?


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#1 GhettoGolfer

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 10:43 AM

Whilst doing a bit of googling I stumbled across the below post from a Canadian golf forum (is that your home forum Madz?) Where one of the fitters is throwing conventional club shaft fitting theories out the window. It's a long post but worth the read.


https://www.torontog...n-driver-shafts



Jasonp is right, there really isn't such a beast that exists. What you want to look for is a higher launching shaft that feels more stable (read: has less torque). However, I hope what I am about to post will save you a lot of money. I posted this in another thread called "shaft doesn't matter, strike does" and have just copy/pasted the text from there.

"I have been leading you all astray when I was touting the shaft as the engine of the golf club. This is not the case at all. Shaft actually influences ball flight very little for most people, and is entirely player dependent. There is no such thing as a low spin low launch shaft, just as there is no such thing as a high launch high spin shaft. Down at Callaway, which was an eye opening experience we were hit with the bomb that shafts don't matter in the least, strike matters, shaft not so much. While I took it the best of the bunch, there were a few in my group that seemed ready to riot, we eventually all came home with the realization that we were placing far too much emphasis on a shaft when in reality strike point (and to a degree the head) is the single most important factor.

I know I am going to get some flak for this as being the "shaft guy" forever, and for even contradicting myself here after I made several posts saying shaft was key, I am now fully going to admit I was wrong and I hope I can explain why.

Shaft doesn't matter insomuch that we don't really know what a shaft will perform like, as opposed to it doesn't matter. Sure it matters, but not for the reasons you think it does. You don't need a C-Taper or Dynamic Gold to help you get your launch and spin down, just like you don't need a Nippon 950 or a 70g graphite shaft to help you get the ball up in the air with more spin. Shaft matters only in the sense that it ensures that it feels good to you during your swing. When it feels good to you, chances are you are going to deliver the club back to the impact position "better"...if that makes sense. That is all a shaft is supposed to do. It is not to control ball flight, in fact, the ball has no idea if the shaft weighs 150g or 20g, it has no idea if it has T1100 wires running down the shaft, whether the shaft has been Pure'd, or whether you are playing with a plastic kid's golf club that has been tipped and then re-glued. In the same vein, as we have been discussing already, shaft "flex" really doesn't mean a whole heck of a lot, either. As Nick Taylor has shown, you can play a ladies' flex golf club or an X-flex club and it won't follow the general thought processes many of us have (ladies is erratic, X is powerful, etc.).

What I am going to argue is that you need to find the shaft weight that feels best to you, and that is all that matters. For instance, I have detailed that I am a high-launch, high-spin guy, so all things point to me using a PX HZRDUS in my driver and C-Tapers or Dynamic Golds in my irons, right? Then why in the world do I hit HZRDUS shafts and C-Tapers and Dynamic Golds higher, with more spin than I do C-Taper Lites, which are coincidentally supposed to be one of the highest launching, spinniest shafts available? When I mentioned that in another thread it was not met with the best reaction. 110g steel shafts with moderate torque *feel* the best to me in my irons, and coincidentally, I hit them the best. My 3 best shafts I have ever hit are a Dynamic Gold SL, KBS C-Taper Lite, and the PXi...all of which are between 108-113g. For a driver, the best shaft I have ever used is my Ping Tour 65 or a V2 66, which coincidentally, happen to both be almost identical weights and torque ratings. Further, the combinations in both drivers with the different shafts and the 3 iron sets with the different shafts have all been my longest, straightest, and best feeling irons I have ever used. Hmmm....

I am not saying we all need to go out and buy 40g senior or ladies' flex shafts. If you want to increase your swing speed, sure it'll work, and you won't change your launch and spin very much at all, if at all. However, the decrease in weight could lead to it being erratic because it feels wrong to you. I just sold a PX Handcrafted 54g to a member on here that I tried. I consistently got the best numbers with it I have ever seen in recent years (fastest swing speed, penetrating flight, good spin), but it just *felt* too light and while I was enjoying the extra club in distance on the monitor, the on-course results were erratic, at best. Also, similar shafts can and will do different things for different people. Why does KGeorge hit a dynamic gold low/low, while I hit it high/high...it doesn't make sense. Subconsciously something feels different to us and we are attacking the ball differently with the club leading to this discrepancy in shot pattern.

I know some of you are probably going to roll your eyes or not believe me, so in addition to my own data, here is some from multiple fittings I have done over the past month since I got back.

Player 1 ---- 84mph swing speed, consistently slight toe hits with a driver. Was playing an F6+ with a stiff 67g Black Tie at 9.5*. After trying a few shots I gave him a regular and a senior flex Red Tie 60g shaft and tuned his head to 9*. Suddenly his shots were more middle, his swing speed spiked to 88mph, he gained about 8 yards of carry while maintaining his spin and launch from before. He chose the senior flex route because he liked the kick. He has told me multiple times now how much further he is hitting the ball.

Player 2 --- 103mph swing speed, hits centre most of the time. Has an Epic SZ at 8* weight forward and was fit for a Fujikura Speeder Platinum 6x at one of the two high-end fitting studios our forum knows well. This shaft is the bees knees according to him, stability T1100 wires, low launch, mid-low spin, tremendous stability and kick, etc. He is a regular at my store so we got to talking and I told him about what I had learned, he says show me. So I grab a Recoil 450 stiff (the supposedly complete opposite of this other shaft, btw) and even though he was swinging the 450 a little slower, at about 101, the launch went down a hair, spin went down about 150 RPMs and carry was within 1 yard of his $600+ shaft (255 for the recoil vs. 256 for the Fuji).

Player 3 --- 89mph swing speed with an iron. Was interested in the AP1 with an XP90 stiff. He liked it and just offhandedly mentioned that he also liked the JPX900 HM. After a few shots with the stock in the JPX (Modus 105) it is quite clear that this is the club for him. He asks me to fit him for a shaft, and based on his swing speed and tempo I told him common knowledge should be to go heavier and with less torque due to his speed. So I put in a PX LZ 6.0 (120g) and he couldn't hit it to save his life, his launch went to pot as did his spin. Put back the light-mid weight Nippon and he was back to carrying the 7i roughly 180.

So I hope this illustrates that our preconceived notions of what a shaft should and shouldn't do is not always the case. As consumers, we should rely less on an exotic upgrade shaft to do the work and more so on the club just working for us. No shaft is going to turn a dog head into a magical fairway finder. Focus more on the clubhead and strike position and you will be amazed at how much more you will get out of your clubs. It makes it a lot easier when picking clubs too, just find the head that works for you, and then a shaft that feels nice. No need to worry about trying whether the XP95 vs. the KBS 90 vs. the KBS Tour 105 vs. the Recoil 95 is going to react better to your swing. If you like the feel of that weight range, pick one and don't worry about it. Shaft kick point varies at most 2 inches from the "lowest" to the "highest" launching shafts available, which will in turn, effect spin roughly 300 RPMs. Not so amazing now are they? You can control 300 RPMs of spin by lofting your driver up/down one degree. Hit the ball too high (14+*)? Try an 8* driver, not a Graphite Design BB-whatever. Hit it too low with no spin, try a 12+* driver, don't immediately jump to a Veylix or a Fuji-whatchamacallit.

Makes our lives a lot more simple and allows us to go out and enjoy the game more. I know it sure has made my fittings a lot more effective and speedy since I learned this. The customer is also a lot more relieved since there is less pressure to pick "the perfect" shaft...which in reality doesn't exist."

So, now that you've (hopefully) read all that. Just try adjusting your driver's loft +/- 1* (if you still can) from where it is now. You'll affect spin about 300RPMs (approx. 10% of the total spin we want) and will also adjust shot height 1* approximately. So I would try your driver with +1 loft from where it is now and really focus on where you're hitting the shot. Centre shots are centre shots, with a well-fit golf club they are going to fly about 12* and about 2200-2500 RPMs of spin. If you are hitting it high off the face those are going to spin lower, while lower hit shots are going to spin more. Toe shots spin less, and heel shots spin more. So it sounds to me that if your driver was well fit, and you're still looking for high launch/low spin, it's probably just a matter of you hitting it a little bit low off of the heel that is causing a bit of a spin spike. Try choking up on your driver by about 1/2-1 inch and see if that makes a difference before investing $200+ in a shaft that will likely not help much in the first place.
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#2 golfguy33

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 12:25 AM

I'm amazed that you guys still believe that you can actually change the loft of your adjustable drivers !

 

I'd think a studied google of the Tom Wishon teachings would settle some of the facts about adjust ability in modern drivers and other clubs.

 

I'm sure that whilst reading some of Toms findings you will also be taught about the purpose and relevance of choosing the correct shafts for the individual players requirements.

 

The old school days of your pro handing you several irons to hit on the practice fairway and then saying that's the one that feels good right ? And boy you hit that one well and it felt good, so I'll get you a set in ?

Those days are gone like the Dodo bird.

The statements quoted above about different shafts not doing what they are supposed to, is drawing a very long bow ! Unfortunately he doesn't tell us what the clubheads are in each individual case, so it's extremely hard to compare apples with apples !  

Jon...      


Edited by golfguy33, 18 April 2018 - 12:27 AM.

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#3 GhettoGolfer

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 07:51 AM

The post talks about giving players a range of shaft combos to hit with and pick the one that feels best and returns good numbers, and not rely solely on picking shaft flex and specs based on a profile that is suitable for a particular swing speed.

He didn't mention the heads on the drivers but he did confirm that the irons were jpx900 HM.
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#4 Commish

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Posted 18 April 2018 - 08:31 AM

The statements quoted above about different shafts not doing what they are supposed to, is drawing a very long bow ! Unfortunately he doesn't tell us what the clubheads are in each individual case, so it's extremely hard to compare apples with apples !  

Jon...      

 

Cobra F6+in the 1st and Callaway Epic Subzero in the 2nd.  Player 3 about irons, but similar that what shaft worked in one set, didn't work in the other.   Go figure. 

 

Mind you, with player 1, can't understand why anybody in their right mind with a swing speed of 84 mph would want to be hitting a 67g stiff flex anything.  Player 1 was obviously just playing what he had bought off the showroom floor.  Player 2 however had been previously fitted.


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#5 Monty85

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 11:17 AM

This has been known for a while I thought.

 

Why people believe that one shaft over another is supposed to produce different spin numbers i will never understand.


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#6 GhettoGolfer

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:18 PM

This has been known for a while I thought.

Why people believe that one shaft over another is supposed to produce different spin numbers i will never understand.


Logic would asdume that AoA left would have the biggest effect on spin numbers?
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#7 Toph

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 12:51 PM

Logic would asdume that AoA left would have the biggest effect on spin numbers?

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#8 iRON MiCK

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:27 PM

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#9 Monty85

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 01:37 PM

Logic would asdume that AoA left would have the biggest effect on spin numbers?

 

Speed, loft, strike, AoA - all these things would contribute to spin numbers and all are relating to the club head, not the shaft.

 

At best I guess you could argue a lighter shaft would be faster and therefore producing more spin but the amount would be negligible.


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#10 hack2489

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 02:03 PM

I'm amazed that you guys still believe that you can actually change the loft of your adjustable drivers !

 

I'd think a studied google of the Tom Wishon teachings would settle some of the facts about adjust ability in modern drivers and other clubs.

 

...

 

OK, I'll admit to now being totally confused.

 

I take from your post that you infer that we can not change the loft on our adjustable drivers?

 

Well, at 7.50 in this video, Tom actually confirms we CAN change the loft:

 



#11 okitoki

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 03:29 PM

I had some difficulties on understanding how after adjusting the hosel, let the club head rest naturally on the ground, then how do I align to my target with the club face either open or close; 

When I played as a kid, all drivers were not adjustable, and would be face squared to target; with the new adjustable heads I was getting myself into difficulties.

 

After realising I am not suppose to use the face to align to my target, I seem to have figured out to hit straighter shots than before..... 



#12 GPJ_Longdriver

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 05:09 PM

Gee, there's a few different topics going on in the one thread I reckon.

 

Differing shafts for adjusting launch angle and spin rates.

 

The only way to really know is to take the humans out of the equation and get Iron Byron (not Iron Mick), to do the hitting, and then quantify the numbers. Even then you are at the mercy of whoever changes over the shafts, but at least with Iron Byron, you would have a consistent AOA, strike, and swing speed.

 

Adjustable loft drivers .... I believe if you square up the face post adjustment at address, you do tweak you're loft .. you just don't impact face angle when you do it though, so its a trade off.  :)


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#13 chevychase

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Posted 19 April 2018 - 10:36 PM

Here’s an interesting read:

https://pluggedingol...yths-unplugged/
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#14 golfguy33

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 12:04 PM

OK, I'll admit to now being totally confused.

 

I take from your post that you infer that we can not change the loft on our adjustable drivers?

 

Well, at 7.50 in this video, Tom actually confirms we CAN change the loft:

 

At the 13 minute mark he tells us that you CAN change the 3 characteristics of a driver, by bending the hosel. In the past with timber headed clubs we changed the loft, lie and face angle by rasping and cutting the face to the required loft, drilling the bore angle to change lie and face angle when fitting the shaft.

So the modern adjustable driver has two of these changes covered, lie and face angles. The third change, loft is not adjustable via an adaptor because the face of the club is welded and set during production, either chemically or with heat.

To test any driver for its loft, we sit the head in a square position ( 90 degrees ) to the ground and then can measure the loft to the middle of the face . The roll of the face will give us different readings, eg middle 10* - top third 12* - bottom third 8*

 

Clearly as with irons, you can only adjust the loft of a golf club via bending !

By holding the driver face angle way open or closed, do you think that it's changing the loft of your driver ?

If so, then you have wasted alot of money on modern adjustable technology, because you can adjust the face angle on any club via your hands :)   

Jon...     


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#15 mugcanic

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Posted 25 April 2018 - 01:42 PM

Where's Dave-1 when you need him?

He posted many times in here about the shaft being THE most important part of any golf club






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