The Club Doctors in association with Simply Golf


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Shaft fitting

TECHNICAL STUFF

SHAFT BASICS

The shaft is often - wrongly - described as 'the engine of the golf club; YOU provide the power, so a golf shaft is actually more like the transmission. A shaft can THEORETICALLY increase clubhead speed by its flexing action, but in practice the amount it can actually add is so small that it can pretty much be ignored.

Shafts do, however, contribute to the dynamics of the golf club in a number of other ways that are important:

  • They play a significant role in determining the final weight of an assembled club (because shafts can weigh anything from about 45g to about 130g).


  • Lighter clubs can be swung faster with the same effort (which is the main reason why graphite-shafted clubs can help increase clubhead speeds and distance) BUT there is potentially a tradeoff with accuracy; ultralight graphite shafts do NOT suit all golfers, any more than heavy steel ones do.


  • For all golfers, a shaft's primary flex (how stiff it is overall) and how that stiffness is distributed from butt to tip (called the stiffness or bend PROFILE) together significantly influence the way a club FEELS, both during the swing and at impact.


  • The primary flex and bend profile can also affect trajectory (launch angle & ball spin), but not to the same extent for everyone.



That's because even if two golfers have identical clubhead speeds at impact, the same shaft will only arrive there with the same amount of bend for both of them if they start the downswing in the same way, have similar clubhead speeds, swing lengths & swing tempos and release the club at similar points in the downswing.

In other words,
the same shaft will NOT perform the same for different golfers with different swing moves.

That's why you should be very wary of accepting shaft recommendations from any other golfer unless you know that you have a very similar swing to him (or her). Probably the last reason why you should consider using any make, model or flex of shaft is because it is used by a Tour player - unless, of course, you really do have a SWING like a Tour player.

And why proper shaft fitting - finding the best weight, primary flex and bend profile for YOUR swing - is important.

SHAFT FITTING

In order to fit golfers with shafts that will provide optimum performance AND feel, you need to know a lot more about their swing than just clubhead speed, because the way they change direction from backswing to downswing (their TRANSITION), the overall pace of their swing (their SWING TEMPO) and how close to impact they RELEASE the club (or wristcock angle) will make a big difference to where and how much bending stress they apply to a shaft. In addition, how physically strong they are will have a bearing on the choice of shaft weight.

However, none of that information is of any use unless:

  • You know what combination of butt section stiffness, centre section stiffness and tip section stiffness will work with about 100 different combinations of transition, tempo, release point and physical strength for a range of clubhead speeds AND
  • You also have a searchable shaft database with all the necessary stiffness profile data that will pinpoint a shaft or selection of shafts that match each combination of clubhead speed, transition, tempo, release point and physical strength.


Tom Wishon Golf Technology's revolutionary Shaft-2-Swing fitting system does precisely that, in conjunction with their entirely new 2010 range of shafts. It enables us to recommend shafts that will provide optimum performance & feel for virtually any golfer and any swing at sensible, affordable prices (see screenshot opposite - please click to enlarge).

Click
HERE to find out more about the S2S Fitting System

Click
HERE to try it yourself

SHAFT MATCHING

What if you need to match a shaft in one of your current clubs or that you have tried & like? We have another tool at our disposal that allows us to compare and match different shafts - see screenshot opposite.

Two different shafts of similar weight and very similar bend profiles will play and feel the same, regardless of the brand, the model or the price, so if there is a shaft that you like, but which is no longer made or is prohibitively expensive, we can search all the shafts on the database for a matching alternative.

As a result, if you have broken a favourite but discontinued shaft, we may be able to offer something else that is identical or very similar. And if you have tried and really like one of the current crop of ultra-expensive, premium shafts but can't afford it, we may be able to save you quite a lot of money.

The vertical axis of the graph opposite shows shaft stiffness in CPM (cycles per minute) at 5-inch intervals, measured from the shaft tip (the horizontal axis).

  • The black column is the stiffness profile of a graphite shaft that retails at well over 200
  • The one represented by the red column retails at less than half that (about 85-90)


but in terms of ball flight and feel, they will be virtually indistinguishable

How a shaft performs & feels has EVERYTHING to do with matching its weight, overall flex, bend profile & torque to YOUR strength, clubhead speed, transition, swing tempo & release point; it has absolutely NOTHING to do with brand names, Tour usage or cost ...

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