Hot Driver Shafts for 2010
If you are in the market for a new driver, why not experiment with one of these new shafts offerings as well, and add some horsepower to your drives?
This stable, low-torque super-light weight golf shaft is designed specifically to enhance performance of today’s new generation of stronger players and larger clubheads. The driver shafts utilize a new micro-thin Micro-Tex Carbon Fiber that allows more high-modulus fibers to be incorporated into specific fiber angles including the hoop wound (90°) surface layer which minimizes shaft distortion for superior stability. The Claymore is available in a variety of weights and flexes to benefit all golfers. $99
FUJIKURA MOTORE SPEEDER
The Motore Speeder features a 7 PLY cross axis design. The Fujikura 7 Axis technology (a special 3 axis design layered with a special 4 axis weave) minimizes energy loss and creates a shaft with little to no rounding during flex. The shaft produces minimal twisting for accuracy in addition to distance. The Motore Speeder is designed for low spin, high ball speeds and mid to high launch for maximum carry and run out. Available in 40, 50, 60, 70 and 80g weight ranges with various flexes and bend profiles. $300
TRUE TEMPER PROJECT X
Crafted with eight different premium composite materials, the all-new Project X shafts deliver superior cross-sectional stability and maintain the designed performance characteristics throughout the swing for consistent shot patterns. The shaft features a tip section reinforced by two additional wraps of carbon fiber, which minimize lag and reduce spin. The stiff butt, soft mid-section combine with the double reinforced tip section to maintain a strong angle of attack and greatly reduce spin, even in higher loft drivers. $350
RIP is Aldila’s new shaft technology that provides a lower torque, increased tip stability and better tip stiffness control providing the better player a stable shaft. This is built for stability, reduced spin rate and an optimal trajectory. RIP Technology completely changes the way a shaft is typically designed by transferring patterns and innovative materials throughout a patent-pending shaft design. $249
MITSUBISHI DIAMANA ‘ILIMA
For the player who desires an active bend profile, that delivers high launch, less spin and a penetrating ball flight. Diamana ‘ilima incorporates MDI Technology into a new shaft design. Diamana ‘ilima features an active, low torque tip section, with a stiff mid section and moderate butt-section. The result is a shaft that dynamically promotes energy transfer throughout the swing while delivering a high launch angle and penetrating ball flight with low spin. $400
The Fubuki features a Modulus Differential Technology (MDT), the technical component behind the shaft. MDT incorporates a revolutionary state of the art design consisting of high modulus material combined with specialized, responsive, pitch based fiber in and above the tip section. The shaft is classified as a mid to high kick point shaft with a somewhat generous Torque rating. MDT offers a significant reduction in golf shaft deformation and lag. This allows for consistent spin reduction along with a more repeatable dynamic launch angle.
The Devotion Series offers various shaft weights ranging from 43 grams to 84 grams. High quality graphite is utilized throughout shaft construction that creates firm butt, mid and tip sections and provides inherent stability throughout the shaft load sequence.
The design pattern remains consistent throughout the Devotion Series, while kick points and torques vary depending on the weight class.
Devotion 6,7,8 is Mid Launch. Low Spin, while the Devotion 4, 5 is High Launch. High Spin. $250
The Revenge Series was designed with a moderately softer tip and butt section while maintaining a stiffer mid-section. This stable, yet responsive shaft is best suited for the golfer with a smooth consistent swing and a softer shaft load. Complex design infuses High Modulus graphite material through all sections of the shaft construction ensuring a consistent, repeatable bend profile.
Mid to High Launch with Low-Mid Spin with a flatter angle of descent. $250
Making the Right Shaft Choice More Personal Than Ever
It’s not sexy, it’s shape straight and thin with no curves. But educated golfers know the shaft of a club is what makes their games sizzle.
While clubhead designs grab the headlines and writers wax poetic about their style and beauty, it is the shaft that powers our sticks. The material used to manufacture today’s shafts has become more consistent and higher quality. Better manufacturing capabilities have ensured tighter tolerances in shaft manufacturing for consistent symmetry.
It is not blowing smoke when we say that the shaft is the most crucial element of a golf club. The shaft transfers the energy produced by the golfer to the club and eventually to the ball. The overall goal is to produce a high performance golf shaft that optimizes an efficient release of energy without sacrificing control. The head has to be delivered to the ball to make it perform. Without the shaft, especially the correct shaft, the head cannot achieve its best performance. Players can now tweak their clubheads to match their swing characteristics, and “dialing in” the right shaft is crucial to a good golf game.
Players should match their “load profiles” to the appropriate flex to ensure good launch conditions, control and feedback. Because a particular shaft works in one head does not mean that it will respond the same way in a new head.
“It plays a very important and integral part in the performance of a golf club,” says Victor Afable, president of Oban Composites, “With today’s technology, we design shafts that will help you control the spin and trajectory of the golf ball,” says Afable. This helps us optimize the performance of the golf club.”
Offers Tim Gillis, vice president/sales and marketing for Miyazaki Shafts, “The shaft is very important. The golfer is the engine, the head is the gas pedal and the shaft is the transmission. I think it is the most important aspect other than the swing.”
Says Don Brown, product development manager for True Temper, “The shaft is critical for tuning the driver’s launch angle and spin rate for maximum performance. If the launch angle and spin rate are not dialed into the optimum conditions, even the hottest driver head in the world will not produce long drives.”
Perhaps on no other club is a shaft more vital to maximum performance than on the driver.
Says Brandon De La Cruz, marketing coordinator for Fujikura Composites America, “A properly fitted shaft will increase head speed, which in turn will increase ball speed. Accuracy is crucial for optimized performance in a driver, considering it will travel the furthest in the air. Through the fitting process, we select the shaft with the correct back spin, side spin, launch angle and ball speed. Once a player can achieve these ingredients their driver will naturally become more accurate and longer.”
Get fit! A PGA professional can make sure you receive maximum benefit from your purchase.
So, where are we headed with shaft design?
“We are now able to take shaft design to the next level and to boldly go where no shaft manufacturer has gone before,” opines de la Cruz. “Enso is our revolutionary golf fitting system using the latest motion capture technology. It works with all clubs, from drivers to putters. While golf club fitting has predominantly been based on ball flight information (what we call post-impact events), Enso elevates fitting to the next level by analyzing what happens before the ball is struck (what we call pre-impact events). Knowing the three dimensional kinematics of the golf club during the swing allows us to measure performance of the club in response to the golfer in ways never seen before. “
Comments Brown, “We are currently investigating new materials that allow us to maximize the shaft’s flexural and torsional properties at lower weights. By creating these “lean” shafts we can provide the player with more power without any loss of stability or control. We are creating prototypes with an advanced new material that actually allows us to increase stability at a reduced weight. The R&D department at Oban continues to work on cutting edge designs. All of our graphite shafts utilize some of the highest modulus materials in the industry. We are looking at new materials in combination with shaft designs that will help optimize performance.”
The shaft demonstrates that you don’t have to be beautiful to get the job done.
Tips on Choosing a Driver Shaft
- Get Fit. When getting fit it is imperative that a launch monitor be used to verify ball flight and launch conditions. This will give you empirical data on the performance of the shaft. Pay more attention to ball speed, spin rate and launch angle than clubhead speed on the launch monitor. Remember to test with your own golf balls before making a shaft purchase, as range balls are not what you play on the course.
- Shaft Flex. The shaft flex is the indication of how much swing force is necessary to make the shaft perform properly. Flexes range from light, regular, stiff and extra stiff. Players with slower swing speeds will likely be better served using light or regular flexes for extra distance, while better players prefer stiff or extra stiff for control and shaping ability. Most players are using a shaft that is too stiff for their swing.
- Shaft Weight. This is one of the most important aspects of a shaft to consider. Most golfers will get more benefit from lighter shafts, as they will be able to generate more power assuming on-center contact. Most golfers are not strong enough to swing a shaft in the high 70 or 80-gram range. Too heavy of a shaft will sacrifice feel and performance for most golfers.
- Shaft Bend (Kickpoint). The bend point, i.e. the spot on the shaft that bends when it is swung, determines the ball’s trajectory. A lower bend, or kickpoint as it is sometimes referred to as, will generate a higher ball flight, while a high bend point will create a low shot trajectory. If you are looking for something in between, go with a mid rating bend point for the best of both worlds. Don’t be overly concerned here, as the difference between high and low kickpoint is nominal to most golfers.
- Shaft Length. The longer the length the less accurate you will be with your driver. Most touring professionals use drivers 45 inches or under in length because they are able to make center contact, be more accurate and do not sacrifice distance.
- Experiment. With interchangeable shafts and heads on fitting carts, experiment everything you can get your hands on and work with a fitting professional to find the optimal shaft for your swing.