Wishon: The practical facts about spin and shaft design

zakkozuchowskizakkozuchowski GolfWRX EditorMembers Posts: 1,162 ✭✭
edited Jan 14, 2013 in WRX Club Techs #1
The practical facts about spin and shaft design

By Tom Wishon

GolfWRX Contributor



It is a great education as a clubhead and shaft designer to scan through GolfWRX forum posts to listen to what golfers think about their equipment. One of the areas that seems to have developed momentum on GolfWRX is how many golfers react to a backspin measurement on a launch monitor. They try to find a shaft that can enable them to get their spin number lower without first taking the time to determine if they do in fact have a spin problem.



Here are the facts I've learned about driver spin in my career, in which I've spent countless hours designing clubheads, shafts and fitting golfers.
  • Spin outputs from some launch monitors can be inaccurate and inconsistent


Only the TrackMan and FlightScope launch monitors have the ability to read the amount of backspin on a shot with reasonable accuracy. Other launch monitors use various means of pickup (camera, ultrasonic, laser, etc) which simply cannot record spin with a reasonable level of accuracy ore repeatability. Some just simply calculate the spin from the golfer’s ball speed!



Accurate backspin measurement on a golf shot is a highly complex operation. The output for spin is in revolutions per MINUTE. Yet a launch monitor has only a fraction of a second in which to measure how much the ball is spinning upon leaving the clubface. This means with every launch monitor, a math calculation has to be incorporated with the amount of spin “seen” in a fraction of a second to come up with the RPM measurement.



During the time the other launch monitors actually “see” the ball spin, the ball does not even complete one full revolution. Therefore, the spin recognition means has to very accurately measure how much the ball actually rotated during the time it was being “seen.” If the device misses the amount of revolution by say, 10 degrees out of a full 360 degree rotation, by the time the math calculation is done to output an rpm measurement, the final spin measurement can be way off.



TrackMan and Flight Scope use phase array pulsing Doppler radar to measure spin. Both units shoot a radar beam at the ball from behind, and thus are able to pick up data from the ball’s movement for several feet after impact. This is in comparison to a camera based system which only sees the ball over a couple of inches after takeoff, and explains why the TrackMan and FlightScope launch monitors are more accurate in their spin measurement.
  • Most golfers hit range balls on a launch monitors, not premium balls


When is the last time you hit premium quality golf balls on a launch monitor? The majority of operations use range balls with their launch monitor analysis.



Most range balls are one-piece and rarely have similar spin characteristics to the premium balls that golfers typically use when they play. Range balls also suffer more wear from getting hit a lot more times than premium balls. Add it all up and it is nearly impossible for a golfer to try to make valid conclusions about their spin measurements when hitting worn range balls on launch monitors that do not have the ability to accurately measure backspin.



There most definitely is a difference in spin between different models of premium golf balls. To get the most accurate and valid spin measurement for each golfer’s game, it only makes sense to use the ball you typically play and do it with either a TrackMan or Flight Scope launch monitor.
  • The best way to determine if you have a spin problem is to observe the flight of the ball, not by reading the spin output from a launch monitor


Just because a tour player’s driver spin is in the low 2000-rpm range does not mean that if yours isn’t, you have a spin problem that is harming your game. The optimum amount of spin for each golfer differs depending on clubhead speed and angle of attack. The slower the clubhead speed, the more spin is needed to generate enough lift under the ball to help keep it in the air to carry farther. Likewise, the higher the clubhead speed and ball speed, the less spin is needed to generate enough lift under the ball to help keep it in the air to carry farther.



The following are data charts from TrackMan that show their findings for what are the optimum driver launch parameters are for different combinations of clubhead speed and angle of attack. From TrackMan’s research, it is easy to see that spin has to increase as clubhead speed slows and the angle of attack is more downward. Charts are offered for optimum CARRY distance as well as for optimum TOTAL DISTANCE as per the conditions of the fairways and their conduciveness to more or less roll of the ball after landing.



TrackMan-Page-1-600x483.png TrackMan-Page-2-600x475.png

3-600x470.png

4-600x468.png




Whether a golfer has too much backspin for his clubhead speed and angle of attack depends on the ball flight shape as the ball flies through the air. More serious, higher ball speed golfers need to learn how to visually identify what a shot hit with too much spin looks like rather than to make conclusions based only on a launch monitor measurement.



For shots hit with too much spin, the ball typically curves rapidly upward to a higher apex in flight, after which the ball seems to hang for a little moment at the peak of its apex and then fall more steeply to the ground. From a side view, an exaggerated graphic of the flight shape of the excessive spin shot looks somewhat like this:



Screen-Shot-2013-01-11-at-11.09.44-AM.png



A more preferred driver ball flight shape would look more like this:



Screen-Shot-2013-01-11-at-11.09.56-AM-600x184.png



There is nothing wrong with hitting the driver high, as long as the angle of descent of the ball to the ground is less than 40 degrees.



Screen-Shot-2013-01-11-at-11.09.56-AM-1-600x237.png



TrackMan and FlightScope have features that allow you to see the flight shape of every shot. Because they pulse the ball continually in flight from takeoff to landing and roll, its graphic rendition of the shot is accurate. This too can be a valid way to determine if your ball flight shape indicates that you hit the ball with too much spin for your clubhead speed and angle of attack.



Bottom Line: Learn to watch the flight of your shots and make conclusions about spin results from what you see before you make conclusions from what the launch monitor outputs for a spin number.
  • The vast majority of excessive spin situations are caused by swing errors far more than from playing the wrong equipment, and are more often cured by changes in swing technique more effectively than from changes in equipment.


What causes the excessive spin shot? From our research and fitting observations, the two most predominant swing errors that result in excessive spin are:
  • A downward angle of attack into the ball with the driver which requires the golfer to use more loft to achieve their optimum launch angle, which in turn increases spin.
  • A breakdown of the wrist of the upper hand on the grip coming into impact which allows the clubhead to pass in front of the hands before impact, thus greatly increasing the dynamic loft of the clubhead and increasing spin and launch angle along with it.


The equipment change that can more effectively and more dramatically reduce higher spin caused by either one of these swing errors is a lower the loft on the clubhead. However, in the first case of the downward angle of attack, lower loft, is not really a good solution because it lowers the launch angle as well. Of the two, launch angle and spin, it is FAR better to achieve the right launch angle for the golfer’s clubhead speed and angle of attack than it is to lower the spin.



In the second case of the clubhead passing the hands to cause the high flight, high spin shot, lower loft certainly helps reduce the problem. However, it is also true that you can only lower loft so much. Rarely will you find a 6-degree or 5-degree loft driver. At the end of the day, a golfer is much better off making the effort to get rid of the higher spin/higher launch by taking lessons to improve his angle of attack or his hand-to-clubhead position at impact.
  • What is a low launch/low spin or high launch/high spin shaft?


Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time I have read, heard or been asked this question, I could pay for a really nice golf vacation! If you want to know the REAL ANSWER to this question, here it is:






Any shaft that is stiffer overall or is more tip stiff than what you currently play is a lower launch shaft, while any shaft that is more flexible or more tip flexible than what you play is a higher launch shaft. In short, because the golf swing controls everything with regard to the performance of a shaft, what is a lower launch/spin shaft to one golfer can be a higher launch/spin to another golfer and vice versa.




As I have written many times, a shaft ONLY acts to change launch angle and spin for golfers who have a late unhinging of the wrist **** angle during the downswing. So the higher your clubhead speed and the later you release the club, the more you can force the shaft to be flexed forward at impact, which in turn increases the dynamic loft of the clubhead to increase launch angle and spin.



So the stiffer the shaft and/or more tip stiff the shaft in relation to your clubhead speed and point of release, the less the shaft bends forward at impact and the more that shaft becomes a lower launch and lower spin shaft. Conversely, the more flexible and/or more tip flexible the shaft is in relation to your clubhead speed and point of release, the more the shaft can bend forward at impact to generate a little higher launch/higher spin shot.



I’m sorry to tell you this, but the ONLY way you will ever know if a shaft is going to be a lower or higher launch/spin shaft than what you play is to see and compare the full stiffness measurements of the shafts using something like my company’s TWGT Shaft Bend Profile Software. Many of you have seen graph and data chart images from this program that I have posted on WRX to explain the stiffness and performance and feel differences between shafts.



Below is an example graph and data chart from the TWGT Bend Profile Software. The following chart shows shafts for a golfer with a 100 mph driver clubhead speed who has an average transition/tempo force and a late release. The shafts are listed from top to bottom in the chart for highest to lowest launch/lowest spin characteristics so that you can see how the tip stiffness of the shafts becomes the key element for offering a progressive lowering of the launch and spin for the same driver head.



Screen-Shot-2013-01-11-at-11.20.14-AM-600x403.png



In the above bend profile graph, the stiffness of all seven shafts in the butt-to-center areas is close enough that all seven could be rated for a golfer with a 100 to 105 mph driver clubhead speed with an average transition force and average tempo.



The measurements for the 21/16/11 are the tip section stiffness measurements. From top to bottom, you’ll see the tip stiffness become progressively stiffer and stiffer. Thus, among these shafts, for a golfer with a 100 to 105 mph driver clubhead speed with an average transition and tempo force, the UST HTD CB85-R will hit the ball the highest with the greatest spin. Then for each shaft that follows, this same example golfer would see a very gradual lowering of the launch angle and spin due to the increase in tip stiffness, while the butt-to-center stiffness remains the same for each shaft.

Now let’s say the 100 to 105 mph golfer with an average transition force and late release was using a Kusala Indigo 61-X, and he complained of hitting the ball with too much spin and wanted a recommendation for a low spin shaft to reduce his spin. Among these shafts, the only one that could even qualify is the Vista Tour 60-X because its tip section is stiffer. However, based on these tip stiffness measurements, the Vista Tour 60-X is only a little more tip stiff than the Kusala Indigo 61-X. The golfer using the Kusala Indigo 61-X probably would not see much of a change in launch or spin because the Kusala is already a very tip stiff shaft.



In reality, if a golfer using such a tip stiff shaft as the Kusala Indigo 61-X complains of too much spin, you could probably bet the farm that if he does in fact have a spin problem, it is because of a swing error and not an equipment deficiency.



Hard data like the above graph and measurement chart is how spin characteristics of shafts have to be analyzed. Anything else is a pure guessing game.
  • Is there such a thing as a high launch/low spin or low launch/high spin shaft?


To make this easy, the answer is without question is NO, it is impossible to make such a shaft because of the different ways different golf swings cause the shaft to bend. No, nada, nil, cannot be done. Period.



The later the unhinging of the wrist **** angle and the higher the clubhead speed, the more the shaft can arrive at impact flexed forward. The more the shaft flexes forward, the more the dynamic loft of the clubhead is increased. The more the dynamic loft of the head is increased, the higher the launch angle AND the higher the spin will be for the shot.



Since it is the forward bending of the shaft that influences the dynamic loft at impact, and since dynamic loft at impact controls BOTH launch angle and spin in the same way, it is impossible to create a shaft that is either high launch/low spin or low launch/high spin.



Conclusion and Key Points
  • Be more concerned about finding the driver and shaft combination that achieves your absolutely optimum launch angle and ball speed before you worry about spin. Stop obsessing about the spin number coming from the launch monitor. Please take the time to carefully analyze the ball flight shape of your shots before you make any conclusions about whether you have a “too much spin” problem.
  • You never want to choose a shaft with a stiffness and/or tip stiffness design that either feels too stiff or too flexible for your individual preference for the bending feel of the shaft.
  • The No. 1 way to change the amount of spin and trajectory on a shot is to change the loft of the clubhead. No. 2 is to change the ball design. No. 3 is to change the shaft’s stiffness and/or tip stiffness design, but remember; a shaft that affect a change on spin only works for players with a later and later release.
  • If you truly do have a “too much spin” problem as proven by a valid, accurate observation of the flight of the ball, first check to see if you have a downward angle of attack or if you are allowing the clubhead to pass the hands before impact. If you do either one of these things in your swing, take lessons and practice hard to change these swing errors -- do not buy a new club or shaft.


If you cannot overcome the swing error causing your too much spin problem, find a lower loft to help you reduce spin. If you cannot overcome the swing error causing your too much spin problem and the shaft you have fits your swing speed, transition/tempo force, point of release and preference for feel, don’t go shaft hunting to try to lower the spin on your shots. It will either have little to no effect you'll like end up with a shaft that feels and plays too stiff.
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Comments

  • golf_junkie27golf_junkie27 Members Posts: 573
    Zak,



    This is such a great thread. Thank you for posting this. A few questions for you. When you're fitting someone, do you stick primarily to those shafts that appear on the TWGT Bend Profile Software? Do you often get resistance to this information with someone claiming that another shaft is better? Lastly, can you intertwine the Trackman speed data with the Bend Profile Software to make a shaft recommendation? (For example, someone calls you and reads you their trackman data and you then make a shaft recommendation)
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  • JasonFLJasonFL Under My Left Foot Members Posts: 1,044
    Great article!



    I get confused on tip stiffness and torque. And whether they're independent measurements of each other? Lets say a shaft has 2 degrees of torque. Does that always equate to a stiffer tip?



    However from this article i see that my 9 degrees of launch isn't such a bad thing.
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  • cocococo Members Posts: 538
    Great information! Thanks for posting.
  • rgk5rgk5 rgk5(OLB) Members Posts: 3,584 ✭✭
    A wonderful article. I've been preaching similar stuff to my customers, albeit with far less technical knowledge, for years. I find that 40% of the people I deal with, particularly young men, are spin obsessed with many needing higher spin to achieve an acceptable ball flight.
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  • LONG&STR8 LONG&STR8 Members Posts: 2,282
    Great piece of information! First time I was fitted I went from and average of 240 yards (high loft, high launch/spin shaft) to 280 yards (lower loft and a diamana WB). I've noticed that most shaft companies are no longer advertising their shafts as high launch with low spin as many are finding out there is no such thing.
  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭


    Zak,



    This is such a great thread. Thank you for posting this. A few questions for you. When you're fitting someone, do you stick primarily to those shafts that appear on the TWGT Bend Profile Software? Do you often get resistance to this information with someone claiming that another shaft is better? Lastly, can you intertwine the Trackman speed data with the Bend Profile Software to make a shaft recommendation? (For example, someone calls you and reads you their trackman data and you then make a shaft recommendation)




    I wrote the article so I will be happy to answer your questions. Zak left me out when he posted my article!! LOL !



    If someone is asking us for a really specific question about whether this shaft is stiffer than that shaft and by how much - or is this shaft more tip stiff than that shaft and by how much, then yes, there is no other way to really know that other than to have specific stiffness measurements over the full length of the shaft such as what is in the TWGT Bend Profile software. At present we have over 2100 different shafts in the software's data base. I expect to add on another 500-600 in the 2013 update. Now even at what will be 2600 + shafts in there, we still do not have every shaft a golfer might ask about. But we do the best we can.



    There are a handful of the shaft makers who are starting to offer limited shaft stiffness measurements for their shafts. But they only do this for their shafts so there is no way to use their own butt, center and tip stiffness measurements to compare to some other company's shafts. But if you stay within these companies' shafts, you can know what is more or less stiff and by how much.



    The word "better" does not exist when it comes to shafts. There is no such thing as one shaft being "better" than another shaft. There is only the matter of whether this shaft best fits the swing characteristics of one golfer vs another. What is a good shaft fit to one golfer's swing characteristics can often be a poor shaft fit for another golfer. But seriously - there is no such thing as a good shaft or a bad shaft. There are only shafts which are properly fit to their owner or not fit properly to their owner.



    If you read any of the other articles I have written for WRX in that 3 part series on shafts, you can learn exactly what are the specific swing characteristics that determine what shaft is right for what golfer.



    Clubhead speed is only one bit of information to start the shaft flex/bend profile fitting process. On its own you cannot accurately fit a golfer for a shaft. You have to also have analysis of the golfer's downswing transition force, his downswing acceleration/aggressiveness, his point of unhinging the wrist-c o c k angle on the downswing, and his preferences for bending feel of the shaft. Give us all these things for a golfer and then we can nail down the right shaft for him and his swing and preference for bending feel. Give us only the clubhead speed and it's a guess.



    TOM
  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    edited Jan 11, 2013 #8
    JasonFL wrote:


    I get confused on tip stiffness and torque. And whether they're independent measurements of each other? Lets say a shaft has 2 degrees of torque. Does that always equate to a stiffer tip?



    However from this article i see that my 9 degrees of launch isn't such a bad thing.




    Torque and tip stiffness are two totally different characteristics in a shaft. Tip stiffness is the resistance to longitudinal bending at the small end of the shaft. Torque is the resistance to rotational twisting on the shaft.



    It is true that tip stiffness and torque both contribute to the stiffness FEEL of a shaft at impact. But the tip stiffness affects the forward bending of the shaft to have an effect on launch angle and spin while torque does not really have much of any effect on the forward bending, launch angle and spin rate.



    If a golfer hits a low torque shaft and swears that he is hitting the ball lower with more spin, then 99 times out of 100 if a specific tip stiffness measurement were done on both shafts, the one with the lower torque probably also has a stiffer tip. Torque is a property that affects the stiffness FEEL of the shaft and which also can affect the dispersion of the shot by limiting how much the head may twist as the golfer swings the club down to the ball. Torque is not a factor for launch angle or spin on its own.



    TOM
  • Vintage1976Vintage1976 I think something was lost in transition Members Posts: 2,682 ✭✭
    Hi Tom,



    I have a question regarding the Bimatrix shafts with an 8-10" long steel tip section and otherwise graphite body. If comapred by the same golfer, can this design in any real or practical way lower spin rates while maintaining launch angle relative to an othwise similar flex profile graphite shaft?
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  • JasonFLJasonFL Under My Left Foot Members Posts: 1,044
    TomWishon wrote:

    JasonFL wrote:


    I get confused on tip stiffness and torque. And whether they're independent measurements of each other? Lets say a shaft has 2 degrees of torque. Does that always equate to a stiffer tip?



    However from this article i see that my 9 degrees of launch isn't such a bad thing.




    Torque and tip stiffness are two totally different characteristics in a shaft. Tip stiffness is the resistance to longitudinal bending at the small end of the shaft. Torque is the resistance to rotational twisting on the shaft.



    It is true that tip stiffness and torque both contribute to the stiffness FEEL of a shaft at impact. But the tip stiffness affects the forward bending of the shaft to have an effect on launch angle and spin while torque does not really have much of any effect on the forward bending, launch angle and spin rate.



    If a golfer hits a low torque shaft and swears that he is hitting the ball lower with more spin, then 99 times out of 100 if a specific tip stiffness measurement were done on both shafts, the one with the lower torque probably also has a stiffer tip. Torque is a property that affects the stiffness FEEL of the shaft and which also can affect the dispersion of the shot by limiting how much the head may twist as the golfer swings the club down to the ball. Torque is not a factor for launch angle or spin on its own.



    TOM




    Thanks!



    So last torque question.



    Assuming a player knows what torque level on a specific shaft will affect his shot dispertion and not to go below that. At that point or above... torque for that player is a feel measurement?
    Doubt ruins more dreams than failure
    ever will - someone on the internet
  • mortimermortimer Members Posts: 320 ✭✭
    Thanks Tom for this great post.



    Considerinf that you found the right specs for your shaft in terms of launch angle, ball speed, spin, etc., what should you look for regarding torque?
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  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭


    Hi Tom,



    I have a question regarding the Bimatrix shafts with an 8-10" long steel tip section and otherwise graphite body. If comapred by the same golfer, can this design in any real or practical way lower spin rates while maintaining launch angle relative to an othwise similar flex profile graphite shaft?




    When it comes to how much a shaft can bend forward at impact for a late release player, it does not matter one iota what the shaft is made from or its construction. What matters is how stiff or flexible it is over its entire length all the way to the tip section of the shaft versus what is the golfer's clubhead speed + transition force + downswing acceleration/aggressiveness + how late their release. Those are the swing characteristics which determine how much the golfer will bend the shaft and whether the shaft arrives at impact in a forward bend position to this have an effect on launch angle, traj and spin.



    I know it seems logical to assume that since the tip section of that shaft is steel while the rest is graphite, that steel tip should make it stiffer than if the shaft were all graphite from butt to tip. But that steel tip could be real stiff, sort of stiff or fairly flexible depending how it is designed for diameter and wall thickness and material strength.



    Here is a bend profile graph and stiffness data chart of all three of the Bi Matrix shafts we have in our data base, comparing the bend profile of each of the S flexes in the three models:



  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    JasonFL wrote:




    So last torque question.



    Assuming a player knows what torque level on a specific shaft will affect his shot dispertion and not to go below that. At that point or above... torque for that player is a feel measurement?




    Shaft stiffness FEEL is quite interesting when it comes to shaft fitting. You can have two players of exactly the same clubhead speed and swing characteristics, put them into the same exact shaft, and one of them may think the shaft feels more stiff or more flexible than the other. And of course the things that affect the stiffness feel of a shaft are the shaft's overall stiffness design, its tip stiffness design and the torque.



    Let's say we fit a golfer into a shaft that on paper, is a good fit for his combination of clubhead speed, downswing force characteristics and release. But because of his specific preferences for shaft bending feel, he says this shaft does not feel stiff enough. Now let's say there is another shaft of exactly the same stiffness and weight design but it has a lower torque. Would that shaft now feel stiffer than the previous one he was fit to? Probably, but how much would depend on how low the torque of the first shaft was to begin with and how much lower the torque in the second shaft was. Usually though, if a golfer has a fairly refined sense of stiffness feel for the shaft, a drop of 1 deg of torque WITH EVERYTHING ELSE BEING THE SAME should be detected as an increase in the stiffness feel of the shaft for this golfer.



    However, MANY golfers do not really have much of a sense of stiffness feel for the shaft. When they get a shaft that is too stiff for their swing, at the most they may feel that an on center hit just did not feel as solid as they thought it should. For THIS type of player, dropping the torque by a degree, even more, probably won't make that much of a change in stiffness feel. So it is different for different players depending on their perception sensitivity for the stiffness feel of the shaft.



    Hope that helps a little, it's just that when you talk shaft FEEL, it gets a little muddy because it is so much of a qualitative situation that varies from golfer to golfer.



    TOM
  • tmfool tmfool Members Posts: 1,828 ✭✭
    Great stuff here...



    seems like the "high launch, low spin" phrase has turned into a fitting cliche - sound good without a lot of comprehension.



    biggest thing i took out of OP is - Angle of descent needs to be less than 40%



    how many "clubfitters" -- or launch monitors -- measure that?



    - or bother to explain that to consumer?
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  • ryborybo Members Posts: 2,230 ✭✭
    Hey Zak and Tom,



    How about some input from other shaft manufacturers and/or sources? It would be wonderful to hear what they have to say on the subject. With all due respect to Tom he has essentially called out the entire industry in his last 5 articles, surely these same people must have some things to say.
  • JasonFLJasonFL Under My Left Foot Members Posts: 1,044
    TomWishon wrote:

    JasonFL wrote:




    So last torque question.



    Assuming a player knows what torque level on a specific shaft will affect his shot dispertion and not to go below that. At that point or above... torque for that player is a feel measurement?




    Shaft stiffness FEEL is quite interesting when it comes to shaft fitting. You can have two players of exactly the same clubhead speed and swing characteristics, put them into the same exact shaft, and one of them may think the shaft feels more stiff or more flexible than the other. And of course the things that affect the stiffness feel of a shaft are the shaft's overall stiffness design, its tip stiffness design and the torque.



    Let's say we fit a golfer into a shaft that on paper, is a good fit for his combination of clubhead speed, downswing force characteristics and release. But because of his specific preferences for shaft bending feel, he says this shaft does not feel stiff enough. Now let's say there is another shaft of exactly the same stiffness and weight design but it has a lower torque. Would that shaft now feel stiffer than the previous one he was fit to? Probably, but how much would depend on how low the torque of the first shaft was to begin with and how much lower the torque in the second shaft was. Usually though, if a golfer has a fairly refined sense of stiffness feel for the shaft, a drop of 1 deg of torque WITH EVERYTHING ELSE BEING THE SAME should be detected as an increase in the stiffness feel of the shaft for this golfer.



    However, MANY golfers do not really have much of a sense of stiffness feel for the shaft. When they get a shaft that is too stiff for their swing, at the most they may feel that an on center hit just did not feel as solid as they thought it should. For THIS type of player, dropping the torque by a degree, even more, probably won't make that much of a change in stiffness feel. So it is different for different players depending on their perception sensitivity for the stiffness feel of the shaft.



    Hope that helps a little, it's just that when you talk shaft FEEL, it gets a little muddy because it is so much of a qualitative situation that varies from golfer to golfer.



    TOM


    Thanks Tom!



    That clears it up quite a bit.



    Is it to big of an assumption that to error on the side of low torque is better than to error on the side of a higher numbered torque shaft?
    Doubt ruins more dreams than failure
    ever will - someone on the internet
  • Vintage1976Vintage1976 I think something was lost in transition Members Posts: 2,682 ✭✭
    edited Jan 12, 2013 #17
    TomWishon wrote:



    Hi Tom,



    I have a question regarding the Bimatrix shafts with an 8-10" long steel tip section and otherwise graphite body. If comapred by the same golfer, can this design in any real or practical way lower spin rates while maintaining launch angle relative to an othwise similar flex profile graphite shaft?




    When it comes to how much a shaft can bend forward at impact for a late release player, it does not matter one iota what the shaft is made from or its construction. What matters is how stiff or flexible it is over its entire length all the way to the tip section of the shaft versus what is the golfer's clubhead speed + transition force + downswing acceleration/aggressiveness + how late their release. Those are the swing characteristics which determine how much the golfer will bend the shaft and whether the shaft arrives at impact in a forward bend position to this have an effect on launch angle, traj and spin.



    I know it seems logical to assume that since the tip section of that shaft is steel while the rest is graphite, that steel tip should make it stiffer than if the shaft were all graphite from butt to tip. But that steel tip could be real stiff, sort of stiff or fairly flexible depending how it is designed for diameter and wall thickness and material strength.



    Here is a bend profile graph and stiffness data chart of all three of the Bi Matrix shafts we have in our data base, comparing the bend profile of each of the S flexes in the three models:







    Thanks Tom. I probably shouldn't be surprised by this info, but I honestly am. Why in the world would a manufacturer sell a concept like this and then for some reason just not produce the product. It couldn't possibly be more expensive to actually make the tip stiffer and have something possibly unique enough to make a difference. It makes no sense to me.
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  • TMBobTMBob Members Posts: 5,373 ✭✭
    Great info, but I have to ask..



    On the SS of 100 mph, why is the 0 AOA and the +5 AOA come out to the same yardage..272, when all of the SS show marked improvement in distance with the +5 AOA?



    It shows a higher launch, less spin then the 0 AOA, but same distance....misprint?
  • JasonFLJasonFL Under My Left Foot Members Posts: 1,044

    TomWishon wrote:



    Hi Tom,



    I have a question regarding the Bimatrix shafts with an 8-10" long steel tip section and otherwise graphite body. If comapred by the same golfer, can this design in any real or practical way lower spin rates while maintaining launch angle relative to an othwise similar flex profile graphite shaft?




    When it comes to how much a shaft can bend forward at impact for a late release player, it does not matter one iota what the shaft is made from or its construction. What matters is how stiff or flexible it is over its entire length all the way to the tip section of the shaft versus what is the golfer's clubhead speed + transition force + downswing acceleration/aggressiveness + how late their release. Those are the swing characteristics which determine how much the golfer will bend the shaft and whether the shaft arrives at impact in a forward bend position to this have an effect on launch angle, traj and spin.



    I know it seems logical to assume that since the tip section of that shaft is steel while the rest is graphite, that steel tip should make it stiffer than if the shaft were all graphite from butt to tip. But that steel tip could be real stiff, sort of stiff or fairly flexible depending how it is designed for diameter and wall thickness and material strength.



    Here is a bend profile graph and stiffness data chart of all three of the Bi Matrix shafts we have in our data base, comparing the bend profile of each of the S flexes in the three models:







    Thanks Tom. I probably shouldn't be surprised by this info, but I honestly am. Why in the world would a manufacturer sell a concept like this and then for some reason just not produce the product. It couldn't possibly be more expensive to actually make the tip stiffer and have something possibly unique enough to make a difference. It makes no sense to me.


    I believe bimatrix shafts are sold as high launch low torque (2 degree) shafts. Generally high launch means a weaker tip (all things being equal).



    At least last time I looked at their sight it said high launch.



    If they wanted a crazy stiff metal tip they should look into texalium. Fiberglass crossed weaved with aluminum. Could run in to tolerance issues though.



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    ever will - someone on the internet
  • ParChaserParChaser Members Posts: 47
    Tom,



    Thanks for more great information that helps me make sense of my past good and bad fitting experiences. Most recent was a ballooning driver fitted on a Vector launch monitor. I appreciate your willingness to share your expertise.



    I am currently working with a local young club-maker to fine tune my clubs. He uses a Foresite GC2 launch monitor. Can you comment on it's accuracy measuring spin? I practice indoors on this monitor in the cold winter months and it seems quite accurate with distances. Since we are looking at tuning spin, I am now a little concerned that the spin numbers are inaccurate. I understand from your article that I need to focus on the launch more than the spin.



    Also if your driver swing speed averages around 104, average transition with slightly aggressive downswing and late release are the shafts in the Bend Profile data chart applicable or would it be a different list altogether? Is there a way to work long distance on this with one of you fitters?



    Thanks again!
  • mmack067mmack067 Members Posts: 706 ✭✭
    Fantastic article, Tom. This should be a must read for everyone on wrx.



    I feel like I've seen an ever increasing number of posts and BST ads with those hot words "low spin bomber" and people complaining of spin. It struck me as odd when there were THAT many people complaining of this. Almost as if it had become an epidemic. I agree with your assessment that if your launch/spin characteristics are wonky, then chances are, it's a swing fault. This is especially true for some who claim to have tried all kinds of different combinations and could not get it into the optimal range.



    I'd love to see comparisons of some of the top manufacturers best selling shafts. Possibly top selling low, mid and high launch shafts broken down by flex and weight. Might give people a better starting point when looking to optimize their flight.
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  • Vintage1976Vintage1976 I think something was lost in transition Members Posts: 2,682 ✭✭
    JasonFL wrote:




    I believe bimatrix shafts are sold as high launch low torque (2 degree) shafts. Generally high launch means a weaker tip (all things being equal).



    At least last time I looked at their sight it said high launch.



    If they wanted a crazy stiff metal tip they should look into texalium. Fiberglass crossed weaved with aluminum. Could run in to tolerance issues though.




    Well it's certainly possible that I'm the only one making the leap between steel tip and lower spin. From what Tom says, it probably wouldn't make any difference though. It might as well be graphite anyway.



    For the record, I do like how they feel. So IMO anyway, the tip does seem to tighten up the feel.
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  • easyyyeasyyy Founder & Still a Ho DetroitRules Official, Administrator Posts: 12,293 admin
    Tom,



    Great article. I always look forward to your frontpage articles and when I see them come by I plow out some time to get my thinking cap on for the challenge.



    I understand what your saying and I agree with a lot of it. When I was a beginning golfer I sliced the ball and that swing creates a ton of spin. Over the top and descending angle of attack. The fitters used to put me in a stiffer shaft actually to attempt to lower the spin.



    Now I am a better golfer and swing up on the ball according to the launch monitors.



    I have a question however. Why cant Trackman and Flightscope give you the same outputs as your software? Cant I go into a fitter that is using one of these launch monitors and dial in the best of the bunch?



    Lastly... You said there is no such shaft that is "high launch and low spin." Your not alone in you opinion. If you look at the chart that Titleist has used for years to demonstrate visually there shafts in their custom fitting and see the same thing...



    See the chart? No high launch shafts that are low spin on there...



  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    JasonFL wrote:




    Is it to big of an assumption that to error on the side of low torque is better than to error on the side of a higher numbered torque shaft?




    yes, that is a good idea - always work hard to get the shaft's weight, overall stiffness and bend profile all matched well to your clubhead speed + transition force + downswing acceleration/aggressiveness + point of release + strength + any preference for bending feel and then once you do that, among all the shafts that match these factors, then choose the one that has the lowest torque.



    TOM
  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    TMBob wrote:


    Great info, but I have to ask..



    On the SS of 100 mph, why is the 0 AOA and the +5 AOA come out to the same yardage..272, when all of the SS show marked improvement in distance with the +5 AOA?



    It shows a higher launch, less spin then the 0 AOA, but same distance....misprint?




    In looking at ALL of the data entries on TM's charts, this is the only one that shows no distance increase for the upward angle of attack at the same clubhead speed. Therefore I would bet the farm this is a typo and that the distance should be greater for the +5 A of A as seen with every other one.



    TOM
  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    mmack067 wrote:




    I'd love to see comparisons of some of the top manufacturers best selling shafts. Possibly top selling low, mid and high launch shafts broken down by flex and weight. Might give people a better starting point when looking to optimize their flight.




    This is exactly one of the many things that everyone who has bought our Shaft Bend Profile software uses it for. BTW, that's the software that generates the graphs and stiffness data charts like the one I showed in this article. At present we have about 2100 different shafts in there. After this winter that should be up to around 2600. We can't have EVERY possible shaft in the industry in there because that's just far too difficult to do, but we usually always have the majority of the industry's more popular shafts in there so clubmakers and golfers can access their data to be able to make better fitting decisions and know much more about how this shaft compares to that shaft. BTW, that software is not restricted to being bought only by clubmakers - several WRX'ers have it now.



    TOM
  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    ParChaser wrote:




    I am currently working with a local young club-maker to fine tune my clubs. He uses a Foresite GC2 launch monitor. Can you comment on it's accuracy measuring spin? I practice indoors on this monitor in the cold winter months and it seems quite accurate with distances. Since we are looking at tuning spin, I am now a little concerned that the spin numbers are inaccurate. I understand from your article that I need to focus on the launch more than the spin.



    Also if your driver swing speed averages around 104, average transition with slightly aggressive downswing and late release are the shafts in the Bend Profile data chart applicable or would it be a different list altogether? Is there a way to work long distance on this with one of you fitters?






    We had a short opportunity last summer to test one of the Foresite launch monitors. However we did not have more than a couple of hours to do so. For a unit that does not use the phase array Doppler Radar like TM and Flightscope, we felt that the Foresite was better than any of the other units. I'd say if someone wants a launch monitor and cannot afford the cost of the TM or FS, this Foresite would be my recommendation.



    Please understand that the few shafts I showed in that one bend profile software graph in this article are only a very small number of shafts all rated with a swing speed of 100-105. I just simply grabbed those shafts because they illustrated a very wide range in tip stiffness for shafts with the same swing speed rating. Off the top of my head, I would bet there are well more than 100-200 different shafts in the data base that have a swing speed rating of 100-105.



    TOM
  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    JasonFL wrote:




    I believe bimatrix shafts are sold as high launch low torque (2 degree) shafts. Generally high launch means a weaker tip (all things being equal).



    At least last time I looked at their sight it said high launch.



    If they wanted a crazy stiff metal tip they should look into texalium. Fiberglass crossed weaved with aluminum. Could run in to tolerance issues though.




    You're absolutely right. Using a steel tip is a very easy way to automatically lower the torque of the shaft since steel always has a low torque. It is possible for sure to make an all graphite shaft with as low or lower torque than this. TT just chose to do it this way. And if desired, TT could have used a thicker wall steel tube down there to stiffen up the tip section more than it is in these shafts that they ended up making.



    TOM
  • ryborybo Members Posts: 2,230 ✭✭
    Hi Tom,



    You are always a welcomed wealth of knowledge. You do provide a certain level of sanity to a sometimes insane amount marketing BS that permeates the golf industry as a whole.



    With that said here is what I propose, how about a GolfWRX fitting for a small group of WRX'ers by the guru himself? This way we could get a first hand, well GolfWRX first hand experience of a true custom fitting experience, that we could share with the WRX community. These can be done much like the recent GolfWRX fittings that TaylorMade, Callaway and Cobra have done. Total bag fittings where custom fitting could be put on a pedestal!! I can not think of a better way to promote custom fitting!
  • TomWishonTomWishon Sponsors Posts: 3,653 ✭✭
    rybo wrote:


    Hi Tom,



    You are always a welcomed wealth of knowledge. You do provide a certain level of sanity to a sometimes insane amount marketing BS that permeates the golf industry as a whole.



    With that said here is what I propose, how about a GolfWRX fitting for a small group of WRX'ers by the guru himself? This way we could get a first hand, well GolfWRX first hand experience of a true custom fitting experience, that we could share with the WRX community. These can be done much like the recent GolfWRX fittings that TaylorMade, Callaway and Cobra have done. Total bag fittings where custom fitting could be put on a pedestal!! I can not think of a better way to promote custom fitting!




    Between April 1 and November 1, we do offer full, Nth degree custom fitting sessions at our R&D facility located at the Dalton Ranch GC just north of Durango, Colorado. We are happy to welcome anyone who wishes to travel to the beautiful mountains of Durango to be custom fit. We do get golfers now and then who do choose to make the trip here to be custom fit. Our airport is served by daily flights in from Denver, Phoenix and one a day from Dallas. So it's not all that tough to get here. Custom fitting sessions at our R&D facility can be reserved by calling us at 970-375-6692 and asking for an appointment.



    TOM
  • wonderbred2ndedwonderbred2nded Members Posts: 212 ✭✭
    TMBob wrote:


    Great info, but I have to ask..



    On the SS of 100 mph, why is the 0 AOA and the +5 AOA come out to the same yardage..272, when all of the SS show marked improvement in distance with the +5 AOA?



    It shows a higher launch, less spin then the 0 AOA, but same distance....misprint?




    You're looking at the Carry Optimizer, notice Carry distance goes up even though total distance is the same. Too many people don't put enough merit into Carry distance during driver fittings. Keep in mind the bounce and roll calculated on those charts is assuming a PGA Tour quality fairway/turf conditions, which most of us don't typically play.



    PETER
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