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Shaft fitting - will it make a difference?


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Hopefully I'm in the right spot here but I was checking out drivers yesterday at the local Golf Galaxy. I hit the SIM max (9 and 10.5 degree, Ventus blue and red), 410 and new 425 (not sure of shaft but they were stock). 

 

The guy working there was really impressed with my numbers and I had mentioned that I was coming from a TaylorMade RBZ 9 degree tour driver (stock shaft) that was from I think 2011 and I could hit those exact numbers. I ran out to my car and got my driver and was within one or two yards of all the clubs mentioned above. 

 

My question is, will getting fit with a proper shaft make any difference? I was really hoping that I would see a noticeable difference but I can't justify spending four to five hundred bucks for one or two extra yards.

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Actually dispersion and consistency is the most important aspect to monitor with respect to the influence of the shaft on the results.       The most important spec is weight.  A

"Perfect is the enemy of good" Are there any other clubs in your bag that need updating? 

I was just fitted and bought i500 irons in September which I noticed a huge difference in dispersion coming from the i10s. Also picked up all new Vokey wedges in July. I have the M2 3 and 5 wood, not

7 minutes ago, P1ngputts said:

Hopefully I'm in the right spot here but I was checking out drivers yesterday at the local Golf Galaxy. I hit the SIM max (9 and 10.5 degree, Ventus blue and red), 410 and new 425 (not sure of shaft but they were stock). 

 

The guy working there was really impressed with my numbers and I had mentioned that I was coming from a TaylorMade RBZ 9 degree tour driver (stock shaft) that was from I think 2011 and I could hit those exact numbers. I ran out to my car and got my driver and was within one or two yards of all the clubs mentioned above. 

 

My question is, will getting fit with a proper shaft make any difference? I was really hoping that I would see a noticeable difference but I can't justify spending four to five hundred bucks for one or two extra yards.

The only way to answer that question is to get fit for a shaft!

 

At the end of the day, the newer tech is now built to handle mishits better... You aren't likely to gain much on your best strikes, but hopefully it improves your bad strikes. I can't put a value on that for you... but if it significantly improves your dispersion, then you are improving your scoring potential.

 

On the shaft front, what's in the RBZ? I don't know the adapter history, but if it works in the SIM head, toss it in the SIM and see what your numbers look like. There are theoretical launch conditions that will maximize your distance. You might have a driver and shaft combination that fit you well (and you've adapted to) and thus a change won't immediately net any positive gains... Personally, I hate the PING stock shafts, so I would try it with something different just to see the numbers.

 

In terms of improving performance, there are a couple different ways shafts can help... Overall, I think the biggest thing is feel. If you like the feel of a shaft, you are going to hit it better. I believe the VENTUS is popular because it "feels" like a heavier shaft in a lighter weight... this can help add club head speed... I rarely get along with 60 gram shafts, but like the Ventus Blue. Other than that, you need to make sure the shaft is helping you hit the launch and spin numbers you want.... but I'd rather have an imperfect shaft that feels great than a perfect shaft that I don't like hitting. 

 

There is nothing wrong with old equipment if it works... If you don't think you are missing anything, then don't worry too much about it... If you want to try something new, hop on eBay and buy a new shaft for your driver.

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20 minutes ago, nvr3putt said:

"Perfect is the enemy of good"

Are there any other clubs in your bag that need updating? 

I was just fitted and bought i500 irons in September which I noticed a huge difference in dispersion coming from the i10s. Also picked up all new Vokey wedges in July. I have the M2 3 and 5 wood, not really looking to make a change there. As for the putter, still using the Ping Redood Zing but haven't wanted to make the switch yet to something newer.

 

Driver has been the only thing left in my bag that I've wanted to update in hopes of better performance and forgiveness.

 

I stopped playing golf for about 3 years (married life and kids) but I played a bunch in 2020 and joined a club this year now that my son will be 4 and has taken interest in golf which has helped me with making the excuse to play 🙂

 

 

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Finding the right shaft is not just about distance. Trajectory, spin, and dispersion are very important to find a better shaft. If you are a lot longer with a driver/shaft combo but shots are all over the planet then it really doesn't perform well. 

 

Most golfers tend to think just about shaft flex, but there are so many metrics (torque, kickpoint, flex, weight, characteristics of carbon layups) to shafts that make them perform and feel so different. Generally speaking, you can get shafts with similar numbers (torque, flex, weight, and kickpoints) and they will pretty much perform similarly, but you have to know what numbers work well your particular swing. On top of that, a shaft will perform very differently with different clubhead because of the weighting locations and performance characteristics of different clubheads. One of the great things nowadays, is that clubheads have a lot of adjustability to tweak to the shaft in terms of trajectory and shot shape, however if any of the shaft metrics are way out of parameters for the golfer,  it is difficult to tweak a driver head enough to get desired results. It is all about the combo (shaft/clubhead). 

 

Shaft fitting is absolutely worthwhile to know what shafts will perform the best with every individual's swing in terms of speed, tempo, strength, and swing mechanics. If you get those shaft numbers that work well, you can look for those numbers in the future. 

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12 minutes ago, tacklingdummy said:

Finding the right shaft is not just about distance. Trajectory, spin, and dispersion are very important to find a better shaft. If you are a lot longer with a driver/shaft combo but shots are all over the planet then it really doesn't perform well. 

 

Most golfers tend to think just about shaft flex, but there are so many metrics (torque, kickpoint, flex, weight, characteristics of carbon layups) to shafts that make them perform and feel so different. Generally speaking, you can get shafts with similar numbers (torque, flex, weight, and kickpoints) and they will pretty much perform similarly, but you have to know what numbers work well your particular swing. On top of that, a shaft will perform very differently with different clubhead because of the weighting locations and performance characteristics of different clubheads. One of the great things nowadays, is that clubheads have a lot of adjustability to tweak to the shaft in terms of trajectory and shot shape, however if any of the shaft metrics are way out of parameters for the golfer,  it is difficult to tweak a driver head enough to get desired results. It is all about the combo (shaft/clubhead). 

 

Shaft fitting is absolutely worthwhile to know what shafts will perform the best with every individual's swing in terms of speed, tempo, strength, and swing mechanics. If you get those shaft numbers that work well, you can look for those numbers in the future. 

Great insight, thank you! I have scheduled a fitting for the 26th. I'll report back to this post and let you know how it went. Thanks again!

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On 1/16/2021 at 12:30 PM, tacklingdummy said:

Finding the right shaft is not just about distance. Trajectory, spin, and dispersion are very important to find a better shaft. If you are a lot longer with a driver/shaft combo but shots are all over the planet then it really doesn't perform well. 

 

Actually dispersion and consistency is the most important aspect to monitor with respect to the influence of the shaft on the results.

 

 

On 1/16/2021 at 12:30 PM, tacklingdummy said:

Most golfers tend to think just about shaft flex, but there are so many metrics (torque, kickpoint, flex, weight, characteristics of carbon layups) to shafts that make them perform and feel so different. Generally speaking, you can get shafts with similar numbers (torque, flex, weight, and kickpoints) and they will pretty much perform similarly, but you have to know what numbers work well your particular swing. 

 

The most important spec is weight.  After that, the only thing that's really important is the longitudinal stiffness profile along the length of the shaft.  But that's not something that's published in enough detail by most of the shaft manufacturers to be really useful.   All the rest is just things people try to look at to make up the fact that they aren't getting the specs they really can use.  But it's really a waste of time.  There is no standard for flex so it's useless comparing different model shafts.  Torque plays an extremely minor part in the feel for most ams and almost no effect on the ball flight results for most.  "kick-point" is an antiquated method that never turned out to be useful or meaningful, it's never really measured by anyone any more and is just used by marketing because people expect to see it.

 

So most would be much better off ignoring most of those things (except weight) and just stick to trying shafts out to find the best match.  It's always going to come down to that anyway and trying to filter out options based on useless specs just means you might miss a shaft that actually could be the best fit.

 

 

On 1/16/2021 at 12:30 PM, tacklingdummy said:

 

On top of that, a shaft will perform very differently with different clubhead because of the weighting locations and performance characteristics of different clubheads. One of the great things nowadays, is that clubheads have a lot of adjustability to tweak to the shaft in terms of trajectory and shot shape, however if any of the shaft metrics are way out of parameters for the golfer,  it is difficult to tweak a driver head enough to get desired results. It is all about the combo (shaft/clubhead).

 

The only head spec that really makes a difference to how the shaft performs is the total head weight and BBGM (bottom bore to ground).   And if the player has figured out the best playing length and swing weight, then head weight really isn't a variable any more and should be adjusted to be consistent for different models.     Variations in BBGM tend to be fairly minor but still can be adjusted with a bit of tipping.    So the shaft only really has to be fit to the players swing and personal preferences, not to the head.

 

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2 minutes ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Actually dispersion and consistency is the most important aspect to monitor with respect to the influence of the shaft on the results.

 

 

 

The most important spec is weight.  After that, the only thing that's really important is the longitudinal stiffness profile along the length of the shaft.  But that's not something that's published in enough detail by most of the shaft manufacturers to be really useful.   All the rest is just things people try to look at to make up the fact that they aren't getting the specs they really can use.  But it's really a waste of time.  There is no standard for flex so it's useless comparing different model shafts.  Torque plays an extremely minor part in the feel for most ams and almost no effect on the ball flight results for most.  "kick-point" is an antiquated method that never turned out to be useful or meaningful, it's never really measured by anyone any more and is just used by marketing because people expect to see it.

 

So most would be much better off ignoring most of those things (except weight) and just stick to trying shafts out to find the best match.  It's always going to come down to that anyway and trying to filter out options based on useless specs just means you might miss a shaft that actually could be the best fit.

 

 

 

The only head spec that really makes a difference to how the shaft performs is the total head weight and BBGM (bottom bore to ground).   And if the player has figured out the best playing length and swing weight, then head weight really isn't a variable any more and should be adjusted to be consistent for different models.     Variations in BBGM tend to be fairly minor but still can be adjusted with a bit of tipping.    So the shaft only really has to be fit to the players swing and personal preferences, not to the head.

 

 My dispersion was best with the rbz. Could that just be a comfort thing since I only hit 20 or so balls with each new driver? 

 

I was never fitted for the RBZ but absolutely love everything about the feel and dispersion. I just want a tad more distance in hopes that a newer driver might be more aerodynamic and yield 1 or 2 more mph of swing speed. I was 98mph with the rbz and never got over 98 with the new drivers either. 

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At your swing speed, you aren't going to notice much from a new shaft or even a new head to be honest. The best outcome from a new shaft for your speed would be a little bit of a tighter dispersion, and a 'better' launch angle, depending on what that means to you. If you get the right profile it'll affect your spin numbers as well which might help ON course, but you wont see what spin does to you on a sim because you cant see true roll out, or what the spin/shape is really doing to your ball in real conditions. At under 100mph, you might want to try a blue profile, I really enjoy the AV series from Mitsu. 

 

Long story short.. you CAN see an improvement from just a shaft change, but its usually a nitpicky improvement not a drastic WOW improvement. Go get fit and see what they say, if nothing else its fun to be there and tinker around haha

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57 minutes ago, P1ngputts said:

 My dispersion was best with the rbz. Could that just be a comfort thing since I only hit 20 or so balls with each new driver? 

 

I was never fitted for the RBZ but absolutely love everything about the feel and dispersion. I just want a tad more distance in hopes that a newer driver might be more aerodynamic and yield 1 or 2 more mph of swing speed. I was 98mph with the rbz and never got over 98 with the new drivers either. 

 

Dispersion is a function of several factors.   It could mean that the combination of those factors have been the best fit for you - but that's only relative to other combinations of those factors in the other clubs you tried.   Those factors include: Playing length, shaft weight, head weight (swing weight), head characteristics (c.g. and MOI), face angle, shaft stiffness profile, and even grip size.

 

Ideally when you want to determine what's the best fit, you only change one thing at a time and compare the results to see which value is better.   You look at one of those things and vary it to see how it effects the results.   When you just jump around from driver to driver where many things have changed, it's extremely difficult to determine exactly why one club works better or worse than another.  Was it the shaft, was it the head, something else, which spec? 

 

Also when finding the best shaft, you don't want to hit too many balls.   You don't want to hit any one shaft more than 2-3 times in a row before switching.     On the course you don't hit the driver more than one ball at a time (maybe two if you need to use a provisional).   So how well you can groove a swing hitting 10 or 20 balls one after another on the same club isn't always going to be representative of the performance you'll see on the course.

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16 hours ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Actually dispersion and consistency is the most important aspect to monitor with respect to the influence of the shaft on the results.

 

 

 

The most important spec is weight.  After that, the only thing that's really important is the longitudinal stiffness profile along the length of the shaft.  But that's not something that's published in enough detail by most of the shaft manufacturers to be really useful.   All the rest is just things people try to look at to make up the fact that they aren't getting the specs they really can use.  But it's really a waste of time.  There is no standard for flex so it's useless comparing different model shafts.  Torque plays an extremely minor part in the feel for most ams and almost no effect on the ball flight results for most.  "kick-point" is an antiquated method that never turned out to be useful or meaningful, it's never really measured by anyone any more and is just used by marketing because people expect to see it.

 

So most would be much better off ignoring most of those things (except weight) and just stick to trying shafts out to find the best match.  It's always going to come down to that anyway and trying to filter out options based on useless specs just means you might miss a shaft that actually could be the best fit.

 

 

 

The only head spec that really makes a difference to how the shaft performs is the total head weight and BBGM (bottom bore to ground).   And if the player has figured out the best playing length and swing weight, then head weight really isn't a variable any more and should be adjusted to be consistent for different models.     Variations in BBGM tend to be fairly minor but still can be adjusted with a bit of tipping.    So the shaft only really has to be fit to the players swing and personal preferences, not to the head.

 

I do agree weight is important and will affect swingweight and static weight for the club which can have an affect on flex. However, all things being equal with weight/swingweight is when the other parameters like torque, kickpoint, and shaft flex patterns kick in and play a role.

 

Torque is not only about feel, it can affect dispersion greatly. A tour player or strong swinger's using a high torque shaft would likely see shot pattern and dispersion all over the planet. Examples of tour player using a high torque shaft?  Kickpoint still plays and directly affects trajectory and spin rates as well as feel. I agree flex is not standard. A stiff from one shaft can be totally different in another shaft. That is why I think companies should also have CPM labeled on their shafts.

 

Weight position in the head will greatly affect how the club performs. Low front weighting will produce lower trajectory with less spin, rear weighting will produce higher trajectory with higher spin, toe weighting can open the face more, heel weighting can close the face more. 

 

Nowadays with shaft adapters, bore lengths are very similar and less of an issue like in the older days with long bore through drivers. Just have to follow shaft manufacturers specific shaft tipping guidelines.

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1 hour ago, tacklingdummy said:

Torque is not only about feel, it can affect dispersion greatly. A tour player or strong swinger's using a high torque shaft would likely see shot pattern and dispersion all over the planet. Examples of tour player using a high torque shaft?  

 

Sorry but physics and actual scientific testing have shown otherwise.    It's a very common misconception that came out of a time when graphite shaft technology was in its infancy.   Yes, there was a time when high torque could cause problems for the better/faster players.  But that's back when they were measured in the range  of 5.0 and greater.   There is a threshold (based on swing speed and how late the release).  If you get above that then the results can be effected.   A threshold that modern shaft designers are well aware of.   But below that threshold, going lower doesn't add any direct benefit.  At that point preferences for feel became the driving factor for the pros as to how much torsional stiffness worked the best.  

 

On top of that, even in that context it's really the torsional stiffness of the lower section of the shaft that matters not the whole shaft so the numbers (which are measured over most of the shaft) don't even give us the important shaft characteristic.

 

And even if it did, there is no standard of measurement between the different shaft companies so trying to compare numbers between models from different shaft companies is not only pointless but actually deceptive.

 

 

1 hour ago, tacklingdummy said:

 

Kickpoint still plays and directly affects trajectory and spin rates as well as feel. I agree flex is not standard. A stiff from one shaft can be totally different in another shaft. That is why I think companies should also have CPM labeled on their shafts.

 

No,  it's the longitudinal stiffness profile that can potentially effect the ball flight, not the true kickpoint.  As I already said, fortunately no one really measures the kick point any more.  The shaft companies marketing still use the term though.  They just translate what they know from the designers tell them about the stiffness profile into terms those used to reading about 'kickpoint' are used to hearing.

 

The butt frequencies alone also tell us very little about how the shaft will perform or feel.

You'd need to measure the frequencies over several different parts of the shaft to get a full view of the shaft profile.

 

https://www.golfwrx.com/73753/wishon-shaft-frequency-can-be-misleading/

 

A few companies have started to show more values, e.g. one for the butt and one for the tip or even 3 numbers for the butt, middle and tip.  That's a little bit better but still not a very complete or clear picture of what to expect from the shaft.    And they are measured in a way that they are only useful when comparing different shaft models from that company,  not when comparing to shafts from other companies.

 

Titleist fitting charts have a 2 number system (tip + butt) that can be used to compare shafts from different companies.

 

 

1 hour ago, tacklingdummy said:

Weight position in the head will greatly affect how the club performs. Low front weighting will produce lower trajectory with less spin, rear weighting will produce higher trajectory with higher spin, toe weighting can open the face more, heel weighting can close the face more. 

 

How the club performs and ball flight yes.  But that's not what we're talking about.  We're talking about how it will effect the performance of the shaft.  

 

But it's generally not a good idea to fit a shaft based on how it effects these numbers outside the context of consistency and dispersion.   If we were fitting for a robot,  the stiffness profile would have a fairly predictable effect on the results.   More forward bend in the shaft at impact would mean a little bit more loft delivered and a tiny bit of extra face closure.  But we are not robots and changes in feel from the shaft has the potential to give much bigger changes in the swing and delivery and therefore the results.  And those changes are not always consistent with what the profile tells us should happen.  Nor are there any useful generalizations on how the individuals will respond.  Two different individuals can have two very reactions to the same change in the shaft's profile.    So if one needs to tweak the spin and launch numbers in a fitting, it's much more effective (and predictable) to do that with the loft and head than it is with the shaft.

 

1 hour ago, tacklingdummy said:

Nowadays with shaft adapters, bore lengths are very similar and less of an issue like in the older days with long bore through drivers. Just have to follow shaft manufacturers specific shaft tipping guidelines.

 

Correct.  Now that bore through designs are no longer popular, bore depth doesn't vary very much.  But BBGM (which is very different from bore depth) still does.   Drivers can still be found spread over a range from 1.5" to 2.0".   Not huge, but enough to be noticeable for the more sensitive players and the shaft manufacturers recommendations do not account for that particular variation.

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11 hours ago, Stuart_G said:

 

Sorry but physics and actual scientific testing have shown otherwise.    It's a very common misconception that came out of a time when graphite shaft technology was in its infancy.   Yes, there was a time when high torque could cause problems for the better/faster players.  But that's back when they were measured in the range  of 5.0 and greater.   There is a threshold (based on swing speed and how late the release).  If you get above that then the results can be effected.   A threshold that modern shaft designers are well aware of.   But below that threshold, going lower doesn't add any direct benefit.  At that point preferences for feel became the driving factor for the pros as to how much torsional stiffness worked the best.  

 

On top of that, even in that context it's really the torsional stiffness of the lower section of the shaft that matters not the whole shaft so the numbers (which are measured over most of the shaft) don't even give us the important shaft characteristic.

 

And even if it did, there is no standard of measurement between the different shaft companies so trying to compare numbers between models from different shaft companies is not only pointless but actually deceptive.

 

 

 

No,  it's the longitudinal stiffness profile that can potentially effect the ball flight, not the true kickpoint.  As I already said, fortunately no one really measures the kick point any more.  The shaft companies marketing still use the term though.  They just translate what they know from the designers tell them about the stiffness profile into terms those used to reading about 'kickpoint' are used to hearing.

 

The butt frequencies alone also tell us very little about how the shaft will perform or feel.

You'd need to measure the frequencies over several different parts of the shaft to get a full view of the shaft profile.

 

https://www.golfwrx.com/73753/wishon-shaft-frequency-can-be-misleading/

 

A few companies have started to show more values, e.g. one for the butt and one for the tip or even 3 numbers for the butt, middle and tip.  That's a little bit better but still not a very complete or clear picture of what to expect from the shaft.    And they are measured in a way that they are only useful when comparing different shaft models from that company,  not when comparing to shafts from other companies.

 

Titleist fitting charts have a 2 number system (tip + butt) that can be used to compare shafts from different companies.

 

 

 

How the club performs and ball flight yes.  But that's not what we're talking about.  We're talking about how it will effect the performance of the shaft.  

 

But it's generally not a good idea to fit a shaft based on how it effects these numbers outside the context of consistency and dispersion.   If we were fitting for a robot,  the stiffness profile would have a fairly predictable effect on the results.   More forward bend in the shaft at impact would mean a little bit more loft delivered and a tiny bit of extra face closure.  But we are not robots and changes in feel from the shaft has the potential to give much bigger changes in the swing and delivery and therefore the results.  And those changes are not always consistent with what the profile tells us should happen.  Nor are there any useful generalizations on how the individuals will respond.  Two different individuals can have two very reactions to the same change in the shaft's profile.    So if one needs to tweak the spin and launch numbers in a fitting, it's much more effective (and predictable) to do that with the loft and head than it is with the shaft.

 

 

Correct.  Now that bore through designs are no longer popular, bore depth doesn't vary very much.  But BBGM (which is very different from bore depth) still does.   Drivers can still be found spread over a range from 1.5" to 2.0".   Not huge, but enough to be noticeable for the more sensitive players and the shaft manufacturers recommendations do not account for that particular variation.

I agree with a lot of what you say. Companies like Graphite Design, Mitsubishi-Rayon, Aldila, and Fujikura still using kickpoint specs (low, mid, high) or using launch characteristics like low, mid, high launch like True Temper. Yes, kickpoint is a very simplified term these days with more sophisticated bend profiles, but it does give a general description of the launch characteristics of that shaft and not just marketing. You can still expect a shaft to be lower launching and lower spin with a high kickpoint shaft and higher launching and higher spin with a low kickpoint shaft.  Launch and spin numbers don't lie when all things being equal and you are just isolating torque and bend points. Agree to disagree and don't want to spin more on these points. Interesting topic and debate though. Cheers. 

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12 hours ago, tacklingdummy said:

I agree with a lot of what you say. Companies like Graphite Design, Mitsubishi-Rayon, Aldila, and Fujikura still using kickpoint specs (low, mid, high) or using launch characteristics like low, mid, high launch like True Temper. Yes, kickpoint is a very simplified term these days with more sophisticated bend profiles, but it does give a general description of the launch characteristics of that shaft and not just marketing. You can still expect a shaft to be lower launching and lower spin with a high kickpoint shaft and higher launching and higher spin with a low kickpoint shaft.  Launch and spin numbers don't lie when all things being equal and you are just isolating torque and bend points. Agree to disagree and don't want to spin more on these points. Interesting topic and debate though. Cheers. 

 

I think you're missing my point.

 

Yes, companies are still publishing kick point info - but that info does not come from the companies actually measuring the real kick point or bend point like they do with other specs.   The actual measured kick point is not a good indicator of the launch characteristics of the shaft.   There was a time when it was a common belief that it did have some meaning but that was debunked a while ago - although many continue to think it is important.

 

Now companies just publish the kick point info based on the designed longitudinal stiffness profile.  If a company designs a low launch/spin shaft, they call it a high kick point shaft because of that design intent, not because of where the real kick point of the shaft might be.

 

However, more importantly....

 

That real design intent might provide a starting point in the fitting process if the player actually knows the type of profile that is a good fit for them.    In general, it's not a good idea to try to use that info to control the launch and spin.   It's only really valid in the context of a robot swinging the club.   And in that context the amount it influences the results is typically pretty small.   Once the human mind gets involved, the actual effect of a shaft on the launch and spin is much more unpredictable.   Chasing launch and spin numbers with shaft changes based on the profile might work for a few but it can frequently turn into a wild goose chase or have other unintended or undesirable effects on the ball flight.  Stick to picking the shaft based on the consistency of the results and the feel, not launch/spin numbers. It's much simpler and much more effective to fine tune the launch and spin with changes to the loft and/or head.  

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9 hours ago, Stuart_G said:

 

I think you're missing my point.

 

Yes, companies are still publishing kick point info - but that info does not come from the companies actually measuring the real kick point or bend point like they do with other specs.   The actual measured kick point is not a good indicator of the launch characteristics of the shaft.   There was a time when it was a common belief that it did have some meaning but that was debunked a while ago - although many continue to think it is important.

 

Now companies just publish the kick point info based on the designed longitudinal stiffness profile.  If a company designs a low launch/spin shaft, they call it a high kick point shaft because of that design intent, not because of where the real kick point of the shaft might be.

 

However, more importantly....

 

That real design intent might provide a starting point in the fitting process if the player actually knows the type of profile that is a good fit for them.    In general, it's not a good idea to try to use that info to control the launch and spin.   It's only really valid in the context of a robot swinging the club.   And in that context the amount it influences the results is typically pretty small.   Once the human mind gets involved, the actual effect of a shaft on the launch and spin is much more unpredictable.   Chasing launch and spin numbers with shaft changes based on the profile might work for a few but it can frequently turn into a wild goose chase or have other unintended or undesirable effects on the ball flight.  Stick to picking the shaft based on the consistency of the results and the feel, not launch/spin numbers. It's much simpler and much more effective to fine tune the launch and spin with changes to the loft and/or head.  

I know what you are saying, we just disagree on some points which is ok. Yes, it is better to make changes with loft and/or clubhead. Agree with that, but we are talking shafts and shaft metrics do make a substantial difference. You can only tweak a clubhead loft/weight so much if the shaft is way out of the parameters for the player. This is why the club industry moved toward offering premium shafts. Strong players cannot get good results from the inexpensive high torque shafts no matter how good the clubhead and how much adjustability it has. 

 

Yeah, it is not an exact science when dealing with humans. However, the better the players with more consistent swings, will show trends when isolating different shaft metrics. Isolating different shaft metrics will produce results that show consistent to shaft manufacturer specifications. Shaft manufacturers have done the science and testing and they know what kind of results they are trying to achieve in each shaft. 

 

In the end, everyone still would benefit from golf shaft fittings and getting their numbers. 

Edited by tacklingdummy
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2 hours ago, tacklingdummy said:

I know what you are saying, we just disagree on some points which is ok. Yes, it is better to make changes with loft and/or clubhead. Agree with that, but we are talking shafts and shaft metrics do make a substantial difference. You can only tweak a clubhead loft/weight so much if the shaft is way out of the parameters for the player. This is why the club industry moved toward offering premium shafts. Strong players cannot get good results from the inexpensive high torque shafts no matter how good the clubhead and how much adjustability it has. 

 

I don't think we disagree on as much as you might think as far as what's needed.  Just different views on why.

 

You're example is right but we can get even more general. No one is going to be able to make up for a poor fit for a shaft using loft or head adjustments.  Premium shaft or not, good player or not doesn't make a difference.

 

Correct me if I'm wrong but the point of disagreement might just be on what constitutes a good fit for the shaft.  I see it as a function of the influence the shaft has on the players swing.  That's usually best identified by the consistency and accuracy of the results, not the launch and spin numbers.  Those launch and spin numbers will be a reflection of the quality of the players swing and mechanics and delivery.   No equipment will be able to fully compensate for a poor delivery.    They can help a little and the head loft is just a more dependable and predictable way to get that help.

 

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Yeah, it is not an exact science when dealing with humans. However, the better the players with more consistent swings, will show trends when isolating different shaft metrics. Isolating different shaft metrics will produce results that show consistent to shaft manufacturer specifications. Shaft manufacturers have done the science and testing and they know what kind of results they are trying to achieve in each shaft. 

 

How much the shaft influences the results has been studied quite a bit so goes beyond the nature of an opinion.  Some of the science is very will know.  A combination of swing speed and release timing is one of those known key factors.   The faster and later the release, the more forward bend is generated at impact.   It's that amount of forward bend (due to the stiffness profile design) that is the source of the shaft launch characteristics.   For those with earlier releases relative to their swing speed, the unloading happens too early and there will be little to no appreciable forward bend at impact - and therefore the shaft characteristics will have no influence on the results. 

 

But again that's assuming the change in feel doesn't cause changes to the swing.  That can happen with anyone with a certain amount of sensitivity, regardless of their ability or skill level.   It's more a function of proprioception - the type of feedback they learned to use to control their swing.   When the feel doesn't match the expectations of what they think they should be feeling or are used to feeling, the effect on the results can have nothing to do with the designed characteristics.  That's the case where the science is inexact.

Edited by Stuart_G
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