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How Much Effect Does Soft Stepping Have?


Denny100
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Hello Everyone

 

I made an earlier thread about my Mizuno Pro 223 irons, and currently playing DG 120 X100 shafts but im not totally satisfied with them.

 

I think theres two issues that i notice:

 

1) At 120 grams, the total weight seems a little too light. This just causes tempo issues, i feel out of sync.

2) The shaft is pretty smooth but the tip section feels pretty darn stiff

 

Mizuno DNA recommeds a KBS Tour X to me, and although this frequencies high on CPM alone, I dont think this is relevant as the tip is softer and the overall feel of the shaft is softer because of it.

 

With the KBS playing at around 7.0 and 130g, Id also considered going back to normal DG X100 and softstepping, which should make the tip just a little more responsive.

 

Ive not played softstepped shafts before ive only played them straight in.

 

Is softstepping worthwhile? Would you likely notice any difference in feel over a straight in shaft at all? Ive heard people say it equates to 1/3 of a flex, and i do think id notice that. In my eyes, thats like a slightly "beefed up" S300, if we are talking about an X100 softstepped.

 

I would say in the feel department, KBS are great. And the DNA recommended a straight in KBS Tour X.

 

So just looking for opinions really, the differences probably are very minimal

 

Thank You!

Driver: Taylormade Stealth + 10.5; HZRDUS Red RDX 6.5

3 Wood: PXG GEN 3 0341X 15.5; HZRDUS Yellow 6.5

Hybrid: PXG GEN 3 0317X 19; Evenflow Riptide 6.5

Irons: Mizuno Pro 223 4-PW; Dynamic Gold 120 X100

Wedges: PXG 0311 Forged 50, 54, 58; Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: PXG Blackjack

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

 

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Sounds to me you like the feel of the KBS shaft better than dynamic gold so why not get fit with that brand vs taking another shaft that you don’t seem to like the overall feel of and make an incremental change that will have little change on the overall feel of the shaft. I soft step for myself or friends I’m building for that just need a small tweak in flex and maybe a tiny bit higher launch numbers, but only after we have dialed in the shaft that has otherwise great numbers for them and they like the overall feel. Soft stepping will not change the overall profile of the shaft.

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12 hours ago, Denny100 said:

Is softstepping worthwhile? Would you likely notice any difference in feel over a straight in shaft at all? Ive heard people say it equates to 1/3 of a flex, and i do think id notice that.

 

1/3 of a flex is a poor generalization IMO.

 

The answer depends on how sensitive to stiffness feel changes you are.  For those that have higher sensitivity, it can make a noticeable difference (although still a fairly subtle one).    And it tends to make more of a difference on tip soft designs (higher launching shafts) than tip stiff shafts (lower launching shafts).

 

But for most ams, it's more likely that they'd wouldn't notice anything. 

 

Here is a simple test you can do to get a rough idea of how much it might effect your sense of feel.   Do this with the target shaft, the results might be different with different shafts.

 

Take two adjacent irons in the set e.g. your 7i and 8i out.   Take the 7i and add 7 gm of lead tape to the head (probably easiest to just wrap it around the hosel for this test).   Then choke up 1/2" on the 7i and hit it side-by-side with the 8i.    What you feel with the 7i is what you will feel when it's soft stepped.

 

12 hours ago, Denny100 said:

In my eyes, thats like a slightly "beefed up" S300, if we are talking about an X100 softstepped.

 

No, not a good way to think of it.   With the standard DG (130 gm) - the x100 and s300's are very different profiles.  It's much more than just a typical flex change.   Soft stepping the x100 does not get you any where near the s300 if you look at the full profile data.

Edited by Stuart_G
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"How Much Effect Does Soft Stepping Have?"

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6 hours ago, Stuart_G said:

With the standard DG (130 gm) - the x100 and s300's are very different profiles.  It's much more than just a typical flex change.   Soft stepping the x100 does not get you any where near the s300 if you look at the full profile data.

 

If you accept the data posted showing that the X100 has a softer tip than the S300, which I found to not be accurate.  True Temper has also stated that this is not accurate.

 

For the OP, I'd bet on an X100 soft-stepped twice as a good fit.  You can always start with one club soft-stepped once, test it, then if you want to go slightly softer than that, pull that shaft and have it installed in the next club down for soft-stepped twice

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I cannot detect much stiffness difference in a shaft soft-stepped once. The change is so slight, usually only raises flight a bit. I see it as useful for dialing in feel and flight in a shaft that fits me anyway but if a shaft is feeling too stiff, it will not move it enough to make me like it. A shaft has to be soft-stepped twice before I can definitely feel it.
 

A stiff tip is unchanged by a soft step. All you’re doing is putting a head that weighs 7 more grams or so than the head that typically goes on that shaft, and it’s that extra 7g of head weight that softens the shaft. That’s not much — 3.5 swing weight points. 

 

In some shafts, like PX Rifles, I find it hard to detect at all, much less difference from a soft-step versus dropping down a half-flex. 

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17 hours ago, Cwebb said:

 

If you accept the data posted showing that the X100 has a softer tip than the S300, which I found to not be accurate.  True Temper has also stated that this is not accurate.

 

I always accept data that is objectively obtained through published methodology over any information that is not supported by hard data or only by subjective evaluation.    However, If they, or anyone else, wants to provide alternative data to support their claims, I'll gladly look at it.

 

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23 hours ago, Valtiel said:

"How Much Effect Does Soft Stepping Have?"

Robert Deniro Snl GIF by Saturday Night Live


Based on what changes IRON BYRON will see, ive done the numbers for that, snd we can use the formula 1 CPM = 25 RPM of spin

The numbers was done to figure out how much 3/8" tip trim on a taper tip shaft would change launch and spin, and 3/8" is equal to 3CPM who became 74 RPM of spin amd 0.2 on Launch angle.

Soft stepping moves butt CPM with 4-5 CPM depending on model, so we talk 100-125 RPM of spin, and something like 0.35* on launch angle.

As Compare, bending lofts by 1.0* would change launch by 0.5* and change spin with 208 rpm for a 80 mph player and 234 RPM for a 90 mph player, so the expected effect of SS1 is LESS than the effect of bending lofts 1.0* weak.

At SS2 we can no longer use this numbers, We have altered the shaft profile enough to make it launch way higher for some players at SS2. (The difference is progressive, a small change at SS1, a larger change at SS2, but SS2 will still be LOWER than lofts bended 2.0 weak)

So, even if we soft step 2x, and alter the shaft profile against higher launch, soft stepping will still be a "feel matter", since we can change ball flight easier than what that job takes, so the question is WHY we wants to soft step?

Feel of flex, YES
Ball flight, NO - bend lofts, a change of profile vs launch is a question of how you swing that club, while a loft tweak works on every swing.

Here is how the numbers looked like when we compared a LPGA #7 iron that was tip trimmed 3/8" vs standard "strait in". Soft stepping moves the numbers slightly more since SS1 is 4-5 CPM while this is only 3 CPM.

image.png.d9f458654efe1c7611b4779feb3e3b7b.png

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I’ve had very different results with different shafts.  With Steelfiber 110’s I found the difference to be basically not noticeable.  Soft stepped twice I could tell a difference but it still was subtle.  With recoil 110’s as well as 95’s the difference felt more pronounced.  Soft stepping once gave me the desired effect in a way that was very noticeable.  This of course, is my feel, so I have no idea if others would have similar experiences.  I guess what I’m saying is that it is difficult to predict how it will work out for you, even if someone has can give you advice based on their experience with the same shafts.

what do you not like about the KBS?

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18 minutes ago, jomatty said:

I’ve had very different results with different shafts.  With Steelfiber 110’s I found the difference to be basically not noticeable.  Soft stepped twice I could tell a difference but it still was subtle.  With recoil 110’s as well as 95’s the difference felt more pronounced.  Soft stepping once gave me the desired effect in a way that was very noticeable.  This of course, is my feel, so I have no idea if others would have similar experiences.  I guess what I’m saying is that it is difficult to predict how it will work out for you, even if someone has can give you advice based on their experience with the same shafts.

what do you not like about the KBS?

 

Hi there

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

I do like KBS, and i tried the X flex in the fitting and felt it was smooth. I like the 130g weight, but 7.0 stiffness is pretty stiff, so i felt it would be a way of maintaining a slightly softer feel than straight in X and higher weight than S+.

 

That logic may be flawed but that was the feeling.

Driver: Taylormade Stealth + 10.5; HZRDUS Red RDX 6.5

3 Wood: PXG GEN 3 0341X 15.5; HZRDUS Yellow 6.5

Hybrid: PXG GEN 3 0317X 19; Evenflow Riptide 6.5

Irons: Mizuno Pro 223 4-PW; Dynamic Gold 120 X100

Wedges: PXG 0311 Forged 50, 54, 58; Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: PXG Blackjack

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

 

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1 hour ago, Denny100 said:

 

Hi there

 

Thanks for the feedback.

 

I do like KBS, and i tried the X flex in the fitting and felt it was smooth. I like the 130g weight, but 7.0 stiffness is pretty stiff, so i felt it would be a way of maintaining a slightly softer feel than straight in X and higher weight than S+.

 

That logic may be flawed but that was the feeling.

 

At first glance that seems a bit inconsistent.   In one part of the post you say it felt "smooth" - which is usually a very positive assessment of how stiff it feels.  But in in the next you say "it's pretty stiff"?  

 

Is that last assessment of "pretty stiff" actually based on the feel or just the FCM numbers?

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Stuart_G said:

 

At first glance that seems a bit inconsistent.   In one part of the post you say it felt "smooth" - which is usually a very positive assessment of how stiff it feels.  But in in the next you say "it's pretty stiff"?  

 

Is that last assessment of "pretty stiff" actually based on the feel or just the FCM numbers?

 

 

More just based on FCM i would say really.

 

I play HZRDUS RDX Red 6.5 in my driver, and I play a HZRDUS yellow 6.5 in the 3 wood for context.

 

So 7.0 in FCM sounds like a big jump, but probably irrelevant to think of things in those terms, because if you take the example of DG the frequency purely on FCM might look relatively low, but the shaft isnt soft.

Driver: Taylormade Stealth + 10.5; HZRDUS Red RDX 6.5

3 Wood: PXG GEN 3 0341X 15.5; HZRDUS Yellow 6.5

Hybrid: PXG GEN 3 0317X 19; Evenflow Riptide 6.5

Irons: Mizuno Pro 223 4-PW; Dynamic Gold 120 X100

Wedges: PXG 0311 Forged 50, 54, 58; Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: PXG Blackjack

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS

 

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40 minutes ago, Denny100 said:

More just based on FCM i would say really.

 

Forget the FCM numbers and trust your own sense of feel.  Butt frequency is not a reliable indicator of feel.   e.g. A KBS Tour at 7.0 FCM will feel nothing like a PX 7.0 iron shaft.

 

Butt frequency only tells a very small part of the story of the full stiffness profile - and the feel will always come from the full shaft, not just the butt end response.

 

40 minutes ago, Denny100 said:

I play HZRDUS RDX Red 6.5 in my driver, and I play a HZRDUS yellow 6.5 in the 3 wood for context.

 

Trying to equate wood/driver FCM to iron FCM is even worse then trying to compare FCM among different model iron shafts.

 

40 minutes ago, Denny100 said:

but probably irrelevant to think of things in those terms, because if you take the example of DG the frequency purely on FCM might look relatively low, but the shaft isnt soft.

 

That is another good example.

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