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The Shaft Mystery
By Jason Carter
 
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During this modern era of golf club technology, the big mystery among golfers is what golf shaft will maximize their efforts. If the average player tries to sift through all the “mumbo jumbo techno shaft lingo” his head just might explode. And determining the right shaft for me can be extremely confusing.

“There are just so many shafts that are available to golfers that can really benefit the player that it is critical that club fitters have a good grasp of what the player needs” says Tom Erwin, co-founder of TourPureGolf.com (www.tourpuregolf.com).
Most shaft companies are now offering over 100 different types of shaft and in turn, most consumers are clueless of what “engine” they need to run their golf clubs.

“As experienced clubfitters, we use what we’ve learned through hands-on assembly and customer feedback to provide each customer with a proven solution. Shaft selection is the key ingredient to crafting the perfect performance weapon” says Travis Carter Co-Founder of TourPureGolf.com. He further stated, “This problem is easily solved by answering 4 basic questions”…

The first answer needed is what material should the golfer play, steel or graphite? Graphite is generally lighter than steel, therefore, the average player will hit a graphite shaft a little further than a steel shaft. Graphite also has a much greater shock dampening effect, which is very helpful for those players who have nagging injuries that sometimes prevent them from playing. Alternatively, steel shafts are heavier than most graphite shafts so distance may be sacrificed. What is lost in distance though is gained in accuracy. Steel shafts differ from graphite as they do not experience torque or the lateral twisting found in all graphite shafts. Most players would benefit by having steel shafts in their irons, because accuracy has a greater emphasis than distance, where as graphite shafts are very helpful in getting greater distances from today’s oversize titanium drivers.

The second question to answer is shaft flex. A common fitting flaw is the belief that stiffer shafts will be more accurate because the shaft will not torque as much as a more flexible shaft. (torque is the twisting of a shaft because of a miss hit shot). However, with today’s technology many manufactures make a softer flex shaft without sacrificing torque. Players can determine what flex they need by simply knowing what club they hit from certain yardages.

The third question to answer is determining what kick point would best benefit that player. Most golfers would love to hit the ball a little higher. A lower kick point would achieve a higher ball flight. Alternatively, if the player tends to have a rather steep outside-inside swing, a mid to high kick point shaft would help them keep the ball flight lower.

The final question to answer is, “what length should the golf club be?”. Most graphite wood shafts come 45”-46” and once installed, the overall golf club will be over 47”. So determining the appropriate length for that golfer is critical. With titanium drivers, a lot of folks subscribe to the “as long as you can control it” mentality. However, it is critical that the irons be cut at a length that is suitable to that particular player’s height & distance from their hands to the floor. With today’s technology and vast amount of products to examine, an experienced club fitter can truly solve the shaft mystery.


Jason Carter is President and co-founder of TourPureGolf.com - http://www.tourpuregolf.com. An avid golfer and club-craftsman for 20+ years, he and the staff at TourPureGolf.com are strictly focused on improving the golf game of each customer through technology and the proper fit of each golf club.

© Copyright 2007 by Jason Carter

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