Getting The Shaft
I probably get more questions about golf shafts than any other topic. I'm assuming that's due to the vast wasteland of shaft options, so huge that it has all golfers pretty darn confused. But all the noise is really around shafts for drivers, and you can spend as much there as you want, even to $1,000 or more. Personally, I don’t see how that can satisfy any need but the "Rolex gene", where the idea that you spent that much is really the appeal.
But since most of the game is played with your irons, those shafts should get at least as much attention as the driver shaft, don’t you think? I've written about my preference for graphite iron shafts, and ones with a softer flex profile, particularly in the short irons. And today, once again, I will try to add a little more light to the subject, prompted by a lengthy inquiry from Zach, which I've edited down to this:
My question is regarding shaft selection for getting the most out of clubs, (particularly irons, which tend to have paltry stock shaft offerings in stores.So, Zack, let me see if I can offer some help. With regard to makes and models, no human could profess to be aware of all the options out there . . . the pros and cons of each. But you can break them down categorically into weight classes to start. In most current-model irons with "from the factory" graphite shafts, you’ll see weights in the 65-75 gram range. This is to serve the industry’s notion that lighter is better . . . period. I disagree with that completely, preferring a 95 gram model in my irons. You stated that you like the more substantial heft of steel shafts, so you might start there and work your way up if you need to. Weight is the first variable you should zero in on. Find a weight shaft that "feels right" and narrow the options.
Of the next most importance is the flex characteristics. Most lighter shafts are engineered to deliver higher ball flights. If that's not what you are after, you might have to look a little deeper. I am a fan of UST Mamiya and their V2 iron shafts, but there are others out there that are really good as well. A premium option that you might like is the SteelFiber series from AeroTech, a very nice product that is slowly gaining a very loyal following. That shaft is available in multiple weights and is engineered for a lower ball flight if I'm not mistaken.
Once you have those two variables narrowed down, you need a quality clubfitter/builder to put them together for you. No matter what the grade of shaft you select, each one has to be custom-matched and tweaked to each iron (kind of like balancing a tire to that specific wheel). Spine alignment or PURE-ing is a process whereby the spine or "seam" in the shaft is aligned in each club to deliver optimum performance. It's imperative in all graphite shafted clubs in my opinion. That clubfitter/builder can also ensure that your frequencies are synchronized for optimum performance. To find a good fitter near you, check out the websites for ICG (International Clubmakers Guild) and/or the AGCP (Association of Golf Clubfitting Professionals).
This will be a fun adventure which will likely lead to lower scores. Let us all know how it works out. I'm sure you will get some great insight into the process from the other readers . . . . guys?
Because he took the time to ask a question, and I selected it for today’s post, Zach has won a new EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge. You can, too, but you need to click the link and "Ask The Wedge Guy".
* The Wedge Guy's views and opinions are his own do not necessarily reflect those of SkyGolf.
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