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Shaft Fitting and how it relates to other aspects of the fitting
When fitting golf clubs many factors are considered but of those factors the one element that has the most options for a golfer is the shaft. The shaft can vary in weight, length and by flex design, and the flex can vary in stiffness in many ways. Flex is used as an overall general term meaning how stiff the shaft feels to the golfer when they swing it. The flex can be manipulated in the butt section of the shaft, the mid section of the shaft and the tip section of the shaft. By analyzing your golf swing we can determine just what particular characteristics your golf shaft should have to allow you to be more comfortable and swing more efficiently and more effectively.
The FlightScope Doppler Radar unit allows us to measure every aspect of your swing and we are able to adjust clubs during the testing to achieve the desired results.
Starting with weight we can make it easier for you to swing on the best plane and in the best swing path based on your body type, athletic ability and overall skill set.
We know that generally the more the shaft weighs the flatter the swing plane will be and the more inside out the swing path will be. Those golfers with lighter shafts will tend to swing more upright and tend towards swing outside the intended line of flight with their swing path. The closer we can get your swing path down the target line with the face of the club pointing at the target the more successful you are going to be at hitting straight shots.
We know also that head weight influences face angle in a similar way and if we can balance the head weight properly with the shaft weight we can achieve a square face at impact and create straight golf shots.
This can be seen in the graphic above. In this case the swing path is .2 left and the Face angle is 1.8 which is pretty good and a goal worth achieving if your shots are curing severely and you hit shot off line consistently. Many tour players like to achieve a swing path of about 4° inside out and a face angle that is closed about 2° and hit a push draw where they start the shot just to the right of the target and draw it back towards the target at the end of the shot. You’ve probably heard this called a “tour draw”.
During your fitting we will try to achieve as close to this or any other shot shape you prefer if possible. Any swing with a 2° to a 3° difference between swing path and face angle is gong to produce a very controllable shot that is virtually straight as far as aiming.
The shaft has a lot to do with how well we do this along with head design.
The length of the shaft can also influence swing path and face angle because we have to adjust our stance based on the length of the shaft. By exaggerating the length of the shaft we can see how it will change how we address the ball. In the picture on the left the golfer has a 47 inch shaft and stands a bit too tall on the ball but in the other he has a driver from a childs set for a 5 or 6 year old and the difference in address is very different.
How you address the ball is critical to being more consistent and generating the most power and speed from your swing. Although these pictures are exaggerated to make a point with some golfers the difference in 1 inch can make a tremendous difference in their ability to not only control the golf club throughout the swing but to swing with maximum power and generate maximum club speed for greater distance. In physics the longer the shaft the greater the speed is true, but in golf this only works if the golfer is able to control the club and take advantage of the mechanical advantage of the longer shaft. Many golfers can actually generate more club speed with a shaft shorter than the maximum allowed by rule.
Shaft bend profiles are as varied as there are shafts to choose from by various companies. But most companies have much the same assortment of variations in their shaft profiles to allow for fitting nearly any golf swing. Over the years we have tested so many shafts and narrowed our system down to those that cover all the variations possible. By testing we’ve eliminated most of the ultra expensive shafts by finding less expensive shafts with similar flex profiles that satisfy our needs thus insuring our golfers get a proper fit without over spending for a shaft. The profiles shown below are typical of most shafts and even the slight variations can make a significant difference with some golfers.
We want to get the best shaft match possible to fine tune control, speed and trajectory. The weight, the length and the flex profile of the shaft is important to how the shafts feels to you when you swing and the results you obtain is directly related to how the shaft feels when you swing it.
In all fitting we wish to obtain the best possible consistency while maximizing distance and control. We want to have your shots going in the same direction with a minimal side to side dispersion and a minimal distance dispersion as shown in the graphic below. The smaller we can get those circles for you the better you are going to play and the lower your scores will be.
Understanding the golf swing and how it relates to changes in equipment is an important element in fitting golf clubs correctly. Combining the mechanics and the physics of the golf club with the psychology and physiology of the golfer and his swing is essence of a great set of custom fitted golf clubs.
Below is one wall in my studio with half of the shafts used for testing. Along with driver heads used for testing. I have House of Forged, Aldila, Aerotech (Steelfiber), Matrix, Alpha, and Wishon, UST, KBS, FST, and True Temper shafts for testing. Shafts in various weights and flex profiles to fit any swing and any ability. On the wall opposite this one I have iron shafts and iron heads for testing. I also have a set of single length shafts and heads to test you for the newest development in iron sets, The single length iron set. Dozens of heads and hundreds of shafts to insure we find the right combination for you and your swing.