'Fore right' were the two words I used to hold a space for this review, and fore right has been a big part of my experience testing this shaft...
To be clear, I don't think the too frequent fades and slices have anything to do with the Accra. I still have my Wishon S2S White S-flex set up identically to the Accra Fx270 and have tried swapping between the two on the range, on a launch monitor, and between rounds. Same pattern of misses. This dose of the rights seems to be a product of playing less golf due to work commitments and a couple of muscle strains, plus introducing some unproductive moves while playing around with my swing in an attempt to add some distance. I hope so anyway.
First some numbers:
Driving accuracy with the Wishon 919THI and 44.25â€ S2S White between May 2014 and January 2015
Driving accuracy with the Wishon 919THI and 43.75â€ S2S White after a January rebuild (Shaft length cut by half an inch, MOI reduced to 2805 and a 10g counterweight added under the grip to put more weight in my hands and match the balance point with the rest of my set)
Driving accuracy with the Wishon 919THI and 43.75â€ Accra Fx270
To properly test the shaft (and keep my set consistent) the Accra was set up as close to the Wishon S2S as Golf Science could manage. Same 10g counterweight under the grip, same Lamkin i6 grip, same C8.5 swingweight. MOI went up marginally to 2809, total club weight by 0.3 of a gramme to 349.7, and the frequency measurement of the installed Accra shaft was 250cpm, against 254cpm for the old Wishon.
Regardt and Geronne at Golf Science also had the Wishon shaft installed in another 11 degree 919THI head so we could test the two shafts directly against each other, back to back.
One problem: operator error.
The comparative launch monitor data we've come up with are clouded with me fighting a swing error and trying various fixes as we went along. That's not an ideal scenario for accurate testing, but head-to-head the Wishon delivered better Flightscope numbers.
The Wishon produced 5 metres more carry, 8 metres more total distance, tighter dispersion, 1.5mph faster swing speed, marginally better smash factor, lower spin and a lower launch angle. The Accra sent the ball higher and kept it in the air longer, but in not a good way.
As I say, these numbers aren't as clean as we'd have liked. I hit the Wishon shaft first, hit a lot of balls in an attempt to produce a better flight, and was getting mentally tired of the mis-hits by the time I switched to the Accra. I'm by no means a high swing-speed player, but was down on past numbers throughout the session. While Ball striking was actually reasonably good in terms of smash factor, I was essentially hitting almost everything with an overly open face.
In a separate session I asked Regardt, who is also a teaching pro to look for any obvious flaws in my swing. He noticed that I was addressing the ball with too upright a posture, which would produce an out-to-win swing path whenever I failed to readjust at the top of the backswing. Regardt got me to concentrate on bending more from my hips, keeping my hands lower and bringing the clubhead back low on the backswing. With a 6 iron that immediately sorted out my path while also improving strike. We ended up bending the 6 iron's lie angle two degrees flat to fit the new posture and impact position.
Smiles all round until we went back to the drivers and found that though my path was good I was still connecting with the ball with an open club face... After running through various potential causes (grip, alignment, forward press), we think the problem is partly to do with my release, and partly an issue with hip movement. Because of that I'm getting stuck on the right side and failing to transfer my weight through impact. I'm working on fixing it, and have a had a couple of decent-scoring rounds in which I've got the shot shape down to a reasonably powerful fade, but it's not there yet. On the plus side, the change of posture has improved my iron play.
Conclusion of all this is that I don't have a final one on the Accra yet. We'd like to do another launch monitor comparison once I've got my driver swing in better shape.
My subjective impression is that the Accra is capable of sending the ball further than the Wishon â€“ on several holes of my home course I've had my longest drive playing it. That, of course, is no guarantee of average distance improvements. I'd rather hit two 200m drives in the fairway and one just off the edge with old shaft, than one 220m in the fairway, one 200m with a big fade, and one 180m slice into the rough. And I'd rather hit the whole lot a longer average yardage!
In terms of feel, the Accra has the edge for me. It delivers a more solid, slightly more convincing contact. It feels like the ball should fly better â€“ though the launch monitor is telling me otherwise. Ordered new, the Accra, however, is also considerably more expensive than the S2S White â€“ and I could not see myself paying the extra for a difference in feel alone.
Where the Accra does look to have a clear edge is in the relative uniformity of its acceleration profile. Essentially this is a measure of how consistently a shaft unloads the energy stored in it by your swing. According to Regardt, both the Wishon S2S and the Fx270 perform well in this regard - way ahead of the choppy lines Golf Science see with many stock shafts - but the Accra is the best of the two. If well fitted to your swing, that is a characteristic that could be worth the extra expenditure.
Accra acceleration profile:
Wishon acceleration profile:
As I mentioned before, I'm not a huge fan of the Accra's yellow-red colour scheme, though it pairs well with the matte white Wishon head. Changing to a black and white Lamkin crossline grip improved the overall look for me. What I haven't been so impressed with is the durability of the shaft's finish. I'm careful with my clubs but walking the course with the Accra in a Ping 4 Series bag has resulted in noticeable scuff marks on the gloss black areas of the shaft.
Thanks again to Accra and MyGolfSpy for the opportunity to play the Fx270. It's been fun, and an education.