Hi, welcome to my full review of the ACCRA FX 160 shaft with M4 flex. First, I have learned a lot about shafts and my swing only because MGS offered the opportunity to test the ACCRA shaft. I owe MGS a huge thank you.
A word about me and my game. I am 61 years old and a military retiree, hopelessly addicted to golf. I served in the Army for 25 years and am still serving as an intelligence analyst with the Department of Defense. Accordingly, I am a data geek by trade and this analytical trait carries over to my golf game. I make my own yardage books and track player performance for the members of the Golf Association that I Chair. I like launch monitor data but I also understand it is not the â€œend all.â€
I live on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama so I have easy access to two courses that feature a lot of elevation changes and large greens. I practice 2-3x week and usually play once a week. I play to a 7 handicap from the Orange tees which measure 6800 yards and a slope of 130.
Set Make-up: I currently carry the Titleist 915 D2 10.5 degree driver with the stock Diamana Blue, S+ 60g, shaft with a stiff flex, or so it says, set at 11.25 degrees of loft with a slight upright lie angle bias. I like the performance of the Titleist 915 averaging 240-245 yards off the tee with a 92 mph swing speed.
Strengths/Weaknesses: My strength is hitting fairways â€“ 11/14. When I miss, I miss by feet, not yards. My weakness is Greens In Regulation - 9/18. I come out of my posture at times but I am correcting that with my coach.
OVERVIEW OF THE ACCRA SHAFT
ACCRA sent me the FX 160 driver shaft in M4 flex.
ACCRA states on its website that â€œthe FX 100 series shafts are designed to promote a higher initial launch condition with controlled spin rates. It further states that the FX 100 series shafts are excellent for those wanting to increase launch angle and utilize a super light-weight shaft.â€ One thing is certain: The ACCRA shaft feels a lot smoother than my Diamana. Engraving my name on the shaft â€“ â€œpriceless!â€
The table below shows some specs I think are important when it comes to shafts â€“ frequency, torque and weight. As you can see, the frequency of the ACCRA shaft measures at 258 cycles which makes it an honest â€œStiffâ€ shaft. My Diamana measures at a regular flex, not the â€œStiff' written on the shaft. Kudos to ACCRA for their accuracy!
The ACCRA is also a bit heavier than the Diamana, although not by much. Torque for the two shafts is a little different and may explain why I did not square the club face on the course as consistently as I normally do.
Looks and Feel: As I stated in my â€œunboxingâ€ comments, the shaft looks great, especially with the matching Golf Pride CP2 grip in blue trim. The unique color scheme ACCRA uses is an eye catcher and certainly a conversation starter, all good things for a manufacturer I would say. On the range and on the course, the shaft feels smooth and consistent throughout the swing, very good qualities.
To preserve the integrity of the testing process, my fitter carefully cut the ACCRA shaft so that when we installed the adapter and grip and inserted it into the 915 D2 head it measured the same as when the Diamana was inserted - 45 inches. We installed the same Golf Pride CP2 grip as the one on my Diamana and measured the frequency of each shaft which relates to shaft stiffness.
Testing Process: For the test, I got on a launch monitor three different times over the course of a 10 day period. I think doing so results in a better evaluation because it accounts for the differences most of us feel in our swing from one day to another. Each time the launch monitor was indoors - not exactly what I prefer but the only option available.
I hit 9 balls with both shafts. I used my own, brand new Titleist balls. I then threw out the best and worst ball with each shaft, leaving me with 7 recorded swings for each shaft. I followed this process each time I got on the launch monitor. This process resulted in launch monitor data for 21 swings with each shaft. The averages for my 21 swings are shown below. Differences are in red font.
As you can see from the data, there are some meaningful differences (better numbers are highlighted in red font) between the two shafts in terms of launch angle, back spin, peak height, dispersion and distance. The ACCRA launch angle was lower (13.7 vs 14.9) and dispersion was greater than the Diamana 12 yards vs 5 yards). ACCRA back spin was also higher than the Diamana (3064 vs 2743). I think the combination of higher back spin and lower torque may explain the increased dispersion and back spin probably explains the lost distance. That said, these numbers are from indoor launch monitors. Similar to â€œfeel vs realâ€, I put my faith in what I see on the course.
I like the feel and smoothness of the ACCRA shaft. Because of this, I believe the results would be much better with a formal fitting by an ACCRA fitter. Unfortunately, the nearest ACCRA fitter is located 3-4 hours from me. I am not sure I want to make that drive so I wonder if an ACCRA fitter would be able to recommend a better shaft based on this review. Maybe someone out there in MGS land can tell me.
ON COURSE COMPARISON: THE EYEBALL TEST
As I said above, numbers are numbers. I prefer to listen to what the ball tells me on the course, especially when I am under pressure either in a tournament or defending a bet. With this in mind, I played two rounds with my buddies and one tournament over a two week period for a total of 54 holes. The shaft felt very smooth to me every time. I liked that a lot but unfortunately, what I saw on the course validated the launch monitor data. I did not see the performance I hoped for. The distance loss was noticeable as was the wider dispersion pattern. I attribute this to higher the back spin and lower torque of the ACCRA shaft which made it harder for me to square the club face. Again I wonder if an ACCRA fitter would be able to recommend a better shaft based on the data points within this review.
I am very grateful for the opportunity MGS gave me and to ACCRA for trusting me with their shaft. ACCRA Customer Service is great and I have learned a lot. The numbers may not have worked in my favor on all accounts but I am sufficiently impressed with ACCRA to want to play their shaft if I can find the right one for me. I plan to continue using the ACCRA shaft for a month or so to see if I can adjust to it better than I have thus far. I think I owe that to ACCRA for trusting me to test their shaft.
I think the FX 250 or 260 in M3 flex may be a better fit based on the information on ACCRA's website but that is just my speculation. I wonder, therefore, if an ACCRA fitter could analyze this review and possibly recommend another ACCRA shaft that may be a better fit for me. At any rate, I owe both ACCRA and MGS a big thank you for trusting me as a tester. It has been a great ride.