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Sschaffer24

The Questions Some Are Afraid To Ask...

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Hello everyone!

 

I wanted to start this thread for myself, and also for the people newer to the game to ask their club fitting questions, and general questions about set construction, makeup and so on. 

 

Basically, in the last year or so I personally have developed a much stronger grasp for the game. I went from playing some cheap knockoffs to buying my own set. And then from buying my own set to really caring about everything and trying to get everything honed in.

 

However, there are still some major facets of understanding the golf game that elude me! Not how to play, but mainly about the clubs I'm playing.

 

I know mostly the different design cues and styles you can find out there on club heads. I understand what a players club looks like, GI, SGI and so on. I understand perimeter weighting, cavities, forged vs cast, and so on.

 

So I have an understanding, and I truly believe most guys that get to the point of joining this forum have most of that knowledge or probably more about club heads and the different styles.

 

But one thing I struggle with to a huge degree is shafts!

 

I can't for the life of me get a firm understanding on them. To get fit for my iron shafts I went to a fitter and used the shaft analyzer from Mizuno. The XP's were recommended, I hit them, loved them and BAM! Those are my shafts.

 

But without a computer taking my data and spitting out some options I would have NO CLUE how to pick an iron shaft. Let alone a driver shaft!

 

I see people mentioning C tapers, soft steps, frequency matching, splining, CPM (I think that's the term?) and have no clue how that effects me, or how to tell the difference?

 

So! My question is, can we have a general discussion on the properties of different shafts, whether it's a driver/fairway/hybrid shaft or an iron shaft, wedge shaft or putter shaft? And give some definitions of what these things mean so the guys out there such as myself can have a better understanding of the game!

 

After all, the shaft is equally if not more important to the club than the head itself, so I desperately would like to understand the other 50% of the equation!

 

 

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I'm certainly not qualified to give you any expert advice. However, I can certainly help start the conversation.

 

1. There are alot of fitters that don't fit the correct shafts to the swing. I paid $500 for a full bag fitting in the past. I ended up replacing everything - everything was way too stiff. I got convinced they were right. They were not.

 

2. Everyone has their own ideas of what shafts should be used. I'd take it with a grain of salt. Pick what feels good to you.

 

3. Tom Wishon has a plethora of good information here.  http://wishongolf.com/blog/ 

 

4. I just went through a driver fitting. Tried 8 different heads, 22 different shafts before I found one I liked that brought my numbers where they needed to be.

 

5. Buying a special shaft without trying it out with a launch monitor and your exact driver head is a waste of time and a crapshoot.

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Marc,

 

Those kinds of experiences are what scare me. That's not a small amount of money to spend on something to then have to turn around and replace everything.

 

For instance, when you go to a driver fitting is it better to basically pick out a head you like and just play with the shaft until it works together? Or will shaft x work completely different in for instance a nike head as in a Titleist head? You'd think they would be different.

 

And that's what boggles my mind. I know the names of all of these shafts, I can read the shaft flex, I can understand the length and weight ratio compared to swing weight.

 

But what do kick points mean? Torque? Tip inserts? And so on. And mostly, I could sit here and have someone explain them to me, but how does that apply to someone's game?

 

How do I take that information and be able to filter a list of shafts to what I need for my game?

 

I feel like there is so little information out there.

 

RookieBlue is a great example in my mind. I've read your WIMB thread and I'm curious to where you got your knowledge of the shafts from? I would love some info!

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5. Buying a special shaft without trying it out with a launch monitor and your exact driver head is a waste of time and a crapshoot.

It really is a crapshoot for the most part.  You can make an educated guess by reading what manufacturer says the shaft was designed for.....but until you try it out yourself there is no guarantee it will respond that way for you.  Go to a LM and take notes.

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Kilgore is right. Reading up on Wishon is a good thing too if your inclined to become a shaft guru. If I were you I wouldn't get all hung up on shafts at this point in your game. I'd be willing to bet your swing needs some TLC. Mine does off and on all the time. I'm focusing on a couple of minor swing changes right now. It ain't easy. My scores and handicap have gone up. But... they will come back down even lower soon. Work on your swing fundamentals. Of course that's assuming you already have a decent set of sticks. Swing is the thing my friend. By the way... welcome to MGS.

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It really is a crapshoot for the most part.  You can make an educated guess by reading what manufacturer says the shaft was designed for.....but until you try it out yourself there is no guarantee it will respond that way for you.  Go to a LM and take notes.

 

I will also add that sometimes a shaft that works in one driver head wont necessarily work in a different head.

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Well thank you for all or the input to this point.

 

I'm not necessarily stressing over my correct shaft. I know that with swing improvements and technique changes different shafts will fit me better.

 

However, I would love to understand the differences in what shafts are. What sets them apart and so on. To me, I'd like for anyone who has questions or even answers to ask/post them here!

 

Basically, I'm fine where I am now. I agree with you 100% plaidjacket that my swing is the next phase of working on my game.

 

I'm just asking for my understanding, and the general knowledge of the game!

 

Also, thank you.

 

And Theo, that just blows my mind. To think that there's that much difference. Obviously each head is different, but to have such a wide variance.

 

It just makes me think of my friends who play the game, and they have absolutely no clue what the differences between shafts are. To them, a shaft is just a piece of metal or graphite that let's you swing a club...

 

Wow. Haha.

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And Theo, that just blows my mind. To think that there's that much difference. Obviously each head is different, but to have such a wide variance.

 

Yea, when I was fitted for my sldr the first shaft the fitter tried was the same fuji fuel that was in my covert and I couldn't hit it at all. Which was frustrating cause I loved it in my covert.

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Wow.

 

That seriously just is something I have a hard time wrapping my head around. Wishon does have some interesting things to say from what I've read so far though!

 

Speaking of which, what do you think about the SLDR vs the Covert at this point?

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Wow.

 

That seriously just is something I have a hard time wrapping my head around. Wishon does have some interesting things to say from what I've read so far though!

 

Speaking of which, what do you think about the SLDR vs the Covert at this point?

Sldr is so much longer for me but it may have to do more with and improved swing and a shift that fits better for it.

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Personally, I think some people go overboard on fitting. If you're a 22 (not saying you are, just an example), then there's no reason to spend a ton of money on shafts splining, etc. Your money is better spent on lessons and getting consistent.

 

Only after getting a swing that's consistent can you make any kind of decision about equipment. For example, if you start getting consistent, and your irons have a somewhat predictable flight (low fades, high draw, whatever...) then you can look at what you want/need to change in your equipment.

 

For years I played everything off the rack. Never got fitted, other than hitting a few times in a bay at the big box. I got down to a 6 handicap that way. I believe far more strokes are lost due to swing issues and course management than equipment.

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HighFade,

 

That's actually very interesting. I think you have absolutely the right idea. My game plan is definitely to try and hone in my skills and get a solid consistent swing worked out.

 

The question for me is not about my personal shaft fitting. I'm asking shafts in general. Does that make sense?

 

Essentially, a lot of people have good knowledge about the components of a shaft. And the different things you can do with them. Different fitting terms and so on. I'm just curious as to what each of those variables mean to a shaft and so on. I want to understand shafts more, and maybe less how they apply to my personal game.

 

And I feel like other people new to the world of golf may want to know what different terms and variables of a shaft means.

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The biggest thing I've learned is there is no industry standard for flex. Hard to believe, but it's true. CPM measurements don't match ratings given from one manufacturer to another. Picking shafts by swing speed is a recipe for disaster.

 

Some people swear they must have low torque shafts... I can't feel the difference between a 1.5 and a 3.5. I could care less what it feels like. All I care about is what the numbers say.

 

I've found that locating a good fitter is like finding a good auto mechanic. Word of mouth is the best way to find a good one. I can definitely tell you that a premium price does not necessarily equal a perfect fitting. Now that I've found a fitter I trust in my area, he gets all of my business. The pro I get lessons from met me at my last driver fitting to assist in the fitting process and it was awesome. If you can do that, I think it increases your odds for success. He knew my swing, he knew if what I was doing in the fitting was typical, and corrected me if I was swinging differently than I normally do.

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Here's a few points. Flex is measured in cycles per minute (CPM). It can be measured at different points along the shaft to map it's profile compared to others. Tip stiff or soft, etc.

 

The kick point is where the shaft wants to bend the most. A soft tip will have a low kick point which increases launch angle and spin. C Tapers have a higher kick point which helps flight the ball down and reduce spin.

 

The torque measurement is how much the shaft will twist with a given force applied. A "low torque" shaft means it will resist the twisting force better than a high torque shaft. That doesn't mean low torque is the best. It depends on your swing. A higher torque shaft can release more through impact and help close the face if that's an issue for someone.

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To both Marc and blade, thank you for your input.

 

I find that the information you gave me blade is definitely very helpful. It makes it a little easier to understand. After reading through wishons blog that helps as well.

 

But I completely agree with what everyone says about having a launch monitor to hit off of, as well as relying on numbers.

 

Something I struggle with as an idea is the complete lack of a launch monitor where I live. I'm in a small town and there isn't a course within an hours drive that has a launch monitor. Or a local fitter.

 

My dad does club repair and some custom work, which I have talked with him about and dived into somewhat with him, but he doesn't have a monitor or a full fitting bay to hit in.

 

It's rather frustrating.

 

I just find it so fascinating that it seems there is this major component of the golf club that so many people completely neglect. I dunno.

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Read up on Maltby/Golfworks as well. More useful info to be found over there. I bought two new shafts last year off eBay. One has worked great, the other I'm ready to unload as it didn't quite measure up to what I expected from the research I did and the club I was planning to use it in. Fitting is definitely the way to go. For what I have spent in trial and error I could've just done a fitting and probably saved a little cash along the way.

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The question I often want to ask but am afraid is, "Are those things real?"  :lol:

I have to admit, I literally LOL'd on that one, haha. Some would say that the mind playa a funny trick and makes you THINK they're real.

 

Duffer,

 

I've done a little reading on golfworks. My dad has some literature on their process as he went through the fitting school.

 

I guess my problem with this whole shaft thing is for instance the guys on here who purchase shafts regularly, you know drop $200+ on a shaft, how do they know what works?

 

Or where does the information come from that a fitter might use to say "you're hitting the covert 2.0 and you're swinging this way, so this shaft will work well for you."? Or is that purely and educated guess and nothing else?

 

I know the end all be all of shaft fitting is a launch monitor. And I know that really without that it's basically a crapshoot. But I can't help but think some people can have a better understanding than others through research and knowledge!

 

I hope I'm making sense. Haha,

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First, fitting for shafts is the fitter's recommendation based on their interpretation of the data.  I've been fitted into X-flex in irons every time, I prefer S hardstepped once in my preferred shafts.  Why?  Because it feels better and I feel I have more control over the clubhead, especially on partial swings.  You want to get an optimal flight, which you can find numbers several places for, that's a blend of being able to control what happens when the ball lands, from checking to releasing to spinning back or anything in between.  You also want a flight that will fight the wind if it's strong, but isn't too low where it falls out of the air prematurely.  The big thing with iron shafts, though, is to find the one that you can repeatedly control the most accurately and can hold a distance grouping that is small with.  The flex doesn't matter as far as the numbers go for swing speed.  The shaft has to match your swing.  A guy that loads it hard at the top will need a stiffer shaft (generally) whereas a guy that's silky smooth at the transition can play a flex lower than what his swingspeed would indicate.  There are tons of variables to consider.

Driver shaft fitting, it's more of a look and see and matching up the numbers for optimal flight (carry and roll) for the golfer's individual swing.  Every swing is different and every fitting should be different.  The fitters that strictly use numbers to analyze what shaft one should select, IMO, aren't worth the money you'd spend on them.  I'd much rather find a fitter that takes their time and dials the clubs in to suit your swing and your game to give you the best comination of distance AND control.  

Then you have guys like me that experiment with everything they can get their hands on at their own expense until it feels right, flight looks right and the numbers match up while being accurate.  It's a costly methodology, but for me, half of the thrill is in the pursuit of the perfect combination because I am a club ho.  I've given up distance because a shaft feels like crap before.  I've given up accuracy because a shaft felt prefect when hitting the club.  

As far as knowing where to start, it all depends on your understanding of YOUR own game and YOUR equipment needs.  If I know what I'm trying to do with the ball flight, I can generally hit the nail on the head with one or two selections for myself as well as what head I'm pairing it with and the design of that particular head.

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