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OFFICIAL FORUM MEMBER REVIEW - KBS $ TAPER SHAFTS

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OFFICIAL FORUM MEMBER REVIEW - KBS $ TAPER SHAFTS

 

 

 

 

Here's our lineup of testers...

 

 

Hackabilly                    Stage 1             Stage 2          Stage 3
 

BigHappyVA                Stage 1              Stage 2         Stage 3

 

Kegger                         Stage 1             Stage 2         Stage 3

 

VolGolfer                      Stage 1             Stage 2         Stage 3

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KBS $-Taper Shaft Review

By: Hackabilly

 

Stage One

 

Hackabilly here comin' at yah from the sunshiny, cactus covered, beautiful desert of southern Arizona, Tucson to be exact. Big thanks to MGS for letting us golf addicted junkies try the pretty, new, shiny things we may or may not buy on our own. Since you're reading this, thank you too for being part of this awesome community that is MGS.

 

About me:

I'm a 33 year old dad of three little girls( 7, 5 and 10 months) and 2 dogs, also girls, with a wife who usually understands when I say I need to get out for a bit. I have to give a shout-out to her as she brings home the bacon( I work one day a week) and has been supportive of me getting new to me clubs that fit my game better as of late. I've golfed off and on throughout my life, starting when I was 5 or 6 and my dad cut down a 3 wood for me that I could hit in the back yard. We lived in some apartments with a shared back yard for 4 units. That stint was short lived though, it ended with the kid from next door catching a golf ball off the noggin which left a pretty sweet purple goose egg. To be fair I was there first and I warned him more than once to move , I never did like that kid, and he never messed with me after that . The next stint started around 2004 when I got a cheap set of clubs for Christmas made by Zenith (mostly known for tv's). I used those clubs until earlier this year, and until 2015 only played a round or 2 a year with the occasional trip to the range just for fun. I started to take things more serious this year and decided to take a lesson as well as spend a lot more time on the course. During my lesson I was told the clubs I had were not well suited to my swing, and thus began my relationship with MGS, doing research on clubs that were a few years old. Since joining MGS I've become addicted to the forum and realized that I'm a club-ho with a used clubs only budget, haha. This all started just a few short months ago and now I've replaced everything but my woods.

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The Questions

  • Handicap? Unofficially a 23 ish handicap

  • Strengths of your game? I've always been pretty confident with the putter. I feel like I give even long putts a pretty good chance of going in and very rarely 3 putt. Driving is becoming more reliable lately with a predictable 270-275 yard fade.

  • Weakness of your game? Inconsistent ball striking throughout the bag, when I get the swing right the ball really goes but in between those good shots are a lot of tops, hooks, pushes, slices, pulls and less often fats. This likely comes from a big inside move on the take away which necessitates an over the top move on the down swing to get back on plane. I also tend to crunch my left side which seems to be a big source of my problems. As many of you know the more compensations you have to make in your swing the more inconsistent it is. When I can stay tall and come more from the inside the ball flies a LOT better

  • Typical ball flight? I'm working on this currently but generally I've been coming down steep and then having to flip the hands through giving me tons of loft and a really high trajectory. I practiced staying back more yesterday and began to see what my clubs are really capable of, and was even able to change some ball flights sort of on purpose.

  • Typical miss? Irons: pull/hook sometimes combined Driver: big push sometimes slice

  • Any current training aids? Just started using the Swingbyte tommc23 sent me and have one range session with it. It is what provided me with most of the swing info above.

  • Swing tempo? I believe the Swingbyte sometimes said 3 and other times said 4 for the swing tempo.

  • Driver swing speed? 105 per the Swingbyte

  • What makes you love the game? Being outside in places that usually have one heck of a good view, add in a couple buddies with a little beer or whiskey and you've got yourself a pretty darn good time.

  • What kind of golfer are you? The kind that likes to go when the prices are cheap, which means the temps are high and nobody else wants to be out there. Also the kind that really wants to be better at this game, my best score so far was a 93 and I'd like to break 90 before the end of the year. I get very competitive when I'm out by myself which I realized was keeping me from really enjoying my time on the course. It gets frustrating when you know you are capable of hitting good shots but can't predictably produce those on the course. I do a lot better (mentally) when I play with others, so I've been thinking about trying to find a league of some sort.

  • What's your story? I feel like I'm at the beginning of the story in terms of my golfing chapter. I love sports and have played them throughout my life, and most sports have come and gone throughout my life but golf has been around more or less since 2004, becoming a true addiction in the last year and a half or so. The drive to get out and play and improve has really gotten strong this year and I think its just the start to perhaps a life long chase for better scores.

  • What is in your bag? Lots of new to me stuff... haha

​Driver: Bombtech Grenade

Irons: Adams Idea pro A12 3-pw

Woods: the remnants of the old zenith set

Wedges: Tour Edge TGS 56* I need to add a 50* wedge to this

Putter: Cleveland Classic Collection Belly cut to 34" Lie 72* Loft 3* weight 400g

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  • How did you choose them? The driver I bought because it was on a good sale and I thought it would work well for me. The irons came with the KBS Tour in Stiff and I had swung a few clubs with that shaft and really liked it plus these heads look pretty darn cool and feel good to boot.

  • What region do you play out of? Mostly the desert, usually next to a cactus with a rattlesnake curled at its base aggressively protecting my ball which is now his. Occasionally I get it on the fairway or the green. But really Tucson summer golf can hardly be beat once the monsoons really start rolling in. The courses get a little rough between June and mid July but once that rain starts coming down and the grass starts to soak it up, you can play a 100 dollar course for 25 bucks in good condition.

  • Are you a tinkerer or a set and forget it type? Tinkerer all the way at this stage. I've got to figure out what swing and equipment will work best for me and I'm still very much on that journey. I'm thinking about asking for a driver fitting for Christmas or sometime in the near future which would likely lock that in for a bit. The irons may or may not stay, I'm really happy with them especially with these shafts in them. But if I figure out a different swing that brings more consistency I'm not against buying something that suits me better at that point. The putter probably won't leave for a long time, it is an amazing putter. If you are in the used market for a putter I would highly recommend this one. Off center hits, toe and heel, don't feel bad and come off just a smidge hotter than centered hits.

  • First Impressions:

Alright finally on to the fun part of this show. I was excited to find these at my door shortly after getting home from vacation.

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First off they are shiny, like a chrome bumper catching the afternoon sun and throwing it in your face while you sit in traffic shiny. I think you can see the shiny glare spot in this pic.

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I was worried that it might be distracting during the swing but that has not been the case. This feature is not my favorite, but it also doesn't ruin them for me either. They are very smooth looking, like so smooth that you have to catch them in just the right light to tell that it has any steps smooth. Smoother than my brother in laws bald head after a good waxing.

 

 

$-Taper Left, Tour Right

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I thought the KBS Tour shafts were pretty darn good until I hit the ball with these shafts in place. Definitely a difference in ball flight on good shots with a more driving ball flight and steep drop off, which is what I was expecting when I first bought these clubs because that's what they advertised. These seem more stiff in a rotational sense than the KBS Tour shafts. For instance on shots toward the toe, the KBS Tours sometimes felt like an alligator was doing a death roll at the end of my club. But these feel more like an English butler saying, "That was not a great shot sir, perhaps try to hit it more out the middle next time". Distance wise I think they are about the same as the Tour shafts, but I'll have to make it to the PGA superstore across town to find out. After finding out I was picked for this I took my irons there to get an idea of how far I was hitting the ball with the Tour shafts. I was swinging it well that day and the distances were surprising and consistent, so hopefully I'll repeat that for the $-Taper shafts. Honestly I think this shaft and head combo was a match made in heaven, I've seen better ball flights overall including on shots that were a bit fat or thin and the clubs feel more forgiving. I dare to say, at the risk of being called a blasphemer, my first thought after a few shots was "that feels Mizuno-esque". Also I'm suddenly much more aware of where my club head is which is helping me understand how I can make my swing more consistent. Because these were sold as “Low spin” I expected a lot of roll out but that hasn't really been the case in the two rounds I've played with them. I imagine that's due to what seems to be a steeper descending flight. Just before I put these shafts in I was starting to get decent dispersion out of the Tour shafts so I will be able to give somewhat of an opinion on that, though it won't have an exact value associated with it. All in all super impressed with these $ taper shafts, and expect to fall more in love with them as my swing gets better.

  • I'll leave you with some Tucson sunset and course pictures

  • course.jpgsunset1.jpgsunset2.jpgcourse 2.jpg

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KBS $-Taper shaft – Official MGS Forum Review by Hackabilly

Player Re-Intro

In case you forgot since last time, I'm your average high handicapper trying to work their way to un-earning the hack title. I've been trying more seriously to get better at this crazy game over the last year plus, and it seems to be working….slowly. This journey has included a lesson, better clubs, and more course and range time. I'm slowly becoming more consistent, but the getting there is killing me. Depending on the day there is either light at the end of the un-hacking myself tunnel, or I'm just about ready to give up. The current goal is a sub 90 round by the end of the year, closest I've come legitimately was a 93.

The Stats:

Handicap: 23

Typical Miss: Push/ Push slice ( it's nice to actually have a typical one)

Ball Flight: Mid to High

Swing speed: 105-110 with the driver

Relevant Clubs: Adams Pro a12 4-Pw

Previous Shaft: KBS Tour 120 S

Performance

Performance on the Range:

I couldn't be happier with this part of the clubs performance. I've spent more of the last few weeks on the range than on the course due to time constraints, and I can say that it has been fruitful. As you've read through the stages of all the testers you may have noticed a common thread of more club head awareness, and I am just going to keep that train rolling. This ability to know where the head is at all times has made me aware of swing flaws and helped me over time start to find ways to become more consistent. Now I'm not saying it looks any prettier than it did when I started but it feels better and I'm seeing better contact and consistency as a result. I mentioned above that I actually have a typical miss now and that feels amazing. The two sided misses crush your confidence and will to play most days, but a one sided miss makes you feel like maybe you could be a pro someday….or at least score a little lower. My “good” miss is just a little push, the “bad” one is the big push with a little slice on the end, a nice little kick in the shin when you were already down. Distances only changed a little with these shafts and only for the 8-Pw (5 ish yards), the medium and longer clubs were basically the same according to the numbers from the hitting bay at the PGA Superstore. I tried to get numbers for spin, but for some reason the day I went to hit after these shafts were installed I was getting super low spin numbers like 5000 with a pitching wedge. I know these are supposed to be low spin but I highly doubt they are that low, I also know that I had a few clock around 9000 rpm backspin with the Tour shafts. It felt like there was a glitch in the equipment that day but I can't officially say it wasn't something I was doing either. I'll add that my on course distances seem to be 5 to 10 yards less than in the hitting bay as well.

Range Performance Score:  10 out of 10

Performance on the Course:

Over the 3 or 4 rounds I've played since getting these shafts the big changes I see are ball contact before divot, and a reduction in miss distance because of curve. The first is helped indirectly by the increased feedback these shafts have brought me, while the second can be more directly influenced by the shaft. Having a more predictable swing and miss is of course going to affect your on course performance, and even your enjoyment of play. I played a 9 hole round today on an executive course and told myself I was only going to use my irons (ok I used the 3 wood once...ok twice), and it went surprisingly well. I had some bad shots, which is expected when you're a 20 + handicapper but my bad ones were much better than they have been in the past(playable vs. OB) and I didn't have any crazy deep digs, which has been my on course MO lately. What could have been a +15 day was only a +10 day, and boy did I enjoy it. I hit two greens on par 3's with the ball ending up pin high, the other 2 par 3 greens were only barely missed. I definitely see less slices and hooks with these shafts than the Tour shafts, but thats not to say you can't work it. When I do get it to curve, and it can curve, its on accident so I'm sure some of you guys could still bend it like Bubba on purpose with these “low spin” shafts. On the topic of low spin I just want to add that these still stop amazingly well on the greens, I had a 7 iron hop and stop within about 5 feet from 175 yards today, and I backed up a PW by a few feet as well. Now these shafts aren't magically throwing the ball in the hole for me so I might have to dock a point for that, but trust me when I say they are an amazing (money) combination of stiffness and feel.

Course Score: 27 out of 30

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Subjective

Looks & Durability

These shafts come in two colors, a shiny chrome and some kind of black color. We got to test the chrome one and it is what you expect when you get pretty much any other steel shaft. It does gain some points in the looks department for having an almost stepless look though. There is something about this smooth look that does make you ooh and ahh a little bit. I have not gotten the chance to see the black one in person but it would be neat to be able to see if it has a shiny finish or not. I would personally prefer something with a satin or flat finish. Does it affect your game no, do I think a different finish would bring some cool points to the game Yes. One credit I will give to these is that the shiny finish seems to be tough. I thought for sure that some of the shine would rub off as these spent a few weeks in my bag, or as they got swung near trees and bushes, but so far I don't see much change. The graphics are what I think they should be in this case, small enough to hide on the back side of the shaft while still providing some identification. This lets the smoothness of the shaft be the cool factor, not some big flashy decal that covers most of the shaft. Maybe these are kinda the Nissan GTR of the shaft world, understated looks with a whole lot of performance under the hood.  

 

Looks Score: 17 Out of 20 points

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Feel

This one is a pretty easy score, KBS hit the nail on the head in the feel department with this shaft. I've already said more than once how I've changed my swing because I can feel more of what I'm doing that isn't quite right. I talked about toe hits feeling better with this shaft than the Tours in my stage one and that hasn't changed. I've had a lot of shots that flew like they came out of the middle of the face, but I know by feel and by looking at the club face after that it came off the toe. Still in the grooves but just barely.

Feel Score: 20 out of 20

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Likelihood of Purchase

This is going to be a tough one for me to answer since I usually only go with used stuff. When I compared the cost of this shaft with the cost of the other popular KBS shafts I was certainly a little shocked to see these as almost 20 bucks more than C-Tapers and 30 bucks more than the Tour shaft. I see these as slightly overpriced but you almost expect that from a shaft with a money sign on the label. I mean you've got to pay some sort of premium when you can have your cake and eat it too….right?

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I'm sure it took some time to get the shaft to sit in the sweet spot between Tour feel and C-taper stiffness, and time is money, so maybe that's the justification. But is it 20-30 dollars per shaft worthy...I'm not sure. Personally I think a price that was closer to 10 bucks more than the C-taper would make more sense, but maybe thats why I'm not a businessman. I hate to see this dock too many points though because if you are getting fit for clubs and have the money then you would absolutely want to look at this shaft. Would I buy them right now in my current situation as new? Probably not. But these have given me a little taste of what might be possible if I were to get fit for clubs and buy them based on those specifications. Perhaps it is something to work toward and look forward to as my game gets better.

LOP Score: 12 Out of 20 points

 

Conclusion & Final Score

I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to test a product that is changing my game for the better. I can't say enough about how awesome these shafts feel, and how they perform. I think these have a real opportunity to work for a wide spectrum of the golfing population. People who tend to slice or hook might find help with the low spin feature of these shafts while those with higher swing speeds that are searching for a little bit more feel might find a very playable shaft in the $-taper. Like BigHappyVA I too have thought cheesy things like “Wow these are money!” after hitting a nice shot with these. They just feel so smooth during the swing, and then you see this driving flight and then the ball lands hops and stops way quicker than you thought it would on the green and you just can't help but think cheesy thoughts. Suddenly better scores don't seem completely out of reach and a hacker like me catches a glimmer of hope for breaking 90 or 80 or maybe even 70….someday. If you made it this far thanks for taking the time to read through my rambling and I hope I gave you some good info to think about.

Total Score: 86

I know this took a while to post but I think it gave me a chance to play these shafts enough to do them justice. I went through a little slump for a couple weeks while trying to figure out some swing tweaks and it just wouldn't have been fair to judge them off the feeling and results I was getting then. Also I was trying to edit then add a video of my swing but having all sorts of problems with it. If I get it figured out I'll try to add it.

 
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I want to first thank MGS for giving me the opportunity to do my first review for their website.  I also want to thank KBS shafts for this opportunity as well.  

 

$-TAPER

 

TOUR FEEL. MONEY PERFORMANCE.

KBS Tour $-Taper provides superior feel while maintaining shot workability and tight dispersion for players seeking the ultimate tour shaft with Mid trajectory and Low Spin performance.

 

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About Me:

I picked up playing golf right after college.  So that puts me at playing for about 9 years.  I started off borrowing some ping eye 2's from my wife's dad and went with the self-taught method for the first couple of years.  I played baseball from peewee to high school so swinging a golf club wasn't that different from a baseball bat or so I thought.  I got some clubs off craigslist (j36 combo set with project x 6.0 flighted shafts) and started my journey to get better.  I ended up getting two lessons and really learned a lot about proper grip, addressing the ball and other fundamentals of the swing.  After practicing for a long time, my average 100+ scores dropped into the 90's and now I'm to the point that I can shoot high 80's to low 90's on average.  

 

Check out my 6-iron swing and driver swing.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDsa3AqE3_o

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC4dbsVrEqE

 

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What region do I play out of?

I'm from the Northern Virginia region.  I'm about 30 minutes outside the nation's capital. I play lots of public and county courses.  Most courses in this area are pretty soft.  Pretty easy to keep your ball on the green with most shots.  My favorite driving range is Virginia Golf Center and Academy.  They also have a great 9 hole course which will be perfect for testing out my irons.  

 

Strengths/weakness of my game:

I love pulling the driver and letting the big dog eat.  I've got an average swing of 112-115 mph with the driver.  Like most, my biggest misses are big slices.  Finding the fairway off the tee is probably one of the hardest aspects of the game for me.  When I'm there, I find myself shooting lower 80's.  I can strike the ball well on average with my irons and my short game needs work with distance control.  

 

My Current setup:

I'm currently playing mp-64 with KBS c-taper 130X.  My scoring also went down when I got stiffer and heavier shafts in my irons.  I had a problem with stiff shafts ballooning up on me and coming up short.  With the C-taper shafts, my dispersion became tight too.  I'm really excited to see what these $-taper are going to be like compared to the C-taper shafts.  

 

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Driver : Cobra LTD pro x-stiff 9.5 degrees

3 wood: TaylorMade RBZ tour spoon 13 degrees

5 wood: Titleist 906F 18 degrees

Irons: Mizuno MP-64 KBS $-tape 130

Wedges: Mizuno S5 50,56 - Cleveland 60 degree

Putter: Boccieri B3-M

 

What I'm looking for out of these shafts?:

Plain and simple, I'm looking for more feel.  I know that is pretty vague but let me try and explain a little more.  C-taper X 130 shafts are great and have given me that penetrating ball flight I've been looking for.  Like I said earlier, my dispersion has become tighter with the heavier shafts.   I've noticed extra distance too.  Sometimes I feel like I can't load the shaft and lose track of the head.  I also like to hit half shots and this can cause me problems during my round.  From the description alone, $-taper is looking to give me the same lower spin with more feel.  

 

First impressions:

 

Looks-  I've been playing the C-taper shafts which are a brushed steel so going back to a polished steel was a little bit concerning because I got used to the zero glare.  Other than that, they look like any other steel shaft.  I like the smaller KBS label too.  

 

Feel-  First thing I immediately noticed was that I could feel the head of the club more so than my c-taper shafts.  This is exactly what I was looking for in terms of “feel”.  The way I describe c-taper during my swing sometimes is it feels like you are swinging rebar.  These $-taper feel like I can really load the shaft but still give me the low spin performance I need for my swing.  

 

Performance-  First couple of swings on the range were great.  I still got low to mid-flight that I prefer.  I'd say that the $-taper was slightly higher than my C-taper.   All shots were very controllable and the dispersion was exactly the same as my C-taper.  Needless to say, I'm super impressed with these shafts so far.  The combo of Mizuno mp-64 and KBS $-taper is so far exactly what I have been looking for.  I've got the “feel” that I want and performance that I need.  

 

Thanks for checking out my first part and I'm really looking forward to really testing this shafts out and giving you guys more information.  I leave you with some pictures of some courses I've played and bourbon I've drunk.  

Reston National

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May River (South Carolina)

 

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Bourbon

 

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Heritage Hunt

 

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KBS $-Taper X130 – Official MGS Forum Review by Nick Graves

 

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Player Bio:

Just a recap from my first post. I'm a mid handicap golfer who has all the typical misses like most amateurs.  I have a higher swing speed so I play all X-stiff shafts to help keep my ball flight lower. My Current setup is:

Cobra LTD Pro driver set at 9.5 degrees

Taylormade Tour Spoon 13 degrees

Adams Pro Hybrid 19 degree

Mizuno MP 65 with KBS $-Taper X130

Mizuno 50 & 56 degree S5 wedges

Cleveland CG14 60 degree

Newly added Scotty Cameron Select Newport 3


I feel like I got a real good chance to review these $-taper shafts.  I got a chance to play 5 good rounds with them and 3 good range sessions with them.  Just to give the audience an idea of what I'm comparing these shafts too, I have played your dynamic gold s300, project x 6.0, and KBS C-taper x130.  The C-taper were in my MP-64 before swapping them out with the $-taper.  Some issues I had with the s300 and project X 6.0 was that most shots would balloon on me.  I was losing distance and if there was any wind in my face then 9/10 times I was not hitting the green in regulation.  I realized I needed a stiffer shaft that would lower spin and flight for me.  KBS C-taper X130 called my name.  I didn't get fit for these but the deal was just too good to pass up.  So while I got the lower flight and much lower spin, I lost some feel.  On ½ shots of ¾ shots, I lost where the face of the club was.  That's why I was so excited to see what the $-taper was all about.  I was looking for similar ball flight but with more feel.  I know that is relative to the golfer, but I like a shaft that I feel like I can load on all shots.  


Performance at the Range

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Both the $-taper and C-taper feel the same in the hands since they were both 130 grams and both X stiff.  My immediate reaction on the performance on the range was “wow, these are money!”  I really didn't want to think that considering I find the name of these shafts cheesy.  They gave me great feedback and I felt like I could load the shafts on all shots.  I could feel where the clubface was at all times.  Hitting high and medium shots were very easy. Lower shots were not as easy as the C-taper but still doable.  


 

Range Score: (9 out of 10)

 

Performance on the Course


Accuracy/control:


I felt like I had slightly more control with the $-taper especially in the longer irons.   I had a very consistent fade on most of the irons.  Would I say that it's more accurate than my C-taper? I think my misses are the exact same.  Compared to other shafts I played liked I mentioned before (s300 and project X 6.0) my misses are far better with KBS $-taper.  I'd say at least a 10-yard difference in the dispersion.  Instead of being in the rough, I was on the edge of the green or the first cut.  Now you could argue that it's the Indian and not the arrow, which I mostly agree with but I truly feel like I had a more consistent shot shape.  I felt like I had the same shot shape with the C-taper also.


Distance:


I wasn't expecting it but I actually got some distance gains.  That could because of the extra height I was getting from the $ shafts.  Wasn't much compared to C-taper but if I had to guess, I would say that I was carrying the ball extra 4 yards on average.  How I came to this conclusion you might ask without actual numbers from a trackman?  I played a course I have played about 40+ rounds on while testing these shafts.  I could tell you exactly what club I need to hit on every single hole if I had to.  I noticed on the par 3's that I overshot all 4 of them!.  


Trajectory:


I typically have a pretty high trajectory.  The $-taper gave me a mid to high flight on full shots.  Really helps me stick green.  Northern Va has some pretty soft green for the most part so I can get a 5 iron to hit the green and roll out 6-8 feet.  C-taper is definitely lower in flight and more roll out too.  


On Course Score: 25 out of 30


Performance Notes

  • How did it perform?It performed exactly how I wanted them to.  They gave me the feeling I felt like I was missing.  

  • Were you pleased with how the club(s) performed?  I was very pleased with how the shafts performed and did what they said would do.  Low spin with mid-flight

  • Please compare and contrast it to what you are currently playing? C-Taper has a lower flight and VERY stiff compared $-Taper.  

  • What factors were you pleased with?  I was very pleased with feel of these shafts on ½ shots, ¾ shots, and full shots.  

  • Did you notice better production on the range or on the course more? I noticed slightly higher ball flight on the course and range.  Which I believe gave me slightly more carry distance and more stopping power on the greens.  

  • What factors did you find lacking?  I don't feel like they are lacking anything.  

  • What improvements would you like to see?  I would like to see this shafts produced in brushed steel like the C-taper because I enjoyed the lack of glare they offered.  

Subjective

Looks

They look like every other shaft on the market with the naked eye.  If I had the choice, I would have got the black shafts.  
 

Looks Score: (20 of 20 points)

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Feel

I mentioned this probably a hundred times but the feel I received from the $-Taper shafts were top notch.  I can feel where the face of the club is at all times.  

 

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Sound and Feel Score: (20 of 20 points)

 

Likelihood of Purchase

Would I personally spend the money to upgrade my shafts on my current gamers?  I probably would not.  If I bought new irons would I make sure I put these KBS $-Taper shafts in them?  I definitely would!  It's cheesy but they are MONEY.  


LOP Score: (10 of 20 points)

 

 

Conclusion & Final Score

 

After the past 6 weeks, I really enjoyed myself and getting the great opportunity to test these shafts out.  I will continue to play these as my current gamer for a long time coming.  I'm getting slightly more distance, same tight dispersion as the C-taper, more stopping power on greens and that MONEY FEEL. ;)  KBS really gave the golf community a great shaft.  If you currently play extra stiff shafts and looking for something that doesn't feel like you are swinging rebar, seriously check out $-taper.  

 

Final Score: ( 84 out of 100)

 

 
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Stage Three - The Follow Up & Value Question.

 

The Five Questions

  1. Will this product go in your bag? Why or why not?  The KBS $-taper will stay in my bag.  These shafts have given me the ability to hit the all the shots I want.  These gave me the feel I felt like I was missing from my C-taper.

  2. To whom, if anyone, would you recommend this product? Why?  I played the extra stiff 130 gram shafts, so if you have a higher swing speed and need tighter dispersion in your shots but want all the shot working capability, then consider these premium $-taper shafts for your irons.  You will get the mid launch and lower spin.  I always had iron shafts that were either too light or wasn't stiff enough and had ballooning shots where I lost distance and bigger dispersion.  Check out KBS $-taper if you are dealing with the same issues.  

  3. How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of KBS?  I already knew KBS made premium iron shafts.  I was playing the C-taper prior to this testing. The $-taper actually elevated my overall impression of the KBS brand because they made another premium product!

  4. What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?  The only feature I would like to see would be a price drop.  This would be the only thing holding me back from purchasing these shafts myself but you get what you pay for.  These are premium iron shafts at a premium price.  They deliver what they advertise.  I would like to see these shafts closer to the C-taper price tag.  I would also like to the see the brushed steel finish like the c-taper.  

  5. What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models?  I enjoy the subtle sticker on the shafts.   Continue the black finish they offer as well.  The red and black really stands out and makes you think KBS.  Other than the looks, this model really fills the gap and helps KBS create a well rounded lineup of shaft options and flexes.  

 

This concludes my stage 3 and testing.  Hope everyone enjoyed the read and got some more information about how they perform and how they can fit into your game.  If you are getting new irons, ask the fitter to gives these a try!  Let me know if you have any other question I can answer.  

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MGS Review by Kegger – KBS $-Taper Shafts


Stage One - Introduction & Interview Thread

 

First off, I must give a huge shout out to MyGolfSpy for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this review. It has been a great experience so far and has cemented me as being part of this great community!

 

About me:

Welcome to the one section that none of you are really here to read! That's right, this section has nothing to do with those beautiful KBS $-Taper shafts, and everything to do with me!


I will keep this brief as much of what I want to write will be covered in some form in the Question section below.. I am a 29 year old from the San Francisco Bay Area in California (a hotspot for both golf and outrageously priced real estate). I've been swinging a golf club since before I can remember, but I didn't really start “playing” until I bought my first iron set in 2010. I fooled around on 9-hole courses for a couple years, but it wasn't until around 2013 that I really fell in love with the game and got hooked. From that point on, golf went from being a hobby to a driving force that consumes the majority of my free time.


The Questions:

  • Handicap? My current official GHIN is 12.4

  • Strengths of your game? Putting is my strong suit. The flat stick has gotten me out of trouble plenty of times, and I believe is the one aspect of my game where I play better than the average for my handicap. My putting stats hover around 1.7-1.9 putts per hole with a 3-putt avoidance around 90%.

  • Weakness of your game? Without a doubt, my swing! I have a very pronounced over-the-top move that I have been struggling to rid myself of. This swing fault leads to some inconsistencies with my long game, most specifically with my long irons (I started working with a swing coach this year to help minimize, and ultimately correct, my swing path, but it is still a work in progress...)

  • Typical ball flight? I have a low-mid ball flight.

  • Typical miss? As my “weakness” would suggest, my typical miss is right. My miss with irons is a thin pull-fade and my miss with driver/woods is a high pull-slice.

  • Swing tempo? I would consider myself to have a moderate swing tempo. I tend to hover right around a 3:1 tempo (as captured with a GSA Pro swing analyzer).

  • Swing Speed? Driver: 98; 6-iron: 83

  • Video of swing? Oh boy, are you guys in for a treat… Remember that horrendous over-the-top move I mentioned… https://youtu.be/hxQlE0aReyE

  • What makes you love the game? I enjoy the serenity of being on a golf course. I live and work in a very fast-paced area/industry, so it's nice to relax and unwind on a picturesque course!

  • How long have you been golfing? I played my first 9-hole course around 10 years ago, but my major golfing enthusiasm, or as some may call it, an addiction, didn't kick in until about 4 years ago.

  • What kind of golfer are you? I'm a self-proclaimed golf addict. I plan my vacations around the golf courses I want to play (as many Top 100 Public Courses as I can), and rarely turn down an opportunity to play. It has gotten to the point where anytime I ask for time off at work, everyone asks where I'm golfing!

  • What's your story? That is a good question… About 4 years ago is when I went from playing 6 times or less per year to over 30 times per year. At this time, I met, and started gaming with, a single-digit handicapper. Playing with someone of that skill drove me to play better, and I finally achieved my initial goal of breaking 90 a year later. Fast forward a couple of years, and I have dropped from a GHIN of 18 (unofficial) to a GHIN of 12, with my eyes set on breaking into the illusive single-digit zone. And adding fire to my desire to improve, I was able to break into the under-80 club last year with a 77 and 79! Since then I have been doing everything I can to get back down in the 70s!

  • What is in your bag? I am going to keep the WITB centered around my irons since this is what directly relates to the review (my full WITB can be seen in my signature below).

  • Irons: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Forged (4-GW)

  • Shafts:

    • For Review: KBS $-Taper R-flex (110g)

    • Original: Nippon N.S. Pro 950GH R-flex (95g)

  • How did you choose them? In regards to the Nippon, I wanted to go with a lighter weight shaft. My previous shafts were True Temper DG S300 and I found them to just be too heavy. As for dropping down to an R-flex, I hit the Nippon R-flex and S-flex side by side and didn't notice much of a difference, so I went with the old golfing adage: “play the lightest flex you can control” (I think there have been blogs disproving this, but let's leave that for another discussion).

  • What region do you play out of? I play mostly in the Pacific region of the US, more specifically, northern California in and around the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey Bay area. Although, I also love playing in the Southwest in Arizona during the summer. There is something about that heat that does wonders for my game! Currently my only sub-80 rounds have been in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area in 103°+!

  • Are you a tinkerer or a set and forget it type? Can I be a bit of both!? I always like going to the golf store and trying different configurations, flexes, shafts, etc, so in that sense, I'm a tinkerer, but I haven't spent much time in tinkering with my own clubs aside from loft adjustments on my adjustable driver.


First Impressions:

  • Looks: These shafts have a very clean look. At first glance, the shafts nearly look stepless, but if you get them in just the right light/angle you will see that it does have visible, but slightly elongated steps. KBS did away with their 360 factory printed logos, so the shafts were delivered with small KBS Labels which I affixed facing down on the shaft to keep the clean look going on the top.

  • Feel: From my first iron strike, I could immediately tell the difference between the KBS $-Taper and my former Nippon NS 950gh. The $-Taper, while still being a Regular Flex, feel noticeably firmer throughout the swing than my Nippon shafts. I'm sure this is attributed to the combination of the $-Taper being 15 grams heavier than the Nippons, as well as the $-Tapers having a stiffer tip, but which plays a bigger factor, I can't say. For me though, this added firmness is welcomed in a Regular shaft and has given me more club head awareness during my swing.

  • Performance: Right away I noticed a difference in ball flight. The ball has a lower, more penetrating, flight, but I was still able to stop the ball on the green. It's still too early to comment on distance/dispersion control, which I will get into in more depth in Stage 2, but my initial feeling is that they are fairly comparable between the two shafts. NOTE: With 4 rounds under my belt with the $-Taper, I am starting to see some noticeable trends… Stay tuned for Stage 2!


Pictures!!!


Arrival of the shafts courtesy of MGS!

Delivery.jpg

 

KBS $-Tapers now ship with loose small labels instead of the cured 360 label from initial launch

Small Loose Labels.jpg


Freshly installed, along with SuperStroke S-Tech Grips, into my Nike iron heads (Grip and shaft label are facing down at address). The shafts were also spine aligned at the time of the install.

Installed - Logo Down.jpg

Installed - Logo Down 2.jpg

 

The test irons. Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Forged

20170923_135707.jpg

 

Here they are at address. The shafts appear stepless in most lighting, but I can assure you, it is a stepped shaft!

Iron at Address.jpg

 

Looking down the shaft, the steps are much more evident, but it is difficult to show in pictures..

Course - Label Down.jpg


$-Tapers are touted as a “Low Spin”.. My 8-iron says they still spin well enough!

8-iron Back Spin.jpg

 

Well, that about wraps it up for my Stage 1! I'm excited to get started on the Stage 2 and get down to the nitty gritty about what these shafts are actually doing for my game. I hope to get to a launch monitor during the time of my Stage 2 so I can get a little more technical with the review. If you have any questions about me or the shafts, or want to make information/stat requests for the Stage 2, post em up and I will do my best to address them!

 

 

Stage 1 Forum Member Q&A:

 

  • “What are you hoping these shafts will do for your game? In other words, in what ways do you think they'll help you?”

That is a good question. Going into this review I wasn't quite sure what to expect, and quite honestly, I was afraid that I might be getting the worst shafts possible for my game. I already had a low-mid ball flight and got little to no green “pull-back” spin with my Nippon shafts, which are high launch/high spin shafts, so going to a mid launch/low spin shaft seemed counter-intuitive. But at the same time, I was glad to be moving into a firmer shaft with more weight. I've been told a couple times this year that I needed to be in Stiff flex shaft, and prior to the $-Taper testing opportunity, I was contemplating buying new shafts (although the KBS $-Taper were never on my radar). Now even though I am using a Regular Flex set in the KBS $-Taper, they feel more like a stiff shaft in a direct comparison to my Nippon 950gh (keep in mind that it is very difficult to compare shaft flexes between manufactures without having the equipment to measure the CPM of a shaft).

 

With all that said, to answer your question… I think the KBS $-Tapers are most going to help me with consistency and dispersion, mainly due to the fact that the shaft is noticeably firmer and has more weight to it. The reason I say this is because with the $-Taper, I feel like I have a more controlled swing and am able to tell where the clubhead is throughout my swing. With my Nippon shafts, I think they are just too light for my swing. I feel like I had a tendency to over swing them and would also “lose” the clubhead during the swing. I noticed this immediately comparing my iron set Gap Wedge, which has remained shafted with the Nippon, and my Pitching Wedge, which is now shafted in the $-Taper (the $-Tapers sent were only 4-PW). The $-Taper just feel much more solid and lead to a more repeatable swing.

 

Now going back to my initial concern about a mid launch/low spin shaft.. This has really not been a factor at all. I do think that my ball flight as lowered slightly, but it has not been a huge change, and I have not lost any green holding ability with the “low spin”. All in all, so far it seems that the positives are outweighing my initial perceived concerns/negatives.

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KBS $-Taper – Official MGS Forum Review by Kegger

Tour Feel Money Performance.JPG

 

Player Intro.

Hello again! It is now time for the coveted Stage 2 of the review process, where I get down to business and start adding up the scores. But before we get into that, you are going to have to listen to me ramble on about myself again… I'm just your average golfer, with moderate abilities and distance. I have a driver swing speed around 98, and a 6-iron swing speed that hovers around the 83 mark. In regards to shaft flex, I sit in the no man's zone between a Regular and Stiff flex. I have played shafts in both regular and stiff flex, and am currently playing regular shafts.

 

Let's also revisit what I currently have in the bag:

 

Irons: Nike VRS Covert 2.0 Forged 4-GW

 

Shafts:

  • Current: KBS $-Taper 110g (R Flex) with SuperStroke S-Tech grips

  • Previous: Nippon 950gh R Flex (95g) with Lamkin R.E.L. ACE grips

NOTE: I wouldn't have realized this if I hadn't measured, but I dropped 2 swing weights (from a D0 to a C8) when swapping out my Nippon shafts with the KBS $-Tapers.

 

And for good measure, here is the rest of the bag as well:

 

Driver: Taylormade M2 (2016) 10.5° - Fujikura Pro 50 R-Flex

Fairway Woods: Taylormade M2 (2016) 15°/18° - TM RE-AX 65 R-Flex

Wedges: Cleveland RTX-3 54°/58° - True Temper Dynamic Gold Wedge-Flex

Putter: Odyssey Metal-X Milled #2

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

 

 

Performance

 

When talking about performance, I think it will be best to measure up to the claims made by KBS. On their website, they state the following about this shaft: “KBS Tour $-Taper provides superior feel while maintaining shot workability and tight dispersion for players seeking the ultimate tour shaft with Mid trajectory and Low Spin performance”. So in this section, I will attempt to qualitatively address each of these claims, in regards to feel, shot workability, and tight dispersion.

 

Feel:

As I said in my Stage 1, the $-Tapers feel noticeably firmer throughout my swing than my previous Nippon 950gh did. This is most likely attributed to the KBS $-Taper being 15 grams heavier and also incorporating a firmer tip section. Now it is also good to note that despite both of the shafts (Nippon 950gh and KBS $-Taper) being labeled as a regular flex shaft, the flex is not comparable at all in my opinion. In a direct side by side comparison, I would be inclined to believe that the $-Taper is a Stiff shaft. I attended a fitting event recently (just prior to receiving the $-Taper from MGS) and one of the shafts I was fit into was a Nippon Modus3 120 in Stiff flex (actual weight comes in at 114 grams). In my opinion, the KBS $-Taper feels closer to the firmness of this shaft then they do the Nippon 950gh, but the difference in weight may very well play a big part in this. But regardless, the KBS $-Taper are definitely firmer than I would normally associate with a Regular Flex shaft. I have come to enjoy the firmer feel of this shaft (insert joke here) and I have no plans on going back to a lighter shaft.

 

“Superior Feel”: Check!

 

Workability:

I like to move it, move it! While shafts in their own right won't make you bend it like Bubba, I have found that with the KBS $-Taper shafts I have not lost the ability to work the ball in either direction. My normal shot shape (given a solid strike) is a slight fade and before the shaft change, I was able to work the ball either way, but sometimes struggled getting a consistent draw, sometimes it didn't draw enough, other times, too much. Now that I am playing the $-Tapers, my normal shot shape is still a slight fade (again given a solid strike), I am still able to work the ball either way, but the big improvement for me has been with hitting a draw. I am able to hit a draw with more confidence now, which I am attributing to the weight and flex of the shaft. I mentioned in my Stage 1 that I had an increased awareness of my clubhead throughout the swing with the $-Tapers and I believe that this is the reason my consistency has improved.

 

“Workability”: Check!

 

Dispersion:

Dispersion is one of those attributes that is easy to measure if you have the right equipment and software. Unfortunately, I have neither. Have I increased the number of GIR per round? No. Can I without a doubt say that my dispersion has changed? No. But I can't just leave it at that, so I will say this: I have not noticed any changes in dispersion on well struck shots; however, my less than perfect strikes appear to have had a decrease in overall dispersion. So while I'm not hitting any more GIRs, it seems that when I do miss a green (which is more often than not), I am not missing it as badly as I did before… But honestly, I'm just not consistent enough in my swings to be able to confirm KBS's tighter dispersion claim.

 

“Dispersion”: Check?

  

Course Score: 65 / 65

 

Performance Notes

 

I was able to hit some shots on a launch monitor at the PGA store and here are the numbers I came up with when hitting my Nike 6-iron, outfitted in the $-Taper, against a Mizuno JPX850 Forged 6-iron, outfitted in a DG R300. It's not a direct apples to apples comparison, but I had the Mizuno laying around from the Mizuno 6-iron challenge a couple years ago and it is the same loft as my Nike, so I decided to compare them head to head. After warming up, I took 6 shots with each and dropped the worst shot from each grouping.

 

Negative numbers signify “Left” and Positive numbers signify “Right” in the Sidespin and Offline columns.

 

6-Iron Test.JPG

 

Now it's not a perfect comparison and it's not the shaft I've been playing, BUT I do think it compliments what KBS has stated about the $-Taper. KBS refers to the shaft as Low Spin/Mid Launch whereas the True Temper DG R300 are referred to as a Low Spin/Low Launch shaft. The $-Taper had roughly the same backspin but launched a few degrees higher, which attributed to a higher peak height and overall further carry.

 

Some of you might also think that I am not spinning the ball enough, but keep in mind that I am playing with cavity back irons that are stronger lofted than traditional players irons. My 6-iron (as well as the Mizuno) is 28°, so my spin rate numbers are around the range I'd expect them. And despite this “low spin” I can still back, back, back it up! Ok, maybe just one “back it up”, and, more often than not, a hop and stop… But regardless, I have no issues holding a green!

 

Here's the proof!

Backspin Results.JPG

 

Subjective

 

Looks & Durability

There's not a whole lot to say about looks and durability... It's a steel shaft and guess what, it looks like a steel shaft! But all kidding aside, the first thing I noticed about this shaft was the step pattern, or rather, the apparent lack of a step pattern. The KBS $-Taper are stepped shafts, but the steps are elongated and minimally visual. According to KBS, this elongated step pattern is used to generate the spin and stability characteristics of the shaft. But performance aside, it does look pretty! As for the shaft labels, KBS has gone away from the 360 labels and ships the shafts with a small label sticker. I have not seen any of the original $-Taper shafts with the 360 label, but I know that I would still prefer these smaller labels, as I can keep them down facing and keep the clean look on top.

 

Looks Score: 10 / 10

 

Likelihood of Purchase

The likelihood of purchase for me is a difficult one to score… There is no doubt that KBS did a great job with these shafts. The shafts have far outperformed what I initially thought would be possible with my game. I have also not found a single feel or performance based negative that would cause me to look elsewhere for a shaft. What makes this section particularly hard to score is the price of these shafts. As a shaft that is almost a blend of the KBS C-Taper and the KBS Tour, you might expect a similar price point, however the KBS $-Taper, living up to its name, costs a staggering $54.95 per shaft. This compared to the $36.95 of the C-Taper and $26.95 of the KBS Tour. This means that an 8 shaft set will set you back $440 before tax. Now if money is no object, then by all means, this is a great shaft; but I think for most, money is going to be a huge deciding factor in the likelihood of purchase. For this reason, I am scoring LOP at 20 out of 25.

 

LOP Score: 20 / 25

 

Conclusion & Final Score

KBS delivered a knockout with these shafts. The $-Tapers far out performed what I thought was possible. In my testing, KBS has checked every feel and performance check box and is undoubtedly a better fit for my game than the shafts I was playing. But, all of these positives came at a price, literally. The cost of the shafts is the only thing holding me back from saying that these shafts are a must have for everyone out there and is the ONLY negative I have found in my weeks of playing them. These shafts are definitely worthy of your attention during your next fitting. Give them a try and see if they will work for your game. They did for me. The best conclusion I can give for these shafts though is where I currently stand with my irons. MyGolfSpy provided me with 7 KBS $-Taper shafts to test, and, today as I write this, there are 8 irons in my bag shafted with the $-Tapers. I bought into the “Money Performance” hype. Will you?

 

Total Score: 95 / 100

 

Bonus:

If you got through my wall of text above, congratulations! Here are some pictures from my last day of on course testing at Carmel Valley Ranch!

 

A nice 4-iron on this hole set me up nicely for a short iron into a green guarded by a lake. Remember how I mentioned that my 4-iron off the tee is becoming a go-to with these shafts!?

Carmel Valley Ranch 2.jpg

 

 

 

The first Par-3 of the round 150 yards. Hit a 7-iron and ended up pin-high to the right of the green. The water got in my head and I bailed!

Carmel Valley Ranch 5.jpg

 

 

 

The back-9 has a lot of elevation! After I pulled my drive to the left, I had a gap wedge in over the small trees on the left (newly outfitted in a KBS $-Taper). I have no problem getting height out of the $-Tapers when needed.

Carmel Valley Ranch 11.jpg

 

 

 

 

Another elevated tee shot, this time on a Par-3. Distance control has been good with the $-Tapers. Was pin high right, just off the green on this shot.

Carmel Valley Ranch 13.jpg

 

 

 

I had a spectator for a few holes, and we both agree...

Spectator.jpg

 

These shafts are MONEY!

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Stage Three - The Follow Up & Value Question.


This is it. The finale of the KBS $-Taper review. Before I get into the follow up questions, I want to first take a moment to thank MyGolfSpy for this awesome opportunity. The review process has been a great experience and I hope that I am able to be a part of another in the future. Now let's get into the questions...  


The Five Questions

  1. Will this product go in your bag? Why or why not?

Absolutely! Like I said in my Stage 2, I have already purchased an additional $-Taper shaft to fill out my iron set. I have not had a large number of iron sets in my golfing career, but without a doubt, these shafts rank at the top of my short list. As for future iron sets, the $-Tapers will be my baseline for shaft fitting going forward. Why? These shafts feel amazing! I wouldn't say that I have had a huge increase in performance, and I'm scoring about the same, but the feel of the shafts is just so much better than what I've used in the past.

 

  1. To whom, if anyone, would you recommend this product? Why?

First off, I can't stress this enough… Get fit! Yes, I have fallen in love with these shafts and have no regrets from switching, but your results may vary. The $-Tapers are great shafts and I would encourage anyone to try them out during your next fitting, but let the numbers and your fitter decide if these shafts are right for your game. With that said, these shafts are designed for low spin, tighter dispersion and penetrating flight, so if you are looking to lower your spin, lower your launch, or need help eliminating an over pronounced sideways flight, these shafts are definitely worth the look. It is also worth pointing out again that the $-Taper fill the gap between the C-Taper and KBS Tour shafts, the spin of the C-Taper and the launch of the Tour. A best of both worlds if you will.

 

  1. How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of KBS?

Prior to this testing I was already thinking about re-shafting my irons, but KBS was not one of the companies at the top of my list. Now that the testing is complete, KBS has my attention and will continue to see me as a customer going forward. I should also add that when I ordered my additional shaft, there was a mistake made on their end and I was sent an incorrect shaft label ($-Taper 115 R+ instead of $-Taper 110 R). KBS's customer service was quick to respond to my inquiry about the shaft, since I was not aware if I was sent the wrong shaft altogether or if it was just an incorrect label. KBS assured me it was the correct shaft and the wrong label and a couple days later I had an envelope with 9 additional $-Taper 110 labels. Sure, stickers are cheap, but they were eager to resolve my issue and now I have a lot of extra in case any of my labels start to peel! I can't say enough good things about KBS...


  1. What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?

If you read my Stage 2, this should be quite apparent… The price tag. I still believe that these shafts are overpriced when you compare them to the other iron shafts in the KBS line. Hopefully, now that the initial R&D has been done, the prices will start to fall with future generations of the shaft. I'm am not expecting the $-Taper to ever be a budget shaft, but a price close in line with the C-Taper would be a step in the right direction. If KBS can get a competitive price tag on these shafts, they will fly off the shelves.


  1. What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models?

I really like the subtle elongated steps on this shaft. KBS's performance claims aside for the elongated steps, I really just like the look of them! It gives the shaft a very clean, but traditional look. And speaking of the looks, I also like that KBS offers this shaft in a Black PVD finish. While I myself prefer the traditional look of the polished shafts, I appreciate that KBS is also catering to users who prefer less traditional options. Another feature that I believe is key are the multitude of shaft flexes. Having 5 flex options (R, R+, S, S+, X) available makes fitting all that much easier and I hope KBS continues this with all of their shafts.



This concludes my 3-Stage review, and walls of text, and I hope you all have enjoyed my journey with the KBS $-Taper shafts. If there are any additional questions that I have not answered in these stages, feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer! And before the question is asked… No they are not for sale! :lol:

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MGS Review by Volgolfer – KBS $-Taper Shafts

 

Stage One - Introduction & Interview Thread

 

Echoing my fellow reviewers as I appreciate the chance to test these new shafts and offer some observations to fellow golfers.  MyGolfSpy is arguably the leading voice in unbiased product reviews, and sponsoring tests like these with "real" golfers proves that point.

 

I'll use the MGS Template to tell you a little about me:

 

Handicap:  I currently have a GHIN handicap of 4.0.  I started the year as a 5.6, shooting a low round of 73 and high of 89 with an average of 78.4 on a par 71 course.

 

Strengths of your game:  I would say that I have a consistent putting game; I rarely three-putt.  I'm also pretty good at getting out of trouble and try to play conservatively (I tend to chip out than to attempt the hero shot).

 

Weakness of your game:  I struggle with an overly inside takeaway.  I tend to be very handsy in the backswing and pin my right arm to my side which are both ingredients for pushes and flip hooks.  I'm working on maintaining "the triangle," keeping my right arm straight in the backswing, and coming back straight from the ball for 18".  Seems to work....until it doesn't.

 

Typical ball flight:  My ball flight with all clubs is middle trajectory.  I don't impart an overly high amount of spin to the ball so I don't see much ballooning.

 

Typical miss:  My misses flow from the inside takeaway so I generally push the ball right or hit what I call a straight hook - one that starts straight and then moves left.

 

Swing tempo:   My tempo if fairly slow and I do not load the shaft at the top.  I'd call it a 1,2 count.  I tend to take a shallow divot with the irons and sweep my fairway woods.

 

Swing Speed: My driver swing speed ranges from 95 to 100 and my 6-iron speed is 84 to 86.

 

What makes you love the game:  I am analytically minded so I love the fact that you can never master the game and that there is always something to figure out in the golf swing.  I also like the fact that no two rounds are alike, there are different types of courses, and it's a game you can play with friends or strangers and have a good time regardless.

 

How long have you been golfing:  I started playing a few years out of college and been at it around 32 years now (I'm 57).

 

What's your story: I am infected with the golf bug.  I watch countless YouTube videos about the swing (big fan of Mark Crossfield), read all I can about equipment, am a Golf Channel addict, and the list goes on.  My wife is officially a golf widow.  For years I have been the "commissioner" of an annual Myrtle Beach golf outing with 11 other golf nuts.  After years of playing public courses I decided to join a private club which has intensified my desire to play and vastly improved my game.

 

What is in your bag:  I have two sets of clubs and rotate them periodically:
 

Set #1

·         Cobra LTD Driver w/UST Mamiya Elements Chrome Stiff Shaft

·         Cobra BioCell 3/4 Wood w/UST Mamiya V2 Regular Shaft

·         Titleist 909 F2 5 Wood w/Diamana Blueboard Regular Shaft

·         Mizuno MP-32 4-P w/KBS Tour Regular Shaft

·         Vokey 52, 56, and 60 w/KBS 610 Regular Shaft

 

Set#2

·         Cobra BioCell Driver w/Aldila NV Stiff Shaft

·         Titleist 909 F2 3 Wood w/Diamana Blueboard Regular Shaft

·         Taylormade V-Steel 5 Wood w/UST Mamiya V2 Regular Shaft

·         Mizuno MP-60 4-P w/KBS Tour-V Regular Shaft

·         Vokey 52, 56, and 60 w/ N.S. Pro Modus Wedge Regular Flex

 

The $-Taper shafts are now in my MP-32's.

 

How did you choose them: I'll keep this related to iron shafts.  I had previously played True Temper Dynamic Gold Superlites in both sets of Mizuno's.  After learning more about shafts I thought I'd look at other options and after testing several brands from the Mizuno fitting cart settled on the KBS Tours for my MP-32's.  These had a much smoother feel than the TT DGSL's and more consistent flight.  A few years later I tried Modus 3's in my MP-60's since I'd heard so much about them, but didn't find that they brought any improvement to the feel and consistency I got from KBS, and in fact were a bit shorter in distance. I decided to switch those out for KBS Tour-V's based on them being similar to the Tour model but lighter.

 

What region do you play out of: I live near Charlotte, North Carolina and as I said play out of a local country club.  I also make my fair share of trips to Myrtle Beach and the mountain courses in North Carolina and Tennessee and have had occasion to play overseas as well.

 

Are you a tinkerer or a set and forget it type: Definitely a tinkerer.  I shaft and grip my own clubs (picture of homemade shaft puller attached).  Love changing variables like swing weights (currently D3) and lofts on drivers and fairways to optimize my equipment. 

 

First Impressions:

 

Looks: These are not like C-Tapers that are step-less, which was what I was expecting to see.  They are a cross between the Tour and C-Taper IMO - some stepping but muted.  I cut my shafts with a beveled tube cutting tool and for what it's worth the thickness at the cut was very uniform indicating to me that the tolerance on shaft thickness was pretty consistent.  These look really nice with my Pure Grips DTX grips.

 

Feel: I've played about 5 rounds with these now and I can say that the $-Taper feel is comparable to the Tour and Tour-V that I play.  It's a tad softer than the Tour and translates to a nice sound off the MP-32's.  In order of softness I'd say Tour-V softest followed by the $-Taper and then Tour.  Not whippy nor is it boardy.....just right.

 

Performance: What I noticed immediately was that this shaft launches higher for me than did the Tour; the Tour-V launched lower than both the others.  To my pleasant surprise I lost no distance despite the gain in trajectory.  There hasn't been any ballooning so I'm assuming my spin numbers are lower.  Dispersion seems to be the same as the Tour but I need to do more testing there.

 

Back for more at Stage 2.....e-mail me with questions or if want more pictures.

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The Five Questions

1.     Will this product go in your bag? Why or why not?  The shafts will stay in my MP-32's.  I don't see a lot of difference between these and the Tour shafts that were previously in them so to be honest, the reason they'll stay is I don't want to spend the extra time and effort to re-shaft.

2.     To whom, if anyone, would you recommend this product? Why?  While I play to a 4 handicap, I'm not what I would call a really good, consistent golfer.  I think this product is for the plus handicap individual who can really control their ball and swing; someone who has command of their shots and has repeatable results.  I could not see an appreciable difference in performance between this shaft, the Tour, and the Tour V.  I'm sure KBS tweaked the design to provide some improvement over the Tour shaft, but I honestly couldn't see or feel the difference.

3.     How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of KBS?  As said previously, I've played TT and Modus shafts and the KBS products still feel and perform better for me.  I perceive their quality to be a step above the rest.

4.     What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?  Couple of things here.  If you call this a "taper" shaft I think it should be truly tapered.  I was a little disappointed to get a pseudo-stepped product.  So if at all possible I'd like to see this incorporated.  I'd also like to see a matte or duller finish added to the options.  Lastly, I don't see the reasoning for the higher price in comparison to other products.  There is no vast improvement over other shafts in this category so I'd be puzzled why I paid so much more for no real benefits if I actually paid for these.

5.     What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models?  So, I'm wondering if KBS has taken the metal shaft as far as it can.  This product may have some subtle differences I can't discern, but do we really need a shaft that has 100 rpm less shaft then their next model?  Is one half degree trajectory change really valuable and is a golfer willing to pay two or three times a "normal" shaft price to get it.  I think KBS needs to see if it can take its engineering and design talent and look to other materials and geometries to provide products with more speed and improved feel.  They've taken a step towards that in their graphite hybrid product.  Let's see if they can bring that knowledge to the iron shaft world....

 

 

P.S  I'm an engineer by trade, so by definition we aren't a very talkative bunch. I'm a little embarrassed my reports haven't been as colorful as the rest of our group.  So I hope some of you appreciated my brevity and concise responses!  If you have further questions please feel free to reach out to me directly.  Thanks to MGS for allowing me the opportunity to try and report on this product.

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I was just wondering about this review within the last hour. Can't wait to see what you guys think of the shafts.

 

Good luck!

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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I'm hoping that one of the testers currently has C-Tapers because I'm curious to know how those two shafts play side by side.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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I'm hoping that one of the testers currently has C-Tapers because I'm curious to know how those two shafts play side by side.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

that would be me. I had c-taper 130x. I'll get my initial review up tomorrow with a little more incite on that and why I'm excited

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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In case you missed it, my stage 1 is now live! Hope you all enjoy!

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930A using MyGolfSpy mobile app

Alright folks after some technical struggles my stage one is up! Let me know if you have questions. Technical questions will help give me ideas of what to do for the stage 2 review. Thanks!

Link: Hackabilly Stage 1

Great start guys. You've got some pretty places to play. That's quite the plunge to swap out all your shafts for a test so I really hope they work out for you!

 

Question for both: What are you hoping these shafts will do for your game? In other words, in what ways do you think they'll help you?

 

 

Sent from carrier pigeon using MyGolfSpy

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