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Great forum, great community, and I am sure one of the knowledgeable members has come across this question before (or, can point me in the right direction).  I have used the search bar some to pin point this topic to some effect, but haven't come across the answer that satisfies my curiosity.  I already know and understand a dynamic fitting and static fitting work best for shaft fitting and it's hard to beat a good (and patient) fitter.  

My question pertains to online iron shaft fitting/recommendations from most of the shaft manufacturers and/or online fitting services: How relevant is a question regarding iron distance (say, 6i carry) when your current 6i loft and the set you are interested in purchasing is different?  I could ,theoretically, hit my 6i 170 yards using a 26* loft but only hit my buddies 6i 155 yards using 29*...these are just relative numbers to express a questionable point... with all other variables being the same (relatively speaking) but loft.

My interpretation of the line of questions for iron shaft recommendation is that it is generating results based on flight and dispersion preferences along with swing speed/power/carry distance.  However, if my current 6i is 26* and is allowing me to move the ball 170yds down the fairway, how good is the online fitting tool going to be if the new set I am interested in has a more traditional loft to it?  Am I totally off base in this line of thinking?  Are the manufacturers shaft recommendations useless? 

Again, I apologize if this has already been discussed ad nauseam.  Happy golfing!

Edited by Mr. Shank Dawg
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The online fitting tools I think use generalizations to try and steer you toward a specific product, but as you've already mentioned there are many other variables at play and a proper fit is unlikely for a large number of players. While a club's static loft can certainly play a factor, ball speed, launch angle, spin rate, peak height, descent angle, and shot shape are all considerably more important in finding a good fit.

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Online fitting tools will give you a starting point.  By asking how far you hit a certain club they are trying to get to a ball park swing speed so they can determine flex.  It is about as relevant as tempo, desired ball flight, and shaft weight.   You can answer those questions and still end up with a shaft that doesn't work for you.  The shaft will also work differently in different heads.  

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This tool is a great way to get an idea of what you could/should be looking for, in advance of going to a fitting or a retail outlet and trying a few things yourself. I would be hesitant to buy anything based off of a manufacturers fitting system online, but not everybody has the same appetite for custom fitting. Find some common parameters among shafts and you will likely find one that you vibe with.

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These tools are guidelines and starting points.  They don’t know whether one is playing GI or blades. They also use drive distance with the 6/7i distance to help determine since like you mentioned the type of club being used.

theres much more that goes into shaft selection than just speed/distance so the sites use basic info to give a general clue on what could work.

getting fit is the best way to know what shaft works best

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1 hour ago, newballcoach said:

This tool is a great way to get an idea of what you could/should be looking for, in advance of going to a fitting or a retail outlet and trying a few things yourself. I would be hesitant to buy anything based off of a manufacturers fitting system online, but not everybody has the same appetite for custom fitting. Find some common parameters among shafts and you will likely find one that you vibe with.

I agree totally. I think the shaft fit systems are great for getting ideas of what you might like. Additionally, the Maltby shaft MPF ratings can be helpful, too, when trying to narrow down a shaft with a specific bend point or tip stiffness. 

Definitely hit as many shafts as you can, you'll eventually peg down a shaft that you like the feel of. For example, I love the way my KBS Tour 90s feel, but I would love to see a slightly more piercing trajectory and/or lower ballflight. I am interested in trying the KBS Tour 105s for this reason, and there are likely other shafts in the KBS lineup worth trying for me.

If you're really into the EI numbers, Russ Ryden's site golfshaftreviews.info is a great resource as well. Well worth the $10 just for the technical reads, in my opinion.

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Posted (edited)

I really don't get it. Would you buy a cake based on an algorithm's opinion on what you perceive as good? Or (as many do) seek a diagnosis for a medical condition based on an online "tool" ?

The bottom line is that even though online tools exist to "help" in making choices, the sad fact is that they rely on user input to determine a recommendation - and guess what? people still lie about their own ability to "fit" themselves. 

Alternatively, you could go and see a fitter and you would know in an instant if something felt right or gave the kind of performance to match your ability - the naked eye only gives the naked truth after all.

So if you want to get a medical diagnosis, see a doctor. For a cake, go see a baker and for a set of golf clubs - go see a shrink. Just kidding - get fitted. You could probably find one online - but you don't need me to tell you that now do you?

Edited by jaskanski
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If you can find a Mizuno cart I'd highly recommend using that DNA analyzer to get your shaft recommendations.  Gave me a list of options which I tried (very important).  It recommended a PX 6.5 (which I absolutely hated) X100, and KBS Tour X (which I absolutely loved). Once I found the shaft I wanted it made the rest of my searching online for clubs much easier.  Before that I never realized how important iron shaft brand differences could make versus the different swing profiles.  It's literally 3 or 4 swings at a box store when you can find one and for my money it's really accurate.

 

The problem with an online fitting is I could plug in my swing speed, flight dynamics and transition characteristics to come up with a range of options, but the realities in hitting them was too far apart to really bring it down to an option that would make me happy.  If I had bought a set of irons with PX 6.5's I would have thought they were garbage because every swing felt like I was swinging a piece of rebar.

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@blcurreyI did the Mizuno shaft fit analyzer and was impressed. Two of the shafts it came up with are ones I've been fitted for before, so I think the thing works pretty well. 

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I had a driver shaft fitting two years ago by a certified club fitter. It was one of the best things I've ever done. Recently, I tried an online fitting tool just for fun and low and behold the exact same shaft was recommended. However, they also gave several more expensive options as well. My question is: could a 70 year old 10.5 handicapper that swings in the low 80s really benefit from a $200 shaft versus the $100 shaft I'm playing now? Like a lot of seniors I would gladly pay $100 to even $200 more for ten more yards on my tee shot. 

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I had a driver shaft fitting two years ago by a certified club fitter. It was one of the best things I've ever done. Recently, I tried an online fitting tool just for fun and low and behold the exact same shaft was recommended. However, they also gave several more expensive options as well. My question is: could a 70 year old 10.5 handicapper that swings in the low 80s really benefit from a $200 shaft versus the $100 shaft I'm playing now? Like a lot of seniors I would gladly pay $100 to even $200 more for ten more yards on my tee shot. 


Given that the shaft recommendation it provided you was the same as you play now, I would lean toward no significant benefits. You might be able to get a few tweaks to optimize some numbers and get some distance but most likely dispersion reduction. Of course you wouldn’t really know unless you tried the shaft.

Just my opinion though.

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42 minutes ago, Hoganman1 said:

 My question is: could a 70 year old 10.5 handicapper that swings in the low 80s really benefit from a $200 shaft versus the $100 shaft I'm playing now? Like a lot of seniors I would gladly pay $100 to even $200 more for ten more yards on my tee shot. 

Depends....if the shaft is lighter, you may increase your clubhead speed or if the dynamics of the shaft allowed you more consistent sweet spot strikes THEN you may see some increase in distance.  Not sure either would be significant and likely not 10 yards (unless it's a case of you're not hitting the sweet spot, thus losing distance).

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Thanks for the input and my apologies to Shank Dawg for hijacking his thread. To answer his original question; I agree that online fittings do provide a starting point. Having a certified fitter is the best way to go. Also, an online fitting can confirm what the fitter recommends as happened with me.

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