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NPG Episode 86: Does the Shaft REALLY Matter? ft. Mark Crossfield


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Duration: 00:38:29

Mark Crossfield, sometimes fondly referred to as the Grandfather of YouTube Golf, joins us to finally put the great shaft debate to rest: Do they really matter?

0:00 - Intro
1:06 - Has the world of YouTube golf changed in a decade?
4:28 - Does letting "the algorithm" choose your content ultimately hurt golfers?
12:33 - What impact does our testing have on consumers?
18:40 - The Great Shaft Debate
32:06 - Mark's verdict on shafts

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:callaway-small: Epic Flash Sub Zero, 9°, Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70 X
:callaway-small: Mavrik Sub Zero 15°, Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI 70 S
:cobra-small: F6 5-6W, 18.5°, Fujikura Motore 6.3
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:Sub70: 699 Pro, Modus3 105, 5–PW
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:edel-golf-1: EAS 4.0 [CURRENT MGS FORUM TEST]
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I really enjoyed this one. Thought there were terrific points made on both sides of the debate. The easy conclusion to make is that shafts matter, but probably not as much as golfers want them to matter unless you're on the extreme ends of the bell curve. This definitely explains why Mark can hit pretty much anything, and when I think about my own experience, I'm somewhere close to the same. I've played a variety of clubs with different shaft flexes, lengths, weight, and I can pretty much figure out how to find target with any of them. I have also seen some shaft/head combinations that definitely didn't work such as combos that just don't spin enough for my swing speed, but I can't say I've ever swung a club with a shaft that was "too weak" for me.

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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I sure as hell hope they do... I'm currently on a journey through hell completing my upgrade to composite shafts 😆.  I take it the conversation has nothing to do with reducing wear n' tear on the joints and simply ball flight?  I'll need to check it out.

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:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver 

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:srixon-small:  ZX5 Irons 4-AW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:EVNROLL: ER5v Putter  (Evnroll ER5v Official Review)

 

 

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42 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

I sure as hell hope they do... I'm currently on a journey through hell completing my upgrade to composite shafts 😆.  I take it the conversation has nothing to do with reducing wear n' tear on the joints and simply ball flight?  I'll need to check it out.

That's actually a great point that never came up in the conversation.

  • Like 3

Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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33 minutes ago, TR1PTIK said:

That's actually a great point that never came up in the conversation.

Mark Crossfield will care about that soon enough 🤣.  

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:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver 

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:srixon-small:  ZX5 Irons 4-AW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:EVNROLL: ER5v Putter  (Evnroll ER5v Official Review)

 

 

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15 hours ago, fixyurdivot said:

I sure as hell hope they do... I'm currently on a journey through hell completing my upgrade to composite shafts 😆.  I take it the conversation has nothing to do with reducing wear n' tear on the joints and simply ball flight?  I'll need to check it out.

After how sore I feel after 27 holes in 48 hours I am thinking about composites as well. Lmao. And I am a young one!

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Driver: :callaway-small:   Epic Max LS with RDX Blue 70g S [back up and on life support Epic Flash SZ with Tensei Orange Pro S (1" tipped) at 44.5" ]

2H: :callaway-small: Super Hybrid with Tensei Orange Pro Hyb 80 Stiff 

3H: :Sub70: 939X UST proforce V2 black F3 hybrid soft stepped XStiff 

4-AW: th.jpg.d6e2abdaeb04f007fd259c979f389de6.jpg  0211  with KBS Tour Stiff 2.5* up 1/4" long Unofficial Review

Wedges     :cleveland-small: Zipcore Tour Rack 54/full and 58/mid (review here)  (Backup 54*,60*: :ping-small:  S Tour KBS Tour Stiff 3* up)

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It was certainly a interesting discussion. I'm definitely in the camp of shafts matter. That being said I have used a lot of different ones over the years and as they stated in the podcast it is more of a feel or preference thing. This likely helps with confidence and therefore helps produce better swings.

There are always going to be debates on the extent to which they matter, but an analogy I wish I had heard them put to Mark was does he do all the editing, camera work, possible scripts and so on with his channel or do he hire someone to work with him who may be better at some of those things? This may have been more personal to Mark and could have helped the argument vs the house or car example. 

In any case it was good to listen to and Mark has enough experience and years of work put in that his opinion should be valued and I was happy to hear that he clarified a little bit of his statements. 

Regardless those who haven't listened to it should give it a listen!

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SuperSpeed 2020 from 100-112 and climbing!

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic Sub Zero - Set at 10* with Aldila Rogue Max 65 gram 

Wood:    :cobra-small: F7 3 wood 14.5* w/ weight back

               :ping-small: G410 Crossover - 2 and 4 iron

Irons:     :ping-small: i210 5-U w/ Nippon Modus 105 stiff (2018 Tester)

Wedge:  :ping-small: Glide 2.0 54* 58* w/ Nippon Modus 105 Stiff

Putter:   :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7 35* and oversized grip (2019 Tester)

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26 minutes ago, GolfSpy_APH said:

It was certainly a interesting discussion. I'm definitely in the camp of shafts matter. That being said I have used a lot of different ones over the years and as they stated in the podcast it is more of a feel or preference thing. This likely helps with confidence and therefore helps produce better swings.

There are always going to be debates on the extent to which they matter, but an analogy I wish I had heard them put to Mark was does he do all the editing, camera work, possible scripts and so on with his channel or do he hire someone to work with him who may be better at some of those things? This may have been more personal to Mark and could have helped the argument vs the house or car example. 

In any case it was good to listen to and Mark has enough experience and years of work put in that his opinion should be valued and I was happy to hear that he clarified a little bit of his statements. 

Regardless those who haven't listened to it should give it a listen!

I'm not sure that putting things in that context would have done much to change Mark's mind.

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
Ball: Snell MTB-X
Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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1 minute ago, TR1PTIK said:

I'm not sure that putting things in that context would have done much to change Mark's mind.

Completely agree. He has his block and is glued to it, which for this argument I think its good to have people on both sides. In the end stock shafts must work well enough because there is still a large majority of golfers that buy OTR and do not get fit. However if they do get fit could they get better numbers with a better shaft? Probably, but maybe not all the time. Again I do believe shafts matter and different specs can help different people. However I do also agree that ego plays a big part in it... I've had the same issue from time to time haha

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 ⛳🛄 as of Sept 24, 2020

SuperSpeed 2020 from 100-112 and climbing!

Driver:   :callaway-small: Epic Sub Zero - Set at 10* with Aldila Rogue Max 65 gram 

Wood:    :cobra-small: F7 3 wood 14.5* w/ weight back

               :ping-small: G410 Crossover - 2 and 4 iron

Irons:     :ping-small: i210 5-U w/ Nippon Modus 105 stiff (2018 Tester)

Wedge:  :ping-small: Glide 2.0 54* 58* w/ Nippon Modus 105 Stiff

Putter:   :odyssey-small: Stroke Lab 7 35* and oversized grip (2019 Tester)

Balls:      :srixon-small: Z Star

Other:     :Arccos: 

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great debate question and depending on strict context, the question can be answered on both sides

a 12 yr old jr golfer does not "need" a 130g x stiff shaft......but could he hit it the same way as a 90g regular flex? sure and I think Mark would agree in this case, the shaft may "matter"

If you put it in context of a 120G R300 vs an S400.......the shaft does not matter.....i fully agree....The body and mind adapts to the slight difference in shafts.

I have been on the course with a few friends and they swear the Low launch vs High Launch debate is real......even though thier ball goes the same distance as one another and the apex is probably within 10 feet of each other......the shaft does NOT matter in this case....

I really enjoyed that debate and that segment......bring in more guests!!!    TXG next?????

 

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I fall on the side of it doesn’t seem to matter for me.  I player 120 gram steel shafts on my irons and switched to 85 gram graphite and don’t see or feel any difference. I have x stiff in my 3 wood but played a regular before that…again don’t feel a difference.   The unchanging factor in the above is me.   Maybe I adapt my swing to the shaft, but I can’t tell and my launch monitor numbers seem to be pretty consistent across shafts.  In its cases I feel as most shafts will be acceptable.  I say most because I have swung Harry’s x-stiff graphite shafts and they just don’t work for me.  

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Shaft weight matters for me, maybe not between 50 to 60 grams for a driver for example. But between a 95 gram shaft and a 130 gram shaft in irons makes a big difference for me. Maybe not when comparing 5 shots with one vs. 5 shots with the other, but over the course of a round, i get more fatigued with heavy iron shafts and then as a result start to do bad things. 

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Love Mark and is one of the best instructors there is.

That being said, sometimes he gets out over his skis and really misses the mark.  He hit that point in this podcast when he started pontificating about golf companies not making their own shafts.

Just complete ignorance when it comes to vertically integrated businesses vs horizontally integrated business, core competencies and supply chains.

I'd love to see his reaction when someone tells him that Samsung makes displays for Apple.  That's right.. .Samsung makes and sells displays to Apple that go into iphones.  

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Just finished this episode and really liked it.  I too enjoy Mark Crossfield and he seems like someone who would be fun to play a track with and chat over a pint. I particularly liked this format and hope MGS Staff will consider doing more of these "featured guest" interviews.

The shaft debate is really about whether shaft flex matters.  Mark gives an example of tests where shaft name/model/flex is blacked out and the majority of testers chose/liked the lighter, R-flex.  This reminds me of tests years ago I participated in with flyrods.  Show the tester it's an off brand from overseas before he casts it and it gets low marks; hide it's pedigree and it will often match or exceed the $1500 make/model.  Ego is a factor that does not add one single benefit to the decision making process.  I also found his point about "why would OEM's spend tons of money and time engineering the head and then simply offload the engine of the club?"  The answer probably does lie in the "it matters (most) at the extremes" position.

 

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:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

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57 minutes ago, jlukes said:

Love Mark and is one of the best instructors there is.

That being said, sometimes he gets out over his skis and really misses the mark.  He hit that point in this podcast when he started pontificating about golf companies not making their own shafts.

Just complete ignorance when it comes to vertically integrated businesses vs horizontally integrated business, core competencies and supply chains.

I'd love to see his reaction when someone tells him that Samsung makes displays for Apple.  That's right.. .Samsung makes and sells displays to Apple that go into iphones.  

Agreed. I started to type up a long post explaining why he was wrong on that point, but decided to spare everyone another rehash of my experience in manufacturing lol.   

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Driver: Mizuno ST190 9.5* Aldila RIP Alpha 60 S
Fairway Wood: Mizuno ST190 15* Fujikura Atmos Blue 6S
Hyrbrid: Mizuno CLK 19* Fujikura Speeder EVO HB
Irons: Bridgestone J40 CB (4-PW) Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 50*, 54*, & 58* Nippon Modus 3 105
Putter: Cleveland Huntington Beach SOFT Premier 4 34"
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Bag: 2017 Titleist Players 5 Stand Bag

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1 hour ago, jlukes said:

Just complete ignorance when it comes to vertically integrated businesses vs horizontally integrated business, core competencies and supply chains

He actually did make that distinction when Chris asked about changing his car oil or having his roof done.  That whole discussion is secondary to the specific question/debate (and that he was misquoted). I don't think he is ignorant about the golf industry in the least.

:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver 

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:srixon-small:  ZX5 Irons 4-AW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:EVNROLL: ER5v Putter  (Evnroll ER5v Official Review)

 

 

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1 minute ago, fixyurdivot said:

He actually did make that distinction when Chris asked about changing his car oil or having his roof done.  That whole discussion is secondary to the specific question/debate (and that he was misquoted). I don't think he is ignorant about the golf industry in the least.

His kept claiming it was a "business decision" to not internalize everything.

That is exactly the point.  Very few businesses insource everything.

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3 hours ago, rbsiedsc said:

After how sore I feel after 27 holes in 48 hours I am thinking about composites as well. Lmao. And I am a young one!

Chris @Thin2winis young too and does not think he'll ever go back to steel... and the way the Recoils are performing, I wouldn't either.

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:ping-small: G410 Plus, 9 Degree Driver 

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 16 Degree 3w

:ping-small: G400 SFT, 19 Degree 5w

:srixon-small:  ZX5 Irons 4-AW 

:ping-small: Glide 2.0 56 Degree SW   (removed from double secret probation 😍)

:EVNROLL: ER5v Putter  (Evnroll ER5v Official Review)

 

 

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8 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

The shaft debate is really about whether shaft flex matters.

I think this is really what it boils down to. The lack of standards across the board of what is a certain flex, how it’s even measured makes it hard to say what a flex really is/means. Not to mention the materials used and their alignment on the mandrel impacts how it will play and feel.

If people focused on the weight and the profile of the shaft and not flex or swing speed that fits a flex they would be better off. Unfortunately ego gets in the way and people want a certain letter indicator on their shaft they are going to be biased by anything different 

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Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 50*, Tiger grind 56/60

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3 minutes ago, RickyBobby_PR said:

I think this is really what it boils down to. The lack of standards across the board of what is a certain flex, how it’s even measured makes it hard to say what a flex really is/means. Not to mention the materials used and their alignment on the mandrel impacts how it will play and feel.

If people focused on the weight and the profile of the shaft and not flex or swing speed that fits a flex they would be better off. Unfortunately ego gets in the way and people want a certain letter indicator on their shaft they are going to be biased by anything different 

The shaft profile stuff is corrupted by marketing to.  Low launch low spin, high launch mid spin, etc etc.

Makes people think they can move to a low launch low spin shaft and move their numbers down from 16 launch and 3200 spin into a more reasonable window

As an instructor, I can see why that marketing and consumer mindset pisses him off.  

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