What's New: From the Lab

Fujikura PRO Series Shaft Review

December 15th, 2014

Fujikura has long been a leader in high quality graphite shafts.  Their Speeder series has been extremely effective on the PGA Tour and the new PRO series of woods is a great option for players seeking performance at a little lower price point.  Using Fujikura’s ENSO shaft analysis system, the shafts in this series are engineered to offer great results for players of different abilities.  The shafts are designed to be mid-launch with stiffer tip and mid sections which was evident in our testing.  The slightly softer butt section still gives a great feel at impact.  The TS (Tour Spec) versions in the 63 and 73 gram woods feature lower torque (firmer feel), slightly higher swing weight (balance point is lower), and stiffer butt sections.  The S shaft in the 63 TS is the same stiffness as the X shaft in the standard 63 so be careful when selecting the TS flex.  Our testing showed slightly lower spin and lower launch with the TS version versus the standard version wood shafts.  There are also matching hybrids (63, 73 and 83 gr), and irons (75 and 95 gr).  These are also a mid to low-mid launching shafts.  Shaft Quality ratings run from... Read More

True Temper XP 115 Shaft Review

November 24th, 2014

True Temper designed the XP 115 as a slightly heavier version of its popular XP 105 and XP 95.  Currently the XP 115 is available only through Mizuno as one of their fitting cart options but that will change in early December when the XP 115 becomes available to the public. When we test a shaft, we always use the same head and ball for all testers, and the shafts are matched to the golfers swing dynamics in terms of flex.  For all testers, the XP 115 had a great feel of a shaft that is releasing through the hitting area without feeling like there was a los of control.  This is a testament to the design of the shaft so good job True Temper!  And, the Trackman shot dispersion charts proved this out.  We also did a comparison of the XP 115 to the KBS C-Taper Lite and KBS Tour V.  Launch angles, spin rates and distances came out very similar for all testers putting this shaft in the mid launch, mid spin range.  The XP 115 was ranked the best in terms of feel.  Also, one tester found that the XP 115 picked up nearly a half club in... Read More

TaylorMade RSi 1 and RSi 2 Comparison to TP CB and SLDR irons

October 28th, 2014

We tested the TaylorMade RSi 1 and RSi 2 irons this week and thought it would be a good idea to test them against the Tour Preferred CB and SLDR irons.  Tests were conducted by golfers with varying handicaps with the shaft fit for their swing on each head.  All tests were down with 7 irons from the TaylorMade Select Fit cart. Certainly the look of the RSi irons is appealing.  The black cavity of the RSi 1 makes it easy to distinguish from the RSi 2 when going through the fitting cart so that is a plus.  All of the testers (3 to 15 hcp) liked the look of the RSi 2 the best with less offset and slightly thinner topline.  Even though the lofts on the RSi irons are roughly 1.5 degrees lower/stronger than the TP CB or SLDR, the actual initial launch angles for all of our testers were only slightly lower for the RSi irons by maybe a half degree in all cases.  This is a testament to the design of the RSi lineup.  The most noticeable performance difference was that both the RSi irons had lower spin by 800 to 1000 rpm over the TP CB,... Read More

Diamana 3rd Generation R Series Shafts

October 20th, 2014

The final shaft in the 3rd Generation Diamana series is now available.  The R Series, which is the 1st Generation Red board and 2nd Generation ‘ilima replacement, has been put through our 24 point shaft testing and we are getting ready to put it into our demo system.  The R series is a  mid-high launch, mid-high spin shaft that should work well for golfers that like the performance of today’s low launch and low spin drivers like the TaylorMade SLDR and Callaway GBB Alpha.  From the test profile results, these shafts are certainly up to the high quality standards we have seen from MRC before with a SQI (Shaft Quality Index) over 94 on a scale of 1-100.  Good for golfers with a need for a slightly higher ball flight than they are getting with their existing stock or re shafted drivers or fairway woods.  This may be the perfect fairway wood shaft if you are having difficulty getting your fairway woods in the air!

GEARS Golf Motion Sensing System – Better Information for Shaft Fitting

September 15th, 2014

Thanks to the 20 testers that came in and spent some time with us on the new GEARS Golf motion sensing system.  These testers hit a driver with four different shafts and the results were recorded not only with the GEARS system but with Trackman.  Based on preliminary results, this system will help us do a better job with the initial shaft fitting.    Our fittings will become faster and more dialed-in to the correct shaft in the first round of live testing.  Because we know in more detail HOW the golfer loads the shaft and WHEN the release point is in the swing, we can pick shafts that will give a tighter impact area on the face (called a Face Map).  We can also determine the impact of the shaft stiffness, tip stiffness and mid section stiffness on Attack Angle (higher or lower launch) and Face Angle (dispersion).  We will be publishing the results in the next 30 days or so after we have completed our analysis of the test data.

GEARS Golf Motion Measurement System Enhances Our Shaft Fitting System!

September 4th, 2014

How do we know how to predict which shaft is right for you? It’s all in our extensive player and shaft testing. We are now taking it to the next level with the GEARS high speed camera motion measurement system. Measures shaft deflection, shaft droop, grip speed, grip rotation, and probably 20 more stats that will help us make even better shaft recommendations based upon YOUR swing. http://www.gearsgolf.com/ We are testing several of our previous customers and fine tuning the shaft fitting process with this new information.

OBAN i-series Iron Shafts Will Fit Virtually Any Golfer

July 26th, 2014

While these are not new shafts, I thought it would be good to share with our readers how versatile these golf shafts have been for us.  The design of these I-series shafts is not totally unique to OBAN, but it is an interesting concept.  The weights of the shafts go from roughly 43 grams (i-43) to 103 (i-103) in 10 gram increments.  The lengths are 42″ in each shaft which allows us as club builders a lot of flexibility in terms of tipping to get to a particular flex and desired ball flight.  Our sweet spot with theses shafts seems to be in the i63 – i83 range with a few of the i93 and i103.  These shafts have a nice soft tip which is great for smooth swings.  We have fit a ton of lady, senior and junior players into these with excellent results.  The key for us as builders is the blank length at 42″ so we can fit a very broad range of golfers depending upon the weight that works for them.  This shaft can also be used in hybrids and we do it a lot so we can match the shafts in both irons and hybrids. ... Read More

Great Iron Shaft Test of Top Shafts on the Market!

July 24th, 2014

Chris Wycoff, owner of Golf Etc. Hilton Head did a great test and review of some of the top iron shafts, including some that are not steel.  While looking for a clear winner, it is obvious that a good clubfitting will help golfers decide not only based on the numbers on a launch monitor, but the feel of the club.  Every golfer is a little different and a good clubfitting will find the right shaft for your game.  Check out the review on GolfWRX here. 

A New Era in Shaft Load Testing – GEARS from Natural Point – at Cobra Golf

July 2nd, 2014

I spent yesterday morning at the Cobra Golf headquarters in Carlsbad, CA where they have the GEARS Golf motion capture system set up in their R & D department.  I saw the system originally at the PGA Show in Orlando in January, 2014, and was intrigued by its capability to do a better measurement of shaft loading throughout the swing using high-speed cameras.  Well, I was pretty amazed at the technology and how it will help us become even better fitters.  We have been using the True Temper Shaft Lab for at least 15 years, and the Mizuno Shaft Optimizer for the last five or so.  This new system will allow us to even more accurately match shaft profiles to individual golfer’s swing dynamics.  Basically, the system tracks sensors using 8 eight high-speed (360 frames per second) cameras.  The sensors are attached to a club in the grip position, on the shaft and on the head.  Since they are very light weight, their is no impact on the actual measurements caused by the sensors.  When I took a swing, at least two of the eight cameras could track every marker during my entire swing.  After warming up, I was handed... Read More

Time for a Hybrid Iron?

June 9th, 2014

If you are looking for a couple of beautiful forged hybrid-style irons, look no further than the Mizuno MP-H4 and the Tour Edge Exotics CB PRO hybrid (shown at left).  I hit both of these in a 6 iron side by side over the weekend and the feeling was pretty darn smooth.  Launch angle is about a degree and a half higher with both of these than my standard MP-59 iron but distance was the same.  What I really liked was the forgiveness on my typical toe hit.  No more short siding by 10 yards!  My opinion is that these two irons are the best hybrid-style irons in the golf industry right now.