What's New: From the Lab

Krank Formula 6 Tested Against Some of Our Top Drivers

August 3rd, 2015

With all of the hype around the Krank Formula 6, we thought we would put it to the test against some of our best drivers we have worked with in 2015.  All of the driver heads we tested were playing to identical flexes, shaft weights, swing weights and lengths, which were the specs designated for our tester.   The shaft used was an ACCRA Dymatch MT 60 M4 at 45 inches.  The ball used was a TaylorMade Tour Preferred X.  The heads tested were all 10.5 degree heads with settings, if available, in neutral and standard loft.  The drivers we tested were the Callaway XR, TaylorMade Aeroburner, Krank 6, and Ping G30 LS TEC.  I definitely like the new sound and feel of the Krank Formula 6…a vast improvement over the 5.  The shape is quite different from the other drivers tested as you can see by the picture at the left.  The Krank 6 is thrid from the left and has a higher face height but is narrower from heel to toe.  I think this is where the increased spin came from in our testing as shots slightly off center (heel and low) caused higher spin rates.  The Krank 6... Read More

Nippon Modus 3 Shafts Becoming a Force on Tour

July 11th, 2015

Nippon shafts, especially the N. S. Pro 950GH, have been the “go to” shaft on the LPGA Tour for several years.  But recently, the Modus 3 models have started making significant inroads on the PGA Tour. The Modus3 line is a heavier weight (115 – 130 gram) line designed for faster swing speeds and tempos.  The first models, the Modus3 Tour 120, is a mid launch shaft with solid feel and mid spin.  Compared to the Modus3 130, the 120 feels a little smoother due to its softer butt section.  The Modus3 130 has a very firm butt and mid section with a softer tip for higher launch.  Sergio Garcia is playing the 130 because his very late release and steep attack angle means he needs to use a shaft that stays with him (stiff butt section) but allows for a higher launch at impact (softer tip).  Not every golfer, however, may experience this higher launch if they cannot load the shaft properly.  I was a case in point where I actually hit the Modus3 130 lower than the 120. Just being introduced this week is the Modus3 125.  I really like the feel and performance of this shaft.  The... Read More

New Iron Shafts Create Great Opportunities for Game Improvement

June 24th, 2015

It seems like every year we see new shafts come to market to either fill a void (weight, profile) or go directly after a competitor.  This year we are seeing a lot of competition heating up for the hybrid steel/graphite shaft market.  This market has been really owned by Aerotech with their SteelFiber line but new entrants from Fujikura (MCI -Metal Composite Iron), Mitsubishi Rayon OT, Alpha PT95, and Loomis EFP 95 shafts are making some headway.  OBAN i series and Accra i series have also made some additions in terms of profiles and weights.  What is intriguing from my perspective is that each series of shafts will perform quite differently in terms of feel, launch and spin.  We measure 24 different data points about each shaft including weight, flex, torque, SQI (Shaft Quality Index), balance point and loading profile. While we really can only change launch angle a couple of degrees with a shaft, it is pretty amazing to see on our TrackMan ball flight monitor the differences.  That is how we are able to really dial our customers in to the perfect fit to the iron head they like.  With well over over 200 iron shafts to choose... Read More

Most Golfers Missing 25-50 Yards off the Tee!

June 13th, 2015

We support over 150 local charity golf tournaments and periodically take our Trackman ball flight monitor to the range to do a quick driver evaluation for the tournament participants.  If you remember, we commented on the Golf Digest article earlier this year about how a driver fitting really matters.  In fact Golf Digest stated the average loss of distance was 23 yards because golfers did not optimize launch angle, spin and correct face contact (smash factor).  Our research just last week at a tournament showed potential for distance gain to be 25 to 50 yards!  As I mentioned in the Golf Digest article, the slower club speed golfers are penalized the most with potential distance gains of 12-15%!  In today’s world, higher launch, lower spin is better for carry and roll.  It comes down to  a combination of the right driver head, proper loft, optimizing the shaft weight, flex,  launch and spin characteristics.  In our fittings, we will even help you identify which ball would be best for your strength and swing.  So stop hitting 5 and 6 irons into the green when you could be using a 7 or 8 iron.  Come in, get fit, and Play Better Golf…Faster!... Read More

The Best Driver for 2015 Debate Continues

April 4th, 2015

We did a lot of testing on the new 2015 drivers and continue to test more every week.  We finally tested the Cobra Fly Z and Fly Z+ and were pretty impressed.  All testers used shafts fitted for them on each head using the Club Conex system.  The ball used was the TaylorMade Tour Preferred X. The Fly Z appears to have a slightly closed face at address so shot dispersion was a little more left of target.  Launch angle was true to loft (13.8 launch angle for a 10.5 degree setting with an Angle of Attack of 0.2).  The Fly Z+ launch was only slightly lower than the Fly Z with the weight in the forward position but it did drop spin by 250 rpm over the Fly Z.  With the weight back in the Fly Z+, launch angle increased by 2 degrees and spin increased 350 rpm resulting in slightly less distance.  I have played a Cobra ZL Encore for several seasons and it looks like the Fly Z+ will be next up on my list! Dan Sueltz P.S.  For more information and comparisons done by GolfWRX and MyGolfSpy, go to www.golfwrx.com and www.mygolfspy.com.  A lot of opinions... Read More

Why 2015 Iron Heads are Better Performing.

March 23rd, 2015

Over the last few years iron heads have gotten increasingly hotter (thinner faces creating more ball speed) but not necessarily more forgiving.  Some of the early hot models (X Hot, Rocketbladez) were really hot as long as you hit them on the sweet spot.  When you missed, the loss in distance and accuracy was pretty dramatic.  In some cases, they were actually worse than a forged club in distance lost on an off-center hit!  That has changed with the 2015 models from Callaway, TaylorMade and others.  They learned their lesson!  The Rsi 1, Rsi 2 from TaylorMade, the XR and XR Pro from Callaway, and the JPX-850 and JPX-EZ from Mizuno are all much more forgiving and lose far less distance on off-center hits.  This is accomplished by making the face thinner across more of the face thus expanding the sweet spot.  This is especially great news for mid handicap players seeking more distance.  So if you have not upgraded your irons in a while, we encourage you to go through an iron fitting and see how much distance AND accuracy you can gain!

Callaway XR and XR Pro Irons Review and Comparison to X2 Hot

March 8th, 2015

Every manufacturer is claiming huge distance gains with their new irons and Callaway is no exception.  In this case, their claims are very close to reality, but not quite.  Claiming a full club increase in distance would be huge but in comparison to last years X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro, it is maybe a half a club.  Our testers compared 6 irons for both models against the respective models of the X2 Hot and X2 Hot Pro.  The distance comes from an increase in smash factor (efficiency of club speed to ball speed), which means a hotter face and slightly lower spin.  Of course, all of our testing is done with the iron head matched to a shaft that matches our testers so we take that variable out of the equation. The new XR line appears to have a slightly thicker top line but no big deal as the satin finish makes it appear smaller.  Sound is a little “tinnier”, especially on toe shots.  The biggest improvement our testers saw, in addition to the half-club distance increase, was tighter dispersion, especially on off-center hits.  That is where the true advantage to the thinner face comes in since Callaway was... Read More

ACCRA Golf Shafts and KB Steel Shafts Introduce New Golf Shafts

January 20th, 2015

ACCRA Golf Day was a huge success at the Orange Tree Golf Club in Orlando, FL today.  ACCRA introduced their new Fx line of shafts which is a significant improvement in terms of technology and quality over the DyMatch 2.0 line.  Incorporating some of the technology from their premium CS line of shafts, the Fx is a comprehensive suite of shafts that allow us clubfitters to match weight, flex, and torque very easily throughout a set of clubs, something we used to have to do using multiple shaft companies.  I tested the driver shafts on the range and they felt pretty awesome.  We have used the DyMatch shafts for years and this is a great new addition for ACCRA.  Kim Braly, founder of KB Steel shafts, has done extensive research on the PGA Tour regarding wedge shafts and he has come up with a dual-pronged approach for us clubfitters.  If you need higher launch and more spin, the KBS HiRev 2.0 wedge shaft is the one for you.  But if you are a stronger player that is tired of backing approach shots off the green, the new 610 Wedge gives you slightly lower launch and less spin for better control. ... Read More

So Many Shafts…So Little Time. What Should We Review?

January 7th, 2015

We literally test over 2,500 shafts each year for our Shaft Performance Database which is an integral part of our MyGolfShafts apps and BGF (Better Golf…Faster) Fitting System.  The first part of the shaft testing basically holds the manufacturers accountable.  Do the shafts have the characteristics that the spec sheets say they should?  Are weights within tolerances?  Do the shaft flexes match what we would expect?  Are the profiles (launch, feel) as advertised?  But the second part of our testing and reviews is what is really fun.  How do these shafts perform?  We have several testers of various handicaps that help us out when we create comparison reviews.  The results are usually pretty revealing.  For example, we did a KBS Tour vs. KBS Tour V comparison and it has been one of our most viewed comparison tests.  Sometimes we get really surprised with launch and spin results.  We just never know until we test them. So here is where you come in.  What should we review next?  We can literally compare almost any shafts so give us an idea of what you would like to see next?  Send me an email at [email protected] with your suggestions and we will start... Read More

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