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
What's New: From the Lab
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Well, the manufacturer’s of forged irons would have you believe that their forging process is “the best”, but in both our testing and other independent testing, the real differences in the feel and performance of different forged irons is in the design. When we test clubs, we use the same shaft for each club so we know we are doing a good comparison. It is rare to see any differences in club speed but it is often that we see differences in ball speed and launch angle because of the design of the head and the loft. Typical lofts on forged irons are higher than their cast counterparts because forged irons are designed for better players that will de-loft the club at impact (a more negative attack angle). I will say that I am seeing more forged irons come to market. A new forged iron that we are excited about is the Epon line from Endo manufacturing. Endo makes a lot of forged clubs for many of the major equipment companies. Endo is the largest Japanese forged club manufacturer. The Epon design seems to have more options for golfers that need a little more forgiveness. Epon is THE premium forged... Read More
Project X recently released their Hand Crafted (HC) Loading Zone shafts after well over a year in design and testing. These shafts have a unique Loading Zone that varies by flex of the shaft to optimize the feel, trajectory and distance for each shaft weight and flex. These shafts are hand made in the USA in the True Temper San Diego plant. Overall our testers rated these shafts 4.8 out of 5. Appearance: The flex, weight, loading zone and torque are uniquely lettered in the graphics in the butt and tip of the shaft. Matte black finish, weave background and silver PX logo make for an elegant look. Flexes Available: HC LZ 50: 5.0-7.0, HC LZ 60: 5.5-7.0, HC LZ 70: 6.0-7.0 MSRP: $350 Availability: Authorized True Temper Performance Fitting Centers. Weight Consistency: 4.9 out of 5.0. Weights increased slightly from soft to stiff flex as expected. Butt Stiffness (CPM): Very consistent across all flexes. These shafts will play true to flex. Tip Stiffness: LZ 50 5.0-6.0 Mid, 6.5-7.0 Stiff; LZ 60 6.0-7.0 Stiff, LZ 70 6.0 Mid, 6.5-7.0 Stiff Mid Stiffness: Each shaft gets more stable in the mid-section as flex increases, which is part of the design of... Read More