What's New: From the Lab

Too Stiff of Shaft Tip Section Can Rob You of Distance

July 27th, 2016

Too stiff of tip section can actually rob you of distance especially on your driver.  The prevailing theory among most golfers is that a stiff shaft tip section lowers ball flight and reduces spin.  Sometimes the opposite is true.  OK, let me add a caveat here.  What we have seen in our testing is that, if a player has a steep negative attack angle (-4 to -8 degrees) with a driver shaft with a stiff tip, the spin rate is increased and in some cases, the player will hit the ball off the upper portion of the clubface causing the launch angle to be too high.  That is not a good combination. A softer shaft tip section will actually cause more forward lean on the golf shaft at impact.  This does two things.  First, the forward lean will actually increase, or make more positive, the attack angle.  This effectively reduces spin.  Second, the forward lean of the shaft at impact will move the impact area down on the clubface.  This results in a lower launch angle and lower spin as well.  When we tested this several players with the GEARS system last year, it was very evident that shaft tip... Read More

OBAN CT 115 Steel Shaft Review

July 12th, 2016

OBAN CT 115 steel shafts are the first introduction of steel shafts by OBAN.  Traditionally a graphite shaft company with the Kiyoshi, Devotion, Revenge, Tour and Isawa models, OBAN has decided to go after the steel shaft market in a big way.  Their first introduction, the CT 115, looks to be a great start. The CT 115 is a taper tip shaft with a constant weight of around 115-117 grams from 36″ to 41.5″.  The absolute best thing about this shaft from a club builders perspective is that it is available in 12 different discrete lengths.  This means that I can build a softer flex, higher launch set of irons starting with the 41.5″ shaft in a 4 iron, for example, and going through the 38″ or a much stiffer set starting at the 39″ for a 4 iron and going to the 36″ in the wedges.  All this is accomplished with the same weight in each shaft.  The test clubs we have built have ranged from soft regular to extra stiff.  Based upon the testing profile of these shafts, they will perform very similar to a “flighted” set of irons, meaning the longer irons will launch slightly higher and... Read More

Project X HZRDUS Red Shaft Offers Higher Launch and Spin

June 23rd, 2016

The Project HZRDUS Red shaft offers a higher launch and spin versus the Black and Yellow shafts currently in play.  Scheduled to be released to True Temper Performance Fitting Centers July 11, 2016, these shafts will be a great addition to those golfers that need a little higher trajectory, especially with their fairway woods.  In our testing, the HZRDUS Red launches .5 to .75 degrees higher than the Black with 300 – 500 rpm more spin.  While this is not necessarily for everyone, we like to put higher launch and spin shafts in most golfers fairway woods.  The HZRDUS Red will be a great fit for that golfer.  And, there are some golfers that actually need a little more launch and spin off their driver so the HZRDUS Red will fit the bill.  Our testers think the HZRDUS Red feels more like the HZRDUS Black than the HZRDUS Yellow, so it fits a more aggressive swing.  As always, we will put the HZRDUS shafts to the test when we put our golfers through a fitting to optimize shaft performance.

Project X LZ Steel Shaft Review

June 1st, 2016

Project X LZ Steel shafts were tested and reviewed this week and so far we love what we see. The Project X LZ Steel shafts come in four different flexes and weights:  5.0 (R flex) at 110gr, 5.5 (R+ flex) at 115gr, 6.0 (S flex) at 120gr, and 6.5 (S+ flex) at 125gr.  The Project X LZ steel takes a chapter out of the book from the original LZ graphite shaft.  The Loading Zone (LZ) for the lighter shafts will result in a slightly higher launch and spin than the stiffer, heavier shafts.  Great design idea and our testing proved this to be the case. All of our tests were done indoors using TrackMan and the Callaway Chrome Soft ball.  All testers used shafts that matched their fitting specs as closely as possible.   According to our tests, the 5.0 and 5.5 flexes launched about the same as the KBS Tour R and C-Taper Lite R but slightly higher than the XP 115 R flex.  In the 6.0 and 6.5 flexes, the LZ Steel was slightly higher launch than the XP 115 S but lower than the C Taper R and KBS Tour S.  Depending upon your ball flight desires,... Read More

OBAN Shafts Making A Difference on Tour

May 18th, 2016

OBAN Shafts are making a difference on tour.  With a strong lineup of premium graphite shafts, OBAN literally has a shaft for every type of swing and player.  The most popular on the PGA Tour are the Tour Limited, Kiyoshi (Black, Purple, White and Gold) and the tried and true Devotion, Isawa Red and Revenge.  There is quite a difference among all of these shafts so make sure you see a fitter that has a wide selection of these shafts to test.  As an example, the Kiyoshi Black in a 55 gram gram shaft is a nice mid-high, mid-spin shaft for golfers that need a little more loft off the tee while the Kiyoshi Black 65 (which actually weighs 70+ grams) will be a low launch, low spin shaft.  The torque ratings for these shafts also get progressively lower from the 55 to the 85 gram shaft which will give the heavier shafts a firmer feel at impact.  The Kiyoshi White as a similar transition from the 55 to the 75 gram but not near as pronounced of change in launch and spin as the Black. The greatest value shafts in the OBAN line-up are the Devotion and Isawa Red. ... Read More

How Attack Angle is Affected By Shaft Tip Profile

May 3rd, 2016

Attack Angle can be dramatically affected by the shaft tip profile in the driver you are using.  We learned this last year when we were using the GEARS Golf system.  A shaft with a stiffer tip profile will lower your attack angle while a softer tip section will actually increase attack angle. The reason this is important is that attack angle can change both the launch angle and spin rate of your drives.  In general, if you are hitting the ball in the center of the club face on your driver, the lower your attack angle, the lower you will launch the ball and the more back spin you will impart on your shot.  This lower launch, higher spin shot will rob you of distance off the tee.  In our fittings we try to get our golfers to create a positive attack angle with their drivers.  This will create more carry with lower spin.  This, in turn, will give you more roll after landing also increasing distance.  When we tested several driver shaft profiles, we could change attack angle by up to 2 degrees with different shaft profiles.  The result was an average gain of 15 yards with a proper... Read More

Kuro Kage XT Review

April 19th, 2016

Kuro Kage XT and XM are the new standards for excellence in the Kuro Kage line.  Featuring low resin prepreg material and Titanium Nickel (TiNi) wire, the new combination gives the Kuro Kage a boost in both accuracy and distance due to its lower spin characteristics.  We put the new Kuro Kage XT through its paces against the Kuro Kage Black TiNi and the Kuro Kage Silver TiNi.  All tests were done with a Tour Edge E9 driver set to 10 degrees of loft and a Callaway Chrome Soft ball.  All of the shafts tested were within the fitting specs for the testers in terms of flex and weight. Launch:  The Kuro Kage XT launched slightly lower than the Kuro Kage Silver TiNi but a full 1.5 degrees lower than the Kuro Kage Black TiNi.  This is primarily due to the softer tip section in the Black TiNi which caused the toe to droop more than the XT causing higher ball contact on the club face. Spin:  The smash factor (1.49) was the best for the Kuro Kage XT as was the spin rate (sub 3,000 for all testers).  Spin went up slightly for the Silver TiNi but the most... Read More

Single Length Iron Sets – Initial Test Results

April 11th, 2016

Single length iron sets have gotten much more press since Bryson DeChambeau has been using them to win the NCAA Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship -2015, and Low Amateur at the 2016 Masters.  Last week we published a blog about how we went about our build of single length irons with our master club builder.  This blog post is about the initial TrackMan test results of the single length irons versus his traditional set.  The key things we were looking for from a statistics standpoint are distances, distance gaps between irons and shot dispersion.  The images above are the actual single length irons that were built by Derek, the TrackMan shot tests done with those single length irons and then the TrackMan tests done with Derek’s traditional set.  Since this is the very first test, we knew there would be some tweaking of lofts, lies and even how we weighted the heads.  As a fitter, I would expect a couple of things.  First, distances may be shorter with the lower lofted clubs and longer with the higher lofted clubs primarily due to club length.  Second, shot dispersion MAY be better with the single length irons because the swing plane is consistent... Read More

New Recoil 760/780 ES Shafts Offer Added Stability

April 4th, 2016

The new Recoil 760/780 ES shafts offer added stability over the previous 600 and 800 series shafts.  Make no mistake, the Recoil shaft has been a solid performer, especially for golfers with a smooth tempo and transition.  UST Mamiya, manufacturer of the Recoil shafts has made some great strides in the past year on providing a graphite shaft that is also able to fit players with faster transitions.  We tested the 780 ES and loved its ability to provide a very tight shot dispersion while still having a little higher ball flight than the Recoil Prototype series.  The 780 ES has a stiffer butt and mid section which is what creates the stability.  Couple that with the soft tip section and you get a nice tight shot pattern with mid-high ball flight and great feel.  Again, this shaft is designed for players with a faster tempo and transition.  As club builders, we have be very specific about which shaft we choose, i.e. the F3 (Regular flex), F4 (Stiff flex) or F5 (X Stiff flex) to be able to build a precise set.  If you like the feel of a lighter weight graphite shaft but want more control, the Recoil 760/780... Read More

True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 is Baaacccck!

March 23rd, 2016

The True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 has been on the PGA Tour for several years but it is now finally available again through True Temper Performance Fitting Centers like D’Lance Golf Performance Center.  The characteristics of the X7 are similar in weight to a Dynamic Gold S400 but the stiffness profile is designed for a stronger player with a fast transition.  The winner of the 2016 Arnold Palmer Bay Hill had this shaft in his irons.  The spin rate and trajectory is slightly lower than a Dynamic Gold X100 shaft but the feel of the ball of the clubface is very similar.  In order to handle the faster transition, the designers of the X7 made the butt section slightly larger (.610″ versus .600″) than the Dynamic Gold S400 so take that into account when selecting your grip size (you will need to use less wraps of tape, a smaller grip, or stretch the grip).  Here are a few more facts, 7 to be exact, about the X7. We have had several players move to this shaft from both the Dynamic Gold X100 and several KBS models and love the performance.  For more information, check out this video from True Temper.