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 profile could help or hurt launch, spin and face contact point depending upon the golfer’s swing profile. Over the last 12 months, we have been testing a lot of golfers with negative attack angles and have found that shafts with softer tip sections really improved face contact, attack angle and spin without any loss of accuracy or consistency. And, distance effectively increased 5 to 10%!
Our research on thousands of shafts allows us to know specifically which shaft profile to try in our fittings to achieve the desired changes in performance. In some cases, the opposite is true as well. A golfer with a naturally high positive attack angle could benefit from a shaft with a slightly stiffer tip section to control the consistency of the attack angle. Only by testing the golfer with different shaft options and driver lofts can we optimize distance with better launch and spin.