Understanding Golf Shaft Launch and Spin

Golf Shaft Launch and Spin

Golf Shaft Launch and Spin

Understanding golf shaft launch and spin is the key to choosing the correct shaft for your swing dynamics.   Shafts are typically identified by launch or trajectory  characteristics in five categories:  Low, Low-Mid, Mid, Mid-High and High.  The same categories apply to the spin characteristics.  If you look at the chart above of shafts available for Titleist drivers in 2015, you can see a pretty linear slope from Low Launch and Spin to High Launch and Spin.  There will be a few variations but the simple physics of designing a golf shaft makes it almost impossible to create a shaft that is Low Launch-High Spin or High Launch-Low Spin.   Titleist has done a good job of showing the relative Trajectory (Launch) and Spin of shafts they offer for their clubs.  Our Fitting Wizard gives recommendations for over 600 shafts.  And, you can filter by brand, weight, price, trajectory and spin to see what is available. See Titleist Shaft Performance Guide Here…

BGF Fitting System Shaft Launch and Spin Categories

The BGF Fitting System has a one-to-one relationship between Trajectory and Spin.  This means that a shaft that has a Low Trajectory designation will also have a Low Spin designation.  And a shaft that is Mid-High Trajectory will also have Mid-High Spin.    So when selecting shafts in a fitting, our fitters choose a shaft category based upon the BGF Fitting Recommendations in the appropriate category.

Spin and Trajectory Differential

The reality of shaft fitting is that the differential in spin and trajectory from lowest to highest is actually quite modest.  In a typical driver fitting, for example, a Low trajectory shaft may produce a 9 degree launch while a Mid-High trajectory shaft may only increase the launch to 11 degrees, and spin may only increase from 2,500 to 2,900.  Of course this can be significant in optimizing distance but our fitters are  not afraid of choosing a shaft that is designated Low-Mid even if your recommendation is for Low.  Sometimes, the combination of shaft weight, flex and price make certain shafts unavailable in particular trajectory and spin categories.  When our fitters select a shaft for testing, we never go more than two categories above or below your recommendations, i.e. Low instead of Mid is marginally acceptable.  If we are looking for higher or lower trajectory, we would change the loft of your clubs if you need that much change in trajectory or spin characteristics.

BGF Fitting Recommendations

When our fitters test you for your Tempo, Transition, Release and desired trajectory, the BGF Fitting System uses that information to determine a shaft profile (Trajectory and Spin) that will give you the desired results.  That, in conjunction with your TrackMan distance and other parameters, determines the butt stiffness, or flex, recommendation. 

Other Factors Affecting Trajectory and Spin

Our fitters also look at some very specific numbers from TrackMan to identify how there may need to be some modifications to the type of shaft profile to optimize your results.  Without getting into the technical details (Spin Loft), our fitters will look at attack angle and swing direction to determine if a different shaft profile will give better results.  We have found that things like attack angle can be changed by changing the tip of the shaft (higher trajectory tip to more attack angle, lower trajectory tip to reduce attack angle) for most players.

Building Clubs and Shafts to Your Recommendations

When we build your clubs or shaft with tip adapter, we build to the EXACT specifications recommended.  We DO NOT just install an A, R, S or X Flex and hope the results are correct.  We know that each shaft has its own characteristics (weight, CPM(cycle per minute), loading curve profile).  This means that we may have to use a different flex than what is labeled on the shaft to get the proper performance.  Kinda like buying shirts in S, M and L versus 16.5×35!  We have over 1,500 shafts in our database so our fitters can dial you in to a shaft that will work for you.  Our shaft database allows us to search and compare thousands of shaft options.  

So if you feel like you are hitting the ball too high with little roll-out, or too low with wide shot dispersion, now is the time to get fit and figure out which trajectory and spin profile you heed in YOUR golf shafts!

Dan Sueltz