By SCOTT KRAMER
These days, driver shafts are all about getting you speed. After all, the faster the clubhead speed you generate, the more distance you’ll achieve on your tee shot.
So how do shaft manufacturers make their products faster? Essentially by removing weight, making the shaft slightly longer, or custom-fitting a model right to your swing – or a combination of the three. Lighter weights can be swung quicker. Longer shafts can create more whip as you go through the downswing. And the proper, thorough custom-fitting session takes into account how you load and unload the shaft during your swing, what kind of kick speed you get as you come through the ball, the efficiency of your handle rotation, handle-to-clubhead speed, and how much the shaft accelerates through impact. While you can get custom-fit at your local pro shop or off-course shop, you can also go directly to club manufacturers or shaft manufacturers, as well. And several shaft brands have interactive online fitting systems on their respective websites that will help you home in on the right specs.
If you buy a new driver, you generally have a choice of shafts. And most retailers will be happy to custom-fit your swing. If you like the driver clubhead you already play, but want to try other shafts, that’s where a clubfitter can be particularly helpful. Regardless of which group you fall into, remember the golden rule of buying golf clubs: Before you buy – whenever possible – try hitting shots at the range with the exact clubhead and shaft specs you’re considering. Make sure it feels and performs the way you expect.
SIX TO TRY
Fujikura’s Motore Speeder features uniformity throughout that helps eliminate deformation while maximizing feel and increasing performance and stability. ($399)
UST’s Proforce AXIVCore Tour Green integrates a true weave, 4-axis material within the tip’s inner walls, yielding lower ball flight, reduced spin and better control without sacrificing feel. ($169)
True Temper’s GS 95 is a lightweight steel shaft with soft feel. It’s for all player types, features a “Speed Step” design, and incorporates a responsive tip that increases initial launch angle. ($35)
Graphite Design’s Tour AD DI Deep Impact aims to provide power and stability. Nanotechnology material in its tip creates optimal launch and spin conditions, to enhance accuracy and distance. ($420)
Aldila’s RIP may bear a skull and crossbones, but it will bring life to your drives. Its materials and design optimize flex, torque, hoop strength and feel. ($249)
The Loomis Golf by MPC shaft features proprietary composite materials, as well as ultra low torque for accuracy and distance, even on off-center hits. ($nn)
THE KEY TO THE TEE
By SCOTT KRAMER