2009 Shafts Buyer’s Guide

Shafts might just be the most misunderstood piece of golf equipment.

For starters, there's a lot to consider, including their length, weight, flex and torque. For another, many golfers question why they need to buy a shaft when "off-the-rack" clubs already have them. Don't worry, we're here to help.

First, a shaft is considered the engine of every club, and if you're playing with one that doesn't match your swing's DNA, you could potentially lose valuable distance, accuracy and shot shape.

Also, while stock shafts are labeled as a specific flex, independent tests confirm that a shaft's stiffness isn't always what it says it is.

If you want to be a complete player, it's vital you find the right match.

To choose the right shaft, first determine what you need. Do you want to hit the ball farther or improve your shot shape, or both?

Once you have an answer, consider the shaft's specifications.

Determine the right weight and length for your swing type and clubhead, and then decide how you want the shaft to perform. To ensure a good fit, we recommend consulting a professional clubfitter.

Accra AXIV Key Feature: The AXIV line is built with a Tetra-Axial (4-axis) weave that's made especially to resist deformation upon impact with the ball. Though lesser known than some, Accra makes extremely high-quality shafts that are worth a look, particularly if you're interested in increasing your driving accuracy What We Like: Another excellent product from a manufacturer that has always made solid driver shafts. Who It's For: Those looking for another option for their driver that the guys in their regular foursome might not have. Material: High-modulus composite Weight: 60g, 65g, 70g. 80g Torque: 2.2-3.5 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A, L www.accragolf.com Aldila DVS Key Feature: Similar to the VS Proto, the DVS is built with Micro Laminate Technology and carbon nanotubes. Of course, Aldila's proprietary A65 Performance Resin System also contributes to the impressive consistency and overall performance of the DVS design. What We Like: Carbon nanotubes are expensive for a reason–they help provide extreme strength and resiliency; Aldila's Micro Laminate Technology. Who It's For: Better players who like the stability and strength of the VS Proto, but want some added flexibility and snap through impact. Material: Nano carbon Weight: 63g, 71g, 84g, 91g Torque: 1.8-3.3 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R www.aldila.com Aldila NVS Key Feature: High-quality Micro Laminate construction that provides increased consistency and improved performance. A more flexible and responsive tip section gives players with slightly lower swing speeds more optimal launch conditions. What We Like: A slightly more tip-flexible shaft that still provides consistency and a good feel. All of those low-torque, stiff-tip models the guys on Tour use aren't for everyone. Who It's For: Golfers who want an exceptionally high-quality composite shaft that's easier to load than the typical tip-stiff model, making it easier to hit and more forgiving. Material: Nano carbon Weight: 55g, 65g, 75g, 85g, 95g, 105g Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A, L www.aldila.com Aldila Voodoo Key Feature: S-core Technology functions to stabilize the shaft through the use of an innovative internal rib design. The result is less cross-sectional deformation (aka ovaling) during the swing and a more efficient transfer of energy to the ball. What We Like: The engineers at Aldila keep pushing the envelope to develop better products, and they continue to accomplish their goals. Who It's For: While the Voodoo is a popular choice for PGA Tour players and better amateurs alike, there's a model to fit just about any player who wants a true premium-quality shaft. Material: Nano carbon Weight: 65g-76g Torque: 2.8-4.2 Flex Point: Mid-High Flexes: X, S, R www.aldila.com

Aldila VS Proto Key Feature: Micro Laminate Technology makes a jump to the future with the addition of carbon nanotubes. Aldila's proprietary A65 Performance Resin System also adds to the overall performance of the Tour-favored VS Proto. What We Like: The extreme strength of carbon nanotubes in combination with Aldila's other impressive technologies make the VS Proto extremely resilient and consistent. The result is longer, straighter drives for those who can handle it. Lots of Tour validation. Who It's For: Stronger, more accomplished players who generate plenty of clubhead speed. Material: Nano carbon Weight: 63g, 71g, 81g Torque: 2.2-3.2 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R www.aldila.com Fujikura E260 Key Feature: Available in 66g, 67g and 68g weights, the E260 is designed to provide midlaunch and midspin characteristics. Extremely high-quality materials and processes combine to produce outstanding consistency and tight dispersion. Like all Fujikura shafts, the E260 provides an excellent feel through impact. What We Like: The fact that Tour pros and recreational golfers can all benefit equally is impressive. Who It's For: Players desiring midlaunch and midspin characteristics for maximum control and distance. The full spectrum of golfers. Material: Graphite Weight: 66g, 67g, 68g Torque: 3.9 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: S, R, R2 www.fujikuragolf.com

Fujikura Motore Key Feature: The newest model from one of golf's most innovative shaft manufacturers is built using a proprietary method called Swing Sync, which is said to provide exceptional feedback to the player, allowing for significantly more control. What We Like: Fujikura's H.I.T. technology, which is designed to help players store more energy on the downswing. If you're not a Tour player, there's little doubt you could use some help in this all-important area. Who It's For: Any Fuji disciple and anyone else who wants premium performance and is willing to pay the price. Material: Premium graphite Weight: 55g, 65g, 75g Torque: 3.0-4.0 Flex Point: Mid-High Flexes: X, S, R, R2 www.fujikuragolf.com Fujikura Rombax W Key Feature: Fujikura's proprietary Triax material and a new computer-woven, braided box-weave composite fortified with Kevlar Triax throughout the body of the shaft. Medium flex point and low torque aid in providing stability without too much overall stiffness. What We Like: The use of the highest-quality materials possible in a variety of weights, torques and stiffnesses. The fact that just about any type of golfer can use one. Who It's For: Designed for players with standard ballflight and launch angle who like to swing aggressively without losing control. Material: Triax graphite Weight: 58g, 60g, 62g, 65g, 68g, 70g, 78g, 80g, 81g Torque: 2.5-3.2 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R www.fujikuragolf.com

Fujikura Rombax Z Key Feature: Built with a combination of Fujikura's proprietary Triax material and a new computer-woven, braided box-weave composite fortified with Kevlar Triax in the tip section. The result is a shaft that provides maximum distance with a lower trajectory. What We Like: Fujikura's Speeder series seemed like the best thing around at the time. Then they came out with the Rombax series, and now the Z and W. Who It's For: Top amateurs and professionals who desire a more penetrating ballflight with a tighter dispersion and maximum clubhead stability. Weight: 57g, 58g, 65g, 67g, 69g, 73g, 75g, 86g, 87g Torque: 2.3-3.2 Flex Point: High Flexes: X, S, R www.fujikuragolf.com Grafalloy Axis Blue Key Feature: Combines the company's Micro-Mesh Tip Design with Smart-Ply Technology, which was first introduced in the original Axis shaft. Smart-Ply takes advantage of thin layers of unidirectional graphite to stabilize the shaft along six different axes. What We Like: Grafalloy's engineers coming up with a unique combo of design elements to produce a cutting-edge product. It's also nice that the design has been used to create two distinct models that appeal to different players. Who It's For: The Axis Blue is aimed at those who want to maximize distance through a higher launch angle. Material: Smart-Ply fiber Weight: 58g-60g Torque: 4.0-4.5 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A www.grafalloy.com

Grafalloy Axis Red Key Feature: Combines the company's Micro-Mesh Tip Design with Smart-Ply Technology, which was first introduced in the original Axis shaft. Smart-Ply takes advantage of thin layers of unidirectional graphite to stabilize the shaft along six different axes. What We Like: Grafalloy's engineers coming up with a unique combo of design elements to produce a cutting-edge product. It's also nice that the design has been used to create two distinct models that appeal to different players. Who It's For: The Axis Red is designed for players who want a more boring, penetrating ballflight for greater trajectory control. Material: Smart-Ply fiber Weight: 63g Torque: 3.8 Flex Point: Mid-High Flexes: X, S, R www.grafalloy.com Grafalloy ProLaunch Platinum Key Feature: Smart-Ply Technology, which was originally introduced in the Grafalloy Axis shaft, incorporates unidirectional, high-modulus, carbon-fiber material oriented along six separate axes of the shaft to optimize shaft integrity during the downswing. The shaft's resistance to deformation improves energy transfer. What We Like: The development and utilization of a new technology to improve performance. Who It's For: The full spectrum of players looking for a shaft that helps produce power. Material: High-modulus graphite with Smart-Ply fiber Weight: 49g-75g Torque: Low Flex Point: Medium Flexes: X, S, R, A www.grafalloy.com

Graphite Design Aura Key Feature: he unique Aura model is available in four different "aura" colors based on the performance needs of particular players. The RED is for long hitters who play from the pro tee, GOLD is for better players who play from the championship tee, BLUE is for shotmakers who play from the men's tee, and GREEN is for those who play from the women's tee. What We Like: That GD's engineers were able to create such a diverse line of premium shafts that can be used to fit a wide spectrum of players. Who It's For: Basically, if you can't find an Aura to fit your game, you probably have a problem with your swing. Material: Graphite Weight: 56g-70g Torque: 3.2-5.9 Flex Point: Low-Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A, L www.gdintl.com Graphite Design Tour AD Quattrotech MD Key Feature: Made with Graphite Design's proprietary ACI (Axial Composite Interlace) Technology, this is a variation of the successful Quattrotech shaft. A 4-axis material in the tip of the shaft helps generate a Tour-like ballflight. What We Like: Graphite Design's use of multiple technologies in the production of the Tour AD Quattrotech MD. The 4-axis material they use stabilizes the clubhead throughout the swing. Who It's For: Those who want an extremely high-end, mid-flex point shaft that's designed to help minimize shot dispersion with a solid feel. Material: High-modulus graphite, Axial Composite Interlace Weight: 65g-73g Torque: 3.3 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, TX, SR www.gdintl.com

Graphite Design Tour AD Throttle Key Feature: The Tour AD Throttle is designed with a stiff tip and high bend point to create a penetrating ballflight for even the fastest swingers. What We Like: The designers at GD going for it by coming up with the official golf shaft of the Long Drivers of America. Who It's For: Extremely hard swingers, long-drive competitors and anyone who aspires to be one. If you want a 46-inch driver shaft to create maximum clubhead speed and maximum distance, the Tour AD Throttle is probably the shaft for you. If you're a long driver, buy it now! Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 65g-71g Torque: Mid Flex Point: High Flexes: XX, X, S, R www.gdintl.com Graphite Design Tour AD YSQst Key Feature: A more stable and stiffer tip to launch the ball lower and create maximum distance for players with 90 mph or higher swing speeds. ACI (Axial Composite Interlace) Technology functions to further stabilize the club by eliminating shaft deformation. What We Like: ACI Technology utilizes an unusual strategy to strategically orient fibers in multiple angles. We like the initiative and creativity. Who It's For: Stronger players who want to hit the ball lower and create plenty of roll. Material: High-modulus graphite, Axial Composite Interlace Weight: 65g-75g Torque: Low Flex Point: Mid-High Flexes: X, S, R www.gdintl.com

Mitsubishi Bassara Key Feature: A softer bend profile and more moderate torque ratings than the Tour-intended Diamana Series, as well as three different weights to fit a wide range of players. What We Like: Higher trajectory, higher ballspeed and more distance are the goals that the softer overall bend profile and more torque accomplish. Who It's For: Recreational to better players with moderate swing speeds who want the feel and performance of a Tour-quality shaft, but don't want the extreme stiffness or extremely low torque that often come in the package. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 63g, 73g, 83g Torque: 3.6-3.9 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R (L 63g only) www.mitsubishirayongolf.com Mitsubishi Diamana White Board Key Feature: A Tour-quality shaft that provides extreme stability through impact and low-spin characteristics. What We Like: The entire Diamana Series and Mitsubishi's ability to provide Tour-caliber products that fit a wide range of golfers. The White Board is the third flex profile in the series and is made to allow players to load the shaft while maximizing tip stability. The Blue Board and Red Board are also solid. Who It's For: Players who want the performance of a tip-stiff shaft without sacrificing feel or trajectory. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 63g, 73g, 83g Torque: 2.8-3.1 Flex Point: High Flexes: X, S, R www.mitsubishirayongolf.com

Mitsubishi Fubuki Key Feature: The most noteworthy technology used to produce the Fubuki is MDT (Modulus Differential Technology). This combines high-modulus material with more responsive, pitch-based fiber in and above the tip section. The resulting cooperation of the two distinct materials is said to provide significantly enhanced feel and stability throughout the shaft. The result is said to be greater consistency from shaft to shaft. What We Like: Mitsubishi continues to be a growing force in the composite shaft market, and the company's MDT is sure to continue the trend. Who It's For: The choice of Tour pros and recreational players alike, the Fubuki is typically a better option for more accomplished players. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 62g-71g Torque: 3.3-3.7 Flex Point: Mid-High Flexes: X, S, R www.mitsubishirayongolf.com Mitsubishi JAVLNFX Key Feature: A stable tip section that doesn't compromise responsiveness or feel. Unlike many shafts engineered with a tip section meant to stabilize the shaft throughout the swing, the JAVLNFX doesn't require an extremely aggressive swing profile to provide outstanding performance. What We Like: Another product from Mitsubishi Rayon that's built with premium-quality materials and processes, but can be enjoyed by players who don't necessarily have Tour-like swings. Who It's For: Recreational to better players who require a more responsive tip action to achieve optimal performance. Weight: 61g-81g Torque: 3.8-4.3 Flex Point: Mid-High Flexes: X, S, R www.mitsubishirayongolf.com

UST Mamiya Proforce AXIVCore Key Feature: Available in three models–Blue, Tour Black and Tour Red–the new AXIVCore line features a 4-axis material weave within the inner walls of the butt section that provides stability and consistent shaft recovery. The Blue series has a more active tip section for higher launch angles, while the Tour Black provides a similar high trajectory with significantly lower spin rates. The Tour Red offers a stiffer tip section for a more boring trajectory. What We Like: AXIVCore Technology! Who It's For: Anyone. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 74g-86g

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