2010 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

It's remarkable how much a good-quality shaft can change your game.

Want to know the fastest way to improve your game? Replace all those stock shafts with a top-of-the-line graphite or steel offering.

We've written about it here a million times. A golf shaft is considered the golf club's engine. And we assume that you would not put a Yugo's engine in your Porsche. So why do so many golfers continue to play with a (lower-quality) stock shaft?

Let's put it this way, if you're playing with one that doesn't match your swing's DNA, you could potentially lose valuable distance, accuracy and shot shape. Another reason for upgrading your shaft is that, 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 DyMatch Key Feature: Short for Dynamically Matched, Accra's DyMatch shafts use the latest in cannon, robot and human testing to create three distinct series of shafts that match from driver through hybrid. That means your driver, fairway woods and hybrid(s) will have the same torque, tip deflection and flex.

Material: Graphite Weight: Series 1: 45-75g; Series 2: 65-85g; Series 3: 75-98g Torque: Series 1: 3.5-5.6; Series 2: 3.0; Series 3: 2.1, 2.5 Flex Point: Series 1: High; Series 2: Mid-High; Series 3: Mid Flexes: Series 1: L, A, R, S, X; Series 2: A, R, S, X; Series 3: S, X accragolf.com Aldila En Fuego series Key Feature: The En Fuego_ã_ series features three innovative shaft designs, each with a higher center of gravity that increases the performance of today's modern clubhead designs. Each shaft in the series promotes a different ballflight, Serrano–a low- to midlaunch shaft, Wasabi–a midlaunch shaft and Habanero–a mid- to high-launch shaft. The dampening advantages of the Micro Laminate Technology have eliminated distracting and destructive "shock" for superior feel and playability.

Material: Graphite Weight: 60-63g Torque: 4.0-5.3 Flex Point: Low to high Flexes: R, S, X aldila.com

Aldila VooDoo NV Key Feature: The Aldila VooDoo increases the shaft's cross-sectional stiffness, which equates to longer shots. Also, during the golf swing, the degree of cross-sectional deformation (or, as it's commonly known, "ovaling") is reduced. Add it all up, and more energy is stored in pure bending and released into the ball at impact.

Material: Graphite Weight: 73-83g Torque: 2.8-4.0 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: R, S, X aldila.com Aldila VooDoo S-core 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.

Material: Nanocarbon Weight: 65g-76g Torque: 2.8-4.2 Flex Point: Mid to high Flexes: X, S, R aldila.com Fujikura Fit-On Max Key Feature: Designed with Fujikura's proprietary Swing-Sync Design Technology. This design platform gives each shaft optimal flexural rigidity. Swing-Sync provides exceptional feedback to the player in order to immediately obtain the best control.

Material: Graphite Weight: 58, 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 70, 77, 78, 79g Torque: 3.1-4.5 Flex Point: L/M, M/H, H Flexes: R, R2, S, X fujikuragolf.com Fujikura Motore F3 Key Feature: Built using a proprietary method called Swing-Sync, which is said to provide exceptional feedback to the player, allowing for more control. Also Fujikura's H.I.T. technology, which is designed to help players store more energy on their downswings.

Material: Graphite Weight: 61, 71g Torque: 2.8-3.1 Flex Point: M Flexes: R, S, X fujikuragolf.com

Fujikura Motore speeder Key Feature: Supercharged with the company's Quadra Axis Composite and Triax Woven material, creating what's called "7 Axis Technology." What's that? A uniformity throughout the shaft that assists with eliminating deformation while providing the maximum amount of feel through the entire swing, increasing overall performance and stability.

Material: Graphite Weight: 55, 56, 58, 62, 64, 64.5, 65, 66.5, 68.5, 74, 75.5, 77g Torque: 3.1-4.2 Flex Point: M/L, M, M/H Flexes: R, R2, S, X 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.

Material: Smart-Ply fiber Weight: 58g-60g Torque: 4.0-4.5 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A 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.

Material: High-modulus graphite with Smart-Ply fiber Weight: 49g-75g Weight: 58g-60g Torque: 4.0-4.5 Flex Point: Medium Flexes: X, S, R, A grafalloy.com Graphite Design Tour AD DI Key Feature: Designed to offer more power and stability, the AD DI shaft features a nanotechnology material in the shaft's tip section to help create optimal launch and spin conditions. The Tour AD DI's midbend profile allows the player to load the shaft properly, yet it maintains a firm enough tip section through impact, producing optimal spin and launch conditions.

Material: Graphite Weight: 50, 60, 70, 80g Torque: 2.9-4.7 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: R1, R2, SR, S, X 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. This is made 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 speed and maximum distance, this is the shaft for you.

Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 65-71g Torque: Mid Flex Point: High Flexes: R, S, X, XX gdintl.com Graphite Design Tour AD YSQ 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. The YSQ was launched in 2009 in a 75-gram part. Ten grams heavier than the previous YSQ models, this version is for the stronger player, and is 10 percent lower in torque and has a higher bend point for lower launch angles.

Material: High-modulus graphite, Axial Composite Interlace Weight: 45-85g Torque: 2.7-6.8 Flex Point: Low-Mid Flexes: UL, L, RR, R, S, X gdintl.com KBS Tour Key Feature: Designed for better players, the KBS Tour shaft was engineered with "Moment of Inertia analysis" to increase stability and enhance the results of well-executed swings. By reducing the mass and radius of each step in equal proportions along the shaft's center line, the KBS Tour shaft delivers optimum stability, resulting in efficient energy transfer from the player's hands to the clubhead. In addition, the KBS Tour shaft incorporated step-by-step Moment-of-Inertia analysis to reduce shaft "interference" during a player's well-executed swing.

Material: Steel Weight: 95, 100, 110, 120, 130, 133g Flex Point: Flexes: R, S, X kbsshafts.com Mitsubishi Diamana __ðilima Key Feature: Built for the player who desires an active bend profile that delivers high launch and less spin for a more penetrating ballflight. Features an active, low-torque tip section, with a stiff mid section and moderate butt section. The result is a shaft that dynamically promotes energy transfer throughout the swing while delivering a penetrating ballflight with low spin.

Material: Graphite Weight: 58, 61, 64, 69, 72, 79, 81g Torque: 2.8-3.6 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: R, S, X mitsubishirayongolf.com

Mitsubishi Fubuki Alpha Key Feature: Mitsubishi refined the original MD Technology designed to create a "hinge-like" effect to help deliver a high launch/low spin in a stiff-tip Tour profile. Depending on the shaft flex, Mitsubishi has used a combination of shaft fibers to help players of varying swing speeds produce the optimal launch.

Material: Graphite Weight: 54, 56, 57, 61, 63, 65, 73, 75g Torque: 2.8-4.3 Flex Point: Mid/High Flexes: R, S, X mitsubishirayongolf.com Miyazaki Kusala Key Feature: The Kusala series comes in three colors, black, silver and blue, each with different characteristics for different player profiles. The company has designed a proprietary International Flex Code fitting system, which replaces the old specifications of frequency, kick point and torque to give fitters a more detailed insight into the specifics of their current shaft.

Material: Graphite Weight: 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 67, 68, 70, 71, 81, 82g Torque: 2.6-3.6 Flex Point: Low-Mid (Black Model), Mid (Blue), Mid-High (Silver Flexes: R, S, X miyazakigolfshafts.com Nippon NS Pro 999GH Key Feature: Based on the award-winning architecture of the NS PRO 950GH iron shaft model, the NS PRO 999GH is an ascending-weight steel shaft that offers high speed in the longer irons, and more feel and control in the shorter irons. The lighter, longer iron shafts increase the golfer's ability to swing the longer irons faster; and the heavier, shorter iron shafts engage the golfer's larger muscles to better feel the club during the swing. The 999 is finished in a dark, bronze, metallic Ion-Plate finish. Available in 40 different SKUs to fit into most any popular iron model.

Material: Steel Weight: 98-109g Flex Point: Mid Flexes: R, S nipponshaft.com Oban Devotion Key Feature: The Devotion Series is Oban's most diverse offering, with various shaft weights. The design pattern remains consistent throughout the Devotion Series, while kick points and torques vary depending on the weight class.

Material: Ultra premium, high-modulus graphite Weight: 47-83g Torque: 2.6-5.0 Flex Point: Low/Mid-High Flexes: L, A, R, S, X, XX obanshafts.com

Project X Wood Key Feature: Featuring a similar bend profile to Project X iron shafts, the Project X wood shaft yields a penetrating launch and low spin. Its reinforced cross section provides a very stable shaft. The tapered midsection combines with the double-reinforced tip section to maintain a strong angle of attack and greatly reduce spin, even in the highest-launch drivers.

Material: Graphite Weight: 60-69g Flex Point: Mid-Stiff Flexes: 5.0-7.0 pxshaft.com

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