2011 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

Is the shaft really the engine of the club?

Let's clear up this misconception right now, shall we? The engine of any club isn't the shaft. It's you. You're the driving force behind the golf club's movement. And how well you go about choosing the right shaft can affect how well you transfer the energy of your body into the golf ball. This year, the ongoing surge of technology in shaft design has shown little slowdown, with new models promising more distance and control than before. So choose wisely, and always make your decisions based on what's best for your swing, not that of a fellow competitor. Accra DyMatch

Key Features: 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 all your woods will have the same torque, tip deflection and flex profile. What We Like: Having all your shafts perform the same way is the key to becoming more consistent with all your woods. Simple as that. Who It's For: All golfers. Specs: Series 1: 45-75g; Series 2: 65-85g; Series 3: 75-98g. Each series has a unique set of torques, launch profiles and flexes. accragolf.com | Call for price

Aldila RIP

Key Features: Optimum flex and torque characteristics provide good feel and ballflight. The Beta has a slightly softer tip flex than the original RIP for a slightly higher launch and more spin, while the Gamma has a higher balance point. What We Like: The hoop strength (the shaft's cross-sectional stability) is increased for more stability near the clubhead, which leads to more shot control. Who It's For: All golfers. Specs: Beta 60 comes in 62, 64 and 66g; Beta 70 in 74 and 76g; Gamma 60 in 69 and 71g; and Gamma 70 in 78, 79 and 81g. aldila.com | $299 Aldila VooDoo

Key Features: Increased cross-sectional stiffness, which equates to longer and straighter shots. In other words, the shaft's S-Core tech resists ovaling and deformation, meaning it bends more consistently during the swing, resulting in a greater transfer of energy into the golf ball. What We Like: Incredible stability from this uber-popular shaft. Who It's For: All golfers. Specs: Comes in a huge variety of driver, fairway wood and hybrid models, in several weights and every flex profile. aldila.com | $199 fujikura Blur

Key Features: Lightweight, it features a proprietary "Phantium" finish, plus what it calls the thinnest, lightest spread Tow Carbon interweave. What We Like: Its higher balance point helps golfers accelerate faster and generate a faster swing speed while maintaining solid feel. Who It's For: The 004 is for those wanting mid- to mid-/high launch; 005 is stiffer in the butt and generates a midlaunch and spin; and the TS-65 is for better players wanting a lighter-weight product without losing the stability that's felt in heavier shafts. Specs: The 004 comes in weights of 47, 48 and 51g; 005 in 55, 58 and 59g; TS-65 in 65g. fujikuragolf.com | $299 Fujikura Motore F3

Key Features: 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 downswings. What We Like: We sensed a lot of pop from this shaft, even when we tried to swing harder than usual, i.e., the ball didn't balloon. Who It's For: Every type of player, especially those who want added distance off the tee. Specs: Comes in 61 and 71g models in R, S, X flexes. fujikuragolf.com | $199 Grafalloy Axis Blue

Key Features: Uses high-modulus carbon fiber, and has a low bend point and high-trajectory design to maximize launch angle and peak trajectory. What We Like: The shaft's unique bend profile delivers terrific energy transfer for more yardage. Who It's For: Anyone wanting a softer overall shaft flex that yields a unique feel and energy transfer to the ball at impact and maintains stability. Specs: Available in 45, 48 and 50g. grafalloy.com | $100 Grafalloy ProLaunch AMP

Key Features: Advanced Material Performance translates to a unique lay-up pattern that powers tee shots, and a reduced torque combines with increased hoop integrity in the grip and mid-sections for maximum energy transfer. What We Like: Delivers incremental ballflight modification throughout the flex range: A & R flexes feature high-trajectory tips, while the S and X progressively stiffen to lower ballflight. Who It's For: Stronger swingers who want a high ballflight. Specs: Available in 57, 58, 62 and 63g in various flexes. grafalloy.com | $125 Graphite Design Tour AD DJ

Key Features: Nanomaterial tech in the tip section combines with the bend profile to produce more distance while maintaining optimal launch and spin. What We Like: Validated on the PGA Tour with success, this shaft promotes accuracy and distance, even when your swing timing might be a little off. Who It's For: All golfers. Specs: Available in 50, 60, 70 and 80g in various flexes. www.gdintl.com | $420 Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid

Key Features: The low torque and high-kick bend profile provide a Tour-like trajectory with midspin and plenty of accuracy. What We Like: DI in the name stands for "deep impact," which is the impression you'll get after experiencing the control, workability and performance of this shaft. Who It's For: Players of all skill levels who want a super hybrid shaft. Specs: Available in 75, 85, 95 and 105g in various flexes. www.gdintl.com | $260 KBS Tour

Key Features: Designed for better players, this steel shaft was engineered with "Moment of Inertia" analysis to increase stability and control. By reducing the mass and radius of each step in the shaft in equal proportions along the center line, the shaft does wonders for transferring energy from the golfer to the back of the golf ball. What We Like: The incredible feel and a penetrating, strong ballflight. Who It's For: Stronger players who need serious control from a high-performance shaft. Specs: Comes in 95, 100, 110, 120, 130 and 133g, in R, S, X flexes. kbsshafts.com | $25

MRC Bassara Wyvern

Key Features: Increases driving distance by maximizing clubhead speed and impact velocity through its 47-inch length and slightly lower overall weight. What We Like: The elastic titanium fiber in its tip section reduces deformation during shaft loading to help golfers transfer power. Who It's For: Players of all abilities. Specs: Available in 43L, 43R, 53R, 53S and 53TS in various flexes. mitsubishirayongolf.com | $350 MRC Diamana __ðilima

Key Features: Has a similar bend profile to the original White Board Diamana and incorporates Multi-Dimensional Interlay technology, to deliver a stiffer mid- and tip section than its predecessor. What We Like: Delivers stability through impact without sacrificing feel, along with flatter trajectory and low spin. Who It's For: Stronger players who want a more penetrating ballflight. Specs: Available in 60, 70 and 80g in various flexes. mitsubishirayongolf.com | $400 Miyazaki Dromos

Key Features: Superior multiaxis consistency makes it an upgrade shaft for adjustable hosel drivers. What We Like: It has a proprietary lay-up of composite fibers that reduces the spine effect, for consistent feel and performance, regardless of shaft orientation in the clubhead. Who It's For: Golfers who can afford to upgrade their adjustable driver. Specs: Available in 61, 72 and 83g in various flexes. miyazakigolfshafts.com | $300 Miyazaki C. Kua

Key Features: There are various models in this line, ranging from Superlite driver shafts to rugged hybrid shafts. Shafts are manufactured to extraordinary precision in Japan, with varying degrees of midsection, midtip and tip flex profiles to accommodate different clubs and different types of golf swings. What We Like: The Superlite models are all under 60g, making them incredibly fast and easy to swing. Who It's For: All golfers. Specs: Comes in a huge variety of driver, fairway wood and hybrid flex profiles. miyazakigolfshafts.com | $249 Nventix NUNCHUK

Key Features: Most recently used by Jhonattan Vegas en route to victory on the PGA Tour, the NUNCHUK's "Tri-Zonal Stability" design offers exceptional power and a greater acceleration of the clubhead. This means the ball flies a lot longer. Users of this shaft say it has a great "one-piece" feeling with the clubhead. What We Like: The name is awesome, but so is the performance. Don't believe us? Just ask Jhonattan Vegas what he thinks. Who It's For: For all player types. Specs: Comes in a 104g, one-flex model nventix.com | $259 Oban Kiyoshi

Key Features: Utilizing Oban's Emersion Wrapped Frequency Technology, the Kiyoshi is just the shaft for longer tee shots and a tighter shaft dispersion. What We Like: The color and the name are favorites, but really, this shaft performs as good (if not better) than it looks. Who It's For: All skill levels who want a high-performance, Tour-caliber shaft. Torques vary by weight class, meaning there's one for every swing speed. Specs: Comes in 55, 65 and 75g, and hybrid models, in a variety of flex/torque profiles. obanshafts.com | $350 Project X Wood

Key Features: A similar bend profile to the Project X iron shaft, the Project X wood shafts yield a very penetrating launch and low spin. Their reinforced cross section provides ample stability, as well. What We Like: We've tried this shaft in a number of driver clubheads and have yet to be disappointed. Faster swingers will love the boring trajectory this shaft creates. Who It's For: For stronger players. Specs: Comes in 60, 62, 66 and 69g in a variety of bend and flex profiles. pxshaft.com | $275 True Temper DG Spinner

Key Features: Strictly for wedges, it has a specially engineered section just beneath the grip that boosts spin. What We Like: It effectively increases ball spin–to the tune of up to 700+ rpm. As for feel, it doesn't feel that much different than a standard Dynamic Gold shaft, which, in our opinion, is a good thing. Who It's For: Stronger players who want more spin and lower launch. Specs: Available in 124 and 131g in wedge flex. truetemper.com | $50 True Temper GS85

Key Features: A speed step design improves feel and durability, and maximizes trajectory. What We Like: It's superlightweight for a faster swing speed, and is a more durable alternative to graphite. Who It's For: Anyone wanting the consistency of steel with the distance and feel of graphite. Specs: Available in 85g in R, S, X. truetemper.com | $45 True Temper Dynalite Gold XP

Key Features: Delivers extra trajectory and spin performance through a more responsive tip section. What We Like: Helps the ball get up quickly. Who It's For: Most golfers, especially lower ball hitters seeking high launch and peak trajectory. Specs: Tapered available in 113, 117 and 120g; parallel available in 117 and 121g in R, S, X. truetemper.com | $30 Ust Mamiya Attas-T2

Key Features: Reduced ply inserts and maximized full-length layers create a balance between torque and flex, for more-efficient shaft loading and a smoother bend profile. Constant taper yields more energy transfer to the ball. What We Like: The use of Ultra-High modulus, low-resin materials improves feel and creates a tighter shot dispersion. Who It's For: Players seeking a midlaunch, with tight dispersion and penetrating ballflight. Specs: Available in 47, 52, 64, 65, 68, 73, 75, 83 and 85g in various flexes. ustmamiya.com | $399 Ust Mamiya MP5

Key Features: The advanced aerospace micro-ply technology with 38 Micro-Ply layers improves feel without sacrificing performance. What We Like: Its low torque-to-weight ratio delivers the punch necessary for today's driver clubheads. Nice price too. Who It's For: All golfers. Specs: Available in 50, 51 and 52g in various flexes. ustmamiya.com | $49

2 thoughts on “2011 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

  1. I love how in 2007 and 2008 you say the shaft is the engine of every club. Then in 2009 and 2010 you say “considered.” Now, in 2011, you’re clearing up the misconception that you yourself caused…. I’m the engine now….

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