2013 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

GET IN TUNE By Brady Riggs, PGA

While there are definite differences in the clubhead's angle of attack at impact when using an iron or a driver, the relative position of the body is nearly the same. The left arm is long while the right arm is still bent, the hips are open, and the legs are pushing away from the ground and becoming straighter through impact. With both the irons and the driver, the hands lead the shaft into impact. The amount they lead is up to the player, but there must be a little forward handle position if the ball is to be struck properly. While it seems hard to understand, the clubhead can be going down with the iron and up with the driver while the hands are leading in both swings. The good news is, if you sequence the swing correctly and keep your hands and arms relaxed, the alignments at impact will be much easier to achieve. You just can't force it!

Even after years of preaching it in the pages of Golf Tips, it seems many golfers still ignore the most critical component of the golf club. Really, once you find the right head to your liking, what shaft you put in it makes all the difference in how well it will work for you. Pay attention not only to flex, but also factors such as torque, length and weight. All these variables need to be considered if you want to make the most of any club in your golf bag.

Aldila RIP Phenom

Key Feature: The mean, pirate-looking graphics on the new RIP Phenom hide a ton of new technology geared for added stability and power. The Hyperbolic Flex Zone provides a stiff tip section and a firm butt section, meaning the shaft flexes in the center. Thus, you have a penetrating launch and a very fast swing speed, thanks to some serious tech under the hood. It's our favorite Aldila shaft! Who It's For: Golfers who want maximum power and control without a ballooning ballflight. Specs: Comes in 50g or 70g in R, S or X flex. aldila.com | $159 Aldila RIP Trinity

Key Feature: As the name implies, the Trinity combines three technologies into one shaft: RIP technology for control and distance; S-Core Tech for incredible stability; and Micro Laminate Tech for improved feel. Who It's For: All player types, since the shaft features three of the latest and best innovations from Aldila. Shots fire with a Tour-like launch and minimal spin. Specs: Comes in 63g-69g in A, R, S, X and TX flex. aldila.com | $199 Fujikura Blur

Key Feature: Designed as a lightweight, higher-balance-point shaft, the Blur helps golfers generate greater clubhead speed without compromising the great feel that some lightweight shafts just don't have. Who It's For: Anyone who wants an instant boost in clubhead speed, thanks to a lighter shaft that doesn't feel like a lighter shaft. Specs: Comes in a wide variety of performance profiles, ranging from 47g to 65g. fujikuragolf.com | $175 Fujikura Fuel

Key Feature: The new FUEL shaft from Fujikura is hell-bent on distance, without sacrificing any control. The "Combustion Chamber," as it's called, is loaded with a series of high-modulus carbon plies that are orientated at 45_¡ and 90_¡, which reduce friction and ovaling during the swing. Meaning, this shaft wastes no energy and directs more of it toward the golf ball. Who It's For: So far, Tour players are loving the L/Mid launch and a very straight flight. (It's our favorite Fuji shaft yet.) Specs: Comes in 56g-78g, in a variety of flex/torque options. fujikuragolf.com | $225 Fujikura EXS

Key Feature: There's an EXS shaft for everyone, thanks to a very comprehensive fitting system–that means there's an EXS shaft to perform, however you need it. Who It's For: With over 20 shafts in the woods category alone, there's an EXS shaft for everyone. And that's just woods; the line covers hybrids and iron shafts, too. Specs: Really, do we need to say it again? There's an EXS shaft that's fit for any type of player (trust us). fujikuragolf.com | $115 Grafalloy Blue

Key Feature: The original Blue shaft from Grafalloy is one of the most popular graphite shafts of the last few years, and the new Blue shaft from Grafalloy promises to follow up with the same level of popularity, especially among those who want a trajectory that's lower and doesn't cause the ball to balloon into the air. Who It's For: Stronger swingers who need the added stability for improved distance with control. Specs: Comes in 60g and a heavier 70g option for golfers who use heavier driver and fairway wood clubheads. grafalloy.com | $125 Graphite Design Tour AD GT

Key Feature: The all-new Tour AD GT shaft from Graphite Design has a slightly stiffer profile than the Tour AD DJ, resulting in a higher kickpoint for a mid-trajectory and improved control, especially among those who swing on the stronger side. Who It's For: Better players will love the added dose of control this shaft lends, and the Material Stiffness Integration makes these the best shafts we've seen from GD. Specs: Comes in four weights and a variety of flexes. proschoicegolfshafts.com | $380 Graphite Design Tour AD BB

Key Feature: The Tour AD BB "Blue Bullet" shafts have increased stiffness from the tip to middle section, which helps the shaft promote a mid-to-lower launch. In other words, if you're a fast swinger, this shaft will help you maximize distance and control without excessive spin. Who It's For: Big hitters who want more control without having to sacrifice distance or feel. How good is that? Specs: Comes in 50g, 60g, 70g and 80g weights in a variety of flex options. proschoicegolfshafts.com | $380 KBS Custom Lab

Key Feature: If you're looking for a sweet set of wedge shafts that have a personal touch, the KBS Custom Lab shafts are it. Available in sets of three, you can spec out your wedges in three finishes (we like the white the most) and an assortment of grips, ferrules and even decal color combos. Looking good has never looked so easy. Who It's For: Golfers who want KBS's stellar shafts in their wedges and who also want a custom look. Specs: Comes in three flexes (R, S, X) in countless custom artistic expressions. Available in packs of three. kbsgolfshafts.com |$122/3-shaft pack KBS C-Taper

Key Feature: The KBS C-Taper steel shaft has a Stiff Tip design for a lower ballflight, all while retaining a smoother feel through impact. This shaft also incorporates much of the same design and tech found in the popular KBS Tour shaft, hence, the buttery feel and Tour-preferred trajec-tory (low launch, low spin) these shafts create. We dig that satin chrome finish, as well. Who It's For: Golfers who want to shallow-out their iron trajectories while retaining feel and performance. Specs: Five flexes in progressive weight/flex profiles. kbsgolfshafts.com | $280/set of 8 Matrix OZIK X3 White Tie

Key Feature: The new OZIK White Tie shafts promote a high-launch/low-spin ballflight with increased stability and a tighter feel–the whizzes at Matrix have found a way to make the popular OZIK XCON shafts even better than before. All that without adding excess weight. If we had the space to list all the technology in this shaft, we'd need the whole page. It's that awesome. Who It's For: Everybody wants that high-launch/low-spin flight, and there's a model for everyone in this line. Specs: Comes in five profiles (4X3-8X3) in a variety of flexes. matrixshafts.com | $320 Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana B Series

Key Feature: he third-generation Diamana shafts are here, featuring the latest in curing advancements and tech to make the Diamana line even better. These new shafts are MRC's signature "smooth" blend profile for balanced stiffness on both ends of the shaft and a stiffer midsection. The result? A shaft that's destined to be a huge hit. Who It's For: Golfers who loved the original Blue Board and who want to hit longer, straighter shots. Simple, huh? Specs: Comes in 60g, 70g and 80g in R, S, X (no R in 70/80). mitsubishirayongolf.com | $399 Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki K-Series

Key Feature: The K-Series use the same Modulus Differential Technology found in the Fubuki Tour and Fubuki profiles, in addition to the company's Power "Ninja" Core. This allows for a thin layer of metal in the butt section to increase stability and maximize power and speed. Who It's For: Golfers with average swing speeds who want to play things safe and choose a shaft that's awesome for midlaunch, midspin performance. Comes in hybrids, too. Specs: Low or Low/Mid kickpoints in a variety of models. mitsubishirayongolf.com | $359 Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage

Key Feature: The Kuro Kage shafts are designed with MRC's High Density Prepreg–they have more carbon and less resin. This means that MRC could add more strength to the shaft while at the same time increasing feel. Who It's For: There are two models to choose from: Black or Silver. The newer Silver model (shown) has a softer tip for a higher launch. Specs: The Black comes in a variety of wood, hybrid and iron shafts; Silver in a variety of wood and hybrid shafts. miyazakigolfshafts.com | $175 Miyazaki B.Asha

Key Feature: Building on the success of the C.Kua line, the B.Asha series has enhancements in weight reduction and more stable International Flex Code profiles. The new B.Asha shafts are poised to be top performers across a wide spectrum of golfers. Who It's For: With such a wide offering, there's a model B.Asha for every type of player–across the globe, frankly. Specs: Comes in five models in a wide variety of weight, torque and flex profiles. miyazakigolfshafts.com | $199 Miyazaki JDL

Key Feature: The new JDL shafts are designed specifi-cally for drivers with adjustable hosels. How so? Through a scientific process that's way above our heads, the whizzes at Miyazaki have created virtually spineless shafts. So, no matter how it's oriented in the clubhead, it performs exactly as it should: flawlessly. Who It's For: Primarily those with adjustable-headed clubs, but it's so good that it's worth a try in any clubhead. Specs: Comes in four models in a variety of flex, torque and weight profiles. miyazakigolfshafts.com | $299 NVENTiX Nunchuk

Key Feature: The one-size-fits-all Nunchuk features Tri-Zonal Stability tech, which eliminates excessive twisting, flexing and droop, all factors that lead to inconsistent hits. Even at 103 grams, the counterbalanced Nunchuk performs exceptionally well for players of any skill. The Nunchuk also comes in a handy hybrid model. Who It's For: Golfers who want to take the hassle out of finding a powerful, inventive and rock-steady shaft. Specs: Simple: one weight (103g), one flex. Comes in hybrids, too. nventix.com | $275 NVENTiX Nunchuk xi

Key Feature: On the heels of the successful wood and hybrid shaft, the same Tri-Zonal Tech made its way into an all-new Nunchuk graphite iron shaft. Again, the one- size/one-weight-fits-all fitting system is in place, and these graphite shafts promise less vibration, better feel and uniquely better "bio-feedback" to help golfers make similar swings with each iron in the bag. Who It's For: Fans of Nunchuk shafts, of course, and also those who want to try a cutting-edge alternative to steel. Specs: Comes in 104g, one flex/length. Butt trim to length. nventix.com | $175 OBAN Kiyoshi White

Key Feature: The new Kiyoshi White shaft from Oban has the company's MultiPlex Design Technology that combines a soft butt section with a stiff tip and midsection for a new level of high performance. Who It's For: These shafts are geared to yield mid-trajectory ballflights with lower spin, meaning they work well for just about all player types. Specs: Comes in two weight options (65g/75g) in R, S and X flex (no R flex in 75g option). obanshafts.com | $399 Project X PXv Tour 52

Key Feature: The second generation in the Project X franchise, the PXv Tour 52 produces maximum ball speed while preserving critical stability and control through the hitting zone. Who It's For: Tour players who want astounding performance in their lightweight wood shafts. It's also available in a heavier model for players who prefer a little extra weight and heavier clubheads. Specs: Comes in four flex models (5.5-7.0). royalprecision.com | $349 SK Fiber Fury

Key Feature: Designed to promote the much desired high-launch/low-spin ballflight, the Fury uses a proprietary composite layer to reinforce the mid- and tip sections. And, well, it does just that: creates a high/low-spin launch. Who It's For: Hey, folks, SK Fiber is the real deal. They have been producing incredible shafts at remarkable values. Specs: Comes in R, S, X flex in 65g models. skfiber.com | $89 SK Fiber Superfly

Key Feature: Looking for an awesome value-minded shaft? The Superfly (what a great name!) is an ultralight (47g-53g) shaft that will instantly add more clubhead speed to your golf swing. And in case you aren't familiar with SK Fiber, they have been making some of o

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