2014 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

We have several shafts in this roundup for you to choose from. Check 'em out.

LOAD WITH THE HIPS By Bobby Hinds, PGA

Here, I'm using one of my favorite training aids, the Orange Whip. It's a great tool for tempo-timing, and it helps you make longer, more patient swings, especially as the body coils to the top of the backswing and initiates the downswing. If you look at the photo above at the top of my swing, the goal is to feel as though you've loaded your weight into the inner side of your right leg. The sensation should feel as though your right foot is pressing into the ground. As you then start the downswing, the key is not to lift the weight out of your right leg; rather, you should literally bump it over to your left leg. This is done by a slight bump of the hips as you begin to rotate the body toward the target. The left leg should feel as though it's plugged into the ground and stays firm as you move through the downswing.

Often, I see students do just the opposite. They take the club back with weight on the forward (left) leg and slide it over to the right leg on the downswing. That's a recipe for the dreaded reverse-pivot, folks! Instead, let your weight move (I don't use exact weight percentages since everyone's swing is a little different) and load up that right leg. Then, bump those hips on the downswing and keep that left foot plugged in the ground.

If you want to instantly change how your clubs perform, consider getting some new shafts. Notice we used the word "shafts" in the plural sense to hint that upgrading your shafts isn't just for drivers anymore. The driver is a good starting point, but having a new set of shafts in your woods and irons can dramatically help you perform better. Then, again, maybe you're in the market for new clubs altogether and you need a primer on what shafts we think are worthy of your consideration. Either way, get yourself fit for shafts that fit your swing speed and tempo. Do that first, then work on choosing shafts based on what type of trajectory and feel they help create. We have several shafts in this roundup for you to choose from. Check 'em out.

Shafts | Woods Aldila Tour Blue & Green

Key Features: The new Tour Green & Blue from Aldila are both designed to maximize the power you have inherent in your golf swing–they make the best of what you give them, helping you hit longer drives with a mid-height trajectory. The Blue has much of the same technology as the Green, only with a softer tip section for a higher ballflight. Specs: Both models come in a variety of flexes and weights, and also in hybrid shaft versions. aldila.com Aerotech Claymore Series

Key Features: Although they're lightweight, the Claymore Series shafts incorporate a lot of the same design features that are found in heavier, stiffer long-drive shafts, meaning despite being lightweight, they're still remarkably stable and have minimal distortion through the stroke. Specs: Available in three weight models (MX48, MX60 and LD), each in a variety of flexes for different swing speeds. aerotechgolfshafts.com Fujikura Motore Speeder 757

Key Features: The Motore Speeder 757 (also 661, 569 and 474) feature Triax Core Technology, "which is Triax three-directional woven graphite material on the inside layer of the shaft (vs. closer to the core), enhancing its contribution to increased speed and stability." In simple English, it means the Motore Speeder 757 is a premium shaft for a powerful, consistent low to mid-spin/mid- to high launch. Specs: Available in four models in a wide variety of flexes and weights. fujikuragolf.com Fujikura Pro

Key Features: There are three shafts (Pro 53, Pro 63 and Pro 73), each designed for the golfer who ultimately wants a mid-launch and low-spin ballflight. The differences are in weight, with the lighter shafts also more suited for slower tempos and the heavier (Pro 73) more suited for players with faster tempos. The Pro 73 Tour Spec is for players with fast swing speeds who want that mid-launch/low-spin flight. Specs: Available in three models in various lofts. fujikuragolf.com Grafalloy Blue

Key Features: The original Blue was one of the most popular shafts of the last few years, and this version looks to follow with the same level of popularity. Look for a low-launch, no-ballooning trajectory with added control and stability. It's super-stable and easy to make hard swings without the ball ballooning out of control. We consider this to be a shaft for golfers with fast swings who want maximum distance. Specs: Available in 60g and 70g in several flexes. grafalloy.com

Graphite Design Tour AD MT

Key Features: Designed with much of the same technology you'll find in the Tour AD DI, the new Tour AD MT has a stiffer mid-section and a slightly softer tip, which means it's better designed for today's driver clubheads that promote a low-spin/high-launch ballflight. Like every Tour AD shaft, the Tour AD MT comes in a wide variety of weights and flexes. We love the yellow. Specs: Available in a huge spectrum of flexes and weights for almost every type of player. proschoicegolfshafts.com Matrix Velocity

Key Features: There are two models in the Velocity line, the Sp and St. The Sp has a backweighted design (for longer clubs or clubs with heavier heads) and has mid-launch, mid-spin characteristics. This makes the ball fly higher and farther for just about every type of player. The Velocity St is similar in structure (using Matrix's DE Curve design), but has a stiffer tip section for a lower ballflight. Faster swingers will dig that. Specs: Available in four weights in a variety of flexes. matrixshafts.com Matrix OZIK Series

Key Features: Each shaft in the Ozik series is designed for the serious golfer, and the new TP6HDe is no exception. It uniquely has a hexadecagonal design (16-sided) for outstanding strength and Interply Hybrid Technology, with Boron in the construction for an insane level of symmetry and performance. Over your head? Yeah, ours, too. Just know it's as good a shaft as you can get from the Ozik line (and that's saying a lot). Specs: Available in a wide range of flexes and profiles. matrixshafts.com Mitsubishi Rayon Fubuki Z

Key Features: The Fubuki Z shafts are designed for golfers who want a stable shaft that promotes a low-spin, high-launch ballflight. Go ahead and add some loft to your driver, and let the Fubuki Z help do some work in reducing spin, thus helping you hit the ball farther and straighter. By the way, the Fubuki Z feels really smooth. Need a lower launch? Try the Fubuki ZT for a mid-height ballflight. Specs: Available in three models in X, S, R flexes. mitsubishirayongolf.com Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage Black HBP

Key Features: Not unlike the original Kuro Kage, the Black edition has a smooth bend profile, but with a softer mid-section, stiffer tip and butt section, and a higher balance point. In simple terms, it lightens the club's swingweight for more speed without adding length to the shaft. Oh, yeah, and it has all the fancy Prepreg composite technology one would expect from a premium MRC shaft. One can expect a mid-launch with mid-spin rates with this shaft. Specs: Available in four weight models (50g, 60g, 70g, 80g) in a variety of flexes. mitsubishirayongolf.com Miyazaki B.Asha

Key Features: The B.Asha uses Miyazaki's International Flex Code, making it easy to choose the right flex (across the entire shaft) for your game. Need a stiff butt section and soft tip, or vice versa? There's a Code for both kinds of shafts. In fact, the way the B.Asha shafts are categorized, there's a shaft for just about everyone and every desired type of launch. All of them have a silky-smooth feel and Samurai-inspired graphics. Specs: A huge assortment of weight and flex characteristics to choose from. miyazakigolfshafts.com Miyazaki JDL

Key Features: The JDL is designed to perform the same no matter how it's oriented into an adjustable-hosel driver–no matter what setting you choose for face/lie angle, you'll reap the best performance the shaft can deliver. For us, that's a mid-launch with mid-spin for the best in distance and control. Specs: Available in four models from 49g to 87g in a variety of flexes. miyazakigolfshafts.com NVENTiX Nunchuk

Key Features: One flex, one weight (104g), three distinct regions, with the center region being the only area that actually flexes. The shaft reduces droop, making it easier to hit the sweet spot more often. In English, you've gotta try it to understand the unique feel and performance of this shaft. And we mean that in a really good way. It may very well be the wave that other companies will soon follow. Specs: One flex, one weight. There's also a hybrid model and a newer model for irons. nventix.com OBAN Kiyoshi Series

Key Features: The popular Kiyoshi Series (Purple, White, Black and the new Gold) covers a wide range of player types (the new Gold caters to golfers who want a high-launch with mid-spin characteristics), each using state-of-the-art technology to ensure maximum energy transfer and excellent stability and consistency. In case you were wondering, the colors are cool and they feel incredible in every clubhead we've hit them with. Specs: All four shafts are designed for different launch/spin, each in a variety of weights and flexes to choose from. obanshafts.com OBAN Tour Limited

Key Features: If you want to look, feel and perform like a Tour player, this shaft ought to be seriously considered. It's expensive (near $500), but it's probably worth it once you get the scoop on the insane technology that goes into reducing ovaling, droop, distortion, etc., thus giving you a shaft for big distance and precision stability. It's a mid/high-launching shaft, but manages to keep spin rates down. The result is serious distance and Tour-worthy control. Specs: Available in three models, ranging from 58g to 79g in R, S, X flexes. obanshafts.com Project X PXv 39

Key Features: At a crazy 39g (that's really light, folks), the PXv 39 is, according to Project X, the lightest shaft ever made for the U.S. market. It's light, but it's not meant to be taken lightly since it still has the same performance (stability, torsional control and feel) that you'd come to expect from a shaft that weighs one-third more than this one does. Even more impressive, despite being under 40g (before getting trimmed), it still promotes a relatively low launch. Specs: Available in three flexes, all at 39g. pxshaft.com SK Fiber Pure Energy

Key Features: Pure Energy is designed for today's oversized heads. The low to mid-high kickpoint and responsive tip help to reduce hooks and slices while adding distance. Sounds good, right? We don't put prices in our shaft listings (because they sometimes vary too much), but know that this shaft is a steal at $45. Really, it's a tremendous value. Specs: Available in S, R, A, L flexes in 56g-65g. skfiber.com SK Fiber Wraith

Key Features: The Wraith shaft is an ultralightweight shaft weighing in at just 50 grams (cut weight for driver). It's designed for players with a slow to moderate tempo seeking a higher launch angle. We dig the hardcore graphics and how light this shaft is! Better yet, it's designed to help golfers get the ball airborne for maximum carry distance. It's simple, really. A lighter shaft means you can swing faster. The Wraith helps you do just that. Specs: Available in three flexes (S, R, A). skfiber.com Shafts | Irons UST Mamiya PROFORCE V5

Key Features: The new generation of PROFORCE V5 shafts are for the player seeking more distance with improved feel over the previous generation. The firm tip section produces a mid-trajectory while the use of superior materials and design produces a very stable and consistent golf shaft. Put it this way: We've been huge fans of PROFORCE shafts over the years. This latest version has us all giddy inside. Specs: Available in a variety of weights and flexes. ustmamiya.com Aerotech Players Spec Ami99

Key Features: If you want added forgiveness in longer irons and more rigid control in shorter irons and wedges, the Players Spec Ami99 delivers that in a precision-made set of graphite shafts. The "ascending weight progression" means weight increases incrementally from 95 grams in the 3-iron shaft to 100 grams in the pitching wedge shaft. Specs: Progressively weighted, with SteelFiber composite construction. aerotechgolfshafts.com Aldila RIP Iron

Key Features: It has a low-torque design, not just among graphite iron shafts, but it's low-torque when compared to steel models, as well. The tip and butt sections remain firm, while the center section does the bending work for the utmost in distance and control. And, like the wood RIP Shafts, it's made with the same RIP technology that made those shafts so popular. Specs: Available in 90 and 115 composite models in a variety of flexes. aldila.com UST Mamiya Elements Series

Key Features: Each shaft in the Elements Series (Earth, Wind, Fire and new the ion-plated Chrome Series) is fitted by a TSPX fitter, meaning that fitter is certified and is an expert, making sure you get the perfect shaft for your golf game. Whether it's a low, mid- or high launch with whatever spin you need, a TSPX fitter will give you the most personalized fit you can get from UST Mamiya. Every Tour player using a UST Mamiya shaft was fitted by a TSPX fitter. No exceptions. Specs: Each shaft caters to a specific launch/spin ballflight, with a variety of flexes and weights within that set to choose from. ustmamiya.com Fujikura Pro 95i

Key Features: If you want a graphite shaft that has the weight of steel, the Pro 95i might be just the shaft. It has the weight (99g) you'd come to expect from steel, but with the feel and load capabilities a graphite shaft provides. This means more vibration dampening, making these among the smoothest-feeling graphite iron shafts around. The set uses a 2-iron blank, making it capable of holding a consistent swingweight throughout the set (when trimmed to length). Specs: Available in X, S flex profiles with a mid-bendpoint. fujikuragolf.com KBS C-Taper

Key Features: A stiff-tip design for a lower ballflight while retaining a smoother feel through impact. This shaft also incorporates much of the same design found in the popular KBS Tour shaft, hence, the buttery feel and Tour-preferred trajectory (low-launch, low-spin) these shafts create. We love the satin finish, too. Specs: Available in five flexes in steel with progressive weight/flex profiles. kbsgolfshafts.com KBS Tour-V

Key Features: Much like the KBS Tour shaft with a tight shot dispersion, mid-launch and low-spin characteristics, only this time in a lighter steel version. Also, like every shaft Kim Braly makes (those are his initials, folks), the shafts are stepped for precision flexing from butt to tip, meaning they're silky-smooth and flex only as much as you need them to for extreme control. Specs: Steel construction in three flexes (R, S, X) in 100g to 120g weights, respectively.

2 thoughts on “2014 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

  1. Unfortunate review as arguably one piece graphite shafts are as obsolete as hickory. Limited flex length and 15% loss of energy compared with a multi-part FineOneGolf T3.

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