2012 Buyer's Guide Shafts
It's the club's engine. Are you in need of a tune-up?
|This Article Features Photo Zoom|
By Jon Paupore, PGA
To hit longer drives, you have to get aggressive. And more importantly, you have to get aggressive in the right way. In the example here, let's look at the first move you ought to make as you descend from the top of your swing and into the golf ball. The longer hitters on Tour (just about all of them these days) know that the greatest way to generate power is to leverage the upper body against the ground. This means, the first move they make as they initiate the downswing is to squat into the ground and push the legs against it. Specifically, you want to apply more force into your left leg than the right to aid in making a better pivot onto your forward side on the downswing. In the photo here, you can see how my head is lower at the onset of my downswing, as compared to the very top of my backswing. This force, both downward and into my left leg, allows my upper body to build torque and, as a result, make a faster, more aggressive rotation through the hit.
A great way to practice this is to make a series of practice swings where you take the club to the top of your backswing, and pump your leg into the ground. You should feel more weight applied to your left leg than to your right one. As you do this, it's likely your arms will automatically start pumping downward too, indicating you're on the right track toward creating a powerful strike into the golf ball. After a few tries, hit some balls, and I bet you'll start hitting longer more aggressive shots immediately.
AldilaKey Feature: This new shaft from Aldila weighs a measely 44 grams (which is insanely light), however, it retains the strength and flexibility golfers have come to love in the NV series from Aldila (which is the company's best seller, by the way). Slightly heavier versions also are available.
NV 44 Magnum
Who It's For: Golfers who want to go with the complete lightweight package. It's ideal for clubs with light clubheads and also with light grips. Look for that coveted high-launch, moderate-spin flight with this lightweight wonder.
Specs: 44-48 grams, in R, S or X flex.
aldila.com | $249
AldilaKey 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 | $249
FujikuraKey Feature: The popular Blur shaft from Fujikura has a higher balance point (closer to the grip), helping golfers instantly increase their swing speed for longer hits. And yes, the feel and stability of the Blur is superb, as always with every shaft we've tried from Fujikura.
Who It's For: There's a profile for everyone: 004 for mid/mid-high launch; 005 for a midlaunch; TS-95 for fast swingers who want a light shaft that's stable and consistent through the swing.
Specs: A variety of flexes in aforementioned profiles.
fujikuragolf.com | $299
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