Shafts Buyer's Guide 2006
The fact that golfers feel they need a $300 shaft upgrade says a lot about what these ultra-high-tech models can do for your game
Fujikura Speeder Series
Grafalloy Prototype Comp NT
|Graphite Design YS-6 Type II|
(888) 707-6132 | $73
A more player-friendly version of the very popular YS-6+ model.
Features: Shaft construction features the use of a very high grade of modulus graphite geared toward producing a more responsive feel and superior playability. These shafts feature a higher degree of torque than the original YS-6+ models.
Advantages: The high-quality materials utilized by GD always lead to greater accuracy and an increased transfer of energy at impact. In addition, the higher degree of torque makes the Type II easier to hit for a wider range of golfers.
Benefits: All golfers who desire a premium-quality aftermarket driver shaft that provides excellent distance characteristics and feel.
What We Like: More torque.
Flex Point: Mid
Flexes: X, S, R
(800) 728-6420 | $350
The most advanced model yet from a company known for
producing the ultimate in high-performance composite shafts.
Features: Anyone familiar with Fujikura’s line of Speeder composite shafts knows how well they perform and how good they feel. The new Rombax, which is said to surpass the Speeder in overall performance, takes Fujikura’s patented Triax technology (used in the Speeder) and combines it with another box weave to form a new patented technology called—you guessed it—Rombax. Other features include the extremely high-quality materials normally used by Fujikura as well as a stiffer overall profile and lower torque, resulting in more boring trajectories and lower spin rates.
Advantages: The new Rombax design helps the shaft maintain its shape and resist deformation during the loading and unloading that occurs during the swing, producing an earlier squaring of the clubhead and more consistent impact. Greater stability for oversized clubheads provides superior shot dispersion, as well as superior clubhead speeds and distance.
Benefits: Designed primarily for more accomplished players who desire the ultimate in high-quality materials, construction and overall performance, particularly for oversized drivers. However, this shaft will work for a wide variety of players.
What We Like: Fujikura’s dedication to innovation and quality.
Weight(s): 55g, 65g, 75g
Torque(s): N/A (low)
Flex Point: High
Flexes: X, S, R
How To Buy A Shaft
Virgil Herring, PGA, owner of the Higher Performance Golf Academy in Nashville, is a shaft expert. Being a two-time Middle Tennessee PGA Teacher of the Year, he’s seen many golfers opt for the wrong shaft.
His advice on getting the right shafts: “I strongly recommend you go to a place with a launch monitor, one where you can see the ball fly. Hit as many different clubs with different shafts so that you can see what kind of feel and trajectory you like. Sometimes people might be playing the right shaft but they’d rather hit it higher. So they go from extra-stiff to stiff, or stiff to regular.”
With balls being made the way they are now, the higher you hit it, the better off it’s going to fly for you. “That’s certainly true,” says Herring. “Those are the two big keys to me. Experiment with different shafts in the clubhead that you like at places that have launch monitor technology, preferably where you’re hitting from indoor to outdoor or just outdoor completely. Get accurate information about how far and how high each ball goes from each shaft. As for steel versus graphite, I haven’t hit any of the graphite iron shafts lately, but I understand from Tour players that they are equal to steel now. Graphite in irons is supposed to be unbelievably good. The quality is no different than steel—graphite is just lighter.”