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


Tech Talk
A Few Tips On Tip Stiffness
By Chad Hall
Director of Marketing
True Temper/Grafalloy

The primary goal of a shaft is to optimize ballflight and maximize efficiency for each individual swing profile. With the heightened focus the past few years on launch monitor fitting and proper launch and spin, it’s important for golfers to understand the significant consideration these features are given during the design of each shaft. The most important design feature is the tip design, or the relationship between the stiffness in the shaft’s grip section and tip section.

We identify a particular player profile, and then make sure the appropriate tip flexibility or stiffness is achieved through extensive testing to produce the desired ballflight. By the way, tip stiffness is independent of the shaft flex.

When you see a shaft with an X, S or R designation, you’re essentially seeing its stiffness at the grip end. So you can still have a flexible shaft with a stiff tip section. That’s very important, particularly in large-headed drivers that need to be more stable at impact.

With the highly publicized USGA regulations in place regarding clubhead design, the shaft will continue to play an even more significant role in upcoming years.
—Scott Kramer

Royal Precision Project X Woods
(800) 920-4747 | $N/A

Royal Precision Project XThe same technology that made the Project X a great iron shaft is used to create an outstanding wood shaft.
Features: All Rifle steel shafts feature four distinct technologies—Frequency Matching, Stepless Design Technology, Flighted Technology and Internal Rifling.
Advantages: Frequency Matching provides superior consistency from club to club, allowing golfers to match the performance of their driver and fairway woods perfectly. Stepless Technology helps prevent  loss of energy and distance, while Flighted Technology provides variable shot trajectories that can be customized to the individual. Internal Rifling dampens harmful vibrations.
Benefits: You name it.
What We Like: The whole deal.
Material: Steel
Weight(s): 115g-130g (X-R)
Torque(s): N/A
Flex Point: N/A
Flexes: X, S, R

UST Proforce V2
(817) 267-2219 | $65

UST Proforce V2A high-performance shaft that delivers higher launch angles and increased ball speed with less spin for less shot dispersion.
Features: A low-torque design that’s optimized to work with modern drivers that measure over 400cc in volume. In addition to stabilization properties, the V2 also features a more flexible overall profile, including a more flexible tip section for enhanced feel and a better sense of where the clubhead is throughout the swing. UST’s Hoop Strength Technology is also incorporated into the V2 design to help the shaft recover more quickly when loaded or flexed for a greater transfer of energy at impact.
Advantages: Greater stabilization of today’s modern oversized driver clubheads leads to more consistent impact positions, better contact and increased overall control of the clubhead through the swing. The more flexible overall nature of the V2, including the more responsive tip section, makes the shaft easier to swing for a wider range of players, and also promotes a higher ballflight that results in longer carry distance.
Benefits: Golfers who like the feel of a more flexible tip section, as well as those who want to hit the ball higher without having to alter their setup or swing in any significant way.
What We Like: Providing Tour-like performance without demanding a Tour-like swing.
Material: Graphite
Weight(s): 55g, 65g, 75g
Torque(s): 2.2˚ (75g), 3.0˚ (65g), 3.7˚ (55g)
Flex Point: Mid to Mid/High
Flexes: X, S, R (A 55g only)

Royal Precision Saber Tour Vector
(800) 920-4747 | $40

Saber Tour VectorDesigned for stronger players who need enhanced stability.
Features: A construction that utilizes a combination of amorphous nanostructure technology, extremely sophisticated material engineering, and Energy Inertia (E.I.) Curves (a unique shaft analysis process that precisely gauges the stiffness of a shaft from tip to butt).   
Advantages: The goal of all the impressive technology used to produce the STV is to achieve the ultimate in launch control, which means optimizing launch angles and spin rates. Once this is accomplished, distance is maximized.
Benefits: Powerful players who want more distance.
What We Like: Focusing on launch parameters is key.
Material: Graphite
Weight(s): 65g, 75g
Torque(s): 3.1˚
Flex Point: Mid/Low
Flexes: X, S, R
UST iROD Driver
(817) 267-2219 | $50

UST IRODIn 2004, UST introduced the now highly successful iROD Series, which consisted of shafts specifically designed to optimize the performance of hybrids, long irons and fairway woods. Engineers at UST took much of the same technology they used in the original line and applied it to a driver shaft.
Features: Manufactured with a super-responsive, interlinked carbon material that effectively increases torsional stiffness in the midsection of the shaft.
Advantages: The design is said to reduce clubhead twisting during the downswing for greater transfer of energy and greater accuracy.
Benefits: All players.
What We Like: Active tip section helps increase ball speed while encouraging a higher launch angle.
Material: Graphite
Weight(s): 65g
Torque(s): 2.6°
Flex Point: Low
Flexes: X, S, R, A

UST Low Carb
(817) 267-2219 | $80

UST Low CarbThe UST Low Carb is light on weight and low on torque—what most golfers need.
Features: Designed with a proprietary micro-carbon fiber, the Low Carb is aimed at players looking for extreme lightweight playability with a relatively low amount of torque.
At an amazingly light 52 grams, the Low Carb fits the bill not only with its weight, but also with its ability to produce high-launching drives for players of all swing speeds.
Advantages:  The micro-carbon fiber design is said to provide a “controllable feel” for additional confidence and accuracy.
Benefits: The ultra-light weight is geared for players looking for more clubhead speed.
What We Like: We’ve tried the Low Carb, and it really works.
Material: Graphite
Weight(s): 52g
Torque(s): 3.7°
Flex Point: Low
Flexes: S, R, A, L




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