2008 Shaft Buyer’s Guide

The engine of every club is the shaft, and now is the time to get your engine running at top speed. Today?s shafts are, without question, better than ever.

One of the best ways to get your golf gear back into tip-top shape is to consider a new shaft upgrade. Sounds simple enough, right? If you're among the many confused, heed the following. Choosing the right shaft is a matter of first determining what you need. Do you want more distance? More control? Both? The variations of shafts available are crafted to meet specific demands, and it looks like no demands are too great. To find the right shaft, it's imperative you read up on the details and carefully consider the info and specs presented to you. Flex, which used to dominate shaft-buying decisions, has become somewhat arbitrary when considering varying flex points, torque ratings, weights and load profiles. Speaking of which, some shafts are designed to flex more at lower speeds, while others flex less at higher speeds. Some are fine-tuned for drivers, others for woods, hybrids and irons, and so on. The key is first to determine the right weight and length for your swing type and clubhead and then deciding what type of action you want the shaft to perform.

Understanding Our Charts Key Features: The primary design elements that make the shaft noteworthy, as well as what the shaft was specifically designed to do during the golf swing. What We Like: We have our preferences, too. A quick description of what impressed us in our review and testing. Who It's For: What type of player benefits most from this product. Material: What the shaft is made of, as well as distinguishing manufacturing processes. Weight: The variance in shaft weights offered in a particular shaft model. Torque: The rating of twistability in each shaft. More torque generally equates with more forgiveness. Flex Point: Location on the shaft of maximum shaft bend. High flex points promote a low trajectory; low flex points promote a high trajectory. Flexes: The full line of flexes available.



Accra AXIV

Key Feature: The AXIV line is built with a Tetra-Axial (4-axis) weave that's made especially to resist deformation upon impact with the ball. Though lesser known than some, Accra makes extremely high-quality shafts that are worth a look, particularly if you _â__ðre interested in increasing your driving accuracy. What We Like: Another excellent product from a manufacturer that has always made solid driver shafts. The 4-axis design is terrific for keeping the ball in play. Who It's For: Those looking for another option for their driver that the guys in their regular foursome might not have. Anyone who wants a shaft that helps negate harsh feelings at impact, or those that put a greater emphasis on accuracy. Material: High-modulus composite Weight: 60g, 65g, 70g, 75g, 80g Torque: 2.2-3.5 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A, L www.accragolf.com Aerotech SteelFiber

Key Feature: A unique combination of steel and graphite fiber, extreme uniformity of shape and relatively low torque ratings. An uncommon construction and blending of materials make the SteelFiber unlike any other we've ever seen, and we're betting you'll say the same. What We Like: Combining graphite and steel in a hybrid form is innovative, and it produces a unique feel. The fact that there's an option for players who prefer steel but want some of the attributes of graphite. The feel—it's pretty unusual and it's very, very good. Who It's For: Golfers who desire the ultimate control and consistency of a steel shaft, with the added torsional properties of graphite and a unique and pleasing feel. Material: Graphite, steel Weight: 65g, 75g Torque: 3.8-4.6 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: S, R www.aerotechgolfshafts.com

Aldila DVS

Key Feature: Similar to the VS Proto, the DVS is built with Micro Laminate Technology and carbon nanotubes. Of course, Aldila's proprietary A65 Performance Resin System also contributes to the impressive consistency and overall performance of the DVS design. What We Like: Carbon nanotubes are expensive for a reason—they help provide extreme strength and resiliency. The use of these pricey materials, as well as Aldila's Micro Laminate Technology, makes the DVS a truly premium-quality composite golf shaft. Who It's For: Better players who like the stability and strength of the VS Proto but want some added flexibility and snap as the clubhead approaches impact. Material: Nano carbon Weight: 63g, 71g, 84g, 91g Torque: 1.8-3.3 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R www.aldila.com Aldila NVS

Key Feature: High-quality Micro Laminate construction that provides increased consistency and improved performance. A more flexible and responsive tip section gives players with slightly lower swing speeds more optimal launch conditions. What We Like: A slightly more tip-flexible shaft that still provides consistency and a good feel. All of those low-torque stiff-tip models the guys on Tour use just aren't right for everyone. Who It's For: Golfers who want an exceptionally high-quality composite shaft that's easier to load than the typical tip-stiff model. Anyone who wants a Tour-quality product that promotes a more optimal trajectory and spin rate for less aggressive swingers. Material: Nano carbon Weight: 55g, 65g, 75g, 85g, 95g, 105g _â" Torque: 2.1-4.4 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A, L www.aldila.com

Aldila VS Proto

Key Feature: Micro Laminate Technology makes a jump to the future with the addition of carbon nanotubes. Aldila's proprietary A65 Performance Resin System also adds to the overall performance of the Tour-favored VS Proto. What We Like: The extreme strength of carbon nanotubes in combination with Aldila's other impressive technologies makes the VS Proto extremely resilient and consistent. The result is longer, straighter drives for those who can handle it. Lots of Tour validation. Who It's For: Stronger, more accomplished players who generate plenty of clubhead speed. The VS Proto is an ultimate performance model and is designed for people like Vijay Singh. Material: Nano carbon Weight: 63g, 71g, 81g Torque: 2.2-3.2 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R www.aldila.com Fujikura E260

Key Feature: Available in 66g, 67g, and 68g weights, the E260 is designed to provide midlaunch and midspin characteristics. Fuji's extremely high-quality materials and processes combine to produce outstanding consistency and tight dispersion. Like all Fujikura shafts, the E260 also provides an outstanding feel through impact. What We Like:Fujikura's dedication to excellence, as well as the ability to design high-quality products that can fit the full spectrum of players. The fact that Tour pros and recreational golfers can all benefit equally is impressive. Who It's For: Players desiring midlaunch and midspin characteristics for maximum control and distance. The full spectrum of golfers. Material: Graphite Weight: 66g, 67g, 68g Torque: 3.9 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: S, R, R2 www.fujikuragolf.com

Fujikura Rombax W

Key Feature: Fujikura's proprietary Triax material and a new computer-woven, braided box-weave composite fortified with Kevlar Triax throughout the body of the shaft. Medium flex point and low-torque aid in providing stability without too much overall stiffness. What We Like: The use of the highest-quality materials possible in a variety of weights, torques and stiffness. The fact that just about any type of golfer can find a model to fit his or her individual needs. Who It's For: Designed for players with standard ballflight and launch angle who like to swing aggressively without losing control and consistency. Power hitters or those who someday hope to be powerful. Material: Triax graphite Weight: 58g, 60g, 62g, 65g, 68g, 70g, 78g, 80g, 81g Torque: 2.5-3.2 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R www.fujikuragolf.com Fujikura Rombax Z

Key Feature: Built with a combination of Fujikura's proprietary Triax material and a new computer-woven, braided box-weave composite fortified with Kevlar Triax in the tip section. The result is a shaft that provides maximum distance and a penetrating ballflight. What We Like: Fujikura's Speeder series seemed like the best thing around at the time. Then they came out with the Rombax series, and now the Z and W. We have to admire Fuji's continued dedication to excellence. Who It's For: Top amateurs and professionals who desire a more penetrating ballflight with a tighter dispersion and maximum clubhead stability through the swing. Material: Triax graphite Weight: 57g, 58g, 65g, 67, 69, 73g 75g, 86g, 87g Torque: 2.3-3.2 Flex Point: High Flexes: X, S, R www.fujikuragolf.com

Grafalloy Epic

Key Feature: Constructed from a proprietary Nanofuse material made by harnessing the strength of nano-crystalline metals and fusing them together at the molecular level with a composite polymer substrate. Sounds complex because it is, but this is definitely a unique shaft. What We Like: The tremendous strength of the Nanofuse material improves the ability of the shaft to resist deformation during the swing for greater overall accuracy. The unusual material that coats the shaft looks really cool. Who It's For: Players who want a lightweight shaft that's made with possibly the most advanced material in the industry. Anyone who wants a shaft with a great paint job would like the Epic as well. Material: Nanofuse Weight: 69g-73g Torque: 3.5 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R www.grafalloy.com Grafalloy ProLaunch Platinum

Key Feature: Smart-Ply Technology, which was originally introduced in the Grafalloy Axis shaft, incorporates unidirectional, high-modulus carbon-fiber material oriented along six separate axes of the shaft to optimize shaft integrity during the downswing. The shaft's resistance to deformation dramatically improves energy transfer and power. What We Like: The development and utilization of a new technology to improve performance. It's also great that the ProLaunch name is carried forward with a tremendous new product. Who It's For: The full spectrum of players looking for a shaft that helps produce and transfer more power through impact. Material: High-modulus graphite with Smart-Ply _â" Weight: 49g-75g Torque: Low Flex Point: Medium Flexes: X, S, R, A www.grafalloy.com

Grafalloy ProLaunch RED

Key Feature:The original ProLaunch Blue was a great shaft that provided a trajectory that was a bit too high for some. The Red is made to solve the problem by providing a Tour-like, boring trajectory through the use of Grafalloy's proprietary Micro-Mesh tip technology. What We Like: Solving the problem of providing a lower trajectory with an advanced technology like Micro-Mesh. The tight shot dispersion and enhanced feel are nice bonuses as well. Who It's For:Anyone who liked the feel and general performance of the Blue but wants a more penetrating trajectory. Players who want a low-torque design that will help reduce shot dispersion and significantly increase accuracy. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 62g-66g _â" Torque: 3.0 Flex Point: High Flexes: X, S, R www.grafalloy.com Graphite Design Tour AD Quattro Tech MD

Key Feature: Made with Graphite Design's proprietary ACI (Axial Composite Interlace) Technology, this is a variation of the successful Quattro Tech shaft. A 4-axis material in the tip of the shaft helps generate a Tour-like ballflight with enhanced spin and control. What We Like: Graphite Design's use of multiple technologies in the production of the Tour AD Quattro Tech MD. The 4-axis material they use stabilizes the clubhead throughout the swing, making it easier to return it to square in the hitting area. Who It's For:Those who want an extremely high-end, mid-flex point shaft that's designed to help minimize shot dispersion without providing a harsh feel. Material: High-modulus graphite, Axial Composite Interlace Weight: 65g-73g _â" Torque: 3.3 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, TX, SR www.gdintl.com

Graphite Design Tour AD Throttle

Key Feature: The Tour AD Throttle is designed with a stiff tip and high bend point to create a penetrating ballflight for event the fastest swingers. This shaft is made for the "long-drive enthusiast" who likes to swing extremely hard and go for maximum distance every time. What We Like: The designers at GD going for it by coming up with the official golf shaft of the Long Drivers of America. If you've never seen these guys swing the club, it's worth a look! Who It's For: Extremely hard swingers, long-drive competitors and anyone who aspires to be one. If you want a 46-inch driver shaft to create maximum clubhead speed, the Tour AD Throttle might just be for you. Don't say you haven't been warned. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 65g-71g Torque: Mid Flex Point: High Flexes: XX, X, S, R www.gdintl.com Graphite Design Tour AD YSQ

Key Feature: Made with Graphite Design's proprietary, visible ACI (Axial Composite Interlace) Technology, which helps provide a firmer bend profile. A midlaunch design helps avid players increase control off the tee while also providing plenty of power through the hitting zone. What We Like: The visible technology of GD's Axial Composite Interlace. It's often tough for players to really know what they're getting from a high-end golf shaft, but with the Tour AD YSQ, it apparent it's something different. Who It's For: Players looking for a midflex, midtorque composite shaft that's made from premium-quality materials. Those who like to see the technology in their equipment. Material: High-modulus graphite, Axial Composite Interlace Weight: 55g-67g _â" Torque: 3.7-4.7 Flex Point: Medium Flexes: X, S, R www.gdintl.com

Mitsubishi Bassara

Key Feature: A softer bend profile and more moderate torque ratings than the Tour-intended Diamana Series, as well as three different weights to fit a wide range of players and swingspeeds. What We Like: Higher trajectory, higher ballspeed and more distance are the goals that the softer overall bend profile and more torque accomplish. Mitsubishi Rayon quality materials and construction are also a plus. Who It's For: Recreational to better players with moderate swing speeds who want the feel and performance of a Tour-quality shaft but don't want the extreme stiffness or extremely low torque that normally accompanies such products. Anyone who wants an easy-to-swing shaft. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 63g, 73g, 83g Torque: 3.6-3.9 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R (L 63g only) www.mitsubishirayongolf.com Mitsubishi Diamana White Board

Key Feature: A Tour-quality shaft that provides extreme stability through impact and low-spin characteristics. High-quality materials and Mitsubishi's top processes and Tour-proven success; plus Tiger likes it. What We Like: The entire Diamana Series and Mitsubishi's ability to provide Tour-caliber products that fit a wide range of golfers. The White Board is the third flex profile in the series and is made to allow players to load the shaft while maximizing tip stability and eliminating the harsh feel. The Blue Board and Red Board are also outstanding. Who It's For: Players who want the performance of a stiff-tip shaft without sacrificing feel. Any golfer who plays with a high-MOI driver. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 63g, 73g, 83g Torque: 2.8-3.1 Flex Point: High Flexes: X, S, R www.mitsubishirayongolf.com

Mitsubishi JavlnFX

Key Feature:A stable tip section that doesn't compromise responsiveness or feel. Unlike many shafts engineered with a tip section meant to stabilize the shaft throughout the swing, the JavlnFX doesn't require an extremely aggressive swing profile to provide outstanding performance. What We Like: Another quality product from Mitsubishi Rayon that's built with premium-quality materials and processes, but can be enjoyed by players who don't necessarily have Tour-like swings. Who It's For: Recreational to better players who require a more responsive tip action to achieve optimal launch and spin conditions. Those who want a premium-quality shaft but don't want something that feels harsh or is hard to swing. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 61g-81g Torque: 3.8-4.3 Flex Point: Mid-high Flexes: X, S, R www.mitsubishirayongolf.com RT Technologies Zeus

Key Feature: The Zeus shaft features a filament-wound construction that incorporates the use of carbon nanotubes. This combination provides both extreme strength and a low amount of torque as well as tremendous consistency. What We Like: RT stand for "rigorously tested," and we believe it. This company makes high-tech shafts that really perform. The combination of filament winding, which most companies don't do any more, and carbon nanotubes is unique. Who It's For: Top amateur players and Tour professionals who require a low-torque shaft with plenty of strength and a boring trajectory. If you're a strong player who likes to swing hard, check out the Zeus. Material: Filament-wound graphite Weight: 75g Torque: 2.7 Flex Point: High Flexes: X, XS, S www.rttechnologies.com

SK Fiber Aero Jet

Key Feature: This lightweight shaft offers a midrange torque and kick point, allowing for excellent consistency and customization. Like all SK Fiber shafts, the Aero Jet is built with premium aerospace-grade, unidirectional high-tonnage carbon fiber and is manufactured under extremely tight tolerances. The result is said to be greater consistency from shaft to shaft. What We Like: SK Fiber's research and development team constantly experiments with new and innovative composite materials like Kevlar, titanium and new pre-preg processes to bring the best high-performance graphite golf shafts to market. Who It's For: The Aero Jet is specifically designed to add power for smooth swingers and accuracy for power hitters. Low- to mid-handicappers in particular will appreciate the feel and performance of the SK Fiber shaft. Material: Graphite Weight: 71g, 74g Torque: 3.2 Flex Point: Mid-high Flexes: S, R, A www.skfiber.com UST Proforce V2

Key Feature: A high-performance design that delivers increased ballspeed with less spin for less shot dispersion. A low-torque design that's optimized to work with modern oversized drivers due to enhanced stabilization properties. A more flexible overall bend profile. What We Like: The performance and versatility of the V2 design. There are top-notch Tour players like Jim Furyk and Davis Love III playing the V2, and we can play it as well. Who It's For: Just about any golfer looking for greater stabilization throughout the swing and a more consistent impact position. Golfers who want a shaft that doesn't feel too stiff and allows them to feel the clubhead throughout the swing are primed for the V2. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 55g, 65g, 75g Torque: 2.2-3.7 Flex Point: Mid to mid-high Flexes: X, S, R (A 55g only) www.ustgolfshaft.com

UST Proforce V2 High Launch

Key Feature: The Proforce V2 is a Tour-quality shaft designed for the best players in the world, as well as you and me. The High Launch version provides the same quality but with a more active tip section to help lower hitters get the ball up in the air more easily. What We Like: That the High Launch is made from the same high-modulus materials and Tour-proven technologies as the original V2, but with a tip section that features a higher degree of flexibility and a bit more torque. Who It's For: Made to order for players who naturally hit the ball low or have a tough time achieving an optimum trajectory and carry distance. Anyone who hits the ball lower than they would like would do well to give the V2 High Launch a try. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 52g-77g Torque: 2.8-4.5 Flex Point: Mid Flexes: X, S, R, A www.ustgolfshaft.com UST Proforce HMOI

Key Feature: Providing stability for oversized driver heads is the main goal of the HMOI design, which is accomplished in part with a higher balance point, which offsets heavier head weights. The HMOI feels quite a bit lighter during the swing than the static weight would suggest, which makes it easier to swing the shaft aggressively. What We Like: Tour-proven Proforce tip technology in a shaft designed expressly for use with today's massive driver clubheads. Also, the higher balance point gives the HMOI a somewhat unique feel that makes it easier to swing fast. Who It's For: Any golfer who plays with a 460cc driver. Anyone who wants more stability throughout the swing, particularly those players who like to swing aggressively. Material: High-modulus graphite Weight: 62g-73g Torque: 3.2-4.1 Flex Point: Mid-high Flexes: X, S, R, A www.ustgolfshaft.com


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