2016 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

Golf Tips Equipment Guide
2016 Buyer’s Guide Shafts

NIPPON

Peek in plenty on of tour pros’ bags these days, especially in those of LPGA stars like Karrie Webb, and you’ll find a slew of N.S. Pro shafts, either steel or graphite, because they have all the performance bases covered — flight, flex, speed, weight and feel. The Modus3 Tour 30 stepped steel model, for instance, offers high midsection ridigity to promote powerful shots, while the Zelos 8 steel shaft — a slightly heavier followup to the Zelos 7 — produces graphite-like distance. Speaking of which, the N.S. Pro Regio Formula MB for driver has whole-shaft flexing … higher at the grip, lower at the tip. Weights range from 53.5 to 80 g. It’s one of the most versatile shafts on the market, layering several cutting-edge materials into one powerful package to produce maximum carry distance. Starting at $37 | nipponshaft.com

FUJIKURA

When it comes to fitting the right shaft onto your clubs, it ain’t size that matters, it’s speed. Find the optimum kickpoint, balance, weight and stiffness to match your swing speed and plane through the bag, and you’re smiling your way to more distance, accuracy … and birdies. Fujikura’s 2016 shaft lineup is vast and deep, so we’ll touch on a few of its most popular products. Start with the Speeder Evolution and Evolution II, which put the latest advanced materials together with incredible testing to dial in the perfect combo for every golfer. The Evolution 757, for instance, combines low launch and low spin for that piercing ballflight so many of us crave, while the Speeder Pro line are for folks who actually want higher flight and spin to carry and work the ball; the 66 offers five flexes from R to Tour X. On the iron side, take a look at the Pro 95, on the heavier side at 100 g, which means less torque and a medium flight. $105-$400 | fujikuragolf.com

KBS

Sure, the “other guys” might rule the steel shaft market for the most part, but scrappy KBS is making inroads across the board — and across generations. It’s in founder Kim Braly’s DNA to innovate to fit the needs of golfers ranging in all ages, including kids who just can’t develop to their abilities with sawed-off adult sticks. KBS has changed the direction and progression of younger developing junior players and their needs. And they do it by concentrating on height, not age. “How can you do it by age?” Braly said during a PGA Show demonstration. “We want to get kids involved early. In our own way, we’re helping grow the game — and get them into our product.” Enter the KBS 560 and 580 Series — a “bridge shaft” whose numbers refer to the “butt size” in millimeters. The KBS 560 and 580 are the shaft options for amateur golfers who want to be ahead in technology and playability. Finally, the first golf shaft on the market developed specifically for a junior developing player in mind — heights of 54 inches to 62 inches. Both shaft weights consisting of up to one full club length longer in distance and consistency, as well as generating optimum spin with a more consistent, controlled ball flight and club efficiency. Feedback from the master club fitters around the world, and Braly personally conducting extensive rounds of testing and fitting with developing players of all skill levels, resulted in the creation of these shafts. They maximize energy transfer to ensure a smooth, stronger feel through impact and are proven to produce a more piercing trajectory, tighter dispersion and increased ball control, now in the hands of a younger generation. “The KBS 560 and 580 Series features the most advanced steel shaft technology in the industry and we have revolutionized the golf world with the first performance oriented golf shaft, specifically designed to help younger, developing players reach their maximum golf potential,” Braly says. Introduced in 2008, KBS focuses on five shaft models for adults: KBS TOUR, KBS TOUR-V, KBS TOUR 90, KBS C-TAPER and KBS C-TAPER LITE. “The new flighted shaft will be our most popular,” Braly says. “The biggest difference is that it’s a constant weight product, and it stays within the same flex [among lengths].” All KBS shafts are available through major golf club manufacturers through stock or custom options. They also have a vast network of dealers, both online and in- person, who provide custom fitting, ordering, and building. kbsgolfshafts.com

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