Five Questions With Fujikura Golf

Shaft talk with one of the game's great companies

1 Fujikura is a leader in new shaft technology for better players. But what’s being done to cater to high-handicappers, too?
Our biggest initiative is to better educate all golfers on the importance of a precision shaft fitting. Custom-fit shafts are used by 100% of Tour professionals. Recreational golfers also have the opportunity to find a shaft to fit their unique swing profile, thus adding yards and getting more accurate. In particular, we’re excited to introduce our new iPhone/iPad app that allows golfers of all levels to start the fitting process and educate them on our entire shaft line. They’re also able to learn about shaft standards, get instructional golf tips from PGA professionals across the country and locate one of our charter dealers to get precision fit into the best Fujikura shaft for their unique swing. —Dave Schnider
2 Do shafts eventually wear out? How often should golfers get reshafted?
A well-built, quality carbon-composite golf shaft from Fujikura doesn’t wear out, and its properties will remain consistent for the life of the shaft. Fujikura prides itself on using high-performance materials from companies that also supply to the aerospace industry. Our proprietary shaft production processes are tightly controlled to assure exceptional quality and endurance. Unfortunately, a poorly made golf shaft can degrade over time. Bad processes and low-grade materials can lead to separation of plies (known as delimitation) or excessive voids (tiny air bubbles in the resin that should have been removed during the shaft’s production). Such defects can propagate over time and potentially make the part softer and weaker over time. —Alex Dee
3 Will we ever see graphite shafts in irons become the norm?
I firmly believe that graphite iron shafts will soon become more popular. The biggest misconceptions, in general, are that steel shafts are stiffer and stronger than graphite. This simply isn’t true. Tour players use graphite shafts almost exclusively in drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. The newest high-tech airplanes are being made out of graphite because the material is lighter, stiffer and stronger than steel. When graphite shafts first came out for iron shafts, they got a bad reputation because they were too light for stronger players and inconsistent because of the materials available at the time. —Dave Schnider
4 When it comes to shaft fitting, Fujikura is definitely state of the art and a leader in shaft-fitting technology. What mistakes do you find golfers make in terms of their improperly fit shafts? In other words, are most golfers using shafts that are too long, too stiff, not stiff enough, etc.?
The biggest mistake that we see, almost every day, is that golfers are simply buying equipment off the rack and aren’t being fit at all. I like to use the analogy of purchasing a new suit. You can buy a 44 regular suit off the rack, and although it might fit you, it probably doesn’t look that great and it’s not all that comfortable. When you purchase a custom suit, a tailor measures your body and fits the suit to your body type. He may take out the shoulders, bring in the midsection, shorten the sleeves, etc. It’s custom-fit to your body so that you look good and are comfortable. The same goes for golf clubfitting. You should have a professional clubfitter fit the club and shaft to your unique swing in order to maximize your overall performance and play better golf. —Dave Schnider
5 Lighter and longer drivers are still popular in 2012. Do you think it’s possible to get even lighter?
At Fujikura, we’re always innovating new materials, design methodologies and technologies to create new products. Only a couple years ago, it wouldn’t have been possible to create blur (our latest lightweight shaft line). But with the use of advanced materials such as TeXtreme, innovations such as Phantium low-density paint, and endurance-measurement systems like our new Rack machine, blur became a huge hit. The use of advanced, lightweight materials has made a significant impact on the game of golf, and we don’t see that stopping soon. It will be possible to go lighter. However, the general golfing public may not entirely embrace lighter shafts overnight. It will take time getting used to it, just like any major technological leap in golf-equipment technology (such as the first metalwood or the first oversized golf heads). —Alex Dee

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