FALL 2017

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E Q U I P M E N T F O R U M I t is often stated that the shaft is the engine of the golf club. It might be more appropriate to say the shaft is its heart and soul. As such, shafts are playing a larger and increasingly important role in the makeup of the modern-day golf club. "Golf shafts are a great story," observed Benn McAllister, vice pres- ident of marketing for the Worldwide Golf Shops chain of retail outlets. "In the past, a lot of golfers felt that (stock) shafts weren't made entirely for them. That all changed just a few years ago. Everybody started focusing on upgraded shafts. Today, with all the shaft customization that is available, fitters and golfers can dial in the exact perfect shaft." In recent years, graphite driver shafts went through their light- weight phase, as the weight of many metalwood shafts plummeted as low as 40 grams. The logic was that lighter shafts allowed golfers to swing faster and hit the ball farther. But the lighter weight, thin- walled shafts didn't absorb as much vibration. As a result, they often felt harsh or clanky. Now shafts have settled into what Dave Schnider, chief executive of shaft manufacturer Fujikura, calls "their sweet spot." "If you go from the high 50s up into the low 70s, you will fit the majority of golfers," Schnider said. "The 60-gram range is the sweet spot." Shafts in this weight range, generally made with high modulus graphite, often produce better feel, balance and repeatability. How can a golfer find the right shaft? The simple answer is to discuss and test a variety of clubs with an expert club fitter, who will use a launch monitor to determine the shafts that produce optimal spin, launch angle and carry distance. Swing speed likely will play a role in such a fitting, but all golfers should beware of an absolute comparison between swing speed and shaft weight or flex. ■ 54 FALL 2017 | NCGA.ORG Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue Think of the Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue as a graphite metalwood shaft with a bodyguard. This muscular bodyguard is the shaft's boron tip. You want stability and strength in the tip of your driver shaft? This is your baby. The Tensei heritage goes back to 2005 and the initial Diamana S-Series (Blue Board). The S-Series eventually evolved into the acclaimed B-Series. Today's Mitsubishi Tensei shaft essentially reflects the B-Series concept with the addition of exotic materials such as the boron tip weave. Tensei also features a Kevlar weave in the butt section. As if that weren't enough, the shaft combines 11 different prepreg materials. MSRP: $400 | True Temper Project X EvenFlow Forget the rumors surrounding the new Project X EvenFlow graphite metalwood shaft. No, it is not intended to take the place of True Temper's Hzrdus metalwood line. No, it is not named after the Pearl Jam song titled, "Even Flow." Rather, the name is a reflection of its concept to create energy that flows evenly through the shaft. So this new shaft is all about feel. Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker and other so-called "feel players" have used it on the PGA Tour. There are two versions of the shaft— Black for low spin, Blue for mid spin. MSRP: $400 | B y J i m A c h e n b a c h Rev Your C lub's

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