Interested in golf shafts, this site is a comprehensive collection of golf shaft reviews. It contains both objective measurements and subjective opinions of fitters and club testers. The reviewers are full time golf club fitters, most rated by Golf Digest in 2015 as the top 100 Clubfitters in the USA.

If you have a passion for golf gear, check our youtube channel. Be sure to subscribe when you are there, we just crossed the threshold of 1000 subscribers and appreciate your show of support. We are still editing and publishing video from the January pilgrimage to the PGA Merchandise show.

The Golf Shaft Technology section explains the terms used in the shaft reviews. What you see here is the tip of the iceberg of a knowledge base available now available to professional golf club fitters and builders.

Please contribute to this site, share your experience with a shaft in the comments. Ask your questions about the shafts to the community and the fitters that write here.  And don’t forget to let Google know you recommend this site to others. Follow us on Facebook at DevotedGolfer.tv to be notified when new reviews are posted.

Golf Digest 2013 Americas 100 Best ClubFittersRuss Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

Project X HZDRUS Yellow Golf Shaft Review

Project X HZRDUS Yellow Driver Shaft

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

HZDRUS Yellow Image
The Project X HZRDUS Yellow is the third driver shaft in the Hand Crafted family from True Temper. It has a notably soft midsection. This is much like the first in the series, the Project X Loading Zone reviewed earlier. The bend profile is much like the profiles of the 70 gram versions of the Project X Loading Zone model. The soft zones of those shafts moved with weight and flex. I have fit a number of players into the 50 and 60 gram versions of the Loading Zone. Therefore, another shaft with that design grabbed my attention.

I had a chance just recently to test it during a fitting with a single digit handicap player that showed up with a 6 year old driver and a 103 mph golf swing. Working with the Yellow HZRDUS and a TaylorMade M1 we added 2 mph to his swing speed, 3 mph to his ball speed, dropped his spin 800 rpm all of which added 17 yards to his drives. His playing buddies are in for a surprise.

I have seen some unusual designs over the years but none that impressed me like the Loading Zone and the Yellow HZRDUS. Upon first look I found that soft mid spooky. It found its way into my bag last year and my buddies were wondering where that length came from. Despite my initial concern with the ‘soft’ zone I had no trouble hitting fairways. HZDRUS Yellow Charts

The first thing to notice is that the stiffness is consistent between the 60 gram and the 70 gram versions of the shaft. Not all shafts are like this. Most 75 gram designs are going to be a notch stiffer than the lighter weight shafts of the same model. A 75S is typically stiffer than a 63S. This is not the case here. The difference is primarily hoop deformation. Even the torque values are much the same. Hard loaders will find the heavier shafts more stable as they will oval less. The smooth loading albeit fast swinger will benefit from less weight in the 63 gram versions of the HZRDUS Yellow without giving up stiffness or torque.

The following charts are in the Fit2Score shaft software for all shafts in the system. The EI profiles are converted mathematically to the classical deflection profiles club makers have been looking at for decades. This pair of charts compares the Yellow and Black HZRDUS Project X Hand Crafted driver shafts. I looked at it as I was trying to understand the low spin numbers coming off a shaft with a soft midsection. Understand this about this kind of shaft analysis, deflection is cumulative. The stiffer the shaft is at the area furthest from the load, the more it will exhibit overall stiffness.

As you digest that idea, look at the butt loaded charts on the right. While the Yellow HZRDUS is soft in the mid, it is by comparison stiff in the tip and butt. And that very stiff tip results in less shaft tip deformation when loading is occurring at the butt of the shaft.
HZDRUS Black vs Yellow DeflectionWhat does that mean? In limited testing to date, it means low ball spin in a design that I expected to see exactly the opposite. Take the Project X HZRDUS Yellow and its sole mate the Project X Loading Zone shafts for a test drive and see how they interact with your swing. And always remember, the best shaft is the one that fits YOU.

Project X HZRDUS Black Driver Shaft Review

Project X HZRDUS Black Driver Shaft

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

HZDRUS Black Image

The Project X brand is a flagship in the golf shaft business. The brand started as an unstepped steel shaft and has morphed into carbon fiber driver and hybrid shafts. This shaft, like the Project X loading zone that came before it is hand made in the US under tight quality control processes.

The product information from True Temper tells us the shaft has a firmer midsection than the Loading Zone model. And indeed it does,

HZDRUS Black Charts

This is a popular shaft stiffness profile with a firmer tip than other shafts with a similar design. The stiffness of the 60 gram butt section is slightly different than the 70 gram version as shown above. The overall stiffness of the two shafts is about the same in the flex designation of either weight. That is not typical, but it is not a bad thing, simply a design choice.

This is a unique version of the Project X driver shafts. It is not simply an updated graphic on an older design. It does truly have a stiffer midsection than the Project X Blue or Project X Black. I have been told it is doing well on tour and would expect so from this design.

You will not get any surprises from the HZRDUS black. The torque is typical for premium shafts in this weight and design. The firm mid will deliver the launch and spin you deliver with your angle of attack. The tip is rock solid, it will carry a heavier driver head and deliver it consistently.

Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue Golf Shaft Review

Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue Driver Shafts

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

It is no longer appropriate to use the word graphite to describe a golf shaft material. In fact, the term carbon fiber does not work either. Many of today’s golf shafts must be referred to a composites. They are blends of carbon fiber strands, carbon fiber weaves, metal wire, metal mesh, metal powder, kevlar, boron and glue. These exotic combinations are increasing strength at reduced weight. This creates a wider range of properties that can be created in the composite tapered tube we call a golf shaft. The Mitsubishi Tensi is a new blend of materials woven into a driver shaft.

Mitsubishi is vertically integrated. they make most all of the materials the go into a golf shaft including monomer, acrylic fiber, carbon fiber, resin and prepreg. Mitsubishi’s latest PR releases tell us what that means: 276 PGA Tour wins on the major tours since 2004, 80 more than the next closest competitor. $137 million in prize money in 2015, $40 million more than the closest competitor. If that does not get your attention, the feel of their shafts will. They use the name Thump on a few products. It is fitting. The high density material they use dampens vibration up the shaft. What gets to your hands is a thump, not a click. When you strike your driver center face, that thump is an exquisite feeling. You can sense the ball getting crushed.

TanskCKBlueProImage

The 2016 Tensi CK Pro Blue is a multi-material design combining 11 different prepreg materials. The profile is very much like a Diamana B. As shown below, the difference between th 60, 70 and 80 gram versions of the TX profile is weight and torque. The stiffness and bend profiles are identical. This is different from Mitsubishi models in the past. Typically the weight and stiffness must be considered together, the heavier shafts are stiffer with the same flex designation.

The shafts covered in this review are the Boron tipped Pro version. They are not to be confused with the shafts that will be offered in OEM off the rack drivers. Those lack the boron tips and are available in a wider range of weights and flex. The Boron tip weave adds a little tip stiffness to the Diamana B profile.

A carbon fiber / Kevlar weave is used in the butt section of the shaft. It can be seen through the clear finish. While the bend profile of the shaft does not change from the classic blue design, the hoop strength in this area is significantly increased. That should result in a little tighter dispersion for an aggressive swing.
MRCTensiProTXEiGjTbAs you can see in the chart, these are high balance point shafts, but not as high as the third generation Diamana B. We are seeing driver head weights come do a few grams and the shaft designers have moved the balance points accordingly. Radial consistency of the Tensi Pro averaged 99.3% with a 0.4% standard deviation. Great numbers for a shaft not made in Japan as are the other premium Mitsubishi shafts.

The Mistubishi Tensi is a Diamana B with new materials. We will have to take it to the range to get sense of what these new materials do for feel and dispersion.

Aldila 2KVX NV Golf Shaft Review

Aldila 2KVX NV Driver Shaft

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

2016NV2KXVImage

A new generation of carbon fibers, that boost the strength of the material used in the construction of golf shafts are boosting strength while reducing the weight. Applying these new material to classic designs is changing the game. Advances in head design are helping us hit the ball further, advances in shaft design are keeping those longer balls in the fairway. The Aldila 2KVX NV is the third iteration of a classic design. Who can forget the original lime green Aldila NV. Of course, it was introduce such a long time ago many younger golfers have never seen it. I looked in the 2016 GolfWorks catalog and it is still there. The official second generation design, the RIP NV was reviewed here, a few years ago. When you have a design that works, and new materials, the old designs get updated.

Aldila was one of the first shaft companies to use thinner layers of material in shaft design. It was called MLT, Micro Laminate Technology, and I believe the original NV was the first shaft to use it. We are now in an time when a lot of new high density, high strength materials are being used in golf shafts. The new fibers are thinner with the same strength. The prepreg, the sheets a shaft is made from, have more fiber and less resin. This denser material is redefining how a golf shaft can be made. A new dimension of what started as MLT is evolving. What we are seeing is torque numbers going slightly higher to restore a conventional feel to high density shafts. As you compare the torque numbers of the 2KVX NV to older designs and see larger torque numbers, do not be alarmed. It is happening everywhere high density materials are used.

AldilaNVOrangeEiGjTb

What impressed me most when I measured the 16 shafts sent for review samples was the radial consistency. The average stiff to soft stiffness consistency was 99.6% with a 0.2% standard deviation. Not one of the 16 shafts had more than 1.86 CPM difference hard to soft plane. This is new for production line shafts from Aldila. I normally don’t spend much time in reviews talking about this aspect of quality. But the club builders and fitters reading this should know, these shafts are ROUND. You can trust the one you ordered to be the same as the one you are fitting with. While I am on the subject of shaft quality, the profiles of both the NV Orange and the NV Green are consistent between the 65 and 75 gram versions. There is no difference as there had been in earlier designs. The profiles you see in this review are the same through out weight and flex. They move up and down on the charts based on weight and stiffness, but they do not change. And they are as consistent as I ever see. And that is saying a lot for a shaft that has a street price of $190.

When I looked at the profile of the Aldila Tour Green and Tour Blue I see the 2KVX NV profiles. The Tour Blue is much like the 2KVX Orange. A very steady loss of stiffness, exhibiting a soft mid section. The difference is torque. If you tried the Tour Blue and found it brittle, the NV Orange will take care of that.

Looking at the 2KVX NV Green, I see the classic return of the original NV. A stiffness bump, tip reinforcement, around 20 inches from the tip. The same profile is seen in the Tour Green, the difference, torque. AldilaNVGreenEiGjTb

These are high balance shafts designed for the heavier heads that dominate the market. The designs are classic Aldila. They loose stiffness toward the tip. If you want to tip trim this shaft to make it stiffer, you can do so. The quality and consistency of these are a new highwater mark for Aldila. For the golfers and fitters that are familiar with the NV, you are in for a treat with shafts of this quality at this price point.

KBS Tour FLT Iron Shafts Review

KBS Tour FLT Iron Shafts

By Russ Ryden

Russ is the owner of Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas
A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter 

FLTHeroLeftKim Braly has been designing and making shafts for around 40 years. That’s a long time. In my opinion fitting is an experience based art form and is likely to remain so. That said, over 40 years one accumulates an impressive amount of experience.

The KBS Tour was the first shaft produced by Femco steel as the KBS brand. We have seen a lot of designs since its introduction, most of which are reviewed here. This year, KBS is introducing its first flighted design. My experience with ‘flighted’ shafts goes back to the Project X Flighted designs. That design was promoted as having the propensity to create the same ball flight height throughout the set. The short irons height apex being lower and the long iron height apex being higher than the conventional set of Project X shafts.

It was not until I measured the KBS Tour FLT shafts and compared them to the KBS Tour that I understood exactly how that is accomplished. In a shaft product line like KBS, the shaft bend profiles are the same for all shafts in the design family. As they get heavier, they get stiffer. And, as they get stiffer for any particular golfer, the launch angle tends to come down. This is what I love about the KBS mix of shafts. They are available in 5 gram increments, with flex designations of R, R+, S, S+ and X. If I want to change a clients launch angle I move the stiffness up or down 5 grams. Now before the professional fitters reading this jump on me, that can also be accomplished by hard stepping or soft stepping the set. Leaving the weight the same but altering the tip lengths.Tour120S FLTvsSTD

The fundamental concept is that stiffness changes launch angle. When we look at the standard set of KBS Tour shafts we see a difference in stiffness between the 3 iron shaft and the wedge shaft. When we look at the FLT set we see that difference is expanded. The 3 iron shaft is softer, the wedge shaft is stiffer.

How did that standard range of stiffness get established in the first place. In many of the interviews I have done with Kim Braly you hear him say the early work he did on tour with his dad, Dr. Joe Braly was research. They wrote the standard. Using a frequency instrument they evaluated the stiffness of the clubs used by tour players and developed a sense of what the range of stiffness difference was between clubs preferred by the best players of the time. The result of that research was the concept of frequency matched iron sets.

I am certain many of the golfers and club fitter / builders reading this have heard of frequency matching. In its day it was a practical tool for matching iron shaft stiffness when no other tools existed. It is still practiced by some club builders to this day. And there is a long history of misapplication of the concept. That misapplication occurs when shaft tips are dis-proportionally trimmed to hit butt frequency targets. In today’s world of golf shaft production control, constant weight taper sets inherently provide consistent club to club stiffness gradients.

To understand the stiffness gradient of any particular set of irons you must look at the stiffness of the shafts at the ends of the set. This assumes that the shafts within the set have consistent EI profiles. If they do not, no amount of frequency matching is going to fix that problem. It is likely to make it worse. Now with that bit of history behind us, lets look at the illustration above, showing the KBS Tour and the KBS Tour FLT 3 iron and wedge shafts. You will see the stiffness gradient is different. For the frequency practitioners reading this it means the slope, that 8.6 CPM per inch you work to changes.

KBSCTLSetLooking at these two designs is a lesson in finding the appropriate set of iron shafts for your swing. Do you want to bring your wedge flight down and your long iron flight up. If so, look for a set of shafts with a steeper stiffness gradient. If not, look into sets with smaller stiffness gradients. Compare this set profile shaft from the KBS CTaper Lite 110S to the charts above. You will see flatter profiles indicating a lower launch propensity design with a conventional stiffness gradient.

In this video Kim and I discuss set stiffness gradients. After a discussion of the KBS Tour 560 and 580 shafts we talk about the FLT design. He tells us this shaft is already getting tour play. When you push the flight apex of those longer irons out, not only is there likely to be some distance gain, but the ball will have a steeper angle of descent. What I refer to as drop and stop trajectory.

Lets take a look at the numbers in a way I have not presented the here before. This style of information is now incorporated into the latest version of the Fit2Score shaft knowledge base. The set charts shown above are also from that software. TourFLTEiTb

Radial consistency and shaft to shaft bend consistency within the sets I checked were excellent. Radial consistency was 99,7% with a 0.2% standard deviation hard to soft side. Perfect! Don’t bother aligning these, they are round out of the bag. The tip to butt rations indicate a mid launch as is typical on the KBS Tour. Torque is typical for steel, low. Balance is conventional, the weight range works for the average to tour level player. The low ninety driver swing speed player is going to fit into the 110 or 115 gram R or R+ models.