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

Nippon N.S.Pro Modus 105 Review

Nippon N.S.Pro Modus3 Tour 105

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

NipponM3T_105Image

The N.S Pro Modus3 Tour105 was released to the US public in August 2015. I had seen a set of these earlier in the year, labeled Prototype ST. The Modus3 Tour 105 is the same shaft that has been available on tour for several months. The word Prototype has been replaced with Modus3. I have been told it was put in play by a number of players. Lighter weight iron shafts are gaining broader acceptance in the tour community. In a slightly different form, this shaft has been with us for quite some time. The Modus3 Tour 105 is very similar to one of my long time favorite shafts, the N.S.Pro 1050. Lets look at the charts and numbers:

 

NipponM3Tvs1050As you can see, the profile of the Modus3 Tour 105 is very close to the N.S.Pro 1050. The flexural signature shows It is a little softer in the butt and stiffer in the tip than the 1050’s, tilted in such a way to slightly lower launch. The set is slightly flighted. At this weigh range, these could become a very popular shaft. The N.S.Pro 1050 is one of my fitting favorites. I regard this weight range as a sweet spot for many golfers. We are looking at an update to the Nippon line, bringing the Modus style graphic to a very successful design.

Radial consistency of the Modus3 Tour 105 were perfect, averaging 99.9% with virtually no standard deviation. Any form of shaft alignment of these is a waste of time and money.

Studying the measurements very closely, what looks to be very similar EI profiles are subtly different. The Modus3 Tour 105 R & S flex models appear heavier only because the uncut shafts are 2″ longer. The stiffness as measured on a deflection board are softer, but the tip to butt rations are much higher. That means the tip stiffness is closer to the butt stiffness. That indicates lower launch. For a detailed discussion of reading launch from EI profiles read Understand Golf Shaft EI Profiles at Fit2Score. If you are a club fitter or club builder and would like to see more in depth information about golf shafts, subscriptions to the Fit2Score shaft profiling software are now available.

The English Nippon Shaft site has been significantly updated recently. The update shows and explains the EI profiles of the Modus products. The section of that site that discusses EI profiles is excerpted below.  When one of my fitting associates happened on it, I got a call telling me they copied my graphics. I had to explain, sorry, in fact, they were first, I copied them. Nippon and the other major shaft companies have designed and manufactured shafts with 3 point EI software for decades. It is only now, that the golfer and club makers are developing literacy in the language  of the shaft engineer.
NipponWebGraphicsNippon is one of the few shaft companies that has for many years explained and defined their products to club fitters with EI graphics. The other is Mitsubishi Rayon. The 2015 Fujikura shaft product brochure does the same. This is the language by which one can under the subtle nuances of today’s shaft choices.

 

Matrix Program F15 Iron Shaft Review

Iron Golf Shafts – Matrix Program F15

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

ProgramF15Image
The Matrix Program iron shaft has been with us for some time. The 2015 Matrix Program F15 is a subtle evolution of what has been a very successful shaft. Matrix, acting on club builder input, creating balance points in this version of the Program that will easily build into D2-D3 swing weights. The earlier Program shafts were white. If you had tested the Program and liked it, as many did, you lived with the white. The change to a neutral color, a shiny silver gray, removes an entry barrier for many.

The Matrix Program F15 is available in three weights, 80, 95 and 125 grams. As is typical with most shafts, weight and stiffness are interrelated. One thing you will notice when handling this shaft is the wall thickness. In carbon fiber tubes, wall thickness creates hoop stiffness and torsional rigidity. The Program F15 has both, the torque numbers are as low as it gets, and the hoop stiffness negates any possible ovalizing during the golf swing. That means the head is going to follow your hands. When you square off you hands the head is going to follow. The impact wave coming up the shaft is solid thud.
ProgramF15EIGjTbRadial integrity is very good, the FLO differential is 99.5% with a 0/6% standard deviation. I still get questions from golfers about shaft alignment. These shafts, like most premium shafts currently available, will not benefit from alignment. Remember, your golf club rotates about 180 degrees during a golf swing. Where in that swing should to dominate plane be aligned. Is it better that the shaft not have a dominate plane to start with?

The EI profile is unusual for parallel shafts. Most exhibit a uniform butt, a zone of descending stiffness in the mid, and a uniform tip. Trimming creates a slightly flighted set, as the tips get shorter. The article on Parallel shafts explains this in detail. ProgramF15SetProfile

The Matrix Program F15 EI profile descends uniformly from butt to tip. The effect can be seen here with the virtual trimming modeling of the Fit2Score shaft profiling software. This creates a trimmed set with uniform profiles. As the shafts get shorter the profiles remain the same. The entire shaft gets stiffer from butt to tip throughout the set. To the club fitter and builder, this is yet another example of the importance of looking at iron shafts as sets. Shaft profile software that looks at 6 irons only cannot see this aspect of set makup. If you are looking for penetrating ball flight, typical of constant weight sets, on your long irons you will like the Matrix Program F15’s.

KBS Tour 105 Golf Shaft Review

Iron Golf Shafts – KBS TOUR 105

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

KBS105TourCW_Images
The KBS Tour 105 Constant Weight Taper released in August 2015. The label looks much like the KBS 105 Parallel that is offered in the 2015 Taylor Made RSi irons, the shaft is not. The KBS Tour Taper 105 is generally stiffer and has a firmer tip than the TaylorMade only KBS 105 Parallel Shaft.

My fitting experience has taught me that the 105 to 115 gram weight range is the best fit for most amateur golfers. My understanding from the tour fitters is that this range is rapidly gaining traction among professional players as well. The KBS Tour iron shaft profile is not new. It is available in two 90 gram versions and the ‘standard’ version that ranges from a 110 gram R to a 130 gram X in 5 steps, 5 gram increments. The Tour 105 overlaps that range as seen in the table below. It comes in 5 gram increments, a 108 gram R, a 111 gram S and a 117 gram X. The 111 and 117 are much the same as the same weight KBS Tour shafts.

KBSTour105_EIStTb

Radial consistency is 99.8% with a 0.2% standard deviation. Do not waste your money or time aligning these shafts. It will not make any difference, they are perfectly round. As you can see, weight equals stiffness, the S and X simply weigh more and are stiffer with exactly the same profile shape.

The set profile shows a very slight amount of flighting. The shaft bend profiles are much the same throughout the set. The tips of the longer irons are slightly softer in relation to the rest of the shaft than the shorter irons. And that indicates slightly higher launch propensity in the longer iron shafts.

When I started fitting, many years ago, I learned shaft profiling with a frequency instrument. I will not go into the discussion of that system here more than to say it focused entirely on matching 6 iron shafts to each other as the method for understanding iron shafts. After I created an affordable shaft EI instrument I began looking at the bend profiles of all the shaft in a set of shafts. I quickly became aware that not all sets of iron shafts have the same bend profiles throughout the set. We do not play 6 irons only, we play sets and an important understanding of iron shafts are the set profiles. In the illustration above you see the enhanced profiles of the 3i, 6i and wedge shafts of the KBS Tour 105 S iron shaft set. And you can see a small difference between the shafts in the set. The tips of the short iron shafts are stiffer relative to the rest of the shaft than the long iron shafts. EI stiffness profiling extends to the very tip of the shaft. The legacy frequency profiling method is accurate at 17 inches from the tip, marginal at 11 inches and cannot read below that. It simply cannot reveal what you see above.

KBSTourvsCT110S_SetLets take a closer look at the difference between two similiar sets the KBS Tour 105 S and the KBS CTaper Lite 110 S, These are the raw graphics available in the Fit2Score shaft software. Look closely at the two sets as they scroll. The steepness of the Tour profiles indicates a higher launching design than the CTaper. This is validated in years of fitting experience. If you need launch assistance, use the KBS Tour models. If you want to keep the ball flight down, use the C Taper models. Once you learn the relationship of the profiles to ball flight, you can easily predict performance by looking at the EI charts.

Now look closely at the difference between the profiles of the short and long irons in the two sets. You will see a flatter short iron vs long iron in the C Taper profiles than in the Tour set. This is what is referred to as a flighted set. Neither set is intentionally flighted, but one would expect the CTaper Set to deliver lower, more piercing short iron trajectories than the Tour set. And this is precisely why it is important to know set profiles not just 6 irons when fitting irons. The KBS Tour model will flight high throughout the set while the C Taper will offer some assistance in launching the long irons while keeping the short iron trajectories lower. Which is best is simply a function of your individual style. Knowing the profiles, your fitter can match you to the iron set that enhances your game.

Fuikura SIX Driver Shaft Review

Fujikura SIX DRIVER SHAFTS

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

FujiSix_ImageThe Fujikura SIX is an update and new release of a past Fujikura design. I did not know the original shaft so I cannot comment on the similarity. This short video will give you the history of the design.

As mentioned in the video, it is a classic design. A slightly soft mid in relation to tip and butt. As you noticed in the video, the term soft causes most in the shaft business to flinch. Perhaps some day I will learn to say stiff tip stiff butt rather than soft mid. I start most fittings with a soft mid shaft, it fits most players so it is no wonder this shaft was once popular on tour.

FujiSix_EiGjTb
Like all Fujikura Made in Japan shafts, the label sits directly on one of the FLO planes and has some lines to indicate such. The graphics align with one of the FLO planes. The radial consistency of the review samples was very good, averaging 98.8% with a 0.6% standard deviation. Orientation in a rotating hosel is not an issue with this shaft.

I see a mid launch, mid spin design. when trimmed, this shaft will weight in the high 50g range. That is a range I have become very comfortable fitting recreational golfer with. It is a weigh range I am now playing.

Fujikura Speeder Tour Spec Golf Shaft Review

Fujikura Speeder Evolution Tour SpecDriver Shaft

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

Speeder15TS_Image

Fujikura offers a Tour Spec version of most model. The Speeder Evolution Tour Spec model is different enough from the Speeder 757 that it deserved a separate review. This shaft is one of the standard option in the 2015 TaylorMade R15 driver. It is manufactured by Sino in China unlike the Speeder which is made in Japan.

Speeder15TS_EiGjTbThe radial consistency averaged 98.5% with a 1.4% standard deviation. No issue with rotating hosels and no benefit from alignment with these shafts. The Evolution Tour Spec is slightly stiffer in the tip and softer in the butt than the same flex Speeder Evolution. This creates a propensity to launch and spin lower that the Evolution designs.

Lets explore this. The tables on this site show tip to butt ratios. That is the stiffness of the tip of the shaft divided by the stiffness of the butt. This ratio is used by many club makers and some shaft companies to forecast launch of a shaft. It is one of many indicators we can use to forecast launch propensity. The stiffer the tip in relation to the butt, the maximum bend point of the shaft is higher on the shaft. Hence, the lower the propensity of that shaft to loft and spin the ball.

Speeder15TS_DeflectionThree point EI measurements of successive zones of the shaft make it possible to virtually bend the shaft mathematically. This illustration demonstrates this for the Speeder Evolution Tour Spec shafts. In this illustration the EI profiles are used to bend the shafts with both loading at the tip and loading at the butt. You can see how EI profiles translate into the bending of a loaded shaft. The intersection of the tip loaded and butt loaded profiles are another classical indication of launch propensity. The closer that intersection is to the tip, the higher launch and spin propensity of the shaft.

Speeder15TS_DeflectLoadsHowever it is not that easy to forecast how a shaft will launch in your hands. In this illustration the softest of the Speeder Evolution Tour Spec, the 661S to the 757X are subjected to progressively heavier loads. You can see how much more the 661S bends than the 757X. And, how the intersection of the two curves moves under load. The launch of a shaft is a function of how you load it.

The objective of the professional fitter is to find that combination of shaft profile, weight and stiffness that creates the tightest impact pattern, centered on the club face. Then to the degree possible, fine tune your launch with close variations of profile, weight and flex. Doing so is enhanced by how much your fitter understands the golf shafts he is using.