Iron Golf Shafts – KBS TOUR 105
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.
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.
Lets 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.