KBS Tour 105 Golf Shaft Review

Iron Golf Shafts – KBS TOUR 105

By Russ Ryden, Fit2Score, A Dallas Fort Worth Club Fitter & Club Maker
The Golf Center at the Highlands, Carrollton 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.

The technical discussion, measurements and testing results are available only to registered readers

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.

Golf Shaft Review KBS Tour 105 TaylorMade Stock

KBS Tour 105 TaylorMade Stock Iron Shaft

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

KBS105_Image
Many of you have probably seen a KBS Tour 105 shaft in stock TaylorMade RSi 1 and RSi2 irons. As of the date this review was published this shaft is not available in the USA after market, the review samples were shipped from the KBS factory in Taiwan.

ParallelvsTaperTipIllustrationThe KBS Tour 105 used in the TaylorMade RSi’s are parallel shafts. A taper version will soon be available to club makers in the USA. For those that are not club makers and are not familiar with the terms parallel and taper let me explain. This illustrations shows the bore in the hosel of a club head. Some heads, like the RSi1 and RSi2 have parallel bores. The hole in which the shaft is inserted has parallel sides. They are typically 0.370″ diameter. They are designed for parallel tip shafts. Heads designed for constant weight taper tip shafts have a tapered bore. The bottom of the hole is 0.355″ diameter and slowly increases in diameter.

Taper tip shafts are sold in sets. Each shaft in the set is specifically designed for a particular iron, 3i, 4i, 5i, etc. The shaft lengths in the set are in 1/2″ increments and typically weigh the same despite being different lengths. The stiffness of the shafts is set by the designer. The shafts are butt trimmed by the club maker to get to the lengths needed for you set. Parallel shafts are sold individually, one length for the entire set. They are tip trimmed by the club maker to create stiffness for the different irons then butt trimmed to create the lengths needed for the set. Because they are trimmed from both ends, the shaft weight gets lighter as it gets shorter.

The balance of sets made with constant weight tapers and parallels is different. You should not attach a value judgement to that fact. But you should realize that if you are accustomed to the balance of one design, changing designs will affect your game despite the fact that the swing weights will be the same. If you want to learn more about this it is explained in greater depth in the technical article, Parallel and Constant Weight Iron Shafts.

Now that you have a basic understanding of Parallel shafts, lets take a look at the KBS Tour 105 parallels.

The technical discussion, measurements and testing results are available only to registered readers

The after market addition to the KBS Tour line of shafts, the 105 constant weight tapers is coming soon. Stay tuned, 105 grams is a great weight and will be a great compliment to the CTaper light in a fitting system matrix of shafts.

KBS Tour V Golf Shaft Review

 Iron Golf Shafts – KBS TOUR V

By Russ Ryden, Fit2Score, A Dallas Fort Worth Club Fitter & Club Maker
The Golf Center at the Highlands, Carrollton Texas

KBS Tour V Image

Callaway_2014ApexProIron_ImageWhen we get back to back wins 2013 in the Scottish Open and the British open the shaft in the bag of the Phil Mickelson gets a lot of attention. Well, it turns out it was it a tour prototype that is now available. It is an unusual profile for steel but not unique. Here is a look at the KBS Tour V which now is the stock steel shaft in the 2014 Callaway Apex Pro Irons. It has a long handle, every so gently declining in stiffness until the about 14″ from the tip. Then it declines rapidly. I have heard Kim Braly refer to the design as ‘fast tip.’

It is noteworthy to mention that the stock graphite in the 2014 Callaway Apex Pro is the UST Recoil. An interesting choice of premium shafts, in a classy players design iron head.

The technical discussion, measurements and testing results are available only to registered readers

Within the golf club fitting and building community there are now three methods to understand bend profiles of shafts. A future technical article will discuss the history and methods of the systems. The 3 point bend system used in these reviews is classical textbook engineering for beam measurement. It is the language spoken by the vast majority of golf shaft designers and engineers. That is why I built the Fit2Score software around this measurement methodology.

I tested a review sample installed in a Miura CB-501 on the range and was surprised at how tight my ball flight dispersion was. I had expected more variation from the soft tip. That was not the case, the balls were flying true despite a heavy cross wind the day I was testing. As with any golf shaft, you will not know if it is right for your swing without testing it.

KBS HiRev 2.0 and 610 Wedge Shaft Review

KBS Wedge Shafts
HiRev 2.0  &  610

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

KBS Tour Wedges HiRev 2 Image

It is always a pleasure to spend time talking about shafts and fitting with Kim Braly. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures. If you want to truly understand the two new wedge shafts from KBS watch the video embedded below. The short story is KBS has improved on the original Hi-Rev wedge shaft and introduced a new model.

The Hi-Rev 2.0 will replace the original KBS HiRev Wedge Shaft. The new design is a higher launching shaft that will create more spin. The illustration below shows the difference between the KBS HiRev and the KBS HiRev 2.0.  Butt to tip change in stiffness is higher in the new model. And additional loss of stiffness in the tip will create more launch and therefore more spin than the original HiRev design. If your club head speed does not generate enough spin, the HiRev 2.0 shaft will contribute to a higher launch wedge shot.

The 610 is modeled on last years Tour V design. A long stable butt section with a rapid loss of stiffness about 14″ from the tip. Tour testing has shown this design produces a lower, more penetrating ball flight. The softer tip will create enough spin to check the ball up without adding height to the shot with excessive spin. If you want to keep your wedge shots from getting blown around and you have the club head speed to spin the ball, you should test this design. The model name, 610, comes from the butt diameter. To create the design, butt diameter became a little larger as explained in the video.

The technical discussion, measurements and testing results are available only to registered readers

This interview was shot at the 2015 PGA Merchandise show. It is worth watching to listen to one of the most experienced club fitters of our time discuss club fitting.

KBS C-Taper Lite Parallel Golf Shaft Review

KBS C-Taper Lite Parallel

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

Parallel shafts have been a favorite of club builders with frequency machines for much of the time I have been engaged in club building. My involvement with a group called the PCS introduced me to the concept of frequency matched shaft sets. Before I developed an understanding of EI measurement, I was and avid practitioner of frequency matching. As I developed an understanding of the golf shaft through EI, I switched to using constant weight taper shafts exclusively. It is only recently, in the preparation of this review and another parallel shaft that I developed a new appreciation for the genre. For a full discussion, read the article Parallel vs Constant Weight Shafts.

The technical discussion, measurements and testing results are available only to registered readers


Golf Professional Notes:
 Datasheet  DataSheet KBS C-Taper Lite
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