FUJIKURA MOTORE SPEEDER DRIVER SHAFT
By Kirk James & Mark Vallier, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
MK Golf Technologies,San Antonio, Texas
Fujikura shafts continue to dominate the PGA Tour and Champions Tour with wins and number of shafts in play. The original Speeder earned the reputation as the “winningest shaft on tour” back in 2000, and Fujikura has not lost momentum since. The latest version of the Speeder – the Motore Speeder – continues the tradition of the original. The Motore Speeder comes in three “regular versions” (the VC .0, the VC .1, and the VC .2), and two “Tour Spec versions” (the VC .2TS and the VC .3TS). The VC .0 and VC .1 versions are offered in mid 50, 60 and 70 gram models. The VC .2, VC .2TS and VC .3TS versions are offered in mid 60 and 70 gram models. Generally speaking, as the numbers of the models increase, the launch and the spin of the shaft decrease. In other words, if all other variables are equal, the VC 5.0 will launch higher and spin more than the VC 5.1, and so on up through the line.
This EI Bend Profile chart clearly shows the differences in the three versions of the “regular” Speeder shafts. It has been our experience fitting these shafts that the VC.0 model is very stable and somewhat stiff in the hands (ie, the butt of the shaft) but has a relatively soft and active tip. The EI bend profile clearly confirms these observations to be correct. The VC.1 model has shown through experience to be somewhat softer in the hands, but slightly stiffer in lower mid/tip of the shaft than the VC.0. Likewise, the VC.2 model through experience seems closer to the feel of the VC.0 in the butt of the shaft, but significantly stiffer than than either the VC.0 or VC.1 in the lower mid and tip sections of the shaft, producing a lower launch and usually lower spin.
Fujikura Fitting Advisor
DevotedGolfer.tv editor Russ Ryden got to talk to Pat McCoy, Director of Tour Operations for Fujikura Composites about the the online fitting application developed by Fujikura to help the golfer find his fit from the many Fujikura shafts available. Pat has been fitting tour professionals for about 20 years. His perspective on golf club fitting comes from years of experience fitting the best players with some of the best shafts in the business.
As stated above, the VC.0 model has the highest launch and the highest spin of any of the Speeder shafts. According to Fujikura’s specifications for tip flex and butt flex (which are measured by deflection) this model has the softest tip section and the lowest bendpoint in the Speeder line. Hence the high launch characteristics of this shaft. Through fitting experience, most players will notice the softness in the tip area of the shaft. We find these shafts work well in drivers for players who have a smooth transition, less lag in the downswing, and an earlier release. The heavier versions of these shafts are also excellent for use in fairway woods for players looking for more launch off the deck.
The VC.1 shaft is truly the middle of the road of the Motore Speeder line. It has mid launch, mid spin and mid bend point. Most players that test this shaft will also say it has the best “feel” of all the Speeders. This is a result of the slighly softer butt numbers shown on the EI Bend Profile and the otherwise smooth bend profile. The bend profile is similar to the Diamana Blue/Kaili profile with slightly softer butt and tip numbers. This is an excellent shaft for consistent swingers with a smooth transition and an average release, especially in the VC 5.1 and 6.1 models. The VC 7.1 can handle more force and a later release because of its extra weight and butt siffness. This is a very versatile shaft that fits many players in both the driver and fairway woods.
The VC.2 shaft has the lowest launch and the lowest spin of the Speeder line resulting from the relatively stiff butt and stiff tip bend profile characteristics shown in the chart. This shaft works well for harder swingers with a quicker transition and later release that place a significant load on the shaft. It will definitely feel stiffer in the hands than the VC.0 and VC.1 and more stable in the tip at impact for those harder swingers with late releases. Again, this a very versatile shaft that works well in both drivers and fairway woods for players that can load a shaft in the downswing with a fairly late release.
Fujikura Speeder Tour Spec Driver Shafts
The Speeder Tour Spec shafts are the top of the line – engineered for the elite amateur and tour players. Made with the finest high modulus materials available, these shafts are not for the faint of heart. Players with less than 100 mph clubhead speeds and without a late release should not even consider these shafts. These come only in S and X flex, and even the S flex is extremely stout. Both of the Tour Spec shafts launch lower than all of the standard Speeder shafts, primarily because of the stiffer tips in both of the Tour Specs. Our customers tell us that the Tour Spec.2 seems to feel slightly stiffer overall than the Tour Spec.3, with the Tour Spec.3 having a slightly softer feel under the hands in the butt of the shaft. Because of this, the TS.3 seems to work better for players with a slightly smoother transition.
The Tour Spec.2 is an extremely stable, tip stiff and butt stiff shaft. Frankly, it is a beast. It is no wonder that you see many of these shafts in play on the PGA Tour. It more than holds its own under the highest speeds and heaviest loads. The butt can handle the stress of a quick and forceful transition, while the tip can handle a very late release. The launch is low with a boring trajectory. Spin is definitely controlled. This is an excellent shaft for a high clubhead speed/late release player looking to lower launch and spin. It performs equally well in drivers and fairway woods.
The Tour Spec.3 is somewhat similar to the TS.2, but as stated above, feels slightly softer in the butt of the shaft. It reminds some players of the feel of the Diamana White/Ahina profile. Like the TS.2, it is low launching with a boring trajectory, and again the spin is controlled. It is extremely stable in the tip and is great for players with a very late release. A player with a smooth transition at the top, tour level speed and a late release should definitely consider this shaft. It also performs well in both drivers and fairway woods.
This latest iteration of the venerable Speeder line of shafts from Fujikura is a very high quality, high performance line of shafts. The differences in each shaft in the Speeder line are clearly distinct and easily detected by most players and club fitters through testing. Almost any player can find a Speeder shaft that will work with their swing. It is easy to see why the Motore Speeder continues to dominate the shaft counts on the major professional tours.