Grafalloy ProLaunch Driver Shafts
By Russ Ryden, Fit2Score, A Dallas Fort Worth Club Fitter & Club Maker
The Golf Center at the Highlands, Carrollton Texas
The Grafalloy Prolaunch is not a new design, it has been with us for a long time. It got a new paint job this year. As companies get better at making shafts, the quality and consistency of products gets better. What I saw in measuring a the $40 ProLaunch Blue and Red was beyond what I expected. Radial consistency was 98.9% with a 0.8% standard deviation. These shafts are round and will get no benefit from alignment. And the bend profiles were also consistent. There were no outliers in the 10 shafts I measured. That is not always the case, and it is rarely the case with a $40 shaft. I am impressed.
Beginning with this review I am introducing a new method for rating shaft stiffness. The method comes from inside one of the major club companies that has an EI measuring instrument. They use area under the EI curve to compare shaft to shaft stiffness. Frequency measured at the butt of a shaft works on shafts with the same bend profiles. When shafts have different bend profiles butt frequency does not give an accurate measurement. Have you ever heard or said, ‘this shaft plays softer (or harder) than it measures. Did it ever occur to you that you were basically saying the measurement system you were using does not work?
Using area under the EI curve takes into account every point of the shaft. The correlation with deflection measurements is incredibly high. It appears that we have stumbled on a shaft stiffness rating system that actually works.
Grafalloy rates the launch of the Blue as higher than the Red. Look at the chart above and you will see that with the same stiffness rating the Red deflects less than the Blue. The launch rating given by Grafalloy is validated. The more expensive, $80 Grafalloy Blue is also rated low launch and is validated by the deflection numbers. It has a stiffer tip, pushing the kick point up the shaft. Radial quality of the Grafalloy Blue, 99.6% with a standard deviation of 0.5%. Translation, great quality and consistency and a notification to the shaft business that quality is possible in affordable products.