Mitsubishi Fubuki J Driver Shaft
By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas
The fourth generation Fubuki, the Fubuki J, released to Mitsubishi Golf Club Fitters in June of 2014. It is still in play, the unique pattern was hard to miss in the final round of the 2016 Open. The Fubuki J is an update of the second generation Fubuki, the Fubuki Alpha. I see the Fubuki family as two different profiles and discussed them in an earlier article. Here is a quick overview of the two profiles.
The original Fubuki Tour and the Fubuki K,introduced a few years later, are very much like the Diamana White and the second generation White, the ‘ahina. The third generation White, the Diamana ‘W” series is a different profile. The Fubuki Tour was discontinued in 2014. The Fubuki K is still in the product line.
The second generation Fubuki Alpha and the fourth generation Fubuki J are also the same profile. They similar yet subtly different than the Diamana ‘ilima and the KuroKage Proto TINI. The differences make these unique designs that must be tested to find your best fit.
On yet another shaft, the radial quality is close to perfect, the soft plane average is 99.5% of the hard plane with a standard deviation in my sample of 0.2%. Alignment of this shaft is meaningless. And on another design, we see a section near the tip that gets stiffer to closer we get to the tip. Tipping this shaft would be cutting away some of the stiffness designed into the shaft. The bend profiles of the entire model line, from 50 gram to 80 gram are the same. Stiffness is a function of weight. Every Fubuki J shaft has the same bend profile.
The Fubuki J is counter balanced, the balance point is close to 3 inches above center. Mitsubishi tells us this is similar to the handle weight of a sword as illustrated. This is done by adding tungsten powder to the prepreg used in the handle of the shaft. While we see some additional stiffness in the handle, this is by design. It is not caused by adding wall thickness to create a counter weighted shaft. Adding wall thickness to the butt is a common design in high balance shafts resulting in handles with damped feel. The handle section is also reinforced with a metal mesh sheet, controlling deformation (ovaling) without affecting bending.
The really interesting technology of the Fubuki J is the tip. I am again going to share with you in illustration from the Mitsubishi dealer publication. The tip is a combination of low torque zone close to the hosel with a softer section just above it to create a hinge. I am going to repeat myself, don’t think you are going to stiffen this shaft by tipping it. You will be cutting away some of the engineered design. Get a stiffer shaft.
The first time I hit this shaft the tip stability got my attention. I felt stability during impact I have never felt before in a golf shaft. I do not hit the center of the face as consistently as our regular shaft testers. The Fubjki J gaves me head stability on my toe and heal strikes. It knocked the Diamana B out of my bag. Now after two weeks and multiple rounds of golf, unlike many other first loves, it is still in the bag. There are many shafts that claim high launch, low spin. The Fubuki J in my hands actually delivered on the promise. Here is a quick look at my FlightScope summary comparing the 50 gram X flex Fubuki J and the same weight and flex Diamana B in a 10.5 Adams XTD ti driver head set to 11.5 degrees.
Why would someone with a 93 MPH club head speed be concerned with spin. Not shown in this table is my -3.5 degree angle of attack. That negative angle of attack delofts my head at impact and adds spin. The Fubuki J added loft and reduced spin. The ball is up and the spin is down, keeping me from ballooning drives into the Texas breeze. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I have been struggling with that negative angle of attack and have not yet found my personal motion get to correct it. Until I do, the Fubuki J is my gamer.