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2011-2012 Shaft of the Year- Pics and tech story on some hot picks

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Shaft technology is complicated to most. Kick points, tip section, torque, high modulus materials, single walled carbon nanotubes and the like make you wonder if we are reading the ingredients of Fishy Crackers or the specs of golf equipment. At the end of the day a fitting that will put all of this to the test and is in order. Until then we can look and talk about what is hot and what is not.

<<< To see more pics and discussion  in the forums click here >>>

We have asked shaft companies to submit one of their shafts to be showcased in the best of show for 2011 and 2012. We have added pics and a short description of the tech story for each. Looking to add robot testing from an 3rd party or OEM. If any of you know where I can find that please post!

Per Titleist on their website… http://www.titleist….tom_Options.pdf

Through extensive testing and research, the Titleist R&D team has developed three powerful shaft performance charts which provide an accurate comparison and positioning of shafts with various launch and spin characteristics for drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons. Using these charts as a guide, a fitter can quickly and easily narrow down the available shaft options and focus on those models most likely to be a good match for the player's ball flight requirements.

Here are our favorites in random order…

Aldila RIP NV- RIP Technology Reverse Interlaminar Placement Technology™ (RIP) transforms the shaft from the inside out providing players with shot control. The RIP provides golfers with lower torque, increased tip stability and better tip stiffness control. "The new RIP'd NV incorporates the best performance attributes from two of Aldila's most innovative shaft designs," said Stewart Bahl, Aldila's Marketing Manager. "The 'perfect feel' and slim, stable shaft profile of the Aldila NV and the unprecedented control and accuracy of the Aldila RIP

Fujikura Motore Speeder 6.2 Tour Spec- The design concept was to keep the same unique feel of the VC.2 Motore Speeder but increase tip strength for lower spin plus eliminate the left with high ball speeds. The S flex design will have almost the same tip stiffness as the X flex but the butt will be 7-10 CPM's weaker to accommodate the high swing speed player who needs the tip strength but needs the handle a bit softer for smoother transitions. We expect this shaft to accommodate the better golfer that wants to keep the spin low and not loose control of their shots. Each Motore Speeder is equipped with our Proprietary Quadra Axis Composite and Triax Woven material creating a revolutionary 7-Axis Technology. This uniformity throughout the shaft assists with eliminating deformation (ovaling) yet provides the maximum amount of feel through the entire swing increasing overall performance and stability.

Graphite Design Premium Tour AD DI – Deep Impact Shaft is designed to provide more power and stability, the Tour AD DI shaft, manufactured exclusively at Graphite Design Japan, has been integrated with Toray Company's new Nanotechnology material in the tip section of the shaft. This unique tip technology creates optimal launch and spin conditions to produce increased accuracy and distance. Tour players have been impressed by the fact that when using the Tour AD DI shaft they can increase ball speed and accuracy without giving up distance. The mid bend profile of the Tour AD DI allows the player to load the shaft properly, yet maintains a firm enough tip section through impact, producing optimal spin and launch conditions. Golfers using the shaft will experience the feel of the ball leaving the club head with a lot of speed while maintaining exceptional feel and control. Players are giving it a try in their drivers and then using it in their fairway woods as well. We designed this shaft to deliver players to the next level in shaft performance and create an impressive impact on their games and we feel we have succeeded in that mission."

Project X Driver- The new Project X driver shafts feature Zonal Design Theory- (ZDT) which divides the shaft into three zones–butt, mid and tip sections. Each zone is optimized for performance using a specific design technology. Tip & Butt SectionButt section: Hex-Axial Reinforcement Technology provides unmatched cross sectional stability minimizing energy lost to ovalization. Mid section: Constant Taper Design eliminates localized bending and creates even loading and unloading for maximum energy transfer. Tip section: Elongated Double Wrapped 55 MSI Reinforcement for a firmer tip section which minimizes droop and lag and reduces back spin. Tour Launch and Spin- Project X Like the Project X iron shafts, Project X driver and hybrid shafts provide penetrating launch conditions with ultra low spin. The stiff butt, soft mid-section combine with the double reinforced tip section to maintain a strong angle of attack and greatly reduce spin, even in higher loft drivers.

UST Mamiya Proforce VTS- Proforce VTS shaft is the first shaft ever developed that emphasizes Torque in the fitting process. Historically, most players have been fit traditionally only using weight and flex. Although this has worked well in the past, Proforce VTS with 3-D fitting technology brings shaft fitting to an entirely different level. Over the past 4 years, UST Mamiya engineers spent hundreds of hours designing shafts, and testing hundreds of golfers in order to find out what aspects of shafts are the most important to performance. The results led to the development of the Proforce VTS. UST Mamiya engineers developed a matrix of shafts of different weights (57-97 grams), and flexes (A, R, S, X) that are typically found in shaft product lines. But UST Mamiya went one step further by adding torque as the third dimension in the shaft matrix. Within a given weight and flex (e.g. 67 gram S-flex), there are 3 separate torque shafts that allow you to fine tune the shaft performance to each golfers unique Swing DNA. UST Mamiya has found that through the unique 3-D fitting process, golfers can realize an increase in ball speed of 2 mph, with some golfers seeing up to 6 mph increase in ball speed. That is significant in terms of increasing distance. But they have also found that shot dispersion can be reduced by up to 25% when fit into the proper Proforce VTS shaft.

Harrison Mugen Black- features Active Response Technology ART design manipulates the contrast of fiber tension between the tip and butt sections of a golf shaft. It focuses down-swing energy, like a cross bow pulled taut, to generate exceptional shaft recovery. Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs)- SWNTs are known as one of the lightest and strongest materials available today. In this implementation, light weight SWNTs are positioned near the tip to provide enhanced strength and stability. Ultra Thin Ply Graphite (UTP). At one third the weight of typical graphite, UTP is used to build a golf shaft with 3 times more layers than a typical graphite shaft. The end product is highly consistent and accurate. Dynamic Flex Profile (DFP)- Most golf shafts maintain a similar flex profile throughout various flexes. Our patented DFP remedies this dilemma. As the overall stiffness of the shaft increases, its tip section stiffens and its resistance to torque increases to generate a more boring ball flight and a tighter shot dispersion.

FUBUKI K-Series – The Next Generation FUBUKI Series Wood Shafts. The K-Series profile utilizes the same Modulus Differential Technology (M.D.T.) found in the FUBUKI Tour and FUBUKI α (alpha) profiles in addition to Mitsubishi Rayon's latest innovation; the Power "Ninja" Core. This new technology allows Mitsubishi Rayon to incorporate a thin layer of metal into the butt section of the shaft to increase stability and maximize the power stored during the loading of a shaft, unleashing maximum potential energy to the ball at impact. Designed utilizing Mitsubishi Rayon's propriety swing analysis software, the FUBUKI K-Series bend profile delivers smooth acceleration, increased butt section stability, and a slightly lower launch and spin than the FUBUKI α profile. The difference is the material in the butt section. Its an actual metal band in the butt section. MRC impregnates it into our prepreg. Thin but wide 6-7" to reinforce the butt section. This process adds strength and stability to the shaft and stabilizes the butt section.

Matrix OZIK "Black Tie" M3- The OZIK M3 series represents the culmination of what Matrix has learned in recent years regarding what the young, aggressive power players on the PGA Tour demand. Designed on the industry leading and patented HD platform, the OZIK M3 features a flat, lower spinning ball flight often preferred by players with higher ball speed. The genesis of the M3 resonates from the flight model of the highly successful M2 series, a winner of numerous PGA Tour events including 2 Majors. Better players preferring additional stability in the tip section will benefit from the tightest design construct ever released by

Miyazaki C Kua 59- The C Kua 59 Series is a 59 gram shaft and is the most accepted shaft for professionals in our ultralight series. The International Flex Code is unique with the first 10 inches, butt section, is a X stiff section the second 10 inches is the same as the butt the mid tip or next 10 inches being 1/2 flex stiffer than the butt and the tip as the softest section being 1/2 flex softer than a stiff. The 59 X Code is 7785. This shaft profile produces optimum launch for low launch players and reduced spin for high spin players. The spin reduction has been proven to give players an increase in distance. The distance also comes from the lighter weight shaft and the improvement in the combination of higher launch and lower spin to hit the correct descent angle for total distance gains.

Oban Kiyoshi- Utilizes Oban's breakthrough Emersion Wrapped Frequency Technology – offering high launch and low spin ball flight characteristics. Ultra premium, high modulus composite materials supplied by the leading pre-preg manufacturers in the world provide better feel and performance. Structural Design- Oban's revolutionary Emersion Wrapped Frequency (EWF) Technology combines high modulus and ultra-thin carbon fiber sheets using a proprietary new design process. This results in multi-directional shaft strength enabling significantly improved torque control, bend points, and stability with less ovalization. Performance- The Kiyoshi, utilizing EWF Technology, reveals design properties ideal for creating high launch and low spin performance for longer distance and tight dispersion.

[Accra Pic coming soon]

Accra Tour Z- In 2010, ACCRA began testing a new product, code named "Tour Prototype", designed specifically for several PGA Tour players looking for an overall stable shaft with the "feel" that ACCRA shafts have always been known for. We began with a 65 and 75 gram version, incorporating a constant taper design from butt to tip to add tremendous stability yet, increased energy transfer. We added high modulus materials that ACCRA to incorporate the thinnest wall thickness in the industry, thus maximizing weight distribution and offering smooth playability. The unique aspect of this shaft is that the tip section is extremely stable yet the torque is not too low, again offering stability without the harsh feel that other tip firm shafts exhibit. This is achieved by inserting a Kevlar wrap deep inside the core of the tip section. As you move from a ACCRA Tour Z+ 55 M4 to an ACCRA Tour Z+ 65 M4, you can be assured that the flex will remain exactly the same. The new ACCRA Tour Z+ offers a stable tip section, designed for those with quick transitions and higher club head speeds. We have also designed the Tour Z with identical specifications except for a more responsive tip section. This is where our design team became creative. Similar flex, weight, frequency, mid stiffness, butt stiffness and torque….. the only difference between the Tour Z and the Tour Z+ is the stability and responsiveness of the tip section.

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<<< To see more pics and discussion  in the forums click here >>>

 

 

<<< To see more pics and discussion  in the forums click here >>>

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

Accessory Reviews

Choose Your Tartan: Enter now to win a Sunfish Tartan headcover

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Sunfish, well known for its stylish headcover designs, is offering up free Tartan-style headcovers to five GolfWRX Members. All you have to do to apply is become a GolfWRX member, if you’re not already, and then reply in the forum thread with your favorite the Tartan pattern.

TartanPatternsSunfish

The five winners will receive a free headcover in the pattern that they select. Winners will be selected on Friday, so don’t wait.

Click here to enter into the giveaway and pick your favorite style.

Reminder: Commenting on this post WILL NOT enter you into the giveaway.

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Equipment

Member Reviews: Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Woods

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. In this Testing Thread, we selected six members to test a Callaway Steelhead XR fairway wood built to their specs.

CallawaySteelheadXRwoods-1021x580

The Steelhead XR has a club face made of steel for that familiar Steelhead feel. The crowns are made from J-36 carbon fiber to lower center of gravity and move it more forward; that will help it produce lower spin like the original designs that sold 2.3 million units. According to Callaway, the crowns weigh just 6 grams — that’s 20 grams lighter than Callaway’s XR ’16 fairway wood crowns.

Full Tech Story: Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairway woods

The Steelhead XR fairways also have a Hyper Speed Face Cup that produces more ball speed across the face, and Speed Step technology, or the raised portions on the crown, that were first introduced in Callaway XR ’16 metalwoods. They improve aerodynamics to help golfers produce higher swing speeds.

Each member completed a detailed analysis and rating of the club. You can see the full reviews here. Below, we pull quotes from the reviews to give you a feel for what this choice group of WRXers had to say. The responses have been minimally edited for brevity and style. Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

lutomrSC

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR (13.5 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“I like almost everything about how this club looks. The color combination of the dark blue against the steel face gives a nice contract. I really like how the carbon fiber looks under the blue paint.”

“At times the ball appeared to have a little too much spin and would tend to climb to a height that would be above my current gamer off the tee. It would tend to go further because of the stronger loft, however, usually about 5-7 yards. Perhaps a different shaft could help the spin, but it would need testing. The Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65 Graphite X-flex is a great stock option. It has a good feel and a weight that I prefer, and I think it can keep up with higher swing speeds without issue.”

SDickenson642

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“The appearance of the Steelhead is amazing. The shape is perfect for my eye, as I prefer a smaller profile down by the ball in fairway woods. The face is pretty deep compared to my [Cobra] Fly-Z+ I’ve been playing for three years now. The sound is amazing off the head. I never had the privilege of playing the original Steelhead fairways, but it does remind me of the original woods I played as a kid, which I think where Tommy Armour 845’s.”

“With the deeper face of the Steelhead XR, I thought I would have issues launching the ball from the deck on par 5s, but I did not see any issue. Turf interaction with the Steelhead was great. I was able to try multiple lies from the fairway, rough, and even a bunker. From the fairway I could easily control it and actually get the ball up in the air enough and with enough spin to hold greens.”

MillerLowLife

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“The top of this club looks awesome at address. I really liked the look of the crown that is a dark blue and shows the carbon fiber underneath. That, coupled with the silver steel face, makes it easy to frame the ball. This is a steel club so the sound and feel will be a sharper metal sound that’s accustomed to the old Steelheads. Has great swing weight and feel. Felt really easy to hit this in the tee box, fairway, or rough.”

“I really enjoyed the versatility of the 4+ with the shorter playing length, heavier swing weight, and flatter lie angle. For me, it felt like a bomber off the tee box, but it was still something I could use to get me out of less-than-ideal lies outside of the fairway —  something I wouldn’t think about with my current gamer.”

Hackster

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“This club is all business. Longer than my 3-wood, flies higher and able to work the ball left and right. On the tee, the ball jumps forward when it hits fairway. Does not lose much distance on off-center hits.”

“Long off the fairway, just put on cruise control and fire away. I struggle in the rough with any fairway wood, so not much to compare to — that’s what hybrids are for. Love this club. Had concerns where it would fit in the bag, but easily able to replace my 14.5-degree 3-wood with the 4+. Much more versatile than my current 3-wood and longer.”

drifliboy

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 3+ (13.5 degrees)

“This club with the lower loft of the 3+ worked well for me off the tee. It was close to my driver on distance. It seemed to launch quickly and then maintain its height. It did not balloon for me. It also really seemed to want to go straight, a couple of times shots almost seemed to correct a little in the air, particularly if I had pushed it. This club at this loft is pretty much a driver replacement for me.”

“If you are looking for a very classy fairway wood that is solid, long, with some forgiveness and doesn’t look like it was developed by a “mad” scientist, this club should be on your short list. It works well off the tee and turf. Please test and get fitted for the right loft and flex. I think this club provides most golfers with very good options that should be considered if they are looking to upgrade any of their woods.”

Discussion: Read the full responses here.

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Iron Reviews

Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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