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Most golfers understand shafts are designated by flex… but what is often misunderstood is how shaft flex relates to other factors not often discussed including weight and profile.

In the video, I break down some simple things to consider when its comes to steel shafts — flex, weight and bend profile — as well as why you might fit into a flex you weren’t expecting.

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Ryan Barath is a club fitter and master club builder who has more than 15 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf located in Toronto. He now works independently from his home shop in Hamilton and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, and wedge grinding.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Dave

    Feb 25, 2018 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Ryan,

    I have been building and repairing clubs since the late 80s, while working at Kings Forest Golf Course. Over the years i have been fortunate enough to be educated by Tim Wishon, Oakville Golf staff… One question that i have for You is how much do you think playability is affected by putting a heavier midsize grip on a set of irons when they were originally built wuth standard size grips? Do you think i should tip weight heads to bring the swingweight up the 3 points or leave status quo? My friend is an excellent player at Heron Point and he said he did not notice the lower SW when i regripped with midsize grips.

    • Ryan Barath

      Feb 27, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Good Question Dave,

      Some players will notice the counter balanced effect of the heavier grips while many will not. By adding back more weight to the head to get the swing weight back you will also soften the shafts a bit. The proof is always in the pudding, and in the case of the added weight to the butt end if the players likes the performance dont worry about swing weight.

  2. Mario

    Feb 14, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    i partially disagree with what he said, for amateur golfers, weight is important to prevent injuries, few years ago with a new set of clubs, shaft 120g i got epicondylitis, in just two months, a fitter friend of mine told me to go for graphite, while another fitter told me to go for 80g steel, i follow the suggestion, and with the 80g i never got epicondylitis again

  3. Dave

    Feb 14, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Great video! Question maybe you can answer this one. I’m playing regular, KBS C-Taper lites… my ball flight is very high, would like to bring it down as I play in Florida wind.. swing speed is pretty average. Would you suggest moving to graphite stiff???? Thx

    • TONEY P

      Feb 14, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      No the graphite would give a higher flight,lite shafts help get the ball airborne easy. Try a standard weight.

    • Ryan Barath

      Feb 27, 2018 at 9:14 am

      The single biggest factor for ball flight is player dynamics. If the ball flight is too high maybe try bending your irons a bit strong first before trying a shaft change.
      Best advice is to always see a fitter.

  4. Gorden

    Feb 12, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Reading about flex is one thing, best thing is to find a fitter or even a big store like PGA Superstore and just hit balls with different shafts in what ever head your interested in playing. Either work with scope or just your feelings and you will find some that feel right or feel completely wrong…you may be supersized how different shafts can feel/work for you….while playing the head you want to play…

  5. Improving Golfer

    Feb 12, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Great video! Could you do a video on CPM and how accurate shafts are in our clubs vs PROS clubs. More specifically, if you order a set of clubs from a major manufacturer, how accurate are the weight of club heads and weight and flex of shafts in what we have vs. what the pros have done. Some club fitters say they do a good job with quality control, others say its best to get CPM checked when clubs come in because a “stiff” shaft may be anywhere from 280 cpm to 305 cpm.

  6. Joro

    Feb 12, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    Great information, something everyone leaves out when talking about flex. If a person wants a correct flex the weight has to be considered which is why Dyn. Gold had 5 flexes within a flex. The lightest of the dyn. golds were at 125 and the heaviest at 130 gr. which created different flex within a flex.

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Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged, 919 Forged, and 919 Hot Metal hit USGA’s conforming list

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As alerted by our always investigative GolfWRX Forum Members, three new Mizuno JPX irons have shown up recently on the USGA Conforming Clubs list; JPX 919 Forged (there is no image of the RH version, but there is of the LH), JPX 919 Hot Metal (and LH), and a JPX 919 Tour Forged iron.

Although still unannounced and unreleased by Mizuno, it’s likely these JPX 919 irons will be the replacements for the previous JPX 900 series. If you remember, Brooks Koepka won back-to-back U.S. Opens using JPX 900 Tour irons; now, it seems there may be a replacement for that iron on the way, judging by the USGA Conforming List.

Check out the Mizuno JPX 919 irons below, as listed on the USGA Confirming list.

Mizuno JPX 919 Forged

Mizuno JPX 919 Hot Metal

Mizuno JPX 919 Tour Forged

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the USGA photos.

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Equipment

SPOTTED: Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons

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Photos have recently popped up in our GolfWRX Forums of Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons. It’s been nearly two years since the company released it’s previous Z565, Z765 and Z965 irons, so it’s possible (if not likely), based on nomenclature, these could be the replacements for that series.

The photos in our forums show Z785 short irons (5-PW) and Z785 long irons (4 and 3), but it does not appear that the Z785 irons shown in the photos are driving irons, so it’s likely these photos come from a mixed set.

We do not have any official tech or release information about new irons from Srixon at this time, so we’re left to speculate for the time being. What do you think about the photos of these Srixon “Z785” and “Z585” irons?

Check out the photos of each below, and click here for more photos and discussion.

Srixon “Z785” irons

 

Srixon “Z585” irons

Click here for more photos and discussion.

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Equipment

Michael Kim on why he switched to a Titleist TS2 driver, and the change he’s making for The Open

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Michael Kim set a tournament scoring record at the John Deere Classic last week, so, needless to say, the UC Berkeley alum was firing on all cylinders.

With respect to one of those cylinders, Kim, historically not a great driver of the golf ball, was 34th in Strokes Gained off the tee and tied for second in driving accuracy with a new Titleist TS2 driver in his bag last week. For reference, he’s 192nd in Strokes Gained off the tee and 183rd in driving accuracy for the season. In other words, while Kim’s incredible putting (+13.51 strokes gained: putting) helped, the Titleist TS2 driver he began experimenting with at the FedEx St. Jude Classic also played a role.

We caught up with Kim by phone from Carnoustie and asked him about the decision to put the new TS2 in play.

“When I hit it, I liked it right away. I noticed the biggest difference on mishits. On my old driver, the ball speed would drop a little bit on a toe or heel hit, but with the new one, you barely saw any [drop in ball speed]. And it was definitely going straighter off the mishits. Straighter and longer, honestly.”

“Generally, I don’t make a switch, especially with the driver mid-year, but I put it right in play. And I’m working on some new things with my swing…I kind of turned the corner at the Quicken Loans…obviously hit it great at the Deere.”

“I tried the TS3, but it was a little too low spin for me. So we kept the same shaft [Aldila Rogue Black 60X] and I think it’s the same setting.”

Kim also mentioned he’s putting a steel-shafted driving iron in play for The Open this week–on the recommendation of a guy who knows a thing or two about playing well at the British Open.

“Zach Johnson told me on the plane ride here that I should maybe try a driving iron. So…I got out here and I asked to try a couple of different driving irons…On Tuesday, I tried out a couple of different T-MBs…2-iron, 3-iron. The 2-iron was going way too far, so I tried the 3-iron on the golf course. The way the course is set up, it’s just so firm…It’ll be great if there’s some wind. Exactly what I’m looking for. I’ll put it in play and I’ll probably use it a decent amount throughout the week.”

With respect to Kim’s wedge setup, Vokey Wedge rep, Aaron Dill, offered this comment

“Michael Kim has a really good short game that shows tremendous confidence. Michael uses a great system with his gap wedge having higher bounce, this help with flight and consistency, his 56 is high bounce for bunker and all shots needing extra bounce, and his 60 is a low bounce L for all tighter conditions and shots that need easy and fast lift. The beauty of this setup is it covers multiple shot window and types.”

We’ll see how it works out for him. Kim is competing in his first Open Championship. He tees off at 9:04 a.m. local time with Ryuko Tokimatsu and Chez Reavie.

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