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Ask the Experts: “What matters more, the shaft or the club head?”

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In this new video series, we asked the experts at Fujikura a number of burning questions about golf shafts. For the first episode, here is Vice President Alex Dee’s answer to the question: “What matters more, the shaft or the club head?”

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52 Comments

52 Comments

  1. Brad

    Jun 24, 2018 at 11:27 pm

    Without the shaft, you don’t have a golf club, so yes it is important from that standpoint. The comment by the Fujikura Engineer stating “isn’t the head just a weight on the end of the shaft” is a bit ridiculous and typical of the shaftoid crowd, and of course if you work for a golf shaft company you will be a shaftoid.

    The fact is that unless a shaft is too long or too short, or way too soft or stiff for a player, the club head design and weighting and the overall weighting and balance of the club are FAR more important than any small variances in shafts such as flex, kick point, torque, etc. This can be verified through blind or double blind testing with humans. People are not robots, so robot testing is only valid when it comes to measuring the extremes.

  2. sam

    Jun 24, 2018 at 2:14 pm

    Most important part of a golf club is the GRIP ….!!!!!

  3. Caroline

    Jun 24, 2018 at 11:58 am

    Simple do you see metal shafts (any weight) in drivers anymore??? Guess shafts make a difference, end of conversation…..

    • ogo

      Jun 24, 2018 at 2:08 pm

      Graphite shafts are a monstrous scam on the gullible golfers. Pros struggle with the floppy soggy graphite shafts because they get paid a lot of $$$$ to use them. Rec golfers pay hundreds of $$$$$ for malfunctioning graphite shafts hoping it will help their lousy swing.

  4. etc.

    Jun 24, 2018 at 1:05 am

    There are shaft dummies and clubhead dummies… gearheads are combination dummies.

    • sam

      Jun 24, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      gearheads luv luv luv their WITB clubs cuz they don’t have a life.

  5. Bob

    Jun 23, 2018 at 8:00 am

    I play a Ping G30 and have both the senior shaft and the regular shaft. (I’m 67, 7 hcp and 90-95 swing speed with the driver with both shafts.) The senior shaft gives me a higher ball flight and wider dispersion on off hits. The regular has a lower, more penetrating ball flight and much less dispersion. So, there definitely is a difference in shafts. I chose the head based upon the look, feel, and sound.

    I would love equipment reviews to give us real data. For example, put the drivers on the iron byron at 90, 95, 100, 105 mph and give us the distances with perfect contact and then with off-center contact.

    • steve

      Jun 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm

      Bob – question:
      Do you start your round of golf swinging at 95 mph and it drops to 90 mph or less at the end of the round… due to fatigue?

  6. Ulf

    Jun 23, 2018 at 1:26 am

    Asking a representative of a shaft company about the importance of shaft vs. clubhead is kind of like asking Ivanka Trump who she thinks is the better president, her father or Barrack Obama…

    • Orville

      Jun 24, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      …. and white trash women still think Obama was better.. in their fantasies.

  7. Craig

    Jun 23, 2018 at 1:23 am

    Blind tests have show most people can’t tell the difference between shafts, even from a regular to extra-stiff and different weights. It is 99% mental and what you think ‘feels’ good. Unless you are regularly shooting under par your striking is too inconsistent and will override and small shaft changes.

    • Dave O

      Jun 23, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Brilliant comment. Mark Crossfield would agree completely with you. “Shaftoids” have no idea what they’re talking about.

    • The dude

      Jun 23, 2018 at 8:19 pm

      Most ill educated statement ever made……

      • etc.

        Jun 24, 2018 at 1:03 am

        But it’s true… 99% of all golfers worldwide cannot sense nor evaluate what their clubs are doing in the swing… clubhead AND shaft … believe it 😮

  8. mamamaa

    Jun 23, 2018 at 1:15 am

    Mastergearheadbaters only love the design of the back of their irons and the bottom of their drivers…. and the shapeliness and colorful engravings of their putters. Sooo pa thetic.

    • sam

      Jun 24, 2018 at 2:13 pm

      mastergearheadbaters have great clubs to compensate for their small d!nks… lol

  9. Jay

    Jun 22, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    Did anyone read or listen to tiger woods comments about his clubs or read the Nike comments about working with tiger? If I do recall he talks about how the face and center of gravity and loft of his drivers were his most concerning points to get correct! Not shaft! Similar comments for wedges and irons. Jason Duffner just went to a custom set of clubs by DW and in that article they discussed jasons concerns were about his clubs not going through the turf properly… so custom grinds and club heads were built! JP wedges are custom ground and fit using a camera that generates 10000 frames and he focuses on club head design from bounce, grind and camber! Reading wishon and maltby books they talk about club headi (offset, large sole small sole, bounce etc…then lie and length and swing weight and overall weight then finally a little bit about shaft! My thought is if I get all those aspects correct I could use any shaft and make good shots, if I have improper loft, lie and length a shaft is not going to help me deliver that club head back consistently no matter what shaft it is. Words for thought

    • Kevin

      Jun 22, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      Thats bcoz they have been fitted with the shaft and fine tuning the last bit of the circle. When was last time tiger changed his iron shaft?

    • lala

      Jun 22, 2018 at 10:11 pm

      Try swinging a club head without a club shaft…!!!!!!

      • Michael

        Jun 23, 2018 at 10:44 am

        Try hitting the ball with just a shaft… What a stupid argument.

        • oto

          Jun 23, 2018 at 12:25 pm

          The downswing takes 1/2 to 3/4 of a second. Impact is only 50/1000th of a second. The shaft downswing time is much greater than the clubhead impact time. Seems like the shaft dominates the downswing while the clubhead is insignificant.

  10. Kevin

    Jun 22, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Club heas dictates whether the angle of attack- blade tends to go steeper than a bulky game improvement one – beginners tend to have a steep angle of attack whereas experienced golfer tends to be flatter.
    Shaft dictates the feel, swing speed(distance) and dispesion.
    To me its definitely the shaft that matters more than the club head, as long as the club head fits your eyes.
    For ppl arguing otherwise, try to swing jason days shaft (135g extra stiff) and a 85g graphite and see how you go with your game.
    Everyone can play blades reasonable well with a suitable shaft but who can play a round of 18 holes with a rod of steel like shaft?

    • PhilDSnuts

      Jun 22, 2018 at 7:45 pm

      Well i can tell you ill do alot better with heavy shafts than i will with the wimpy old man shafts.

  11. TexasSnowman

    Jun 22, 2018 at 4:15 pm

    You get a shaft guy on for 2 mins to tell us basically nothing; he may be a shaft expert but doubtful if he can give us a fact based opinion on relative importance of shaft vs head. WRX, you need to step up your game, improve the content, and cease and desist with the click-bait headlines. I can get better information on the forums.

  12. Bert

    Jun 22, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    As a professional clubfitter/clubmaker, it is my humble opinion that BY FAR – the head design is more important than the shaft. I’m not making this up or just choosing at random – I base this on several hundred fittings I’ve done over the years (my very in-depth iron fitting process takes about 4 hours or so).

    • Adam

      Jun 22, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      As a professional clubfitter/maker, I consider the golfer’s capabilities before I make a club and shaft recommendation. The shaft selection is based on swing speed and shaft loading characteristics. Then the clubhead design follows. If the golfer wants/demands a certain make of clubhead I will compensate for that personal preference, but I will warn the golfer if the clubhead is unsuitable for his golf swing abilities. Most golfers are emotionally biased for their golf equipment regardless of their abilities. You can’t argue with ‘feelings’.

    • Dan Jones, PGA

      Jun 22, 2018 at 6:39 pm

      As someone who has also done many a fitting, with access to launch monitors and Trackman at times, I an tell you this. Regardless of the club head used I can change a golfers Launch angle 5 degrees by going from a soft tip flex, to a high flex shaft. Changing club heads doesn’t make that kind of difference. There are a lot of other factors of course, but food for thought.

      • Steve McIvor

        Jun 23, 2018 at 4:22 am

        Give a golfer a GI type head, for example AP1, then give them a better player head, e.g. CB. I’ll guarantee you a change in launch angle and descent angle. These two heads at 7 iron have lofts of 30 and 35*. No shaft is having a bigger impact than a difference of 5* on loft.

        • David Lewis

          Jun 25, 2018 at 11:55 pm

          My teacher believes forged blades are the real game improvement clubs because they make you better in contrast to cavity back irons that only make you sloppy. From my experience he’s right.’

  13. Tee-Bone

    Jun 22, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    Perhaps ask a scientist with an excellent understanding of how clubs work, rather than an employee of a shaft manufacturer. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?

    • Adam

      Jun 22, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      Graphite only shaft manufacturers are biased towards their product. TrueTemper is the best because they understand both steel and graphite shaft performances.

    • geoh

      Jun 23, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      A true expert scientist should be able to explain what characteristics the ideal shaft will have to give us the ideal combination of distance, trajectory and accuracy. Then fit the golfers swing to achieve the maximum out of that ideal shaft.

      Rather , we attempt to “fit” the one of thousands of shafts to idiosyncratic golf swings.

  14. steve

    Jun 22, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    When graphite shafts came on the market they were very inconsistent and it was due to variable tip flex action. They were marketed to the rec golfers as lighter, faster shafts, but pros used heavier 125gm graphite shafts for playability. Steel was more dynamically consistent and cheaper too. To resolve the floppy soggy tips, they were reinforced with exotic materials like boron, titanium, fancy graphite weave fibers…. all to no avail.

    • steve

      Jun 22, 2018 at 2:03 pm

      Year after year the graphite companies came up with new and improved shafts and they are still struggling to achieve consistency like a steel shaft. The problem is the large epoxy plastic proportion to graphite fibers. Plastic is inconsistent and causes floppy soggy shaft tips. All the graphite shaft mfgs oven cure their shafts which retains too much epoxy and requires exotic fibers in the tips. A new company, Seven Dreamers, cure their shafts in a high pressure autoclave which squeezes out excess epoxy leaving a denser graphite fiber content and better tip consistency.
      https://golf.sevendreamers.com/en/

      • D Mack

        Jun 22, 2018 at 10:25 pm

        So you ask a shaft maker which is more important: the shaft or the clubhead?
        Whats your next article? Ask a dog which are better cats or dogs.

      • Ray Bennett

        Jun 23, 2018 at 2:03 am

        The Disease whisker shafts (circa 1988) were unique and may be the best graphite iron shaft made. Disease added Kevlar fibres in a crossed wrapped net interface pattern on the wall of the shaft. To strengthen the shaft, Daiwa added whiskers of silicon (stretched from giant sized silicon crystals to resemble cats whiskers) to the epoxy resin and the shafts graphite fibres. This process provides a super strong bond, more shaft flexibility, and more resistance to shocks and what failure. A regular flex whisker shaft tests between stiff and X stiff in many of today’s graphite shafts. They are quite unique.

      • Man

        Jun 23, 2018 at 2:21 am

        Nobody cares about seven dreamers. All we care about is that plastic rattle when the epoxy dries and falls into the head or the shaft and make that annoying sound. And the epoxy is more important than the shaft or the head, because, after all, they’re all just glued together with epoxy that turns into plastic

        • steve

          Jun 23, 2018 at 6:40 pm

          I’m not referring to the epoxy used to bond the shaft to the hosel. Graphite shafts are made with layers of graphite sheets and epoxy mixtures. This shaft epoxy is excessive and creates a predominantly plastic shaft that is soft soggy and floppy at the tip. 7 Dreamers squeeze out the bad excess epoxy by autoclave curing at high pressures.

      • Jae

        Jun 23, 2018 at 3:25 pm

        Everybody cures epoxy under pressure. Even stoner surfboard manufacturers.

        • steve

          Jun 23, 2018 at 6:33 pm

          Wrong…. oven-cured shafts are done at normal atmospheric pressure…. autoclave curing is done at 6 – 10 atm. which squeezes out the unnecessary excess epoxy between the graphite sheets. This epoxy reduction eliminates floppy soggy shaft tips.

    • Adam

      Jun 22, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      I play steel shafts in my driver and fairways. I lost 10-15 yards on my driver but gained on fairways hit. I can easily drop down one iron to make up for distance loss and still make more greens in regulation. Graphite shafts will never be as good as the newer light weight steel shafts.

  15. alexdub

    Jun 22, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I wish he would have talked about the research Fuji has done, their proprietary camera system, and the specific effect a properly fitted shaft (vs. poorly fitted) has on driver performance.

  16. Matt

    Jun 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Shaft –> consistency
    Head –> numbers

    No doubt there’s a whole lot of crossover with these two connections, but if you approach driver fitting in this way I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the results.

    • steve

      Jun 23, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      Steel shafts = best consistency
      Oven-cured graphite shafts = inconsistency
      Autoclave-cured graphite shafts (7 Dreamers) = better consistency
      Read my above comments ^^^^^^

  17. Spitfisher

    Jun 22, 2018 at 11:52 am

    With a repeatable swing

    Distance = head, shaft = dispersion, feel etc

    • JJVas

      Jun 22, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Disagree. Tested a few ultra high-end shafts this Spring for high speed, high spin players (T1100, KK XT, Black Mamba, etc.) and no stock or reasonable after-market shaft could compete with the numbers I was getting. Believe me, I didn’t WANT to blow that kind of $$$ on a shaft, but I had no choice. I was getting an extra 4-5 mph ball speed while keeping my spin around 2400 rpms or less. The materials now are so unreal, that most of the pros use the same four shafts for the most part. I was well-fitted before, but nothing could equal the performance of the top dollar shafts. Maybe it’s just the high speed and spin market, but that’s my story.

      • Nick W

        Jun 22, 2018 at 1:11 pm

        Was your 4-5 MPH of ballspeed gain at the exact same club head speed or a higher clubhead speed?

        • JJVas

          Jun 23, 2018 at 9:04 am

          Nick… same speeds. The 6.5 T1100 65g gave me my best numbers. I was around a 112 mph average and was getting between 165-170 mph consistently. Save everything with the HZRDUS black, yellow, and almost every other shaft you can think of… 162-166 mph. I ultimately decided on the Black Mamba 70-TX because the T1100 was the only shaft I ever hit that I could knuckle off the toe. The Mamba was more forgiving, but still kept me between 2200-2500 rpms on average. Just my take. My dad’s best fitting shaft retails for $49… but for that high speed and spin market, the investment was definitely worth it. My head is a standard Rogue, not SZ.

  18. Joe

    Jun 22, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Mark Crossfiled who? We all now the shaft is an important factor in producing the right launch conditions. Good to hear a true professional speak on the matter.

    • Chris

      Jun 22, 2018 at 11:49 am

      That man works for a shaft company. He has a strong interest in selling more shafts.

      • saveva

        Jun 22, 2018 at 12:16 pm

        shaft is absolutely very important factor, just don’t be mistaken price of shaft. For you a cheap shaft might out perform a expensive shaft. The variance proves shaft matters.

      • PhilDSnuts

        Jun 22, 2018 at 2:30 pm

        Yeah I dont know very many people that work on cars saying we need to fly more

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