What do you get when you take a collection of experienced, hard-working, talented, golf industry minds, and bring them together with an idea to revolutionize a part of the game that has been overlooked for far too long? You get Breakthrough Golf Technology (BGT) and the Stability putter shaft.
Let me be up front: As a professional club builder, and a guy with a putter I was fit for and love, the idea of changing an integral part of that club was something I was unsure about. But it was obvious five minutes into meeting Blair Philip (my fitter and VP of R&D) and the rest of the BGT Team, I could trust them with building anything, especially my putter.
What BGT has come up within the Stability Shaft is a product that delivers results for golfers of all skill levels looking to improve both feel and consistency with the one club they use on every hole–the Putter. And who doesn’t want to be a more consistent putter? They achieve this with the Stability through a multi-material design that has lower torque, deflection, and stiffer flex than any putter shaft on the market. What is also very smart about the design is that thanks to some clever engineering, it can easily be retrofitted to your existing putter by an experienced club builder, or you can have it sent right to the BGT HQ to get retrofitted.
How the Stability Shaft works
The shaft is made up of four parts
- The bottom steel shaft portion that connects to the putter head: It’s either a completely new shaft OR, it is the small amount of shaft remaining above the head from the existing shaft that was already in the putter. This is how BGT retrofits putters with double bends by cutting above the bend and then attaching the Stability Shaft to the tip of the existing club with the adapter. For 99% of putters without a double bend – the whole shaft is assembled from scratch.
- The aluminum connector: This piece at the bottom of the graphite section allows for the universal fitting of almost any putter imaginable and is five times stiffer than steel. YES, five times! When talking to the builders at BGT, they haven’t met a putter they couldn’t install the shaft into.
- The shaft itself: A graphite shaft built to parallel .600″ all the way down (same diameter as the butt section of a standard shaft), which also means it won’t distort your favorite grip. Compiled of eight layers, strategically wrapped to exacting specs for straightness and stiffness. The builders and R&D team at BGT check EVERY SINGLE shaft for straightness once it arrives from their manufacturing facility (see below tool).
- The aluminum shaft insert: Developed through finite element analysis the insert is only 22g and is positioned to both reinforce the graphite at the exact spot of maximum potential deflection and further reduce any vibration to optimize feel.
All of these parts working together create the Stability Shaft.
Stability Shaft fitting and numbers
For all its testing and fitting BGT utilizes Quintic Ball Roll – the “Trackman of Putting.” With a high-speed camera shooting at 720 frames-per-second, it allows for a multitude of parameters including: face angle, face rotation, twist at impact, ball speed, club head speed, angle of attack, shaft lean, lie angle, low point, ball roll, spin, spin axis (side spin), skid and more. Below is a representation of my initial testing with my Ping ZB vs. the same putter built to the same specs with the Stability
Pre & Post Stability Number Comparisons
So what does it all really mean?
To quote my fitter Blair after initial testing, “those are some really good numbers there!” Now, to be fair, like I said before, this is a putter I was fit for (NOT using Quintic) BUT I have used the system extensively in the past and have conducted fittings for others using the system. Just like with a driver, it’s possible to optimize your putter for less skid and more/faster forward roll, with the right club and proper technique. Looking at the numbers, there are few things that stand out including an improvement on all key performance factors.
Ball Speed Range (distance control) dropped. Being able to control distance is an important factor in making more putts. The numbers don’t, at first glance, appear to be enormous, but if you think about the time spent trying to “max” out a driver getting more consistent results, when you break down the actual numbers is a just below 18 percent. On a putt over 15 feet, that could mean catching an edge or missing high or low on the break. If there is one thing I struggle with during a round of golf, it’s distance control and having the numbers to prove that the Stability helps with that was a big confidence boost.
My ability to return the putter to square. The reason the data appears to show the opposite is because, like many, I have an aim bias (I knew I had it before the fitting), and Blair quickly identified during the fitting process. From Blair: “The steel putter face angle was closer to “square” but if you add the concept that we identified about a one-inch right aim bias the Stability Shaft actually returned the face closer to the line at the point of impact.” Armed with the knowledge of my aim bias, and equipped with the new tools, setting up on line becomes easier, and as a result, will help improve my mid-length putts – that valuable 15-foot range. One extra made putt per round adds up quickly.
Impact Ratio. This is the smash factor of putting and it was another piece of the puzzle that was improved during the fitting: 20 percent to be exact (from a 0.50 range to a 0.40 range). As the impact ratio shrinks, range shrinks, then putts and distance control from all distances continue to get more consistent. These percentages are a big jump from changing one component of a golf club, and as I will get to, these percentage improvements are starting to add up.
Zero Skid Length. This metric is just like what it sounds like. The length at which zero skid occurs and the ball starts to roll forward. With steel, I reached zero skid at an average of 20.5,” and with the Stability, the average was 19.17″ AND the range went from 8′ to 5′. Again, another drastic improvement in the statistical advantage.
These are all significant improvements with a putter that I was already putting well with. What’s even more interesting is that when BGT was testing higher / mid handicap players the numbers improve at an even fast rate. The below data demonstrates the improvement in the ability to return the face to square before after having the Stability installed.
So how do BGT and the Stability Shaft help you become a better putter?
Let’s forget putting for a moment (bet you didn’t expect that statement, right?) and let’s talk about performance improvements and what we can do when presented with data and a problem. It’s called the “The Aggregation of Marginal Gains” and it was pioneered by Sir David Brailsford the British cycling coach, MBA, and holder or a degree in Sports Science & Phycology. The theory states “The idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike and then improved it by 1 percent, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together” (great interview here from the Harvard Business Review).
Under David’s coaching, starting in 2002 the British Cycling team — a country with only a single gold medal to speak of in over 75 years of competition, won seven out of an available 10 gold medals in track cycling during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Four years later they matched this success again at the London Olympics! Many other coaches in varying sports have adopted this philosophy with proven success.
BOOM, There you have it! The entire ethos of what the Stability Shaft can do for you and your putting. It’s not about 10 putts on a practice green, and it’s not about the first round you put it into play — it’s about the long-term effects of getting more consistent and measurable results over and over. Just a small sample size of data provided by Quintic proved this for me and extrapolated over the course of a year’s worth of golf is going to add up to some very interesting results, which I am excited to follow up on as the season progresses.
As a golfer focused on performance, and someone that puts a premium on using the right equipment, I never put a new piece of gear into my bag unless I know without a doubt it’s going to be better. Whether it be trying a new grip to changing the hosel setting on a fairway wood, I need to see proof of better. After going through my fitting with Blair at BGT headquarters, having my putter re-shafted and retesting on the Quintic system the Stability PROVES it’s better for me, and I believe that it can prove to be better for you.
Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 BMW Championship
Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 60TX
3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX
5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2 Tour Spec X
Irons: Titleist T100 (4-iron), Titleist 718 MB (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Scotty Cameron X5
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord
Forum Thread of the Day: “Best ball for players with slower swing speeds?”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from ghoul31 who created a thread dedicated to finding the ideal golf ball for players with slower swing speeds. Our members have their say on what is the ball most suited to slower swing speeds, with a variety of models receiving a mention.
Here are a few posts from the thread but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.
- Hogan9: “My SS is 80 to 85. I play the Titleist AVX. Many people on these forums tell it’s wrong for me. I’ve tried several brands and types over the last year ( Pro-V-1 and 1X, Cally Supersoft and Chrome Soft, TM TP5X, Wilson Duo Soft and the Snell MTB. The AVX gives me the best overall performance for my game. I’ve had to slightly adjust to how it reacts on chips and pitches, but the extra distance off the tee is well worth it. “
- North Butte: “Maybe 90mph driver swing on a good day. Driver 205-ish hit 6-iron from 150. Pro V1x but I have played AVX, B330, TP5 with pretty much similar results to my favorite V1x. Also played the Chrome Soft for a while but it seemed to fly a little low and sometimes have trouble holding greens (or maybe I just didn’t give it a long enough chance to know for sure).”
- Hat Trick: “Pro V1X – Spin and higher launch keeps it in the air longer, but at the same time that spin holds the greens – SS 96-98 mph.”
- Kmac: “My SS is right around 95-100, and I find the QST to the perfect for my game. I will also play the AVX or Chrome Soft Truvis. But for the money, nothing beats the QST.”
Forum Thread of the Day: “Single length irons stunting development?”
Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from rbark11 who has sparked an interesting debate over single length irons in our forums. Rbark11 has been playing single length irons for the past seven months, and he is concerned that he may have issues changing back to regular length irons. Our members give their take on the matter, as well as discussing single length irons in general.
Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.
- mcs4: “No, it will not. Both my father and I are currently playing Cobra One Length irons after decades of playing variable length irons. It took both of us maybe a few rounds to feel comfortable with the switch. This weekend I played a round with my old irons, and it was different but not a big deal. My opinion is that there are pros and cons with each approach, but I don’t think picking one will make any particular negative impact on your ability to later switch to the other.”
- Quadra: “I’ve played both. Right now I am back to VL clubs ( Wishon 560 irons). Find VL gives me more shot-making options. With uneven lies, especially with the ball above or below foot level, the shot seems easier with a more upright or flatter lie, rather than trying to manipulate a shot from clubs with only a single length/lie. VL = more shot possibilities.”
- Aucaveman: “I played Cobra ftbo for a year. Shot my best scores ever. Our club switched to Mizuno exclusively, so I had my first real fitting. I switched to the 919 forged and had to sell the Cobras to fund the mizunos. Really wished I hadn’t. I really liked the Cobras. The shafts in the Mizuno’s are better suited for me but had I put the same shafts in the Cobras; I’d prob been better off. At some point, I’ll prob do it and go back to one lengths. I was perusing eBay yesterday actually.”
- Brandons68: “I think that the consistency you gain from SL irons is pretty great. I have not played them personally, but have talked to several people that have, and they really like the feel of the irons and the fact that they swing every iron the same because they are all the same length.”
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