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2013 Best Shafts

by   |   March 5, 2013

600 best shafts

 One of our favorite subjects on GolfWRX is shafts. They’re very confusing to most people, but golfers who get fitted and know what works for them can get into a comfort zone on the course that can be the difference between a good shot and a great one.

We’ve already covered the latest launches for for drivers, fairway woodsirons and wedges. But golfers buying new or looking to dial in their old gear need to know about the hottest shafts that are hitting stores this year. You can click here to see what shafts the pros are playing in their equipment and also read through this article to find some inspiration prior to your fitting.

If you are one of those readers that are looking for a very deep dive into shaft facts we have a series of articles that are for you. One of our featured writers, Tom Wishon, a 40-year veteran of the golf equipment industry specializing in clubhead design, shaft performance analysis and clubfitting research and development. Tom served as a member of the Golf Digest Technical Advisory Panel, and has written several books on golf equipment including “The Search for the Perfect Golf Club” and “The Search for the Perfect Driver,” which were selected as back to back winners of the 2006 and 2007 Golf Book of the Year by the International Network of Golf (ING), the largest organization of golf industry media professionals in the USA. He wrote a three-part series exclusive to GolfWRX to educate golfers about shafts:

Part 1: Taking the Guesswork out of selecting a shaft
Part 2: Taking Shaft Fitting from Guessing to Specifics
Part 3: Facts about shafts — What they do

Now that you’ve learned what shafts do and don’t do, take a look at a few of the latest shafts that have impressed our forum members and our panel of elite custom fitters.

Click here to read the specifics on the voting committee and how we picked the best.

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UST Recoil Graphite Iron Shafts

The Recoil Iron shafts won our “Best in Show” for 2013. Mike Guerrette, vice president of brand development and Tour operations for UST Mamiya, said the reason why graphite shafts haven’t become popular with Tour players in their irons was because of a problem with their design. Click this link to read more about the Recoil Shafts. 

According to Guerette, graphite iron shafts of the past had walls that were too thick, which decreased ovaling and resulted in poor energy transfer. That resulted in less feel and less distance — two things that never go together on Tour.

UST’s new Recoil iron shafts are made with denser graphite fibers that allowed engineers to decrease wall thickness. Because the fibers are denser, the shafts can be made as heavy as 110 to 125 grams, the weight range that is preferred on Tour.

 Read Full Review

ust recoil

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Graphite Design’s new Tour AD GT Shaft

Graphite Design has added to its popular line of Tour AD shafts with the Tour AD GT, a softer version of the company’s low-spin, low-launch Tour AD BB shaft. 

The GT it a good choice for golfers who like the feel and performance of the BB (Click here to read our review of it) in their driver but want a shaft that gives them more spin and a higher launch with their fairway woods. The GT is available 50-, 60-, 70- and 80 gram weights and will retail for around $380.

 Read Full Review

graphite design shafts 2013

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Oban’s new ‘Kiyoshi White’ Shaft

Oban’s “Kiyoshi White” shaft is the latest edition to the company’s Kiyoshi family of shafts, offering a different bend profile and improved stability through a new design pattern.

Oban, a high-end golf shaft manufacturer based in Chicago, released the first member of the Kiyoshi family, the “Kiyoshi Purple,” in mid-2011. The purple-colored shaft uses Oban’s Emersion Wrapped Frequency Technology to offer golfers a product with a high-launch and low-spin in a wide weight range (45-to-85 grams and hybrid, L-X Flexes).

Oban’s “Kiyoshi Black” was released in early 2012. It uses the same technology, but the Black was designed with less torque and a stiffer butt section that gave it a medium-launch and low-spin. Like the Kiyoshi Black, the Kiyoshi White offers a mid-launch and low-spin. But a new design pattern that Oban calls “MultiPlex Design Technology” allowed it to be made with a softer butt section, which makes the shaft feel “more bendy,” especially at the top of a golfer’s swing.

 Read Full Review

oban shafts

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2013 KBS Custom Series Shafts!

In 2012, KBS Shafts launched their Custom Series, which offered three custom finishes to their popular KBS Tour line: White Pearl, Black Pearl and Silver Pearl.  This year, it looks like things will be a little different.

Here’s a sneak peek at the updated KBS Custom Series for 2013. It looks like we’re going to get a few more choices including a custom label color and laser engraving options (GolfWRX username on the shafts, anyone?). While options are increasing, the price is headed in the opposite direction. This year’s KBS Custom ‘base’ MSRP will be $40.95, down from $49.95. We’ll add more info on these as soon as we can.

 Read Full Review

kbs custom

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Fujikura Fuel Shafts

The Fujikura Fuel is a low-launch, low-spin shaft that uses special construction and a high kick point that the company says gives golfers a tighter dispersion and a softer feel than Fujikura’s previous low-launch, low-spin shafts.

Dustin Johnson used a 70-gram Tour Spec version of the shaft to win the PGA Tour’s season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions, giving the company tons of momentum heading into 2013.

Along with the standard Fuel shaft, which is available for $225 in a wide range of flexes and 50, 60 and 70-gram weights, the company has created a 60-gram version of the shaft Johnson used to win the Tournament of champions in stiff and x-stiff flexes.

 Read Full Review

fujikura feul

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Project X 95 Iron shaft for the masses

No longer are True Temper’s Project X iron shafts reserved for only elite players.

The new Project X 95 Flighted iron shafts are the lightest in the Project X family, weighing only 95 grams. They are also more playable than previous Project X models — the long irons have a softer tip to help golfers hit those clubs higher, while the short irons have stiffer tips to give golfers a more consistent flight with their scoring clubs.

 Read Full Review

project x 95 iron shaft

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Nippon New Modus iron shaft

Nippon’s latest iron shaft, the N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 130, is stiff in the butt and mid sections, but it has a softer tip section. “What that creates is a little bit of a higher, easy launch but then a lower, Tour-type spin to get the ball to go through the air in a more penetrating fashion,” Mark Pekarek, North American distributor for Nippon said.

This is the opposite construction of the company’s N.S. Pro Modus 3 Tour 120 shaft that debuted in 2012, which is about 10 grams lighter than the Tour 130. Usually, lighter weight shafts are designed to hit the ball higher than their heavier weight counterparts, but the Tour 120 has a stiff tip with softer mid and butt sections — a construction that actually results in a lower flight.

 Read Full Review

Nippon iron shafts 2013

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Matrix Shafts

Matrix has simplified its shaft offering for 2013 with three shafts that fit into three distinct categories.

New for this year are Matrix’s X3 “White Tie” shaft, which replaces the company’s popular XCON shafts, and the company’s Q3 “Red Tie” shaft, which replaces the HD Series shafts.

Last year, Matrix released its M3 “Black Tie” shaft, which replaced the company’s M2 series. It’s the lowest-launching, lowest-spinning shaft in the Matrix Flight System — the company’s portfolio of shaft characteristics.

The White Tie is on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Black Tie, offering golfers a high-launch with mid-to-high spin. Splitting the difference is the company’s Red Tie shaft, which offers a mid launch and mid spin. All three shafts carry an MSRP of $375.

 Read Full Review

matrix shafts

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True Temper re-releases the Grafalloy Blue shaft

Don Brown, product developed for True Temper, knows that the Grafalloy Blue shaft isn’t for all golfers. In fact, he even estimated about 80 percent of the golfers were not upset when it was discontinued in 2011.

But the 20 percent of golfers who fit into the Blue were a vocal minority. “We discontinued it a few years ago and we got inundated with phone calls, ‘I want a Blue. Where can I get a Blue?” Brown said.

Recently, True Temper decided to re-release its “cult favorite” shaft with some minor alterations. One obvious alteration is the color. It has been painted white instead of blue because of the color’s popularity, Brown said.

 Read Full Review

grafalloy blue

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Nunchuk’s xi graphite iron shaft

Nunchuk’s wood and hybrid shafts have already found the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour.

nVentix hopes to have the same success with its new graphite iron shaft, the Nunchuk xi, which debuted at the 2013 PGA Merchandise Show. The shaft has the same design theory has the company’s driver/fairway and hybrid shafts, as well as the same weight — about 104 grams. It’s available in both 0.355-inch and 0.370-inch models and will retail for $75 per shaft.

 Read Full Review

nunchuck shafts

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Click here to see the “Best of” winners for other club categories.

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GolfWRX is a leading source for news, information and resources for the connected golfer. It's staff, featured writers and members report on the latest golf news and how it inspires golfers around the world. GolfWRX’s 3.1 million monthly visits is the world's largest and best online golf community. It surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process with original photographic and video content, peer-to-peer advice, camaraderie, technical how-tos and more.


19 Comments

  1. Jeff Smith

    January 14, 2014 at 2:22 am

    I am in need of a wood shaft. Current g25 3 wood with stock stiff shaft. I like the stock shaft but just a little loose with some gnarly hooks if not careful. I don’t want to go too heavy as the specs show 68g and 3.2 torque I believe. Want something close maybe ust v2? Thanks

  2. golfinator57

    September 30, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    didn’t see aldila on the list. maybe they didn’t release new shafts for ’13. or could it be they just weren’t good enough to beat out the other great products?

  3. Gazza

    September 29, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    I am looking for a lightweight driver shaft with a high kickpoint , my driver swing speed is just over 90mph but I launch it high , any ideas guys ?

  4. Lilabner

    September 18, 2013 at 10:36 pm

    Project X black in my Ping G25 .

    Unbelievable! The dispersion is tight at 260-275 yards. I even got in some 283 and 284 drives. Best shaft I have ever hit. I’m 57, 5’6″, 158 lbs. I can play with the long hitters now. I may be a 10.1 handicap and am convinced, it will help me achieve a lower handicap.

    Not bad as I bought it on line for $125.

    The funny thing is my pro at my club had told me I probably wouldn’t like the new shaft because the stock shaft was tuned to the head. To me, statics backed, the “black” is tuned to me and the head….in one round, 250, 284, 283, 245, 261, 260 and 241. The 245 and 241 were hit thin.

  5. Todd

    July 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Did not see the aerotech steel fiber shafts on here. Of course shafts are all personal preference, but the steelfibers are pretty incredible. Kuchar and Snedeker use them and Freddy is trying them.

    Just wondering if anyone on here had reviewed them or tested them. I tried them back in March and April here in Michigan when it was cold and I immediately put them in all of my irons.

    For those not familiar, they are a great shaft. They are graphite wrapped in steel thinner than a human hair. So they have the vibration-dampening effect of graphite and the consistency of steel. I put the 110 gram shafts in my irons, and they have a high kickpoint, which I love because it keeps the trajectory from ballooning, which is common with most graphite shafts, but these are great and they spin well.

    Again, just wondering if anyone had reviewed or tried them.

    • Sean

      September 7, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      @Todd–

      I’m wrapping up a review I’ve written for my own golf community as well as for print. I can’t produce much of it here right now but can say the shafts have been, for me, a revelation. They’re incredible. The days of steel are indeed numbered.

      I’ve recently committed to coupling a set of i95s with a fantastic and little-known set of heads I’ve been tracking during development for the last two years (an amazing story unto itself). The configuration is drool-worthy.

      It’s my job to look at all the options so I have a frame of reference. If it wasn’t, I can say–without any form of compensation from Aerotech–that I would play these for years without feeling a need to look further.

      I feel obligated to add that, while I appreciate the site and view these forums as some of the most intelligent in golf, I’ve got to call GolfWRX out on two things:

      First, allowing “Anonymous” panel members blows a huge hole in credibility and does a major disservice to this community.

      Worse, while there are a lot of options, the Steel Fiber shafts are the proven top composite performers on tour. They turned in the best performance of all composites in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

      So far this year, according to this week’s tally (from Aerotech/not yet fact-checked) and following a 4th and 8th finish at the Deutsche Bank and 2nd/10th at the Shaw Charity Classic, Steel Fiber iron shafts are:

      * No. 2 and No. 3 in the FedEx Cup Season Points
      • No. 4 in FedEx Cup Playoff Points
      • No. 2 and No. 4 on the PGA TOUR Money List
      • No. 7 and No. 8 in official world rankings
      • Tied for No. 2 in Top 10 finishes on the PGA TOUR
      • 5 wins on the PGA Tour; 1 win on the Champions Tour

      Publishing a “Best of” composite shaft story here that doesn’t include Aerotech defies explanation and raises a lot of questions.

  6. Dan

    July 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    I think its very interesting that i just read an article on GolfWRX ripping Callaway for Its “Longest Driver” campaign using specs from Tour golfers, how misleading it is and yet the majority of this article is about what the Tour offerings are.

    Honestly, I dont care what the pros play. My 8 HCP and 95MPH swing arent even the same sport that these guys are playing. At least split up the article for a Pro’s/Joe’s split.

    Best shafts? Best for who?

  7. Mark Gilray

    June 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I bought the 2012 Cobra AMP driver – great driver unfortunately launched too high with the stock RIP stiff shaft SS about 110 -115mph. I got a great club fitter to pull a fubuki stiff shaft out of my Callway FT Square Driver 2009 version – Best move ever – Low Spin driver, great results!! Total cost £25.00 about $35.00.

  8. Curt

    May 22, 2013 at 9:18 am

    I understand what the “commoners” are arguing here, but come on, most people want the “best of the best” regardless of price. Most people have figured out how to get the “best of the best” from a pull for $100-$150 from the BST or ebay. So, Rock-on GolfWRX, most people do not care to hear about the $50 – $100 shafts………………………..

  9. Dugan

    May 20, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    I hope golfwrx dont go the same route as golf digest, only test the big name equip. Then throw one or two lesser known companies in. Agree with richie, you guys should do a test on shafts from $50- $150. That would be great!

  10. justin

    May 19, 2013 at 11:29 am

    They posted a review on the “best” shafts on the market, not the review for the best performance for your money. I understand where you guys are coming from though.

  11. Lee

    May 9, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Totally agree with Richie how about a review of shafts that are in the price range of the masses and frankly in performance are not greatly different in the majority of hands. I play a 2012 Rocketballz 9 degree Tour driver with the standard stiff shaft cut to 44.5 inches after an hour with the fitter on the flight scope etc his conclusion was that I wasn’t going to get much better without sourcing a $1000+ Japanese Tour shaft, decision made.

  12. Richie Burke

    May 8, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I see all the expensive shafts you have here, but how do they expect the reg. player to spend $300 for a driver with a bad stock shaft to then upgrade & buy a $200 or $300 shaft. Then in 2 years go to trade it in because there have 4 new modlels od that driver out which offer longer distane & straigther drives & get a $75 buy back on that outdated club.
    Maybe you will find this amusing was at the range & a guy was testing the new R1 with 3 different shafts all priced about $200 -$300 each he was writing a review on the club & give the driver & 3 shafts for free for his review, well I watched him hit 30 balls with all different setting & all three shafts then I asked him to try mine a Ping G15 with UST v2 shaft no settings a shaft I installed my self for a cost of $60 & he hit it as well or better than all the fancy & $$$$ costly stuff he had Took 2 looks at my shaft & said “Boy this is a great setup you got a winner here” So the bottom line for us working stiffs who can’t pay $500 or $600 for a driver & shaft how about you do a review using what the average player can afford.
    thanks
    richie

  13. Benz Petprasert

    April 28, 2013 at 10:36 am

    how come Accra shafts are not on the list?

    • GolfWRX

      May 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

      I cant remember seeing them as a possibility during the tally.
      FYI… There is a real world objective process. The 6 clubfitters that fit over 500 players a month each have weighed in and formed an opinion that lead to the “Best of”. You can see how and who voted…

      http://www.golfwrx.com/reviews/best-of-awards-and-the-inside-scoop/

      • Joe Moravick

        May 15, 2013 at 9:51 pm

        you claim that each of these clubfitters fit 500 players each in one months time. For me that is hard to believe. That mean each of these 6 clubfitters do 16.6 fittings per day for 30 days. If they are doing fittings that quick I would not go to these fitters.
        Just my opinion

        • Travis

          July 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm

          I think he’s saying that combined, the 6 fitters fit 500/month which would be 2-3 fittings per day

  14. Greer

    April 25, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    i have Hit all the above shafts.
    KBS Tour best iron shaft for me, but very surprised the UST line did not show up for woods.
    It might not be the high dollar shaft that golfers for some reason want to pay for, but the ProForce V2 out performed all the other big name shafts I have hit this years.
    Sorry a 400.00+ shaft might work for the Jones’ but the ProForce V2 is just fine for use common scratch golfers.

  15. Matt

    April 7, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Any feedback from wrx ers about the fuji fuel??

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