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International Flex Code Ratings...can someone please explain?


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#1 SteveL1

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:26 PM

I've been studying a bunch of data on the high end driver shafts lately and I'm getting more confused the more I look. Can someone please explain how two totaly different playing shafts can have the same flex rating? As an example:

Miyazaki Kusala Blue 70g stiff has a rating of 5544
Project X 6.0 also has a rating of 5544

The Kusala is rated as a mid launch shaft with a 3.3 torque and the PX has a rating of mid-high launch and torque of 3.7. Why do they have the  same flex code?

And to add more confusion, all of the shafts below are rated stiff in the 70g range and claim to be mid launch, low spin shafts:

Dromos  5534 3.2 torque
Miyazaki Blue  5544 3.3 torque
Kai' li 70  5545 2.8 torque
AD DI-6   6547 3.1 torque
RIP 60  4565  3.1 torque

How on earth can a person make any kind of guess on which will fit there game the best from just looking at the IFC #'s? And no, I do not have the luxury of having a place to go try all of these out on a monitor.


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#2 jaskanski

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:42 PM

Simply put...
International Flex Code is the invention of Miyazaki shafts http://www.miyazakig...om/#/philosophy with the 4 digit number relating to each part of the shaft - butt, mid-butt, mid-tip and tip. Each digit of the code corresponds to the relative stiffness on each part of the shaft - 9 being xx stiff and 1 being something around ladies or seniors flex.
And therein lies the problem.
It's one manufacturers interpretation on what is flexible or stiff based on a rating of 0-9. It could be no different to using colours of the rainbow, or dare I say it, the terms "regular" and "stiff". Without a quantifiable measuring process used to ascertain flex, frequency and the like, it remains a PR tool to Miyazaki. It doesn't give the end user any idea whatsoever how shafts will play compared to next in real life - let alone on how they will feel.
Hence the IFC is about as much use as the "older" R,S and X etc. along with the equally baffling torque rating.

#3 JCAG

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:49 PM

As said. There are no industry standards. Over the years there have been attempts but generally the marketing types step in and stop the engineering types from doing so. Marketing types want flashy slogans, etc., not apples to apples comparisions.

#4 serveitup911

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:55 PM

Miyazaki IS standardizing shaft flex.  Would it be more accurate if they used a 0-100 scale instead of a 0-9 scale?  Yes.  Would it be more accurate if they measured 100 points along the shaft instead of 4 points?  Yes.  With that being said, I think the flex code ratings are very useful to get general playing characteristics of shafts.

#5 jaskanski

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:00 PM

I should also mention there are separate codes for bending profile and torsional profile. So....good old flex category and torque figure it is then.


#6 jaskanski

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:03 PM

View Postserveitup911, on 02 October 2011 - 12:55 PM, said:

Miyazaki IS standardizing shaft flex.  Would it be more accurate if they used a 0-100 scale instead of a 0-9 scale?  Yes.  Would it be more accurate if they measured 100 points along the shaft instead of 4 points?  Yes.  With that being said, I think the flex code ratings are very useful to get general playing characteristics of shafts.

Good luck with that Miyazaki  :russian_roulette:. The day one OEM dictates how another OEM should categorize their shafts is a long way off - probably it will never happen. But in the meantime, if Miyazaki would like to furnish us all with how they measure the flex and torsional stability of their OWN shafts, I'm all ears.

Edited by jaskanski, 02 October 2011 - 01:01 PM.


#7 melo

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:03 PM

View Postjaskanski, on 02 October 2011 - 12:42 PM, said:

Simply put...
International Flex Code is the invention of Miyazaki shafts http://www.miyazakig...om/#/philosophy with the 4 digit number relating to each part of the shaft - butt, mid-butt, mid-tip and tip. Each digit of the code corresponds to the relative stiffness on each part of the shaft - 9 being xx stiff and 1 being something around ladies or seniors flex.
And therein lies the problem.
It's one manufacturers interpretation on what is flexible or stiff based on a rating of 0-9. It could be no different to using colours of the rainbow, or dare I say it, the terms "regular" and "stiff". Without a quantifiable measuring process used to ascertain flex, frequency and the like, it remains a PR tool to Miyazaki. It doesn't give the end user any idea whatsoever how shafts will play compared to next in real life - let alone on how they will feel.
Hence the IFC is about as much use as the "older" R,S and X etc. along with the equally baffling torque rating.

I tend to disagree. The Dromos, Kusala Blue, Ad di, and kai'li are 100% mid launch shafts, though to slightly varying degrees. If you look at the first 3 numbers of their bend profile you can see the similarities. The Rip I would consider to be mid-low. What everyone needs to keep in mind is that you also need the relative CPM's of each shaft to get an idea of how the shaft plays as a whole.


I think they bigger issue is that shaft companies continue to mis-market their equipment as High, Mid-high, etc when mostly these shafts are between low and mid. Miyazaki's flex code is 100% accurate for their shafts, black being very low launch and low spin, and everything else falling in line. Companies like GD that market the ad di as high launch are the ones who make it confusing. The ad di is not high launch, and the flex code bears that out. It is pretty low spin, as anything at 7 or above is going to be pretty darn stiff in the tip. but it's the overall profile of the shaft and the materials used that will determine the launch.

There was a thread done last month about high launch/low spin, in it there is a post at the end by someone who linked the information from golf-digest japan about launch angles and spin rates of most of the very high end shafts, those results correlate very well to the flex codes.

#8 jaskanski

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:15 PM

View Postmelo, on 02 October 2011 - 01:03 PM, said:

View Postjaskanski, on 02 October 2011 - 12:42 PM, said:

Simply put...
International Flex Code is the invention of Miyazaki shafts http://www.miyazakig...om/#/philosophy with the 4 digit number relating to each part of the shaft - butt, mid-butt, mid-tip and tip. Each digit of the code corresponds to the relative stiffness on each part of the shaft - 9 being xx stiff and 1 being something around ladies or seniors flex.
And therein lies the problem.
It's one manufacturers interpretation on what is flexible or stiff based on a rating of 0-9. It could be no different to using colours of the rainbow, or dare I say it, the terms "regular" and "stiff". Without a quantifiable measuring process used to ascertain flex, frequency and the like, it remains a PR tool to Miyazaki. It doesn't give the end user any idea whatsoever how shafts will play compared to next in real life - let alone on how they will feel.
Hence the IFC is about as much use as the "older" R,S and X etc. along with the equally baffling torque rating.

I tend to disagree. The Dromos, Kusala Blue, Ad di, and kai'li are 100% mid launch shafts, though to slightly varying degrees. If you look at the first 3 numbers of their bend profile you can see the similarities. The Rip I would consider to be mid-low. What everyone needs to keep in mind is that you also need the relative CPM's of each shaft to get an idea of how the shaft plays as a whole.


I think they bigger issue is that shaft companies continue to mis-market their equipment as High, Mid-high, etc when mostly these shafts are between low and mid. Miyazaki's flex code is 100% accurate for their shafts, black being very low launch and low spin, and everything else falling in line. Companies like GD that market the ad di as high launch are the ones who make it confusing. The ad di is not high launch, and the flex code bears that out. It is pretty low spin, as anything at 7 or above is going to be pretty darn stiff in the tip. but it's the overall profile of the shaft and the materials used that will determine the launch.

There was a thread done last month about high launch/low spin, in it there is a post at the end by someone who linked the information from golf-digest japan about launch angles and spin rates of most of the very high end shafts, those results correlate very well to the flex codes.

Nice post Melo and well put.
Ironically though, I think you've highlighted the exact problem with it. Terms like "I tend to disagree" and further "I would consider to be mid-low" are PRECISELY the same as what the shaft companies are doing. It is their opinion on how they feel their shaft stacks up against the competition. It has nothing to do with how the frequency or deflection angle has been measured on an internationally recognized machine or similar industry standard. Everybody has their own opinion on how a shaft performs and what it should be categorized as. Even when there is a general consensus of opinion on the performance characteristics of a particular shaft, it will still possibly feel totally different to one golfer to another.  It is basically one mans opinion against the other. Which is EXACTLY how this thread and ones like it tend to pan out.
But anyway - that's just my take on it......

#9 serveitup911

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:18 PM

View Postjaskanski, on 02 October 2011 - 01:03 PM, said:

View Postserveitup911, on 02 October 2011 - 12:55 PM, said:

Miyazaki IS standardizing shaft flex.  Would it be more accurate if they used a 0-100 scale instead of a 0-9 scale?  Yes.  Would it be more accurate if they measured 100 points along the shaft instead of 4 points?  Yes.  With that being said, I think the flex code ratings are very useful to get general playing characteristics of shafts.

Good luck with that Miyazaki  :russian_roulette:. The day one OEM dictates how another OEM should categorize their shafts is a long way off - probably it will never happen. But in the meantime, if Miyazaki would like to furnish us all with how they measure the flex and torsional stability of their OWN shafts, I'm all ears.

If you look at the custom shaft chart on Cleveland's website, they have measured many shafts under the universal 4 flex code.  It's very interesting to look at.

#10 jaskanski

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:22 PM

View Postserveitup911, on 02 October 2011 - 01:18 PM, said:

View Postjaskanski, on 02 October 2011 - 01:03 PM, said:

View Postserveitup911, on 02 October 2011 - 12:55 PM, said:

Miyazaki IS standardizing shaft flex.  Would it be more accurate if they used a 0-100 scale instead of a 0-9 scale?  Yes.  Would it be more accurate if they measured 100 points along the shaft instead of 4 points?  Yes.  With that being said, I think the flex code ratings are very useful to get general playing characteristics of shafts.

Good luck with that Miyazaki  :russian_roulette:. The day one OEM dictates how another OEM should categorize their shafts is a long way off - probably it will never happen. But in the meantime, if Miyazaki would like to furnish us all with how they measure the flex and torsional stability of their OWN shafts, I'm all ears.

If you look at the custom shaft chart on Cleveland's website, they have measured many shafts under the universal 4 flex code.  It's very interesting to look at.

But they are usually a bit coy about telling us HOW they measured each shaft.


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#11 melo

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:30 PM

View Postjaskanski, on 02 October 2011 - 01:15 PM, said:

View Postmelo, on 02 October 2011 - 01:03 PM, said:

View Postjaskanski, on 02 October 2011 - 12:42 PM, said:

Simply put...
International Flex Code is the invention of Miyazaki shafts http://www.miyazakig...om/#/philosophy with the 4 digit number relating to each part of the shaft - butt, mid-butt, mid-tip and tip. Each digit of the code corresponds to the relative stiffness on each part of the shaft - 9 being xx stiff and 1 being something around ladies or seniors flex.
And therein lies the problem.
It's one manufacturers interpretation on what is flexible or stiff based on a rating of 0-9. It could be no different to using colours of the rainbow, or dare I say it, the terms "regular" and "stiff". Without a quantifiable measuring process used to ascertain flex, frequency and the like, it remains a PR tool to Miyazaki. It doesn't give the end user any idea whatsoever how shafts will play compared to next in real life - let alone on how they will feel.
Hence the IFC is about as much use as the "older" R,S and X etc. along with the equally baffling torque rating.

I tend to disagree. The Dromos, Kusala Blue, Ad di, and kai'li are 100% mid launch shafts, though to slightly varying degrees. If you look at the first 3 numbers of their bend profile you can see the similarities. The Rip I would consider to be mid-low. What everyone needs to keep in mind is that you also need the relative CPM's of each shaft to get an idea of how the shaft plays as a whole.


I think they bigger issue is that shaft companies continue to mis-market their equipment as High, Mid-high, etc when mostly these shafts are between low and mid. Miyazaki's flex code is 100% accurate for their shafts, black being very low launch and low spin, and everything else falling in line. Companies like GD that market the ad di as high launch are the ones who make it confusing. The ad di is not high launch, and the flex code bears that out. It is pretty low spin, as anything at 7 or above is going to be pretty darn stiff in the tip. but it's the overall profile of the shaft and the materials used that will determine the launch.

There was a thread done last month about high launch/low spin, in it there is a post at the end by someone who linked the information from golf-digest japan about launch angles and spin rates of most of the very high end shafts, those results correlate very well to the flex codes.

Nice post Melo and well put.
Ironically though, I think you've highlighted the exact problem with it. Terms like "I tend to disagree" and further "I would consider to be mid-low" are PRECISELY the same as what the shaft companies are doing. It is their opinion on how they feel their shaft stacks up against the competition. It has nothing to do with how the frequency or deflection angle has been measured on an internationally recognized machine or similar industry standard. Everybody has their own opinion on how a shaft performs and what it should be categorized as. Even when there is a general consensus of opinion on the performance characteristics of a particular shaft, it will still possibly feel totally different to one golfer to another.  It is basically one mans opinion against the other. Which is EXACTLY how this thread and ones like it tend to pan out.
But anyway - that's just my take on it......

You are right in that regard, every shaft performs differently for different swings. I think the flex code can be handy for those people who do not have any way to test out certain shafts. I also think people need to pay close attention to the materials and manufacturing that goes into a shaft. For example the Kusala indigo and vs proto have the same flex code, but having hit both there is no way they perform the same. While there is a law of diminishing returns, the very expensive shafts are that expensive for a reason.

#12 Super Tuna

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:39 PM

What also gets missed in that report is they tell us part of how they tested each shaft to get the numbers. They are generate after having it installed on a TL310 head at 45 and 1/8th of an inch for a finished length then measure the 4 points and classify the general launch angle. If you stuck the same shaft in a different head it's possible to change the results. Stick the Radix in an older Cobra head and you'll have to manipulate the tip more then expect and no longer does the shaft play half a flex soft.

I like the cleveland chart better then the Titleist one, but while flex code can give you a good idea about how a shaft will play, it's not everything.

#13 finalist

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 03:12 PM

Right now it's the best universal system out. The shaft PDF on Cleveland's site uses the IFC on a number of shafts. Sure we don't know how they perform the testing, but it gives us a realitive  basis to compare shafts.
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