Connect with us

Reviews

Review: KBS Tour FLT Shafts

Published

on

Pros: FLT shafts use a flighted design, which helps golfers launch their long irons higher and with more spin. The FLT short-iron shafts provide a more penetrating trajectory for more control.

Cons: FLT shaft flexes correspond with weight, so golfers may not be able to match their desired shaft weight with their desired flex.

Who They’re For: Golfers who need more spin or more launch from their long irons to optimize their trajectory. Everyone from beginners to PGA Tour players can use the shafts effectively, but they’ll be most popular with golfers with moderate-to-slow swing speeds, or any golfer who generates low-spin launch conditions.

Overview

Selecting the proper iron shafts is one of the most important equipment decisions golfers make. It’s an issue of quantity. Most golfers carry about 7-8 irons in their bag, so if they choose the wrong iron shaft, they’ve made the game harder than it needs to be with half or more of their clubs.

The good news is that there’s a wider selection of quality iron shafts than there has ever been, with recent growth in models that are designed to help golfers hit their iron shots higher and farther, while still maintaining PGA Tour-quality consistency and feel.

KBS is one of the leading steel shaft manufacturers, and already offered a wide variety of models prior to its newest shaft launch. Company representatives felt KBS was lacking a product for a particular segment of golfers, however, so it developed its new FLT shafts.

KBS_FLT

FLT shafts ($31.95 each) have a flighted design, which helps certain golfers optimize the performance of each iron their bag. The long irons shafts have progressively softer tip sections, which helps golfers increase their launch angle and spin rates with those clubs. For the right golfer, the design will help them hit their iron shots farther, and stop shots on the green more quickly. In the short irons, where height and spin are easier for golfers to generate, the FLT shafts are stiffer, which creates the flatter trajectory most golfers prefer with their scoring clubs. The crossover point between the higher-launching long irons and lower-launching short irons is the 7 iron.

Like all KBS shafts, FLT models have a constant weight, which means that long iron shafts and short iron shafts will be roughly the same weight through the set. Shaft weight is dependent on flex, however, as softer-flex models are lighter than stiffer-flex models. So if you’re looking for a really heavy, regular-flex shaft or a really light, extra-stiff-flex shaft, these aren’t for you.

FLT Specs

KBS_FLT_Shaft_Specs

Keep in mind that KBS shafts do not have reinforced tip sections like many other iron shafts, which gives them a slightly higher balance point and can decrease swing weight by 1-2 points. I personally like the feel of KBS shafts and their slightly higher balance point, but some golfers won’t.

The Test

For this review, I tested the new FLT shafts head to head against KBS Tour shafts of the same flex and weight (130X) in 4 irons, 6 irons and pitching wedges. Each of the shafts were installed in Callaway’s Apex Pro ’16 irons, and were built to my specifications (standard grips, standard length, 1-degree strong lofts, 1-degree flat lie angles).

KBSTour130Shafts

I performed my testing at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where I hit the 4 irons, 6 irons and pitching wedges on Trackman IV with premium golf balls. I hit 3-6 solid shots with each iron, and then removed the outliers from the final data in an attempt to compare only the most similar strikes. Results were normalized.

As you can see from the data, there was a significant difference in the flight of the 4 irons with the two different shafts, but less of a difference with the 6 irons and pitching wedges.

Apex_Pro_Test_heads

As expected, the FLT shafts caused 4 iron shots to launch higher (0.8 degrees) and with more spin (729 rpm) than the KBS Tour shafts. I’m not a low-spin player, which is one of the target audiences for this shaft, so the added launch and spin of the FLT shafts caused my 4 iron shots to fly shorter. Golfers who launch their irons too low or with too little spin, however, will likely see a distance increase when using the FLT shafts.

As I moved closer to the short end of the set, the two shafts started to perform more similarly. Theoretically, the 6 iron shots with the FLT shafts should have launched slightly higher and spun more than 6 iron shots with the KBS Tour shafts, but I actually saw a slightly lower launch angle (0.5 degrees) with the FLT. The spin was higher, though, by 211 rpm. With the pitching wedges, the results were again quite similar. The FLT launched 0.9 degrees higher, but actually spun 271 rpm less than the KBS Tour shafts.

Takeaways

KBS_Tour_KBS_FLT

Stepping back from the numbers, I was impressed with how similar the feel was between the KBS Tour and FLT shafts. Yes, I could feel that the FLT shafts were more active in the tip with the 4 irons, but they felt nearly the same in the 6 irons. By the time I got to the pitching wedges, the two shafts were indistinguishable. The KBS Tour is considered one of the better-feeling iron shafts currently available, so KBS’ ability to replicate that feel in the FLT will be a plus for the majority of interested golfers.

Looking more broadly, trends in shaft design tends to go hand-in-hand with trends in club head design, and the FLT shafts are no exception. Equipment manufacturers continue to strengthen the lofts of their distance irons; they have to in order balance the launch equation, as their faster ball speeds create a higher launch angle and more spin.

While the improvements to iron design have allowed golfers to hit their mid and short irons farther, many golfers continue to struggle to hit their long irons high enough or consistently enough for them to be effective. And based on my testing results, it’s clear that the FLT shafts can make long irons more playable for certain golfers, and maybe even keep long irons in a golfer’s bag that might otherwise be kicked out for higher-flying hybrids or fairway woods.

As always, I recommend that golfers get properly fit for iron shafts, which means visiting a reputable club fitter in your area. So if you’re in the market for new irons or iron shafts, you can get started by going through KBS’ Online Fit System, which upon completion lists KBS-certified dealers in your area.

Your Reaction?
  • 100
  • LEGIT12
  • WOW6
  • LOL6
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP3
  • OB4
  • SHANK22

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. 300 Yard Pro

    Jun 27, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    KBS are yesterdays news.

  2. Canadian Smizzle

    Jun 26, 2016 at 10:11 am

    I use a set of flighted shafts (project x). And i love them. Definetely helps my 4i get up more. I always hit a low ball so i like the extra launch and spin.

  3. Jim

    Jun 26, 2016 at 7:52 am

    So basically the same what a joke.

    • Scotty Johnson

      Jun 26, 2016 at 9:02 am

      How is it a joke? Seems logical….updated version of the old rifle flighted…..instead of decending weight it’s constant weight. With KBS signature feel a stability and step pattern…And I’m sure the bent tip jokes will be coming at some point. But I’ve enjoyed the set I have especially with my PXG irons.

      • Jim

        Jun 27, 2016 at 7:12 am

        Look at the real life numbers for the 6 iron and pw.6 iron was meant to go higher and pw lower but both didnt.
        Thats why its a joke.

        • Scotty Johnson

          Jun 27, 2016 at 11:31 am

          From the description it’s designed for people who have issues launching the ball with longer irons and lower with the shorter irons. Obviously the writer isn’t the target audience and stated that. So your ignorance is the joke and why it’s important to get fit. Instead of being a know it all like yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Accessory Reviews

Insider photos from Tiger Woods’ launch event for his new “Sun Day Red” apparel line

Published

on

On Monday evening, inside the swanky, second-story “Coach House” event center in the Palisades Village, just minutes down the road from the 2024 Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club, Tiger Woods and TaylorMade officially announced their new apparel/footwear/accessory line, called “Sun Day Red.”

The Sun Day Red website officially launched on Monday night during the event, and the products are set to go on sale starting May 1.

The “Sun Day Red,” or “SDR” name will be self-explanatory for most golf fans, since he’s been wearing a victory-red shirt on Sunday’s for his entire professional career, but Woods explained the meaning of Sun Day Red at the launch event:

“It started with mom. Mom thought – being a Capricorn – that my power color was red, so I wore red as a junior golfer and I won some tournaments. Lo and behold, I go to a university that is red; Stanford is red. We wore red on the final day of every single tournament, and then every single tournament I’ve played as a professional I’ve worn red. It’s just become synonymous with me.”

The Sunday Red outfit has worked to perfection for his 82 PGA Tour victories, including 15 majors, so why not make an entire apparel line based on the career-long superstition?

As I learned at Monday’s launch event, the new Sun Day Red line includes much more than just clothing. To go along with a slew of different golf shirt designs and colorways, there were also windbreakers, hoodies, shoes, hats, headcovers, ball markers and gloves on display.

The upscale event was hosted by sports media personality Erin Andrews, with special guests David Abeles (CEO of TaylorMade) and Tiger Woods himself.

As explained by Abeles, the Sun Day Red brand is an independently-run business under the TaylorMade umbrella, and is based in San Clemente, California (rather than Carlsbad, where TaylorMade headquarters is located), and it’s run by a newly-formed, independent group. Brad Blackinship, formerly of Quiksilver and RVCA, is the appointed president of the new brand.

As for the logo itself, obviously, it’s made to look like a Tiger (the animal), and is comprised of 15 tiger stripes, which correspond with Woods’ 15 major championships. While the logo may need a 16th stripe if Woods adds a major trophy to his collection, it makes perfect sense for the time being.

The golf/lifestyle line is meant to combine premium precision and athletic comfort, while still having plenty of wearability and style off the course. Like Woods said on stage at the event, he wants to be able to go right from the course to dinner wearing Sun Day Red, and that was exactly the aesthetic on display at the event on Monday.

Following the official announcement from Woods and Abeles, they revealed multiple pieces of clothing, accessories and footwear for the event-goers to ogle (and photograph). Check out a selection of product/event photos below, or head over to our @GolfWRX Instagram page for video coverage…OR, head into our GolfWRX Forums for even more photos and member discussion.

Enjoy this exclusive look at Tiger Woods’ new Sun Day Red apparel lineup below.

See more photos from the Sun Day Red launch event here

Your Reaction?
  • 114
  • LEGIT19
  • WOW17
  • LOL7
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP16
  • OB4
  • SHANK77

Continue Reading

Equipment

Titleist launches new Vokey WedgeWorks 60 “A” grind wedge

Published

on

The menu of grind options just got more expansive for Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks consumers, with the addition of a “60A” wedge to the lineup.

Previously, Vokey offered seven main grind options for players with various needs:

  1. T Grind: The narrowest sole option, which is widely used by PGA Tour players, and has low bounce
  2. L Grind: The lowest bounce option, with heel, toe and trailing edge relief for maximum versatility
  3. F Grind: An all-purpose grind that’s best for full wedge shots played with a square face
  4. S Grind: A neutral grind, best for full shots played with a square face
  5. M Grind: A versatile grind that’s for players who want to open and close the face for various shots
  6. D Grind: A higher-bounce wedge that’s for players with a steep swing angle, but want to play shots from various club orientations
  7. K Grind: The highest-bounce wedge option, with heel, toe and trailing edge relief for versatility

Titleist has now added the “A” grind, which has actually already been played on the PGA Tour by golfers such as Tom Kim, who used an A-grind to win three times on the PGA Tour, Wyndham Clark, who won the U.S. Open using an A-grind, and Max Homa, who used an A-grind at the 2023 Open Championship.

According to Titleist, the Vokey WedgeWorks 60A wedge is a low-bounce option that’s for golfers with a shallow angle of attack, and who play in firmer conditions. It has a “smoothed-out” sole for a faster feel through the turf, helping some golfers slide under the ball easier at impact.

“The most important club for me, probably in my bag, is this A grind,” Clark said, according to a Titleist press release. “I use the SM9 60-degree A grind, which is a low bounce 60 that is very versatile. I’m able to – on tight lies, rough, wet lies, firm lies, whatever it is – hit the shot I want, and with the amount of spin I want, trajectory and everything.”  

Apparently, Geoff Ogilvy played a large part in the A-grind coming to life.

“I spoke with Geoff (Ogilvy), and we got on the topic of Australian golf courses and how they compared to courses in America, and around the world,” said Vokey Tour Rep Aaron Dill, in a press release. “I asked him some specific questions, which resulted in an idea to design another lob wedge grind option that complemented the firm links-style conditions that players face – not just in Australia and Europe – but globally. Geoff has always been a low bounce player in his 60-degree, so I took his 60.04L wedge and removed the ribbon, resulting in a grind that moves through the turf quickly with very little resistance.” 

The new Vokey A-grind will be available on Nov. 7, selling for $225 each. Custom options include up to six toe engravings, 10-15 character stamping options, the Flight Line alignment feature option, and custom shafts/grips/ferrules are available.

Click here to read more about why the bounce/grind of your wedge actually matters

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by GolfWRX (@golfwrx)

Your Reaction?
  • 30
  • LEGIT6
  • WOW2
  • LOL0
  • IDHT3
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

Equipment

GolfWRXers put the Full Swing KIT’s accuracy to the test

Published

on

Last month, four GolfWRX forum members traveled to The Grand Golf Club at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California, to test the Full Swing KIT launch monitor and to see how it stacks up against other launch monitors. If you’re not familiar with the Full Swing KIT, development began when Tiger Woods requested a launch monitor he could trust on the range as much as he trusted his Full Swing simulator in his own home. Later, the KIT earned Tiger’s seal of approval and has been seen with him at every tournament he’s played in since its release.

Check out the video below to see if the KIT can earn the seal of approval from our four WRXers — @zap311, @double or triple?, @hatrick11, and @SwingBlues — just like it did from Tiger Woods himself.

GolfWRX members on the KIT’s accuracy

zap311: “The Full Swing team seems obsessed with accuracy when it comes to the KIT – The team talked about how this product officially shipped about 18 months ago and they are already on firmware release #20. They said they are regularly releasing updates (overnight via WiFi) to continuously improve accuracy and performance. That is pretty awesome and it’s nice to hear that they are not a company that “ships it” and moves to the next thing. I think they are on the right track since I saw virtually no differences in the data when testing vs. GCQuad and Trackman today.”

double or triple?: “In some cases the difference was less than half a degree on launch and less than 50 rpms on spin.”

hatrick11: “The differences were statistically nonexistent. I think it’s hard to believe for a lot of people when you think about the huge price disparity, but I can’t state enough how close the Full Swing was to trackman every single time, for each of us.”

“Outside, the data is just really really accurate. I know my numbers and know this particular range very well and the KIT was spot on all day. I also had some very variable quality golf balls in the bucket I hit and there was really only one spin rate in the whole session that had me raising my eyebrows at all.”

SwingBlues: “The GolfWRX Full Swing/WRX Experience showed Full Swing KIT produce numbers the same as the GC Quad (GC4) and the Trackman4. Dollar wise, both LMs are easily north of KIT, so this is HUGE to stand up there with the bigger boys on the Podium. For me, it seems more “apples to apples” to compare KIT to GC3. My own testing validates what we saw at the Experience. It shows critical data points like spin, carry, ball speeds are dead on or almost dead on for 40 yards and up on both GC3 and KIT.”

More on the Full Swing KIT

zap311: “The versatility of viewing data is impressive – Depending on usage, everyone has different preferences for viewing data. You have on-device, phone, tablet, monitor, smartwatch, or audio/headphones. I’m pleased to say that Full Swing covers all of these. You can use the app on iOS devices (they said Android is planned for the future). This includes viewing your last shot on the Apple Watch with a few options and turning on audio playback of your preferred metrics following each shot. I’ll post screenshots of this later. You can also choose between 4 data points or 1 data point on the device itself. It was easy to use the app to customize the top 4. For example, I was able to quickly change from launch angle on irons to swing path on driver.

“The KIT was very easy to use – Once you spend a few minutes learning the app and settings, it is very simple to select a club, line up the target line, and fire away. You don’t have to use a level or a laser to line up. KIT uses the built-in camera to tell you where to line up within the app or on-device screen. I was also able to boot up the KIT in less than a minute and drop it down on the tee box for our on-course trial today. Because of this simplicity, I can see it being more practical to bring to the course…

“The Full Swing team really thought through usability for the KIT. You can see up to four data points on the device’s OLED screen. You can see all 16 data points on your iPhone/iPad along with a video replay of the shot, you can view one primary metric from your Apple Watch, and you can enable audio playback for any of the 16 data points. For me, this was a dream as a full iOS user. One other feature I like is that you can star a particular shot to save it. You can also send shot data + the video recording to your coach if you want.”

double or triple?: “I was able to meet the teaching pro at the range I’m using for testing – PGA teacher/member Ryan Kolk. He and his team have 4 units amongst themselves and use them both personally and with their students during lessons. Ryan spent time dialing in his knowledge of the range balls vs proV1x (gamer) to better understand the FSK and he believes the consistency is there with the FSK and within trackman and GC/Foresight models. His preference is to use FSK while testing shafts and new product before using them in his personal playing bag which as a GolfWRX member is 100% appreciated. For his better students, he believes the information like Face to Path and Club Path that FullSwing Kit offers is great to help them understand what their swing is doing and use that information to better themselves.”

hatrick11: “It’s nice to know I can get super useful practice sessions in at my house, and can do in in ~20 min stints; with two little kids at home I can’t just go out for frequent or lengthy range sessions, so this is super valuable and I think will help me keep my game from degrading and allow me to spend my limited free time enjoying the occasional round with friends. In particular with the KIT, as opposed to the cheaper monitors or the other “mid tiers” like GC3, seeing path and face-to-path data is the key item that makes my practice sessions useful…when I am grooving it my path is almost always between 0-2* out to in, with face control being the main thing I need to work on. When my game goes sideways I start coming more in to out, and combined with face consistency being an ongoing issue, that brings the bad left miss into play. Previously I have struggled getting real use out of net practice, because the feels don’t always match reality. This data and video evidence really helps keep me honest, so it was great to see that I was eventually able to get that piece dialed in with KIT.”

SwingBlues: “One feature I am really starting to like is how easy to see the video of each shot. My buddy was not hitting it well, we went to the video and we could see the takeway was too far to the outside.”

“Using the app, it will display all 16 data points. Below is an example of one of my iron shots. Pretty impressive data captured by KIT. On KIT itself, the launch monitor display can be configured to show a single data point, or it can show a grid of 4 data points where the golfer choose which ones to display!”

Head over to the thread for more comments, reviews, and future updates as our members continue to test the Full Swing KIT. Don’t forget to become a member today for future opportunities like this, plus product member testing and giveaways!

Your Reaction?
  • 20
  • LEGIT4
  • WOW3
  • LOL6
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB2
  • SHANK5

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending