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2011-2012 Shaft of the Year- Pics and tech story on some hot picks

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Shaft technology is complicated to most. Kick points, tip section, torque, high modulus materials, single walled carbon nanotubes and the like make you wonder if we are reading the ingredients of Fishy Crackers or the specs of golf equipment. At the end of the day a fitting that will put all of this to the test and is in order. Until then we can look and talk about what is hot and what is not.

<<< To see more pics and discussion  in the forums click here >>>

We have asked shaft companies to submit one of their shafts to be showcased in the best of show for 2011 and 2012. We have added pics and a short description of the tech story for each. Looking to add robot testing from an 3rd party or OEM. If any of you know where I can find that please post!

Per Titleist on their website… http://www.titleist….tom_Options.pdf

Through extensive testing and research, the Titleist R&D team has developed three powerful shaft performance charts which provide an accurate comparison and positioning of shafts with various launch and spin characteristics for drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons. Using these charts as a guide, a fitter can quickly and easily narrow down the available shaft options and focus on those models most likely to be a good match for the player's ball flight requirements.

Here are our favorites in random order…

Aldila RIP NV- RIP Technology Reverse Interlaminar Placement Technology™ (RIP) transforms the shaft from the inside out providing players with shot control. The RIP provides golfers with lower torque, increased tip stability and better tip stiffness control. "The new RIP'd NV incorporates the best performance attributes from two of Aldila's most innovative shaft designs," said Stewart Bahl, Aldila's Marketing Manager. "The 'perfect feel' and slim, stable shaft profile of the Aldila NV and the unprecedented control and accuracy of the Aldila RIP

Fujikura Motore Speeder 6.2 Tour Spec- The design concept was to keep the same unique feel of the VC.2 Motore Speeder but increase tip strength for lower spin plus eliminate the left with high ball speeds. The S flex design will have almost the same tip stiffness as the X flex but the butt will be 7-10 CPM's weaker to accommodate the high swing speed player who needs the tip strength but needs the handle a bit softer for smoother transitions. We expect this shaft to accommodate the better golfer that wants to keep the spin low and not loose control of their shots. Each Motore Speeder is equipped with our Proprietary Quadra Axis Composite and Triax Woven material creating a revolutionary 7-Axis Technology. This uniformity throughout the shaft assists with eliminating deformation (ovaling) yet provides the maximum amount of feel through the entire swing increasing overall performance and stability.

Graphite Design Premium Tour AD DI – Deep Impact Shaft is designed to provide more power and stability, the Tour AD DI shaft, manufactured exclusively at Graphite Design Japan, has been integrated with Toray Company's new Nanotechnology material in the tip section of the shaft. This unique tip technology creates optimal launch and spin conditions to produce increased accuracy and distance. Tour players have been impressed by the fact that when using the Tour AD DI shaft they can increase ball speed and accuracy without giving up distance. The mid bend profile of the Tour AD DI allows the player to load the shaft properly, yet maintains a firm enough tip section through impact, producing optimal spin and launch conditions. Golfers using the shaft will experience the feel of the ball leaving the club head with a lot of speed while maintaining exceptional feel and control. Players are giving it a try in their drivers and then using it in their fairway woods as well. We designed this shaft to deliver players to the next level in shaft performance and create an impressive impact on their games and we feel we have succeeded in that mission."

Project X Driver- The new Project X driver shafts feature Zonal Design Theory- (ZDT) which divides the shaft into three zones–butt, mid and tip sections. Each zone is optimized for performance using a specific design technology. Tip & Butt SectionButt section: Hex-Axial Reinforcement Technology provides unmatched cross sectional stability minimizing energy lost to ovalization. Mid section: Constant Taper Design eliminates localized bending and creates even loading and unloading for maximum energy transfer. Tip section: Elongated Double Wrapped 55 MSI Reinforcement for a firmer tip section which minimizes droop and lag and reduces back spin. Tour Launch and Spin- Project X Like the Project X iron shafts, Project X driver and hybrid shafts provide penetrating launch conditions with ultra low spin. The stiff butt, soft mid-section combine with the double reinforced tip section to maintain a strong angle of attack and greatly reduce spin, even in higher loft drivers.

UST Mamiya Proforce VTS- Proforce VTS shaft is the first shaft ever developed that emphasizes Torque in the fitting process. Historically, most players have been fit traditionally only using weight and flex. Although this has worked well in the past, Proforce VTS with 3-D fitting technology brings shaft fitting to an entirely different level. Over the past 4 years, UST Mamiya engineers spent hundreds of hours designing shafts, and testing hundreds of golfers in order to find out what aspects of shafts are the most important to performance. The results led to the development of the Proforce VTS. UST Mamiya engineers developed a matrix of shafts of different weights (57-97 grams), and flexes (A, R, S, X) that are typically found in shaft product lines. But UST Mamiya went one step further by adding torque as the third dimension in the shaft matrix. Within a given weight and flex (e.g. 67 gram S-flex), there are 3 separate torque shafts that allow you to fine tune the shaft performance to each golfers unique Swing DNA. UST Mamiya has found that through the unique 3-D fitting process, golfers can realize an increase in ball speed of 2 mph, with some golfers seeing up to 6 mph increase in ball speed. That is significant in terms of increasing distance. But they have also found that shot dispersion can be reduced by up to 25% when fit into the proper Proforce VTS shaft.

Harrison Mugen Black- features Active Response Technology ART design manipulates the contrast of fiber tension between the tip and butt sections of a golf shaft. It focuses down-swing energy, like a cross bow pulled taut, to generate exceptional shaft recovery. Single Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs)- SWNTs are known as one of the lightest and strongest materials available today. In this implementation, light weight SWNTs are positioned near the tip to provide enhanced strength and stability. Ultra Thin Ply Graphite (UTP). At one third the weight of typical graphite, UTP is used to build a golf shaft with 3 times more layers than a typical graphite shaft. The end product is highly consistent and accurate. Dynamic Flex Profile (DFP)- Most golf shafts maintain a similar flex profile throughout various flexes. Our patented DFP remedies this dilemma. As the overall stiffness of the shaft increases, its tip section stiffens and its resistance to torque increases to generate a more boring ball flight and a tighter shot dispersion.

FUBUKI K-Series – The Next Generation FUBUKI Series Wood Shafts. The K-Series profile utilizes the same Modulus Differential Technology (M.D.T.) found in the FUBUKI Tour and FUBUKI α (alpha) profiles in addition to Mitsubishi Rayon's latest innovation; the Power "Ninja" Core. This new technology allows Mitsubishi Rayon to incorporate a thin layer of metal into the butt section of the shaft to increase stability and maximize the power stored during the loading of a shaft, unleashing maximum potential energy to the ball at impact. Designed utilizing Mitsubishi Rayon's propriety swing analysis software, the FUBUKI K-Series bend profile delivers smooth acceleration, increased butt section stability, and a slightly lower launch and spin than the FUBUKI α profile. The difference is the material in the butt section. Its an actual metal band in the butt section. MRC impregnates it into our prepreg. Thin but wide 6-7" to reinforce the butt section. This process adds strength and stability to the shaft and stabilizes the butt section.

Matrix OZIK "Black Tie" M3- The OZIK M3 series represents the culmination of what Matrix has learned in recent years regarding what the young, aggressive power players on the PGA Tour demand. Designed on the industry leading and patented HD platform, the OZIK M3 features a flat, lower spinning ball flight often preferred by players with higher ball speed. The genesis of the M3 resonates from the flight model of the highly successful M2 series, a winner of numerous PGA Tour events including 2 Majors. Better players preferring additional stability in the tip section will benefit from the tightest design construct ever released by

Miyazaki C Kua 59- The C Kua 59 Series is a 59 gram shaft and is the most accepted shaft for professionals in our ultralight series. The International Flex Code is unique with the first 10 inches, butt section, is a X stiff section the second 10 inches is the same as the butt the mid tip or next 10 inches being 1/2 flex stiffer than the butt and the tip as the softest section being 1/2 flex softer than a stiff. The 59 X Code is 7785. This shaft profile produces optimum launch for low launch players and reduced spin for high spin players. The spin reduction has been proven to give players an increase in distance. The distance also comes from the lighter weight shaft and the improvement in the combination of higher launch and lower spin to hit the correct descent angle for total distance gains.

Oban Kiyoshi- Utilizes Oban's breakthrough Emersion Wrapped Frequency Technology – offering high launch and low spin ball flight characteristics. Ultra premium, high modulus composite materials supplied by the leading pre-preg manufacturers in the world provide better feel and performance. Structural Design- Oban's revolutionary Emersion Wrapped Frequency (EWF) Technology combines high modulus and ultra-thin carbon fiber sheets using a proprietary new design process. This results in multi-directional shaft strength enabling significantly improved torque control, bend points, and stability with less ovalization. Performance- The Kiyoshi, utilizing EWF Technology, reveals design properties ideal for creating high launch and low spin performance for longer distance and tight dispersion.

[Accra Pic coming soon]

Accra Tour Z- In 2010, ACCRA began testing a new product, code named "Tour Prototype", designed specifically for several PGA Tour players looking for an overall stable shaft with the "feel" that ACCRA shafts have always been known for. We began with a 65 and 75 gram version, incorporating a constant taper design from butt to tip to add tremendous stability yet, increased energy transfer. We added high modulus materials that ACCRA to incorporate the thinnest wall thickness in the industry, thus maximizing weight distribution and offering smooth playability. The unique aspect of this shaft is that the tip section is extremely stable yet the torque is not too low, again offering stability without the harsh feel that other tip firm shafts exhibit. This is achieved by inserting a Kevlar wrap deep inside the core of the tip section. As you move from a ACCRA Tour Z+ 55 M4 to an ACCRA Tour Z+ 65 M4, you can be assured that the flex will remain exactly the same. The new ACCRA Tour Z+ offers a stable tip section, designed for those with quick transitions and higher club head speeds. We have also designed the Tour Z with identical specifications except for a more responsive tip section. This is where our design team became creative. Similar flex, weight, frequency, mid stiffness, butt stiffness and torque….. the only difference between the Tour Z and the Tour Z+ is the stability and responsiveness of the tip section.

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<<< To see more pics and discussion  in the forums click here >>>

 

 

<<< To see more pics and discussion  in the forums click here >>>

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

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Equipment

GolfWRX Spotlight: Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro hybrid

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Hybrids, for many of us, are one of the clubs that don’t get replaced very often. Once we find one that we can confidently hit in pressure situations, it stays in the bag for as long as possible.

I am exactly one of those players as my hybrid has been in the bag since 2015 and has the paint chips and embedded dirt to prove it. That club has been my crutch to lean on when I couldn’t hit anything else straight off the tee, needed to hit the green on a long par 3, or go for the green in two on a par 5.

I wasn’t really looking for a new one when the Exotics EXS Pro showed up at my door, but the shape grabbed my attention, and I had to give it a try.

Tour Edge just announced the Exotics EXS Pro line of woods and they are “from the tour van” with tour-inspired shapes and performance. You can read the whole launch story we did HERE and also read about the new fairway woods.

The EXS Pro hybrid is smaller and has a deeper face than its EXS 220 sibling, giving it a look that better players look for. The shape is initially what got me, as it isn’t a tiny hybrid like we have seen with some other “tour” versions, but it isn’t too large either. The head is also a little more rounded overall, without a sharp toe or other lines. As I am one to hit my hybrid off the tee a good amount, the deep face was welcome—while it isn’t so deep that you can’t hit it off a tight fairway lie. The moveable weights in the sole allow you to adjust the head in order to make it an “anti-left” club that many better players fear.

On the course, I really felt comfortable with the EXS Pro right away. The first shot came off the face feeling hot thanks to the Beta Ti Face that is brazed onto the stainless steel body. The ball speed is really fast and the shot shape was flatter than my previous hybrid setup. If you are a high ball hitter and have a hard time with hybrids, the EXS Pro should be on your shortlist of new ones to try. Better players are going to love being able to flight the ball for windy conditions. Distance is of course fantastic, but it is repeatable and consistent.

The EXS Pro is a little longer than my previous hybrid, but still fitting into the distance that I require. Tour Edge didn’t just make the club longer to add distance, the lofts are pretty standard as the 19-degree I have is only 40.25” long and has a lie angle of 57.25 degrees. Dialing in the EXS Pro should be no problem since they make six lofts between 16 to 22 degrees to fit your gapping needs.

Over the past two weeks, I have found that this EXS Pro does remove the left side of the course. Tour Edge claims it is an anti-left hybrid, and so far I have found that to be nothing short of the truth. Shots are slightly fade biased with the heavier weight in the toe, but you can still easily turn it over and hit it straight. Tight lies or fairly deep rough are no problem with the compact shape and Slipstream sole, making it versatile all over the course. I

like the deeper face for hitting if off the tee and shots where the ball is sitting up in the rough. That deep face just gives me a little more confidence that if I get a little steep with my swing I will still be able to save a decent shot.

My only real complaint is that the EXS Pro’s Slipstream sole collects some dirt, and you have to grab a tee to clean it out, but really nothing that should stop anyone from putting this in their bag.

Overall The Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro is an anti-left hybrid that is built for better players. What is might not have in total forgiveness it makes up for in lower launch, great distance, and its fade bias. If you have been struggling to find a hybrid to fit your game, the Tour Edge Exotics EXS Pro could be your answer.

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Accessory Reviews

GolfWRX Spotlight: Crossrope weighted jump rope & app

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An 18-hole round of golf averages out to just under five miles of walking, which on its own is a good workout. Once you throw in some potential uphill trekking you get some serious cardio too, but if you all looking for a quick workout between rounds of golf look no further than Crossrope.

Crossrope – The details

Crossrope is a system of the weighted jump rope that allows you to quickly switch the weight of the ropes you are using to boost your workout—they range from 1/4 lbs all the way up to 2 lbs depending on the kit you start out with. There is an accompanying app that helps you go through multiple workout routines and is available free, or you can upgrade to the entire library of workout routines along with more workout tracking options.

This is NOT your middle school jump rope

The handles are heavy duty and feature precision bearings to allow the rope to move smoothly around as you go through a routine. They are also ergonomic and fit into your hand naturally, which making gripping easy, something that is really nice when you’re swinging a 2 lbs coated steel cable around. The handles also come with a fast clip system to make changing cables depending on your selected workout easier too.

The ropes themselves are made from braided steel and are almost impossible to tangle, allowing them to be easily transported and stored when not in use. All in you are getting a premium piece of workout equipment that is effective and easy to store—hard to same the same thing about a treadmill.

When it comes to a workout, skipping rope is one of the most effective cardio workouts you can do, and with Crossrope, you can get both cardio and low impact weight training when using the heaviest ropes, and follow along with the guided workouts.

As someone that hadn’t used a jump rope in over a decade, starting out lighter was a nice way to ease in before moving up, and I was pleasantly surprised how easy and fun some of the workouts in the app were. If you are looking for a fun way to add something to your workouts, or you just want to try something new to get you into golf course walking shape, this could be right up your alley. To learn more check out crossrope.com

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Equipment

TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max driver review

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New for 2020, TaylorMade has launched the new SIM driver family. First the lower spinning SIM then a more forgiving higher spinning SIM Max and a SIM Max D head to help draw the ball for those that need it.

We have seen the tour players using all three of the SIM drivers.

Technical Details

The SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers from TaylorMade feature an asymmetric sole shape as well as a redesigned Inertia Generator. The asymmetric sole shape of the drivers is designed to reduce drag while providing faster clubhead speed, with the redesigned Inertia Generator redistributing weight at the very low-and-back portion of the club in a bid to provide improved forgiveness.

The SIM Max D clubhead contains a heel-bias internal weight with a topline masking to make the clubhead look more open at address to help golfers who struggle with a right-miss.

Other features of the SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max D drivers includes a speed injected twist face, inverted cone technology, a thru-slot speed pocket, multi-material construction and an adjustable loft sleeve.

Exclusive to the SIM driver is sliding weight technology which allows face angle and flight bias preferences of up to +/-2° loft change and up to +/-20 yards of draw-fade bias.

(Top Left to Right) 2020 TM SIM Max & 2019 TM M6, (Bottom Left to Right) 2020 TM SIM & 2019 TM M5

Reviews

Here are the individual reviews from GolfWRXers’ trip to The Kingdom.

Tester: Rob “osubuckeyes691

I’ll start by saying this. SIM is very good. It’s not a magical 30 yards like everyone is talking about here. That comes from being properly fit. But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have.

My current set up is a Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond with a Fuji Ventus Black 6x. LOW LOW LOW combo…and I still hit it high haha. I live in the low to mid 170s ball speed with spin sometimes getting up to 2700 2800. Drives I hit well, spin around 2100. My miss is a big push slice.

But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have. -Rob

I ended up being fit in to a SIM 9* with the new KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5. This shaft is super interesting. It’s really hard for me to describe but it has feel, and a lot of it. Spin dropped to about 2400 on my miss right and really, that’s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted something that when I missed, wouldn’t lose me 30 yards. We put the weight in the heel and it really did help straighten out the miss. Huge advantage for me. I knew as someone who swings 120ish I wasn’t going to pick up 20 yards. I wanted to reduce my miss and that’s exactly what SIM was able to do for me.  Here is a link to his post in the forums.

Tester: Will “fillwelix

For my driver fitting, I was with Perry, who was a blast to get to work with. I started by hitting my gamer on Trackman, talking with Perry about what my misses usually are, and what I wanted to get out of the fitting.

I usually don’t have a problem with distance so I told him the biggest thing I was looking for was a tighter dispersion. I don’t have the trackman numbers yet but with my gamer, I was averaging about 110 club head speed, 160-something ball speed, 270-275 carry, 285-290 total. Launching a bit too high but spin was okay.

The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. -Will

We tried the 10.5 SIM in a Ventus Black 6x, and he gave me a couple tips in my setup, because my AOA was something like 4 or 5 degrees up. The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. Carrying 295-300, total of 315-320. One shot carried the fence of the driving range at The Kingdom.

Spent some time going through different shafts to see if there was an improvement, played with weights, etc. but the best numbers were with the 10.5 SIM with Ventus Black 6x and the weight all the way in the toe, because my miss is usually left. Here is a link to his post in the forums.

Tester: Nick “n_rones

I started off with my fittings working with Joe. After some warmup we started with the drivers. Coming in I was playing a Srixon Z785 with a Hzrdus black 6.5 70 gram shaft at 45 inches.

I’m a really tough fit because I have an unusual swing and hit down on the ball heavily with every club. My AOA with the driver was between 5 and 7 down which is pretty nuts I always knew I hit down on it but not that much. I’m still waiting on the trackman date to be emailed to me but with my own driver I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 109 swing speed with a launch angle of 4 degrees and 4000 spin (Ridiculous I know right).

I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. -Nick

His main goal for me was to get launch up and spin down. The first club he handed me was the Sim 10.5 turned up to 11.25 with a Graphite design IZ 7x. Instantly my launch angle increased and spin dropped. We then went through a few other shafts like graphite design ad di 7x. We came back to the IZ and with a quick change in tee height we ended up where we wanted. We knew with my angle of attack we were never going to get me to super low spin and high launch we just wanted to get it to a manageable number.

By the end of the fit I was hitting the sim with the iz under 3k spin with a couple down at 2500 and 9 degree launch increasing my carry from the 244 range up to the 260-265 range on good swings and we neutralized my cut massively. I was fortunate enough to finish my fit while other guys were still busy so we went right into the build shop and he built me my driver on the spot and gave me a super cool kingdom exclusive headcover. I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. Most of that is me never being through a proper fitting before but a big factor was I was able to get into the sim head with high loft but it was a great spin killing head for me. Here is a link to his post in the forums.

Tester: “jimbonecrusher”

I am one that gained a good bit of ball speed from getting fit for the SIM driver. My gamer is a Titleist 915D3 9.5* with a Rogue Silver 70X. I wasn’t fit for the driver as I just bought the parts off of the BST. I always felt that I lost yardage due to high spin. The Trackman didn’t lie as I was getting 166mph ball speed and 3000 rpm of spin on well-struck shots. Where this posed a problem was when I was off-center, the ball would be a high right spinner that would lose a lot of distance. 

Where I saw great gains was in dispersion. TwistFace just flat out works. Toe shots came back to closer to center, and heal shots faded right back towards center. I also didn’t lose as much yardage. I did pick up about five mph in ball speed. There are a plethora of reasons for this gain and the resulting 20 yard gain in ball flight.

Some could attribute the gain to almost 30 feet of height in ball flight. It could also be because there was 300 less RPM, or over a degree increase in launch angle. Either way, it has proven to me that getting fit by a knowledgeable fitter is crucial. This is the first time that I have been fit for a driver. All the expectations of mine going into this fitting have been met.

The SIM is forgiving. The SIM is aerodynamically superior to what I have been playing. The SIM just flat out performs for me because it doesn’t balloon, it is forgiving on mishits with good direction and ball speed, and it reduced my spin rate. – 

The sounds of the SIM line is amazing. The solid “thwack” sound it makes at contact is extremely welcoming. Gone are the days of high pitched aluminum baseball bat sounds. Now, some sounds just sound perfect to me. Johnny Wunder posted a video on Instagram of me hitting a driver, and you can hear the sound. Here is a link to his post in the forums.

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