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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.

—————————————

<<< 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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Accessory Reviews

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

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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

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Equipment

Titleist launches new Vokey WedgeWorks 60 “A” grind wedge

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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

 

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Equipment

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

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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!

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