Connect with us

Equipment

One-length wedges are holding Bryson DeChambeau back

Published

on

Bryson Dechambeau is a golf anomaly and has been for his entire competitive golf career.

The most recent example has been his single-minded focus to get bigger, stronger, and hit it farther. And if his early results are any indication, he has succeeded in his goal to seemingly reduce most golf courses on the PGA Tour to pitch and putts.

The other well-known example of Bryson’s unique approach is the single length irons and wedges that he has used since college.

This one-length approach allows Bryson to set up the same way for every shot, but when going deeper into his stats, there seems to be one part of his game that is glaringly below-average: his wedge play. Specifically, his proximity to hole: 124th on tour.

I believe his one-length wedges are to blame.

If we go one step further, his approach proximity from 50 – 70 yards of 17’10” ranks him 152nd on tour, an abysmal ranking for one of the top players in the game.

Breaking down the dynamics of a wedge shot

Hitting short irons, particularly wedges, close is about creating consistent dynamics at impact and controlling dynamic loft, launch, spin, and friction. The higher the loft on a club, the more potential friction and spin can be created, depending on player dynamics, to the point of diminishing return where the trajectory becomes more of an influencing factor for low-speed shots where less spin can be generated.

With single-length wedges compared to standard length wedges, it is more difficult to create consistent impact dynamics because the longer wedges don’t offer as much flexibility at setup, especially when you consider how much more ground undulation is generally found closer to green areas. But don’t just take my word for it…

I reached out to one of the top fitters in the industry, Ian Fraser from Tour Experience Golf, aka TXG, to get his take on how single length wedges could be effecting Bryson’s game.

“Playing his sand wedge at 2.25” over standard would lead to a shallower angle of attack which is detrimental to increasing spin loft—also being shallower with a low point closer to the ball increases the likelihood of picking up debris (moisture, grass etc) prior to impact which also reduces friction and spin control.

“We look for around 45-47 degrees of spin loft to achieve maximum friction, so unless Bryson can get steeper, the ball will launch higher due to the loft portion of that ideal spin loft.”

A further explanation

  • Single-length (longer) wedges: Longer wedges lead to less control as lofts get higher because of the naturally shallower angle the club wants to approach the ball. This extra length also leads to the inability to fluctuate ball position as lies differ greatly as you get closer to the green resulting in less control of launch and spin, leading to poor distance control.
  • Standard variable-length wedges: Standard wedges allow for greater control because it is easier for golfers to change ball position, which leads to greater control of impact dynamics which in turn offers better control of launch and spin, resulting in improved distance control. Not only that, but when you combine the shorter lengths with flatter lie angles into the sand and lob wedge (a setup recommended by most fitters) you get even more versatility.

Conclusion

Bryson is currently ranked 11th in the Official World Golf Rankings, and if he continues his fantastic form, that ranking is bound to improve as he puts himself closer to the green with every tee shot and in better scoring positions—he just needs to take better advantage of these shorter approach shots.

As someone who boasts about his willingness to experiment, Bryson has certainly tinkered with a number of wedges from his club sponsor Cobra as well as others in search of improvement, including PXG and Artisan Golf, within the last year.

I believe the next step for Bryson should be to experiment with a combination set that is single length until his 9-iron and progresses down to more standard lengths in his wedges to rein in speed and gain greater control of his wedge dynamics at impact. With his current ranking of 152nd on tour from 50 to 70 yards, he really only has one direction to go: up.

Your Reaction?
  • 514
  • LEGIT100
  • WOW16
  • LOL31
  • IDHT13
  • FLOP23
  • OB15
  • SHANK112

Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

72 Comments

72 Comments

  1. Kourt

    Oct 21, 2020 at 1:34 am

    This article did not age well.

  2. Christopher Boyle

    Oct 12, 2020 at 4:50 am

    Holding him back lol. He just won the US open on one of the hardest golf courses on planet earth.

  3. DooshyMillenial

    Jul 18, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    If Bryson gets laid like Tiger his game will improve. Head over to Perkins and they will hook you up. Just remember to pay for her breakfast!

  4. uhgolfguy1

    Jul 16, 2020 at 10:19 pm

    Article is spot on!

    Bryson certainly needs to work on his wedge game after going 23 under par, bringing home a trophy and cashing a $1.35M check.

  5. Wrong wrong

    Jul 10, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    Just proven wrong by your own website. See the article from 8 hours ago.

  6. Dirk

    Jul 7, 2020 at 2:40 am

    The GolfWRX comment section feels similar to Twitter these days.

    • drkviol801

      Jul 7, 2020 at 9:39 am

      Yep! Tons of experts, I think its hilarious some people actually think they know Bryson’s game better than he does.

  7. Richard

    Jul 6, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    The origin of the length variation in wedges arises out of the legacy design goal of creating a swing weight matched set, nothing to do with ball position flexibility.
    Since there is no data re Bryson playing with variable length wedges on tour, the article is a speculative crock.

    • geohogan

      Jul 8, 2020 at 8:10 pm

      Spin caused by friction?
      Ball to club impact is as little as 5/10,000 second.

      Hasnt it been more than half a century since theory said the friction of the clubface
      grooves caused the ball to ride up the clubface?
      The ball compresses and spins due to COR, not friction.
      The lower the contact on the ball the more the spin due to COR(compression)
      …not friction.

  8. Getemgoose

    Jul 6, 2020 at 11:54 am

    Hey Ryan, just save yourself the grief and erase the article, man. Chalk it up to a good try.

    • Logical Person

      Jul 6, 2020 at 9:15 pm

      Seriously dude, he had to become the first winner since like 2004 to lead in Strokes Gained off the tee and Stokes gained putting. The main reason that had not happened before was that you normally win with good iron play, it’s unusual to be that bad at approaches that you have to beat everyone with Driving and Putting. If he doesn’t putt lights out, he doesn’t win. If he ever gets the wedges figured out he won’t need to have a career week on the greens. Some people are really dense.

  9. DaveJ

    Jul 6, 2020 at 11:47 am

    I wonder how the longer wedges relate to sand play? Bryson is among the best on tour in sand save percentage and sand scrambling. Maybe the longer wedges actually help him from the sand.

    • Rich

      Jul 6, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      The longer sand wedge is harder because it requires such a flat swing–normally. But BDC isn’t normal; his swing is already very, very upright, so those sand shots work for him.

      I play single-length irons, but I use a “normal” LW out of most greenside bunkers for this reason.

  10. Dyson Bochambeau

    Jul 6, 2020 at 10:49 am

    what a stupid article

  11. Ben

    Jul 6, 2020 at 8:43 am

    What about his set makeup. I think that could be looked at. He currently has a Pw at 42 degrees and then wedges at 47, 52 and 58. That seems very light at that end of the bag. Especially with his swing speed. Phil has so many more lofts at that end. Tiger has a 49 degree PW and 56-60 degree wedges. I would think for a guy that drives it as long as he does, he could use a few more wedges. Ditch the extra 3 wood (seems pointless) and maybe one of the lower lofted irons and get another couple of wedges to have more lofts.

    • benforprez

      Aug 11, 2020 at 9:54 pm

      bingo. please run for president. or at least ryans job. pluease

  12. Dan

    Jul 6, 2020 at 8:40 am

    The kid is so talented he’s winning inspire of those irons/wedges. I can’t believe he’s lasted this long with wedges that long and upright??
    Short shots around the green are just easier to hit when you can get the handle lower to the ground.

  13. Rich

    Jul 5, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    Oops.

    Yes, his wedge play is lacking. It’s not clear that it is because of the one-length issue, especially since his swing is so steep anyway. But it is not holding him back, as we saw today.

  14. ChipNRun

    Jul 5, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    Length of the wedges a problem?

    TV announcers in Rocket final round today suggested he should go with steel vs. graphite shafts in his wedges. They suggested he was overpowering the graphites and that heavier steel shaft would smooth out swing close in.

    • Rich

      Jul 5, 2020 at 11:32 pm

      That was Faldo, who lives in another era. Today’s graphite shafts can perform like steel, they can even weigh the same as steel. To suggest graphite is the problem is simplistic.

      • Andrea Rusconi

        Jul 6, 2020 at 5:46 am

        I agree modern graphite shafts are are good even for wedges. I have 125g Recoil Proto Wedge shafts installed and they are fantastic. Stiff and heavy similarly to steel but with added feeling and touch.

      • geohogan

        Jul 7, 2020 at 9:54 pm

        To suggest that graphite shafts is the problem is simply Wrong.

        Nunchuk Xi are as tip stiff as any steel shaft and have been used by
        many pga tour players.
        Xi are simply easier on the body, expecially the joints, by removing the shock of impact.

  15. Brian

    Jul 5, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Why does this hurt him? Isn’t it just a matter of him dialing in the shallow wedge game like he has his driver? He’s a smart guy and it talented enough to control these shots

  16. Ugh

    Jul 5, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    So are they going to print “his wedges held him back” on the trophy?

  17. Bradley Read

    Jul 5, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    None of you hackers….(me included)….are a toenail clipping on Bryson’s bathroom floor. So just stop with all the Monday morning quarterbacking.

  18. Bradley Read

    Jul 5, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Uh…yeah. those wedges really held Bryson back today….are you guys geniuses?

  19. Matt

    Jul 5, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    Because of how far he hits it off the tee, he skews the stats. His approach shots do not qualify and as approach shots statistically. I call it brilliant: he avoids the approach he struggles with by hitting past that!! Watching Bryson and Wolff on Sunday is a riot.

  20. Paul

    Jul 5, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    This article didn’t age well….

  21. RIch

    Jul 5, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    Largely nonsense. Every player has weaknesses. Jack Nicklaus, the greatest golfer of all time, might as well have left his sand wedge out of the bag. BCD has always been shaky with the wedges.

    I play SL irons and have done so for almost 4 years. Part of Bryson’s difficulties with the wedges is that his set is built around a 6-iron length. (Mine is around an 8-iron length.) What a lot of SL players do it carry traditional sand and lob wedges. (I still hit the SW from the fairway, but I use a traditional LW within 50 yards and from most greenside bunkers.)

    But there are huge advantages to having your wedges the same length (and lie and weight and MOI and swing weight and offset and…). The advantage that all your irons feel the same and you swing them in the exact same way cannot be overstated. I’d love to have that LW from the fairway–I’ve played it–but it was just too restrictive around the greens and in bunkers–too flat.

    Having your wedges at progressively shorter lengths negates the whole idea of SL irons and would impact your irons game overall.

    Bryson already has a very upright swing anyway (check is absurd lie angles), so I totally oppose the author’s thesis. Yes, BCD needs to get better with his short shots, but his clubs aren’t the problem.

  22. Bill Y.

    Jul 4, 2020 at 8:48 pm

    He will figure it out and when he does golfwrx or another media can rip on him
    about some other part of his game.
    The guy wants to win. End of story.

  23. Walker

    Jul 4, 2020 at 8:46 pm

    I play the f9 SL 5-SW. Never hit my wedges better. I think currently his biggest challenge is tempo and feel. He is so bulked up, and swings so hard on his driver that his touch shots seem thrown off. Watching him today he had an 8 iron in that he looked like he was trying to drive it 300 on an approach shot. Once he dials in that part of his game, which I think he will, look out.

    • geohogan

      Jul 7, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      Agree that tempo and feel are intangibles that
      often are less precise when golfers “bulk up”

      It happened years ago to Johnny Miller. If I recall he took time off
      after seenmingly winning at will. He built a new house and came back
      muscle bound. his touch was never the same. Once proprioception is compromised it could be that it never gets back to the optimum.

      https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/proprioception

      Whatever happened to course management to place your tee shot to make the next shot easier,to be consistent rather then simply as close to the green as possible.

  24. Fallacy

    Jul 4, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    This is the dumbest article ever. I feel dumber for having Read it. He is a crappy wedge player with bad technique. That’s it case closed. He did a full interview last year about chocking down to get proper angles, spin blah blah.. it’s not the length of the wedge. It’s the technique. And you use fallacy arguments left and right.

  25. Dennis

    Jul 4, 2020 at 9:57 am

    Its a great article and you surely got a point. But as I understand it, Proximity to the hole is measured by the average distance the ball comes to rest from the hole after the player’s approach. The shot must not originate from on or around the green and the shot must end on or around the green, defined as around 30 yards of the edge of the green. So ALL his approach shots a not good enough, including his 8, 9 and 8 iron shots….

  26. Keith

    Jul 4, 2020 at 9:08 am

    This is great article and I hope Bryson reads it. I’ve ‘felt’ this for a long time, exactly what they explained with tapering from his 9 iron, Great to see it put into the numbers and confirmed.

  27. Mickey D

    Jul 4, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Many comments were right on the money. Opinions will always vary when golf equipment is the topic. Short game skills will come in time. Bryson needs Phil to work with him for a few months and he’ll be just fine. But I do agree that the shorter length golf club is always easier to control, given you have the correct lie angle.

  28. Martien Schwencke

    Jul 4, 2020 at 4:27 am

    There is no shallower angle as you stated
    Bryson plays all is iron at 72-degree lie …that’s even steeper than al the wedges on the market

  29. NE14Golf

    Jul 3, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    What an interesting article. Thanks.

    • Mathew Kamuchey

      Jul 3, 2020 at 9:15 pm

      hes looking for the unified theory of irrelevancy. moe would smack himself upside the head if he read this article.

  30. No Thanks

    Jul 3, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    You guys could make the same arguments about SL irons, but he’s doing just fine. He is getting there, and this post will not age well.

  31. David Haak

    Jul 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    From a club fitters point of view, neither of the club fitters contributing to this article would have recommended any of the set ups that Bryson is currently playing on tour, as his approach is so far from conventional. All players on the tour have weaknesses in their games, but find ways to capitalize on their strengths while working on the areas that hold them back. Bryson is no exception and has proven that you can go against convention and win at the highest level.

  32. Ronald Montesano

    Jul 3, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Did you mention lie angle, beyond “flatter lie angles?” Do #BigBangTheory’s irons have the same lie angle? If not, couldn’t/doesn’t he negate the issue by altering the angle at which the shaft enters the club head, for all of his wedges? I’ll click off and listen/read.

  33. joro

    Jul 3, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    So we are saying that choking down is a problem. That is stupid, choking down 2 in. is not that difficult. 2 inches = nor much and this guy is a Pro,commenters are not. I have chipped with a long Wedge and had not problems. I don’t play with one length and probably never would, but I tried them. I am too old school. All my clubs are 1 inch long anyway.

  34. brenner

    Jul 3, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    I guess yall are watching a different game.

    The guy is the odds on favorite to win week after week and he needs to change something according to random golf wrx 10 handicap guy. Got it . cringe.

    • Ryan Barath

      Jul 3, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      HI Brenner,

      It’s not that Bryson isn’t a great golfer, it’s that his technique with his shorter clubs continues to have a negative effect on his ability to control shorter, lower speed shots with the precision needed to be highly effective compared to his peers.

      Also, just as a point of reference, Ian Fraser from TXG is one of the most highly sought after and respected club fitters in the world, so I’m happy to listen to his expertise on the subject of proper wedge technique. As for myself, this “random GolfWRX guy” I continue to be a highly trained club-fitter with lots of experience fitting, building, and grinding wedges too.

      • Jack Nicholas

        Jul 3, 2020 at 6:38 pm

        …please leave the Bryson fans alone; you’re confusing them with reason, rationale and research. Those of us in the clear-thinking minority are perfectly happy seeing him failing to win week-in, week-out. He’s just a show pony.

        • Greg Sark

          Jul 6, 2020 at 7:49 am

          He just won by 4. So whose the irrational one?

  35. Benny

    Jul 3, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Great article and detailed numbers. Also like the comments above from George and Uglande. It does make sense and one would think the close you are to the ball the more control you have.
    Which could be why long irons at 37” could ne why guys are so good and comfy while wedges at 37” means less comtrol.
    Either way I still 100% believe Bryson is on some sort of PED. No way he gained that much size in so little time. You couldn’t even gain 25lbs of fat in 3 months. Muscle is way harder!

  36. Kourt

    Jul 3, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Stupidest take of all time. You act like he can’t choke down the grip when he’s hitting chips and finess shots. I’ve played single length for 5 years and my short game is better than ever. You just grip down on a single length wedge the same way you do with any other wedge.

    • Ryan Barath

      Jul 3, 2020 at 12:09 pm

      Gripping down might be easy but it doesn’t change the lie angle of the club, and in Bryson’s case the oversized grips he uses are shorter and taper rapidly at the bottom.
      Gripping down would put his bottom hand onto the shaft of the club a majority of the time which for a lot of reasons doesn’t seem like a logical approach.

      It’s not that I don’t believe average golfers cant benefit from one-length clubs, its that the proven science and physics ( something Bryson is apparently very familiar with ) behind the technique of hitting controllable high-spinning wedge shots is counter to his much longer clubs and his pitching technique, and at the highest level on the PGA Tour every single shot counts.

    • Lex

      Jul 3, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Stupidest reply of all time. Choking down on the shaft is a good idea? Go ahead and choke down on your 3-iron to make it the same length as your wedge or, even better, a choked-down wedge. Let me know how that works out.

      • Kourtney Knowles

        Jul 4, 2020 at 5:03 pm

        What? People grip down on clubs all the time when hitting certain shots. Most pros grip down when hitting chip shots. What the hell does gripping down on a 3 iron have to do with this topic of wedge play? His wedge play sucks simply because he doesn’t practice it. He’s said himself that he spends most the time on the range hitting drivers working on his speed and working on his full swing. I’m sure he will start improving his wedge play next. It’s not the club it’s the player.

    • alvin

      Jul 5, 2020 at 1:04 am

      Well of course. Why wouldn’t you be better than Bryson

  37. uglande

    Jul 3, 2020 at 10:50 am

    As a former one-length club player, I agree with this. In addition to the widely discussed problem of compressed gapping at the top end of the bag with one-length clubs, the wedges are another major problem. On full shots, the wedges go sky-high, which makes them harder to control, and on other pitch shots, the trajectory is all over the place. No two pitch shots were the same for me. I actually loved chipping with one length wedges. As a tall golfer, the upright posture worked nicely for those shots. But pitch shots and full shots with the wedges were a nightmare. Another reason for that is that with the super-long shaft lengths in the wedges, the club heads had to be incredibly light. And while the swing weights were all the same, the lack of head weight reduced short game feel and created a pronounced lack of forgiveness on slight mishits.

  38. Imafitter

    Jul 3, 2020 at 10:31 am

    Watching Bryson’s approach shots, I’ve wondered why he can’t get close to the pin. Now we know.

  39. George Steer

    Jul 3, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I’ve been playing Cobra F9 One Length 4-7 and standard length 8-PW with my GW at PW length. Absolutely love the set. It gives me more control on 8-GW, but now love hitting my 4 iron as much as my 7 iron…with plenty of height and distance.

    • Ryan Barath

      Jul 3, 2020 at 12:01 pm

      Hi George,

      I have done testing with the exact same setup as yours for the same reason – I couldn’t get what I wanted out of the shorter irons for control.

      I still believe in the merits of one-length clubs and they help a lot of golfers but for absolute precision, I think the higher-lofted clubs need to be shorter.

      • Michael

        Jul 3, 2020 at 9:46 pm

        I tried the F8 One Lengths and had this exact issue. I could not get the PW or GW to stop, on one of the few good hits I had, on approach shots. I kept the 4 hybrid from the set though. Absolute banger.

        • Walker

          Jul 4, 2020 at 8:52 pm

          If you want to try single length again the F9 are miles ahead of f8 or f7 in my opinion. I played them all, and for me there is no comparison. Cobra finally got it right from 5-SW with the F9 series.

      • geohogan

        Jul 9, 2020 at 11:04 am

        If your making fine furniture would you use a sludge hammer to drive home the finishing nails? Of course not. You would use a very small hammer
        that brings your hands closer to the nail for precision.
        You sure would not use an oversize handle on that hammer, just as
        we dont write with oversize pens.

        It takes touch and feel, we get from smaller instruments. Think surgeon
        operating on internal organs.

        • Rich

          Jul 10, 2020 at 11:18 am

          How is that analogy relevant?

          You know what correlates best to success on the Tour? Driving distance. You know what best creates strokes gained? Distance from the hole. BDC, a student of the game, knows these things.

          The FedEx Cup listings are filled with sledgehammers and very few surgical tools and small hammers. Look for yourself.

          • geohogan

            Jul 15, 2020 at 10:22 am

            if that is the case , how many tour winners use over length shafts in their wedges?
            The topic is accuracy with wedges
            nothing to do with long drives.

            Save your arguments for another topic.

            • geohogan

              Jul 15, 2020 at 4:00 pm

              Looking at Morikawa’s performance over the four-round tournament, it is obvious that approach is the most dangerous weapon in his bag. He gained 3.6 strokes on Thursday and more than six strokes on the field Sunday. His approach game kept him in the tournament despite losing strokes with the flatstick.

              He was number one in approach shots from 150 yards in
              using conventional length wedges…

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.

Equipment

The ‘game-changing’ Autoflex shaft: A year in review

Published

on

Last year in August, I introduced the now-famous AutoFlex golf shaft to the English-speaking world here on GolfWRX (Korea’s Autoflex shaft: Challenging the conventional wisdom of golf).

Created by Dumina Co. in South Korea, the upstart shaft challenged the commonly-held view that flexible shafts are not only straighter but longer as well. In the weeks that followed, the neon pink shaft exploded onto the golf scene fueled by a series of videos from TXG’s Ian Fraser and Matt Blois, who seemed equally amazed at the unexpected results. And from the depths of obscurity where so many would-be ‘game changers’ remained, the legend of the Autoflex was born.

Looking back, it may have been the perfect storm – an innovative, ultralight, and flexible shaft with a mysterious “Korea Hidden Technology” appearing at the height of the golf boom brought on by a pandemic. The fact that the manufacturer refused to patent their know-how to protect the technology only added to the intrigue.

Shortly after TXG first introduced the “mysterious Autoflex,” the pink shaft made its appearance on all the major tours. Some of the tour pros to put Autoflex in play included Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Branden Grace, Ernie Els, Fred Couples, and Michelle Wie West, with dozens more requesting to try the new shaft.

Although the specific technology behind the shaft remains hidden, tens of thousands have since taken the plunge to track down the bright pink shaft despite the high price tag.

According to Dumina, Autoflex shafts are now available in most golfing countries and major OEMs such as Titleist and Srixon/Cleveland/XXIO have added the Autoflex to their premium fitting matrix.

So what have we learned in the space of one year? Recently, I spent several days scouring the Internet to see what the people have been saying about the shaft in posts, reviews, videos, forums, and testimonials.

From the thousands of actual golfers, club fitters, and pros who have tested or played the AutoFlex, the consensus is:

  • The majority of users seem to agree that the Autoflex driver shaft is the real deal in providing increased ball speed (as high as +8mph) with overall carry distance and accuracy, just by changing a shaft and without any additional effort (i.e. speed swing or physical training).
  • The shaft seems to work best when the overall swing weight of the driver is between C8 to D0. This is radically different from the ‘normal’ D2~D5 swing weight for heavier, stiffer conventional shafts.
  • Many raised the concern that swinging such a flexible shaft would not readily translate to swinging a stiffer shaft on the following shots. However, many users, including myself, reported that the swings felt no different going from Autoflex to a conventional shaft and back again during the round.
  • Despite the shaft feeling extremely whippy when waggled, golfers said they came to trust the clubhead to catch up to the ball at impact even when swung hard. A few golfers with an aggressive transition said the shaft actually helped to smooth out their tempo on all their clubs.
  • Initially thought to target the slow swing speed golfers with a smooth transition, the shaft has been proven by numerous users to perform well for faster swings in excess of 120mph with aggressive transitions.

The above summary may seem to paint the Autoflex as the new golf messiah, but not all reviews were glowing.

I would be remiss not to mention the handful of golfers who saw no increased benefit whatsoever with the Autoflex. There were also a few golfers who likened the shaft to “snake oil”, but most of them did not seem to have actually tried one for themselves.

Most famous perhaps is the video review by Rick Shiels, who was disappointed at the lower-than-expected results. However, many replies on the channel pointed out that the swing weight may have been too heavy (D4~D5), and needs to be fitted to the recommended balance as it is not a “plug and play” shaft.

There were also some instances where golfers reported their shaft breaking or cracks appearing along the shaft. Luckily, the shafts are equipped with a warranty sticker and many reported that the company was quick in response with a replacement. On their website, Dumina recommends utmost care during club fitting as the walls of the butt end and tip are quite thin (be careful when tightening that vice!).

On the whole, however, the online feedback seemed overwhelmingly positive, and that the Autoflex shaft can indeed improve driving performance when dialed into their specified swing speeds.

Co-founders of Dumina Co., Chairman Gun-yul Park and CEO Doona Jeong.

The inevitable questions soon followed. What’s their secret? Many guesses were thrown into the hat, ranging from non-Newtonian materials to KHT being an elaborate marketing scheme.

Could it be all along that golfers can benefit from using a much lower-flex shaft than their current gamers? I have tried several times to coax Dumina into giving me some hints, but so far, they gave nothing away other than stating that their tech and materials are capable of hundreds of new combinations.

According to its two-year product cycle, Dumina plans to release its new shaft models in the fall of 2022.

Other common questions I’ve seen were about their fairway and iron shafts. These shafts cost less than the driver shaft ($790) but are still expensive enough to give most golfers pause. The fairway wood and hybrid shafts retail for $675 each, while an iron shaft will set you back at $210 per shaft. Since becoming smitten with the driver shaft last summer, I managed to save up for the SF505 Autoflex shafts to be installed in all my woods and irons 6 months ago.

So are they worth the money? Below is my experience using the Autoflex SF505 shafts in all my woods and irons.

AutoFlex Driver and Woods

I have been using the SF405 shaft in my Cobra F9 since last year, and switched to SF505 with SIM2 Max 9° head early March. Despite the small fortune spent, I have been quite pleased with the results. When built to 45”, my driver came to C8 with the 24g stock weight in the head. It was good, but I wanted to feel the clubhead a bit more on the downswing. I
added about two grams of lead tape to bring the balance slightly past C9, and it is perfect for my average swing speed of 95mph. This setting is very comfortable to swing throughout the round, and my overall driving distance increased just under 20 yards.

As many users have attested online, one amazing benefit of the Autoflex shaft is that it allows me to feel the shaft loading as would a faster player swinging a much stiffer flex at 110+ mph. Thus, even at my slower swing speed I can feel the shaft actively loading and releasing explosively through the impact. The feeling is nothing short of glorious, and I believe this addictive feeling is a big part of the Autoflex charm. With the success of the driver shaft, I changed all the shafts in my woods and irons to the SF505 this March.

Driver: SIM2 Max 9° total 45” @C9; Fairway woods 3,5,7: Knuth High heat @D0; Irons: Yonex CB-301 5-P
@C9~D1

The distance gain with my 3-wood (210-220 yds) was barely noticeable, but the 5- and 7- wood carry distance increased by 10~12 yards. The fairway woods and hybrid are all from Knuth Golf, which came with Fujikura Atmos shafts at D2~D3. After switching to Autoflex, the lighter club heads coupled with the 46g pink shaft came to D0 swing weight. Just like the driver, the woods felt light and whippy compared to their conventional counterparts.

I find I don’t need to swing harder for the extra distance and the smoother tempo allows me to hit the center of the face more often. As a result, there is less chance of cold-topping the ball or pulling it left, and I am less afraid to pull out the longer clubs. The distinct kick at impact is also felt in the woods, but not as much as the driver. Depending on my condition and course, I switch out my 7-wood with the 4-hybrid. The hybrid feels a lot like a regular club, but a much lighter weight can be felt when compared to a normal hybrid club.

AutoFlex Irons

I tested both of the SF405 and SF505 iron shaft models and chose to go with the latter. I used Golf Pride Velvet Lite grips to get the swing weight between C9~D1 throughout the set.

Although the stiffer model of the two, the 505 shaft is still very light at 52g even when uncut. Unlike the driver shafts that range up to SF505XX flex for high-speed swings, the current iron shaft models are for average swing speed golfers between 80-100mph (driver SS).

Before switching, I played MFS Matrix Program 70 shafts weighing 79g uncut, and NS pro 950s steel shafts before that. My idea was to go lighter and still maintain adequate stiffness for control. I had pretty good success with the Matrix graphite shafts and carried on average 140~145 meters (153~158 yds) with my 7-iron on the course.

At first, the SF505 shaft actually didn’t feel too different. Perhaps I was already used to the lighter overall club weight from using the Matrix shafts. Also, the waggle test still produced a lot of whip, but not to the level of the driver and fairway shafts. Right away, I felt I could swing hard or smooth and still feel the clubhead following into the impact zone quite nicely.

It took about a week to get better acquainted with the new swing weight, but the overall transition into the new shaft was quite easy. I now average 150~155 meters (164~169 yds) with the same 7 iron (34 degrees loft). The spin is about the same as before at a low 4000rpm range, but the ball launches a tad higher for that extra carry distance. For those who play often in windy conditions, the added peak height may not be beneficial.

On the whole, the Autoflex iron shafts did improve my distance, swing tempo and accuracy over the last two shafts I’ve used. While I have seen equally good distance gains with other premium carbon shafts such as Steelfiber and MCI, there is no doubt that my dispersion got better. My iron play from within 150 yards improved noticeably, and I can swing more uniformly throughout the round.

Also, dropping down one club into the green helped both my GIR and putting average. I was a decent iron player to begin with, but the added distance with less exertion made the game easier on the body and the scorecard.

Looking at my past five-game average on a GolfZon simulator, I saw significant gains in all aspects of my game. To be sure, it is a simulated golf round and can’t compare to the actual course, but my numbers have all jumped up.

Compared to the tens of thousands of Korean golfers in my handicap/skills bracket, I am well above average except in putting. My driver averaged 226.8 meters (about 250 yards), launching at around 12~13° with 1900~2000rpm. This is an increase of about 20 yards B.A,

(Before Autoflex) and FIR has also jumped from the previous 55% to 74.2%. Greens in regulation improved by about 11% to 76.6%, and this is the indication that my iron play has gotten much more effective in terms of distance and dispersion. I have played over 370 virtual rounds on GolfZon over the past 12 years, and I can honestly say that my numbers
have never looked better. If I can only take these numbers onto a real course, I’d be golden.

Conclusion

If I had to list the Autoflex shafts in order of performance for my golf game, it would first be the driver followed by iron, fairway, and hybrid shafts. The driver shaft is simply like nothing I had ever used and has proven to be worth every penny. The rest of the shafts are honestly equally good, but in terms of cost and the amount of use during a round, I figured that iron shafts are the better value.

So is Autoflex the answer for all? Of course not. No single product can possibly satisfy the countless number of unique golfer swings in the world. The price of the shafts alone would be a big pill to swallow for most golfers, and the gains may not be enough to justify the cost for some.

But as high-end club manufacturers have shown recently, more and more consumers are willing to pay for products that provide real-world performance. At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual to decide where price and performance intersect for their own budget and golf game.

Moreover, the Autoflex shaft taught me that we may be missing out on playing better golf, simply because we take certain notions in golf to be true without really questioning them. To be sure, I never believed that a more flexible shaft could be both longer and straighter, but I am more than happy to be proven wrong. For me, the Autoflex shafts truly delivered what it promised, and stands out among the dozens of “game-changer” products I have tried over the years.

Lastly, I hope the story of the Autoflex further helps to encourage all golfers and manufacturers to re-think and reexamine other previously-held notions in golf. For, who knows what other benefits we may be overlooking to take this amazing game to the next level?

How about it? What has been your game-changer of late?

Your Reaction?
  • 118
  • LEGIT11
  • WOW11
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP1
  • OB1
  • SHANK9

Continue Reading

Equipment

Most forgiving driving iron without much offset – GolfWRXers discuss

Published

on

In our forums, our members have been discussing driving irons. WRXer ‘Gentles’ is on the hunt for the biggest and most forgiving driving irons that don’t have much offset, and our members have been sharing their best picks in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Boogeyman: “SIM DHY has very little offset and is definitely on the bigger side. Maybe even too big for your liking? It’s basically the replacement for GAPR Mid without adjustability but with much-improved looks and feels”
  • Bunkersarebigcups: “U510 is as big and forgiving as it gets. Offset is not minimal but less than the Crossover for sure.”
  • cflo2382: “The New Level NLU-01 might be a good option. They removed a lot of offset compared to their first utility (4995HB). Fantastic feel too.”
  • Spankopotamusredux: “GAPR is money. Like it better than both the Srixon and the Titleist for my game. I think it’s quite an underrated club. Can be found new old stock for $100 or less.”

Entire Thread: “Most forgiving driving iron without much offset”

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Equipment

Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (10/1/21): Tour-Issue SIM2 Max Driver

Published

on

At GolfWRX, we love golf, plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buy and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a Tour-Issue SIM2 Max Driver

From the seller (@HoganHQ): “TaylorMade SIM 2 Max Tour issue 8 degree (tour only head) with Ventus Black 5x, plays a hair over 45 inches length, includes original wrapper with detailed specs, built by People’s golf, mint. $900.

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Tour-Issue SIM2 Max Driver

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB1
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

WITB

Facebook

Trending