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Tour Insider: Fujikura Ventus – The best “Fuji”shaft ever?

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Now that the tour season has come to a conclusion for this year, I wanted to take a look at something I found quite fascinating for a few different reasons. It’s not every day you see a club component (or “part,” as the guys on the trucks like to call it) that has had such an evolution as the Fujikura Ventus line.

The thing that makes Ventus go is VeloCore technology—that’s the “what” of the Ventus story.

But what exactly is it?

Well, it started as a tour-driven concept. Fujikura was using pitch 70 ton in the R&D “ENSO” concept shafts to study the influence of torque on performance.

A few background notes

P = Pitch = derived from earthy carbon-based materials like plants, crude oil, and coal.

70 ton – Standard modulus is 24ish, then you have intermediate, high (ex: T1100) and ultra-high (Pitch 70 Ton).

  • Ultra-high starts around 60 ton

The higher the tonnage the higher the stiffness.

At a certain point, Fujikura tested it at full length to push it as far as they could, and with the help of ENSO, they had a eureka moment. Engineers found that with this composite makeup they had a shaft that had the stability to increase center face contact frequency, all while dialing up speed. Boom! VeloCore was born!

It was over two years ago at Napa that the Fujikura Ventus Blue made its tour debut. At the time, other shaft manufacturers had launched very competitive product—Mitsubishi was very successful with Diamana and Tensei, Graphite Design with its Tour AD line and Project X HZRDUS was going strong. Needless to say, Ventus dove right into the middle of a very crowded swimming pool.

However, since the golf world opened back up, Ventus has seen momentum on tour that has been unique—in particular, the Ventus Black shaft.

  • Average number of Ventus wood shafts in play before shutdown = 24.46
  • Average number of Ventus wood shafts in play after shutdown = 32.9
  • 34.7 percent growth after season resumed

In the shaft game, that’s a huge leap, and if you could nail it down to one particular shaft, it would be the Ventus Black.

But why? What is it about that shaft that sparks the interest of so many players including Rory, Fleetwood, Kuchar, Sergio, and DJ?

Check out this list of notable players who switched into Ventus Black

  1. Rory McIlroy (driver)
  2. Justin Rose (driver)
  3. Dustin Johnson (driver (at times), 3-wood)
  4. Sergio Garcia (won) with Black in all three woods and in the driver went to a 60-gram profile for the first time in years
  5. Tommy Fleetwood now plays it in driver, 3-wood, and 7-wood
  6. Matt Kuchar (driver)

I  had a chance to chat with Pat McCoy (Fuji Rep on Tour) and get his opinion. This is what he had to say.

JW: If you could pinpoint one aspect of Ventus that is unique what would it be?

PM: The ability to keep the head more stable through impact regardless of head CG. At the speeds these guys are swinging, you need stability to maximize it.

JW: What is important to the guys on tour as a general rule, speed or stability?

PM: In years past, I would have said stability, but now it’s all about speed. We can fix the club to be built for stability after we get the speed.

JW: What about the Black has been so attractive versus the Blue or Red?

PM: The Black due to it being ultra butt stiff and it allowed fitters to increase loft and it will still be low in spin, plus it was a part that we know more tour players would want

JW: Is it fair to say that in some cases, certain profile heads just match up with really well certain shafts?

PM: It’s fair to say that certain swing styles match up to EI profiles but you still need to optimize CG and loft for impact location.

Over the year, I spoke with multiple fitters and tour techs on Ventus, but this comment was the one that really struck a chord as to the nitty-gritty of what makes this shaft unique especially on tour.

“Fuji hasn’t cracked the code they have destroyed it. The Ventus Black specifically has an integrity that I haven’t seen much of. Its not often that we get a tour part at 60G that gives the player everything they get at 70G as far as dispersion but in addition gives them more speed. 9.9/10 there is some kind of trade-off going up or down in weight, this shaft asks the player to sacrifice nothing. “You get what you get” is the best way to describe it, call it stability, efficiency whatever you like but players are getting perfect feedback from this thing. If a player has a left tendency, it goes that way, if it’s right it goes that way. It May seem like something negative but it’s not, feedback and predictability are paramount for the best players in the world, and as a fitter, once we know there are zero surprises, we can dial it in and the ownership falls squarely on the player. That’s how they want it. No tricks.”

The data supports the momentum. I had a chance to chat with PGA Tour stats wizard Rich Hunt on two specific test cases that paint an interesting story on what happened when Player A and Player B switched into Ventus Black. It needs to be said that the shaft is one piece of the puzzle, it’s the combination of the fit, the head, face angles, swing weights, etc. Nonetheless, there are some interesting data points.

PLAYER A (10 tournaments total: 5 before Ventus and 5 after)

*Carry Efficiency = Carry Distance / Club Speed

As you can see he is not only swinging a shaft at least 15G lighter than before, he also improved his spin, launch, carry, and accuracy. Counterintuitive to what you would think going to a lighter shaft. Point is swing speed and ball speed remained constant (AKA Effort) and with everything else being equal found a setup that maximized that effort by a significant amount.

PLAYER B (4 tournaments before and 2 after)

The story here is pure speed. The player, who was in a heavier profile previously was able to go down to a 60-gram profile found ridiculous (at the tour-level) upticks in swing speed, ball speed, launch angle, and max-height all while reducing spin. Now accuracy versus the field was sacrificed a bit, however, the 8-12 yards increase in distance is a worthy gamble. That’s a full club shorter.

What did we learn?

First of all, Ventus is one of many phenomenal shafts on the market. However, Fujikura has found something to run with. It’s the ability to offer a tour part at a true 60-gram weight class, all while giving players the same stability aspects of 70 to 80-gram shafts.

Usually, less weight means more speed and potential loss of accuracy. Ventus Black especially has offered more speed and improvements in dispersion. That’s unique.

I also spoke with some colleagues on the inside at Fujikura about what is to come, and from the sounds of it, they have big plans to extend tour offerings even further. Sub-60 Ventus Black? Ventus for the long shaft players? a TX? We shall see. When the tour asks, Fuji has a knack for responding quickly.

To compete in the shaft game, you constantly have to make breakthroughs, even in the most tucked of corners. The crew at Fujikura did something special here, and there is no disputing that now.

Quick Fujikura stats

General Fujikura shaft brand Darrell count (YoY increases – not Ventus specific, all Fuji shafts)

  • 20% increase in driver count
  • 7% increase in wood count
  • PGA Championship – 28% increase
  • WGC FedEx St. Jude Classic – 40% increase

Ventus Brand Darrell count YoY increases

  • Ventus – 219% increase from 2018/19 events to 2019/20 season events which were played. (This excludes events on the 2019 calendar but not played in 2020 due to COVID-19 season)

 

 

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Donn Rutkoff

    Dec 24, 2020 at 2:58 am

    I’m 66 yrs old. I need to swing a senior or Taylormade M flex on 3 wood and driver. Is there any reason for a guy like me to shell out big money for these wonderful new shafts designed around the needs of stiff and x stiff? Is a senior flex driver shaft of the lastest invention really any better than a senior flex shaft of last 5 or 7 years? I swing a UST Recoil F2 driver. A Matrix Ozik x-con M flex in a TM Burner Superfast 2.0 three wood. (I know, the only way to tell is to hit some shots.)

  2. TL

    Dec 23, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    I’ve had the Blue for about a year. Loved it so much I put o e in a 3 wood. I have also enjoyed the speeder line, but as mentioned above, there’s something special with the Ventus. It is by far the smoothest feeling shaft I’ve hit or owned!

  3. boydenit

    Dec 23, 2020 at 6:49 am

    What country is Ventus produced in?

  4. Larry Legend

    Dec 22, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Don’t buy the hype of the Taylor Made shaft called “Ventus.” These are not the real thing, have softer butt/tip sections. These OEM’s should be stopped of false marketing their shafts in a watered down version just to sell a SIM.

    • Dugan

      Dec 23, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      Uhhh all of us on wrx know that already, sir.

    • Nihonsei75

      Dec 23, 2020 at 4:59 pm

      When I walk past Your driver ball to check my yardage from my 3wd ball in the fairway, don’t remind me how my Ventus is not real. Happened all year, minus the pessimistic and talk down commentary!

  5. Bladehunter

    Dec 22, 2020 at 9:08 am

    Red is the best kept secret in golf. If you’re a guy or gal who doesn’t launch it high. But what’s to get it up and keep spin management, try one. You’ll be shocked.

  6. ProjectX

    Dec 21, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    I would hope that the latest shaft by any brand is their greatest ever. If not, what the hell are they doing?

  7. Mower

    Dec 21, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    Any coupon codes for 50% Off the Ventus?
    Do they have payment plans?

    • Dugan

      Dec 23, 2020 at 3:16 pm

      Peoples had a black Friday sale that included adapter and grip for $280. Unless you luck out on ebay, they sell for 350

  8. big daddy j

    Dec 21, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    I went from a tensie pro white, which I loved, to the ventus black. Actually went from 60g in the tensei TX to a 70 in the ventus X. Can’t believe how much smoother and easier the ventus has been to hit. It’s very stable and it sounds like a cracking of a whip. It’s been a real joy to play with. Going to try to grab a Ventus blue for my fairway wood soon

    • Nihonsei75

      Dec 23, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      Blue is solid in 3wd and Hy, even without the Velocore. Not at Your flex level I’m sure and with that aside, I’m loving every hole swinging all out or choking down and dialing in shot shapes on tight fairways and long Par 3s. Can’t speak for the “Real” w/Velocore though without it I’ve been enjoying the game!

  9. cody

    Dec 21, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Love the blue..

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Whats in the Bag

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Driver: Srixon ZX5 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana D+ 70 TX (44.5 inches, tipped 1 inch)

3-wood: TaylorMade M2 Tour HL (16.5 degrees)
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Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore – Tour Rack Raw (52 Mid, 56 Mid, 60 Low)
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Putter: Scotty Cameron T10 Select Newport 2 Prototype

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (Midsize) round

Ball: Srixon Z Star Prototype

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Driver: Cobra Proto (9 degrees)
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Shaft: LA Golf C2L-180
Grip: JumboMax JMX Jumboflat 17

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X (2022 prototype)

Grips: JumboMax JMX Ultralite

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

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