Thursday, August 4, 2011

Watching Out For Bum Shafts

I got some questions about drivers and clubs in general this week and I wanted to share my experience at FuZion Golf.

The first thing that they do at FuZion Golf is measure the specs of your current equipment.

One of the things they measure is the frequency of the shafts. For those who don’t understand shaft frequency, it’s a way to measure the stiffness of the shafts. Now, clubmakers like Tom Wishon ( go a bit further with what they call ‘MOI Matching’ which attempts to get each club to ‘feel’ the same when it comes to shaft flex and the way the club feels when you swing it.

I came into the shop with the following woods and their shafts:

Adams 9015D driver. Harrison Saga X60 Shaft (X-Stiff0
Cleveland Hi-Bore XLS 3-wood, Fujikura Fit-On Gold 60g Shaft (Stiff)

The Adams driver, I installed the shaft myself. The trimming instructions told me that I did not need to trim from the tip and all I had to do was trim from the butt end of the shaft until it’s the length I wanted.

The Cleveland 3-wood had a stock shaft in it from Fujikura, a leading shaft manufacturer.

Here’s a sample of a chart that can be uses to show the cpm’s of the shaft for a certain length and what the flex of the shaft is.


These things vary depending on whether the shaft is measure with or without the clubhead on it. IIRC, they add about 30 cpm’s with the clubhead on.

And here’s a picture of a sample frequency measuring machine.

As you can see with the graph, the shorter the club, the more CPM’s there should be. So if you have a 45 inch shaft and you want a stiff flex, the shaft frequency will be at about 250 cpm. But if you want a stiff flex with a 41 inch shaft, it’s about 286 cpm (cycles per minute).

However, if you want to go and take a 45 inch shaft from stiff flex (250 cpm) to XX stiff flex…you need to get the shaft at 270 cpm (the more cpm per the same length of shaft, the stiffer the shaft).

I believe that a 45 inch driver with the clubhead on the shaft is considered X-Stiff at 290 cpm and stiff at 280 cpm. My driver shaft (labeled X-Stiff), was at 283 cpm.

And the 3-wood?

I believe that a ‘stiff’ flex with a 43 inch shaft with the clubhead on the shaft is 298 cpm. My 3-wood measured in at 253 cpm.

That was more in the LL flex category.

IMO, this shows that when buying a club you should probably buy 1 flex stiffer when it comes to graphite unless they are a very high end shaft maker that usually requires a special order from the OEM or that only allows for dealers to install the shafts (i.e. Oban, Bomb Squad, etc).


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