I had a driver shaft fitting-here is what I learned

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I’ve mentioned here on occasion that I’ve been fighting my driver pretty much all season.  I broke down and took a lesson.

And that helped.

But I’m still inconsistent.  I spoke with Shawn, a scratch golfer who hits it in the 280-300 range off the tee, and asked if he thought a driver fitting and/or new shaft would help and he agreed it probably would.  So I contacted Bryant Brothers at My Club Maker.  He agreed to do a driver shaft fitting, which happened a couple of weeks ago.  He also put a matching shaft in the Titleist AP1 4-iron I had to buy to replace the one I lost somewhere.  Here is what I learned.

You Can Pay Whatever You Can Afford

You can buy a golf shaft for $100, and could probably find a used one for a lot less than that.  You can also buy a $1200 golf shaft.  So if you have the money, there is a shaft that will eat up much of it.

And, as with most things technical, there is a law of diminishing returns.  A shaft that fits your golf swing will help you gain distance, and hopefully, accuracy.  The more you are willing to spend, the more it will help, but to a lesser extent.  In other words, the first $100 might gain you five yards.  The next $500 might gain you another three yards.

Stiff, Firm, Regular, Senior-What Does It Mean?

Bryant has been doing this a long time.  I had the opportunity a few months ago to interview him in-depth for a detailed article (soon to be published, hopefully), and we talked about shafts:

Just because you swing 100 mph doesn’t mean you need a stiff shaft and just because you swing 70 mph doesn’t mean you need a senior flex shaft.  How fast is your transition?  Are you a swinger or hitter?  How handsy are you?  All those variables make a difference in what shaft you should hit.  Obviously, I look at the (Trackman) numbers, but I look at the swing, too.  I’ve played with a lot of those shafts and I know what they can do.

Bryant also lamented the lack of consistent standards with golf club shafts.

Someone’s stiff shaft is someone else’s regular flex shaft.  Company X may say their shaft spins it less, or more, and I know better.  Well- maybe it does on their machines, but here in North Carolina, it does not.  Or Company Y’s VI6 Stiff isn’t really a stiff, it’s a topside regular.  Because there is no standard, you just have to work with them enough to know what this shaft can do compared to that shaft.

My Fitting

My driver is a Tour Edge Exotics E8 Beta adjusted to 10 degrees.  It came with an Aldila 65 gram stiff shaft.  I was hitting it pretty well last year, but things change over the winter, and since I’d never had a driver shaft fitting anyway, I thought it would be a smart thing to do.

My swing speed hovers around 90 m.p.h.  A few swings were faster (which were usually pulled) and a few were slower.  After about ten swings with my existing set-up, we started switching out shafts.  According to Bryant, I am in-between a firm and a stiff flex to optimize my swing speed.  I’ve played a stiff shaft from the time I can remember, so learning that maybe a true stiff shaft might not be the best was a bit of a buzzkill.  But, I remember his comment that “someone’s stiff shaft is someone else’s regular shaft.”

I like my ball flight, so we didn’t try and change that.

After hitting around ten shots each with three or four different shafts, he has me in a Aldila blue 2knv 60 regular, tipped to get me to a firm level between stiff and regular.  My launch is good, but spin was generally too much, which is not uncommon in an amateur’s swing.

 

Time Will Tell

Since I had the shaft fitting, I have not had time to hit it enough to see a difference.  I can tell there is a difference, but I also know I have that tendency to come over the top, so how much is me and how much is the shaft remains to be seen.  But since I had it dialed in on the range during the fitting, I trust it will do what it is supposed to do if I do what am supposed to do.  And I’m not trying to hit it out there with DJ.  I get in trouble (as we all do) when I overswing.  I just want to hit it around 240 or so, which I’m capable of doing when I have my technique synched.

I would recommend getting a shaft fitting if you have never had one.  It’s a learning experience, as are all fittings, but knowing your shaft is maximized for your game, regardless of how good, or not good, you might be, is a comforting feeling.

Of course, it also takes away one more excuse….

Thanks for reading, and enjoy Shooting Your Age!

 

 

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