Something About Shafts
We don't normally plug things like this on ClubSG, but since it involves Terry "The Wedge Guy" Koehler and he's practically family, we felt the need to share it with you. Terry will be on the "Speaking of Golf" show live tomorrow from 10-11 AM EST. He'll be discussing a variety of golf related topics so make sure you tune in for a good time. You can check listen to the live show at www.speakingofgolf.com.
I’m going to step outside the short end of the set this morning, and talk about the “first scoring club” – your driver. Good drivers of the ball have a much easier time of this game, as it is a huge advantage to approach greens from the fairway than the rough, even if you are not that long. I have advised many times that if you have to drop back to a 3-wood off the tee to keep it in play, your scores will invariably come down. So, check the testosterone and play better . . . if you can.
But a big part of hitting good drives is the tool you use to do it, and unfortunately, off-the-rack drivers are not “tuned” to optimize their performance. Let me explain.
If you purchase a driver from one of the top brands, realize that you got one of 250-400,000 – or more – that they made that year. Knowing that production is ramped up for the spring season, these companies build 30-50,000 drivers per month, or 1,500-2,500 per day, 250-400 an hour. These are assembly line clubs, (the only way to produce that many) and as such, they have some procedural tolerance built into the process. One of those is that shafts are installed with the graphics up, down or sideways on every club. That’s the standard.
The problem with that is that graphite shafts all have a “spine”, where one side is thicker than the others. That spine determines exactly how the shaft loads and unloads during the swing. And no shaft company aligns their graphics with any orientation to the spine, so you have no idea where it is on the shaft.
When we build a driver for ourselves or friends in our custom shop, we always locate the spine so that we know the club will load and unload in a straight line as the clubhead approaches impact. If it is not located that way, the club can actually “jump” in that final unloading, as much as 1/2-3/4 of an inch. That’s half the effective impact zone.
That’s been a puzzling thing to me about these drivers that have the adjustable hosel where you can rotate the shaft to achieve various “specs”. We’ve tested them, and when you rotate the shaft, you also change how that shaft will perform in the swing. So, finding the “right spot” is almost impossible.
Think about your driver this way. What other mechanical device on earth accelerates from 0 to 100+ miles per hour in less than 10’ of travel and .2 of a second? Even the most minute glitch in that club’s specifications and performance can have a major impact.
So, there’s the “problem”, but I’m not going to leave you without a solution. If you have a driver that you like the looks of, take it to a qualified independent clubfitter to have it measured and evaluated. He can pull the shaft and re-orient it into the head to improve your club’s performance dramatically. It’s like having your tires balanced or wheels aligned – it just works wonders.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
[ comments ]
That makes perfect sense to me.
Jeff D. says:
Thanks Wedge guy!
I've done some experimenting in this area myself. What I've found is that even if you spine the shaft and orient this point down fairway or exactly the opposite the shafts FLO is not correct. Instead now I use the spine as a starting point and check the FLO of the club with the head temporarily mounted to the shaft. Am I alone in this? Feedback?
[ post comment ]