Shaft Fitting

By Bruce MartinJanuary 20, 2008, 5:00 pm

Editor's Note: Bruce Martin is a PGA Master Professional with the San Diego Golf Academy. SDGAs program offers a curriculum of golf instruction and golf business management at all four golf schools, and provides graduates with the education required to get the golf job they desire. You'll soon be teaching others how to improve their game! Click here to learn more about SDGA

The shaft is the engine of the club. One major goal all club fitters encounter is to properly fit their students with the correct shafts. This article will discuss the keys toward determining the proper shafts for the Golf Channel viewers. Shaft technology is constantly improving. Consumer shaft options are enormous. New shaft companies are in the market on a monthly basis. Current shaft manufacturers offer a wide array of shafts for drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, irons, and putters.
During the swing, the shaft bends in three directions:

  • On the transition of the swing from the top / downswing, the shaft will lag or load. This is also classified as stored energy.

  • Just prior to impact, at impact, or after impact, the shaft will lead. This is released energy.

  • In addition to lagging and leading, the shaft will also bend toe down = shaft droop. This will flatten the lie angle, which is a major concern for your irons.

With the shaft bending in three directions, how can one consistently return the clubface to a square position while maximizing the potentials for distance and accuracy? The answer may be in properly fitted shafts.
In order to determine the proper shaft for each golfer, proceed to the following steps:
The majority of golfers will experience the following ball flights ' (Right handed)
Shaft too stiff - Low and to the right = fades, slices, push slices.
Shafts too flexible ' High and to the left = draws, hook, pull hooks.
General guide for shaft stiffness (Based on driver club head speed):
  • X-stiff 110-115+ mph

  • Stiff 100+ mph

  • Regular 90+ mph

  • Senior 80+ mph

If you hook the ball too much, try a stiffer shaft.
If you slice the ball too much, try a more flexible shaft.
Lower kick point shafts will produce higher ball flights = excellent for the following golfers:
  • Lower ball flights

  • Slower to average club head speeds

  • Players that reverse pivot / reverse weight shift

  • Players needing more carry distance and higher trajectories

Higher kick point shafts will produce lower ball flights = excellent for the following golfers:
  • Too high of ball flight

  • Higher club head speeds

  • Players that hang back / have trouble shifting their weight forward

  • Scoopers = adds more dynamic loft at impact

  • Stronger players that need more of a penetrating ball flight

To determine the proper length, have your local PGA Golf professional take a look at your posture at setup and your ability to hit the sweetspot / centeredeness consistently.
Length Considerations:
Longer shafts = Offers more distance, but sacrifices accuracy and consistency.
Shorter shafts = Offers less distance, and more accuracy and consistency.
Putting = Too many putter shafts are designed too long. This may sacrifice the golfers abilities to line up properly and produce an improper path.
Graphite shafted irons ' Manufacturers typically design these shafts 1 longer than standard steel shafts.
Changing length = For every change, the lie angle will also change 1 degree.
Ex: Adding 1 to standard lie angles will produce a 2 degree upright lie angle.
Graphite or Steel?
Look at any PGA or LPGA tour event and you will see the majority of players with steel shafted irons and graphite shafted metal woods. Why, Steel offers more consistency and graphite has the potential for increased distance.
Benefits of graphite shafts:
  • Lighter = potential for more speed

  • Higher launch angles

  • Modern technology = wide variations of launch angles and spin rates

  • Heavier shafts generally will be stiffer

  • Tests have proven that shock absorption occurs ' great for golfers with arthritis or tendonitis.

Benefits of steel shafts:
  • More consistency

  • More reliable with frequency matched stiffness

  • Heavier ' This may help the players tempo and feel

  • Ability to control distance and trajectory better with irons

  • A few companies like True Temper (Sensicore) offers a shock absorption device built inside the shaft

Cross Profiling
An experienced club fitter can offer a variety of different shaft manufacturers once the specifications have been determined. This is a great experience for any golfer to demo similar shaft flexes, kick points, weights, lengths to determine the optimal launch angles, spin rates, carry and overall distance, and consistency between different brands. Several fitting facilities offer this technology with cross profiling between manufacturers.

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Fleetwood rallies to defend Abu Dhabi title

By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 pm

The 2018 European Tour season has begun just as the 2017 one ended: with Tommy Fleetwood's name atop the standings.

Facing the most difficult conditions of the week, Fleetwood charged down the stretch to shoot a 7-under 65 in the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, good enough for a two-shot win and a successful title defense.

Abu Dhabi was the start of Fleetwood's resurgence a year ago, the first of two European Tour victories en route to the season-long Race to Dubai title. This time around the Englishman started the final round two shots off the lead but rallied with six birdies over his final nine holes to reclaim the trophy.

Fleetwood was five shots behind countryman Ross Fisher when he made the turn, but he birdied the par-5 10th and then added four birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 12-16. The decisive shot came on the final hole, when his pitch from the left rough nestled within a few feet of the hole for a closing birdie.

Fleetwood's 22-under total left him two shots ahead of Fisher and four shots clear of Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick. After entering the week ranked No. 18, Fleetwood is expected to move to at least No. 12 in the world when the new rankings are published.

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Garcia cruises to five-shot win in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:10 pm

SINGAPORE - Sergio Garcia played 27 holes on the last day without dropping a shot to win the Singapore Open by five strokes Sunday in an ominous display of his newfound self-belief as he prepares to defend his Masters title.

Still brimming with confidence after claiming his first major title at Augusta National last year, Garcia started his new season with a runaway victory at the Sentosa Golf Club, finishing at 14-under 270.

Returning to the course just after dawn to complete his third round after play was suspended on Saturday because of lightning strikes, Garcia finished his last nine holes in 4 under for a round of 66 to take a one-shot lead into the final round.

With organizers desperate to avert the constant threat of more bad weather and finish the tournament on time, Garcia promptly returned to the first tee shortly after and fired a flawless 3-under 68, cruising to victory with 10 straight pars as his rivals floundered in the stifling humidity.

''It may have looked easy, but it wasn't easy. You still have to hit a lot of good shots out there,'' Garcia said. ''It's always great to start with a win, to do it here at this golf course against a good field in Asia on conditions that weren't easy. Hopefully I can ride on this momentum.''

Garcia's closest rivals at the end were Japan's Satoshi Kodaira (71) and South African Shaun Norris (70). Both birdied the last hole to share second spot but neither was ever close enough on the last day to challenge the leader.

Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

''I could not reach Sergio. I was thinking, 12 or 13 under for the win, but he went beyond that,'' Kodaira said.

Jazz Janewattananond (71) and his fellow Thai Danthai Bonnma (73) finished equal fourth at 8 under, earning themselves a spot in this year's British Open, while American Sean Crocker, who was given an invitation to the event after turning pro late last year, also won a place at Carnoustie by finishing in a tie for sixth.

Garcia made just three bogeys in 72 holes and his victory provided the 38-year-old with the 33rd title of his professional career and his sixth on the Asian Tour.

He has also won three titles in the last 12 months, including the Masters, and his game looks to be in better shape now than it was a year ago.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for Augusta National because of the steamy conditions and the testing stop-start nature of the tournament, which is regularly stopped because of inclement weather.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore a year ago, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

"I'm extremely happy with how the week went. It was a tough day and a tough week, with the stopping and going. Fortunately, the weather held on. Still, it was hard to play 27 holes under this heat and I can't wait to get a cold shower,'' Garcia said. ''I came with some good confidence and wishing that I will play well. I hit the ball solid the whole week and didn't miss many shots.''

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Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

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Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

“I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

“The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.