In Their Own Words - AccuFlex Golf

By Casey BiererNovember 18, 2005, 5:00 pm
A Conversation with Mark Gerent
 
AccuFlex is a Charlotte, North Carolina based company. In 2001, AccuFLEX Golf shafts emerged on to the professional golf scene, making inroads on the Nationwide Tour and on the professional Long Drive circuit. The launch of the AccuFLEX ICON and ICON V.2 Tour shafts in 2002 earned victories on both the PGA and Nationwide Tours within two weeks of introduction. In 2004, AccuFLEX golf shafts swept the ReMax World Long Drive Championships with victories in the Men's Open, Men's Senior and Women's Open Divisions. Through year's end 2004, AccuFlex had accumulated a total of ten PGA, Champions and Nationwide Tour victories. In August 2004 the company introduced its 'Evolution' shaft, made exclusively with Nano Composite.
 
'Our Mission at AccuFLEX Is To Build a Golf Shaft to Fit Every Swing' -- Jody Baucom, President, AccuFLEX Golf, Inc. - March, 1999
 
Mark Gerent was a tech for Cleveland Golf and also worked for TaylorMade-adidas Golf. His exposure at certain events allowed him to create relationships with a significant number of PGA Tour players. He now reps AccuFlex shafts full-time on the PGA Tour.
 
Editors Note: This conversation took place on the driving range at the Chrysler Classic of Greensboro.
 
Casey / Q:
Mark, lets get right down to the nitty gritty. Why do you believe AccuFlex shafts are unique?
 
Mark / A:
What makes the shafts so different is that they are all made on a lathe. They are filament wound. The materials used are ten times smaller than any other material in the market which allows for extraordinary precision in the manufacturing process. The shafts are all seamless and spineless as well. What the nanotechnology does is, after it is woven on the lathe, the shaft is dipped in the material which then gets in all of the creases and folds and takes all the imperfections out of the shaft. This makes the wall thicknesses perfectly even and as a result there are no flaws in the shaft whatsoever. This equates to consistency and durability. Theyre three times stronger than any two-wrap shaft ever tested.
 
Casey / Q:
How did AccuFlex get its start? Where was the initial focus?
 
Mark / A:
We actually started as a long-drive company. The technology works well for the long drive guys. And with these guys, theyre hitting our eighty gram shafts with 200 MPH ball speed and not breaking the shafts and they love that. A lot of the time shafts break with that amount of torque.
 
Accuflex Golf Shafts
Accuflex Golf offers a large variety of shafts and each is made one at a time.

 
Casey / Q:
OK, so were out here on the range at a PGA Tour event. All the major OEMs have their tour vans out here. You dont have a tour van. How does it work for you? How do you get your shafts in the hands of the players?
 
Mark / A:
I work with the TaylorMade guys or the Callaway guys ' all of them really ' and if theres something thats hot - a hot driver head in a popular loft like 9 degrees - I have a demo made and make sure its available for guys to hit. If they hit itlike the way it feelslike its performance, then I go and build it to their exact specs with their grip and length and loft and all that stuff. These guys are going to know pretty quickly if they like it or not. They have such great feel.
 
Casey / Q:
Did you start out here or on another tour?
 
Mark / A:
We started out on the Nationwide Tour last year. AccuFlex wanted to try it out there and see what happened. And then with the success ' we have twenty to thirty guys out there playing with the shafts at any given time ' the company felt comfortable coming out here on the big tour.
 
Casey / Q:
So, back to the no tour van business. How do you get clubs built for players?
 
Mark / A:
These guys that work for the big OEMs, theyre awesome club makersthe finest in the world, really. They have no problem building a couple of clubs for me here and there. With our success on the Nationwide Tourwell, lets just say the guys out here on the PGA Tour know whats going on. They keep their eyes open for new technology. They know this shaft has won out on the Nationwide Tour so it sparks a lot of interest with the guys on the PGA Tour and they want to try the shafts. If a player wants to try a shaft then their tour rep is going to build that club for them no questions asked.
 
Casey / Q:
Youre up against extremely well established companies out here. Does that pose a challenge?
 
Mark / A:
It can be tough because the top players have relationships with a lot of the big companies. So Im here to get to know the guys and work myself and our product in on tour out here. I give away a ton of stuff out here and thats not cheap. I give our owner a lot of credit. He knows he has a great product and hes willing to make the investment to make sure that the best players in the world have a chance to experience the technology for themselves. Its a process. A small percentage of the shafts go in play, but over time, that helps build the credibility. And then you never know. A player puts the shaft in play and wins a tournament with it and bamits a home run. To already have seven wins this year on all tours combined, for a company thats only been around for two years, thats pretty good.
 
Casey / Q:
Do you cover all the tours yourself?
 
Mark / A:
Theres another rep of ours on the Nationwide Tour thats a full-timer. He used to be a caddie out there and hes been out there for years and years. He handles a ton of guys out on that tour.
 
Casey / Q:
So where does the buzz come from? Why are players interested in trying a new product like this?
 
Mark / A:
Its really the technology; fortunately that speaks for itself. Like Joe Durant hit it this morning and he wanted two drivers with it. Ive never seen anything like it. I mean a lot of the reps even agree that the players are pulling the trigger so quick when they try the shafts. Thats the bottom line. They try it, ask to have a driver built, and put it in the bag the next day. The shaft keeps the ball flight so straight, and theres just something about the feel. Its much tighter and its just so consistent and theres a lot less shaft deformation because of the weaving process.
 
Casey / Q:
Youre catering to the best players in the world out here. What about AccuFlex for the average Joe?
 
Mark / A:
Whats great about AccuFlex is that our line is so versatile. We have about 25 or 30 shafts in our line at any given time. We can accommodate low swing speed amateurs all the way up to a tour pro.
 
Casey / Q:
When we were talking yesterday you eluded to the fact that its unusual out on tour to find a one shaft fits all shaft. Can you elaborate on that?
 
Mark / A:
The buzz that I hear from players is that certain shafts out here dont work for certain guys. Its not that a shaft is bad, its just that the performance characteristics match a particular swing: speed, arc, tempo, strength, late release, early release, etc. However, everybody seems to hit our Evolution shaft really well. And thats pretty rare out here. Most guys are focused in on just one shaft or one shaft type and they cant hit another shaft. But, with the Evolution, just about all the players who have tried it like it. Its a mid-kick point shaft and its 72 grams, but, the nano creates a very low spin. And were finding out with the launch monitors that higher launch with lower spin, in most cases, is going to give you more distance. And a lot of guys are finding five, ten or even fifteen more yards with the Evolution without sacrificing accuracy.
 
Casey / Q:
Who does your research and development?
 
Mark / A:
Jody Baucom, our owner, does all the research and development and testing. Each shaft is made one at a time ' theyre not an assembly line shaft ' which I think is attractive to these guys out here on tour. The company thrives on producing a very high quality product and the tour players appreciate that kind of quality. Every shaft is tested for weight, wall thickness, torque, kick ' we make sure they are all spot on before we bring them out here and that goes a long way towards building credibility. Thats one of the reasons why its done so well out here is because of the quality. Good quality will always prevail out on the PGA Tour.
 
Casey / Q:
Having exposure on the tours helps with consumer interest?
 
Mark / A:
Weve had six or seven top tens out here this year. People start talking about a new shaft on tour. They see the shafts on TV and that builds interest. The public starts inquiring at golf shops and with their local proshey did you see that new shaft D.J. Trahan was playing with, or John Rollins or Marco Dawson or Chris Andersonand that generates interest and eventually consumer demand. Thats how you can build a companyas long as you have the quality product to back it up.
 
Casey / Q:
Take us through your line, if you will.
 
Mark / A:
In terms of what is actually available we have our Icon line. Our Icon V2 is 68 grams stiff flex, a little over 2 degrees of torque. It has a little bit lower ball flight because of the mid-high kick point. The original Icon which is 80 grams with a very high kick point which is going to keep the ball down.
 
The Evolution is mid-seventies, low seventies weight range with 2.8 degrees of torque with a mid-kick point.
 
The new Heavy shaft, which is working out fantastic in the fairway woods out here on tour, is 95 or 96 grams depending on if its an S or and X flex. Its very unique. Its very strong in the butt with a lot of action in the tip because it has the torque properties of steel. So you get a really unique feel that has a lot of action but its very stable. They guys have been very receptive to this shaft in their fairway woods, especially the guys who regularly play steel.
 
We do the Assassins which is a mid-kick point shaft; 65 gramsa lot of guys on the long-drive tour are using this shaft.
 
The HL is 80 grams and it goes in the hybrids and long irons ' its a .370 tip iron shaft. Its worked out very well out herean anti-left shaft; a lot of the guys cant put it left just because of the torque and the stiffness of it.
 
Casey / Q:
So, all and all youre optimistic?
 
Mark / A:
Im extremely optimistic. I know in my heart that this is a fantastic product. And when guys out here give it a try the reaction is very favorable. The big name players might not automatically put the shaft in play. But, thats because there are a lot of factors at work at that level. But the reaction is wonderful. I think the guys out here appreciate the quality and performance of the shafts and eventually, thats going to pay off in a big way.
 
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After Further Review: Tiger's return comes at perfect time

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 2:19 am

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the current state of golf as Tiger Woods returns to competition ...

Less than four days before Tiger Woods returns to official competitive golf for the first time in a year, Jon Rahm, the new second-ranked player in the world, won on the PGA Tour and Rory McIlroy made an impressive 2018 debut on the European Tour (T-3).

Not since Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus crossed paths at the 1960 U.S. Open has there been so many superstars all poised for big seasons, with world No. 1 Dustin Johnson having already won this year and Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas both coming off stellar seasons.

It’s a good time for golf. - Rex Hoggard


On Tommy Fleetwood's continued success ...

There have been scores of talented European players whose skills didn’t translate to the PGA Tour … and maybe, in a few years, Tommy Fleetwood will prove to be no different.

He sure looks like the real deal, though.  

His title defense in Abu Dhabi – on the strength of a back-nine 30 in windy conditions – was his third title in the past 12 months and 11th top-10 overall. A few of those have come in majors and World Golf Championship events, too, which led the reigning Race to Dubai champion to accept PGA Tour membership for this season.

Beginning at Riviera, he plans to play exclusively in the States through May, then reassess for the rest of the year. Hope he sticks, because he’s a fun personality with tons of game. - Ryan Lavner

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Rahm passes Spieth to become world No. 2

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:25 am

With his win Sunday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm picked up his second PGA Tour victory and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup points standings.

He picked up one more No. 2, too.

The 23-year-old Spaniard passed Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, behind only Dustin Johnson.

In 19 months, since June 2016, Rahm has rocketed from No. 776 in the world to No. 2, thanks in part to his low divisor, his number of events played.

Asked after his playoff victory over Andrew Landry to discuss his rapid ascent up the world rankings, Rahm was almost at a loss.

“It's hard to believe to be honest, passing Jordan Spieth,” he said. “That's a three-time major champion. I only have two wins. He's got 10-plus, right? It's again – I've said it many times – I never thought I was going to be at this point in my life right now.”

Rahm may only have two PGA Tour titles, but this is his fourth worldwide win in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. He also took the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open and the DP World Tour Championship on his way to claiming the European Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year Award.

Dating back to the start of last season on the PGA Tour, Rahm has racked up 12 top-10s, three runner-ups, and two wins.

He will head to Torrey Pines next week ready to defend for the first time.

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Brady compares self to Woods after winning AFC title

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 1:05 am

Tom Brady and Tiger Woods are two of the all-time greats in their respective sports ... a fact that is not lost on the five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

Fresh off leading the New England Patriots to a AFC Championship victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brady was asked about winning the game despite a cut on his throwing hand - which made national news heading into the matchup.

His response invoked the name of a certain 14-time major winner, something that would be tough to pull off, if not for the fact that he is, you know, Tom Brady.

“I think it's kind of arrogant to say it bothered me when we had a pretty good game, so I wouldn't say that," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game. "It's like when Tiger Woods said, ‘That was my C game’ and he won the tournament."

Tiger Woods winning with his "C game" may be a distant memory for golf fans, but no matter what game he brings, his next chance to win comes next week at Torrey Pines during his official comeback to the PGA Tour.

Brady has a shot at his sixth Super Bowl title in two weeks. The Patriots would probably benefit from him bringing a little better than his "C game" as well.

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Rahm beats Landry in playoff to win CareerBuilder

By Nick MentaJanuary 22, 2018, 1:00 am

Jon Rahm birdied the fourth extra hole Sunday to defeat Andrew Landry in a playoff, win the CareerBuilder Challenge and move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here’s how things played out in overtime at PGA West:

Leaderboard: Rahm (-22), Landry (-22), John Huh (-20), Adam Hadwin (-20), Martin Piller (-20), Kevin Chappell (-19), Scott Piercy (-19)

What it means: This is Rahm’s second PGA Tour win and his fourth worldwide victory in the last year, dating back to last season’s Farmers Insurance Open. Rahm took the early lead Thursday with an opening 62 and after rounds of 67-70, he started the final round two back. On Sunday, he made five birdies without dropping a single shot on the intimidating Stadium Course. In the clubhouse at 22 under, Rahm watched as Landry made birdie on 18 to force a playoff.

Rahm missed birdie putts that would have ended the tournament on the final hole of regulation and on each playoff hole. Finally, on his fourth trip down 18 of the day, his birdie bid found the cup. With the victory, Rahm passes Jordan Spieth to move to No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, trailing only Dustin Johnson. He enters next week at Torrey Pines looking to defend for the first time.

Best of the rest: A two-time Web.com winner playing his second full season on the PGA Tour, Landry shot 68 Sunday, making birdie on the 72nd hole to force extras. Once Rahm finally made birdie on the fourth playoff hole, Landry's putt to extend slid by on the right edge. This is Landry's best career finish on the PGA Tour. Had he won, he would have secured full Tour status through the 2019-20 season and earned invites to the Masters, Players, and PGA Championships.

Round of the day: Sam Saunders fired an 8-under 64 to register this best finish of the season, a tie for eighth at 18 under. The reigning Web.com Tour Championship winner was 9 under par through 12 holes before making bogey at 13 and parring his way into the clubhouse.

Biggest disappointment: Overnight leader Austin Cook was eyeing his second win of the season but never contended. The RSM champion carded two double bogeys Sunday en route to a 3-over 75, dropping him from the 54-hole lead to a tie for 14th.

Shot of the day: Rahm's putt to win:

Quote of the day: "One of us had to do it and either one of us would have been a well-deserving champion." - Rahm on his playoff victory over Landry