QA Explaining Shaft Tipping

By Frank ThomasJune 6, 2006, 4:00 pm
Editor's Note: This is the latest in a weekly Q&A feature from The Golf Channel's Chief Technical Advisor Frank Thomas. To submit a question for possible use in this column, email letsbefrank@thegolfchannel.com
 
Mr. Thomas,
I recently ordered a Fujikura Vista Tour 60 X-Stiff graphite shaft to replace my existing shaft, which is an Aldila NV65 Stiff. The only problem is the Fujikura is 46 inches long compared to the 45 inch Aldila, which is the length I am comfortable with. If I were to tip the Fujikura to 45 inches, how much stiffer would it make the shaft and how will it effect how I hit my driver? -- Evan LaRocque

 
Evan,
It is a lot easier to shorten the shaft to 45 by cutting it down from the butt end. This will not affect the shaft properties as much as tipping it, which will make it tip stiff and the flight may be slightly lower and it might feel a little stiffer.
 
I am not too sure what sort of game you have but if you are close to a scratch player or better you will probably be able to tell the difference. If you are a 10+ hcp then you should not be able to feel the difference and in fact should probably go down to 44 inches which will keep you in the fairway more often. This length change will affect the swing weight but you can compensate with lead tape if needed.
 
Frank,
I am 6 6 tall and my clubs are 1 inch longer and 5 degrees upright. In order for me to hit the ball well I have to stand very close. Many times people make fun of how close I stand to the ball. My swing is very upright and it is almost to a point where the irons are not upright enough in order to reach the ball comfortably and make good contact without the toe hitting first.
 
Is it possible that these clubs are too short or is it my swing? -- Bob

 
Bob,
If you are not going to move away from the ball and/or bend a little at the waist, which might lead to a slightly flatter swing, then the shafts are probably too short. You are tall but not to the extent that you need more than a one inch longer set along with an extreme upright lie-angle.

The one inch longer set which you have is probably right but I think it is your stance and swing which is creating the problem. Before you make any further changes to your set I would first invest in a lesson from a good teacher who will better be able to evaluate what you need to do. You dont want to change your set and then after the lesson find that your swing change requires another fitting change back to where you started.
 
This is a common mistake where golfers get fitted to a set and then go for a lesson which corrected the flaw that the newly fitted set was trying to correct. Then you have to go back to get fitted again.
 
I have seen golfers with a slicing swing flaw get a band-aid club to correct it. This corrects the flight a little but not the swing. So they are now locked into a band-aid club and bad swing. This is fine unless they want to get better. When the swing flaw is corrected after a lesson then the band-aid club needs to be replaced. It is always less expensive to get a lesson to improve your game than a club which locks you into a flawed move.
 
Dear Frank,
Instead of advancing the ball forward during my drives, my ball spins backwards! I have a swing speed of 104mph and carry of 230yds. I am using a Cleveland 460 9.5deg with a NV55 stiff shaft. Ball ProV1x. -- John Chen

 
John,
There are two or three reasons for the ball landing and spinning back on the fairway on your drives. First it is most likely that the trajectory is too high. This can come from too much spin combined with a high a launch angle.
 
This will increase the angle at which the ball impacts the fairway. It is this impact angle and ball speed which determines how much roll you are going to get. Believe it or not, it is not the spin on the ball which influences the roll on the fairway. This is not the case on the green but your particular landing conditions on the fairway may be similar in angle off a wedge.
 
The other condition which will create a ball bouncing backward on the fairway is very soft wet conditions, which we have all experienced at one time or another. I think you know this and wouldnt be asking if it was the case.
 
So with your head speed of 104 mph you should be launching the ball at about 13 degrees and 2,400 rpm of spin (see A Guideline: Optimum Driver Launch Conditions for Maximum Distance on www.franklygolf.com for this information).
 
So I think you need to check your launch conditions using a good launch monitor. You may have to get a driver with less loft.
 
Frank,
I had a set of KZG Evolution clubs made for me by a respected club maker. He suggested True Temper super lite firm shaft for the clubs. Each club was shipped by KZG exactly the same weight differential between each club. Each club has 2.5 swing weight. Gripped with the golf pride red and black 1/2 cord grip...a good looking set, but I HATE them. I get no distance, I cannot hit solidly, am on the toe side in striking the ball. THEY JUST DONT FEEL RIGHT, thus far it is a regret to go thru the fitting process with custom clubs.

The other night I was watching Whats in the Bag and saw something that interested me. Adam Barr was talking to some club fitter about grips that had different weight that could be added to the butt end of the grip. It seems silly to me to lighten a club with a shaft, then go and add weight to increase the overall weight, but I dont understand all the dynamics nor the physics of this kind of thing...I know you do... kindly tell me if this should be pursued with the custom clubs mentioned.

Im 63 and still hit it pretty well. Handicap around 13, but have shot 78 and several 80s but I can also shoot a 95 almost any time. I am currently hitting Titleist 680 blades with s300 and I love them. Im the best worst golfer at my club. I can birdie as easy as triple. Can these KZG's be salvaged? -- Don Walters

 
Don,
I too have a set of 680 blades and love them as you do so why change. It is not easy to make good friends so when you have some, dont give them up until they get old and dont work for you any more. It really isnt them as much as you. I have a listing of more than 200 clubs on my site under the Maltby Playability Factor which guides you to the type of set which probably best fits you based on your skill level. If you are going to change because you need a little more forgiveness then this listing should be a good starting point.
 
Most of us (99%) can use a standard set without any change other than shaft flex. I know that we generally play with shafts which are too stiff so go for an R-shaft or if your swing speed is 75mph then go for the A-Flex shaft.
 
The KZGs may be good clubs but this combination obviously doesnt work for you. If you are looking for something a little more forgiving then you can go with the same specs but with a different head from the same manufacturer.
 
Changing clubs will not turn your game around unless you are completely mismatched but you have already made friends so work on your game and dump the 3-and 4-iron and get two hybrids. I am not going to change mine. Technology in irons hasnt changed very much and certainly not enough to part with a good friend.
 
Please dont start back weighting your clubs with weights in the grip purely to get the swing weight to something you feel is right when looking at the swing weight scale. Putting weight in the grip has the same effect as wearing a glove. It will reduce the swing weight by five points but have no effect on the swing dynamics. This is a method to tweak clubs if you really know what you are doing and play on the Tour.
 
Otherwise go with a true matching by changing, head weight, shaft weight and/or shaft length but dont try to do this with back weighting or slugs down the shaft. You may also want to include club frequency which adds another element i.e. shaft stiffness.
 
Good friends are hard to find so dont give them up unless you have no other option. It is not the arrow or the bow but the Archer in most cases.
 
Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf, a company dedicated to Helping Golfers. Frank is Chief Technical Advisor to The Golf Channel and Golf Digest. He served as Technical Director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN System and introduced the Stimpmeter to the world of golf. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email letsbefrank@thegolfchannel.com

South Korean LPGA stars lead KLPGA team

By Randall MellNovember 24, 2017, 10:32 pm

South Korea’s LPGA team of all-stars took the early lead Friday on the Korean LPGA Tour in a team event featuring twice as much star power as this year’s Solheim Cup did.

Eight of the world’s top 20 players are teeing it up in the ING Life Champions Trophy/ Inbee Park Invitational in Gyeongju. There were only four players among the top 20 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings when the United States defeated Europe in Des Moines, Iowa.

Park led the LPGA team to a 3 ½-to-2 ½ lead on the first day.

Park, who has been recuperating from a back injury for most of the second half of this season, teamed with Jeongeun Lee5 to defeat Hye Jin Choi and Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4, in the lead-off four-ball match.

So Yeon Ryu and Park, former world No. 1s and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Award winners, will be the marquee pairing on Saturday. They will lead off foursomes against Ji Young Kim and Min Sun Kim.

Nine of the 11 South Koreans who won LPGA events this year are competing. Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim are the only two who aren’t.

The fourball results:

LPGA’s Inbee Park/ Jeongeun Lee5 def. Hye Jin Choi/Ji Hyun Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Mirim Lee/Amy Yang def.  Ji Hyun Oh/Min Sun Kim, 3 and 1.

LPGA’s M.J. Hur/Mi Hyang Lee halved Ji Hyun Kim/Ji Young Kim.

KLPGA’s Ha Na Jang/Sun Woo Bae def. Sei Young Kim/Hyo Joo Kim, 5 and 4.

LPGA’s Na Yeon Choi/Jenny Shin halved Jin Young Ko/Da Yeon Lee

LPGA’s In Gee Chun/Eun Hee Ji halved Jeongeun Lee6/Char Young Kim.

NOTE: The KPGA uses numerals after a player’s name to distinguish players with the exact same name.

 

Cut Line: Lyle faces third bout with cancer

By Rex HoggardNovember 24, 2017, 5:40 pm

In this week’s holiday edition, Cut Line is thankful for the PGA Tour’s continued progress on many fronts and the anticipation that only a Tiger Woods return can generate.

Made Cut

The Fighter. That was the headline of a story Cut Line wrote about Jarrod Lyle following his second bout with cancer a few years ago, so it’s both sad and surreal to see the affable Australian now bracing for a third fight with leukemia.

Lyle is working as an analyst for Channel 7’s coverage of this week’s Emirates Australian Open prior to undergoing another stem cell transplant in December.

“I’ve got a big month coming,” Lyle said. “I’m back into hospital for some really heavy-duty treatment that’s really going to determine how things pan out for me.”

Twice before things have panned out for Lyle. Let’s hope karma has one more fight remaining.

Changing times. Last season the PGA Tour introduced a policy to add to the strength of fields, a measure that had long eluded officials and by most accounts was a success.

This season the circuit has chosen to tackle another long-standing thorn, ridiculously long pro-am rounds. While there seems little the Tour can do to speed up play during pro-am rounds, a new plan called a 9&9 format will at least liven things up for everyone involved.

Essentially, a tournament hosting a pro-am with four amateurs can request the new format, where one professional plays the first nine holes and is replaced by another pro for the second nine.

Professionals will have the option to request 18-hole pro-am rounds, giving players who limit practice rounds to just pro-am days a chance to prepare, but otherwise it allows Tour types to shorten what is an admittedly long day while the amateurs get a chance to meet and play with two pros.

The new measure does nothing about pace of play, but it does freshen up a format that at times can seem tired, and that’s progress.

Tweet of the week: @Love3d (Davis Love III‏) “Thanks to Dr. Flanagan (Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopedic Center) for the new hip and great care! Can’t wait to get back to (the PGA Tour).”

Love offered the particularly graphic tweet following hip replacement surgery on Tuesday, a procedure that he admitted he’d delayed because he was “chicken.”

The surgery went well and Love is on pace to return to the Tour sometime next spring. As for the possibility of over-sharing on social media, we’ll leave that to the crowd.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

Distance control. The Wall Street Journal provided the octagon for the opening blows of a clash that has been looming for a long time.

First, USGA executive director Mike Davis told The Journal that the answer to continued distance gains may be a restricted-flight golf ball with an a la carte rule that would allow different organizations, from the Tour all the way down to private clubs, deciding which ball to use.

“You can’t say you don’t care about distance, because guess what? These courses are expanding and are predicted to continue to expand,” Davis said. “The impact it has had has been horrible.”

A day later, Wally Uihlein, CEO of Acushnet, which includes the Titleist brand, fired back in a letter to The Journal, questioning among other things how distance gains are putting a financial burden on courses.

“The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate,” Uihlein wrote.

For anyone paying attention the last few years, this day was inevitable and the likely start of what will be a drawn out and heated process, but Cut Line’s just not sure anyone wins when it’s over.

Tiger, take II. Tiger Woods’ return to competition next week at the Hero World Challenge was always going to generate plenty of speculation, but that hyperbole reached entirely new levels this week as players began giving personal accounts of the new and improved 14-time major champion.

“I did talk to him, and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years,’” Day said as he prepared for the Australian Open. “If he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.”

Rickie Fowler added to the frenzy when he was asked this month if the rumors that Woods is driving the ball by him, by 20 to 30 yards by some reports, are true?

“Oh, yeah,” he told Golf.com. “Way by.”

Add to all this a recent line that surfaced in Las Vegas that Woods is now listed at 20-1 to win a major in 2018, and it seems now may be a good time for a restraint.

Golf is better with Woods, always has been and always will be, but it may be best to allow Tiger time to find out where his body and game are before we declare him back.


Missed Cut

Searching for answers. Twelve months ago, Hideki Matsuyama was virtually unstoppable and, regardless of what the Official World Golf Ranking said, arguably the best player on the planet.

Now a year removed from that lofty position, which featured the Japanese star finishing either first or second in six of his seven starts as the New Year came and went, Matsuyama has faded back to fifth in the world and on Sunday finished fifth, some 10 strokes behind winner Brooks Koepka, at the Dunlop Phoenix.

“That hurt,” Matsuyama told the Japan Times. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Since his last victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Matsuyama has just two top-10 finishes on Tour and he ended his 2016-17 season with a particularly poor performance at the Presidents Cup.

While Matsuyama’s take seems extreme considering his season, there are certainly answers that need answering.

Trump playing 'quickly' with Tiger, DJ

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 24, 2017, 1:33 pm

Updated at 11:14 a.m. ET

An Instagram user known as hwalks posted photos to her account that included images of Tiger Woods, President Trump and Dustin Johnson Friday at Trump National, as well as video of Woods' swing.


Here are some other social media posts that have surfaced:


Original story:

Tiger Woods is scheduled to make his return to competition next week at his Hero World Challenge. But first, a (quick) round with the President.

President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he was going to play at Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., alongside Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.



Woods and President Trump previously played last December. Trump, who, according to trumpgolfcount.com has played 75 rounds since taking over the presidency, has also played over the last year with Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els and Hideki Matsuyama.

Chawrasia leads major champs in Hong Kong

By Associated PressNovember 24, 2017, 1:19 pm

HONG KONG – S.S.P. Chawrasia extended his lead at the Hong Kong Open to two strokes Friday after a 4-under 66 in the second round.

Chawrasia, who had led by one at the Hong Kong Golf Club, is at 9-under 131 overall and took as much as a five-stroke lead at one point.

''Yesterday I was putting very well, and today, also I make some up and downs. I saved a couple of short putts. That's why I think I'm leading by two shots most probably,'' the Indian said. ''The next two days, I'm just looking forward.''


Full-field scores from the UBS Hong Kong Open


Thomas Aiken (64) is second, followed by Alexander Bjork (66), Joakim Lagergren (66), Poom Saksansin (68) and Julian Suri (67) at 5 under 135.

Aiken's round was the lowest of the tournament.

''It is tough out there. The greens are really firm. You've got to hit the fairway,'' Aiken said. ''If you get above the holes, putts can get away from you.''

Justin Rose (69) had six birdies, but three bogeys and a double-bogey at the par 3 12th kept him at 3 under for the tournament.

Masters champion Sergio Garcia (71), playing for the first time in Hong Kong, was at even par, as was defending champion Sam Brazel (71) and 2014 champion Scott Hend (67).

''I have to play better,'' Garcia said. ''The way I felt like I played, it's difficult. This kind of course, you need to play well to shoot a good score.''