QA Right Shaft Hybrids Woods

By Frank ThomasApril 18, 2007, 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@franklygolf.com
 
Frank:
Weve heard so much about shafts. What is the best way to know that youre choosing the correct shaft for your woods and irons?
John

 
John,
In the last 10 years or so, shaft marketing has gone into overdrive. If you read the ads or the articles in most golf magazines, youll get the impression that getting the right kickpoint and torque properties for your individual game is as important as getting the right prescription in your contact lenses. In fact, unless youre a very low handicap golfer, choosing the right shaft is very simple.
 
The one and only important decision for you to make, unless youre abnormally tall or short and standard lengths wont work for you, is in your choice of shaft flex. You should look first for one that you feel comfortable swinging, and in general you should begin with the more flexible shafts and move towards the stiffer ones only if you find the flexible ones too whippy. (Most golfers use shafts that are too stiff for their swing speeds.) Finding a comfortable shaft will help you build confidence, which makes all the difference in your performance.
 
Chasing distance and moving outside your comfort zone to get it is a move in the wrong direction.
 
Generally your choice is largely dependent on your swing speed and your skill level. If you have a high swing speed (100 + mph with your driver), then you are a candidate for a stiff shaft or even an XS. Most of us who swing in the 90 mph zone dont need more than a R-flex in our woods, and this is probably the case for our irons as well. You can even use a stiff shaft in your irons and R-flex in your woods if this is what feels most comfortable to you. If you do this, Id recommend using the same flex shaft in your hybrids that youre using in your woods. (Today many manufacturers are installing specifically designed hybrid shafts in these clubs, but they still come in the usual array of flexes.)
 
I would certainly not try to be too exotic with the choice of your shaft -- e.g. low or high kick-point, specific balance point or some extreme in torque properties -- until you have reduced your handicap to close to scratch. At this point you can think about some of the fancy stuff if you need a specific flight pattern that neither a loft change nor overall shaft flex change is helping you achieve. But when you are at that point, youll have developed sufficient feel that youll be able to tell if the shaft is right for you or not. For more on shafts Click here
 
Hope this helps.
Frank
 
Frank:
I own three hybrids: 18, 21 and 24 degree. I hit the 21 and 24 very well about 7 out of 10 times, but I really struggle with the 18 degree; it's either a big slice or a big pull, though when I do hit it right I can get about 180 to 190 yards with it. I put in the 18 degree to replace my three wood as that club was a real problem for me. Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Bob

 
Bob,
I would NOT normally recommend replacing your 3-wood with a hybrid. The likely reason you were having a problem with your 3-wood was either 1) it has the wrong flex shaft, i.e., its different from your driver (assuming you are not having a problem with your driver); 2) it has too long a shaft; or most likely; 3) you have the same swing flaw with the 18 degree hybrid as with the long fairway wood.
 
I suggest that you try to correct the swing problem before giving up on the 3-wood, which is an important club in the bag. Hybrids are generally used to replace the hard-to-hit long irons, but most golfers find fairway woods easier to hit than hybrids. Another solution for you ' and I would suggest you try this first -- is to substitute a 5-wood for the 3-wood for these long fairway shots to determine if the problem is the club or you. If youre still having a problem with the 5-wood, then get someone to look at your swing. If the 5-wood works, then dump the 18 degree hybrid.
 
Hi Frank. I just traded my Callaway 460x for a Callaway FTi and am now getting 19 yards more out of the new driver. Is this just in my head????
Chuck

 
Chuck,
 
I have no reason to doubt that the distance increase you are getting is real. But I do ask if you also increased your driving distance when you changed from your previous driver to the Callaway 460X?
 
If you did, then I would take advantage of and have fun with the 19 extra yards while this lasts.
 
The only reason this will last beyond the Placebo Effect Time (PET time), which is about a month or two depending on how much you paid for the new driver, is that you were not getting the launch angle and spin rates you needed to optimize your launch conditions with your 460 X. If so, it was not the right club fit for you.
 
Both drivers have the same COR and approximately the same head weight, so if you hit them both on the sweet spot with the same head speed, then the ball speed will be the same.
 
If the ball speed is the same then the only way you are going to get 19 more yards is if you launch the ball closer to optimum conditions for you and your head speed than you did before. Or you may now be playing off hard turf and getting about 19 yards more roll.
 
The answer is in your head, but I dont know which one.
 
Click to purchase the Frog PutterFrank 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@franklygolf.com
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”



McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.