Oban becoming a player on Tour


By Apryl DeLancey
Tiger Woods experimented with one of their shafts for two rounds of the Quail Hollow Championship. Padraig Harrington, John Rollins, Alex Cejka, Jim Furyk, Rich Beam and JJ Henry have also used their brand. On the Nationwide Tour, 23 players had them in play at one recent event.
If you havent guessed, the company is Oban.
Victor Afable, who was previously with Graphite Design International as VP of Sales and Marketing, teamed up with one of his closest college friends, Ralph Reichert, to launch the company in June 2007. The initiation into the golfing world happened at the 2008 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. The goal was to stand out from the other manufacturers and the two set out to create a boutique shaft brand that stands for excellence and high performance in composite shafts. Oban targets consumers who understand the importance of custom club-fitting and how it can help optimize performance and feel and lower scores. The shafts are manufactured using the sheet roll process. Oban uses their own proprietary designs and specifies which prepreg manufacturer is used in each of their shaft lines. Being able to work with three of the top prepreg suppliers allows them to utilize a wider assortment of materials.
When making a great golf shaft, Oban believes in three important principals: high modulus materials, advanced proprietary designs, and a consistent manufacturing process.
The Tour Prototype, formerly known as the Mach4, is manufactured in Japan. The Tour Prototype V430 model is highlighted by a four-axis honeycomb weave which helps transfer more energy to the golf ball. The shaft is over-wrapped with a custom blend of graphite plys for greater stability throughout the swing. There are three distinct families of Oban shafts with performance characteristics to match almost any player. For example: The Devotion 45-gram shaft is ideal for someone who doesn't swing very fast and needs to launch the ball higher, whereas the Tour Prototype 75 X is geared for the player looking for a high-performance shaft with less spin and a lower launch. The shafts range from 45 to 90 grams. You can be custom fit for an Oban shaft at 80 to 100 locations worldwide. The company only sells through authorized custom club fitters and the management team has made it a point to personally visit and qualify almost every Oban dealer in the world. Oban shafts are not available through catalogs or online purchases. As the company grows, Oban vows to make their product more readily available.
To locate an Oban dealer close to you and demo the shafts visit the company's Web site or call 866-607-0284. The shafts are now available as upgrades with Titleist, Cobra Golf, and TaylorMade clubs. Ping Golf will be offering Oban as an upgrade in the Fall.