Golf club shaft technology and design are always evolving, and 2008 brings some exciting advances, especially in the battle to balance lightness and flexibility with workability and stability. This year’s crop pays special attention to the problems posed by large, heavier, high moment of inertia (MOI) clubheads, as well as the trend toward MOI-matching club sets. With all the innovative shaft designs now available, clubmakers have more choices than ever before for tackling these new challenges — and providing your clients with the perfect shafts for them.
Here’s a closer look at the top brands’ newest shafts. Don’t forget: Along with all the other shafts we offer, these models are in our Shaft Selection Guide database. Simply choose the parameters you’re looking for. The Shaft Selection Guide will recommend a selection of shafts that match your fitting situation.
Three-quarters of the Golfsmith Research and Development team uses this best-of-both-worlds shaft, which combines a graphite core with over 59 miles of micro-thin, high-strength steel fiber wound around it. The result offers golfers the consistency of steel — including a reduction of the ovaling that can cause errant shots and loss of distance control — with the weight of graphite. Back this year by popular demand, we’re again offering the 95-gram SteelFiber i95 model. It’s perfect for players who prefer a little more solid feel.
Aldila set out to provide a shaft that has outstanding kick, plus the high launch and moderate spin of a low-kick shaft — but without the loose, whippy feeling of most soft-tip shafts. Their new DVS model fits the bill. It’s a shaft that is solid at the top, progressive through the middle and strong at the end through the impact zone, while still producing higher launch angles and moderate spin rates. It is also low-torque, which gives greater workability and better control of spin than most soft-tip products.
Aldila MOI Proto
The design techniques used to create high-MOI driver heads — larger-volume clubheads with low, rearward centers of gravity — can create a lot of unwanted clubhead movement and place more load and strain on the shaft. Aldila’s MOI Proto model addresses these issues by increasing the shaft tip’s diameter, and thereby its stiffness. The result is more stability at impact, even when used with an oversize head.
Axlle Composites VFX
Golfsmith R&D likes to compare the Axlle VFX with a longbow: exceptionally stable in the middle, with softer tip and butt sections. It’s one of the first shafts to develop this kind of variable flex (or dual kick point) technology, which delivers big distance and great feel without compromising accuracy. It’s an affordable option, too, available for under $50 each.
Axlle Composites VLT 45
A groundbreaking balance of ultralight weight and tip stability, the Axlle VLT shaft weighs in at around 45 grams but has a torque under 5 degrees — a combination we’re sure will come in handy for many of your clients. With a reinforced tip and hoop winding technology, it has higher-modulus fibers that are reinforced from tip to butt for strength, feel and playability. At under $40 each, it’s one of the most affordable ultralight shafts on the market.
Grafalloy ProLaunch Platinum
Grafalloy brings high tech to the table this year, offering a new member of their popular ProLaunch family. The ProLaunch Platinum shaft features Grafalloy’s Smart-Ply technology, a proprietary fiber orientation system that’s designed to consistently deliver all of a swing’s energy to the ball, optimizing distance and shot dispersion. It also reacts to the individual player’s load profile, eliminating unwanted shaft compression for more power and accuracy. Micro-Mesh tip technology reduces torque at impact while preserving feel. The end result is towering drives that strike a high initial launch angle, then flatten quickly into a penetrating trajectory with optimal spin.
Graphite Design TOUR AD YS-Q
This mid-launch design is desirable to the avid golfer in search of quality engineering and performance. The Tour AD YSQ showcases Graphite Design’s Axial Composite Interlace (ACI) Technology, which reduces shaft deformation and ovalization, creating a tighter shot dispersion, particularly on mis-hits. Tests show that its slightly higher torque contributes to more fairways hit with today’s high-MOI clubheads. Attractive cosmetics complete the package. Available now in a 65-gram, .335 tip version (R or S flex); other weights and fairway and hybrid models will follow in spring, 2008.
Snake Eyes HMOI 45
A stable, ultralight model perfect for today’s high-MOI drivers. Designed in conjunction with UST, the new Snake Eyes HMOI 45 shaft brings unparalleled feel, playability and low-torque control to the super lightweight category. Engineering such a high-performance shaft required UST designers to use a combination of high-modulus carbon fiber and an ultra-low resin content. The result is a lightweight shaft with the lowest torque in its weight category. If you counterbalance clubs, fit for optimal weight distribution or MOI-match the sets you build, you’ll find the HMOI 45 to be an excellent choice.
Snake Eyes AWS85
Golfsmith's R&D team, along with UST engineers, designed the Snake Eyes AWS85 asscending weight iron shafts to make all clubs in a set swing with truly the same feel. How? To make MOI-matching easy, these shafts get progressively heavier as they get shorter. Especially when used in Snake Eyes clubheads with 8-gram weight increments between lofts, the AWS85 makes assembling MOI-matched sets — and helping your clients find consistency — a snap.
UST Proforce HMOI
UST’s latest addition to the popular Proforce line is the direct result of extensive testing with today’s high-MOI drivers. UST engineers improved shaft control by precisely positioning the balance point in a slightly higher location, which narrows shot dispersion by reducing club heft and offsetting heavier head weights. The Proforce HMOI features Proforce tip technology for a balanced tip section that delivers more power and control. The shaft feels and swings lighter than its static weight, and because that makes each club easier to swing, the higher balance points help produce faster clubhead speed without sacrificing accuracy.