Club-to-shaft connectors are the all the rage this summer. Since the USGA has given the green light to shaft and head interchangeability, many original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are producing proprietary versions tailored to their own clubs. Development of these systems was initially geared toward custom fitting—for example, fitting a single head with multiple shafts—but with the USGA’s approval, some OEMs are producing interchangeability systems that are legal for play. One OEM system sells a single head in a box fitted with one part of the two-part connector system. Individual shafts are sold separately and are fitted with the second part of the connector system. Another company’s system sells a bundle of shafts and a single head. This is a definite change of direction for these companies. Who would have ever thought that the OEMs would delve into the world of selling components?
Enter Faz-Fit from the Club-Conex Company. Faz–Fit is a connector system that allows clubmakers to attach shafts and heads quickly and effortlessly. The connectors are available for .335", .350" and .370" diameter shafts. They are not interchangeable among the three sizes; in other words, the .350" connector will not fit the .335" connector. The Faz-Fit connectors are being considered for USGA approval, but as of yet are not approved as legal for play.
Since irons are the focus of this month’s Clubmaker, how do you best use Faz-Fit with irons? Will each iron in the set have a Faz-Fit connector so players can change their shafts on a whim before each round? Probably not, due to the cost of multiple sets of iron shafts, but the fitting flexibility that this system allows is absolutely fantastic.
Be aware that when using the Faz-Fit system, a couple of golf club specifications may be different from those found with epoxy-bonded components. When using a shaft-to-head connector fitting system such as Faz-Fit, the added weight of the connectors will affect head weight and swingweight if not accounted for. Additionally, all iron heads do not have the same hosel length and bore depth, so any connector fitting system must also deal with club length. For consistency, each head should attach to a master shaft and yield the same club length. Since hosel lengths and bore depths vary, you will have to customize the clubheads to make this possible.
The Faz-Fit connector that inserts into the hosel measures 21 mm long, while most irons average a 28-mm shafting depth. So how do you achieve consistent club lengths? The key measurement is from hosel to sole. Duplicating this measurement in all Faz-Fit-equipped iron heads ensures that each assembled iron measures the same length with a master shaft.
Placing each iron against a simple template is one way to make sure each hosel-to-sole measurement is exact. Make a template with a mark where the top of the hosel needs to be, which is where the top of the Faz-Fit hosel insert will rest. Mark the hosel at this point, and then use a cut-off saw or rotary (Dremel®) tool to remove the top of the hosel. A cut-off saw will cut a hosel, but going slow and steady is the key. Once it is cut, grind the hosel square and make sure the hosel depth is 21 mm, which will allow the Faz-Fit to sit flush at the top of the hosel.
Head weight is another issue that you must address. Since the Faz-Fit connector weighs 9.8 g, in iron assembly it has the potential to add nearly five swingweights to the golf club. Several options are available if you want to remove weight from the head. (Remember, since these irons are used for fitting, they do not have to be cosmetically perfect.)
First, if the top of the hosel is shortened for consistent club length, some head weight will be lost. A second option is to shorten the hosel further, and then drill the hosel deeper or enlarge the hosel weight port. This method requires the use of a drill press. A third option for weight reduction is grinding the head on a belt sander. The optimal place to grind is where the back of the iron and the sole meet. Grinding there will not affect the bounce or playability of the clubhead’s leading edge. Also, consider manufacturing weight tolerances. If you start with the lightest head available for a particular model, less weight will have to be taken off. To help you do so, for a fee, Golfsmith offers a Handpick Service (available only over the phone). We can find you clubheads of any specific weight within the tolerances for each model.
One of the benefits that the Faz-Fit connector system has over most OEM systems is that each shaft may be placed in six different orientations. The male part of the connector is hexagonal, allowing the shaft to be turned into any one of the six available positions. If you use SST PUREd shafts, these six different shaft placements easily allow you to show clients the difference in feel between the PUREd orientation and a non-PUREd shaft position.
As an iron fitting system, Faz-Fit seems to have all the qualifications necessary to allow you to provide an accurate fitting and impress your client at the same time. Multiple shaft options for each clubhead, which can easily and quickly be switched, surely make Faz-Fit a great option for clubmakers.
View a PDF file on installing the Faz-Fit (6.06 MB)