July 2008 Golfsmith Clubmaker Back to Main
Using CPM for Easier Clubhead and Shaft Selection
by: Jeff Sheets
Manager, Golfsmith Golf Operations

Golfsmith has created a systematic approach toward evaluating head and shaft designs in order to custom fit them with predictable performance. The system is called Golfsmith Component Performance Matching (CPM), and it rates head and shaft performance in terms of three categories: trajectory, forgiveness and workability. In all three categories, considering head ratings and shaft ratings together provides you definitive performance data before you ever assemble the golf club.


TrajectoryHead-Shaft Synchronization PDF
Head–Shaft Synchronization PDF (312KB)

In the case of the head, the vertical center of gravity (CG), loft, offset/face progression, vertical roll and CG depth all can influence the trajectory of the golf ball. As these influencing factors vary among different head designs, the launch angle of the ball will also vary. Through mechanical testing, we measure the launch angles for Golfsmith heads and rate them as as high, mid or low. This permits you to select a head with the appropriate trajectory performance for any golfer.

Each shaft model also undergoes a trajectory performance measurement. We break each shaft down into frequency zones and measure its bending profile. These measurements provide information we use to rate each shaft as having a high, mid or low trajectory performance.



The forgiveness rating for a head is based on its moment of inertia (MOI). The higher the MOI measurement, the more stable the clubhead’s resistance to twisting on an off-center impact. The forgiveness rating for a shaft relates to its torque. The lower the torque measurement, the less the shaft will twist on an off-center impact.

CPM forgiveness ratings consist of maximum, moderate and minimum. Components rated as having maximum forgiveness will twist less on off-center impacts, while those rated as having minimum forgiveness will twist the most. Remember, there are trade-offs that must be considered when you choose components with maximum forgiveness ratings, so they’re not necessarily for everyone.



The CPM head workability ratings—high, moderate or low—describe how well a golfer can control ball flight with that clubhead. They relate to the horizontal CG location and the amount of offset or face progression in the head. A CG location closer toward the heel, and/or with less offset or greater face progression, will be easier for most golfers to work the ball with. As the horizontal CG moves closer toward the toe and/or more offset is introduced into the head, the clubhead becomes more difficult to work the ball with; however, that more toe-ward CG location adds stability. Skilled golfers seeking to work the ball’s direction will tend to prefer a maximum head workability rating, while those seeking greater head stability will benefit from heads rated as having minimum workability.

As for shafts, the weight category is almost self-explanatory. The heavier the shaft, the better it is suited for working the ball in different directions. The lighter the shaft, the better it is suited for maximizing distance. The CPM shaft weight ratings are standard, lightweight and ultralight. (Steel and graphite shafts are rated separately.)

When determining equipment needs for a golfer, be sure to consider the CPM head workability and shaft weight ratings in conjunction with one another. When considering these ratings, ask your client whether they want more control or to maximize distance. For the golfer seeking greater control over ball direction, head workability and shaft weight rankings should lean toward maximum and standard, respectively. Minimum head workability and ultralight shaft weight are more conducive to maximizing distance, but they indicate less controllability.


Conclusion and ExamplesRatings for Golfsmith's most popular clubhead models
Ratings for Golfsmith's most popular clubhead models.

In short, our Component Performance Matching system is a roadmap leading to confidence in the performance of the completed golf club. With Golfsmith’s CPM system, you can easily match up clubheads, shafts and the needs of the individual golfer, for a single club or an entire set. Just use the CPM ratings provided in our catalogs or on our website, and you can easily determine the appropriate heads and shafts necessary for any desired performance profile. For instance, a fitter working with a client who wants higher-trajectory ball launch would focus on clubheads and shafts with high CPM trajectory ratings.

The above chart shows the CPM ratings of some of the most popular clubhead models currently available from Golfsmith. Sharpen your fitting skills by asking yourself what kind of player each would be ideal for.

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