Golf shafts are a bit like snowflakes no two are quite alike. The myriad of shafts pose limitless combinations of weight, flex point, overall stiffness, torque, tip stiffness, frequency, and so on.
The challenge, naturally, is finding one to maximize your potential. Begin your pursuit by attending demo days, sampling products, speaking with manufacturer reps, and being custom-fit. Read on to bone up on some new offerings available to you.
The popular NV series has Aldila flying high. Its VS Proto takes "micro-laminate" technology up a notch by merging a high-performance resin system, carbon nanotubes and ultra high-modulus graphite fibers with micro laminate materials.
RESULT: Aldila is able to use ultra-high modulus fibers that, previously, were too fragile to have in standard composite matrices. This low torque shaft has an NV-like feel.
Quick Tip: Many players overestimate their swing speed and use shafts that are too heavy or stiff for their game. Try something lighter and softer if your swing is in a funk.
These three models have an overall softer flex profile for slow to medium swing speed players.
RESULT: Players of all ability can take advantage of the increased launch conditions for more distance.
Engineered for stronger players with medium to fast swing speeds.
RESULT: These shafts should optimize overall launch and spin conditions for the brutes among us.
Fujikura's top-of-the-line shaft combines patented Triax material and a new braided box weave composite. This design is reinforced with Kevlar Triax in the tip section.
RESULT: Rombax delivers maximum stability at impact. The tight, unwavering feel should resonate with pros and skilled amateurs.
For the first time, Fujikura offers premium proprietary OEM (original equipment manufacturer) shafts as an upgrade option. First up are the REAX and REAX TP shafts, which were co-developed by TaylorMade. Available only at select Fujikura Charter Dealers.
RESULT: You get the TaylorMade shaft without having to buy a TaylorMade club.
Quick Tip: Today's "standard" 45-inch driver shafts may be too much for you to handle. But you can always custom-order a shorter club direct from the manufacturer. The club maker will account for the shorter length by adding 10 grams or so to the head for every inch you go shorter.
YS Type II Series - Designed to deliver the feel and performance benefits of GDI's Tour-proven YS+ shaft, but with higher torque and slightly stiffer bend profile.
RESULT: YS II benefits a broader range of players.
GDI expanded this series of shafts to maximize performance for aggressive swingers. The family includes shafts that weigh 55 to 95 grams.
RESULT: More flavors mean strong swingers have an easier time finding the ideal feel for them.
Quick tip: What works for your buddy won't necessarily be the magic shaft for you. You'd likely have different needs and wants in terms of feel and ball flight.
Rob Sauerhaft is the Managing Editor of Equipment for GOLF MAGAZINE. E-mail him your questions and comments at firstname.lastname@example.org