Each week, GOLF equipment editor Jonathan Wall chats with reps on the PGA Tour to give you the lowdown on shafts that are generating buzz — be it a Tour-only model or profile already at retail. This week, Jonathan covers the new Fujikura Ventus shaft.
Name: Fujikura Ventus with VeloCore Technology
Status: Offered at retail for $350
Profile: Mid ball flight and low spin
Weights: 56-86 grams (R2-X flexes)
The lowdown: “Its identity is to reduce twisting and increase the MOI of the club. So what you have is material going at a 0-degree angle that affects bending, and some that goes at a 45-degree angle — called the bias sheet — that affects twisting stiffness. We did a multi-material bias core with a full-length pitch 70-ton material that’s three times stronger than T1100G. By having that, it minimizes twisting, at least from what we saw on Enso, and increases horizontal and vertical impact locations. It was most centered by everything we’ve tested from our own lineup and competitor offerings.
“Center face contact is most important for me, so if you’re catching the middle more often, that equates to more ball speed, control and a tighter dispersion. We had Harold Varner III testing recently and on his mis-hits, his ball speed was the same speed as he was hitting with his Atmos Black. When he caught the center with Ventus, it was a mile-and-a-half faster.
“The straight taper design, or an accelerated taper, allows you to load the shaft more efficiently so you get a little bit more speed and feel in the hand. So not only are you getting a bit more load, but it comes with more center-face contact. It’s the total package.” — Marshall Thompson, Fujikura fitting and tour representative.
Buzz from Tour: “We only had eight parts when we rolled out Ventus at Napa the end of last year. Two went in play that week, and then we really didn’t push it again until January. We’re starting to see the shaft build some momentum, similar to last year in Atmos when we had about 8-10 in play during the West Coast. By the time we got to Florida, it was around 30. Guys are moving into new heads so we just need to get more time with them. Lots of them are using their old shaft with the new head. Where we have to get our opportunities is when that old shaft doesn’t work. That’s when we need to try and get Ventus in front of them.
“We’re doing some design things with torque throughout the shaft that our competitors aren’t doing yet. It’s just about getting the loft right, CG right from there. From what I’m seeing, it seems to be a high MOI shaft. It’s almost following the exact same path from a testing and conversion standpoint as Atmos, and that shaft is still killing it out here on tour.” — Pat McCoy, Fujikura’s director of tour operations