To all those golfers out there who wonder about their equipment and whether it is right for them.
I have been playing a Taylormade R11 driver for the past few years and I love it. The driver has a standard (stock) Fujikura Blur 60 stiff flex shaft. For quite a while now I’ve been wondering whether this stock shaft really works for my swing. I have a reasonably fast swing and can really move the ball out there at times. Sometimes when driving I can feel the club head lagging or maybe twisting as I transition into my down-swing. I know this sounds a bit funny, but I felt like some of my good swings were getting more off-line than they should have.
After much deliberation and research (there is a fantastic series of articles on GolfWRX), I decided I would try a new shaft. Looking at all the manufacturer websites it was recommended to get an x flex shaft but I really didn’t want to change too much. I really wanted to get a shaft that might be a bit stiffer and have a lot less torque.
I decided to buy an Aldila RIP Alpha 70S, as it was described as quite stiff with low torque. It is a low launching, low spin shaft.
Four rounds of golf in and, WOW! What a difference. I must say I have probably lost about 10 meters from my average drive but the accuracy is well up. When I say “well” I’m talking four or five more fairways a round! The feeling during the swing and at impact is just what I was looking for. Stiff, but still with a feeling of loading the club properly. No sloppy or lagging feeling at all. My misses are much tighter and nowhere near as bad as they have been. Even when I miss I’m still a good chance of making par, not 20 meters in the trees!
I guess just working off feel and websites was a bit of a gamble for me (which has thankfully paid off). It may not be the best for everyone. Most golf stores and manufactures have advanced technologies that could probably match your swing characteristics to an appropriate shaft. It would be interesting to go and get fitted and see if the technology gives me the same or similar shaft options.
Buying an after market shaft is a bit of an investment, sometimes costing as much as the original purchase price for the whole club! In no way am I saying that stock shafts are no good. I do believe that they are, but swings are so different and dynamic that a stock shaft just can’t be right for everyone.
In my opinion, if your stock shaft just feels like it might be doing something undesirable in your swing get a fitting and see. Really think about upgrading. It could be well worth it.
I’ll be sure to let you know how the driver is going over the next few months!
Luke @ Golf Blog Australia
I do believe shafts play a major role in delivering a good golf strike…its the engine that delivers the stored energy. getting properly fitted for each swing is the golfers best friend. Another great review…keep up the great work
Hi Greg, Thanks for that. I really like that thinking, the shaft is the ‘engine that delivers the stored energy’. I do think that particular shafts ‘load’ that energy in different ways. I know I have a strong transition and really load the club at the top. I think this style of shaft really helps hold the release for me.