In this photograph even though the grip end of the shaft is lined up slightly past the ball the head of the club has not reached impact with the ball indicating that the shaft is too soft. The kick of the softer shaft is not quick enough to have gotten the shaft back to straight at impact. This also would indicate that the club head is not up to its full potential speed. When timed properly the shaft kick will add as much as 10 to 12% to the club head speed of a club that would have no deflection or kick. In these two photographs both players have shafts that are too stiff for their swing timing.
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Both have been fitted by major club companies for their high club head speeds. The shafts have obviously kicked to early in the the swing and the head has ended up well ahead of the shaft at ball impact. Most people in the industry will tell you the head should be ahead of the shaft at impact, which is true to some extent. In both of these cases the head is to far ahead of the shaft to fit such a theory. If the player generates enough club head speed the C.G (Center of Gravity) of the head will line up with the grip end of the club (considered straight) resulting in the head being slightly ahead of the shaft. For the head to be further ahead of the shaft then that (as in these pictures) the shaft spring action/kick has had to propelled the head further past the shaft. In this case the club head is losing speed compared to the shaft straight position. There are other adverse effects when the shaft is not truly straight. Control of course is the most obvious. When the shaft is ahead of the shaft at impact the shaft has a load in it that would tend to make it spring away from the ball if that load is reduced. When the head impacts the ball that load is immediately reduced allowing the shaft to effectively pull the head back away from the ball reducing the effectiveness of the impacts energy transfer.
It is very important to time the shaft kick with the players swing for the most effective club performance.
A Spine Finder tool is used to locate the spine of any golf shaft, be it steel or graphite. While there are some that question the need for this, we are convinced that spine alignment of the shaft in a golf club is of some importance. How the spine is aligned plays a role in how every club will perform. Some people will tell you that this is not very important with the new modern golf shaft, as manufacturing methods have eliminated the need. The manufacturing process has improved the consistency of the material distribution around the shaft, which is one of the causes of the spine affect but the fact that it is still difficult to make the shaft perfectly straight also produces another spine affect.
Aligning the spine has to do with how the shaft will bend and re-bound when you swing the club. When a shaft is bent under load, as when you swing the club, you need to have the shaft bend straight back on plain and re-bound again in a straight on plain line, a line that is parallel to the target line. If the spine is mis-aligned it will flex off plain one way or the other. The only way for this to happen is if the shaft has been spine aligned when it was installed in the club head. If it was not, you can make a perfect swing, and still not hit the ball on line.
Fitting the Shaft Length
A golfer should first consider the length of club that promotes a good swing posture. Beyond that the player must consider his strength and ability to take advantage of a longer shaft if he wants. The longer club can get that extra distance and remain accurate when fitted with the proper shaft. The longer shaft will require a more consistent swing to hit it on the sweet spot. As the shaft gets longer the lighter weight shaft should be considered.
We can use any brand shaft the customer desires if they can be trimmed to the proper frequency to match the players swing. The standard off the shelf shaft is made in a length that does not provide a full range of frequencies when tip trimmed. To solve this problem Perfected Golf Group, Ltd has specified their custom shafts at sufficient length and trim area to allow them to trim to any frequency to meet the customers requirements. They have also expanded the range of shafts available. This came about when the fitting system identified as many as 60% of the players that were tested fell outside the standard off the shelf shaft ranges. Where the standard shaft frequency ranges from 225 CPM to 280 CPM Perfected Golf Group's custom shafts will cover the range of 170 CPM to 320 CPM for the driver. A similar expanded frequency range is also available for the irons.
The make of shaft is much less important then having the proper club frequency. The major difference in shaft manufactures is the shaft weight. Most of the other claims are the smoke and mirrors they try to use to make the sale (marketing).
Fitting the Grip
The grip is key to the comfortable feel of the golf club to the player. The grip style is the preference of the player while the size of the grip is fitted to each player by checking the players hands as they try different sizes installed on demo shafts.
Swing Weight or MOI
Swing weight is the most common club balancing process used in the industry. This process weights every club so that when the player holds the club as if he is ready to address the shot the feel of the over hanging weight will be the same for each club. This is a static measurement of the clubs balance.
Before proceeding, it will be useful to gain a feel for what is meant by "Moment Of Inertia", or MOI, when we refer to the fully assembled golf club. MOI is a dynamic measurement of the golf club's ability to resist our ability to rotate or swing the golf club around our body. The MOI can be increased by increasing the length through which the mass of the club is rotating and/or by increasing the mass of the club head itself. Or, the MOI can be decreased by shortening the length and reducing the mass of the club. In addition, MOI can be changed by altering a combination of the length and mass of the golf club.
A golf club that has a large MOI will require more effort to swing than a golf club that has a smaller MOI. The proper MOI of the golf club for the golfer thus has a direct bearing on the golfer's swing speed and the amount of control that the golfer has on the golf club when accelerating during the downswing.
What’s the Difference Between Swing weight and MOI?
A MOI matched set will not be swing weight matched and vise verse. This is one of the differences between MOI matching and swing weight matching. The major golf club manufacturers build iron sets to a specific swing weight
with matching shafts.
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What equipment parameters are controlled to make a club that fits YOU?
All other fitting systems are designed to select Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) shafts, which are limited in, flex range, while the FitChip system selects frequencies that can be used with any ones shafts, as well as suggesting frequencies for those players outside the OEM shaft range. This wider range of shaft frequencies are available through Perfected Golf Group, Ltd and made by one of the name graphite shaft manufacturers. The red area on the chart below represents the shafts available off the shelf from the OEM's and most custom club fitters. The Green area represents the extended area covered by the FitChip Prescription shafts. From our shaft fitting experience we find that only about 40% of the players fall within the OEM range of shafts with about 30% above that range and 30% below that range.
Shaft Availability with FitChip Fittings
Fitting the Lie Angle
Since the shaft stiffness/frequency has a major effect on the Lie Angle of the club, you must not test for Lie Angle until you have selected the shaft that fits the players swing. Then test with that shaft.
Fitting the loft
The loft of the Irons need to be checked or adjusted so that the player gets a consistent yardage progression between each club. This can be easily accomplished by using the launch monitor and checking the distance for each club and making any adjustments necessary.
Fitting the Shaft Stiffness/Frequency
Shaft flex is the bending action of the shaft in relation to the acceleration/load the golfer`s swing applies to the club. The proper amount of shaft flex necessary to make good ball contact depends on the golfer`s swing timing and getting the shaft back to straight and square at impact. The shaft is the engine of any golf club so careful consideration is needed when determining your proper shaft flex.
Unfortunately, there is no industry standard for shaft flex - one company`s regular flex is another company`s stiff flex. More confusion arises when one tries to determine how regular an "R" flex is and how stiff an "S" flex is. Instead of traditional flex designations (L, A, R, S, X) - practically meaningless because of how loosely they`re applied today - frequency matched shafts are measured based on cycles per minute and assigned a specific numerical value from 170 to 320 for drivers, In other words, the frequency (rate of oscillation over a specified period of time) in CPM (cycles per minute) is used to precisely define shaft flex.
The vast majority of OEM's employ Taper Tip shafts (as opposed to Parallel Tip shafts) in their irons. The reason is ease of assembly as Taper Tip shafts can not be tip trimmed for custom flexes. They are just installed and cut to length from the grip end which seldom results in a set frequency matched to the players requirements.
At Perfected Golf Group, Ltd each club is built individually to the players shaft flex or frequency specifications to get the shaft back to straight at ball impact. This process avoids the problems illustrated in the following three photographs.