The Shaft Specifications

Deriving the Shaft Specifications

This page describes the data gathered by the FitChip and presented in chart form by the FitChip computer analysis program. This data will be used in formulating the final specification of the custom golf clubs that fit the players SWING TIMING. This timing concentrates on getting the club/shaft back to straight at ball impact where player achieves their best performance of distance and accuracy. There is no other fitting system on the market that addresses this approach with the exception of the trial and error method of monitoring trajectory which can be limited by time, prejudice and has no way of truly identifying that the shaft is back to straight at ball impact. Even though you will find some performance improvement, with the trial and error system, it dose not mean you well obtain your peak performance.

Figure 1                                                               Figure 2

The FitChip gathers club head acceleration and club head speed data when placed on any club and is typically shown in Figure 1. From this data the computer analyzes the data to produce the club head acceleration curve as shown in Figure 2. This curve is used to locate the time of peak acceleration or shaft release (point at which the shaft starts to kick back) and ball impact. The red line represents the unloading of the shaft, through  1/4  cycle  of   its natural frequency, from the flexed position back to straight and square at impact or from the release point to ball impact.

In these two figures there are two different swings overlaid to demonstrate the players consistency.  Matching this players timing with the club depends on the natural frequency of the golf clubs shaft as a spring. It is this natural frequency that is derived by the FitChip for each swing. The frequencies (blue dots) for each swing and the average frequencies (red dots) for four different clubs are shown in Figure 3. A line drawn through these points will define the frequencies at which to build each club in a full set of properly fitted custom golf clubs, as shown in the Build-to Table Figure 4. The multiple sloped lines in Figure 3 represent the slope the Golf Industry and most Club Builders build sets too. We build your clubs based upon the slope or curve your Swing Timing requires (the red curve or the yellow straight line in Figure 3).






Figure 3                                                                    Figure 4

Most standard sets of golf clubs on the market today use identical flex category shafts tipped a consistent 1/2″ increment from club to club, and then butt trimmed to the finished length. This process makes each shaft stiffer by approximately 4.3 cycles of natural frequency as the clubs get shorter. After thousands of fittings with FitChip, we find that very few players are properly fit with this 4.3 cycle progression as predetermined by club manufacturers. Just as a standard size, off the rack suit, will not fit properly everywhere on the body, seldom does every club, in an off the rack set, fit the players swing timing properly for every club. That is why most players with these clubs have a favorite club. Most individuals have a unique curve or line depicting their individual swing timing and their clubs should be built accordingly Figure 5. Sometimes on straight lines, sometimes on curves, sometimes on positive and sometimes on negative slopes. Everyone is different, and unless you have a set of clubs built with this system, you will never have a fully fitted set of clubs, for which you can say, “every club in my bag is my favorite club.”

From Figure 5 you can see the major differences in these players and some unexpected results. For instance this senior player has the stiffest set of clubs from this diverse group of players. This senior player had won the National Senior Amateur and was approached by all the club companies to play their club. Of course since he was a senior and had a relatively low club head speed they put him in senior shafts. At that time he lost his game completely and came to me to analyze the problem. A FitChip fitting told us he needed the stiffer clubs and almost on a flat line. Once I built this set for him he returned to the winners circle on the senior amateur circuit.

The Club Pro had the long smooth swing with the very early release requiring the slower kick of a soft shaft. However, the shorter clubs required a stiffer shaft because, on purpose, he was trying for more back spin in the shorter scoring clubs. While in the case of the PGA Pro, a winner of the PGA Championship, his longer clubs fell on the 4.3 slope but the swing timing changed in his shorter scoring clubs to a flat line to achieve more accuracy and consistency.

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