Interchangeable Shafts Equal Better Fitting
It has been a while since my last article was published. Recently, one of our clients suggested that we address the issue of shaft inter-changeability and its potential impact upon the future of club fitting. There is no better reason to pick up the pen again.Not trying to take any credit, Harrison was one of the first companies to openly promote and demonstrate the benefit of proper shaft fitting. Many of you likely remember our demonstration with a simulator during the PGA Show. It was over 16 years ago when we conducted our first shaft fitting show. The market has certainly changed a lot since then.
Bruce Burrows, a great engineer in his own right, of the Burrows Golf fame went on to develop the very first perfected inter-changeable driver. His invention opened the door of the shaft inter-changeability era. Since then nearly every name brand has adopted similar scheme to promote proper shaft fitting. What this popular trend has demonstrated is the acceptance of shaft fitting as an integral part of the main stream club fitting process.
With Callaway Golf taking the plunge using the I-Mix system, forward-leaning golf companies have come forward and offered a package of one driver head with one to three shafts for as little of $299 to over $1000. We have heard about positive early movement on these packages. Naturally, an earnest question arises as to its impact on the future of club fitting.
Undeniably, shaft inter-changeability does make the job of the club fitter much easier in several respects:
Without inter-changeable shafts, the variances that exist between club heads can easily distort the reading from the instrument and cast doubt upon the reliability of key variables, like launch angle, ball path, etc. With inter-changeable shafts, club head variables are eliminated at least during the fitting process.
With inter-changeable shafts, club makers no longer need to purchase a dozen driver heads to build a fitting set so that incremental comparison between shafts can be conducted.
However, if a consumer should purchase a pre-packaged set of one driver with two shafts, believing that club fitting can now be done without help, this golfer will likely be disappointed. In theory, this golfer hopes to double the probability of a successful fit if the pre-packaged shafts are remotely suitable to the golfer. If not, this golfer has just doubled down on a bad situation. What’s missing from this picture is the experience and professional advice of a seasoned club fitter, who can detect minute swing variations and prescribe appropriate prescription to fix the problem.
Inter-changeable shafts can be a wonderful addition to the arsenal of devices that are available to improve one’s game if it is used wisely. We strongly recommend that consumers obtain proper fitting advice from a seasoned professional with a notable collection of shafts so as to select shafts of proper fit for clubs of the golfers’ choice.
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