Does the right shaft really matter? This was the question Neil Tappin set out to answer during a recent trip to get fitted for new clubs through the bag


Does The Right Shaft Really Matter?

It is a question many of us have asked ourselves – does the right shaft really matter? To find out, Golf Monthly’s Neil Tappin went to Golf Principles, one of the UK’s leading custom fitting specialists. He took a bag of off the rack clubs that he knew were roughly right for him to see how the performance would differ from a set of fully fitted clubs, with the correct KBS shafts for him. Here is the video that details that experience and below are Neil’s key findings as he looks to answer the question – does the right shaft really matter?

WATCH: Does The Right Shaft Really Matter?

Does The Right Shaft Really Matter?

Changing dynamics

Every golfer delivers the club differently to the ball. Your path, angle of attack and clubhead speed are the DNA of your golf swing. Different shafts are better suited to different players and it is only by understanding the fine details of your swing that will you know exactly what is right for you. Just because your friend uses a certain shaft and he or she hits the ball a similar distance and plays off the same handicap as you, doesn’t mean that what your friend has is right for you. In our experience of self-fitting, the wrong shafts can actually exacerbate specific problems in your technique.

Your Bad Shot

Understanding your own game is a must for every golfer, regardless of handicap. For instance, if you know that when you miss the fairway, you tend to miss right, you can lean towards using offset irons or draw-biased woods. However, there are also things a good custom fitter can do with the shaft selection to help guard against your miss. If you have a consistent miss, whether that is right or left, the right shaft can undoubtedly help improve your overall accuracy. That can only be a good thing!

Does the right shaft really matter?

With five different weights and five different flexes to choose from, the KBS TD driver/wood shaft selection is comprehensive and, with a good fitting, should help golfers find the right combination of launch and spin to help optimise their long games.

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Food For Thought

Buying your golf clubs second hand or off the rack doesn’t have to be a disaster. Indeed, if you know your game well, you might be able to find shafts that provide good performance. However, as Neil’s experience revealed, it can be something of a lottery. The fact is that new golf clubs are an expensive investment so getting the help of an expert who understands how different shafts (with different weights, flexes and performance profiles) can help your game is the smart way to do it and will guard against the false economy of buying expensive golf equipment that doesn’t last the course.

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Distance Consistency

When it comes to your irons, the key is consistency of distance. A good fitter will be far less interested in how far your longest shot goes and will instead try to make the overall performance as consistent and reliable as possible. The right shafts are key to this. Getting this part right will help you create the same launch, smash factor, spin and carry distance as often as possible. Or to put it another way, more makeable birdie putts!

Does the right shaft really matter?

Kim Braly, director of R&D at KBS, has used the feedback he has received from golfers at the highest level to help shape his shaft designs. The KBS Tour Series aims to help golfers by integrating shaft weight and flex. This means that as the shaft weight increases so the flex stiffens in a corresponding way.

Wedge Shafts

During our recent fitting at Golf Principles, we were really surprised by the impact the right shaft can have on your pitching game. Again, this is about finding a shaft that works with, not against, the way you deliver the club to the ball. For a low handicap player a good wedge fitting can improve your proximity to the hole, for a higher handicapper it can make a big difference to the quality of your wedge strikes ensuring that you rarely miss the green when pitching. Either way, the impact on your scoring average can be huge!

Does the right shaft really matter

KBS offers a range of wedge-specific shafts, one of these is the HI-REV 2.0. It has been designed with a more active tip section that helps deliver more loft at impact for a higher launch and more spin. This combination should offer more control when attacking the flag from close range.

KBS CT Tour Putter Shaft

Does the right shaft really matter?

Whether it is reducing the severity of your misses, adding distance to your long game or improving your overall consistency, there are many ways in which the right shafts (along with a good fitting) can have a positive impact on your game. If you are spending your hard earned money on golf equipment in a bid to improve, finding the perfect spec is an important part of the jigsaw.

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