Shaft Fitting Addendum Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The 2009 Shaft Fitting Addendum and all the invaluable information contained within commemorates a milestone of sorts.  Twenty years to be exact since I first started working on this project. The annual Shaft Fitting Addendum has now been published for the past 17 consecutive years and has become the definitive guide on shafts for clubmakers worldwide.  To save the best for last, ever since 2001 this has been available as an e-book for free!

Two decades marks a long, long journey for me on both a personal and professional level.  I still remember when my boss at Dynacraft back then, Tom Wishon, sat me down in his office and said “I have a little project for you.”  Little did I know at that time how many countless hours during the next two decades I would spend testing golf shafts constantly fueling my desire to learn more and help educate clubmakers and golfers alike to be fit with the proper shaft.

This project was nothing but a simple idea of comparing shafts. It started when Dynacraft contacted Graeme Horwood to see if he and his staff at the Apollo Shaft Corporation would be willing to participate in a shaft testing project to help gather information.  The project would consist of measuring a number of shaft specifications under the same standard testing methods and apparatus.  Once the shafts were tested on an apples-to-apples basis, then we thought it would become much easier to fit the shafts properly. All of these years later, the original goal is still equally important to gather all this information and relay it to world so that club fitters and even end consumers can be better informed on how to buy and fit shafts.

What is the Shaft Fitting Addendum?
If you are a clubfitter or just curious and want to know more about golf shafts or how different shafts compared to one another, then the 2009 Shaft Fitting Addendum is a must have for your knowledge base. For those that are not already familiar with the Shaft Fitting Addendum, the first thing you will find out is not all R-flex shafts are created equal – that is in terms of flex, torque, bend point, etc. as every manufacturer are their own standard.  In reality, there are no industry standards for shafts and the reason why this book serves as a valuable guide.  Consistency is the key to this text as each of the approximately 3000 shafts and over 50,000 measurements has been tested by one individual using the same set of procedures and equipment for the past 20 years.

What Type of Information Will You Find?
There are 19 published specifications listed for each shaft that include:

Flex, Uncut Shaft Weight, Tip Diameter, Butt Diameter, Uncut Shaft Balance Point, Cut Shaft Balance Point, Completed Club Balance Point, Total Assembled Club Weight, Head Weight, Grip Weight, Cut Shaft Weight, Completed Club Frequency, Butt Deflection, Tip Deflection, T/B Ratio, Cut Shaft Torque, Raw Shaft Torque, Club Length (and wood bore type) and DSFI (Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index) Rating

In Chapter 1, you will find an explanation what each of these parameters mean and how they are measured. All of this information provides insight into how each shaft is unique. For example, what is the real difference between the Aldila NV and NVS Hybrid in an R-flex?  Well now you can find out by looking at several key specifications as shown in the table below.

Addendum1x

Each shaft is similar in Cut Shaft Weight, Frequency, Butt Deflection and Cut Torque.  Where the big difference lies is in the Tip Stiffness measurement with the NVS having a lower deflection reading. This results into a much softer tip section which will assist in hitting the ball higher.

In another example, we can compare shafts from the same or even different manufacturers that are of approximately the same overall stiffness and weight.  In this case the Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue 55, ProLaunch Platinum and New Image Red Image Graphite are all mid-50g shafts of similar frequencies and stiffness index (see chart below).

Addendum2x

Let’s say you have hit the ProLaunch Blue 55 well, but are looking for another shaft that might be similar but may launch the ball higher because the head you had not quite enough loft.  The ProLaunch Platinum or the New Image Red Graphite may be both excellent choices.  The difference being the New Image has a stiffer butt section but weakest tip section to create a higher Tip to Butt Deflection (T/B) Ratio and may launch the ball the highest.  The ProLaunch Platinum has a lower torque measurement and subsequently be able to launch the ball higher than the ProLaunch Blue, but with less spin.

Nowhere will you find so much information on each shaft in such detail.  The best news is all this information is available for free who wish to download it.

How Do I Use the Information?
While offering all of this data is great, but being able to take this information and apply it into your everyday fitting is another.  This is why we established the Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index (or DSFI for short).  The DSFI takes the Completed Club Frequency, Butt Deflection, Tip Deflection, Cut Shaft Torque, Raw Shaft and Club Length and puts it into a complex algorithm to put a number on stiffness.  No longer do you need to rely solely on the generic flex designations by the manufacturers, but you can also relate it to the clubhead speed or #5-iron distance the golfer possess and be able to make appropriate shaft selections.

Swing speed is only a starting point – certain golfers will use different flexes based on their tempo and length of their swing rather just swing speed.  The 2009 Shaft Fitting Addendum can help you understand these issues. In addition, club fitters or even ordinary golfers can look for suitable replacement shafts that may not exist anymore by looking through the archived shafts (Chapters 3 and 4). Matching shafts of similar cut weight, frequency, cut torque and tip and butt deflections will help you find that one shaft you owned previously that they liked so dearly.

If you are looking to advance your knowledge on the ever-confusing world of shafts, take this opportunity to download the 2009 Shaft Fitting Addendum.  This is a companion piece to one of the best books written about shafts called the Modern Guide to Shaft Fitting and also available for free. This is just another example of how Hireko is helping out clubmakers, club fitters and fellow golfers alike by providing you with such indispensable information so you can make more well-informed choices when it comes to purchasing new equipment.

Lastly, you would think after all these years the golf industry would all have a handle on exactly what the function of the golf shaft is and how to fit it in a definitive manner.  All I can tell you is the more we learn, fit and dig around for more answers, the more questions we have.  This is the very reason why we continue to test as many shafts as possible and provide the public with this information.

These past two decades of service has been an extremely rewarding one for me. So for Graeme, who is now at True Temper, Tom Wishon, Forest Sands, the Altomonte’s and now the Lin family plus all the countless shaft vendors and fellow tech staff members I have had a privilege to work with – thank you!

Download The Modern Guide To Shaft Fitting
Download The 2009 Shaft Fitting Addendum

9 Comments on Hireko’s 2009 Shaft Fitting Addendum Now Available

  1. Conrad Hill says:

    Jeff Summitt
    I took a club fitting seminar @ Dynacraft when you presented your initial finding s to our class, glad to see your still at it.

  2. Brad says:

    Jeff,
    Thanks so much for doing this again, and a big thanks to Hireko management for supporting the investment of time and effort to do this. I almost never order any shafts for a client without looking at alternatives through the Addendum.

  3. jay coffsky says:

    Jeff, I was working at our breast center when we communicated about 1 hour ago. I would like a driver to buy similar to the ping g10. I think Iget my best distance with the g10 regular shaft. I have tried the 10.5. The 12 degree I lose distance. I have not tried the soft regular nor the 9 degree. I am 71, handicap 12, avergage driving distance about 200 yrd. 5 iron about 160. Please advise a shaft and head for you to build. I have a smallest hand. I do not need a low torque as I have a very good swing plane and usually center hit. I prefer a light weight shaft. thanks
    jay coffsky
    jay coffsky

  4. Joe Lawler says:

    I still have one of the last printed copies DSFI published in 1999. It is about worn out. I have copied off many pages each year as needed. This year I will copy all of it! In my shaft fitting I depend on the Dynacraft Shaft Fitting Index. Its great to learn the additional data on tip and butt strength and the ratio of one to the other. GREAT!

  5. Jeff Summitt says:

    Jay:

    We don’t have any heads that are designed after the G10. But if you are looking for a more traditional pear shaped head that is 460cc, then look at the Acer XP905. As far as a shaft with somewhat similar specifications, look at the SK Fiber Pure Energy.

  6. Chris says:

    I have to agree that this is one of the best resources out there. I appreciate the specs on the older shafts. The only thing that I am left wanting is the years that the shafts are/were available, so that I could tell either how old the shaft in my hand is, or conversely, how hard it is going to be to find a particular shaft that I found in the index.

  7. Hal Knox says:

    I have used this tool since the beginning.One of the reasons I have been a Dynacraft clubmaker since 1989.

  8. Steve Pearcy says:

    I think what you have is terrific and very interesting – more parameters in play here than one normally thinks of. I do note, however, that you’ve omitted one which has gotten varying amounts of press over the years – “spine”. I have noticed that many graphite shafts really do have a significant “spine” and it would seem to follow that orientation of the shaft could really affect performance. Do you find that shaft orientation affects your measurements? Do you think that “spining” is worthwhile?

  9. Jeff Summitt says:

    Steve:

    I have to be very careful of what I say – because there is a patent in place on orientating a shaft. Depending upon how the shaft is orientated, yes I can see a change in the frequency, tip and butt deflection results. This is due to tolerances in manufacturing process.

    Do I think it is worthwhile? Depends on a number of things -so the jury is still out and I was one of the first people testing for “spine” back in the late 80s. Can it hurt to do so? Sure, if you do it and get sued then it hurts you monetarily. But I liken it to swingweighting, lie adjustments, counterbalancing, and all the other things that clubmakers can do in the assembly process. It is an added QC step.

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