What’s The Buzz About Arthritic Grips?

One form of golf grip you may encounter is called arthritic.  These are typically specialty grips with little tiny numbs to evoke sensation to the hands rather than a smooth (or relatively smooth) outer surface.  The two examples that are commercially available are the Tacki Mac Arthritic and Lamkin Arthritic.

Let’s define what arthritis is. It is a form of join disorder that involves inflammation to one or more of the joints.   Pain or discomfort can occur due to daily wear and tear to muscle strains around stiff joints. The two most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is much more common and generally affects older people although it is reported 1 out of every 5 individuals have some signs or symptoms.

Arthritic joints lose cartilage which absorbs shock.  This is what provides that nice smooth gliding surface for the joints. But as the cartilage becomes worn or damaged the joint no longer has a painless, range of motion. So the body attempts to make up for the lost cartilage by producing fluid in the joint lining called synovium, which it also causes the joint to swell and restrict motion. It is the swelling is what causes the pain.

If the joints in the hand or fingers are swelled, the person will have a harder time clasping down on an object so naturally a larger grip will ease the pressure and muscle strain to hold onto a golf club.  Not coincidentally, both the Tacki Mac and Lamkin Arthritic grips are oversized.

But there are also a lot of larger grips as these may be labeled midsize, oversized or jumbo.  Even though a person may have hands that are of average proportion for a man or women, they may prefer the oversized grip simply to relieve pain in the hands from arthritis.

To further reduce pain, softer larger sized grips are suggested for those that suffer from hand related discomfort.  These can be your synthetic type grips like many of the Winn Oversized models or softer materials like Lamkin’s 3Gen material to absorb shock.

The fact that one out of every individual will have some sort of signs or symptoms is hard to ignore. Therefore, if you or one of your customers suffers from arthritis or discomfort (as many aren’t clinically diagnosed), there are many types of grips can make playing this great game enjoyable one again.  These may be models with nubs to provide sensation within the hands, larger sized, softer materials with shock dampening properties or a combination of these.

Tacki-Mac Arthritic OS #RT12

$1.90 ea.
Lamkin Arthritic Grip
#RL187

$3.99 ea.

Hireko Now Stocking Tour Edge Golf Equipment!

Headquartered in the suburbs of Chicago, Tour Edge was founded in 1985 and as a top-10 manufacturer in every club category, continues to focus on product research and development, customer service, and customer satisfaction as the keys to future growth. Get Free Shipping! too when you buy Tour Edge Golf Equipment! No coupon necessary. Just shop, checkout and enjoy free shipping automatically!

Exotics XCG5 DriverTruly unique, the XCG5 features Tour Edge’s one-of-a-kind, combo-brazing to join the titanium face and body to an ultra-thin beta titanium crown. In fact, no other driver sold in the United States uses brazing. It’s too expensive and time consuming. Instead, most companies weld face plates to the body. This method doesn’t allow for full face flexion and maximum forgiveness like brazing.
#TE001

$329.99 ea.

Exotics XCG5 Fairway WoodAn uncompromising design approach, the XCG5 fairway features an innovative titanium cup face and crown, a beta titanium face insert for added distance, and a heavy tungsten sole plate that provides 68% of the club head’s total weight. In fact, the XCG5 is the only fairway wood on the market to use a titanium cupped face and tungsten sole.
#TE008

$299.99 ea.

Exotics XCG5 HybridEvery area of the XCG5 brims with innovation. The body is slightly shorter from face to back for greater workability. Maraging steel is used in the face over stainless steel because it possesses superior strength without losing malleability. The net result, the club face can be made thinner to launch the ball with less spin and at faster speeds.
#TE016

$199.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max D DriverThis SUPER light driver delivers stunning power off the tee and faster swing speeds not possible from traditional drivers. The head’s sloped crown and aerodynamic shape reduce drag and improve airflow to generate super-fast swing speed and explosive rebound off the face.
#TE004

$149.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max D Draw DriverThis SUPER light driver delivers stunning power off the tee and faster swing speeds not possible from traditional drivers. The head’s sloped crown and aerodynamic shape reduce drag and improve airflow to generate super-fast swing speed and explosive rebound off the face. Powering this is a 46″ remarkably light 50-gram Aldila shaft designed from their incredibly popular NV platform.
#TE064

$149.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max D Fairway WoodThis lightweight, sleek fairway wood delivers more distance for your buck than any fairway wood on the market. With the Bazooka, power is enhanced by the visible sloped crown and aerodynamic shape that reduce drag and improve airflow for enhanced swing speed and faster ball speed.
#TE012

$119.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max D Draw Fairway WoodThis lightweight, sleek fairway wood delivers more distance for your buck than any fairway wood on the market. With the Bazooka, power is enhanced by the visible sloped crown and aerodynamic shape that reduce drag and improve airflow for enhanced swing speed and faster ball speed.
#TE065

$119.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max D HybridThis classic pear-shaped hybrid offers stunning good looks, an aerodynamic design and advanced weighting to deliver a higher moment of inertia (MOI, the club’s ability to resist twisting and impart greater force). The Bazooka features two internal weight cavities in the heel and toe that lower the center of gravity and move it deeper in the club head for a high launch and great forgiveness.
#TE020

$99.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max DriverThe driver offers a high moment of inertia (MOI) courtesy of four internal weight cavities in the rear of the sole and a 1-to-1 length-to-width ratio. The weight cavities lower the center of gravity and move it deeper in the club head while the length-to-width ratio further enhances the driver’s stability to produce longer, more accurate drives.
#TE006

$119.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max Draw DriverEliminate your slice and hit longer drives with the HT Max Draw driver. The HT Max Draw utilizes multiple layers of technology to minimize slicing off the tee. The Draw’s offset hosel design helps you square the clubface at impact for straighter tee shots. The driver also offers a high moment of inertia (MOI) courtesy of four internal weight cavities in the rear of the sole and a 1-to-1 length-to-width ratio.
#TE070

$119.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max Fairway WoodHT Max uses advanced weighting and shape design to deliver a higher moment of inertia (MOI the club’s ability to resist twisting and impart greater force). The HT features four internal weight cavities in the heel and toe that lower the center of gravity and move it deeper in the club head for a higher MOI. Delivering the highest MOI possible, the club head has a 1 to 1 length-to-width ratio. This ratio is made possible by eliminating the skirt, sloping the crown, and placing a strategic screw weight in the rear of the sole. This design moves the center of gravity low and back resulting in exceptional forgiveness.
#TE014

$99.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max Draw Fairway WoodEliminate your slice and hit longer, straighter fairway wood shots with the Bazooka HT Max Draw fairways. Their offset hosel design promotes faster club head rotation and makes it easier to square up the face at impact. Forgiveness is maximized by eliminating the skirt, sloping the crown, and placing a fixed weight screw in the rear of the sole.
#TE071

$99.99 ea.

Bazooka HT Max HybridIncorporating advanced heel-toe weighting, the Bazooka HT Max has four internal weight cavities in the heel and toe that lower the center of gravity and move it deeper in the club head for a higher moment of inertia (MOI – the club’s ability to resist twisting and to impart greater force on the ball). This helps the Bazooka deliver longer, more accurate shots than competitive hybrids.
#TE022

$79.99 ea.

Exotics XCG4 DriverWith the development of the XCG-4 driver, Exotics engineers have carried out extensive work to create one of the lightest, most aerodynamic drivers in golf. The XCG-4’s new sleek design and heavily-radiused sole allow for a more streamlined, fluid head shape that minimizes drag as the driver cuts through the air. Powered by the game’s most advanced lightweight shafts, the XCG-4 is a true distance weapon of the tee.
#TE002

$199.99 ea.

Exotics XCG4 Fairway WoodThe new XCG-4 will be the most sophisticated production model of all time. Generating massive amounts of power, the 4-series advances the powerful platform of the XCG-3. They both feature a titanium cup face and crown and ultra heavy tungsten sole that is combo-brazed, but that’s where the similarities end.
#TE009

$199.99 ea.

Exotics XCG4 HybridThe XCG-4 delivers exceptional performance compliments of a robust design that includes a maraging steel cup face and crown that is welded to a heavier tungsten sole. Exotics engineers chose maraging steel over stainless steel because it possesses superior strength and toughness without losing malleability. What’s more, the lightweight ultra-thin maraging steel cup face and crown launch the ball with less spin and faster speed than stainless steel.
#TE017

$149.99 ea.

J Max Gold DriverThe JMAX is a low profile hybrid-fairway with a super-thin hyper steel face and walls that allow more weight to be repositioned in the sole. The resulting weight shift creates an extremely low center of gravity that gets shots up quick and provides a remarkable level of forgiveness. On impact, the heavy radius sole produces a crisp feel and ?ot?launch, with minimal club head twisting and reduced drag.
#TE005

$129.99 ea.

J Max Gold Fairway WoodThe JMAX is a low profile hybrid-fairway with a super-thin hyper steel face and walls that allow more weight to be repositioned in the sole. The resulting weight shift creates an extremely low center of gravity that gets shots up quick and provides a remarkable level of forgiveness. On impact, the heavy radius sole produces a crisp feel and “hot” launch, with minimal club head twisting and reduced drag.
#TE013

$99.99 ea.

J Max Gold HybridImproving on the wildly popular JMAX series, the new and improved JMAX Gold features a two-piece construction that features a hyper steel body and a forged crown that maximizes weight distribution to easily get the ball into the air. Thinner and denser than the cast walls, the forged steel crown provides a lower center of gravity and enhances rebound off the face.
#TE021

$59.99 ea.

Exotics CB4 DriverThe CB4 Tour driver offers a classic Tour shape and deeper face preferred by better players. The all titanium head features an ultra-thin crown and cup face, giving it a lower center of gravity, impressive feel, and the lowest-spin Exotics driver yet. The CB4 is constructed from a brand new 5-1-1-1 titanium material. This new titanium is harder, denser, and stronger than 6-4 Ti and has better elongation properties for thinner walls and exceptional rebound.
#TE003

$329.99 ea.

Exotics CB4 Fairway WoodDesigned for maximum workability, the CB4 features a slightly smaller 170cc tour-preferred head size. The head’s classic pear shape produces a higher center of gravity that produces a lower spin rate and a powerful launch. Combining a high-tech 15-3-3-3 titanium cupped face with a heavier hyper steel body, every single gram of excess weight is eliminated from the face area and shifted to the rear skirt and sole for a deeper center of gravity.
#TE010

$299.99 ea.

Exotics CB4 HybridDesigned for better players, the CB4 Tour hybrid has a deeper face and higher center of gravity designed to produce a more penetrating ball flight. In addition, the smaller head size and added face progression combine to allow for greater workability. The result is that players will see great results from the tee, fairway, rough, and even sand.
#TE018

$199.99 ea.

Exotics Trilogy Fairway WoodFocusing on forgiveness, the Trilogy delivers easy-to-hit, perfect shots from any rough, firm turf, and the worst lies. The revolutionary, large, diamond-shaped inner rail performs as a rudder guiding the clubface into a square position at impact while minimizing divots for easier-to-hit shots. The unique Trilogy sole features two outer rails and one inner rail that helps players hit perfect shots from any lie.
#TE011

$199.99 ea.

Exotics Trilogy HybridThe Trilogy’s unique sole and unrivaled performance makes it worthy of any golfer’s bag. The sole’s unique design features two outer rails and one inner rail that help players hit perfect shots from any lie. The outer rails move more mass to the rear heel and toe, producing a higher moment of inertia for enhanced stability on off-center hits. The inner diamond rail performs as a rudder, guiding the clubface into a square position at impact while minimizing divots for easier-to-hit shots.
#TE019

$159.99 ea.

Lift Off DriverThe Lift-Off titanium driver features a higher moment of inertia for increased forgiveness on off-center hits. The club’s deep face and heavy sole create a deeper, lower center of gravity.
#TE007

$99.99 ea.

Lift Off Fairway WoodThe oversized, stainless steel fairway woods provide a huge sweet spot for incredible forgiveness. The fairway’s sole design creates a minimal contact point to keep the head square at impact, even in the thickest rough.
#TE015

$69.99 ea.

Tour Edge Extreme Cart Bags
Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Cart Bag – Black/Black TE058
#BAG184

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Cart Bag – Black/White TE058
#BAG185

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Cart Bag – Black/Red TE058
#BAG186

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Cart Bag – Black/Blue TE058
#BAG187

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Cart Bag – Black/Gray TE058
#BAG188

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Extreme Stand Bags
Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Stand Bag – Black/Black TE059
#BAG189

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Stand Bag – Black/White TE059
#BAG190

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Stand Bag – Black/Red TE059
#BAG191

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Stand Bag – Black/Blue TE059
#BAG192

$99.99 ea.

Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Stand Bag – Black/Gray TE059
#BAG193

$99.99 ea.

 

Fujikura Shaft Blowout! 20% Off On Fujikura E Series Shafts!

  Model Shaft Orig. CLOSEOUT PRICE! Save!  
FJE150 Fujikura E150 $54.99 $43.99 20%
FJE160 Fujikura E160
$54.99 $43.99 20%
FJE160HB Fujikura E160HB
$44.99 $35.99 20%
FJE160I Fujikura E160i $39.99 $31.99 20%
FJE260 Fujikura E260 Graphite $59.99 $47.99 20%
FJE250 Fujikura E250 Graphite $59.99 $47.99 20%
FJE270 Fujikura E270 Graphite $59.99 $47.99 20%
FJE270HB Fujikura E270 Hybrid Graphite $49.99 $39.99 20%
FJE270I Fujikura E270 Iron Graphite $44.99 $35.99 20%
FJE350 Fujikura E350 Graphite $64.99 $51.99 20%
FJE360 Fujikura E360 Graphite $64.99 $51.99 20%
FJE370 Fujikura E370 Graphite $64.99 $51.99 20%
FJE380 Fujikura E380 Graphite $64.99 $51.99 20%
FJE380HB Fujikura E380 Hybrid Graphite
$58.99 $47.19 20%
FJE380I Fujikura E380 Iron Graphite
$56.99 $45.59 20%

 

Winn Grip Blowout!

Up To 30% Off! Supplies Limited. Once They Are Gone, They Are Gone!

Model Description CLOSEOUT PRICE! Orig. Save!
RW127 Winn PCi Black Ribbed
$5.30 $7.49 29%
RW128 Winn PCi Hybrid Black/Red Ribbed $5.30 $7.49 29%
RW50 Winn Xi7 XF AVS V17 Midsize $4.50 $6.39 30%
RW55 Winn DSi AVS V17 Black/Red $4.20 $5.99 30%
RW58 Winn PCI Standard Black $5.30 $7.49 29%
RW59 Winn PCI Standard Copper $5.30 $7.49 29%
RW82 Winn PCi TL V17 Polymer Cord Standard Red $5.30 $7.49 29%
RW83 Winn PCi TL V17 Polymer Cord Midsize Blue $5.65 $7.99 29%
RW111 Winn Triple Line Pistol Putter
$5.20 $7.99 35%
RW60 Winn PCI Half-Cord Black
$5.30 $7.49 29%
RW53 Winn G8 Rave AVS V17 Ladies
$4.70 $3.99 7%
RW61 Winn PCI Hybrid Std Black/Red
$5.30 $7.49 29%
RW62 Winn PCI Hybrid Std Black
$5.30 $7.49 29%
RW64 Winn PCI Hybrid Oversize Black
$6.25 $8.99 30%
RW80 Winn PCi TL V17 Polymer Cord Standard Black
$5.30 $7.49 29%
RW81 Winn PCi TL V17 Polymer Cord Standard Blue $5.30 $7.49 29%

 

 

Introducing the Dynacraft Hindsight Putter

Finally the wait is over and I now get to spill the beans. One of the products I have been so anxious to see released in such a long, long time may very well be the one I am going to introduce to you today. Meet our newest innovation called the Dynacraft Hindsight putter.

If you have read through my blogs from the past four years, you might have heard me say that putting has never been one of my strong suits. The sad part is most of the time it is just darn ugly. But this past golf season things changed. I had a chance to use several variations of the Hindsight putter and it made a huge impact. How huge? I keep stats of my rounds for such things as fairways hit, greens in regulations and of course, putts per round. The Hindsight putter yielded roughly 1.6 fewer putts per nine holes. Yes, that is more than 3 strokes a round for someone that shoots in the 80’s.

We had all heard the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” and this is partially how this putter got its name. The Dynacraft Hindsight putter was scientifically designed to get the ball rolling forward sooner by using two key features in unison; a forward press and roll face technology. I guarantee when you first pick up the center-shafted Hindsight putter, the first thing you will notice is the shaft leans forward. This is created by design and the other reason for the name.

Forward Hand Press

Some of the best putters in the world possess what is called a forward hand press with one of the best examples being Phil Mickelson. The forward hand press is said to create a fluid, rhythmic stroke, but more importantly to keep the hands moving through the stroke. It becomes harder for the wrists to break down and have the wrists cup or flip forward causing excessive loft at impact and poor impact. The Hindsight putter incorporates a 3 degree forward press or just enough to position the hands even with the leading edge of the face.

In this diagram, take a look at the center figure. The red dotted line represents the line from the center of your eyes straight down to between the ball and the face when you are at address.

Normally golfers will set up neutral with the axis of the shaft along this same line. But in the case of a forward hand press, the hands are pressed forward as if the shaft is leaning forward. Rather than relying on the golfer to recreate the same amount of forward hand press each and every time, we built in the forward press so you can use the flat portion of the sole to guide you as you normally do. We will see why shortly.

Putting in motion

One of the downsides of a forward press is that it de-lofts the clubhead. However, it is vital that some loft exists to extract the ball out of the depression it sits in order to get the ball rolling. To show why, there are three diagrams showing the possible situations that can occur at impact. The first is the level impact. As most putters have 3º of loft as an average, the ball does not start rolling forward immediately.

The loft will launch the ball up in the air and out of the depression on the green with a little back spin, land, it might hop just slightly before it hits the ground again and then the ball proceeds to start rolling forward.

The worst case is when the golfer adds loft at impact such as if the putter gets ahead of the hands. The ball takes much longer to start the true roll forward.

In the last scenario, this shows why certain golfers prefer to press the hands forward in order to minimize loft at impact so the ball starts rolling forward much sooner.

Roll Face Technology

Another feature of the Hindsight putter is the roll face technology. This is what helps normalizes the effective loft at impact. Not everyone will have the ball in the exact same location relative to their stance from one putt to the next. For instance, if the ball is positions slightly back in your stance, you will strike the ball in a slightly de-lofted state and typically higher on the clubface.

Conversely, if the ball is slightly forward in the stance, the putter will be on the upswing with greater loft and a propensity to hit low on the face. By normalizing the loft with a vertical face radius, this maintains the proper amount of loft to extract the ball from any indentation and to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible for better distance control. The roll face also has horizontal grooves to better ensure positive roll.

Alignment

One of the problems with a forward hand press for most golfers is making sure the face is square at alignment rather than slightly open. There are a number of subtle alignment features built into the Hindsight putter to ensure the putter is square to the golfer’s intended target line. Plus, the shaft is attached to the body to make it a center-shafted, face balanced putter.

Assembly tips (for clubmakers)

Lay the face flat on a table or your workbench and check to see if the flat edge of the putter grip is perpendicular to the table. You can also use any engraving on the end cap for alignment too. This way it will assure the grip is properly aligned before the solvent has had a chance to dry. The Hindsight putter requires a 0.370” putter shaft that fits over a post.

Special headcover

Due to the unique shaft position, the Hindsight requires a specific headcover.

Start putting better now

If your game on the green is suffering and looking for some immediate help (as it did for me), check out the Dynacraft Hindsight. The forward hand press, roll face, face grooves and alignment features make this truly one unique putter producing extraordinary results – head’s down!

View Technical Director Jeff Summitt’s Video Blog On The Dynacraft Hindsight Putter

Download the Dynacraft Hindsight Putter Specifications Sheet here!

Dynacraft Hindsight Putter – Clubhead $24.95 ea.
Dynacraft Hindsight Putter – Custom Assembled $45.95 ea.
Dynacraft Hindsight Putter Headcover $2.95 ea.

Check Out Our New 60 Day Playability Guarantee!

HIREKO 60 DAY GOLF CLUB PLAYABILITY GUARANTEE

Buy any assembled golf club from Hireko Golf and if you are not fully satisfied, return it under our 60-Day Playability Guarantee. Custom clubs are also included in our guarantee!

What Products are Covered?
Any “pro-line” assembled golf club including brand-name products and custom-assembled clubs.

What Products are Not Covered?
Golf Components, Package sets, beginner clubs, golf clubs made of zinc, alloy or aluminum, pre-owned or closeout golf clubs.

How It Works
Assembled clubs can only be exchanged for new replacement clubs one-time only. No cash will be refunded. If price of the replacement product is less than the price of the original product, the difference will be provided as a store credit only.

Freight Charges
Customer is responsible for freight back to Hireko Golf. The replacement clubs will be shipped to continental US customer at a charge of $19.95 ground freight. AK/HI and International customers will be charged international carrier’s standard weight/dimension rates

The Fine Print
• The Hireko Golf Playability Guarantee is valid 60 days from the receipt date. Product must be purchased directly from Hireko Golf.
• Clubs must be returned with original components (including headcovers, if applicable). Any alteration to the club voids the 60-day guarantee.
• Clubs must be usable and resellable. Clubs returned with excessive wear or permanent damage (e.g. pop-up marks, dings, chips, etc.) do not qualify.
• Hireko Golf reserves the right to modify this program at any time without notification.

Hireko Golf To Exhibit At 2012 PGA Merchandise Show

View the new Dynacraft Evolution Hybrids at the 2012 PGA Show

PGA Golf Exhibitions and Hireko Golf announced today the 22nd year of Hireko Golf’s participation in the annual PGA Merchandise Show, Jan. 25-28, 2012, in Orlando, Fla (Booth #1725).

“We are very excited to attend this year’s PGA Merchandise Show to expose our serious commitment to custom fit golf club equipment.” said Jeff Summitt, Technical Director, Hireko Golf. “Customers want a company that can provide them with a one-stop shop and at the same time become their partner and not their competitor. Our programs and pricing policies are catered to help individual shops provide high quality products at an affordable price, with no special buy-ins, while making higher than normal margins in these trying times.”

Hireko will also feature new wares from their popular brands Acer, Power Play, Dynacraft, iBella, Apollo and Karma. Hireko’s CAD designed golf clubs are engineered not only to help golfers of all skill levels score better but their low prices will enable golf pro’s to make substantially higher margins than most OEMs.

For questions regarding the 2012 PGA Show please contact Rob Altomonte, Marketing Director, at raltomonte@hirekogolf.com.

New 2012 UST-Mamiya Shafts & Grips!

UST Mamiya VTS Shaft Series
Over the years shaft manufacturers have worked diligently to create product lines that are comprehensive in able to fit the greatest number of golfers with the fewest number of shafts possible.  These products lines are typically developed out on tour using the world’s best players as their validation and then filter down the general public. In all my years in the industry, I have witnessed many lines that have taken off and became staples for clubmakers. I believe UST Mamiya may be next as they have put a fresh new twist on shaft fitting in their Proforce VTS (Velocity Torque Speed) series.

Shaft Fitting in the Last Decade
If you look at many of the popular shaft lines from the last decade, you see a theme.  Instead of a standalone model, manufacturers will start out with a concept or new technology and expand it to cover several weight ranges.  Great examples of these are the Aldila NV and Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue series.  These lines not only have multiple options for flex, but weights that range in 10g intervals from 45g up to 75g or even higher.  Finally the line has similar graphics to make it look cohesive.  This type of line can be referred to a 2D or two-dimensional fitting where you are controlling two key parameters to complement the golfer’s strength and tempo.

Fujikura developed a line called the Fit-On E Series that expanded upon the 2D fitting method.  Their approach was to add ball flight (high, mid and low) to the mix.  To a certain degree, The Aldila NV series did this with the addition of the NVS as they would have one shaft designed to hit the ball higher and one lower, but also available in various weights and flexes to really fine tune fitting.

VTS Approach
UST Mamiya has developed a new approach to shaft fitting.  For several years now, they studied the 5 key design elements of the shaft (Weight, Torque, Butt flex, Mid flex and Tip flex).  Butt flex is commonly the way most people associate flex by clamping the butt end of the shaft and then deflecting or “plucking” the shaft in a frequency analyzer to put a number on feel.  Tip flex or tip stiffness is usually the indicator of how the manufacturer controls ball flight.  Mid flex is the study of stiffness distribution in the mid portion of the shaft and has generally been unclear of exactly what the primary function was.  However, Mid flex is what controls the shaft’s stability and the most important part of the shaft which ties into the Butt and Tip flex.  Lastly torque, or the resistance to twisting, was thought to affect control.

After making pairs of control shafts to isolate each of these parameters, UST’s staff went out and tested golfers to see how each influenced feel and ball flight.  They were somewhat surprised by the results.  Shaft weight (which controls overall weight) was thought to have a function on speed, but it was a key indicator of feel or being able to know where the club was during the swing.

The butt flex was thought to have been a key contributor to feel, but that wasn’t the case.  Surprisingly, torque was.  When most golfers or fitters think about torque, they assume that low torque is all about stabilizing the shaft and the head.  Plus the common perception is golfers with higher swing speeds require lower torque than those with reduced swing speeds.

Torque: The Often Misunderstood Shaft Parameter
What is the function of torque in a shaft? During the swing not everyone will have the same clubhead position or clubhead path (inside-out, outside-in) at the top of their swing as each of us has a unique swing.  It may be open, closed or in a neutral position.  The position is unrelated to a player’s speed; rather it is part of the swing DNA.  By matching the proper torque it really helps to square up the face at impact.  This is why it might be necessary for golfers with high clubheads speeds to use higher torque shafts than what traditionally might be suggested or those with reduced speeds to use lower torque. There is one nebulous parameter you cannot discount which is “feel”.  If the club (or shaft) feels right there is no need for additional swing thoughts or adjustments and the player will have more confidence.

Fitting Matrix
UST Mamiya was able to produce shafts of the same weight, butt, mid and tip flex, but with 3 different torques, each 1 degree apart or the minimum threshold at which golfers could feel. The shafts are colored coded to indicate the torque. On the silkscreen, the word PROFORCE and VTS are black, silver or red.  The black is the lowest torque version.  Silver is the mid torque version or 1º higher than the black.  Lastly red is the highest torque version of 1º higher than the silver.  There is also a circle above VTS with lettering denoting the weight and flex (5R = 55g R-flex).

For fitters, UST developed an eleven shaft matrix as a starting point to fit the bulk of the golfers, although there is a total of 54 wood shafts.  They range from A, R, S, SX (in-between S and X flex), X and XX flexes and weights from 55 to 95g (in 10g increments).  There are also hybrids, but not a comprehensive.  This is UST’s 3D fitting matrix to give players a positive feedback with their natural swing to increasing ball speed for distance and reduced dispersion for control.

What About Ball Trajectory?
The Proforce VTS wood shafts were designed primarily for drivers, which come in various lofts, but fairway and hybrid clubs benefit especially off of the ground interaction. While tip flex can control ball flight to a certain degree, loft has the greatest impact.  When golfers are fit, usually they pick the head first and then the shaft.  The VTS series consists of shafts in the mid and mid-low ball flight categories.

Constant Taper Profile
The butt end might appear larger than normal, but the shafts have a constant tapered profile which has to do with the shaft’s geometry.  UST Mamiya found that a constant taper profile rather than a shaft with a long parallel butt section that later tapers down was more efficient at transferring energy.  Don’t worry. You can still get a normal 0.600” grip over the butt end.  The top or 2” down from the butt end is only 0.020” larger than standard, while the lower hand (6” down) is standard sized.

Fitting Information
I had an opportunity to test one of each of the 60g S-flex shafts (Black, Silver and Red) and 2 of the 50g R-flex shafts (Black and Silver) into our QuikFit adapters and head to the range. Before I did, I made sure to measure the information for our annual Shaft Fitting Addendum as I do any shaft I get my hands on.  For all you fellow techies, take a look at the data below in the format we usually publish this valuable information.

I have tested close to 4000 different shafts in the past 20+ years.  This was the first time I have been able to find shafts were you have models of almost identical weight, frequency, butt and tip deflections, but the torque value varied so you can truly test the effect of torque.

Range Time
For all those players that think high torque does this and low torque does that, well…throw out any preconceived notions.  Armed with the 5 shafted adapters of identical length and one QuikFit Acer XF driver, I headed out to the range and enlisted one other golfer to test the Proforce VTS shafts.  Once I explained the concept we took turns hitting and making observations.

The most notable observation was feel.  While that might come as a surprise to most, we did not see a particular ball flight pattern.  That is the higher torque shafts didn’t go predominately left or right or create an erratic shot pattern compared to a lower torque version. The higher torque simply gave a softer feel even though the other key shaft parameters that make up the shaft’s DNA stayed the same.  Part of this can be explained by the flex profile. By having the stiffer butt, mid and tip sections, the player can sense greater stability. By adding higher torque to the shaft is what gives it feel.

While our swing speeds were approximately the same (mid 90’s) we have entirely different swings.  We ended up liking totally different shafts as a result.  Once you get dialed in with the right feel, like I said before, there is no adjustment necessary.  A confident swing in which you can trust is what ultimately what gives you more distance. UST Mamiya’s Proforce VTS line provides more options giving players the better ability to be properly fit.

UST-Mamiya VTS Silver Graphite $149.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya VTS Red Graphite $149.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya VTS Black Graphite $149.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya VTS Hybrid Silver Graphite $79.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya VTS Hybrid Red Graphite $79.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya VTS Hybrid Black Graphite $79.99 ea.


UST MP5H Hybrid Shaft
The Micro-Lite shafts add extreme power, feel, and control to your game. 38 Micro-Ply layers improve feel without sacrificing performance.

UST-Mamiya MP5 Hybrid Graphite $44.99 ea.

 

What new grips is UST offering in 2012? Plenty!

UST DV Torque Series
A unique design using UST Mamiya’s special torque bar technology for a firmer feel, less torque and straighter shots.

UST-Mamiya Pro DV2 Torsion #RU26 $7.49 ea.
UST-Mamiya Comp DV2 Torsion #RU27 $5.49 ea.

 

 

UST Tour PC
Made with premium compounds, the Tour PC grip provide a velvet soft feel in an exceptionally torsionally tight, long lasting grip.

UST-Mamiya Tour PC White Midsize #RU21 $3.29 ea.
UST-Mamiya Tour PC Red #RU22 $2.99 ea.

 

UST Soft Touch Grip
Enhanced designs distribute a superior, relaxed feel while limiting shock through advanced technology and materials. Wet or dry, the Swing Soft grips perform like a champion.

UST-Mamiya Soft Touch Black/White Undersize #RU23 $5.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya Soft Touch Black/White Standard #RU24 $5.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya Soft Touch Black/White Midsize #RU25 $6.49 ea.

 

UST STS White Putter
Soft touch surface produces unique feel. Features polyurethane material and four distinct sizes to fit all golfers.

UST-Mamiya ST1 Putter White Standard #RU28 $6.49 ea.
UST-Mamiya ST1 Putter White Midsize #RU29 $6.49 ea.
UST-Mamiya ST1 Putter White Jumbo #RU30 $10.99 ea.
UST-Mamiya ST1 Putter White Super Jumbo #RU31 $15.99 ea.