Already proven on the PGA Tour, the KBS Tour-V golf shaft offers golfers a lightweight, low spin option
Introducing the New 2014 KBS Tour V Golf Shafts
I’d like to report on the newest shaft from KBS called the Tour V. It has already been validated on the PGA Tour as it was the shaft used by the winner of the 2013 Open Championship. Now this same shaft will soon be available to clubmakers and golfers alike.
Recently I had a chance to test the shafts in our lab as well as hit the different flexes at the range against some of the other KBS shafts. At this point, it is a taper tip option so they are primarily for re-shafting name brand clubs unless want to shim them in our irons or in other parallel irons on the market.
Tour V versus KBS Tour
The KBS Tour has been a staple for the company since their inception and a shaft that you have likely hit if you had tried the KBS brand before. When you place the Tour V side-by-side with the KBS Tour they look identical as far as their step pattern and distance to first step. However, I can tell you they are quite different shafts as I will explain later.
For you techno-geeks like me, let’s provide you with some comparative data. Using our new shaft profiler, we are able measure the deflection or stiffness along the length of the shaft so you get more of a complete picture of how the shaft flexes. The following chart shows the deflection of the two S-flex shafts with the left side showing the tip end and the right side is the butt. More flex is indicated when the line is higher on the chart.
If you have a hard time reading the legend, the KBS Tour V is in blue and original Tour in red. At first glance, it would appear these two shafts are mirrors of one another and that can be explained by their shared geometry. There are just subtle differences in the different zonal areas of the shaft by most likely varying wall thicknesses.
In addition, here is the DSFI data that we produce for our annual Shaft Fitting Addendum so you can compare them to other shafts we have tested. Note that there are a few incomplete entries for the original KBS as they were shafts which were removed from existing clubs to be able to gather the data. However, the most important data is shown.
Again, the measure of stiffness (frequency and deflections) are eerily similar with the biggest differences being the Tour V is lighter weight and the balance point is a lighter lower or closer to the tip. In fact, the KBS Tour V is close to the weight of the recently introduced C-Taper Lite, but those shafts are nowhere as close in their deflections as shown in the chart below.
While the data on the shafts showed the new Tour V and original Tour to be very similar to one another, where we noticed the biggest difference was out on the range. Using the same head and swapping out shafts, everyone who compared the Tour V versus the Tour all said the same thing; the Tour V felt much better and the ball went further. The similarly weighted KBS C-Taper Lite had more of dull feel and didn’t produce the same results from our group of testers. This is an important lesson. We can try to quantify feel all we want by testing shafts infinitum, but there is no substitute for first hand experience.
Additional Fitting Info
As with any taper tip shafts, there is no tip trimming required. However, this requires the clubmaker to purchase or stock a specific raw length for each head. Here are those recommended raw lengths. Note the recommended lengths are different than for the standard KBS Tour.
Even though you do not see many 2-irons today, these can be used for driving / utility irons or giving club fitters the option of soft-stepping to create some in-between flexes.
The KBS Tour Golf Shaft has been the signature shaft in their line for some time. After our range session, our group of testers all came to the same conclusion that this will soon be the new signature shaft for KBS for years to come. Some people may get all caught of launch and spin. If they are looking at low launch and low spin, then those select few people who truly need that combination can select the C-Taper. If you are looking for high launch and spin, then there is the Tour 90. In the middle stands the Tour V; a lightweight design with some meat to its bones, while surprisingly providing an extremely good feel.