Hireko Golf’s Technical Director Jeff Summitt Gives Golf Clubmakers More Reasons Why The High Performing Aerotech Golf Shafts Are Such Hot Sellers
About a month ago we announced Hireko was a full line distributor for Aerotech golf shafts. While the article discussed Aerotech’s design philosophy and briefly went over each of the product lines, there are a few pieces of information I wanted to share with you after testing the Aerotech composite golf shafts as well as heading out to the range and course with them.
Golf Shaft Tip Heavy
On the models I tested, I found these exhibited a shaft balance point that was shifted toward the tip. What does this mean for the golf clubmaker or even average golfers? No need to make the clubs as long to achieve a normal swingweight. This was especially true in the Aerotech SteelFiber iron shaft line where assembling the clubs to the same length as steel-shafted irons provided adequate heft in the player’s hands. More material in the tip is a lead into the next topic.
Golf Shaft Stability
In looking at posts on golf equipment forums, you can get varied opinions on anything. One of those is the feel of Aerotech graphite golf shaft line. Before I had ever hit some of their shafts, I had in the back of my mind that they would play stiffer than most other manufacturers in the same flex based on comments that I had read. Well, this is the reason why you don’t necessarily believe everything you read on the internet. Aerotech’s shaft frequencies (measure of stiffness) were very predictable on all but one shaft (which I will mention later) compared to the industry mean. The golf industry has never adopted standard for shafts flex (nor should they to allow diversity), but these would be considered average stiffness.
Where I can understand some players commenting on the iron shafts being stiffer than others has to do with the tip area. Most graphite iron shafts are generally softer than steel, whereas the Aerotech SteelFiber golf shaft line is partially firmer due to the metal filaments wrapped around the graphite shaft core. Therefore I wouldn’t call their shafts stiff, but rather firm tipped or shaft that exhibited a lot of stability.
I am a natural high ball hitter and bring rain down when hitting an iron or wedge. It was a welcome relief to see my ball flight flatten out so the ball went out toward my target inside of just going high and falling straight from the sky. That is the main difference between a shaft with a firm tip versus one that had more kick or a soft tip section.
For those that rely on the Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index (DSFI) to fit with as well as accurately compare one shaft to another, here is a supplement of Aerotech golf shaft we have tested so far. This will be a good primer when discussing the next shafts.
Taper tip golf shafts versus parallel tip golf shafts
Just like there is a difference between True Temper’s Dynamic Gold shafts in the taper versus parallel version, so too are the SteelFiber iron line. That is due to Aerotech’s SteelFiber taper tip versions being a constant weight design in contrast to taking the parallel tip version, tip trimming for the clubhead number and then sanding the tip to form the taper. Constant weight means just that; regardless of the raw shaft length, the shafts will all weight the same (with a small +/- manufacturing tolerance). Expect the tapered version will be progressively heavier the higher lofted the club becomes.
The enigma of all golf shafts
There always has to be one shaft in the bunch that makes you scratch your head and this time it was the Aerotech Claymore MX 48. This is one of the sub-ultralight shafts on the market tipping the scales under 50 grams. This happens to be a weight range I prefer and have been playing for the better part of a year and a half. If you aren’t aware, there is a new breed of very lightweight shafts that are incredibly stable like UST’s MP4 and Project X’s PXv Tour 52 to name a few. While I was measuring the stiffness of the Aerotech Claymore MX 48, the frequency was running about a full flex weaker than comparable weight shafts. For those clubmakers out there that swears that a certain frequency all feel the same stiffness, you are in for a surprise. This shaft in play felt just as stiff as advertised – at least for me who doesn’t have an overly aggressive downswing. The very stiff tip offset the lack of stiffness in the butt end. This is where most clubmakers access what the flex of a shaft or club is using a frequency analyzer or deflection device, which rarely tells the complete story.
However, I handed this club to one of my golfing buddies that just happen to have the same swing speed and me, but how he achieves it in a totally different manner. His swing is more compact and aggressive and he could definitely feel more flex. Of course this type of player will usually prefer a heavier shaft to maintain timing and rhythm and that is where the Aerotech Claymore MX 60 comes into play.
There are always little nuances with any product and golf club shafts are no different. Don’t always just look at the basic specifications to judge whether or not you can hit a particular shaft because you could be missing out on what really fits you (or your customer). If you are inquisitive, make up a single sample or demo one at a local range or shop. As shafts become increasingly lighter for potentially more distance and more and more graphite-shafted irons go into play on the major tours, people will be looking for places they can hit some of these shafts to see if it might make their game improve as well.
For professional clubmakers, look at the trends and incorporate those types of shafts into golf club demos. If you do, then you’ll likely become to destination place for local golfers to go try and eventually buy your products and services.