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Category: Shafts

July 16, 2013

True Temper's new DG Pro Shaft

Posted at 5:03 PM by Michael Chwasky


The new DG Pro Shaft ($40 per shaft) from steel shaft icon True Temper is designed with Progressive Technology, which is aimed at making long irons easier to hit and short irons more accurate. The technology utilizes a unique combination of shaft diameters and weights that shift throughout the set (lighter in long irons, heavier in short irons). 

"Our new DG Pro shaft raises the bar on performance from premium steel shafts and we are excited to make it available to the public after extensive testing at True Temper's Area 61 test facility and multiple players on the PGA Tour putting it in play this season," said Greg Cavill, True Temper's vice president of alloy engineering and development. "Everything about DG Pro is progressive -- the flex profile, step pattern, weight profile, and internal material distribution. This allows us to really tailor the specific playing characteristic of the long, short , and mid irons for optimum feel, spin control and trajectory and ultimately confidence-inspiring performance." 

Available in regular, stiff, and extra stiff flexes (R300, S300, X100). 

June 07, 2013

KBS rounds out shaft line with new C-Taper Lite lightweight shafts

Posted at 12:23 PM by Michael Chwasky

The new C-Taper Lite shafts from KBS are designed for players looking for a light weight shaft that provides a mid-high trajectory and more controlled spin rates. Featuring a firm tip and stiff butt section, the shaft features a constant taper design with proportionate wall thickness for maximum energy transfer and increased distance. According to KBS research, the combination of design attributes and a lighter overall weight (105-115g) produce an average of 5 more yards than comparable models. 

According to Kim Braly, KBS Director of R&D and Tour Operations, the C-Taper Lite is a result of both player demand and a need to fill a small hole in the KBS lineup. 

"You want to have a product for everybody from a fitting standpoint and we didn't really have anything for a good player who wanted a lighter weight shaft that could still control spin and trajectory. I began thinking about a lighter C-Taper design just as we started getting a lot of inquiries about the original C-Taper, which some recreational players felt was a little too stout for their needs. The overall result is a shaft that's more playable for a wider variety of golfers, but with the same benefits of the original." 

The KBS C-Taper Lite provides a smooth feel and comes with a unique, brushed satin finish. Available in R (105g), S (110g), and X (115g) models. 

(Photos: Courtesy of KBS)

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December 05, 2012

U.S. shaft manufacturer Aldila merges with Mitsubishi Rayon

Posted at 12:00 PM by David Dusek

AldilaCARLSBAD, Calif. -- Aldila, the company that produces the popular VooDoo, NV and RIP line of golf shafts, announced in a release on Monday that its board of directors has unanimously approved a merger agreement to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Rayon America.

According to the release, if Aldila's shareholders approve the merger at a company meeting on Dec. 27, Mitsubishi will pay each Aldila stockholder $4.00 per share, which represents a 60 percent premium over Aldila's $2.50 share price as of Dec. 3. In total, Mitsubishi Rayon America, itself a wholly-owned subsidiary of Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Company, would pay $22 million for the Poway, Calif-based Aldila.

“Aldila will be joining a world class Advanced Composite Materials company that is fully integrated from the base raw material acrylonitrile, precursor, carbon fiber and prepreg materials.  MRC also offers a leading global graphite golf shaft product line-up under the Mitsubishi Rayon brand. We see unique synergies and opportunities for growing our two business segments of Composite Products and Composite Materials by joining with Mitsubishi Rayon” said Peter Mathewson, Aldila’s CEO.

Golfers who won a 2012 PGA Tour event using an Aldila driver shaft include Tommy Gainey, (Aldila RIP NV 65X ), Ian Poulter (Aldila RIP Phenom), and Ben Curtis (Aldila RIP ). Mitsubishi Rayon driver shafts were used by Rory McIlroy (Mitsubishi Diamana prototype 70X), Nick Watney (Mitsubishi Diamana White Board), Sergio Garcia (Mitsubishi Diamana 103X) to win in 2012.

[Photo: The Aldila RIP shaft. Golf Magazine/Schecter Lee]

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September 06, 2012

Flag Waving: True Temper releasing Ryder Cup shafts

Posted at 2:23 PM by David Dusek

Golfers competing in the Ryder Cup who use True Temper Dynamic Gold and Project X iron shafts will be making a quick swap before the start of the matches at Medinah.

True Temper has made limited edition "flag" branded versions of the shafts and golfers on both teams will replace their standard True Temper models to commemorate the biennial clash between the United States and Europe. 

You can show your colors by getting your clubs re-shafted with these special sticks—with no special upcharges added—by visiting participating Golfsmith, Hireko Golf, The Golf Works, Swing Science and Performance Fitting Center dealers.

Learn more: Dynamic Golf Ryder Cup shafts | Project X Ryder Cup shafts

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August 12, 2011

Mitsubishi releasing the Fubuki K Series shaft

Posted at 2:19 PM by David Dusek

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Two PGA Championship winners, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer, are using a Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft in their drivers. Specifically, they each use the second-generation Fubuki Alpha, but as of last week there's a newer version of the white and black shaft that is decorated with ninja throwing stars.

The new Fubuki K Series shafts have a stiffer butt section thanks to a thin layer of metal positioned below the layers of graphite. The photo below shows a Fubuki K Series shaft with a portion of the butt section cut away so you can see the steel area.


According to Mitsubishi's Mark Gunther, the steel section adds stability and helps distribute energy more efficiently on the downswing. He says that early tests with tour players like Lucas Glover and Davis Love are indicating that it launches the ball lower than previous Fubuki shafts, but with about the same amount of spin and slightly more ball speed.

While the butt section was upgraded, the technology in the tip section remained the same. Like previous Fubuki shafts, two different types of high-modulus graphite are fused together, and then encased by another layer of graphite. By having a stiffer area right next to a more flexible section, a hinge-effect is created in the tip that launches the ball higher and decreases spin for greater distance.

The Fubuki K Series shaft will start appearing in pro shops in October for $400.

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January 29, 2010

UST Mamiya Releasing ATTAS Shafts

Posted at 10:46 PM by David Dusek

ORLANDO, Fla — The next time you have a great sushi meal and want to sound cool as you leave the restaurant, say, "Attas" (pronounced, Ah-Taas). According to Robb Schikner, UST Mamiya's vice president of sales and marketing, it's a form of Japanese slang meaning "thank you."

It's also the name of the company's latest premium graphite golf shaft, and it will be arriving in better golf pro shops this season as an after-market upgrade for your driver, fairways woods and hybrid clubs.

Unlike many premium graphite shafts that maintain a specific diameter through the butt section and then slowly taper to a narrower diameter near the tip, the ATTAS continuously tapers along the shafts entire length. The benefit of the continuous taper design is a smoother delivery of power as you swing down to the ball.

"Because we are seeing a lot of benefits to that, we are working on some next generation ProForce products [UST/Mamiya's other popular premium shaft line] that will also have the constant taper design," Schikner said.

It's also not a spin-killing shaft. The ATTAS is designed to promote a moderate ball flight that should appeal to many players. In fact, Stewart Cink put a prototype ATTAS shaft into his 5-wood midway through last season, and had lots of good things to say about it.

The new ATTAS shafts will retail for about $350 at better pro shops and golf specialty stores.

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October 22, 2009

True Temper Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Posted at 4:22 PM by David Dusek

True Temper Logo One of the most popular golf shaft companies in the world, True Temper, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Oct. 8. The company's court filing in Delaware listed assets of $180 million and debt of $319 million.

According to Bloomberg, True Temper's sales of $39.7 million in the first half of 2009 were 46 percent below the same period in 2008.

In a statement released by the company, Scott Hennessy, president and CEO of True Temper, said, “We have successfully reached an agreement to restructure our balance sheet and significantly lower our debt profile. This new financial template clearly allows for the acceleration of our global expansion plans, and for the continued growth of the True Temper business as the overall economy improves."

According to the company's statement, the "pre-packaged" plan, which was agreed to by its lenders, bondholders and shareholders, will reduce True Temper's debt to less than $40 million. The release described the filing as "a mechanism to implement the agreed upon balance sheet restructuring."

Jason Jenne, True Temper's vice president and CFO, said, "One of our goals during this process was to ensure that day-to-day operations at True Temper remained unaffected by this back-office financial planning. I believe we were successful in that objective."

True Temper, based in Memphis, Tenn., sells golf shafts under its own name as well as Grafalloy and Project X in more than 30 countries around the world.

July 15, 2009

Turnberry Will Demand Driving Accuracy

Posted at 9:10 AM by David Dusek

This week via Twitter, I asked Paul Casey what this week's winner will have to do well at Turnberry.

His answer was simple: "Drive the ball well. Look at the two previous Turnberry winners, Norman and Price. Both drove it brilliantly. Same this week."

Casey's coach, GOLF Magazine Top 100 Teacher and CBS on-course analyst Peter Kostis, told me, "Drive it poorly here and you won't finish."

To avoid Turnberry's deep rough and handle a forecast that calls for a mix of sun, rain and wind, players will need to be especially dialed-in with their drivers. For Casey, that means he's got to be accurate with his Nike SQ Tour (8.5°).

According to TaylorMade, Rod Pampling practiced on Tuesday with an R9 460 that was cut down to just 43.5 inches. That's an inch and a half shorter than standard Adam-Scott-Wed-British_600length. Generally, a shorter driver will allow for more control and feel, but less power. The effect is similar to a baseball player choking down on his bat.

According to Titleist, Adam Scott (right) tested a shorter driver in the days leading up to the British Open. The Aussie has experimented with a 909 D2 (9.5°) with a UST Proforce V2 86 shaft that is just 44.25” long.

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(Photo by Peter Morrison/AP Photos)

June 16, 2009

Ernie Els May Go With a Shorter, Heavier Driver at Bethpage

Posted at 6:09 PM by David Dusek

Ernie Els Calaway FT-9 TA FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Earlier this season, Phil Mickelson put a unique Callaway FT-9 driver into his bag. Unlike the FT-9 drivers that had previously been released, Mickelson's had a hosel, so the club had to be examined by the USGA and deemed legal for competition.

Maybe Phil was onto something, because Ernie Els and a few other Callaway players have switched to the FT-9 Tour Authentic driver. Because the Tour Authentic version of the FT-9 has a smaller head and different weighting, it allows skilled players to work the ball more effectively off the tee. The standard FT-9 has a higher moment of inertia (MOI) that helps mid- and higher-handicap players hit straighter drives.

On Tuesday morning at Bethpage, I had a chance to speak with Barry Lyda, a PGA Tour rep with Callaway Golf, about Els's driver. He told me that the two-time U.S. Open winner is experimenting with heavier shafts so he can feel where the club is in his swing more easily.

"Ernie is using a 100-gram True Temper Project X graphite shaft in his Callaway X 3-wood," Lyda said. "He said he'd like a driver made with the same shaft, but I told him that I can't make him one with that shaft because I don't have a head light enough to offset the weight."

Els has been playing a UST Mamiya ATTAS 76 in his driver.

To compensate for the extra weight, Lyda cut a full inch off Els's driver, making it 44". Lyda said that should reduce clubhead speed and create a lower ball flight for Els. To offset that lower ball flight, Lyda added loft, making an 8.5° and a 9.5° head for Els to try.

The Callaway FT-9 Tour Authentic driver is currently only available to the public on the company's Tour Authentic Web site. In the video below, Lyda explains the differences between the standard FT-9 and the Tour Authentic model.

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(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

June 09, 2009

True Temper Project X Wood and Hybrid Shafts

Posted at 5:43 PM by David Dusek

True Temper Project X Shaft True Temper has just released the Project X family of wood and hybrid graphite shafts. The shafts had previously been available only as prototypes to professional players.

Similar to the Project X iron shafts, Project X wood and hybrid shafts are designed to provide a penetrating ball flight and reduce spin.

According to a release, the new Project X shafts are made using eight different composite materials and high-modulus graphite to ensure cross-sectional stability.

True Temper designed the new Project X wood and hybrid shafts by dividing them into three sections:
1. Butt section: Extremely rigid and stable to minimize energy loss.
2. Mid section: Less rigid to allow the energy of your swing to smoothly transfer down, toward the clubhead.
3. Tip section: The lowest 16 inches of the shaft, this area has two extra wraps of carbon fiber for added stiffness and to reduce spin.

The wood shaft will be available in Stiff and X-Stiff in weights between 69 and 100 grams. The hybrid shafts will be available in stiff flex in weights between 92 and 97 grams.

Both shafts should be available starting mid-July, with the wood shaft costing about $350 and the hybrid shaft about $200.

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May 18, 2009

UST Launches Proforce AXIVCore Series golf shafts

Posted at 2:22 PM by David Dusek

United Sports Technologies, better known in the golf world as UST, is set to release a new family of wood shafts, the Proforce AXIVCore Series

The shafts feature four different types of high-modulus graphite fibers in the butt section which are woven together in different directions to create a strong, stable feel. There will be three different shafts in the AXIVCore family: Blue, Tour Black and Tour Red. From a distance, it will be tough to tell the shafts apart—you need to look at the fine type inside the silver area on the shaft. Click on the photos if your eye sight isn't 20/20.

Blue – Designed for players who want more feel and added spin to maximize carry distance. Available in 59-, 69-, 79-gram versions for about $90.

Tour Black – For faster-swinging players who need a high launch, low spin shaft to maximize distance off the tee. Available in 59-, 69-, 79-, 89-gram versions for about $140.

Tour Red – For players who already generate a lot of ball speed, but want a lower, more-penetrating launch angle with less spin off the tee. The Tour Red has a stiffer tip to a lower ball flight, less spin and a firmer feel. Available in 69-, 79-, 89-grams versions (Stiff and X Stiff only) for about $140.

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May 13, 2009

Justin Leonard adds yards with new shaft

Posted at 5:39 PM by David Dusek

Justin Leonard Last week at the Players Championship, Justin Leonard switched to a 66-gram UST Mamiya ATTAS shaft in his Nike Str8-Fit SQ Dymo driver. For the week, he hit 67.9% of the fairways and averaged 289.9 yards per drive. That's 10 yards longer than Leonard's season's average.

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(Photo by Robert Beck/SI)

May 02, 2009

Woods Back with Mitsubishi White Board Driver Shaft

Posted at 2:40 PM by David Dusek

Tiger-Woods-Quail-Sat_600 Before Saturday's third round of the Quail Hallow Championship, Tiger Woods reverted back to playing with a Mitsubishi Diamana White Board driver shaft in his driver.

On Wednesday during his practice round, Woods used an Aldila Voodoo XPP8 shaft in his Nike Dymo 380 driver. On Thursday, The Shop Blog broke the news that Woods was using a prototype Oban Mach 4 shaft.

While Tiger had averaged 316 yards per drive, he sprayed tee shots both left and right. In fact, the world's No. 1 player hit just 30% of the fairways on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, Woods hit 64% of the fairways while averaging 304 yards per drive.

It's important to remember that driving accuracy stats don't take into account what club a player choses to hit off the tee on par 4s and par 5s. On the same course, under different playing conditions, Woods and other golfers may hit different clubs off the tee, making round-to-round comparisons challenging.

UPDATE: Tiger Woods has the Mitsubishi Diamana White Board driver shaft in his driver again on Sunday.

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May 01, 2009

Jim Furyk Switches to TaylorMade R9 Driver with New Mitsubishi Kai'li Shaft

Posted at 10:00 PM by David Dusek

Jim Furyk Friday Quail Hallow Jim Furyk had been using a Titleist 909D2 driver since the 2008 Barclays Scottish Open, the event immediately preceding last season's British Open at Royal Birkdale. However, this week in Charlotte at the Quail Hallow Championship, Furyk is using a TaylorMade R9 with an X-stiff, 60-gram Mitsubishi Diamana Kai'li shaft.

Although his swing is not textbook, and he can't be classified as a bomber, Jim Furyk has been one the straightest and most consistent drivers on the PGA Tour for years. In 2007 he ranked third in driving accuracy, hitting 74.37% of the fairways. This season he is hitting 69.72%, ranking him 23rd in the category.

According to Mitsubishi Rayon, Furyk is the first player on the PGA Tour to put the Kai'li shaft into play.

Meaning Blue Diamond in Hawaiian, the Kai'li has a stiff tip section and slightly lower torque than the popular Mitsubishi Rayon Blue Board shaft. The Kai'li also utilizes a process that applies the carbon fibers that create the shaft in several different angles for a more consistent feel. When compared with the Blue Board shaft, the Kai'li should produce a lower, flatter ball flight and less spin.

The shaft will not be available in the United States until early 2010 and will retail for about $400.

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(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

April 30, 2009

Tiger Woods Testing New Driver Shafts

Posted at 11:49 AM by David Dusek

Tiger-Woods-Oban-Driver Tiger Woods had been using an 83-gram Mitsubishi Diamana White Board shaft in his drivers for several seasons. But on Thursday morning his Nike SQ Dymo 380 driver was outfitted with an 85-gram Oban Mach 4 prototype shaft.

On Wednesday, during his practice round with Payton Manning at the Quail Hallow Championship in Charlotte, the world's No. 1 player had an 89-gram Aldila Voodoo XPP8 prototype shaft.

According to Rick Nichols, Nike's Tour Field Manager, Woods recently tested eight new shafts at his home in Windermere, Fla., as part of an annual equipment review process with Nike.

"Tiger had been off for nine months," Nichols said. "So there were several shafts out there that he had not had an opportunity to test. We said to him, 'Let's test them and confirm that what you're playing, or if there is something better for you, let's look and see.'"

Using Nike's STR8-Fit system and a TrackMan launch monitor to expedite the process and confirm what Tiger felt in his hands, Woods narrowed the field down to three potential successors — the Oban, the Aldila, and a 76-gram prototype True Temper Project X graphite shaft.

The Nike STR8-Fit system allows golfers to unscrew the head from the driver's shaft, then re-attach it in one of eight different positions to change the loft and lie angle of the club. According to Nichols, Tiger's specs were not changed during the testing. His driver has 8.5° of loft and with a face that is 1.5° open. He also tested all the drivers with the same ball, his Nike One Tour.

The 13-gram weight difference between Tiger's heaviest and lightest test shafts translates to distance. "Tiger probably has another 20 yards in him if we gave him a harder golf ball and a longer, lighter shaft," Nichols said. However, that added distance could sacrifice short-game and iron control, so Tiger, like every other golfer, has to weigh his options and priorities.

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(Photo by Fred Vuich/SI)

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