Golf Shaft Acceleration Effects on the Driver Swing | Swing Surgeon - Don Trahan Peak Performance Golf Swing

Golf Shaft Acceleration Effects on the Driver Swing

Wed, 02/03/2016 - 15:00 -- Don Trahan

Today, Frank Stranick is back to talk drivers and shafts. Believe it or not, there's a certain kind of shaft available for every type of golfer. If you tend to hit a fade, there's a shaft that can help. If you have problems hooking the ball, there's a shaft for that too.

The key is that it all comes down to the measurements our certified fitters like Frank conduct at every fitting they do. By using FlightScope technology, you'd be amazed at just how accurate Frank can pinpoint what type of shaft can work best for you.

Want to get first hand help from a PPGS Certified Fitter? Check out a full listing of our upcoming golf schools and fittings here.

Keep it vertical!

The Surge


Robert Fleck's picture

Submitted by Robert Fleck on

Hi Surge and Frank,

I think I'm not alone here in the Surge Nation as a person who enjoys Frank Stranick's technical videos on club fitting. Great information.

Bob Pegram's picture

Submitted by Bob Pegram on

It amazes me that club fitters buy a Trackman machine when it won't do this. FlightScope will and is half as expensive (still very expensive - 13K to 14K). This exactly how we used to fit shafts when I worked for a Golf Digest Top 100 club fitter named Leith Anderson. It makes choosing the proper shaft much easier. Alas, he moved to Indiana and set up shop there. I am still in the SF Bay area (Silicon Valley) and can't afford the machine. :-(

Another good video would be to put a shaft in a vise and show how it will oscillate in a straight line or not depending on which way it is turned. Sticking a small piece of rubber band on the tip of the shaft and jamming a clubhead on will hold it in place and lets you turn it in the proper direction to do this test. It lets you find out which position the shaft needs to be in to flex in a straight line with the line of flight during a swing. It also shows how good graphite shaft manufacturers have gotten in aligning the logo on top so the shaft flexes in a straight line when it is installed with the logo on the top or bottom of the shaft.

jaodell's picture

Submitted by jaodell on

I found this very impossible to follow he did not explain adequately the basic principles of what the curves represent.

wolftitan's picture

Submitted by wolftitan on

Surge, Frank or Doc, what are the pros and cons of a Flight-scope versus a Track-man system. The better club fitters will have one or the other. It appears that you all seem to prefer the Fight-scope system? Would it be possible to do a video on this question? Thank you, Randy Wolf

Bob Pegram's picture

Submitted by Bob Pegram on

Jaodell -

Here is what the curves mean. First, these graphs show shaft behavior from waist level down through impact:

1. Before the video starts several graphs are shown. On the graph on the upper right there are 2 lines. The left line comes up a little then goes down to the right. That going up before turning down is the uncocking of the player's wrists. It should look that way when the wrist uncock is delayed to below the waist. If the wrists uncocked too early (above the waist) the line would come down to the right from off the graph - like the line on the graph on the upper left. There would be no initial upward direction of the line.

2. The "fish hook" at the bottom of that line on the upper right graph shows the face squaring up to the line of flight at the last split second. If the line kept going down to the right instead - like the line on the graph to the left, that would indicate the face didn't close up quickly at the last split second before impact. Either it was already square to the line of flight at an earlier point or stayed open. Either way, there was no sudden turn to the left by the clubface just before impact. The actual shot and ball spin axis are shown elsewhere in FlightScope. That would indicate where the face was aimed at impact. FlightScope also tells the clubfitter where it was aimed at impact.

A low flex point shaft (soft tip) will tend to square up near impact more than a stiff tip shaft.

3. When the golfer takes swing after swing, the degree to which each line lays down on top of the other ones shows the golfer's consistency. If he (or she) is consistent the shaft is probably a pretty good fit. The possible shafts are narrowed down to a few for final testing. If the lines vary quite a bit, try other shafts.

The shaft stiffness, flex point location (high, middle, or low), amount of torque (shaft twist), shaft length, etc., can all affect consistency of your results. There are so many variables that a good clubfitter will have lots of already gripped test shafts with various specs and lengths as well as heads with various lofts to make finding the right combination possible. The heads and shafts are interchangeable.

Here is an example: When I was fitted by UST, I started with a shaft model that sometimes showed a carry distance of 235-245 yards. Other times it showed 205-215 yards on swings that were almost identical. It made no sense. That first shaft was a bad fit. The fitter changed to a shaft that is stiffer in the middle than in the tip or butt. My yardages immediately became consistently 235-245 yards of carry. That is the shaft I ended up with. It works great.

Also, my transition from backswing to downswing is quick so I use X flex rather than S flex. If my swing were more of a classic smooth transition, I would use S flex even though my driver clubhead speed would be the same with either shaft. The X flex keeps the shaft from flexing too much too early. It lets me hit consistently good shots even when my timing varies a little.