I love when this happens.
Just when I needed a good case study – Matt Kuchar wins the Player’s Championship playing 95 gram graphite shafts in his irons.
Winning PGA Tournaments with graphite shafts is a rare occurrence. Very few Tour players have tried lightweight graphite shafts. Why should they? They’re playing well with True Temper heavy steel shafts that they grew up with.
There have been a couple of notable exceptions. Johnny Miller won the Open at Oakmont in 1973 with Aldila prototype graphite shafts in his irons. That round is recognized as one of the best ball-striking rounds of all time. John Daly played UST graphite shafts in his irons when he won the British Open in 1995. Big John is not the kind of player you’d expect to get serious about graphite.
Matt never would have tried Lightweight graphite on his own. His father bought a new set of custom irons that came with Aerotech Steel Fiber shafts. He thought they felt unusually good and handed them to Matt. Matt tried them and was surprised. He ordered a set. He played Aerotech Steel Fibers the next weekend, finished second and went on to win the Money Title. That’s the short version.
What caused Matt to try his father’s irons? Who would think they would have anything in common?
Unlike most golfers who “know what they like” and don’t see much reason to change equipment, Matt was looking for that special edge. Did that one day he tried his father’s irons make the difference? Was that a coincidence?
Matt’s quick results demonstrate what my old friend Mitch Voges used to say about golf clubs. “New golf clubs should be like new glasses. When I buy new glasses, I see better right now.”
Brandt Snedeker was a winner with Steel Fibers earlier this year. Dozens of Tour players at all levels are evaluating Aerotech Steel Fibers. All of the major OEM Custom departments have either approved or are testing Aerotech Steel Fiber shafts.
Link to the Aerotech website: http://www.aerotechgolfshafts.com/
Link to Aerotech iron shafts: http://www.aerotechgolfshafts.com/irons.php
It won’t be long before Aerotech is represented in all the fitting carts. After fifteen years, Aerotech is poised to become an “overnight success”.
Aerotech “under the covers” – what the Pros are Really Playing
Aerotech has been the dominant graphite shaft line for custom clubmakers for over ten years. The reason is the extensive choice of weights and flexes that Aerotech offers.
With Aerotech, the unique designs that are the most interesting. Aerotech is the only graphite shaft company that offers a broad range of “weight designed” shafts.
Tournament players favor traditional steel shaft designs that call for each shaft to be slightly heavier as they get shorter. Each shaft then weighs the same when trimmed to playing length. That’s “constant weight” for shafts. The belief is that constant weight shafts make better sets.
The problem with constant weight shafts is complexity and cost. Each set requires eight different shafts. Sets have to be kept straight. That’s a severe test for most golf club factories which is why “parallel tip” shafts were invented.
Manufacturing efficiency demanded parallel tip “blanks”. All blanks are the same. You cut half an inch off the tip for the three iron and keep going up the set. Most graphite iron shafts are supplied as blanks – one size – and weight – fits all.
So it came to pass over the years that high quality sets for good players would continue to be made by the old method – strictly taper tip shafts for classic forged irons.
Parallel tip shafts came to be the “mass market option”. Tapered was expensive and parallel was cheap.
That led to confusion about premium graphite iron shafts. Since practically all graphite is manufactured on the parallel tip model there’s a tendency to distrust graphite quality. Until now, mounting parallel tip shafts in forged heads required drilling the head to accommodate the shaft – an option that requires above average experience.
The golf world thought it needed a quality taper tip graphite shaft.
95 gram Constant Weight, Taper Tip Graphite
The Big Boys are playing taper tips. Aerotech I95 Steel Fiber taper tip iron shafts were engineered and manufactured individually to a constant playing weight of 95 grams.
Link to more details on iron shafts:
That solves the problem of the short irons feeling too light. That is the most common complaint from most players testing lightweight graphite shafts. It’s not that the shafts feel loose. It’s that they feel too light. They should, because a 95 gram parallel tip graphite shaft in an 8 iron might end up only be 85 grams trimmed to playing weight. That’s good reason to wonder . . .
If you think you need heavy steel shafts – for whatever reason – ask yourself “why?” If 95 grams is just right for Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker, why would that be too light for you?
And, if Tour Pros are playing 95 gram graphite shafts – doesn’t it also stand to reason that a normal amateur might do well with something lighter than that? Maybe 80 or 70 grams?
So that’s the Big Bet. Will changing your shafts help you win the Money Title? No guarantee on that. Will you play better with irons that are built differently from anything you’ve ever tried? There’s only one way to find out.
Golf Lab High Performance Demo Program
We created a new way to test our theories.
It seemed doubtful that customers would be convinced by argument – or even a launch monitor – to buy a new set of irons that were totally different.
We built twenty sets of irons. Each set is a “fantasy set”. We combined the best of the Japanese boutique foundry forged iron heads with the latest graphite shafts – in weights from 70 grams to 125 grams.
Players wondering about shaft weights can check out demo sets of custom irons built with Aerotech Steel Fiber shafts in 70, 80, 95, 110 and 125 weights. You can make a sure choice on shaft weight only one way: hands-on testing on your own course hitting your own ball to familiar targets.
Of course we have the newly famous Aerotech 95 gram, constant weight, taper tip Steel Fiber shafts if you want to know exactly what Kuchar’s irons are like.
Heads include the best of the Japanese boutique foundries – Miura 501′s and the newest Passing Point. From Vega we have the competition blades and the fabulous VC-03′s – chosen by most players as the best feeling, most forgiving forged head on the planet.
For players who like familiar names we have Mizuno and Adams.
It is no longer necessary to wonder about how your own fantasy set might play. We probably have a set that’s close to your own Dream Set in our showroom.
Special Offer for Golf Lab “Members Only”
Assembling our extensive demo sets was a significant investment – but a necessary investment. For the first time, players can test a full set of high performance irons under home course conditions.
I’m going with Mitch Voges – “play better right now”.
Many of our demo sets are valued up to $2000. Our rental program is $300 for a month. You can swap your set four times. The rental fee does not apply to purchases – except for Golf Lab members who take schedule an “Iron shaft fitting” in the next week.
Golf Lab customers who book any fitting or fitting update this week receive one week of on-course experience free. That’s a $125 value.
Do your iron game a favor this week. Book an update fitting and see what Matt Kuchar found out about Aerotech Steel Fiber shafts.
Leith Anderson and the Golf Lab Gang: JR, JT, BP, CS, DT and Joel.