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The Hireko Golf Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index

Technical Director Jeff Summitt explains the Hireko Golf Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index.

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Professional Golf Clubs At Down To Earth Prices


The Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index and 2009
       Shaft Addendum Webinar
with Jeff Summitt, Technical Director, Hireko Golf
                 Thursday, May 1, 2009
                      2-3PM EST
                    Audio settings are set on listen only.
       Please post questions in the upper right hand corner Chat box.
            Question & Answer period will be at end of webinar.
                          www.HirekoGolf.com
                               800 367-8912
How important is shaft fitting?

      Let’s go back 100 years prior…

“This question of the selection of the shaft is
 really one of enormous importance for it is
   infinitely easier to get a head to suit you
  exactly… than it is to get a perfect shaft.”
      James Braid; “Advanced Golf,” 1908
The Hireko Golf Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index
For years, shaft fitting was, and still is,
based on swing speed and distance….
     Flex     Traditional
 L     Up to 60 mph
 A      60 –75 mph
 R      75 – 90 mph
 S     90 – 110 mph
 X    110 mph and up

Assumption #1 is that the shaft flexes are:
             standardized
Shaft Flex Measuring Methods
                   Deflection: Static measurement by clamping the butt
                   end of the shaft and applying a known weight to the tip
                   of the raw or cut shaft or the assembled club. Measure
                   the amount the tip deflects downward. The more it
                   deflects – the more flexible the shaft.

Frequency: Dynamic
measurement where the butt end
is of the assembled club is
clamped. The head is “plucked”
and set in oscillation. The
higher the number of
oscillations (at the same given length), the stiffer the club is said to be.
*Not all deflection board and frequency analyzer readings will be the same
Average Assembled Club Frequency
    Drivers                     Steel                  Graphite

     L-flex                      236                       229
     A-flex                      243                       234
     R-flex                      252                       246
     S-flex                      263                       258
     X-flex                      270                       271

   #5-irons                     Steel                  Graphite

     L-flex                      286                       264
     A-flex                      288                       268
     R-flex                      301                       281
     S-flex                      314                       292
     X-flex                      323                       304
    All L-flex woods measured for driver and 5-iron, C-6 swingweight
   All A-X flex woods measured for driver and 5-iron, D-1 swingweight
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The Hireko Golf Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index

  • 1. Professional Golf Clubs At Down To Earth Prices The Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index and 2009 Shaft Addendum Webinar with Jeff Summitt, Technical Director, Hireko Golf Thursday, May 1, 2009 2-3PM EST Audio settings are set on listen only. Please post questions in the upper right hand corner Chat box. Question & Answer period will be at end of webinar. www.HirekoGolf.com 800 367-8912
  • 2. How important is shaft fitting? Let’s go back 100 years prior… “This question of the selection of the shaft is really one of enormous importance for it is infinitely easier to get a head to suit you exactly… than it is to get a perfect shaft.” James Braid; “Advanced Golf,” 1908
  • 4. For years, shaft fitting was, and still is, based on swing speed and distance…. Flex Traditional L Up to 60 mph A 60 –75 mph R 75 – 90 mph S 90 – 110 mph X 110 mph and up Assumption #1 is that the shaft flexes are: standardized
  • 5. Shaft Flex Measuring Methods Deflection: Static measurement by clamping the butt end of the shaft and applying a known weight to the tip of the raw or cut shaft or the assembled club. Measure the amount the tip deflects downward. The more it deflects – the more flexible the shaft. Frequency: Dynamic measurement where the butt end is of the assembled club is clamped. The head is “plucked” and set in oscillation. The higher the number of oscillations (at the same given length), the stiffer the club is said to be. *Not all deflection board and frequency analyzer readings will be the same
  • 6. Average Assembled Club Frequency Drivers Steel Graphite L-flex 236 229 A-flex 243 234 R-flex 252 246 S-flex 263 258 X-flex 270 271 #5-irons Steel Graphite L-flex 286 264 A-flex 288 268 R-flex 301 281 S-flex 314 292 X-flex 323 304 All L-flex woods measured for driver and 5-iron, C-6 swingweight All A-X flex woods measured for driver and 5-iron, D-1 swingweight
  • 7. Assembled Club Frequency Ranges Steel Drivers #5-Irons Flex Low High Dev. Low High Dev. L 227 255 28 269 321 52 A 232 268 36 270 301 31 R 233 275 42 257 334 77 S 243 281 38 271 337 66 X 259 284 25 307 335 28 Graphite Drivers #5-Irons Flex Low High Dev. Low High Dev. L 204 272 68 227 313 86 A 219 267 48 239 303 64 R 225 277 52 260 320 60 S 226 298 72 267 348 81 X 246 309 63 269 347 78 10 cpm is generally considered one full flex, so 63 cpm would represent 6 flexes. Remember that there is only 5 flexes!!!
  • 8. Stiffness Distribution of the Shaft – 3 Tests Bend Point: The point of maximum bending on a shaft as measured by a compression test of the shaft on both the tip and butt ends. Occurs @ 40% up from the tip in a narrow range. Kick Point: The point of maximum bending of a shaft as measured by deflecting the tip end while the butt remains stationary. Occurs @ 45% up from the tip in a narrow range. Energy Inertia (E.I.) Curves: A three-point bending test that measures / analyzes the load or the stiffness distribution of a golf shaft more accurately inch-by-inch from the tip to butt. Data is feed to computer where a graph is made to replication deflection curvature. Shafts then can be analyzed side-by-side for comparison.
  • 9. Understanding Stiffness Distribution Definitions of Bend Point and Kick Point 1. Tip firm and butt flexible High bend or kick point 2. Tip medium and butt medium Mid bend or kick point 3. Tip flexible and butt firm Low bend or kick point • No universal testing method adopted by golf industry • Overlap from manufacturer to manufacturer • Measurements are made on raw, uncut shafts – what happens when shaft is cut? Manufacturers dropped the bend / kick point terms, in favor of ball flight or launch angle. Companies will indicate the trajectory relative to other shafts within THEIR line based on launch monitor and/or robot data. 1. High Launch or Trajectory 2. Mid Launch or Trajectory 3. Low Launch or Trajectory
  • 10. Understanding Shaft Torque • No universal testing method adopted by golf industry, each manufacturer has their own internal method of testing • Measurements are made on raw, uncut shafts – but what happens when shaft is cut? Effect of a Variation in Torque Testing Parameters 2” butt clamp / 1” tip clamp; 1 ft-lb force 3.20º (baseline) 4” butt clamp / 1” tip clamp; 1 ft-lb force 3.09º (-3%) 2” butt clamp / 2” tip clamp; 1 ft-lb force 2.95º (-8%) 2” butt clamp / 4” tip clamp; 1 ft-lb force 2.54º (-20%) 2” butt clamp / 1” tip clamp; 2/3 ft-lb force 2.08º (-35%) 2” butt clamp / 1” tip clamp; 1/3 ft-lb force 1.06º (-67%) What is the torque of this shaft? It can be any of these!
  • 11. Why is Shaft Weight Important? Tempo, Tempo, Tempo… Decision #1: Steel vs. Graphite Decision #2: How heavy/light? Decision #3: What club length? What is your point of diminishing return for both distance and control? Important fact: Most heads weigh within grams of one another and grips don’t vary much given the same size, except for jumbo grips. So the static (overall) weight of the club is often controlled primarily by shaft weight.
  • 12. The Four Basic Shaft Fitting Parameters Flex, Stiffness Distribution, Torque & Weight Flex (Generic letters – L, A, R, S & X) – Subjective and no uniformity of testing Stiffness distribution (High, Mid, Low) – Subjective and no uniformity of testing Torque (Measured in degrees) No uniformity of testing Weight (Measured in grams or ounces) Finally, something every agrees on The only reliable fitting parameter is shaft weight - other than that lies confusion. So what is the solution? Uniform testing!!! 50 Shaft Manufacturers, 3000 shafts and 20 years later – Hireko has two reference books: Modern Guide to Shaft Fitting & 2009 Shaft Fitting Addendum These two reference books available free on Hireko's website under the SUPPORT tab http://www.hirekogolf.com/hireko/webpages/books/modern_guide_shaft_fitting/mgsf.html
  • 13. Introduction to the Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index Putting it together – accurate shaft fitting requires accurate data • First test shafts using uniform testing methods / apparatus • Examine data and why people like the shafts they do • Create a best fit formula to list shafts in order of their stiffness • Create a methodology that makes it easy to understand and put into everyday nomenclature DSFI formula uses the data collected and creates a best fit formula to put a number on stiffness based on the measured: • Frequency • Torque • Tip & butt deflections • Length
  • 14. Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index – Length of Swing For ease of fitting we used swing speed as the baseline... ...but we also tie in the length of swing and tempo too A shorter swing will require a stiffer shaft given the same swing speed as there is less time for shaft recovery on the downswing
  • 15. Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index – Tempo Range The faster the tempo the stiffer the shaft needs to be for the same swing speed as more shaft deflection will occur at the start of the downswing. This is why a shaft with a DSFI of 90 may have a range of 87-101
  • 16. Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index – Shaft Comparison Use the data as a comparative way of fitting – not everyone uses swing speed, but shafts with like features should feel and perform very similarly that is the weight, stiffness, stiffness distribution and torsion Mfgr. Shaft Flex Shaft Freq. Butt Tip T/B Torque DSFI Weight Deflect. Deflect. Ratio Cut (g) (cpm) (oz.) (.oz.) (deg) Grafalloy ProLaunch Blue 55 R 53.2 244 32 11 2.9 4.80 84 Grafalloy ProLaunch Platinum R 57.1 247 30 8 3.8 4.07 85 New Image Red Image Graphite R 57.2 243 35 8 4.4 4.68 84 DSFI: An accurate way to compare shafts... ...we have already done the work for you