2023 has seen some fantastic drivers being launched into the market.
All the major manufacturers have new offerings to tempt golfers into switching, but there is one question that needs to be asked before making a purchase.
Is an “off-the-shelf” driver right for your game?
Browsing the internet there are plenty of websites where golfers can purchase the latest offerings. But most retail and online outlets are limited to variations of loft and stock shafts in different flexes, which they assume will appeal to the broadest spectrum of their customers.
So, if the golfer makes a purchase because they are familiar with a certain brand, is it going to add yards and make them more accurate, as the marketing hype would make them believe?
What happens if the golfer doesn’t get on with their new purchase?
This is a likely outcome if the golfer’s thought process works along the lines of “9.5-degree loft and stiff shaft sounds about right.”
There is a smarter way to get the right driver.
Recently there has been a growing trend away from the “one-size-fits-all” approach, with golfers seeking more bespoke equipment, that is tailored specifically to them and their game.
So, what advantage does this offer the golfer?
Creating the right bespoke shaft and head combination can not only add yards to every golfer’s drive but can help them keep the ball in play if they don’t quite hit it right.
The overall effect is more confidence in taking the driver out of the bag and creating opportunities for lower scoring.
We’ll take a look at both the shaft and head and talk through the characteristics of each and what can work best for your game.
Let’s start by looking at the role of the shaft in the driver.
Often thought of as the engine of the golf club, the shaft needs to be loaded and unloaded properly in the swing to get the maximum performance out of it.
In a custom-fitting process, the fitter will check to see the following:
- How fast the golfer swings their existing driver
- Where they are consistently hitting the ball on the face
- Spin and launch rates
They’ll also likely check with the golfer what their big miss is likely to be on the course to build the full picture.
A general rule of thumb for slower swing speeds would be lighter shafts that aren’t too stiff, and will help launch the ball, keeping it in the air longer.
Stability is important to prevent inaccurate shots, so within our range of shafts that are at the lighter end of the scale, they have a high degree of stability engineered into them so the golfer can retain control.
Some options that might be considered are the UST Mamiya Helium, Mitsubishi Vanquish or Fujikura Ventus Red, which offer characteristics that we like in their weight, flex, kick point and stability.
The faster swingers can utilise heavier and stiffer shafts which will have lower launching spin characteristics for optimum trajectory.
Options that you may want to consider are Fujikura Ventus Black, Mitsubishi Tensei 1K White or Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX shafts.
As with the lighter shafts, stability is a key component of these shafts, so they deliver low launch, and low spin characteristics but with large degrees of stability to aid shot dispersion.
In addition to optimising the launch and spin characteristics, we can also build the shaft to a variety of lengths giving an even, more bespoke feel.
Obviously, not every golfer who comes to us will be of the same build and height therefore we offer our shafts in a variety of length options.
Getting the correct shaft length can assist golfers to generate more club head speed - making the shaft longer than standard.
Alternatively, if the golfer needs help with finding the middle of the club face more consistently and aiding accuracy - a shorter than standard shaft may be the best option.
Finding a bespoke shaft to suit your swing characteristics can make a huge difference in driving performance.
Marrying the correct head to the correct shaft is the final piece of the jigsaw.
All the driver heads we have available in our range come with the option to increase or decrease loft to obtain the best launch numbers for golfers.
Some of the heads available from Titleist and TaylorMade come with moveable weighting systems that can help re-position the sweet spot depending on where the golfer consistently hits the face.
Moving weight can also help alter shot shape bias.
If the golfer suffers from slicing, the weight can be placed more in the heel of the club to allow the toe to catch up and square the club face more effectively.
The opposite is true if the golfer tends to hook shots with the weight favouring the toe of the club.
Other manufacturers like Cobra and Srixon allow the fitter to move weight back or forward in the head, altering the centre of gravity to help fine-tune the spin numbers.
Knowing how to choose the correct shaft can create big advantages for your golf game.
The obvious advantage is an increase in distance, but an equally important advantage is improved shot dispersion.
Being able to hit the ball long and straight off the tee gives you increased confidence in your game and helps towards lowering your scores.
Custom fitting works for any golfer and here at Golf Tech UK, we offer a fully integrated service whereby every stage of the build is managed by our team. This means there is minimal room for error, because we have handled everything from beginning to end, providing you with the very best universal shaft-head combination possible.