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08.19.2016

Shaft Fitting for Accuracy with D’Lance Golf Performance Center

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Dan Sueltz, CEO of D’Lance Golf Performance Center in Englewood, CO and a Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter, is in the business of helping golfers lower their scores. He shares with us how he does this by shaft fitting for accuracy.

“Golfers are always looking for distance, consistency and accuracy. Perhaps the hardest fitting concept is to fit for accuracy. Fitting for accuracy means you are minimizing the left-to-right shot dispersion for your shots. To hit consistently accurate shots, the golfer must deliver the club face consistently in a face-to-path angle that gives a consistent shot pattern. From data collected by TrackMan, club path only controls 25% of shot accuracy while face angle at impact controls 75% of shot direction. In our fittings it is very common to see a consistent path but inconsistent face angle at impact. So, concentrating on getting more consistency in the face angle at impact and face to path will make significant improvement in accuracy.

Shaft Fitting Factors Affecting Accuracy
The most important shaft characteristics for fitting for accuracy are butt stiffness (flex), shaft weight and shaft tip profile.

Shaft Flex (Butt Stiffness)
In general, butt stiffness or shaft flex, determines your accuracy to the left or right of target. To be honest, if a shaft is way too soft/stiff in the tip section compared to the butt stiffness, the accuracy of your shots can suffer as well. If a shaft is too stiff in the butt section, shots will tend to be right of target for right-handed golfers and left of target for left-handers. So, if you are fitting for shaft flex, start with softer butt stiffness shafts and gradually increase stiffness to determine the optimal shaft butt stiffness that improves/reduces shot dispersion.

Shaft Weight
If your shaft weight is too light for your swing dynamics (speed, tempo, transition, release) your accuracy will be very erratic causing shots to be left and right of target. If your shafts are too heavy, your misses will be more consistent, but usually right of target for right handed golfers. For golfers with faster tempos, faster transitions and later release points, start with a heavier shaft. For golfers with slow(er) tempo, smooth transitions and early to middle release points start with lighter shafts. So determine the golfers tempo and ask questions about what weight feels good and then use that as a guide to go heavier or lighter in shaft weight.

Shaft Tip Profile
Shafts with an active tip section will tend to have more shot dispersion for golfers with a fast tempo, transition and release. As an example, the XP 95 and 105 will have a more active tip section than the XP 115 in steel. Same thing with Project X LZ (loading zone) graphite shafts with the lighter shafts having more active tip profiles. In our experience, stiffer tip profiles may create more accuracy but could cause loss of distance and lower ball flight if they are too stiff in the tip section for the golfer being fit.
Fitting for accuracy is pretty straight forward if you work with these three factors, shaft flex (butt stiffness), shaft weight, and shaft tip profile. Again, there are no absolutes but these guidelines should help get you to tighter shot dispersion.”

Visit our Performance Fitting Center page to find a fitter in your area for a custom fitting. To learn more about how proper shaft fitting can help you shave strokes off your game, visit here, here, here and here.

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