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GOLF CONDITIONING
Wednesday
Aug102016

Wedge Shaft Fitting 

Wedge fitting is typically incomplete. The focus is almost entirely on features of the club head, e.g. loft and lie angles, sole grind, bounce, leading edge, weight, etc. It's the heart and soul of wedge fitting. But too often, that's where it stops.

The effects of the shaft on how wedges play and feel are generally ignored. Consequently heavy, stiff shafts that can feel like rebar are often used. It keeps costs low but degrades performance. For those of us who don't reach the green in regulation, pairing the right shaft with the right head and best sole grind can be a game changer.

Why be concerned about shafts in your short game clubs? Wedges are used in about 20% of the shots in a typical round for every golfer at all skill levels. With putting contributing to 40% of a typical score, it's easy to conclude that wedges account for one-third of all shots made from everywhere on the course that isn't a putting green.

As with all other clubs, wedge performance is enhanced by improving the feel of a shaft. It is a major factor in how a golfer responds to a club during the swing. Shaft feel reflects distinct characteristics engineered into the shaft including stiffness distribution, torque, materials, shaft wall properties, and the way weight distribution and total weight affect overall balance.

In our experience. all golfers, from beginners to advanced can feel subtle differences between shafts. Starting with a soft-forged wedge clubhead and a large group of distinct shaft options, the best combination for every golfer can be identified. Launch monitor data quantifies trajectory and shot distribution to help guide the selection. 

The roots of developing improved feel in wedge shafts came from professional golf. Tour players wanted a shaft that delivered increased ball spin, had more weight with a softer feel, and greater control over ball trajectory. The Precision Golf "Spinner" shaft was the first successful response to that request. It was a specific design not a generic shaft that's quite different from the current replacement.

Today there is a whole world of choices for wedge shafts designed to match your distinct ball flight and performance goals. Shaft manufacturers are taking advantage of new materials and production methods to offer several different models for customizing a wedge to exactly the feel and control that matches a player's game. 

For all clubs, the shaft that works best with any player can only be determined by direct testing. No chart, forum post, or marketing brochure can substitute for your individual response to a wedge in chip shots, lob shots, and full swings. We find that personal testing of different shaft designs is a key part of finding the right wedge for the benefit of your short game. 

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