Tuesday, December 7, 2010

If a golfer swings 2 exact clubheads with 2 different shafts, is there a difference in ball speed?

From the desk of Tom Wishon:

If the golfer's angle of attack, the ball speed, the launch angle, the spin rate are exactly the same between the two clubs with different shafts, the carry distance would be the same. The only distance difference could come from how much the ball rolls after landing, depending on the firmness of the actual points the two balls landed on the ground. Technically if the swing speed were the same, the distance would be the same as well, but in this case of talking about only the swing speed and not the ball speed, then the only possible variable would be if there were any difference in the balls used for the two shots. Hence this is why I mentioned ball speed before swing speed.

It is pretty well verified by several competent technical sources that a +1mph difference in swing speed equates to a +2.8yd difference in CARRY distance, given the same exact launch parameters.

Trying to nail all this down to a single yard or so is difficult because there are several variables in measuring all these things. There can be tiny differences in balls of the same make/model and it is a fact that no launch monitor is absolutely perfect in its ability to always record launch parameters within 1mph or fractions of degrees or small increments of RPMs. There can and will be small differences in launch parameter measurement from any launch monitor.

Where we believe golfers can see differences in distance from different shafts are with respect to how the golfer reacts to the bending feel of the shaft during the downswing. We believe strongly that when you have a golfer who does have the ability to feel the bending action of a shaft, when that golfer finds a shaft that bends exactly the right amount and at the right time that is pleasing to the golfer, this allows the golfer to swing with full freedom, with no manipulation of the swing, and with a completely full and free release through the ball. When that happens, the golfer will be able to achieve their absolute highest possible swing speed, and from that comes more distance.

We do not believe there is any real difference in what some like to call the "tip velocity" of one shaft versus another. Shafts are in essence, "dumb animals". What we mean is that a shaft can only react to the differences in movements of the golf swing. Yes, different shafts do bend differently in response to the various downswing moves of different golfers. So to us, when a golfer who has a very distinct type of bending feel preference for a shaft is able to find a shaft that does bend when and how much he prefers, this then allows the golfer to gain the confidence that he can really go after the shot on the downswing to hit the ball. And from that comes more swing speed and distance over what the golfer can achieve when using a shaft that does not deliver a bending feel that is right in the golfer's preferred manner.