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Rocketballz Shaft Flex A Case Study


RocketBallZ Shaft Flex: A Case Study



By Warren Bailey of 2nd Swing Golf Blog


rocketballz shaft

A valuable lesson in the importance of being properly fit for golf clubs recently took place and I wanted to share with you, fellow golf enthusiasts, my findings and what it means. Please keep in mind that this is testing that took place with multiple clubs using the same measuring devices for consistency.

So, what is the hottest driver, fairway wood, and hybrid out there at this time? Sorry Callaway. Not yet Titleist (but they have a sweet driver coming out). Adams, I love ya’, but not you either. Mizuno? Yeah….uh, no. Not even Ping. It’s Taylor Made. Specifically, the RBZ line of clubs. If you have not had the opportunity to demo these clubs or hit them, run over to your nearest golf retailer, demo a driver and rescue club, or make the purchase. BUT, make sure you are being fitted properly.

Why? For some reason, the graphite shafts on the drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids rarely match the flex listed. This was discovered by the staff at the Minnetonka 2nd Swing location. It is their standard practice to test each shaft for each customer before they make a purchase. I wanted to see the results for myself and here is what we found:

rocketballz shaft flex

The Findings


  • Actual Shaft Flex is between Labeled Shaft Flexes for ALL flexes tested
  • This means that someone looking to buy an RBZ driver should definitely get fit for shaft flex, due to the fact the Actual Shaft Flex falls between Labeled Shaft Flexes for this club type

3 Wood (and presumably All fairways)

  • Actual Shaft Flex is consistent at the ‘Stiff’ level, however, Reg and Med stiff shafts measure Actual Shaft Flex between Labeled Shaft Flexes
  • This means someone looking to buy an RBZ fairway wood in a Reg, Med or Ladies Flex shaft should definitely get fit for shaft flex, due to the fact that the Reg and Med Actual Shaft Flexes tested between Labeled Shaft Flexes for this club type

Rescue/ Hybrid

  • Actual Shaft Flex tested one FULL Labeled Shaft Flex less (in stiffness)
  • This is due to the fact that ALL hybrids measure an Actual Shaft Flex less (in stiffness) than their Labeled Shaft Flex
  • Our tests have shown that this is industry-standard for almost all hybrids, no matter what loft, flex or make, presumably due to the fact that hybrids are designed to provide easier/ higher launch conditions

rocketballz fairway wood

It is no surprise that the labeled flexes do not necessarily match up with the actual flexes—that may be common knowledge to many.

Our findings on the RBZ metals, specifically the driver and fairway woods, are interesting because they are actually ‘stiffer’ than the label, which is an anomaly. With other makes and models we’ve found the complete opposite to be true; the actual shafts flexes are weaker than what they’re labeled.

Andrew Rice, Director of Instruction at Berkely Hall in South Carolina, who also writes his own golf blog, had this to say in his ‘The Facts on Shaft Flex’ article published earlier this June:

“For years we have known that you simply cannot trust what the shaft label indicates - if it says its an S (stiff) flex, it could be anything other than an X (extra stiff) flex. In fact in all our testing over the years we have only found one shaft that was actually stronger than it showed – a TaylorMade fairway wood. All the other non-matches have been weaker.” – Andrew Rice

For more information on the RocketBallZ visit 2nd Swing Golf Blog's RBZ Articles


Comments (14)

This is column is telling in and of itself. As a custom clubmaker, I take pride in building a club that meets my customer's specifications. With the shaft being the engine of the club, A club purchased off the rack (or from the bin) does not present the buyer with an accurate view of shaft flex. There is no industry standard for flex, so a Callawy "firm" does not necessarily equal a Ping or TaylorMade "stiff". And "regular" among all the brands can vary widely. I am a big fan of Second Swing, but as they say, make sure the club you are buying is the club you think you are buying.
Thanks for your comment John. Very true. We stress the importance of fitting as well as general education when it comes to equipment. Golf equipment is by no means cheap, and an informed purchase is always the best way to get the most value for your money.
I purchased the Driver and a 5 wood at the same time. Love the driver. Feel a slight pop in the shaft when I hit it on the sweet spot. Definitely 15 yards longer than my 09 Burner.
My 5 wood has been a love/hate relationship. I have found it to be longer than my old 5 wood but I cannot get any height on the ball. It's a low draw when I make good contact, so it runs out a ways. Also, no feedback from the shaft like I feel with the driver. I actually took it out of my bag about a week ago.
Your article gives me a pretty good inclination that the shaft is too stiff for my swingspeed and that the shaft in the 5 wood is closer to stiff than regular.
Hackapottomus- thanks for the reply!
Yes, it is very likely your 5wood should be fit for a softer shaft. How fast is your swing speed?
I'm around 92 mph. I'm 63 years old and the tendons don't stretch like they used to, lol. I have tried senior shafts in both Ping Drivers and Fairway Woods (G15) and I ended up with a "high and right" ball pattern. Adilda R Flex seems to be the best shaft for me when I go custom. Like I mentioned, the shaft in the RB Driver does the job. Doesn't work in the 5 wood however.
One more comment. I have a friend the also purchased the RB 5 wood. He is having the same problem. His swing speed is up around 96. He's a 2 Handicap, knows how to strike a ball. He was thinking that the club head size "too large" was part of the issue regarding getting height on the ball. I forwarded your research to him. Thanks again.
The fact that it is working off the tee and NOT off the deck isn't a huge surprise. I doubt the headsize is too large, as the rbz line of fairway woods are not larger than other major manufacturer offerings. The shafts, however, can be stiffer than labeled.
I would get fitted for the same wood a shaft flex softer and see how that looks on the monitors. If it seems to correct the problem, switch out the shaft and see how it preforms out on the course.
I have an RBZ 4H with a stock R.flex shaft. My driver swingspeed is 85.5 MPH (two launch machines at different sites measured within 1 MPH of each other). Driver = Calla Razr Fit 9.5* R. flex set wit neutral weights and open face. I get a slight draw from a closed stance.
Hitting the 4H from a square stance, my misses tend to be severe hooks (20-30 yds. left of target, sometimes OB). Possibly the shaft is a bit too whippy? If I set up with an open stance (fade), I can get a high fairly straight shot. If I get a double-cross, however, it's a disaster.
I also have the R.flex RBZ 3HL and 7W fairway woods. I'm getting hook misses with them too. I checked out the clubhead lie on the "kitchen floor squares" at my house, and found that what I thought was square head alignment was actually a couple of degrees closed. I had to correct for this optical illusion.
Any other thoughts on my situation?
WUTiger - Thanks for your question. My fear would be that the shaft is too soft in the hybrid and fairway woods. What specific shaft do you play in the driver? Ultimately much of the "hooks" and "slices" of the world have to do with angle of attack and face angle at impact. With the shaft being too soft it's very possible that your face angle at impact is closed.
In my driver, I play the stock Aldila RIP.D NV: R.flex 60-gram shaft with midTorque and low kickpoint. As I said, I get a nice draw out of a closed stance. Can get fade out of square stance.
The RBZ FWs have a 45-gram shaft, with similar specs otherwise. Two years ago, a third-party OEM rep cautioned that sub-50 gram shafts might be weak in the tip - material had to be removed from somewhere. But, that was two years ago...
As I mentioned above, the RBZ at first looked square to me when I was actually set up a couple of degrees closed. Maybe retraining my eye will help.
This is ridiculous. Probably explains why I hit my RBZ 3H like (_)X(_)??
Having played to a 9 handicap before taking a 20 year gap from the game -I'm a 16 now and going down soon ....

I have found that the best after market shafts for me are :

They just seem to work so much better than the standard shafts that the manufacturers fit.
here are my 2 cents:
the shafts in the RBZ are longer, so a stiff needs to be a little stiffer to account for the extra length. its simple physics; if you hang a 10 pound weight on the end of a 2 foot long PVC pipe 2 inches in diameter, it will bend a little bit. if you add a foot, it will bend a little bit more. the sad truth is TaylorMade sold everyone on the RBZ 3 wood simply by making the shaft longer. they delivered on the distance, but at the same time, most people who bought these clubs can't hit them with any consistency.
@hackapottomus you might be hitting low draws because the shaft is too long. the longer shaft automatically makes the club more upright so the heel digs into the ground turning the club over.
I totally agree w this. I can say after a full season w rb 3w, 3 & 4 hb I'm not consistent with these clubs. The only reason the balls go farther than previous 3w & 3/4 hb is the slightly longer shafts. If callaway, ping, titleist or any other manufacturer put longer shafts on their clubs I bet the ball flight would be the same. I'm actually ditching the 3&4 hb this spring and going with new callaway or titleist. Tbt...
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