The “Long” of it:
First of all, since I am new here, I would like to give a little background info about myself. I am 48 years old. I have been playing golf for 22 years. I currently maintain a 9.5 handicap though I have been playing to nearly a 12 recently due to lack of playing time and absolutely zero practice. Typically my drives carry about 230-240 yards with some roll-out even on soft fairways. My shot trajectory is in the high to mid high category. For the first seven or so years of my golfing hiatus, I was an avid component club maker. Not enough to make a living off of, but enough to support my golfing addiction. I learned just enough from doing this I feel to cause me some of the frustrations that I currently and historically had with my golfing equipment. I work in the engineering department at the refinery. This makes me very analytical and observant. This causes me as many frustrations. Things have to make sense. I can’t just accept “that’s how it is”.
Up until 1998, I was playing with component golf clubs, my last and best set being a set of Golfsmith XPC Pluses with TT Lite steel shafts (11 degree driver) . I then decided it was time to start playing with some “real” equipment. I purchased a complete set of Callaway clubs with graphite shafts. I was under the misconception the my new Biggest Big Bertha Driver (9 degree – per advice of the salesman) and Great Big Bertha titanium fairway woods, were going to turn me into a touring pro. What I got was a loss of confidence and confusion. My new inconsistency with these new clubs had to be me not the $500 driver and $350 fairway woods right? After about six months of frustration, I ran into a guy on the golf course who had a Biggest Big Bertha six degree with a factory installed Grafalloy ProLite shaft. He asked if I would like to try it. Six degrees? Me? No Way! I tried it. I hit it in the neighborhood of 280 – 3 times! Big hits for me. Now I was even more confused. The guy explained to me that the factory shafts were cheap, very cheap. Made by Graphite Design with Callaway painted on them. He said Callaway had to use a cheap shaft in order to keep the retail price of their clubs down due to high manufacturing costs on the clubheads themselves. He had gone through the same frustrations as me, but was properly fitted by a professional, not a part time club builder like myself. He had sent his driver and woods to Callaway and had them reshafted. He said the results spoke for themselves and that I should consider doing the same thing. I felt ticked off and betrayed by Callaway. I replaced all of the shafts myself. Being a believer in True Temper, I installed the EI-70 High Impact shaft in my driver and all 3 of my woods. My handicap soon after fell like a rock. I guess this guy new what he was talking about.
From there, I went to the Callaway X460 Tour 8.5 degree with the Fujikura Tour platform Shaft – staying away from the stock shafts, absolutely one of the best drivers I ever owned. Then The FT-9 Tour 8.5 with the Fujikura Z-Com 65 Tour shaft, even better driver. – both having quality shafts. Then a few months ago, I won the Razr Fit driver in a closest to the pin contest. For some strange reason I had to put this in my bag and sell the FT-9 driver. Why not, it is Callaway’s newest flagship driver with an Aldila RIPd NV60 shaft. Aldila makes great shafts right? This isn’t a “Callaway” shaft right? I soon realized that I was experiencing déjà vu like with my Biggest Big Bertha years ago.
Be patient, there is a point to this coming soon.
After some investigation, I noticed that the “Callaway -Aldila RIPd NV60”(red and black)and the Aldila RIPd NV (green and black) are far from being the same shaft – though they somewhat carry the same name.
I got fitted by a buddy of mine at a local course (whom wishes to remain anonymous in this post for obvious reasons). We both hit shots using both shafts in my driver. The results we not even close. The real NV shaft outperformed the Callaway version hands down. We then tried “S” flex stock shafts from other Razr Fit drivers in the pro shop, as well as “R” flex shafts from these drivers, six shafts in all. It would appear that these shafts are pulled out of a pile and labeled as needed. The result were all over the place, “S” flex shafts hitting the ball higher than “R” flex, On e “R” flex hitting the ball lower than another ”R” flex, etc.
I was able to consistently hit the ball straighter, further and more consistent with the real NV RIPd Green shaft. You could tell the difference just by holding the club and wiggling it. The Callaway version wiggles like a “L” or “A” flex in comparison to the NV RIPd green shaft from Aldila.
When the dust settled, the Graphite design Tour AD DI 7 was the shaft I was most impressed with. It seemed the harder I swung, the further the ball went. And straight it went. Though workability left a lot to be desired. At $279.00, I had to pass on this one. The Project X 6.0 was head and shoulders above the rest. I hit if far and straight, and could draw the ball very easily against the left to right wind we had that day. The shaft feels good, and even looks good if that is important to you.
I have since pulled out my old club making equipment and did some investigating on a hunch that I had. I pulled the “S” flex Razr Fit tip (removed all of the epoxy from the I.d.) and grip (removed all of the tape)off of the stock “S” flex Callaway NV60 RIPd shaft. I measured the length and weighed it. It was 43.5 inches long and weighed 70 grams. Tip .335, butt .600. I sacrificed $15.00 for a new Aldila VX(Value Series) shaft at the local golf shop because I just had to make sense of this. I tip cut it down to 43.5 inches. It weighed 72 grams. Tip .335, butt .600. I put the Razr fit shaft on the shaft flex board and traced it with a pencil. I did the same with the VX shaft. The lines were near identical. Was my hunch correct? Are they the same shaft? I guess the golfing public will never know the truth will we? I have since changed the shaft in my Razr fit 3 wood to a Project X as well.
Point to the story………….get fitted by a pro with pro equipment and you won’t have to endure novels like this one.