Shaft Spining, Splining, and PUREing: Black Art or the Ultimate Tweak?

Working on the premise that no two shafts are created equal, a relatively new tuning method seeks to deliver consistent feel, flex and performance throughout a set of clubs.

Bag DropThere are many variables in a golf shaft. Some are designed and engineered by the manufacturer – stiffness, flex point, and weight. Other factors, however, become the province of aftermarket clubmakers and fitters who can adjust length, trim tips, and match frequency to suit your swing speed, tempo, and ball flight.

Over the last six or seven years, another way to tune shafts has emerged that proponents say best matches feel across a set, tightens shot dispersion patterns, and optimizes performance. Detractors, on the other hand, say it’s unnecessary and expensive. Most manufacturers say their shafts don’t need it.

Complicating the picture, it’s a practice that goes by several names and actually can be performed in a number of ways. In this week’s Bag Drop we’ll try to shed some light on shaft spining, splining, and PUREing.

When I first brought up the idea of writing about shaft spining, my clubmaker urged me to avoid it, citing the fact that there is such a wide difference of opinion among clubmakers and shaft makers as to how it should be performed and if it’s even necessary. But since he’s done it to my last two sets or irons and I’ve seen and felt a remarkable difference, I decided to do a little research on my own. Here’s what I found out:

The Premise
The practice begins with the notion that no shaft, graphite or steel, is manufactured perfectly round or with a perfectly uniform wall thickness. The result is a hard spot running the length of the shaft called a spline or spine. By orienting the spline in a specific relationship to the head, the flex and performance of the shaft can be optimized.

It’s the same process I and other custom fishing rod makers have used for years with fiberglass and graphite rods. You bend the rod blank and roll the butt across the floor. You feel a “bump” and that’s your spline. This is then aligned opposite the guides.

Some early critics of this theory pointed out that unlike a fishing rod during a cast, the orientation of the spine in a golf shaft changes throughout the swing. Those who developed the technique, however, countered by showing with frequency analysis they could actually change shaft flex from stiff to soft depending on how they oriented the spine.

A Murky Rules History
Back in 1990, Robert Colbert, a Michigan welder, took a close look at his golf pro daughter’s club shafts and found splines. After aligning them in a consistent fashion and seeing a remarkable improvement in feel and performance, he patented the process.

Immediately, the USGA issued a notice that this violated its rule on shafts and their bending and twisting properties. But soon after, embroiled in Ping square grooves litigation and afraid of another litigious front, they compromised and said only manufacturers could spine align shafts and only as long as they didn’t advertise the fact.

This effectively put Colbert out of business and, because of the costs involved, kept spine alignment out of the game except for surreptitious clubmakers wise to the idea.

Years later, Richard Weiss, a wealthy Miami-based entrepreneur and late-in-life golf professional, purchased the rights and went on to convince the USGA that the process should be legal if it merely made the shafts consistent.

Thus, in 1999 the USGA ruled the process legal. Here’s the USGA quote explaining the rule:

This Rule effectively restricts shafts from being designed to have asymmetric properties, so that however the club is assembled, or whichever way the shaft is orientated, it will make no difference to the performance of the club.

However, most graphite shafts have a small “spine” running along the length of the shaft which does make them bend a little differently depending on how they are fitted to the head. This is generally regarded as being “within manufacturing tolerances” (see preamble to Appendix II) and therefore not a breach of Appendix II, 2b. Manufacturers of clubs may orientate or align shafts which have spines for uniformity in assembling sets or in an effort to make the shafts perform as if they were perfectly symmetrical. However, a shaft which has been orientated for the purpose of influencing the performance of a club, e.g., to correct wayward shots, would be contrary to the intent of this Rule.

But, of course, there is still nothing to stop the unscrupulous from positioning splines to counter or promote hooks and slices… something the USGA has specifically ruled out. But really, how would anyone know? Seems like a pretty grey area to me.

Weiss went on to found SST, Inc. (Strategic Shaft Technologies) and call his method “PURE shaft alignment.” Thus PUREing (Plane of Uniform Repeatability) is a proprietary process owned by SST and licensed to about 42 different clubmakers in 18 states here in the U.S. They also maintain a tour trailer to service pros on the PGA Tour.

SST Tour Trailer
While SST offers their PUREingp process to PGA Tour pros, most manufacturers provide some form of spine alignment.

Two of their licensees are notable: Hot Stix Golf based in Scottsdale, AZ has received much press lately on the success of their club fitting business and has begun to go national with a mobile tour. The other is GolfSmith which offers the service through their website.

Two shaft makers have bought into the process. UST offers it with some of their shafts. Royal Precision, at least until their recent acquisition by True Temper, made it available with their Rifle shafts. But other shaft makers like True Temper and Nippon have publicly said their shafts don’t require the process.

What makes the PUREing process unique is the manner in which they identify the spine. Using a device with rollers hooked up to data-collecting sensors, they can provide a print out of the analysis. SST claims the process is accurate to within one degree. They also claim other methods can only identify the quadrant of the shaft where the spine exists.

Splining and Spining
Outside of SST’s patented process, spine alignment has been practiced for years by hundreds of clubmakers across the country. Virtually every manufacturer’s tour trailer offers the service to its contracted PGA Tour pros.

What differs among them is the manner in which the spine is identified and how the spine is positioned relative to the clubhead. Some use a frequency analyzer, some roll the shaft in some fashion, some use deflection boards. Some position the spine at 12 o’clock, some at 9, some even at 6. As my clubmaker warned, it’s clear as mud. Which, I guess, makes it at least a brown art if not a black one.

Nonetheless, all methods seem pointed at helping the shaft arrive at a more consistent position at impact. Due to gravity (and other factors), a shaft bows down at impact. Aligning the spine the same way across a set helps with that consistency and can contain the downward deflection. It also helps achieve a more consistent degree of flex from club to club.

The overall process is pretty standard. The grip and clubhead are removed from the shaft. The spine is identified and marked and then the club is re-assembled with the spine in the proper orientation.

In the End…
Despite some shaft makers’ protestations, spine alignment has become an accepted tuning method on all the professional tours and among a growing legion of amateurs who, like me, have experienced the benefits of the process.

That’s it not more widespread probably has to do with cost. PUREing runs about $45 a club with independent clubmakers and fitters charging about the same.

The trick, it would seem, is to either go with SST’s process or find and rely on a reputable, experienced clubmaker who knows what he’s doing and can explain to you the method behind his particular madness.

If it’s affordable for you and you are serious about your game and your equipment, spine alignment is definitely worth looking into.

41 thoughts on “Shaft Spining, Splining, and PUREing: Black Art or the Ultimate Tweak?”

  1. Great article …

    Very few people know about this ..and it seems that the “big” manufacturers have been kind of keeping this under the rug with the name “properiety shafts” for a long time … most shafts can be off by 2 or 3 degree’s, it’s certainly worth the extra $5.00 or $10.00 charge for the upgrade.

    >>>More info:

    What is Spine Aligning (The Short)
    Best and easiest way to Explain Spining? Finding the natural and least point of resistance of the golf shaft. By Spining your shaft the club face will open and close when you want it to not when the shaft wants it to.

    Most Golf Shafts have a Flaw of some Kind.
    #1 Not perfectly Round
    #2 Weighting Problem
    #3 Imperfect Shaft Materials

    We find the Spine of the shaft and place it into the head, we then place the Spine Towards or Away from the target. This way we are
    ISOLATING the Spine so it is no longer a factor in the flex of the shaft. You now have two positive areas of the Golf Shaft.

    All golfers put a bending force on the shaft at some point during the downswing. If the spine effect is moderate to severe in the shaft, when the shaft bends in response to the golfer’s swing force, the direction of bending of the shaft can move off the direction of bending, thus shifting the position of the club and clubface. This can then cause the golfer to hit the ball more off-center than their swing might have otherwise ordained.

    We would also like to clear up a few myths on spine alignment, first the USGA only allows a spine to be oriented or aligned in a
    neutral position (facing towards or away from the target). Second there is no real solid proof that a shaft can be oriented to
    aid in the drawing or fading of the ball, I truly believe in spine matching as an effective means for the shaft to be more consistent, but for someone to claim that they can align the shaft to aid in fading or drawing the ball is “smoke and mirrors”.

    * Note Graphite Shafts have Graphics or Logos That may not line up Perfectly Once the Club is Spine Aligned

    The Physics of Spine Aligning (The Scientific Explanation)

    Spine orientation, or spine aligning, the new process which measures a shaft under both constant and dynamic load to precisely locate the
    shaft’s inconsistencies in shaft wall thickness,shaft straightness, shaft roundness and shaft material.

    When a shaft’s most predominant spine is properly aligned in a neutral position, the shaft bends along the Principle Planar Oscillation Plane, the longitudinal plane of bending through which a shaft can move as closely as possible to a perfect straight line with no movement in any other direction. Thus, the shaft unloads or kicks forward during the golf swing. By decreasing the shaft’s movement in directions other than the final swing plane, we, as clubmakers, can reduce shaft-induced mis-hits and stabilize torsional stiffness for more distance, accuracy and better feel.
    In fact, some industry experts believe that spine matching is even more important than frequency matching.


    >>>Quotes on Shaft Spining from Industry Experts

    – By properly orienting the shaft in a clubhead, the maximum performance of the golf club can be obtained.

    – New tests show promising evidence that spine orientation has a positive impact on a golfer’s distance and accuracy.

    – Our research is showing that haphazard spine placement in clubs within a set can be the primary reason why golfers often have both favorite and least favorite clubs.

    – Results were phenomenal – the test golfers experienced between 20 percent and 60 percent improvement in their percentage of on-center hits after spine orientation.

  2. Sorry Erik,

    Jeff is technically correct. In physics, the correct term is “centripetal” force (acting inward to keep something moving in a circle). The common-sense term “centrifugal force” (feeling like you’re being pushed outward) is actually your experience of inertia (wanting to keep going in a straight line)and is not really a force. Either way, this knowledge doesn’t make me a better golfer – unfortunately.

  3. PUREing process at Golfsmith is only $10… since it’s not siginificant – I always get my shafts “pure”d. Can I tell the difference? Hell no. Do I feel better about the shaft? Yes. Besides – having the logos all over the place is pretty cool looking 😉

  4. I’ve been making clubs for 20 years and I have been looking for the spline in all the graphite shafts I use. My method is to attach a lazer to the tip and pluck the tip. Watching the rotation of the lazer pattern indicates when a shaft is in line. I mark this point and make sure it is in line with the face of the clubhead. I feel it promotes less twist and tightens the dispersion pattern on misshits. It doesn’t stop a bad hit, but it won’t compound it either. Great article.

  5. I have found a shaft that has a spline in two different positions, they were about 90 degrees apart. It is an Aldila VS Proto, not a cheap shaft. How would one orientate such a shaft?…and since it is conceivable that more than one spine occurrs in shafts, would you choose the “stronger” of the two spines or vector their angles? When you feel the spine in a shaft by rotating it in a bearing holder, you have got to know that it will affect shaft performance.

  6. Comments on the last 2 posts:
    Denis – what you are doing with the laser isn’t necessarily finding the spine/spline; you are however “Flo’ing” the shaft. I do a combination of both. First I start by finding the predominant spine in the shaft by using a fixed bearing method (with pressure). I always wrap a stip of tape all the way around the shaft just below where the grip will be installed so I can place my spine marks; it is easier to tera off the tape than to try to remove a marker mark. Once I find that spine, I attach the butt end of the shaft in my vise tightly. I position the spine either at 3-9 o’clock or 6-12 o’clock and “twang” the shaft accordingly. You can attach the laser and watch how it moves on a white board or if you have great eyesight and are not looking for extremely precise tweaking, you can eyeball it. I move the shaft a degree or two until the “twang” appears to be a straight movement with no oscilation. I then place the “Flo” mark beside the spine mark in a different color. I rarely find that the two marks align perfectly. I then orient the shaft to the clubhead as I want.

    Dan – as you state, you will find that many shafts have multiple spines, especially graphite. I will pick the dominant spine.

  7. Anyone out there buuing pre-pured shafts is blowing money. If you alter a shaft in any way, the spine moves. If you pay for a pured shaft and install it after reducing or extending the length, and tell me that it performs more accurately, I suggest you cannot repeat a decent swing and have been fooled by the seller.

    How do you know if the shaft has really been pured? The seller knows the spine moves with alteration. You would have to take it to a qualified technician to find out.

    Your best bet is to find that qualified technician, buy the shaft from them and have them install it properly.

    Centrifical force high school physics guy, We get your point. You are the smartest guy in the world and should get a job correcting the rest of the rubes on this planet.

  8. Probably way too late. In 1980 I went to Irv Schloss’ golf club repair school in Florida, as early as then Irv was “splining” steel shafts with a simple machine. At that time we were looking for the weld. We took a simple bathroom scale and glued a fulcrum point in the middle (i.e. a block of wood ) clamped the butt to a vice and deflected the tip about 2″ through a cut out in a piece of aluminum. You then read the amount of down force on the scale, record it and rotate the shaft 90 degrees until you had all 4 sides measured in pounds. The smallest number would be the stiffest side or spline. I used this method for years never got used to how much difference I would find in shafts. I spent time refining the machine trying to take out as many variables as I could.
    Wish I was smart enough to have pateneted that. I really think that the apex of each shaft in relationship with the other shafts is the key to consistency. Irv used to also say “I don’t care about how many frequncies a shaft has, I’m only interested in one”.

  9. I didn’t think this Splining was anything until I had Ping do my Rapture Driver. I played a demo one for a week and hit it fine. When I received my splined one, much better feel, farther drivers and I could “go after” it more with no loss of control.

  10. I was having trouble with my TM 425 driver marching back and forth across the fairway. Some of the hits were good but the consistency was very poor. A clubmaker placed the club in a frequency analyzer to find the numbers, we found the oscillation of the head to be dramatically all over the place.

    The shaft was pulled, spined, and replace in the head with the spine facing the target (only one major spine). It was unbelievable how the consistency of shots improved. I pulled all of my graphite shafts from my clubs to find many of them had the same problem except my favorite “go to” club. The ultimate result was a great improvement with my game and significant drop in my index of 6. I feel that most of the variables have been removed from my game except for my faults. As a beginner in golf at a late date in life, I am a believer in the process of spining/puring all of my shaft to improving the game and removing some of the frustration in playing. 🙂

  11. Surely we are missing the over-riding fundementals(the point) of the subject of hitting a golf shot. Ben Hogan,Sam Snead etc. did not have all this technology but still hit incredibly acurate shots . Hogan once hit 34 consecutive greens in regulation in a U.S. Open,and in 1953 did not miss a fairway in all four rounds of the British Open at Carnoustie. 😐

  12. Ben Hogan was an absolute perfectionest and was particularly intimate with club making, design and manufacture. I guarantee that Mr. Hogan synchronized his entire set as he built them.
    Arnold Palmer did and still does. He is one of a fortunate few that Callaway Golf ships clubheads to for personal assembly. Old timers at MacGregor may be around to tell you about Hogans infamous dilligence on club assembly.
    If you don’t believe in “spining” your set, you are at a disadvantage and likely just plain poor at executing a repetitive proper golf swing.
    Dick Weiss is not the kind of guy to ram the idea down any throats but I sure wish he would post the results of his research here. He is a great guy trying to elevate the process of club making to professional standards.
    If you don’t understand or appreciate the effort, then please don’t try to spoil it for everyone else.

  13. I believe that the game of golf has become one of the largest selling tools of all time. It is a multi, multi, multi BILLION dollar industry.

    Lets look at this from a business point of view –

    To sell a shaft a club maker has a overhead cost in EVERY SHAFT.

    To sell a club head the club maker has overhead cost in EVERY CLUB HEAD.

    Spining, PUREing, or whatever you want to call it is golfs version of the UP SELL. It is a zero overhead sale for the club make that is pure profit. It adds a heaping amount of profit to each shaft sold.

    Please don’t be victim of the up sell. There is a reason why golf is such a high dollar industry. Play the game and enjoy it…don’t break your bank on it!

    Jesse Stakes

  14. Please take note the Jesse doesn’t give his / her occupation. I am positive you can rule out physics professor or engineer. Most positively you can rule out professional golfer. Absolutely and surely someone who has never used a purely spined shaft assembled by a qualified technician.
    Everyone should beware the charlitians, assembling golf equipment, who only know the definition and not the practice. This is true in the golf industry as well as any others. Not all physicians graduated top of the class.
    Everyone has an opinion. Lets reserve this forum for educated commentary and please remember that this is for people seeking help and valid information. This is not the place to rate it a 5 because it has a beat you can dance to.

  15. I am in the marketing and sales side of the golf business.

    True Temper, Golf Works, and others have all confirmed what I said above. CALL THEM! Don’t listen to me. Listen to the people who engineer and create these shafts.

    You are right. I am not a technician, nor a professional golfer. I am an avid player of the game and a person that makes his living on the others that enjoy it as well.

    Call those that are the engineers and inventors. They will tell you that there is little or no effect of playing the hard side of a shaft in any direction in relation to the face of the club.

  16. Perry,
    True temper does not hold a patton nor is it in their best intrest to comply with a favorable view.
    Ralph Maltby is a friend and I will see him next week. The GolfWorks is no longer his business (Dicks Sporting Goods) therefore the opinion of any other entity in the sales business is of no real equity.
    True temper is Black & Decker if I recall correctly and if not then Balck and Decker sold it off.
    When I am at the GolfWorks I will encourage Ralph to make a posting and inform the team that you have quoted them here. My advice is to take your pail & shovel and go home.
    Sorry to seem cruel but as I stated, this is for technical advice and people looking for valuable information. Your ignorance as to validation of this technology should not be considered by serious players looking for every advantage. Write us back when you make the tour.

    Well, Jesse, where do you work? What do you do? Give us all your email and telephone number and we can all bask in you accumin!
    You have verified NOTHING! YOU HAVE PROOVED NOTHING. Please diddle with something else!

  17. I have always been puzzled why a club that I demo’d (and hit well) played much differently than the new club with the same specs that I bought. I recently bought a Cobra driver after playing a demo driver that I hit very well. BUT, the new club played very differently than the demo with the same exact specs. Could it be a “spine” positioned difference that made the two play differently? The shaft is a Mitsubishi Diamana Rayon model. OR – was it just my herky-jerky swing performing at opposite ends of the spectrum? I DUNNO!!

  18. I first saw an old club maker (30 years ago) “spining” iron shafts and he explained the pros of this to me then. I borrowed a friends Cleveland driver and hit the longest and straightest drives ever. So I bought one and it is not the same as his. I am 62 and swing a little slower (80/85 mph) with a strong tendancy toward fading. There is a lot of info on spining and proper alignment after spining but no description of what the alignment is. If I reset the shaft which way does the spine face? 3, 6, 9 or 12 o’clock for my best swing results.


  19. C Parmalee
    There could be mensa circle of reasons why the driver you hit works better than the one you bought. Could be the least of which is the spine allignment. You have not detailed enough to evaluate the situation.
    Your question on the optimal spine orientation is likewise cloaked by lack of personal techinical data. Short answer is that the rules of golf prohibit the orientation of a shaft to enhance the players natural ability to correct swing flaws. In other words, that’s unfair.
    Buy your equipment from a relyable, experienced club fitter connected to a master club maker. Don’t expect any real customization from an OEM. I didn’t say not to buy OEM, just meet that clubmaker.

  20. My question is properly orienting the shaft after it has been spined (assuming any alterations to the shaft have been completed prior to spining)
    Having spoken with several clubmakers the general consensus is to align the spine with the clubface on the topside. (spine would be along visible portion of shaft at adress position along line of leading edge)

    Several statements above are to the contrary.

    Whats the scoop?

  21. From the description given by Mr. Johnson I picture the spine somewhere between the 9 o’clock and 12 o’clock for a right handed golfer. Is that correct?


  22. what i want to kjnow is whether the cheap spine alignment tools available (see ebay) do the job. no matter how sophisticated the com;puter program for the sst system is, it all comes down to which “o’clock” the data tells you to align the shaft at. if the cheap tools do as well, or c lose to as well as the more expensive process, they would be a valid choice for some people. has anybody without a dog in this fight measured a bunch of sst pured shafts on the cheap tools to see if the end result is the same, or close?

  23. Bill, I purchased a “cheap” spine finder from EBay, made from PVC piping and bearings. By placing the shaft in the bearings that are held by the pvc, you rotate the shaft and will feel the spine(s) in the shaft. Most times you will find 2 spines, one more dominate than the other. I always use the stronger spine and put it at 9 O clock. I have also bought pulled shafts that were SST’d and marked. My $20 spine finder shows the spine to be the same as marked on the shaft. Now, that is just the shaft. When different heads are placed on the same shaft, if you FLO ( flat line oscillation) the shaft and head together, I have found that the spine can be turned to various settings to get the shaft to “flat line” due to the different centers of gravity in the heads. Even though I spine my shafts for irons as I mentioned, I believe to get the best result for clubs, you must FLO the shaft and heads together. I have spined a shaft in my rig and then took the shaft and a driver head to a local clubmaker who FLO’s them and the spine line ended up at 5 O clock. I’m sure iron heads will react the same. So, I don’t believe aligning the spine at 9 O clock is always correct, I cannot afford a FLO machine, but I still do spine shafts because I found out that when I did “Spine” my irons, they felt better and I hit the ball better. This is all as confusing to me now as when I started doing it 4 years ago. I will be watching for replies that will help understand the physics of it all. Good luck.

  24. so, not to sound overlky simplistic, if FLOing trumps spining, why bother to spine at all? why not just FLO the shaft/head and go with that?

  25. 😀 Last week I spent about 1 1/2 hrs. with a clubmaker. He was very accommodating and led me through the whole process.
    At the time it all seemed a bit over my head, and after spending some time thinking about it (a 600 km. drive home), to say the least I was a bit skeptical. After having read the posted comments I think I am a believer in the process. Darn, now comes the hard part, another 600 km. each way to become a “true believer & practitioner”.

  26. the questrion still remains: if FLOing trumps spining, why not just do the FLOing and that’s all?

  27. I’m a +1 handicap, play tournament golf, and like mnay golfers I play by feel. I’ve had my clubs frequency matched for years, and I just recently assembled a driver with a PUREed shaft. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about, so I bought the same shaft I have in my “gamer” driver, had it pured and installed it in my backup driver. I don’t care how they do it, I don’t care what the science behind it is, all I know is that I kill it, and hit it pretty damn straight. I have picked up 20 yards on my other driver (same head, loft and shaft) simply by pureing the shaft. My buddies are wondering if I’ve been working out, because they simply can’t keep up with me any more. I’m sold.

  28. Spining cannot hurt, but it must be noted that spining spin and fly rods is easy (push down on rod blank in vertical position while resting on soft surface) and it does add some accuracy and distance. but, that maybe overkill from a practical point of view.

    Most, if not all, carbon/graphite/glass fish rod manufacturers assemble rods for aesthetics, that is, straightness, not the spine…

    Moreover, if one casts either, most anglers would never note the difference.

    I daresay it follows, that the average golfer, including so called low handicap golfers and many pros would not note the difference between a spined club and one with same shaft installed unspined or normally.

  29. Once again bobbill, Golf clubs are not fishing rods. Although your note is eloquent, your statement is based on conjecture, not fact, and you provide no providence as to your expertise. Shaft spinning is a proven beneficial technology for all player skill levels. I believe that the PGA tour usage is above 70%. Of course 7 out of 10 of the most adept players in the world could be completely wrong and a one legged duck does swim in circles.

  30. hi i am very new to clubmaking but am keen to do the right things not for money but because i am a perfectionist. i recently bought a spine alignment tool the bearing type.

    I have a brand new set 11 shafts of aldila NV85 MLTI GRAPHITE shafts not a cheap shaft but there are lots more expensive.

    whether spine aligning works or not i dont know but when you test a shaft its hard to believe that not aligning them wont make a difference i was amazed at the difference in each shaft. it certainily makes you wonder why there is any difference in the cost of shafts.

    I am certainly going to align my own in a new set im building just to see how they feel, all i have to do now is actually understand what ive found where is that nuetral position.

  31. Being an amateur club maker for the past twenty years I have expirenced many changes in the golf equiptment market and the latest is now spining. I recently changed the shaft in my driver and prior to affixing the shaft I “spined” the shaft using a fairly inexpensive ball bearing type spine finder. After marking that point on the shaft I placed the butt end of the shaft in the vice and temporarlly put the head on the shaft with the face facing the floor and the spine facing the ceiling. Lift the shaft at the head end about 2 inches and quickly let it go. Look down the shaft, the head should be moving up and down with no side movement at all. If you have some side movement move the shaft slightly realign the head and try it again. Keep doing this until you the head moves up and down only. once you find the perfect spot mark it and then assemble the club. I have played with this club for a couple of rounds and I am very happy with the results. I am not an engineer nor can I explain the mechanics involved in spining but for the non-belivers I ask you this; If there are no spines in the shafts what causes the shaft to rotate and stop at the same place when using the ball bearing spine finder? Is finding the spine in your shafts worth the extra money ? If you are serious about your game and you want to improve – have your clubs spined.


    This informative article by Bill Day sheds some light on the subject of shaft spines. Hope this helps.

    Recently, I was fortunate enough to be the winning bidder on a set of Mizuno irons with TT Black Golds (factory frequency matched), that have also been custom spined and with -1.5 lie. These babies ROCK! (too bad these shaft are only available for pros now).

    There is no comparison to my previously stock Mizuno set with standard TT DG, standard specs. I’m now at least a half, if not a full club longer with a much tighter shot dispersion, hitting more greens. Bottom line: I’m playing better golf, period!

    If you’re an avid golfer and love the game, get your clubs fitted by a pro. Like I said, I was fortunate, but my friends who are scratch golfers, swear by it. Getting fitted is a combination and balance of your physical makeup, swing style and of course equipment. I equate it to like having your stock sedan engine overhauled with better, custom parts… a sleeper.

  33. Comments on the last 2 posts:

    Hi Les, if you pluck the shaft so it oscillates in straight line towards and away from you, where does this position get oriented into the head? Thanks.

  34. I’m a beginning golfer and can’t say that I’ve experienced the difference between shafts that are spine-aligned and ones that aren’t. However, I have played tons of pool and I always try to find the spine in my pool cues before I play. I orient the spine straight up. The cue ball reacts more consistently on off-center shots. It feels like a noticeable difference to me. Meucci cues has a chart on their website comparing cue ball deflection between different shafts. Cue ball deflection happens when you hit the ball off-center. Off-center hits cause the ball to go away from the direction of aim. It’s similar to pushing or pulling a putt. Non spine-aligned shafts of competitors result in up to 233% more cue ball deflection than their best shafts. These tests were done with a robot.

  35. I learned spining from the inventor:

    Mr Ted Lockie of Lockie Golf, North Palm Beach FL,

    (Even Jack Nicklaus has Teds spine finder…)

    First assemble shaft dry cut to length and swingweight, flex etc, so you are measuring the correct portion of the shaft to be used.

    Anyway if you have Teds deflection board with roller bearings , or similar type spine finder tool, first locate the spines N1 (netural 1), S1 (spine1), N2, S2 depending on type of shaft.

    Now slide cut grip on butt of shaft, place in frequency machine or clamp so shaft is horizontal…level the bench!

    Place shaft S1 @ 6 o clock…. if you had the club at address (9 is to target, 3 away, 12 at toe)

    Install head on shaft tip with fishing line to secure with out epoxy. (face at sky)
    Twang club for perfect oscellation up and down…(look down the shaft…or tape a laser on head).
    If it is not twanging good then rotate shaft back to 5 o clock a little, or fwd then twang again. Keep adjusting it to get it right.
    If not go to S2 @ 6 o clock and repeat
    If not go to N1 at 9 o clock…(N1spine pointing to target)
    Twanging to perfect oscelation is key…this must be done with head on to offset toe weight of head etc and be a real test.
    O.k now its twanging perfect…wiggle head off…glue with fishing line on again…line level the face angle square to shaft/floor
    Spine at 6 clock seems to work best for toe droop and shaft stability, especially with drivers, as it limits shaft deformation at impact with toe droop
    Also shafts with strong spines are WAY better than others with slight spines.
    Also note if you set it up N1 to target…rotate shaft fwd=fade, back = draw.
    I suggest N1 to target in short irons (softer) and slightly rotated fwd for fade shot, long irons back a little for draw or shaft torque twist counter…
    However it may take 2-5 re-sets to get it perfect…so deal with a good shaft with a strong spine to start with…
    Perfect twanging or club oscellation is what you are looking for regardless of spine location…but its usually close to S1 at 6 o clock.

    I have been testing this for 20years

    P.S after all this if its not working well…get another shaft !

    Long live the true club master Mr Ted Lockie, who was a absolute genius. I was there to witness it for 3-4 years before he passed… God bless Mr Lockie

  36. I had the opportunity of working in a graphite shaft production company…During the process of cleaning the shafts after pro sanding the shafts were submerged into a cleaning solvent prior to the finishing (coating & coloring). We found the shafts floated and the spine always went to the bottom…we marked opposite of the spine and then double checked in the frequency machine and the results confirmed the location…..

  37. Well now I am totally confused. After reading every post, and some great work by everyone involved I must say, I have tossed between getting my new DG 2300 shafts pured and not. I was all set to do it, but then rememberd that some clever club manufacturer has now put out a shaft that can be rotated within the hosel to adjust lie angle etc. That being the case, doesn’t this eradicate the arguements for puring?

  38. According to TrueTemper their ‘quality’ steel shafts (dynamic gold / ProjectX etc.) do not benefit from FLO/Pure’ing etc.
    According to them their tests show no significant improvement as their modern processes and tolerances have made this unnecessary. They’re in business don’t they want to sell an value added service? The SST tour van just plays on insecurities.

    I also love how everyone here adds that if someone does not believe in Pure’ing or FLO that they also probably can’t hit a ball. Well… folks I can pick up my MP69 3i cold and stripe it out there and that’s all due to technique, daily practice & understanding the golf swing. I can also pick up an old BH muscle back with a #5 shaft and do the same or I can do it with your senior/adult flex composite shafted 7i super game improvement hybrid. Mike Austin used to do it with a shovel. It’s the Indian – not the arrow.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *