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3 Wood Shaft in a Driver


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Anybody have any experience putting a 3 wood shaft in their driver? I got intrigued after reading about it on Andrew Rice's blog and I was wondering if this was something worth experimenting with or if I should just cut down my driver and mess around with the swingweight. Here's the link: http://www.andrewricegolf.com/2012/10/which-driver-shaft-length/
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  • 1 month later...

A 3 wood shaft will have been "tipped" by at least 1" and will therefore be stiffer than a driver shaft. If it is an "R" shaft, it will be stiffer than a driver "R" shaft, and if it is an "S" shaft, it will be slightly stiffer than an "S" driver shaft.  This adjustment is made, because a 3 wood head is heavier than a driver head.    In addition, of course,  the 3 wood shaft will be approximately 1" shorter than a driver shaft, but you can lengthen it by removing the grip and epoxying in a shaft extender, cut to correct length, and replace the grip, or alternatively, you can add weight to the driver head-----the equivalent for a 1" shorter shaft would be 6 grams in the head, which can be added as lead tape.

Hope this helps.

In my Piel tan leather bag:-

Ping G2 driver with Dynamic Gold steel shaft R300 (Tipped 1")

Callaway Big Bertha 3 wood (DG R300 steel shaft)

Tom Morris Pro Flight 1 iron with Accles & Pollock stiff steel shaft

Ben Hogan Apex (1999) blade irons with stiff (4) steel shafts

Wilson  R31 Sandy Andy Beryllium Copper sand iron

Chicago Classic 58 degree lob wedge

Golden Ram Tom Watson forged blade putter.

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Helpful, yes thank you. Does it bring up more questions? Sure. The object here would be to have a shorter than stock driver, probably in the 44.5" range. My current driver now is 46". If I cut it down 1.5", I'd have to add 18g of tape to the head. That seems like a lot of tape. Wouldn't all that tape on the head soften the flex as well? That's why I posted the question about a 3w shaft. Being that they are shorter, which would reduce swingweight, but are generally heavier than driver shafts, which increase swingweight, what's the end result? I already have a backup driver that I cut down to 44.5" without making any other adjustments. I can't feel the head at all and I miss in all directions, so I know I have to increase the swingweight. Sometimes I think I just need to build myself a clubmaking shop.
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I might be able to be of some assistance.

Back in Jan I bought a Razr Fit driver, 11.5* A flex.  I'm only 5' 4" and always struggle with driver length.  So I had the Fit shortened to 44.5".  Swingweight was still around a D4.  So I had it shortened again to 44" and with an undersized Winn grip was still at a D0/D1.  Driver felt great but my swing speed improved and the wet noodle stock shaft had to go.

So back in May I took my driver to a Callaway fitter for a shaft fitting.  He pulls out all the standard upgrade offerings and I told him, don't you have anything shorter and he said no, Not really.  At the same time we both said....let's try a 3 wood shaft in it.

He only had 2 offerings in R flex, the stock Callaway shaft and the Diamana Blue 65 gram.

The stock shaft was ok but the club was doing some very weird things on his simulator at impact.  We put the Diamana in and it was love at first hit.  Playing length of the club is 43 3/8" which is perfect for me.  I haven't had the club swing-weighted but my guess is it probably falls just short of a D0.  I'm a slower swinger (about 88 mph on avg) and the shaft flex feels perfect for me.  I like a little tip action and this has it. I know most will say that a 3w shaft in a driver should play much firmer than the stated flex but I do not find this to be true at least with my setup.  I have a feeling though that this is because the Fit uses a shaft adapter which adds some weight (it might be marginal) but I think this helps with retaining the proper feel and even though its tipped adds some weight towards the tip end to help out to add some  flex.

How I got the idea was a couple weeks before my fitting, I had gone to a demo day and TM was there.  I asked the TM rep if I they had any driver shafts shorter than normal and he said no.  I asked if I could chuck a 3 wood shaft in it and he said sure and put the stock RBZ 3w shaft in the R11s 12* head and that combo felt really nice too.

The key to any shorter driver and getting it to feel right is normally a heavier shaft and heavier head.  If you can swap out weights in the head it makes it all the more easier to build such a club.

You are correct though, the added weight on the head will make the shaft play looser.  if you fail to add any weight and just shorten from the butt end the shaft will then play much firmer (I learned the hard way...my last driver, Burner SF 2.0 was a Sr flex and I shortened it down to 45" without adding any tip or head weight.  We then put it on a scale and it then played as a Stiff flex.

If you use a normal driver shaft you might want to think about cutting the shaft down in equal parts from the tip and butt sections of the shaft.  I know my buddy added weight to his r9 Supertri and cut from equal sides until he got it down to 44.5",  He plays a stiff flex and says it still feels the same prior to shortening the club.

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  • 4 years later...
New member here, hi guys.

I have a standard length shaft from a non sleeve/adapter TP Aeroburner 3 wood and want to know a few things about installing it in an M1 driver.

Apparently a raw shaft is tip-trimmed 1" for a 3 wood without a sleeve adapter.

Also apparently, a raw shaft is tip-trimmed 1" if it is to be installed in a driver using a sleeve/adapter.


I am not 100% sure on these points. Please confirm or deny.

If so, the  said 3 wood shaft should be the same tip length as one that was installed in a driver with a sleeve\adapter at the factory and therefore perform the same. Yes?

I understand it would be shorter in the butt though. 

The shaft is a Matrix Ozik White Tie 70x4.   Thanks. 
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Recently there was a whole thread on shortening a shaft, I believe, that might be helpful. At one time, "standard" was about 43 in. Then the quest for distance from longer shafts began. Not sure about using a 3-wood shaft, but  I like my shortened driver shaft. It was shortened and tested and fitted professionally. Better contact and distance for my slow swing speed. -Marv

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Thanks Marv. I guess what I am REALLY trying to discover is if TM tip a raw shaft the same amount for a glued 3 wood as they do for a driver using a sleeve\adapter.  I have a 60x4 sleeved driver shaft in S flex and want to compare it to a 70x4 3 wood glued shaft in R flex that I have.

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16 hours ago, widewalker said:

Thanks Marv. I guess what I am REALLY trying to discover is if TM tip a raw shaft the same amount for a glued 3 wood as they do for a driver using a sleeve\adapter.  I have a 60x4 sleeved driver shaft in S flex and want to compare it to a 70x4 3 wood glued shaft in R flex that I have.

Hello Walker

The Taylor driver shaft with the adapter has probably been tipped 1".  The 3 wood shaft from a std glued hosel also has been tipped 1".  So far, so good.

You asked the question:  "If so, the  said 3 wood shaft should be the same tip length as one that was installed in a driver with a sleeve\adapter at the factory and therefore perform the same. Yes?"

No, I don't think so.  The driver shaft is a S flex and the 3 wood shaft is an R flex, correct? And the 3 wood shaft is heavier, correct?  I believe they will feel and play at least a little different.  Having said that, I am a fan of the heavier, shorter shaft in the driver. 

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2 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

Hello Walker

The Taylor driver shaft with the adapter has probably been tipped 1".  The 3 wood shaft from a std glued hosel also has been tipped 1".  So far, so good.

You asked the question:  "If so, the  said 3 wood shaft should be the same tip length as one that was installed in a driver with a sleeve\adapter at the factory and therefore perform the same. Yes?"

No, I don't think so.  The driver shaft is a S flex and the 3 wood shaft is an R flex, correct? And the 3 wood shaft is heavier, correct?  I believe they will feel and play at least a little different.  Having said that, I am a fan of the heavier, shorter shaft in the driver. 

Thanks for the input buddy. Yes, I understand the different flex and weight would give different playing characteristics and that in essence is the point of the exercise. I was referring to a same 3 wood and driver shaft.  I really like the "feel" of the 60 S shaft and wanted to see how the same shaft in a heavier weight in R flex "feels".

 

I lined up 3 shafts today by their graphics to see difference in tip lengths. (I am assuming graphics positioning is consistent shaft to shaft).

A 60x4 in S flex from an Aeroburner driver.(fixed hosel), a 70x4 in S flex from an Aeroburner driver (fixed hosel) and a 50x4 M2 driver shaft with adapter in S flex. All aftermarket shafts, TM factory installed.

 

The shafts were all within 1/8 of eachother from tip to start of the graphics, the longest actually being the 3 wood shaft.

It appears TM tip this shaft the same amount (+ or - 1/16") for 3 wood and driver, regardless whether an adapter is being used.

I am surprised as Matrix recommend no tipping for a driver and 1" for a 3 wood for this shaft. WTF is going on at TM?

Good results for me though as I will now extend the 3 wood shaft to try in my driver thinking it will be a fair comparison.

Alan.

 

Edited by widewalker
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From my questions with a few OEMs and following posts on a similar subject, most do not tip their driver shafts at all. I asked my clubmaker and he normally does not tip the driver shaft unless upon request.

Using guidelines on some OEM shaftmakers, they do not even advise tipping on 3 woods. So it depends on the shaft.

A real fairway shaft will have a softer tip to help launch the ball - probably not needed on a driver unless you need more launch. And with today's drivers, it's all about launch, so I doubt if today's heads don't serve your needs.

When I order a driver that has a weight, let's say the Callaway BB Fusion or Epic, I will order it at 44.5 and give them a swingweight to meet - let's say D2-3. With the Fusion, they might put the 12g weight in the head, with Epic, they would put an extra adjustable perimeter weight on the head.

A heavier than stock shaft also brings up swingweight.

If you do not have that option, clubmakers can install a tip weight in the shaft to bring up swingweight, you can use some hotmelt, but I only use about 2g at most - I've found that hot melt can make the head feel dead.

In sum, if the OEM does not have adjustable weights for more heft, I'd go for a driver shaft (a heavier than stock shaft also brings up swingweight) take it to a very good clubmaker to put a tip weight in the shaft. I've also wrapped lead tape just above the hosel, ala Tiger, for small changes in swingweight.

Edited by Mr. Desmond
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42 minutes ago, Golfingdad said:

This isn't quite as technical as all the other posts but ...

I shortened my driver to about 44" by cutting an inch or two off the butt end and that's it.  Works like a charm.

That's more or less what I did years ago.  I built the driver I am currently using, and before gripping the club cut the butt to the same length as my Orlimar 3 wood.  

It has worked for me fabulously for hundreds of rounds over many years.  

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14 hours ago, widewalker said:

Thanks for the input buddy. Yes, I understand the different flex and weight would give different playing characteristics and that in essence is the point of the exercise. I was referring to a same 3 wood and driver shaft.  I really like the "feel" of the 60 S shaft and wanted to see how the same shaft in a heavier weight in R flex "feels".

 

I lined up 3 shafts today by their graphics to see difference in tip lengths. (I am assuming graphics positioning is consistent shaft to shaft).

A 60x4 in S flex from an Aeroburner driver.(fixed hosel), a 70x4 in S flex from an Aeroburner driver (fixed hosel) and a 50x4 M2 driver shaft with adapter in S flex. All aftermarket shafts, TM factory installed.

 

The shafts were all within 1/8 of eachother from tip to start of the graphics, the longest actually being the 3 wood shaft.

It appears TM tip this shaft the same amount (+ or - 1/16") for 3 wood and driver, regardless whether an adapter is being used.

I am surprised as Matrix recommend no tipping for a driver and 1" for a 3 wood for this shaft. WTF is going on at TM?

Good results for me though as I will now extend the 3 wood shaft to try in my driver thinking it will be a fair comparison.

Alan.

 

Hi Alan

I see what you're saying regarding the comparison between the shafts now.

One thing I noticed is there might be a typo in part of your post that I highlighted in red.  Isn't the 70x4 stiff flex the 3 wood shaft?  I was a little confused at first, but I think it was just an oversight.  (at least I hope so, otherwise I really will be confused!)

Believe it or not, I have found that matching the graphics up on shafts that are the same model is a very good way to determine if a shaft has been tipped, or how much it's been tipped.  The graphics are surprisingly consistent from shaft-to-shaft, so it's a reliable way to compare them.  The 3 wood shaft being tipped slightly less than 1" isn't a big deal and won't affect anything, but it does surprise me that all of these shafts have been tipped but are installed in different types of heads.  If the tip their driver shafts that use an adapter 1" to compensate, that's fine, but the glued hosel driver I would think should be installed straight-in.  

So Taylor 3-woods with an adjustable hosel...are they tipped 2"?  1" for std 3-wood tipping and 1" for the adapter?  If so, that would mean the 5-wood would be tipped 2.5", and most manufacturers don't recommend tipping wood shafts more than 2", so I'm curious about that.

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  • Moderator

Interesting that this thread got revived. I totally forgot about this. I might have to play around with my Callaway woods once I get a new driver in the bag.

I did shorten a stock driver shaft myself a while back and I hated it. Made a lighter shaft even lighter and I couldn't feel the head at all. At my last clubfitting, the fitter recommended heavy shafts for me so getting lighter is the wrong direction to begin with.

I'm currently playing my driver with my mini-driver shaft which happened to be the same shaft but shorter. I forget the exact playing length but I don't have the weight issue with it so I imagine it was built with a weight in it. I can get an inch shorter and much heavier by putting my 3W shaft in it, but I'd also lose my 3W in the process.

Times like this make me want a launch monitor so I can have concrete data to evaluate.

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7 hours ago, 1badbadger said:

 

One thing I noticed is there might be a typo in part of your post that I highlighted in red.  Isn't the 70x4 stiff flex the 3 wood shaft?  I was a little confused at first, but I think it was just an oversight.  (at least I hope so, otherwise I really will be confused!)

Yes mate, a typo. My bad  70x4 in S flex from an Aeroburner driver  should be: 70x4 R flex from Aeroburner 3 wood.

I have no proof from my experiment that ANY of the shafts were tipped at all. Either all tipped the same(very similar) or maybe none were tipped. 

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On 8/8/2017 at 4:54 AM, widewalker said:

Yes mate, a typo. My bad  70x4 in S flex from an Aeroburner driver  should be: 70x4 R flex from Aeroburner 3 wood.

I have no proof from my experiment that ANY of the shafts were tipped at all. Either all tipped the same(very similar) or maybe none were tipped. 

True, but with the 3-wood shaft about 1/8" longer at the tip, and knowing that they usually tip driver shafts 1" that use an adapter, I have a feeling all have been tipped.  It still doesn't make sense why the driver shaft from the fixed hosel driver is the same as the others, but I think they've all been tipped as opposed to no tipping on all of them.

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Note: This thread is 1451 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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