SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. has given GOLF RETAILING exclusive access to its shaft counts from its European Tour Equipment Census in 2013. Here are the top-10 shafts used on the Tour, from drivers through to wedges
No-one knows what is in golfers bags on the European Tour better than SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC, including shafts on every club, as the following statistics illustrate. SMS Inc. sends two staff to every European Tour event outside the United States, to run through the bag of every golfer in the field before they tee off in the first round. The following figures show the top-10 shaft brands on the European Tour in 2013, in terms of how many shafts were used per club category.
True to its name
The SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. European Tour Census shows that True Temper dominates the steel shaft category on Tour, covering 36.2% of utility iron shafts, 47.3% of irons (3-9) and 62.3% of wedges in 2013. Combining True Temper with its sister brands, Project X and Grafalloy, it takes over a total of 40.7% of utility irons, 53.4% for irons (3-9) and 65.9% of wedges.
True Temper’s standard-bearer is the Dynamic Gold (pictured), the original version of which remains the same today as it didwhen it was launched in 1980. This is now augmented by a Tour Issue Dynamic Gold that offers precision fitting thanks to its 0.5g weight tolerance.
“Every now and then you hear of someone on tour switching out of Dynamic Gold; then, a couple of months later, you hear they’ve switched back. You can’t ask for more than that,” says Dave McCarthy, director of European operations for True Temper.
The True Temper plant in Mississippi has capacity to produce 120,000 shafts a day. www.truetemper.com
UST Mamiya primed for strong 2014
UST Mamiya is confident of strong European sales in 2014, with the primary product focus on the Recoil Prototype graphite shaft for irons (pictured below), which UST promises brings the feel of a steel shaft into graphite. The constant weight shaft is made from 19 layers of graphite. UST is also continuing the Elements series of graphite shafts, which incorporate Earth, Wind and Fire models (pictured below). Earth is geared for a lower launch, Wind is engineered for a high launch, while Fire should encourage a mid-range trajectory.
KBS advances with Tour-V
KBS Golf Shafts continues to make in-roads in the shaft category, now with a product line extended by the Tour-V.
Like the original KBS Tour shaft, which is one of KBS’s most popular models, the Tour-V promises tight shot dispersion. The difference is that the KBS Tour-V is lighter and should generate less ball spin. The Tour-V has already gained traction on professional tours, and is available in three flexes: R-100g, S-110g, and X-120g.
“We are very excited to have introduced the KBS Tour-V shaft,” says Kim Braly, director of R&D and Tour Operations at KBS Golf Shafts. “It has been tested and perfected over the past year and a half, and truly delivers on offering a tight dispersion shaft in a lightweight package. The results we get from PGA Tour player testing are spot on. Dispersion with the Tour-V is some of the tightest we have ever seen and it maintains our signature smooth feel at impact. Lighter weight has become more popular and this allows golfers to swing a little easier. Our team is thrilled to bring this shaft to market.”
Aerotech leads hybrid evolution
Aerotech promises to be offering golfers the Holy Grail of golf shafts; delivering the power of graphite, yet with the stability of steel, all in one shaft.
The company says that more than 59 miles of steel fibre is applied to the surface of each Aerotech SteelFiber shaft (pictured) with extreme precision, using a computer-controlled wet winding machine technique. The steel fibre is applied to the hoop orientation which strengthens it, with a view to eliminating distortion of the shaft during the swing and at impact, for what should be exceptional stability.
The lightweight properties of graphite increase clubhead speed and promote greater distance, while the vibration dampening of graphite should reduce player fatigue and the risk of injury during a round.
As the world’s first perimeter weighted golf shaft, Aerotech’s SteelFiber is designed to add enhanced stability and forgiveness. The steel fiber around the perimeter creates greater density on the shaft’s surface, thereby moving the shaft wall’s centre of gravity outward, and therefore increasing the shaft’s MOI.
SteelFiber shafts have been the number one Iron composite shafts on the PGA Tour in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.