Shaft torque test

This experiment aims to test whether the torque of a shaft has any direct relationship to the swing speed of a golfer for performance. The common pitch of a shaft company is that the higher the swing speed, the lower the shaft torque is required.  This is to reduce club head twisting during the down swing.

Here’s a info-graphic summary of the test:

Shaft Torque Test

The following chart shows the typical shaft flex and their associated torque:

Flex Wood Iron
Steel Graphite Steel Graphite
L 3.32° 5.76° 2.12° 4.22°
A 3.30° 5.27° 2.12° 4.12°
R 2.96° 4.68° 1.93° 3.67°
S 2.73° 4.43° 1.75° 3.57°
X 2.61° 3.66° 1.69° 2.93°

 

  • this chart was published by Jeff Submit by Hireko Golf in their book titled “The modern guide to shaft fitting”

In this experiment, we will be looking at the both the total distance variance and the accuracy variance and see if there is any direct relationship between the swing speed and shaft torque.

The equipment we used:

  1. Titleist 910 driver heads (9.5, 10.5, 12)
  2. UST Mamiya Proforce VTS 65 R and S in Red (Torque 3.0) , Silver (Torque 4.0) and Black (Torque 5.0)

The procedure:

Tester warm up with his own driver and we use this stage to determine the driver loft and shaft flex to use.  Once the loft is determined, the same head will be used throughout the test.  We have each tester hit 10 balls with each shafts (Red, Silver and Black) in the specific flex and the results were measured by our Trackman launch monitor.  All testing was done at the range at CDANS @ Bukit Batok.

The result:

We grouped the testers into three bands based on their swing speed.  “Low” for those less than 85 mph, “High” for those more than 95 mph and those in between, is band as “Mid”.

 

Sample size:

Swing Speed Low Mid High
No of samples 4 15 7

Here’s the summary of the result:

Swing Speed Low Mid High
Best distance variance 2:1:1 5:6:4 2:2:3
Best Accuracy variance 3:1:0 4:2:9 2:3:2

 

How to read

The numbers in the table cell represent the the number of testers that has the best variances in distance or accuracy.  E.g. for Mid swing speed testers, the best distance variance is observed with 5 testers with Red shaft, 6 testers with Silver shaft and 2 testers with Black shaft.

 

Difference in Variance

Max Average
Distance 9.3 3.9
Accuracy 13.1 6.8

 

Summary

High swing speed golfers needs low torque shaft – from the data collected, nothing conclusively suggest this.  Both variances for distance and accuracy are (almost) evenly spread between the low, mid and high torque shafts.

For mid swing speed golfers, the test result does suggest that low torque shafts may help improve accuracy whereas for low swing speed golfer high torque may help improve accuracy.

No specfic pattern was observed from the test about how torque may have improved the distance variance in any way.

Take away

Torque matters and there are no easy rules to follow.  Using a wrong torque could cause you a 9 metres in distance and 13 metres in accuracy.  You need to be tested for flex, bend profile, weight, torque and overall balance for a truly fitted shaft that will work best for you.

 

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