GOLF

What you need to know when it’s time to buy a new tree

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Ventus TR Red and Black offer two very different profiles.

Jonathan Wall/GOLF

Many golfers mistakenly assume that aftermarket shafts are reserved for serious and/or better golfers who seem to know or care more about their equipment. Of course, that’s not true – aftermarket shafts (we call them shafts you buy separately or as custom options when you buy a new club) can be a win-win situation for everyone.

Really, everyone should be custom-made for a tree these days.

We asked the folks at Fujikura in Carlsbad, CA why they think many golfers don’t bother to explore the aftermarket shafting route. According to the company’s director of marketing, Eric Recher, “probably the number one reason people are out of shape is the general lack of education about golf shaft specifications. Gearheads are familiar with things like torque, EI (elasticity) profiles, CPM (flex) variances, but average gamers are not.

In other words, what many golfers don’t know could negatively affect the performance of their clubs.

Recher continued, “Golfers don’t realize how different an S flex can be from shaft to shaft, both within a manufacturer and between manufacturers. A Ventus Black 6S plays, feels and performs very differently than our Vista Pro 6S due to hardware differences etc. Frankly, all S-flexes are definitely not created equal. So if you’re one of those golfers who thinks choosing a shaft by flex designation is good enough, you may be seriously mistaken.

Another reason many golfers have not sought out a well fitting session is that they believe what worked then will still work today. “We’ve seen players think they’re in the best position to use a 9.5-degree driver because that’s what they’ve been using for decades,” Recher said. “They don’t realize how much today’s heads have changed in terms of throwing and spinning. The shaft plays a huge role in a clubhead’s ability to deliver the goods, and the shaft profile you once loved may no longer be the right one.

So where do we go from here? Simple. It’s time to educate yourself on the basics so you know what to do, what to expect, and how to navigate the sink buying process.

Step 1: Go see a tree fitter

This is the simplest step and besides, pretty much all you need to do. Take Fujikura for example. You can outfit yourself with a Fujikura shaft through many shaft dealers across the country, all of whom are certified to outfit you with precisely the right Fujikura shaft for your game. Remember to look for certified shaft fitters . They are the ones who know what to look for and are trained to help you choose the perfect tree based on your needs, wants and abilities.

All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you purchase a related product, GOLF.COM may earn fees. Price may vary.

Fujikura Ventus TR Black

$350.00

New for 2022! Introducing a new profile to the range, Ventus TR. Born from the continuous quest for improvement and backed by enso® analysis and Tour feedback, Ventus TR is built on one of the most trusted and best-selling wooden shafts in Fujikura history. Jockey Tip: The TR Black is the stiffest VENTUS profile to date. Ultra-stiff toe and grip sections work in unison to support players with Tour-type speeds who prefer the feel of minimal or no flex during the swing. As an upper designed for players with a quick transition, the spread tow fabric further strengthens the midsection/grip, resisting even the most aggressive movement of the golf ball.

BUY NOW

Step 2: Tell the truth, especially when the ball does not pass

It may sound silly, but honesty in your fitting is key. You may be having a good day and knocking the screws during your fitting, but if it’s not normal, you should let the installer know. An experienced shaft fitter knows that a good fit is not measured simply by how well you hit your good shots, but also how playably your misses and/or bad swings are.

According to Recher, “Missed shots (to the clubface) and inconsistent misses (both hooks and slices) are tell-tale signs that someone could benefit from a rod fitting.” This means that unless an installer sees the real you, it won’t be as easy to discern what you need.

Step 3: Be open to change and check your ego at the door

As already mentioned, shaft flex is a designation that not only varies from brand to brand, but is different from model to model. You may have always used an X or S flex for most of your golf days, but depending on your swing characteristics and desired stroke shape, you might be better suited for an R flex shaft. The same goes for the model or even the type of shaft, whether it is heavier, lighter or even with a different bend profile than you think you need. Keep an open mind and you’ll be better off.

Fujikura Ventus TR Red

$350.00

New for 2022! Introducing a new profile to the range, Ventus TR. Born from the continuous quest for improvement and backed by enso® analysis and Tour feedback, Ventus TR is built on one of the most trusted and best-selling wooden shafts in Fujikura history. Jockey Tip: The TR Black is the stiffest VENTUS profile to date. Ultra-stiff toe and grip sections work in unison to support players with Tour-type speeds who prefer the feel of minimal or no flex during the swing. As an upper designed for players with a quick transition, the spread tow fabric further strengthens the midsection/grip, resisting even the most aggressive movement of the golf ball.

BUY NOW

Step 4: Expect an eventual swing change (in a good way)

Knowing when you have the wrong tree is sometimes easy. It either feels too light, too heavy, too long, too short, too stiff or you guessed it, too flexible. A shaft that doesn’t fit can affect the way you swing the club, often messing up your timing and ability to make solid contact. “Our job as shaft experts is to match your swing to the club and bring the clubhead back to the ball in the most efficient way to maximize shot performance,” Recher said. “A well-fitting shaft will lead to a better swing for any golfer, whether professional or weekend amateur.”

Fujikura Ventus TR Blue

$350.00

New for 2022! Introducing a new profile to the range, Ventus TR. Born from the continuous quest for improvement and backed by enso® analysis and Tour feedback, Ventus TR is built on one of the most trusted and best-selling wooden shafts in Fujikura history. Jockey Tip: The TR Black is the stiffest VENTUS profile to date. Ultra-stiff toe and grip sections work in unison to support players with Tour-type speeds who prefer the feel of minimal or no flex during the swing. As an upper designed for players with a quick transition, the spread tow fabric further strengthens the midsection/grip, resisting even the most aggressive movement of the golf ball.

BUY NOW

Step 5: Consult your swing doctor after getting back in shape

In case you’re wondering chicken against the egg when it comes to whether you should get your clubs in shape or consult a swing teacher, the answer is clear: get in shape first. If you have the wrong shaft in play and you manipulate your swing to “make it work”, you are doing yourself a disservice. Get in shape first and you’ll reap greater rewards when it’s time to hone your swing.

See? Getting in shape for a new tree is not that complicated. In about an hour or less, you’ll know exactly which tree is right for you. To take that first step, the Fujikura dealer locator is a great place to start.

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