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New Driver Dilemna

CybrSlicr

Well-Known Member
Aug 30, 2004
106
7
I have a small dilemna today. I have been looking for a new titanium oversized driver to replace my Steelhead III driver. My current setup is a 10.5* Regular Flex graphite shaft driver. I hit this club very well - averaging about 260 yards (I hit some shorter and have cleared 300 a couple of times).

I see that TGW has their 15% off sale running. I also noticed the Cleveland Launcher 460 drivers listed at $199. With the sale it comes to $170 (free shipping). I have heard great things about these drivers and for the price, it seems like a sweet deal.

Problem: I would like to purchase a 10.5* Aldila N65 Stiff shaft driver, but they don't have them in and aren't sure they will be able to get them in again (they are discontinued). I could get a 9.5* Launcher Gold Stiff shaft - those are in stock. I know that I need to go with a stiff shaft.

Couple of questions: how will the change in launch angle change the flight path of the ball? Is the higher launch angle (10.5*) more forgiving? Is the Aldila shaft better than the stock launcher shaft?

Any thoughts or comments would be greatly appreciated.
 

Don

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2005
203
1
Is the higher launch angle (10.5*) more forgiving? Is the Aldila shaft better than the stock launcher shaft?

First off, that 10.5* is not the launch angle, it's the loft on the driver, two very different things. The launch angle with a 10.5* driver could be 8*'s or 15*'s , it will vary depending on a lot of things. Second, normally, the higher the "loft" on the driver, the the straighter the ball flight will be. This is due to the higher loft club imparting more back spin, which counter acts any side spin you but on the ball, that means a straighter ball flight. So, it that sense, Yes, it would be more forgiving.
Third, the stock launcher shaft should be a Fujikara shaft with a low kick point, the NV65 has a mid/high kick point. That means that the ball flight/launch angle will be higher with the stock shaft than with the NV65 shaft, all else being egual. You swing speed and the way you swing your driver will determine the correct loft and shaft kick point for you. As a general rule, most golfer would be better served with more loft in their drivers. I loaned my 12* driver to the local club pro to hit. He hit one ball, started to walk off, stopped the turned back to watch the ball still flying down the range. He couldn't believe how far he hit the ball with my driver. Most golfers think 12*'s is too much loft, but the tests prove otherwise.
 

obagain

Used club guru
Mar 29, 2005
998
1
People are always shocked when they get on our launch monitor. All the 8.5 guys are now hitting 10.5 and getting 15-30 yards more.

Tha shaft is 90% of what make the club work. Find the shaft that fits and almost any brand driver will work great for you.
 

Silver

I don't have a handicap.
Dec 5, 2004
1,863
1
The stock shaft on the Launchers is ass, depending on your swing. I found it flimsy and that it sent the ball skyhigh and lost me distance. The NV was a much more solid and controlled ball flight that gives me a lot more consistency.
 

DaveE

The golfer fka ST Champ
Aug 31, 2004
3,986
3
Not sure if this will help except to reinforce the importance of the shaft.

My old driver was a 9.5* TM 360 with a stock stiff shaft. It was ok but I did have a problem with hitting it too high sometimes.

My new driver is a 10.5* Cobra 460 with the stiff NV. I'm not only in the fairway more often but I'm getting a lower ball flight which I needed.

Like ob said, getting the right shaft is most important.
 

Loop

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,418
3
I honestly believe that the kick point plays a much less important role than we allow ourselves to think. The difference between high and low would be very discretly noticeable.
The two most important factors are driver loft and shaft flex.
Everything else comes third (though tip stiffness can be important for feedback purposes)....
 

obagain

Used club guru
Mar 29, 2005
998
1
Loop,

If I could get you on a launch monitor you would change your mind. I can not only change flex and kick but also I can control the spin rate and make the ball fade or draw, all using the shaft.
The shafts that cost big bucks are that way because of the construction of the shaft and the layers of graphite used.
A normal driver fitting will take about 45 minutes and is very detailed.
 

The master

online
Oct 24, 2004
1,735
5
It is the weight off the shaft that plays the biggest part off the stiffness off the shaft the heavier the more stiffer, is it a NV 65, 75 or 85 shaft?
 

Rockford35

Shark skin shoes
Staff member
Admin
Aug 30, 2004
21,801
1,083
Canada
Country
Canada Canada
obagain said:
I can not only change flex and kick but also I can control the spin rate and make the ball fade or draw, all using the shaft.


Yep, this is true. A commonly overlooked area of the golf club. You can take a club, hit it and hate it, change the shaft and fall in love. Or vice versa.

It's the little things in the game that make the biggest impacts.

That's why the putter is shorter than the driver... :p

R35
 

Don

Well-Known Member
Aug 23, 2005
203
1
Kick point

LOOP; You might be surprised at how much the kick point effects the launch angle. I have a 8.5 loft driver with a low kick point shaft and a 10.5 loft driver with high kick point shaft. Ball flight of the two drivers is just about the same, The low kick point shaft makes up for the 2 degress less loft of that driver. A few weeks ago, I changed that high kick point shaft in that 10.5 loft driver to a mid kick point shaft, and now the launch angle is much higher and I'm getting at least 20 yards more carry distance with it. Roll out is about the same.

MASTER; NO, the weight of the shaft doesn't make it stiffer or softer. It's the amount of graphite and the way the direction the weave of the layers is positioned in the shaft that makes it stiffer or softer. You can have a light shaft thats quite stiff, and a heavy shaft that's quite soft, or two shafts of the same weight and one's an A flex and the other one's a S flex. The direction of the weave also effects the torque of the shaft. The percentage of resin to graphite also effects how stiff a shaft will be for a given shaft weight.
 

obagain

Used club guru
Mar 29, 2005
998
1
Don,
I am sure you have seen the new nano shaft technology. This will make a huge impact on shaft weights in the near future. We have been testing a new ust shaft that is 45 grams and comes in a-xxxxs.
Is is amazing to watch the change in technology the last 10 years.
It used to be the the weight of the shaft told you the flex but now they are making shafts that can do anything you can imagine.
Some of the pga pros bring us stuff to try that is incredible. The groove patterns, weighting and other variables will make the game much better.
 

The master

online
Oct 24, 2004
1,735
5
Don said:
MASTER; NO, the weight of the shaft doesn't make it stiffer or softer. It's the amount of graphite and the way the direction the weave of the layers is positioned in the shaft that makes it stiffer or softer. You can have a light shaft thats quite stiff, and a heavy shaft that's quite soft, or two shafts of the same weight and one's an A flex and the other one's a S flex. The direction of the weave also effects the torque of the shaft. The percentage of resin to graphite also effects how stiff a shaft will be for a given shaft weight.

I know a lot about this game. I do work in the equipment industry. The weight off the shaft makes a difference depending on the speed off the players swing, but a NV-75 in S flex doesnt play as stiff as a NV-85 is S flex.
 

cyberious

Planet Love Tron
Feb 19, 2005
527
2
You could go with the Launcher 400 which is going for around 150 and use the money you saved to have it reshafted with the Aldila. You may find the 400 has more workability over the 460.
 

Loop

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2004
1,418
3
OB, very interesting points you have there, though I can only agree to a certain extent.
Being a ranger, I fully know that one swing can produce a 280 yard drive with the ideal ball launch angle and spin rate. And then swinging to what I feel would be the same swing can give a 230 yard drive, because of too much backspin.
The difference from one swing to the next is so discrete and subtle, you can get different results with the same shaft.
And with that in mind, when trying a shaft and your swing is in a groove for 5 tries, you would think this shaft is the right one for you.
For example, take our user here Lamma, who was in a groove with his r7 and Cobra. Then he lost the groove for that kind of club.

I wholly believe in the quality of the launch monitor, in that it'll try its best to find the right shaft, by taking into account the different factors as shaft flex, loft, torque, tip and butt stiffness, kick point, swingweight, all this to produce the ideal ball flight and spin rate.
But I also take it with a grain of salt as the swing is so different one to the next.

Glad we're having this discussion :)
 

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