In my humble opinion, the golf shaft is too often overlooked and it just so happens to be the focal point of consumers questions, club fitting and overall performance.
To clear up some of the questions you may have about shafts we contacted Phil Talamonti. Phil is going to answer some of your questions and introduce you to his new shaft company which is quickly gaining success and internet buzz for their fantastic products.
QUESTION – What is your background in golf?
ANSWER = Easiest to check out my bio at TalamontiShafts.com –> About Us Also…here is a link to a recent newspaper article: http://www.chron.com/default/article/Designer-glad-to-give-golfers-the-shafts-3913983.php
QUESTION – How and Why did you start Talamonti?
ANSWER = I began manufacturing shafts in 2002 as Advanced Shaft Dynamics. I later switched to using Talamonti because people seemed to recognize my name and my background in the industry and there was a good deal of support for shafts I’d produced.
QUESTION – What separates Talamonti from the competition?
ANSWER = There are a few shaft manufacturers that are in what I call the “elite” category. Great materials, processes, and design work. Talamonti shafts are in that exclusive club. I believe I have done an extremely good job of designing and manufacturing shafts that have some unique performance characteristics; such as (1) the Light-55, which produces far less spin than other lightweight shafts. (2) The LS-70 which is a “stronger player” shaft featuring super low spin with a slightly stiffer butt section. This shaft targets players who can generate a fairly good amount of load, and for that reason is only available in 2 flexes, S and X. (3) The HL-70 is a “smooth swinger” shaft. It can handle high swing speeds as well as low to average speeds and is available in 4 flexes to cover a broad range of players.
QUESTION – What is your response when people say “Graphite is too whipy for me”
ANSWER = They are not playing the correct model, weight, and flex.
QUESTION – Tell us something we don’t know about graphite v.s. steel
ANSWER = There is a great deal of flexibility when designing and manufacturing using carbon fiber (graphite). Because of the way in which graphite shafts are manufactured, they can be designed to do some very specific things performance-wise throughout their playing length.
QUESTION – What is most overlook about golf shafts?
ANSWER = I suppose understanding swing types and why certain shafts work better for one type of player as opposed to another. It takes an educated eye and a fair amount of experience to know what properties and characteristics in a golf shaft are most desirable for certain swings, and why.
QUESTION – What should golfers know about shaft flex?
ANSWER = There is no “standardized” flex rating when it comes to shafts. One manufacturer’s R flex can be another manufacturer’s S flex and vice versa. The flex ratings should however, be relevant within a given model from a given manufacturer.
QUESTION – What is your opinion on the longer drivers 46″ and beyond?
ANSWER = Generally speaking, good golf swings can handle additional driver length better than poor swings can. In most cases, players are absolutely using drivers that are too long for them. And the reality is, average players who are using longer drivers will hit a somewhat shorter driver every bit as far as a longer one, and with far better control.
QUESTION – Explain some of the benefits of radial torque
ANSWER – certain amount of torque in a shaft is necessary. Having just the “right” amount of torque in any given shaft model is critical. Too much torque for a strong player can result in the club hanging open and a general loss of accuracy. Too little torque for a weaker player can make a shaft too difficult to load and release.
QUESTION – There are an abundance of shafts priced over $300.00 +. How much of that is quality and how much is marketing hype?
ANSWER = All shafts are not created equal from a production cost standpoint, however the cost of doing business certainly impacts retail prices. In some cases, the high retail prices we see have more to do with price positioning and creating price tiers, more than it has to do with the increased cost of manufacturing a particular model.
QUESTION – Do you think there should be a universal standard for flex and shaft profiles in the golf industry?
ANSWER = Definitely not for shaft profiles, and I’m not really in favor of it for flex either, in part because it would be nearly impossible to get everyone on board with it. There are just too many variables to consider throughout a shaft’s playing length for a standardized rating system to ever work.
QUESTION – If you could give one bit of advice to and large OEM like Taylor Made or Callaway what would it be?
ANSWER =One thing I will say with regard to OEM shaft selection is that they tend to offer shafts in their clubs that the masses are already familiar with. And I suppose that’s easy to understand. It’s the safe play. We are talking about a lot of units, so going with a shaft the market is already warm to makes sense from a marketing and financial standpoint.
QUESTION – Briefly convince me why graphite is better than steel.
ANSWER = The single biggest reason is the ability to create so many different designs and playing characteristics using carbon fiber. Steel just does not have that type of flexibility from a design and manufacturing perspective.
QUESTION – What’s next in shaft technology?
ANSWER = Not sure, but I hope I’m first with it 🙂
For more information, check out the company website or email them with your questions.