You hear the word thrown around a lot on a golf course – “feel.” As in, “this club doesn’t feel right” or “that swing felt quick.” You can go through an entire custom club-fitting session and have every element matched up perfectly to you swing but still the club may not “feel” right. So how do you measure something as idiosyncratic as feel.
The golf shaft balance point is one place to start. There are many points of balance in a golf shaft’s life. There is the Raw Shaft Balance Point which is the point of equal distribution on each side of a shaft before trimming. There is the Cut Shaft Balance Point that is the point of equal distribution on each side of a shaft after trimming and there is the Completed Club Balance Point that is the equilibrium point after installation of the club head and grip.
The balance point of a completed club becomes important because it affects how a club feels when it is swung. This is called swing weight and it has nothing to do with the actual weight of the club. You may have heard of golfers adding lead tape to their golf clubs, sometimes to the head and sometimes to the shaft. If you place a piece on tape on the club head the lower part of the club will feel heavier. If you place it on the grip that part of the club will feel heavier. The actual weight of the club is the same no matter where the tape is placed but the balance point has shifted and so has the swing weight.
The balance point of the golf shaft is important to manufacturers because you want every club through the bag to feel the same weight during the swing. For its revolutionary Metal Composite Irons Fujikura has been able to move the balance point towards the lower end of the shaft to make its graphite iron shafts feel like heavier steel shafts like some golfers prefer, yet continue to deliver the playability features of lightweight graphite shafts. To find out more, click here.