Testing the Performance of Drivers with Pured Shafts

By Brent Norton, Clubfitting Manager, Miles of Golf

Every shaft contains irregularities in straightness, roundness and stiffness that are inherent to the manufacturing process. There is a theory that structural inconsistencies can affect a shaft’s performance depending on how the shaft is aligned in the clubhead. In an effort to minimize these inconsistencies, a process known as puring has been developed. The result of the puring process, in theory, is that players of all skill levels hit the ball longer, straighter and more uniformly consistent.

Miles of Golf has been asking the major club manufactures for years if a pured shaft outperforms a non-pured shaft. We always got the same information back from manufactures, some of their tour staff plays insist on pured shafts, while others do not. We decided to run some test on our own to see if our customers could tell a difference and if puring actually worked.

The Testing Process.

For the experiment we used Graphite Design shafts and a Cobra ZL head (9.5 loft). Two of the three shafts were pured and marked for testing, with the identities hidden from the testers. We had eleven players in our test group with swing speeds ranging from 83 M.P.H. to 116 M.P.H. The handicaps of our testers ranged from +2.2 to 13.

After warming up to get loose, each player hit 5 balls with each shaft. The ball used was the Titleist Pro V1. The monitor used was the TrackMan, considered the most accurate in the industry. It is a Doppler radar device used by every club manufacturer to test and develop new clubs.

Test Results.

Does a shaft that has been pured allow players to hit the ball farther, straighter and more consistent than a shaft that is not-pured?

Distance – Comparison of total distance to include carry distance plus rollout.

In our test group, pured shafts increased the yardage by less than 1%. The average distance of all the testers went from 253.64 yards (not-pured) to 254.89 (pured)

Accuracy – Comparison of the right and left dispersion of shots from the intended target. In our test group, pured shafts did not reduce dispersion. The average dispersion of all the testers went from 14.48 yards (not-pured) to 14.54 (pured); statistically no change at all.

Feel – Could the testers tell a difference in the way each shaft felt (subjective). This varied from player to player, but the consensus was they could feel a difference in the way the pured shafts felt to them, even though the statistical data did not show an overwhelming performance benefit. The players that could feel a difference commented that the club felt more stable and uniform during the swing.

Summary.

With all of the information that we gathered, we did not see a statistically significant difference between clubs that had been pured and ones that had not. Our findings support what club manufactures say about pured clubs, it does not seem to make a difference.