by Dominic Choma, Club Fitter
As a club fitter, I get to see and test various products from different manufacturers. Many you have heard of and some you haven’t. There are plenty of products that come along that promise game breaking technology and performance, and some even succeed in backing up that promise. Recently, I was introduced to a product that, in the words of the company, will create a new level of performance in a golf shaft. The company making this claim is TPT Golf, with their blue line of shafts.
TPT Golf was started by NTPT, which is a Swiss based company that produces materials that push the limits of weight, strength, and performance. Materials produced by NTPT have been used in yacht sails, F1 race cars, and even satellites. Eventually they discovered that their materials could be used to produce a golf shaft that was different than any other shaft on the market. This is how TPT Golf was formed.
You must be wondering, how is this shaft different? The big difference is in the manufacturing process. This process is called the Thin Ply Winding method, which utilizes machinery and robotics instead of hand rolling in the manufacturing process. Utilizing this process instead of the standard hand rolling process done by a human allows TPT golf to place their carbon fiber material in the exact places that they want in the shaft, maximizing the performance of each shaft. Another benefit to using a robot instead of a human is consistency. A standard shaft produced by a human can have certain inconsistencies that can sometimes affect the performance of the shaft. Using a robot allows the manufacturer to eliminate those inconsistencies, to which the player will see the benefit of added consistency on the course.
To be honest, when I heard about this shaft and the price tag associated with it, I was a little skeptical. At $500 retail, this shaft is not cheap, and to make it worthwhile for most golfers it needs to be significantly better than the other available options. I was aware of the success they were tour early on this season, with Justin Rose winning 3 of out 4 tournaments after he put this shaft into play, along with Jason Day now winning twice on tour with his TPT shaft. That being said, just because a product works well for a tour pro does not mean it will work well for the average consumer. To say I’ve been surprised by this product in my fittings so far would be an understatement.
To provide a couple of examples of the benefits of this shaft, I am going to discuss two of my recent fittings where we saw a significant improvement in performance from this shaft. The first example was a fitting that I did for a customer a couple of weeks ago. Throughout this fitting, this customer had a consistent miss that had a severe amount of curvature to the left, aka a snap hook. We had found a set up with the G400 LST clubhead with 8 grams of hot melt in the toe that had helped to limit this miss, and although this set up would have worked well for him on the course, he still would hit a severe foul ball from time to time that would have most likely resulted in a ball out of play. Since I thought we could do better, I built the same clubhead up with a 15 series TPT shaft with Low Kick Point, Mid Torque, and Standard Weight. The results were impressive, as shown by this picture below. Blue is the TPT set up, red is the 2nd best set up we found for him.
|Shaft||Ball Speed||Smash Factor||Launch Angle||Spin Rate||Carry Distance||Total Distance|
|HZRDUS Yellow 65g 6.5||165.6||1.49||15.8||2121||291.8||313.6|
|TPT 15 LKP MT SW||167.3||1.50||16.9||1923||299.8||321.0|
As we can see, his dispersion improved dramatically but the customer also saw an increase in distance as well. His average carry and total distance increase by about 8 yards. This mainly happened because of a slight increase in smash factor, or efficiency as I like to put it, and a higher launch angle paired with a lower spin rate. Essentially the ball came off the clubface faster, while also flying more efficiently through the air. That is the recipe to help a player hit the ball farther.
The second customer was from a fitting that was done this past weekend. This customer also struggled with a snap hook, and the resulting 2-way miss from trying to overcorrect the snap hook. The issue I saw with this particular customer was that he had very little control over the clubface, meaning that he had a tough time getting the clubface to return to the golf ball with any sort of consistency. This resulted in shots that went high, low, left and right with very little consistency. Wondering if the consistency of the TPT shafts might be the answer, I built a TaylorMade M4 up with the 16 series Mid Kick Point, Mid Torque, and Standard Weight Shaft. Dispersion chart is below.
For this customer, the difference in consistency was staggering. This chart is a little messier than the first one, but if you look closely you can see a blue circle in the middle of this chart. That circle is the TPT shaft and as we can see none of the other set ups even come close to matching the distance and dispersion of the TPT. I even included a severe mishit in the TPT sample that went a good 30 yards shorter than the rest of the shots hit with that set up, mainly because this shot still would have been in the fairway. For this player, we’ll take that miss all day long when compared to everything else we tried. The main takeaway from this player was that his good swings with most of the other set ups went just as far as the TPT shaft did, but it was the bad swings where the TPT really shined. With all the other shafts, his bad swings were unplayable. With the TPT they ended up either on the edge of the fairway or slightly in the rough, which is a massive improvement over making the same swing, but not being in play.
TPT Golf was founded 4 years ago, with the idea that using a unique material and manufacturing process, that they could create a golf shaft that performs unlike anything else. Several touring pros have used this shaft with enormous success, and we have seen results in our fittings that have surprised us to say the least. For any golfer who is looking to maximize their performance off the tee, TPT shafts are something that they should try at the minimum. Now available for demo in the Cluboratory, with the ability to try with any of our clubheads.