'Frequency Matching' in Golf Shafts

Ping Golf shafts
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Special devices, available to clubmakers, can measure the stiffness of shafts through what is called "shaft frequency measurement." These types of electronic devices allow the shaft to be clamped, usually at the grip end, with either a weight attached to the head end (when testing a raw shaft) or the clubhead attached at the head end. The clubmaker pulls the shaft down, lets it go, and the shaft begins to oscillate up and down.

Frequency Matching

The stiffer the shaft, the faster the rate of oscillation; the more flexible the shaft, the slower the rate of oscillation. The frequency analyzer is designed to count the oscillation rate of the shaft and display the reading in the form of "cycles per minute" (a numerical value) on the LED display on the machine.

In a set of woods or irons, the frequency reading of the shafts in the clubs will normally increase from longest to shortest club in the set. However, due to many factors, the amount of increase from shaft to shaft is not normally in the same increment.

Some custom clubmakers offer the service of fine tuning the shafts when installing in the clubheads so that the increment of frequency increase from longest to shortest clubs in the set will be exactly the same from club to club. This is "frequency matching."

Frequency matching will make the progression of grip-end stiffness from club to club more consistent from longest to shortest clubs in a golfer's bag. But if the shaft weight, shaft flex, and bend profile are not fit properly to the golfer, frequency matching will not help the golfer.

It is far more important to properly fit the weight, flex and bend profile to the golfer than to worry about frequency matching in otherwise improperly fit shafts.

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