Project X vs. KBS Tour V: Low- vs. High Launch Ironshafts
When fitting very good players, it is often only a matter of small details. With these players, it is often already clear in which direction the club head, shaft weight, shaft length and swing weight should go. Here it is often not sensible to dare larger experiments. Most of the time, it's just a matter of finding a combination of club head and shaft to develop a good swing feel, to hit the balls consistently and without major deviations and to optimise the trajectory.
What definitely makes sense here is to test shafts with very different profiles. In the following case, we did just that and looked at two shafts that are very similar in terms of flex and weight, but differ greatly in the bending profile.
One is the Project X 6.0 and the other is the KBS Tour V. The Project X has been known for years as a shaft that allows a very penetrating and controlled ball flight. It is especially suitable for professionals who have no problems generating spin and sufficiently "compressing" the ball. This means that such a player prefers a low ball flight with less spin that he can control better.
The bending profile of the Project X is explained quite quickly: The middle part of the shaft is relatively soft, while the tip is very stiff. This profile is very similar to the Nippon Modus or the very successful Fujikura Ventus shafts.
The exact opposite is the KBS Tour V. This one has a relatively stiff mid section and is very soft in the tip. Such a shaft profile is not found too often. The Tour V therefore embodies the counterpart to the Project X very well and is therefore ideal for a comparison.
Our player swings a 6 iron at around 89-91mph and what you can see straight away is that he was able to accelerate the Tour V a little easier. The club head speed is slightly higher. This is not exactly surprising. Even though the overall stiffness of the shaft is the same, the soft tip is noticeable here, which makes for a slightly better acceleration at impact. On the other hand, the strike pattern with the KBS Tour V was slightly worse with 1.30 vs. 1.32 efficiency.
The actual difference is noticeable in the dynamic loft, because here the two shafts are 2° apart. That is quite a lot in this range. The result of this 2° more dynamic loft with the KBS Tour V is 150rpm more spin and 1.3° higher launch. The peak height is also significantly higher. The Project X, however, achieves practically the same length with a flatter trajectory and slightly less spin despite lower club head speed.
You could say that the result is very similar, but that is not the point of this test. This test mainly shows how different a ball flight can look just based on the shaft profile. After all, we are dealing with the same degree of stiffness and shaft weight. Only the shaft can influence the ball flight and optimise it accordingly.
It was also noticeable that the player was always struggling with the change of shaft. He needed a few swings to adjust to the new shaft. This also speaks for the fact that the shaft is very individual and a change in profile can certainly provide a completely different swing feeling.