Most of the manufacturers of irons provide fitting carts to their dealers so that golfers can try out different combinations of shafts (weight/length/flex), lie angles and model playability. Mizuno Golf introduced a fitting system that enables a golfer to actually measure these important specs during the swing using the Shaft Optimizer.
The Shaft Optimizer is designed to measure club-head speed, swing tempo, toe down (refers to lie angle), kick angle (refers to flex) and release point (also a flex reference). These metrics enable the club fitter to pick out three shafts and two or three head models likely to best match the golfer's swing.
Since the heads can be interchanged with the shafts it is fairly easy to verify the shaft-head combination that feels and performs the best for that golfer. The clubheads have different weights so that a golfer needing a longer or shorter club will get an accurate reading right away.
The length, lie angle, flex and grip size are determined and verified using the typical measurements and strike board test (see CLUB FITTING).
The club shaft is playing a greater role in achieving ball spin, roll and distance than ever before. Shaft characteristics such as weight, stiffness, torque and kick point should be scrutinized and the right combination determined using the manufacturer’s specifications and a launch monitor fitting.
Club fitters agree that weight is the most important factor in deciding what shaft is best for an individual golfer. Shaft weight makes the most difference in club head speed, which determines distance. Weight also affects shaft flex since the stiffer the shaft the heavier it is. Not surprisingly, heavier and/or stiffer shafts often have lower torque and higher kick-points. In other words, all of the important characteristics of a shaft start with the weight.