Beware of non-conforming Aerospeed Shaft
So, you got another pair of wool socks again yesterday, didn’t you? No one in your family bothered to stick even one lousy sleeve of golf balls under the tree - again.
Well, maybe it’s your own fault, the way you complain about your equipment and change putters every tenth round. They probably figure they won’t be able to please you.
And you know what? They’re right.
Now that Christmas is safely behind us again, we serious gear-heads can search for post-holiday bargains, and anxiously await the coming year’s newest equipment.
Always on the lookout for the off-beat (it was I, after all, who earnestly tested and reviewed the Pure Bull Putter, made out of an actual bull penis), my little ears perked up when a TV commercial for X-Factor Sports came on late Christmas Eve as I was laboring to assembly my son’s train table.
For those of you unfamiliar with X-Factor, they produce all sorts of clubs, including the Super Pro Hammer and Zolex Hammer drivers. These monstrous mounds of metal feature an “inverted” head with a sort of bulging protuberance on the crowns. Think of the forehead of the banjo-player in Deliverance and you won’t be far off.
The brains and brawn behind X-Factor is one Jack Hamm, a sort of golden boy who is touted on the company’s web site as ‘The Man with the Perfect Swing.” The site claims he hits his 8-iron 260+ yards, and holds the record for the longest non-wind-assisted drive (carry and roll) of 473 yards.
This is all well and good, and a quick scan through the USGA’s list of conforming drivers even turns up the X-Factor Hammer Super Pro (9.75-degree only, no other lofts or models).
But then the commercial went on to describe the company’s Aerospeed Shaft, which is flattened into a sort of oval shape in order, so the commercial and web site claim, to reduce wind resistance. The effect, again according to the growingly specious commercial, is a 20 mph increase in swing speed.
Then “Mr. 59″ himself, Al Geiberger, appears in the commercial flapping his aged gums about the great shaft.
Problem is, fiddling with the shape of a shaft like this is expressly forbidden by the USGA. To be precise, Rule 4, Appendix II, Decision 2b requires at any point in its length, the shaft must (i) bend and (ii) twist the same amount in all directions, regardless of how the shaft is rotated.
The design of the Aerospeed fails to conform. And it fails miserably.
I have written extensively in the past about shafts, and maintain that the shaft is the key to a good club, much more so than the clubhead. I find it appalling that companies like X-Factor and respected pros like Geiberger can hawk non-conforming equipment without stating somewhere in their materials that the stuff is in fact non-conforming. This is especially true for shafts, because to the average golfer, one shaft looks just like the next.
No wonder the family doesn’t buy us golf stuff. Heck, if we golfers can get suckered into buying crap so easily, non-golfers don’t stand a chance.
Still, if I’m going to buy crap, at least I want USGA conforming crap, not something that’ll get me DQed from the club championship.
The Aerospeed Shaft does not conform to USGA regulations.
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Maybe with this combo in my bag I could play a Tiger Woods designed golf course. KABOOM!