Score golf Article by Rick Young on Club Fitting

Rick Young
EQUIPMENT & BUSINESS BLOG
 
It was colleague Mike Stachura who convinced me to alter my traditional pre-PGA Merchandise Show schedule to attend this year’s ACCRA, KBS, Miura golf day. He told me he has always enjoyed hanging out with some of North America’s top club fitters. He figured I would too.
“My kind of people,” he said at the end of a message.
When we chatted at the outing held at Orlando’s Grande Pines Marriott last month, I asked Golf Digest’sequipment editor what he meant by that.
“Everyone here is intrigued by possibilities,” Stachura explained. “The club fitters want to figure it out. These guys aren’t selling things. They’d happily give their stuff away for free. Their passion is, ‘Hey, you’ve come into my shop with a problem and I have the ability to fix it so let’s get to work.’ The beauty of the ACCRA day is I get educated here. This is selfish on my part.”
Canada’s ACCRA is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Although it does not have the same elevated brand status of shaft-makers such as Fujikura, Aldila or Graphite Design, the Kingston, Ont.-headquartered Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) continues to be the brand of choice for custom club fitters who remain fiercely loyal and appreciative of ACCRA’s commitment to them and their businesses. To varying degrees the same applies to KBS and Miura who, like ACCRA, have forged tight business and personal bonds with these elite equipment professionals. Nearly 100 fitters were on hand for the co-sponsored ACCRA, KBS, Miura golf day. According to the two companies more than 450 of the world’s best professional fitters endorse ACCRA and KBS to their customer base.
“Professional club fitting makes up a very small percentage of the equipment market,” said ACCRA’s Gawain Robertson. “If it was to increase even two to three per cent, fitters would be incredibly busy. The truth is club fitting is still a work in progress to make the public understand what we do. For that we need help. We need the (golf) media to continue to help us get golfers on our side.”
Philosophically, ACCRA has never wavered. Since Robertson and partner Dave Makarucha formed it a decade ago the brand has maintained its commitment to designing premium-level shafts utilizing the highest modulus materials and the most up-to-date engineering equipment. It then limits those shafts to only the best club fitters in the world who must, in turn, show their level of loyalty by agreeing not to sell ACCRA shafts below the brand’s minimum selling price. Fly-by-night fitters need not apply. Any new ACCRA fitters have to be recommended while going through extensive certification.
The company’s testing ground is where you would hope it would be. Performance validation and marketing for ACCRA comes directly from the PGA Tour. More than 100 players use the brand’s products without compensation. That includes world No. 10 Matt Kuchar, multiple winner Luke Donald and Ryan Palmer, who has used ACCRA since his rookie season on the PGA Tour. He remains one of the brand’s most vocal proponents.
“Every tour player has a choice of what shaft(s) to play,” Robertson said. “To have that many using ACCRA speaks to the level of our products. We’re tour proven week in and week out.”
For 2014 the company has, once again, expanded its offerings. Most significant for club fitters is the new Japanese-manufactured Concept Series CS1, which takes the best features of ACCRA’s Tour Z ST and Tour Z CB and combines them into an advanced innovative new product ideal for today’s low spin clubheads and golf balls. To help achieve this, ACCRA did a couple of things: it infused the Concept Series CS1 with a much higher concentration of composite versus resin and added more modulus graphite.
“We get to tolerances with it (Concept Series CS1) we never thought possible,” Robertson said of the product line that features three weights and three different flexes.
One significant footnote to the CS1’s development: it would not have been possible without ACCRA’s most recent technology breakthrough. Robertson and Makarucha partnered with Mark Timms, president of Cool Clubs of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Queens University (Kingston, Ont.) engineering graduate Simon Grodin on a new analysis machine called S3 (Shaft Simulation System). According to Robertson, the S3 effectively measures everything going on with a golf shaft. And he absolutely means everything.
“You get more information on a shaft than you would ever want to know,” he said to the club fitters and media in attendance. “We get 10,000 times the data other shaft profile systems get. The S3 works on as many planes as you want. Its accuracy is incredible.”
The company will also move into a new era of its DyMatch product. Designed for fairway wood and hybrid shafts to react exactly the same as the driver shaft (for performance and feel), the new DyMatch 2.0 is already getting a huge response from fitters for its ability to fit such a wide spectrum of golfer types.
Also slated for 2014 is the next generation of ACCRA’s ISeries, a complete family of shafts from driver through wedges; the SPi wedge shafts, which enable golfers to increase spin while controlling launch; and the incumbent Tour Z shaft series, which allows fitters to get absolutely precise with launch angles at impact.
“Our products are evolving,” Robertson explained. “We’re getting better at helping our network of club fitters get even more precise right through the golf bag. That helps them offer the very best service to their customers.”
Stachura was right. I did thoroughly enjoy my time with the club fitters in attendance, hearing their thoughts on ACCRA, KBS and Miura while lending an ear about their businesses. Once again spending time with those guys reinforced what I’ve believed for quite some time: professional club fitting is essential to any club purchase and a golf club’s shaft is its primary component.
It’s something to keep in mind.

Independant Review of ACCRA DyMatch 2.0

To view the entire review, please click on the link below…..

DyMatch 2.0 review

Accra DyMatch 2.0 Shaft Review

50 Words or Less

An outstanding line of shafts that delivers high end performance in  all clubs, not just the driver.  Many options for precise fitting.

Introduction

Golfers do lots of dumb things.  We attempt shots that we never practice, some of us dress in clothes that would make a pimp cringe, and many pay hundreds of dollars for a driver shaft while neglecting the shafts in our fairway woods and hybrids.  Even worse, we pick those expensive driver shafts based on looks, hype, and what the guys on Tour use.
After frequent chiding by my favorite club fitter, Club Champion’s Nick Sherburne, I finally decided to stop being dumb and start paying attention to Accra.  Nick put me through a fitting for Accra driver, fairway wood, and hybrid shafts, and the results were fantastic.

The Concept of DyMatch 2.0

The idea behind the DyMatch 2.0 series sounds simple: design a family of shafts – driver, fairway wood, and hybrid – that will all feel the same, however, this is a lot harder than it seems (read THIS if you doubt it).
Thankfully, Accra has proven to be up to the task.  Simply go to your Accra fitter and find the driver shaft that works best for you.  Once you’ve done that, you can easily add the fairway wood and hybrid shafts to your bag knowing that they will feel identical to your new driver shaft.
The DyMatch 2.0 builds on the foundation of the original DyMatch series and adds even more options.  The three tip profiles, from highest launching to lowest, are RT (Responsive Tip), MT (Mid Tip), and ST (Stable Tip).  Each profile comes in three different weights for the driver plus a fairway wood and hybrid shaft.

The Fitting

I showed up to Club Champion’s Willowbrook location with a very mixed group of shafts in my long clubs.  My driver and 3W had stiff flex Fujikura shafts and my hybrid had an X-flex Matrix hM3.  Nick, being a very gracious person, didn’t laugh at what was in hybrid but simply said, “That’s a lot of shaft.”
A few dozen balls later, Club Champion’s Trackman launch monitor had established my baselines.  My driver shaft was an excellent fit (as it should be, I’ve had the opportunity to test nearly every shaft made).  My fairway wood was good, but it launched a bit lower than optimal. Predictably, my hybrid shaft was a disaster.  Trackman showed me exactly the same things I see on the course: on a perfect swing, the ball goes forever (too long, actually) but the rest of the time it’s an unpredictable mess.
Having worked with me many times, Nick knew immediately where to go in the Accra line.  He put a DyMatch 2.0 MT70 into my driver, and the results were excellent.  The shaft felt stable, but I also felt like I could load it without really “going after it.”
With the driver shaft quickly decided, Nick installed a DyMatch 2.0 MTF in my 3W.  We immediately saw an increase in the launch angle and increased consistency in the carry and total distance.  No doubt about the match between the driver and FW shafts.
Finally, it was time to check out the DyMatch 2.0 MTH.  This was far and away the biggest improvement of any of the three new shafts.  Everything improved: distance, dispersion, launch angle, and spin.  Additionally, since I was back in the correct flex, I could swing within myself and still get a good result.
As I walked out of the Club Champion fitting bay, the only unanswered question was, “What do you want engraved on your shafts?”

Feel

Overall, the feel of the DyMatch 2.0 MT shafts are very stable.  The butt and mid sections are both fairly firm, and the tip section has a little bit of kick to it.  Obviously, the RT will have a more lively tip section and the ST will have a more stable tip.
All that said, the most important thing about the feel of the DyMatch 2.0 shafts is that, true to their word, they are exceptionally consistent from driver to fairway wood to hybrid.  With DyMatch 2.0 you can forget about making compensations to account for different shafts in each club.

Performance

I’m very pleased with the results of the switch to Accra’s DyMatch 2.0 shafts.  The change provided everything that I was looking for in both my fairway wood and hybrid.
In my fairway wood, I now get a consistently higher launch angle which results in better carry distances and more consistent total distances.
With my hybrid, the change has been night and day.  I used to hit lots of low, running bullets that wouldn’t hold even the softest green.  Moreover, the club could go anywhere from 200 yards to 260.  Now, my carry is consistently around 220 yards with a predictable trajectory that will stay on the green.

Conclusion

If you, like every other golfer I know, wants “more consistency,” the Accra DyMatch 2.0 shafts are a great place to start.  Though Accra, like their best-known Tour players Matt Kuchar and Luke Donald, may not be the flashiest company in the game, they produce a world-class product that definitely deserves a look the next time you’re being fit.

Price and Specs

The prices for the Accra DyMatch 2.0 shafts are $199 for the driver shaft, $175 for the fairway wood shaft, and $125 for the hybrid shaft.
You can find your local Accra Fitter through their website HERE.

ACCRA’s Gawain Robertson and Dave Makarucha receive Top Golf Exucutives in Canada Award

Canadian Golf Executive of the YearThe nominees:Dave Wilson (PING Canada), James Lepp (Kikkor Golf), Ted Manning (Acushnet Canada) Don Nichols (Second Skin), Gawain Robertson/Dave Makarucha (ACCRA Golf), John Sibley (Nike Golf Canada), Dave Bradley (TaylorMade-adidas Canada), Sima Anvari/Lauren Demerling (Catwalk Artwear)The Winner: Gawain Robertson/Dave Makarocha (ACCRA Golf)The Winner: Gawain Robertson/Dave Makarucha (ACCRA Golf)My take: One of the elite names in premium golf shafts, ACCRA executives Gawain Robertson (left) and Dave Makarucha (right) continue to infuse the Kingston, Ontario-based brand into the industry with shafts of impeccable quality and performance. To do so, Robertson and Makarucha continue to put their branding and promotional trust into professional club fitters around the world along with high-profile usage by PGA Tour professionals such as Luke Donald, Peter Hanson, Tim Clark, Miguel Angel Jiminez and Mark Calcavecchia. That combination continues to pay dividends for the brand and its continued growth in the shaft category is evidence the formula works. Honourable mention this year to Dave Bradley of TaylorMade-adidas Canada.- See more at: http://scoregolf.com/blog/rick-young/2013/december/younger-awards-part-iv#sthash.3kVF28NO.dpufCanadian Golf Product of the YearThe nominees:BioSteel Sports Drink, Miura KM-007 putter, Sunice Albany Jacket, DryRainge, Kikkor Men’s Player-Tips Collection, ACCRA Hybrex iron shafts, Catwalk Zippy 2013, Hollas Men’s Drywick 1/4-ZipThe Winner: Miura KM-007 PutterMy take: Although it stakes its global reputation on beautifully crafted irons, Miura Golf’s ability to produce outstanding products in other categories is vastly underappreciated. Case in point: Miura’s KM-007 putter. Part of the Vancouver company’s Series 57 putter line, Katsurhiro Miura’s elegantly crafted KM-007 mallet uses the same close-grain forging process used in the company’s irons and is CNC milled for outstanding feel and responsiveness. Amid golf’s best-known putter brands, this is a standout product from the Canadian OEM. Honourable mention to ACCRA for its new Hybrex iron shafts and Catwalk’s always fashionable women’s Zippy product.- See more at: http://scoregolf.com/blog/rick-young/2013/december/younger-awards-part-iv#sthash.qICVh9eK.dpuf

Younger Awards – Part IV

Younger Awards – Part IV Created: Tue, 18 Dec 2012

This instalment of my year-end equipment and business awards focuses on Canada’s golf industry winners for 2012.

While this nation’s contribution to gear, apparel, accessories and services might be relatively small in an overall industry snapshot, Canada takes a back seat to no one for producing quality and craftsmanship. Canadian Business Story of the Year The nominees: Jim Little leaves RBC for Shaw Communications, PGA Tour purchases Canadian Tour, Wasserman Media Group acquires Catalyst Sponsorship Consulting, Callaway Golf Canada restructures, Cabot Links, Golftown merges with Golfsmith, Callaway Golf Canada assumes sponsorship of Golf in Schools The Winner: PGA Tour purchases Canadian Tour My take: Amid a worthy grouping of nominees, this category for 2012 was strictly no contest.

After languishing under tough economic circumstances since its 10-year Golf Channel agreement ended, the Canadian Tour not only got a financial reprieve from the PGA Tour early in the year, it wound up under its corporate umbrella. What it means for the newly named PGA Tour Canada remains in prospect. But a deserving tour and a group of great people running it get something they have not had in quite some time: stability.

Canadian Golf Product of the Year The nominees: Sunice ‘Silver’, Arnie by Quagmire Golf, Hollas Diversity Collection, Catwalk Zippy, Kikkor Men’s Pure Line, Dryrainge,  ACCRA Tour Z shafts, Sligo Golf pants The Winner: Arnie by Quagmire Golf/ACCRA Tour Z Shafts My take: Nothing between the two winners who tied and very little between a worthy grouping of nominees in this category. Arnold Palmer’s trust in Geoff Tait and Bobby Pasternak of Quagmire was rewarded with the debut of an outstanding line of Palmer-inspired apparel from the 1950s, 60s and 70s appropriately named ‘Arnie.’ The three deliveries were all met with critical acclaim. ACCRA Golf of Kingston, Ont., continues to be a force in the high-end shaft market. Former world No. 1 player in the world Luke Donald continues to put his trust in ACCRA. Many, many players in 2012 put their trust in ACCRA’s Tour Z product. Canadian Executive of the Year The nominees: Don Nichols (Second Skin), Mark Fletcher (Fletcher Leisure Group), Geoff Tait/Bobby Pasternak (Arnie), James Lepp (Kikkor Golf), Adam Barr (Miura Golf), Dave Wilson (PING Canada), Gawain Robertson/Dave Makarocha (ACCRA Golf) The Winner: James Lepp (Kikkor Golf) My take: As I write this James Lepp is one of two finalists for Big Break Greenbrier. That’s not why he is Executive of the Year. The former NCAA Golf champion’s vision for his fledgling company Kikkor means he’s willing to go the extra mile to help brand his product and further infuse its identity into a younger golf demographic. Lepp works hard at it. He’s been strong in the area of social media, runs contest after contest to keep people intrigued and he’s never met a microphone he didn’t like. Lepp got added traction with a few Canadian Tour friends, as well as LPGA Tour player Ryann O’Toole. He continues to be chief designer, CEO and COO, communications and marketing director. THAT’S why he’s my 2012 Executive of the Year. Emerging Canadian Golf Company of the Year The nominees: BioSteel, Spanner Golf, MA-Nine, Team World Golf, Pin High Golf, Just Golf Inc. The Winner: BioSteel My take: An incumbent sports drink in the NHL with the likes of Tyler Seguin of the Boston Bruins, Carey Price of the Montreal Canadians and former Toronto Maple Leaf standout Gary Roberts, BioSteel entered the golf market in 2012 doing so in a big way. The Canadian company signed PGA Tour winner Hunter Mahan to its staff and made great strides in introducing its healthy hydration product at golf courses across the country. Canadian Golf Company of the Year The nominees: Sunice, Quagmire/Arnie, Miura Golf, Sligo, Second Skin, ACCRA Golf, Sundog, Catwalk Performance Artwear The Winner: Sligo My take: A longtime Canadian brand that, rather than fall just under the radar, was all over the radar during 2012. Sligo’s spring/fall offering of products gained immediate acceptance with its retail accounts around North America and produced traction with emerging Sligo markets in Asia and Australia. Adding Weyburn, Sask.’s Graham DeLaet and Scotland’s Russell Knox to existing staff member Brian Gay on the endorsement team gave the brand more well-intentioned marketability with golfers interested in blending up-tempo fashion with performance.

ACCRA in Golfweek Magazine

Yesterday, ACCRA was featured in Golfweek magazine online by respected writer Jim Achenbach. This was an exciting day for all of us at ACCRA as we certainly consider ourselves as the biggest proponents of club fitting in the industry. Thank you to Mr. Achenbach for his belief in the club fitting community.

Golfweek link

SHAFT MONTH: ACCRA’S CO-OWNER, A PREACHER OF PROPER FITTING

Gawain Robertson, co-owner of shaftmaker Accra Premium Golf Shafts in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Courtesy photo
Gawain Robertson, co-owner of shaftmaker Accra Premium Golf Shafts in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
As of Friday, February 8, 2013
Gawain Robertson, co-owner of shaftmaker Accra Premium Golf Shafts in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, may be the most straightforward person in the entire golf shaft industry.
Robertson was a touring pro for 16 years and a club pro for 9 years. In 2008, he and partner Dave Makarucha bought the Accra name from shaft manufacturer UST. Robertson is widely known as the man who makes driver and 3-wood shafts for former world No. 1 Luke Donald, although he appears to be just as concerned about amateur golfers as he is touring professionals.
And he is the first to tell amateur golfers that what they don’t know about shaft torque and flex can hurt them.
Robertson is a loud and insistent spokesman for professional golf club fitters, those individuals who understand how to put together a proper set of golf clubs for each golfer. Getting the right shaft torque and flex is a big part of that process.
The Accra business is based on intelligent, informed fitting, and Accra shafts are available only through a network of some 350 club fitters around the world. Accra shafts belong to two primary families: DyMatch ($199) and Tour Z ($299). Besides Donald, touring pros such as Peter Hanson, Ryan Palmer, Tim Clark, Miguel Angel Jimenez and Mark Calcavecchia have used Accra shafts.
A 30-year industry veteran, Robertson preaches the importance of grasping shaft principles.
“Be careful when you talk about torque,” he said. “We know that torque is a measurement of how much a shaft twists. What we don’t always know is how that torque was measured. There is no standard method.”
One common way: Using a torque machine to take readings in two different directions. Then the two are averaged to produce a single torque number. In general terms, a lower number (2.0 into the low 3s) indicates more rigidity, while a higher number (the high 3s into the 4s and 5s) indicates a softer feel.
Accra is among the shaft companies that produce a torque profile by taking zone readings – in essence measuring the entire shaft to gain an understanding of how and where the torque is taking place.
Robertson also urges golfers to understand the whole flex profile of their shafts. Producing a single flex description – R, S or X – can be viewed as a simplification of a complex process that deserves more attention.
Why should all golfers seek an understanding of torque and flex? Because they are part of the equation in the loading of the club during the swing.
The element most important in fitting, Robertson insists, is how a golfer loads the club and the shaft. How much torsion – not swing speed – a golfer is producing during the swing is the critical factor. Torsion refers generally to leverage and specifically to the uncoiling of the body during the swing.
“Good fitters look at how you load a club,” he said. “It’s far more important than your swing speed. The question is this: Which shaft profile works best for you?
“Our Accra shafts don’t have a letter flex,” explained Robertson, who designates a letter and a number, such as the intentionally ambiguous M4 used by many touring pros, to classify each shaft. “We don’t want consumers focusing on what flex they have. A flex letter on a shaft is almost irrelevant.
“What you need to know is what profile shaft works for you. It’s the whole profile. Every good shaft company will make very good shafts that fit every type of player. As a smart golfer, you just have to find out which shaft it is.”
The new language of shafts is such that golfers should be talking about separate shaft characteristics in the tip section, mid section and butt section. Most golfers know that tips can be stronger or weaker, but so can the mid section and butt sections.
Know your swing, know your shafts. According to Robertson, this knowledge will pay dividends.