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The Club Doctors For those who want to discuss or would like advice on club making, club repair and/or fitting.

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Old 07-20-2009, 05:38 PM
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Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

Can someone explain how you 'tip' a shaft to some desirable degree and how do you determine what that will be? Is this by trial and error? Is soft-stepping another name for tip trimming (don't know where I picked that up from)?

If you shorten a shaft, which end do you shorten, butt or tip? and do they do different things if you did one or the other?
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:57 PM
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

Usually there is some guide to tipping certain shafts to get close to a desired flex if they are meant to be tip trimmed for flex. Some are butt trim only. Softstepping is using say a 3 iron shaft in a 4 iron, a 4 iron shaft in a 5 iron etc. etc.
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Old 07-21-2009, 02:03 AM
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

Soft or hard stepping will change overall flex about 1/3 +/- per step...butt trim to desired length...tipping doesn't necessarily change flex...some shafts (Stultz) stiffen noticably when butt trimmed but nothing much from tipping...some shafts are more sensitive than others, but in terms of cpm's, tipping isn't doing to much in terms of overall flex profile alteration...it may drop spin a little, will certainly make it feel stiffer alot of the time, and might reduce torque...check to see the parallel tip lenght...those shafts with 4" or more are generally less sensitive to tipping and you can incrementally trial and error it...there are base guidelines available on shaft mfg. websites for standard tipping lenghths for drivers and fairways, but beyond that it is a fair bit of trial and error, though an experienced builder can take you by the hand and give some well studied advice and save you extra trips to the shop...
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Old 07-21-2009, 12:21 PM
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

.

I soft-step my irons to more closely replicate the feel of a taper-tip shaft. I sort of grew up on taper tips and when parallel tips became the norm, to me they were noticeably stiffer in feel. Soft-stepping allows me to gain a bit more flex in the tip and takes a bit of the "boardy-ness" out of the shaft.

My driver is just the opposite. While I love the kick that the V2 shaft has in its tip section, I found that it felt a bit too "whippy", so I tipped it 1/2-inch to make it feel a bit stiffer. Now I get the benefit of its design along with a feel that more closely approximates that of the X-100 steel shaft I played for years.

All shafts come with tipping instructions and even though a 1-iron isn't generally used anymore, the tipping "progression" usually starts from the 1-iron and continues down through the rest of the irons. A True Temper Dynamic Gold iron shaft (parallel tip), comes in a standard length of 41-inches and the "1-iron" shaft goes in untipped, followed by the 2-iron tipped 1/2-inch and all subsequent clubs are tipped 1/2-inch more as they progress down to the wedges.

With stepped shafts (like Dynamic Gold shafts) the location of the "first step" in relation to the hosel is what determines its overall tip stiffness. Soft-stepping brings that dimension farther from the hosel resulting in a softer feel and "hard-stepping" brings the first step closer to the hosel for a firmer feel. Tipping in general does little to effect ball flight and has more to do with comfort than anything else. However, tipping a shaft at one inch or more will begin to have an effect on flight characteristics.

The old "Rule of Thumb" for drivers used to be that driver shafts were not tipped at all and all other wood shafts were progressively tipped afterward. But today, many manufacturers recognize that some people prefer a softer feel in the tip of a driver (or that many people like to experiment), so they are making driver shafts "tip-able" so that if your preference is to soft-step a driver (by not tipping it at all), you can do it and not affect the overall design of the shaft and that a "standard" driver shaft will require that 1/2-inch be removed from the tip before installing the shaft while hard-stepping will require more.

Butt trimming used to be done simply to cut the shaft to its final length. But in recent years it's been determined that butt trimming has an effect on feel (and sometimes performance) so that now, the combination of tip and butt trimming are both considered in order to establish a truly custom fit shaft profile. But no matter what shaft you're using or what instructions come with it, there is and will always be an element of guesswork and experimentation required in order to come up with something that really works well for a given player.


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Last edited by JPsuff : 07-21-2009 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 03:36 AM
laquintaboy82 laquintaboy82 is offline
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

how would i find the right length shaft for my body type what i mean is im 5'8 with long arms and semi short legs so my arms hang pretty low.where would i look to find the right length and flex? to keep the same distance?i struggle with hitting the ball heavy as i cant get in an athletic position and when i choke down its harder to get the ball in the air. help
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Old 11-13-2009, 02:41 PM
OnePutt OnePutt is offline
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

You need to measure the distance from your wrist to the ground. This is what is used to determine the proper club length for all golfers. Golfsmith has a chart you can look at and fine what club lengths are right for YOU.
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Old 11-15-2009, 09:49 AM
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

OK, but once you do that, how do you decide whether to trim from the shaft tip or the butt end (to cut it down to length)? ...and once you do that, you can't reverse it, lol.

...ok, just read JP's post above which sort of explains it....but it seems you have to already have had an idea of the shaft playability by prior experience that warrants doing any tipping?

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Originally Posted by OnePutt View Post
You need to measure the distance from your wrist to the ground. This is what is used to determine the proper club length for all golfers. Golfsmith has a chart you can look at and fine what club lengths are right for YOU.
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Last edited by Bulls9999 : 11-15-2009 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:45 PM
OnePutt OnePutt is offline
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

Bull, As JP mentioned, just about EVERY shaft company will give a RECOMMENDED tip triming guide for every shaft they offer. You can go to the shaft website for this guide, or go to Golfsmith's site for the same info. You also have to understand that it makes a big difference in how this Soft or Hard stepping will work, depending on if the shaft in question has a STIFF of SOFT TIP SECTION.

With most IRONS, you should TIP trim the shafts to the specs you get for the shafts your are using. Then you BUTT trim the shafts to final club length you require. That's about it. Pretty simple really. If you buy a SET of shafts, like the Rifle Project X, the shafts in the set will COME TIP trimmed already. Then all you have to do is BUTT trim to length. Again, it's pretty simple.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:05 PM
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

OnePutt, I know about the tip trimming...I've seen those instructions. My question was, how would I know whether to trim or not? Is that something you have to already experience with the shaft and THEN DECIDE it needs to be stiffer or softer? But with no prior knowledge/experience with a shaft, why/how would you make the decision to trim x-amount or at all? So you install one...use it, then decide if you need to change it, you pull it and trim it and try it again?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OnePutt View Post
Bull, As JP mentioned, just about EVERY shaft company will give a RECOMMENDED tip triming guide for every shaft they offer. You can go to the shaft website for this guide, or go to Golfsmith's site for the same info. You also have to understand that it makes a big difference in how this Soft or Hard stepping will work, depending on if the shaft in question has a STIFF of SOFT TIP SECTION.

With most IRONS, you should TIP trim the shafts to the specs you get for the shafts your are using. Then you BUTT trim the shafts to final club length you require. That's about it. Pretty simple really. If you buy a SET of shafts, like the Rifle Project X, the shafts in the set will COME TIP trimmed already. Then all you have to do is BUTT trim to length. Again, it's pretty simple.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:13 PM
OnePutt OnePutt is offline
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Re: Shaft soft-stepping or tipping?

YES; that's pretty much what you would have to do if you don't know how a certain shaft will perform compared to another. You should also do a Spine and FLO alignment on every shaft you use, so you know if you are installing it so it will play as soft or as firm as is possible with that shaft. This can make a big difference in overall flex of just about any shaft you have.
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