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In the golf business distance still reigns supreme. Consumers want more and manufacturers are just as motivated to deliver it. However, there are two reasons it’s become harder and harder to find even though the willingness is still there to generate it from both parties. The first element in play is physics. It’s hard to overcome the challenges we are inherited with. The second is the equipment manufacturers must be given the green light by the ruling bodies (USGA and R&A) before a product can come to market. Conforming is the term used to state a product has been given the good housekeeping seal of approval by the regulatory bodies. Each has strict protocols for what a driver, for example, can and can’t do. Even the shaft length is regulated along with other components, such as head volume. Over the years, equipment companies have demonstrated ingenuity many times towards tackling the age-old problem of wanting more. 

In recent years, shaft companies have gone towards weigh reduction to induce faster swing speeds. But weight savings can be redeployed in other means. Recently back weighting, putting weight into the butt end of a grip is attempting to be fashionable. It’s worth noting that over the years, pros and amateurs alike use graphite in the driver, fairway metals and even hybrids. However, steel is still the gold standard in irons and wedges. No one plays steel in their metal woods anymore, which was the impetus for UST Mamiya to begin researching why steel was acceptable in irons but not in metal woods. It found an alternative solution called recoil; a carbon fiber shaft that it believes offers greater performance to steel. During a swing the shaft loads and then unloads or bends during the downswing. In this process the walls of the shaft ovalize, which is the equivalent of a spring effect that stores and releases energy during the swing. According to UST, recoil shafts are 67% more efficient than steel and more responsive than graphite. It results in faster recovery and transfer of energy during the golf swing. It also promised better feel, accuracy and wait for it, longer distances! 

In the graphite side of the shaft business, it isn’t unusual to see some golfers pay $200, $300 or more for a driver shaft. Yet, the big stick will typically only be employed 14 times in any given round. Consider also that many consumers have also become conditioned to picking up a new driver once a year. Some have been known to try multiple versions annually in the name of finding a few more elusive yards! However, players will rely on their irons and shafts, depending on their skill level, 30, 40 or 50 times in any given round. “We hear from players immediately they notice a difference in feel,” said Danny Le, Marketing Manager at UST. “They feel a dampening in vibration.” Considering golf is a game that can be enjoyed for many years, avid players are known to pick up some injuries along the way through practice and play. The softer feel is something that can go a long way not only towards comfort but saving some wear and tear on the body.

The recoil irons feature an ion plating, which gives the product a chrome finish and reinforces to players it appears more like a steel shaft than anything else. Le said for some players recoil offers better ball speeds thanks in part to the ovalization or transfer of energy during the swing. “Many times we also see a tighter dispersion pattern with better players,” he said, however the product can be used by anyone regardless of handicap.

UST believes distance and feel, two major reasons players are attracted to any product, in its recoil shafts can help players improve. For more information on recoil visit: