Britt and Jim, could you do a brief review of the KBS line and explain its strengths over True Temper and others for better players. Also, your preferred or most recommended driver shafts, again, for better ball-strikers. Thank you! Michael
The KBS brand has definitely come on the last 5 years. I could not say that it is better than True Temper or Nippon, but it simply has different options. Full disclosure I have a set of TS1 irons with KBS S-Taper and I have a set of DBM with original Project X Rifle shafts. Like them both. I have also done extensive testing with Nippon and could put a Modus product in my bag tomorrow. I just might put a set of Nippon in play this spring. Who knows. So, that being said, first I will give you a few thoughts on the KBS line. In steel, they seem to have everything covered and then they come out with something else. This year the new $-Taper Lite will appear. I have tested and it is good. I really liked it. KB (Kim Braly), who I have known personally for 30 years, is a true technician when it comes to design. Each design has a purpose and he backs it up with numbers. They do a great job on their product videos explaining the details of the designs and the types of shots you could expect from each design. Kim’s dad Dr. Braly designed the original Rifle shaft and Kim told me the $-Taper is similar in playability to that original Rifle. The FLT is their flighted set and it does well. C-Taper is the lowest trajectory shaft they build and does play stiff, in my opinion. Great for strong guys needing to keep it down. Tour V was designed for Phil several years ago and they put it in the line. Lighter weight and produces less spin. The Tour is the flagship and the best seller in the line. Part of that is probably that it is a few dollars less expensive, but it competes with Dynamic Gold, but is more of a mid trajectory to Dynamic Golds lower trajectory. The Tour 90 and 105 options are the lighter weight, slightly higher trajectory versions of the Tour. They have had great success with some OEM companies with these models and they continue to do well. True Temper came out with the Dynamic Gold 105 and 120 last year apparently to compete with the KBS options. The TT options are good shafts as well and Nippon has the Modus in 130, 125,120 and 105 options. Again, all solid options. TT has the AMT line that is trajectory based and this year has come out with the Elevate VSS, which are lightweight higher trajectory steel shaft options with a new version of the Sensicore inside (called VSS now, not Sensicore).
KBS makes good products, as do True Temper and Nippon. True Temper is still has the most market share, but both KBS and Nippon have increased their share and True Tempers share has decreased over the last several years. They all make good product. We will all have our preferences and some models of one manufacturer may be better than a similar model from another, but that could vary from player to player.
Driver shafts for better ball strikers is a tough one because every player is unique. I can only go by what I have seen and had success with with better players over the last year. The Diamana BF Series and the Tensei CK Orange have worked well. I still have success with the Diamana S+ that we still sell (MR0034), for the exclusive price of $99.00. Graphite Design Tour AD DI still does well. It is the best selling over $300 dollar shaft we sell. The Ti Fiber by Aerotech is a shaft that came out last year and has not been discovered by many, but has some fans. I have a clubmaking friend in Florida that has ordered like 10 of them and says every person he puts them in picks up 10 yards. I can’t verify that, but I trust what he says. Had some success with a few players with the Paderson product last year and I really like the newer versions this year. Will be interesting to see how they do when we get a player that might fit into one. Very well made and really good shafts. Had some success with the Fuji Amos Tour Black as well. When price is an issue, the UST ProForce V2 and the Aldila RIP Alpha are still great options.
Not sure if that helps, but that’s what I got for now. Thanks for question and sorry I missed you at the show. Was a quick trip for me.