Bryson DeChambeau is known for frequently tweaking his equipment. His most recent obsession is shaft puring, so what is it and how did Scottsdale use their puring maching to dial in his clubs?
After a frustrating week at Hoylake, Bryson DeChambeau was not fully content with the performance of his golf clubs and instantly decided something needed to be done.
In the past, Bryson has had his clubs pured, but it is a habit he hasn’t kept up with during recent rounds of club testing. Being the Mad Scientist he is, he was curious if his performance was being hindered by the performance of his shaft, so he quickly set to work looking for somewhere local to Royal Liverpool that could get his clubs dialled in.
Scottsdale Golf work with SST Pure Shaft Alignment technology to provide a golf shaft puring process. They have one of only two SST Puring Shaft machines in the United Kingdom. So when Bryson called enquiring about where he could get his golf shafts pured, he was directed to their custom fitting facility in Warrington.
It is pretty mental to think the American had his full-set rebuild at a fitting centre in the North-west of England.
What is puring a golf shaft?
Every golf shaft you use, whether it is made from steel or graphite, is created by being rolled from a flat piece of material. This means naturally, at some point, there ends up being a seam on the shaft where the two ends of the roll meet and overlap. This is known as the spine. There are also tolerances in shaft manufacturing processes that mean shafts aren’t always perfectly circular or have perfectly consistent wall thicknesses.
The problem with having this spine and inconsistencies in the shaft is that when a golf club is built, installing the shaft is done without any acknowledgement of where these things are. This means the shaft can perform less than optimally as the club can twist and bend offline during the swing. These can lead to inconsistencies between clubs and also an increase in dispersion.
What is the puring process?
I wanted to know how Scottsdale use the puring process to take a shaft that is oscillating and improve the performance. Luckily Scottsdale’s master club builder Liam Hunt was on hand to explain.
“You put the golf shaft into the machine, and then it would simulate a force going through the shaft. It’s clamped down at one end, and then it puts the shaft under strain, and it analyses the golf shaft by rotating the golf shaft 180 degrees. This basically finds any imperfections in the shaft.
The machine gives us a graph of what the shaft is doing in terms of its profile. Where it’s softer, where it’s weaker, where it’s bending more, etc, etc. Once it has analysed just the shaft, we simulate a head weight, we put some weight onto the end of the shaft to simulate a club head, and then the machine will put some more force through the shaft.
What you’ll see with a shaft that’s not pure is it will go around in a circle. So it will oscillate, it will go around in circles, essentially. So that would be what Bryson’s golf shaft would have been doing while he was on his downswing.
So, what the puring machine then does is find the strongest part of the shaft, which is the spine. So once it has located the spine, it will show us how much it’s improved on a graph.
So compared to what it was non-pure to what it is once, it’s been pured. This tells us how much the improvement is and how much the oscillation is reduced.
Some of Bryson’s shafts improved by about 60 to 65%. So yeah, quite a big improvement. He was quite pleased with that. Then the machine will then draw a line on the golf shaft for us to tell us how to build it. We glue that shaft into the head with the line/spine on top straight into the club head which creates that stable orientation.
The machine essentially analyses the structure of each shaft and determines its most stable bending plane or most neutral axis.
How does puring change performance?
I was curious if Bryson noticed a change in how his clubs felt after he went through the puring process and also how this might have affected his overall performance. Here is what Chris had to say.
“What you’ll generally find when you have a golf shaft that’s pured is that it will feel like the golf shaft is a slightly stiffer flex, and it will also feel like there is less lag. The golf club moves more with the player’s rotation, so it feels like it doesn’t get stuck behind as much. It will also generally feel like the shaft just wants to stay on the plane more.
So when Bryson is swinging that club on the downswing 120 miles an hour as he does. It will just feel like the club wants to stay on the plane that he’s trying to swing on. It’s not going to feel like it’s going to shallow out or go more upright, essentially.
The first thing he said when he hit shots afterwards was he was just amazed at how easy it felt to swing the golf club. It didn’t feel like he had to adapt his hands or his body to rescue the shot in a way. I think his greens in regulations was 79% the following week. So that puring has clearly helped.”
If you want to book a fitting at Scottsdale Golf you can do here.
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