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Jimmy Walker makes a drastic change to ultra-flexible AutoFlex driver shaft

3 Min Read


Jimmy Walker makes a drastic change to ultra-flexible AutoFlex driver shaft

    Written by GolfWRX

    Jimmy Walker has won six PGA TOUR events in his career, including the 2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol.

    While Walker has had a number of years where he ranks high on the PGA TOUR in statistical categories such as Strokes Gained: Putting and Strokes Gained: Approach the Green, he’s mostly struggled off the tee compared to his contemporaries.

    For the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, Walker ranked 80th in Strokes Gained: Off the Tee, but it’s unfortunately been downhill since. He made it inside the top 100 in the category just one other time (he was 85th in 2015-2016) and fell as low as 192nd in 2019-2020.

    Walker is an equipment tinkerer, though, who is constantly on the lookout for improvements he can make to his club setup.

    He’s prepared to go to the extremes, too, as he’s proven recently.

    In 2020, for example, Walker put True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 steel shafts in his driver and 3-wood. Compared with modern-day graphite shafts that typically go into drivers or 3-woods, the steel shafts that Walker experimented with are extremely heavy and stiff. They’re certainly not designed for maximum speed, but Walker was trying to find more consistency.

    Ultimately, the experiment was short-lived, and Walker continued down a more common experimental path, using stiff graphite builds and trying to find the right head-shaft duo to fix his driving woes.

    Flash forward to this year's RBC Heritage, and spotted Walker using a driver and 3-wood shaft that exists on the very opposite end of the spectrum as his former steel shaft experiment.

    A look at Jimmy Walker's AutoFlex shaft. (GolfWRX)

    A look at Jimmy Walker's AutoFlex shaft. (GolfWRX)

    A look at Jimmy Walker's Paradym Triple Diamond driver. (GolfWRX)

    A look at Jimmy Walker's Paradym Triple Diamond driver. (GolfWRX)

    A look at Jimmy Walker's Paradym 3-wood. (GolfWRX)

    A look at Jimmy Walker's Paradym 3-wood. (GolfWRX)

    A few weeks before the start of the RBC Heritage (where Walker led through two rounds), he was noticing a number of local players at his golf club in San Antonio using an AutoFlex shaft.

    You may remember the electric pink AutoFlex shafts from when Adam Scott gave them a try in 2021. The shafts are unique because, unlike most modern shafts you see on the PGA TOUR, the AutoFlex shafts are designed to be much lighter and significantly more flexible. They’re like pink rubber bands that are designed to snap at impact and increase speed.

    Typically, extremely whippy shafts tend to cost accuracy, but the AutoFlex shafts are built with mysterious “KHT,” which stands for Korea Hidden Technology. If the pink colorway, ultra-flexible design, and secretive technology don’t catch your attention, then the price tag will, selling for $790 apiece.

    Intrigued by the local buzz around his home course regarding the shafts, Walker went to the club professional to have him build up AutoFlex 57-gram XX shafts into his Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond driver and Paradym 3-wood.

    As it turned out, the experiment passed Walker’s initial tests. Although he told that the shafts feel “different than anything I’ve ever tried,” he ended up gaining ball speed and finding more accuracy.

    “I love them,” he said.

    Using the new, outlandish shafts, Walker scared the leaderboard at the RBC Heritage. He was leading through two rounds, but a relatively lackluster weekend performance left him at T25.

    More importantly though, the week in Hilton Head showed promise off the tee, which Walker has been chasing for years.

    Did he find his long-term answer? That remains to be seen. But amateurs can learn a lot from Walker’s willingness to test out driver shaft options on opposite ends of the spectrum. You just never know what will work best until you try it all.

    Walker will put the AutoFlex shafts to the test yet again this week at the Mexico Open at Vidanta.

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