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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    Bryson DeChambeau’s graphite putter shaft part of larger trend

  • Bryson DeChambeau using a multi-material LA Golf shaft. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)Bryson DeChambeau using a multi-material LA Golf shaft. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The steel putter shaft has been around since the early 20th century. Times are changing, however, and a new craze has hit the PGA TOUR. Pros are now using a variety of materials in the shafts of their putters. Graphite shafts aren’t just for drivers anymore.

FedExCup leader Bryson DeChambeau is no stranger to experimentation and is the highest-profile player to find success with a multi-material LA Golf shaft. The 27-year-old used the putter shaft on his way to victory at last year’s U.S. Open and continues to use it in his SIK Pro C.

As more and more TOUR pros branch out and eschew steel shafts in their putters, we thought now was a good time to take a closer look at pros who are utilizing this new technology:

LA Golf Shaft

Along with DeChambeau, Kevin Na and Rickie Fowler have also experimented with the brand's shafts in their putter over the past two seasons

As with DeChambeau's irons, his LA Golf C2L-180 shaft is made 100 percent from graphite, allowing engineers greater control over the shaft parameters. The other benefit to the graphite construction, in contrast to traditional steel, is that graphite has a much higher strength-to-weight ratio, which provides greater stability.

The shaft, which helped deliver the Californian's maiden major, also utilizes a proprietary internal laminate material that gives this extremely stiff, extremely low torque shaft a highly responsive feel at impact.

Earlier this year, Rickie Fowler was experimenting with an LA Golf “TPZ One 35” shaft, which featured high-end materials strategically positioned to keep the head from twisting at impact. However, in recent weeks, Fowler has returned to a traditional steel shaft in the putter.

Odyssey Stroke Lab

Odyssey's Stroke Lab shaft is another multi-material shaft that has been used recently on TOUR, including by Marc Leishman and 2018 Open Champion Francesco Molinari.

Molinari switched to the shaft in 2019, which features graphite top sections and steel tips that are 40 grams lighter than a standard Odyssey steel shaft, with the heads made slightly heavier.

The construction of the Stroke Lab shaft combines both graphite and steel to weigh in at just 75 grams.

The latest iteration of the Stroke Lab shaft is red rather than black. Jon Rahm, who became a Callaway staffer this year, was spotted using the shaft earlier this year.

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Marc Leishman using the Stroke Lab red shaft. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

KBS CT Tour Putter Shaft

While still a steel shaft, many pros opt for the black PVD finish on this shaft instead of the traditional chrome. The KBS CT Tour putter shaft was constructed for players seeking greater feel. The CT features a firm profile with a particularly stiff tip and structure. The firmer profile allows players to have greater control of the putter.

Stability Shaft

Billed as "the fastest-growing putter shaft across all tours," the Stability Shaft utilizes eight layers of high modulus carbon fiber. These layers are wrapped and widened with a no-taper design to aid in reducing torsional rotation.

The shaft has the same weight as a traditional steel putter shaft but without being too stiff. It features a low-density 22-gram aluminum insert to reinforce flexural rigidity.

In addition, a 7075 aluminum connector that is five times stiffer than a steel shaft helps to reinforce the putter and further stabilize the head for more consistent putts.

Among notable players, Justin Rose used the Stability Shaft in 2018.

So there you have it. When a player is on the putting green at a PGA TOUR event and you don't see that familiar glimmer of steel when he's rolling the rock, more than likely, he has one of the above shafts in his putter.

 

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Justin Rose using the Stability Shaft in 2018 at the Zurich Classic. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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