September 02, 2021
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- A close look at the Mitsubishi TENSEI 1K Pro White shaft. (Courtesy of Mitsubishi)
Mitsubishi TENSEI 1K Pro White shafts represent the next evolution of the company’s premium low launch, low spin shaft option. Engineers utilized an abundance of high-tech materials in the creation of the successor to the popular CK Pro White — foremost among these is the 1K Fiber that gives the shaft its name.
Super-premium 1K Fiber is three times thinner than Carbon Kevlar, and it produces a tighter, more consistent weave. According to Mitsubishi, this allows for the transmission of more high-frequency vibrations through the shaft to create a signature “1K feel.” In other words, pure shots feel really pure, and on the other side of the coin, it’s easier to tell when a shot hasn’t been struck in the center of the face: a valuable piece of feedback.
“The TENSEI 1K series is the result of a years-long collaboration with our team in Japan. TENSEI 1K is the most premium TENSEI part we’ve ever made and uses the most premium materials and most advanced shaft construction technologies we currently have. We pulled out all the stops to try to bring the best shaft we’ve ever made into golfers’ hands across the globe,” said Mark Gunther, VP of Sales and Marketing
While the fiber gets top billing, It’s the combination of the 1K Fiber and new XLINK Tech Resin System that showcases the company’s commitment to premium materials and performance.
As a refresher, resin binds the layers of a golf shaft together. Unique to Mitsubishi Chemical, XLINK Tech Resin System is an innovative dual-phase process that creates a carbon-rich structure that is universally stronger, while still remaining responsive. According to Gunther, “Tech bonded structures are both higher modulus and higher elongation, two key factors we look for to improve stability.”
Tod Boretto, Composite Engineering Executive at Mitsubishi Chemical, broke things down further on the 1K front.
What does “1K” refer to exactly?
TB: 1K Fiber describes the number of individual carbon fiber filaments that are contained with a fiber bundle. These fiber bundles contain 1,000 (1K) individual filaments of carbon fiber that are smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Normally a carbon fiber bundle, commonly referred to as a "tow" bundle, contains upwards of 3,000 to 12,000 filaments which makes the layers of the carbon weave much thicker and heavier than a carbon weave made from 1K fiber.
What does 1K Fiber allow engineers to do, for lack of a better word?
TB: The very thin-lightweight nature of the 1K weave allows us to place this layer on the outside of the layered composite construction in the upper section of the shaft where the wall thickness is much thinner than compared to the tip section of the shaft.
By placing this thin-lightweight 1K weave in the upper section of the shaft, we minimize the thin section of the shaft from ovalizing during the swing under the loads applied by the golfer. This provides superior stability and minimizes tube deflection. It increases accuracy and face placement of the head at impact.
Anything else you’d like to mention about 1K Fiber?
TB: An added benefit to the golfer is that the 1K weave is comprised solely of carbon fiber compared to prior TENSEI Designs, which included kevlar/carbon and our proprietary Aluminum Vapor technology. By eliminating the use of materials like Kevlar and Aluminum Vapor, the 1K transmits vibrations from impact faster and over a broader range of frequencies thusly providing critical feedback to the golfer as to where they struck the ball on the face.
In other words, ball strikes on the toe or heel of the clubface are more easily felt by the golfer, which allows the golfer to make a swing adjustment while on the course and not in front of a launch monitor.
A final element of the TENSEI 1K Pro White shaft story is the implementation of GEARS 3D motion capture system, which allows Mitsubishi Chemical engineers to measure both the golfer and club simultaneously. Nodes are placed on the club head and shaft to measure how the shaft twists, deflects, droops, loads, etc. For the company, it’s extremely useful to validate new products and prototypes, but equally valuable when it shows designers where to make corrections and adjustments.
Zane Nuttall, Manager of Product Development and Innovation on GEARS: “We have always thoroughly tested our products with robotics and player tests. As we continued to apply more resources within this process, we began to work with the GEARS motion capture system to analyze the shaft’s behavior in 3D motion. This allows us to validate existing structures and qualify developmental structures. As we continue to grow, it is important to take our testing processes and systems to the next level.”
Weights and flexes
TENSEI Pro White 1K 50 (R, S, X, TX Flex)
TENSEI Pro White 1K 60 (R, S, X, TX Flex)
TENSEI Pro White 1K 70 (S, X, TX Flex)
TENSEI Pro White 1K 80 (S, X, TX Flex)
This special production will be available only at MCA authorized retailers and dealers with a suggested retail price of $500. (Click here for more information)