When the first, eye-catching Proforce Gold shaft burst on the scene with Jose Maria Olazabal’s dramatic victory at the 1999 Masters, its revolutionary ‘Proforce Tip Technology’ shook up the golf equipment industry. With countless successes on the professional and top amateur circuits, as well as drawing rave reviews from golfers of all skill levels, the Proforce family of graphite shafts has emerged as one of the most successful graphite shaft series in golf history. The newest model in the family, the Proforce V2, has already created a similar buzz to its predecessor, winning the 2005 Nissan Open and several other events while still in “prototype” status. Now that the Proforce V2 is available for the ‘rest of us’ we decided to get some technical information on the shaft first hand from UST’s resident PGA Professional, Jamie Pipes.
Q: First of all Jamie, this is an addition to the Proforce product line, not a replacement, correct?
A: Yes. It is an addition and an improvement. We will always sell the Proforce Gold as a classic. The new Proforce V2 is designed for today’s heads. It basically has an optimized tip section and lower torque. Our Proforce Tip Technology has enabled us to make the tip more flexible for a higher launch and more ball speed. And yet lower the torque to stabilize the head at impact for less energy loss and greater control!
Q: How important was Tour player feedback in designing this shaft, and how do their needs match up against the need of the avid amateur player?
A: Very Important! Tour players have the most attuned feel and are very picky in the equipment that they use. So Tour acceptance or approval is very important to a products success. The tricky part is designing a product that is strong enough or good enough for the Tour player and yet making it work for the golfer that only plays once a week or once a month. We try to design a wide range or whole family of shafts that have different weight ranges and flexes to fit all golfers. That is why the new Proforce V2 is offered in gram weights of 55, 65, 75, 85 and 95 gram models with flexes that go from L-flex (lite or ladies’), A-flex (amateur or senior), R-flex (regular), S-flex (stiff) to X-flex (extra stiff) and even TX-flex (Tour Extra Stiff).
Q: Can you explain ‘power-to-torque’ ratio, described on the ustgolfshaft.com website?
A: With today’s larger heads, the shaft needs to be stable torsionally so that there is less energy lost at impact. Less energy loss due to the head twisting causes more energy transfer back into the ball. The results are optimum spin rates and higher ball speed.
Q: Which golf equipment manufacturers and clubmakers are offering Proforce V2?
A: The new Proforce V2 is being offer by all the major manufacturers – Titleist will offer it as a stock custom in the same weight category as Speeder, Ping is offering it their WRX department, Callaway and TaylorMade will be offering it soon as custom options.
Q: Is the shaft a good fit for fairway woods?
A: I had several players using it in fairway woods! The heavier weighted shafts make good fairway woods. And it is easy to get the weight progression correct if the golfer wants to have a light driver shaft and then progress up to a heavier shaft in the 3 wood, then even heavier in the 5 wood.
Q: What’s next for UST?
A: As always, Innovative products! We are working on a putter shaft that has some great technology in it!