Clubmaking 201: Altering the Recommended Tip Trimming

Jeff Summitt Discusses Being Creative With Tip Trimming Charts To Dial In The Ultimate Fit

Properly trimming a golf shaft can be somewhat confusing for the novice clubmaker considering all the different shafts and the number of golf shaft trimming options that are in our catalog or on our website. There is a certain amount of logic involved that goes into the suggested trimming amount for each shaft. The trimming is selected to create a desired flex based upon the weight of each head, the length is might be normally assembled to, plus the length of the parallel tip section of the golf shaft (how long the shaft remains the same diameter as the very tip of the shaft).

In some cases a clubmaker can alter the flex by deviating from what the instructions suggest. Why? On occasion, a golf clubmaker might find it advantageous to trim a different amount than what the manufacturer suggested in order to create a specific flex. But don’t worry you won’t have the Shaft Trimming Police knocking on your door!

By tip trimming less off of the tip than the suggested shaft trimming chart, this will result into a slightly more flexible club, while trimming more off of the tip makes the club stiffer. However, this should only be accomplished if the clubmaker understands the consequences and more importantly if it is at all possible to begin with.

Let’s say we are looking for a heavier graphite shaft for a fairway wood to provide a little more control for a golfer. One example if the UST ProForce V2 75 wood shaft, but it is only available in a stiff or extra stiff flex. Looking at the recommended trimming tells us to follow Trim Chart W5.

Trim Code Driver Acer XV Ultimate Thriver Standard 3 Wood Standard 4 Wood Standard 5 Wood Acer XDS #5 Standard 7 Wood Acer XDS #9 Acer XDS #11 Acer XDS #13 Acer XDS #15
Acer XDS #3 Acer XDS #4 Acer XDS #7
W5 0" 1" 1" 1.5" 2" 2" 2" 2" 2" 2" 2"

However, what if the golfer is not quite strong enough to use the S-flex? The clubmaker can elect to modify the tip trimming to adjust for the player’s swing speed and tempo. Instead of taking off the recommended 2” off of the tip for a 5-wood, taking 1” from the tip will result into something between an R and S-flex shaft. The clubmaker alters the trimming to create something that did not exist before, but ends up fitting the player.

For the ladies flex Acer Velocity, the recommended trimming tells us to follow Trim Chart W3.

Trim Code Driver Acer XV Ultimate Thriver Standard 3 Wood Standard 4 Wood Standard 5 Wood Acer XDS #5 Standard 7 Wood Acer XDS #9 Acer XDS #11 Acer XDS #13 Acer XDS #15
Acer XDS #3 Acer XDS #4 Acer XDS #7
W3 1" 1.5" 1" 1.25" 1.5" 1.75" 2" 2.25" 2.5" 2.75" 3"

This trimming schedule will start out with trimming 1” from the tip of the shaft for a driver. For a very slow swinging woman, you can opt to leave that 1” on the tip creating a softer sub-flex or a flex softer than the normal L-flex. But if you do so with the driver, you would want to trim 1” less off of each fairway wood to provide consistency within the set.

What does tip trimming 1” represent in terms of shaft stiffness?

  • 1” less tip trimming = @ 5 cpm (cycles per minute) lower
  • 1” additional tip trimming = @ 5 cpm higher
  • 10-15 cpm is generally considered by many of as 1 full flex

In our examples above we took off less than what was required, but it is possible to take additionally off of the tip to create a stiffer flex. Often there are times when you cannot take more off of the tip, otherwise you will run out of parallel tip section to be able to insert the shaft into the hosel or have sufficient shaft left to obtain the desired length. It is always helpful to calculate the possibility of trimming additionally prior to cutting the golf shaft. Using the UST shaft above and tipping a driver shaft 1/2 inch more than suggested will make it stiffer by @ 3 cpm.

While there might be certain times that the clubmakers may deviate from the recommended tip trimming procedure by the manufacturer, it is best to follow the normal tip trimming procedures whenever possible. But if you are in doubt or have a question concerning the proper trimming, contact the distributor or manufacturer of the shaft to get a second opinion as manufacturers will not warrant incorrectly cut shafts.

For More Information:

Modern Guide to Golf Clubfitting Book by Jeff Summitt

Includes the latest information related to fitting each and every specification of a golf club. With emphasis on dynamic fitting, this definitive guide incorporates many approaches to a “best fit” situation. Face angle, loft, lie shafts, grip and head selection are all discussed in detail.

The Modern Guide to Clubmaking 6th Edition Book By Jeff Summitt

Explains in detail the proper procedures for modern clubmaking. Step-by-step photos and text explain how to assemble clubs, trim shafts, install grips – every procedure to properly assemble component clubs. Subjects covered are modern shaft installation, grip installation, swingweighting, putter assembly, iron & wood assembly, common questions and many more.