Groundbreaking gear starts right here.
KBS GOLF SHAFTS [Boulder]
Talk about an upward trajectory. Two months after KBS Tour Shafts hit the market, Kenny Perry used them to win the 2009 FBR Open. Top PGA Tour players and club manufacturers took notice, and five years later, this subsidiary of FEMCO Steel Technologies (FST) trails only True Temper as the world’s leading steel-shaft manufacturer.
The company’s rapid ascension owes to KBS’s Director of R&D and Tour Operations Kim Braly (KBS stands for Kim Braly Signature), a pioneer of shaft Frequency Matching and the creator of the revolutionary Rifle and Project X stepless steel shaft designs. Charged by FST’s founders to create a premier, high-performance line of steel shafts, Braly created lively, lightweight and responsive products that promote minimal dispersion, maximal distance and great feel.
More than 150 Tour players—including Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott and Justin Rose—play KBS. They now come standard on Callaway’s Apex Pro irons, and every major manufacturer carries them, as do fitters across Colorado and the globe.
The benefits of the satin-finished shafts aren’t limited to Tour players and low-handicappers, according to GolfTEC Director of Club Fitting Doug Rikkers,“KBS’s wide range of flex and weight options means they have the right shaft for players of all skill levels.” Braly maintains you “should play as stiff a shaft as you can load,” so players who know their flex preference should count on moving up “half a flex” with KBS.
Tom Wishon Golf Technology [Durango]
By the time he’d started his own company in 2003, Tom Wishon had designed hundreds of clubheads for major golf companies. His creations represent more than 50 different technology firsts (such as the first metal driver head larger than 350cc) and have “inspired” some of the best-selling models of all time.
His club-making prowess dovetails with his club-fitting expertise. He has authored nine books—including The Search for the Perfect Golf Club—and expects all of his designs to undergo intense personalization with a TWGT fitter listed on his website.
TWGT’s newest offerings take fitting to a previously unseen degree of precision. Using non-alloyed CP grade titanium (instead of the nonflexible industry-standard 6Al/4V alloy), Wishon’s 919THI driver features the first-ever bendable titanium hosel, which allows fitters to offer golfers any lie angle and face angle within a +/-4˚ range.
Club-fitters can achieve the same degree of adjustability with Wishon’s 771CSI irons. These sweet cavitybacks are made of 1020C carbon steel and feature a cambered sole and blunted leading edge for greater playability, as well a variable-thickness face made of high-strength HS300 steel for greater forgiveness.
Black Magic Golf [Westminster]
First, hybrid technology took the long irons out of our bags. Now the hybrids have come for our short irons and our wedges—yes, wedges. Black Magic Wedges are available in 37˚, 48˚, 52˚, 56˚ and 60˚ models, but the most critical degree is zero. That’s the bounce angle at impact, which allows the club’s leading edge to slide forward and under the ball—even if you hit an inch or two behind it. The wedge’s wide sole and hosel-free face-forward design promote cleaner contact from tight lies, deep grass and sand, as well as greater forgiveness on chunked shots. The resulting consistency in spin, trajectory and distance leads to greater confidence around the greens.
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