An Introduction to TBAR ™
By Carter Penley
Over the years of designing composite golf shafts I have had the opportunity to analyze golf shaft failures ‘structural, physical, mechanical and design anomalies.
Of the above mentioned failures design anomalies are the most difficult to dissect and analyze unlike structural and or mechanical failures which usually exhibit telltale clues; anomalies do not. Not only is there not an obvious, visual or a logical path to a remedy but there is also a compounding factor of the anomaly affect and that factor is the player.
I became most aware of this problem through feedback from our tour van based on feedback specifically from the touring professionals. Tour players would often request a backup club, say a driver, our tour van would build them a backup driver only to discover that it did not (according to the player) match the playability of their primary driver. Most tour players have the ability to make muscular and mental adjustments to correct for the difference. Many players do not like to nor can many at the less than professional levels of play make the required adjustments.
So I initiated a study to define why and how these anomalies manifest themselves. To initiate this study as a designer I had to step away from the mechanical, structural and geometrical analysis side of golf shaft design and become more practical and analytical. This method of study soon centered on the primary mechanical measurements we tend to rely on and have become the basic design drivers most as we have come to accept for golf shaft performance factors.
As a primary manufacturer of composite golf shafts I spend a great deal of time on design analysis, product development and testing. In my observations I have recognized in my opinion a basic flaw in the standard criteria of golf shafts, essentially in the method in which ‘flex’ and the much misunderstood term ‘kick point’ is measured and their relationship.
The result I call TBAR™ which is a way to measure and tune the relationship between the golf shafts butt flex and tip flex, which I believe has more impact on the performance of a golf shaft and or club. This process in my opinion also allows for better fitting of a player by club builders and teaching professionals.
I have written a thesis consisting of six articles and will publish them in five following issues of the ‘Penley Newsletter’.
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