Pure is a word that is thrown around a lot on the golf course.
“I hit that iron shot so pure” or “That drive was pure” is common golf slang among players. But sometimes puring refers not to the contact you made on a shot but your golf clubs themselves.
So what is puring a golf shaft? How does it impact performance? How much does it cost? Is there a significant difference and does it lead to better performance?
We’ll address all those questions and more to learn about this advanced club fitting process to see if it’s right for you.
Pureing Golf Clubs 101
Before getting into this process it is important to note that it’s spelled multiple ways but means the same things. Some fitter says “puring” while others say “pureing”or “pured shaft.”
Puring a golf shaft is basically a way to make sure the shaft you bought matches the expected specifications. The goal is to find the best orientation of your shaft in a build shop to help you hit more consistent golf shots.
You can learn more about the SST Pure process on YouTube here.
- Puring golf shafts is a process done by club fitters to check the integrity of your shaft to ensure it’s in the most stable orientation.
- Puring a shaft costs $30 to $40 per shaft, which can get expensive if you check all of your irons. You can also find the ideal orientation through the SST puring process with your current set up clubs as well and might notice a difference immediately.
- While it’s not cheap, it’s a great investment in your game as proper shafts can help improve distance, accuracy, and feel.
Keep reading to learn more about puring a golf shaft and see if it can help your game.
Pureing a Golf Shaft
Unfortunately, in golf – like any industry – you can get a “lemon” when it comes to a shaft. This can negatively affect your performance and wonder if it’s the club or something in your swing.
As Club Champion said, “Structural imperfections may give a shaft its personality, but they can also lead to inconsistencies that your body needs to overcome during a golf swing. SST PUREing pinpoints imperfections to find the ideal plane of oscillation to minimize or eliminate those inconsistencies. Additionally, any shaft can be PUREd: graphite, steel or otherwise.”
You can test the quality of your shaft by going through an SST Pure analysis. This ensures it’s attached to the club in the most effective way possible.
Here is how Golf.com described it, “A shaft bends forward and down during the downswing into impact. So if the soft side, or most bendy part, of the shaft is aligned on the side of the club that’s closest to the target, then it stands to reason that you’d get more variation on a shaft that is bending more rather than less.
SST Pure recommends ‘puring’ the shaft and orienting it into the club head with the hard side or stiffest side toward the target; that will cut down on the total amount of variation.”
Puring a shaft will help identify any inconsistencies compared to the expected design.
This will help any club builder create the most stable design that matches the specifications. Ultimately, it means ensuring that you didn’t get a lemon and can’t blame the club if you’re hitting it “pure.” Whether you want to check your six iron or driver shaft, this process works for all types of clubs.
SST Pure Shaft Alignment Process
SST Pure shaft alignment finds the most stable bending plane (neutral axis) of your shaft. This helps ensure the club is attached to the shaft in the optimal position for more consistency and better feel.
If you want to get your golf clubs checked to ensure they’re setting you up for success, you’ll need to find an SST Pure licensee. They have fitters throughout the USA and international fitters all over the world.
The cost of pureing a shaft is about $35 with new builds as it’s much easier to go through this process before your clubs are assembled. Otherwise, you’ll need to get retropure for clubs that are already assembled.
This costs more than double (about $80 per shaft) as they have to disassemble the club, pure it, and glue it back together. They’ll send you the shafts back with an arrow for the ideal shaft orientation for a perfectly straight shaft.
Benefits of Puring Golf Clubs
As you can tell, this process isn’t the easiest (especially compared to re-gripping a club). But it can help your game a lot – here’s how…
The first major benefit is that it can increase your distances. Some robot testing has found that a pure’d shaft vs a non-pure’d shaft can result in 5-8 yards difference. Which is nearly a full club difference in your mid to short irons.
More distance is a result of more club head speed, ball speed, and higher smash factor. Swinging a pure’d club can result in more speed and thus more distance.
The second benefit is that pure’d shafts can “feel” better which leads to more playability. Golfers who tested pure’d shafts vs. non-pure’d shafts found they had more control, more predictability, and better mishits.
The final benefit is that pure’d golf shafts can also lead to improved accuracy as well. Studies have shown that it can improve shot dispersion dramatically for much better misses. This of course will result in more greens in regulation and hopefully more birdie putts.
As you can see, there are tons of benefits to getting your shafts perfectly round.
Other Ways to Customize Golf Shafts
Puring a golf shaft is one of the ways to upgrade your equipment but there are a few other common club fitting techniques. Here is a quick recap that can make your shafts even more customized to your golf swing.
Soft step (or soft-stepping) is when a fitter will trim less than what the manufacturer suggests.
Because you might be between two flexes. For example, your swing speed might be between regular and stiff flex.
A club fitter can then trim the irons differently to find a flex that is between regular and stiff flex. In this example you could trim a 6-iron like a 5-iron. This is known as soft-stepping once and decreases the stiffness by a quarter flex.
Club fitters can also soft-step twice to make it a half flex difference. It’s important to note that you’ll need to soft step all irons and wedges so the set matches your swing speed.
Hard stepping is another club fitting method that can help if you’re between flexes. This is where a fitter will trim more than the amount suggested by the manufacturer for a stiffer shaft.
Learn more about a golf shaft tipping here.
The other main adjustment a fitter can make is to shorten or lengthen a current club in your bag. This can help with trajectory, spin, and distance depending on your swing speed.
If you trim a shaft it will make it stiffer and why we don’t recommend trimming adult sized clubs for junior golfers. If you lengthen a shaft it can add more flex but also create a wider shot dispersion as well.
Learn how to reshaft a golf club here.
FAQs About Golf Shafts
Do you have more questions about finding the right golf shafts for your game? If so, keep reading through the most frequently asked questions and answers now.
What is SST Pure?
Getting your shaft SST pured is a method to remove any irregularities with your shafts. As SST Pure said, “Golf shafts aren’t perfectly straight or perfectly round. Studies have shown that irregularities in a shaft’s structure cause off-line bending and twisting during the golf swing.”
This can negatively impact your consistency and lead to bigger misses. But when a club is assembled in the SST pure’d orientation it can lead to more consistency within your set.
Can you PURE graphite shafts?
Yes, you can pure both graphite and steel shafts.
This ensures that every club in your bag can help you gain more consistency. Whether you use a big box golf store like Club Champion, PGA Tour Superstore, or a local store they can help with a pured shaft – whether it’s graphite or steel.
Do PGA Tour pros pure their shafts?
As you can imagine professional golfers will do just about anything to improve their performance. Better finishes mean more money, more job security, and more chances to get into big events.
This is why a lot of professionals pure their golf shafts. Since every shot counts (literally) they need to make sure their shafts are doing what they’re designed to do.
According to the same True Spec article from above, “Almost $2 billion has been won on the professional tours by golfers with PUREd shafts. Everyone from Tiger Woods to Lexi Thompson has experienced the benefits of SST PUREd shafts during a tournament.”
Is puring a golf shaft worth it?
Yes, the SST pure machine can get your club heads and shafts working together to improve ball flight and overall consistency. It’s easiest to get this done when ordering custom clubs but you can have your current set looked at as well.
The SST pure process is a newer method in the golf industry but it can do wonders for your game. Start with one shaft, play golf with it, and see if you notice a difference. If so, you can get more clubs checked.
Who created the SST pure process?
The SST pure process was created by Dick Weiss, a clubmaker and Florida businessman who wanted to ensure golf clubs were helping players. According to the website this process has yielded more than $2 billion from players who have used the SST pure process.
In 25 years of playing this great game I can say I’ve never had my shafts pured before.
I’m not discounting the process at all, I’ve just never felt the need to try it. But after learning about how a shaft oscillates and the impact it can have on your golf game, I might need to try it out!
However, I can say that playing the right shafts for your swing makes a massive difference.
Too many golfers focus on the clubhead and grip but neglect the shaft. When in reality the right shafts are just as important (if not more important) than the clubs themselves.
When it comes to woods, picking the right driver shaft is key to a good tee box strategy. Flex is pretty easy to pick based on swing speed but the shaft characteristics (including weight and kickpoint) can make a huge difference in total carry distance.
With irons, it’s important to test out different weights and shafts to see how it impacts your tempo and ball striking. Plus, don’t forget to change shafts if you get into speed training and regular workouts as well.
Final Thoughts on SST Pure Shaft Alignment
Don’t forget shaft companies aren’t perfect and the manufacturing process doesn’t always yield a perfectly round shaft. While they have quality control measures in place, you still might get a “lemon” which can affect your golf ball performance.
Puring a golf shaft might sound like an extra cost and a lot of work but it’s a great investment if you play a ton of golf. There’s a reason that the best golfers in the world put their equipment through this rigorous process – it works!
Pure’d golf shafts can help with:
- More consistency.
- Better feel, especially on mishits.
- Longer distance – sometimes up to 8–10 yards.
- Tighter shot dispersion (which means more fairways and more greens).
As you can imagine, pretty much every golfer wants these benefits.
If you get fit for new clubs in the near future, make sure to inquire about puring them as new builds to save money. If you love your set and don’t want new clubs but want the benefits, look into a repuring process as well.
Do you know anyone that has gone through the pureing process? Have you got your clubs pured?
Let us know in the comments below.
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