Bill Lange of True Temper Sports sits down with Hurricane GolfHurricane Golf's Jason Hiland recently sat down with Bill Lange of True Temper Sports to discuss his thoughts and insights on where the shaft industry is heading. Bill has over 20 years of dedicated experience in the golf business.

Can you explain why the shaft is so important in a golf club? There is a saying “the shaft is the engine of the club” and that is true. The shaft is what delivers the club to the ball which is why it is so important to get fit for the proper shaft for your swing, not for someone else’s swing. Proper weight, flex and bend point must be fit to the individual swinging the club.

What new technologies do you see in the future for both steel and graphite? With steel we are working on visual technologies that you will see in new products coming out over the next 24 months. We do use multiple alloys depending on the shaft design but our engineers are still limited on how we can form a steel shaft. With graphite the ceiling is higher. We currently utilize the highest grade graphite material available and are finding new ways to design shafts that match specific player profiles and not relying on a one size fits all mentality.

Can you explain how your firm helps OEM companies match up a shaft to their design. Or in other words, How does the process of working with a major OEM work from start to finish? With some OEM’s it is a very collaborative effort. These companies will usually provide target specs and playability requirements and then both companies will do extensive testing until the design meets that original criteria. Other companies want to go with what is hot on tour or in the market place or be on the front end of one of our new product launches. In those cases True Temper is in total control of the development process and provides a finished product to the OEM.

What is your most popular shafts played on the PGA Tour? In regards to both irons and woods. Also how many players per week use one of your 3 brands? True Temper usually has 70-75% of the iron shafts in play each week on the PGA Tour. True Temper Dynamic Gold is still by the far the most popular iron shaft. Project X is a strong #2 and then the rest of the sets in play are a few different models of ours and some competitor shafts. Graphite irons only account for 3% of the sets. With woods our Project X line of graphite is what we push. There are a number of different models and prototypes currently being played many of the players. In a typical week we will have 40 graphite shafts in play.

Is there any current models being played and tested on the major tours that will be in production for 2016? And if so what models are they are what benefits are the players seeing? Right now there are 2 new steel iron shafts and 2 new graphite wood shafts. There is a new Dynamic Gold shaft with ascending weight technology that has been really popular already. A new Project X steel shaft has been out on tour for testing for about a month with a few players making the switch to it. The two new graphite wood shafts are Project X branded and we have seen a lot of positive feedback so far. About 20 players have already put one of those 2 shafts in play. All 4 of these shafts will be available to the public through different distribution channels by the end of 2016.

What is the part do you like the most about working for True Temper Sports? To be able to work for the #1 shaft manufacturer in golf is quite an honor. True Temper’s history, quality and advanced manufacturing capabilities make my job (sales) a lot easier. I really enjoy educating customers and consumers on the importance of finding the right golf shaft and hearing from people that have improved their games after getting custom fit for one of our products.