Barney Adams Is Up To It Again; This Time Around, It's His New BGT Putter Shaft
- Category: Inside Golf
- Published: 2018-07-25
By DR. BARRY LOTZ, Inside Golf
A key issue that is often missed by all level of golfers is just how important the dispersion factor plays a part in consistently putting well. The tighter the dispersion, the more consistent your putting will be. Plus, the putter head is less likely to twist on impact. This is also applicable to all shafts, especially driver shafts.
Now, almost 80, Barney Adams, who back in the 1980s, took a little company with a big idea, Adams Tight Lies, and turned the woods market upside down. Now, he is going for another grand slam home run with Breakthrough Golf Technology (BGT), a startup company he founded about three years ago. Currently, BGT’s sole product is a multi-material, standard-length, stabilized putter shaft, simply named “The Stability Shaft.”
Question; when was the last time you changed your putter shaft, or for that matter, even thought about it?
CEO, Barney Adams states, “When I first learned about the product I knew that it could be significant. It’s a step forward in golf equipment technology. What has been rewarding for me is that the Stability Shaft works better for amateurs. Pros are great putters and while the shaft does help them, it’s the inconsistency of the amateur that it corrects most.”
The performance of the shaft was exhaustively tested with hundreds of putters using state-of-the-art high-speed cameras, robots, SAM Putt Lab, Quintic Ball Roll software and Trackman4. The result was to re-invent the putter shaft from the ground up.
There are four parts of the Stability shaft that work in concert to greatly improve putting performance. BGT calls this ‘Advanced Materials Integration.’
Eight layers of high modulus carbon fiber specifically layered, wrapped and widened, with a no-taper design to greatly reduce torque.
Through ‘Finite Element Analysis,’ a lightweight 22g aluminum insert was developed and precisely located to reinforce flexural rigidity.
A 7075-aluminum connector that helps to stiffen and reinforce. This versatility allows attachment to virtually any tip diameter of any putter, regardless of the bend profile.
The stainless-steel tips have extremely consistent wall thicknesses for superior strength and are coated with a smoke PVD finish to add protection from corrosion and rusting.
Designed to improve any golfer’s game, the Stability Shaft delivers the face more squarely at impact for improved accuracy, solid feel and lower launch for a predictable roll, resulting in better distance control.
It’s a perfect synergy of technology and materials to improve putting performance.
Barney, being the smart man he is, got hold of one of the nicest, smartest and most experienced putter experts, Blair Phillip, to be his Vice President of R&D. Blair was formerly with YES! Golf which manufactured great putters with Blair’s designs.
According to Blair, “The Stability shaft is really an invention we came up with to address a problem with existing steel shafts in putters.” Additionally, as per Blair, “Putter [head] weights have gone up quite a bit in the past 20 to 30 years.”
The shaft weighs 125-grams. The graphite section (103 grams) represents the power, while the steel/aluminum section (22 grams) represents the stability. The shaft is best described as one that consists of a non-tapered graphite body with a steel tip section. A 22-gram aluminum insert sits inside the carbon-fiber tubing, and there is an aluminum connector to reinforce the shaft. The graphite body, steel-tip construction reminds me somewhat of the Aerotech SteelFiber shafts.
Blair further eludes, “We’ve applied material science to the construction of a more advanced putter shaft to reduce twisting and flexing that happens during the stroke. That makes a more stable shaft and gets your clubface back to square more easily and consistently.”
So how does this all come together and work? The combination of material, geometry, insert and connector also produce lower torque than a standard steel shaft. The Stability shaft has 1° torque, whereas all-steel models generally have 1.6° to 1.8°. The shaft is offered in three tip diameters (0.355”, 0.370” or 0.390”) to fit different heads. Shaft length is 37”.
A 6.6” aluminum insert is placed 17-inches from the butt end of the shaft to decrease flex. The placement of the insert is centered, for doing so will add about 25% more stiffness overall, making it about 4% stiffer than standard steel putter shafts. BGT acknowledges that it is not a substantial number, but rather it is their USP, – Unique Selling Proposition, for it differentiates BGT, as they are stiffer in the middle of the shaft (at the flex point), and not at the butt end.
Our testing group rolled putts with the Stability Shaft and the consensus of opinion amongst the testing group was that it felt very similar to their current putters. As for a change in the weight/balance/feel of your putter, your putter will feel the same, and the overall weight is within a few grams of steel putter shafts.
Your swing weight may be slightly higher after installation; but this will enhance the stability of the putter head. Most of our testers felt that their putting improved and they experienced better distance control and consistency. My personal feeling was that it felt very stable and gave me the impression of being heavier, which in turn gave me more confidence, something which I enjoy from heavier putters. Moreover, with the advent of heavier putter head designs, the Stability Shaft stabilizes the twisting and turning of the head.
Barney’s explanation to this issue was:
“That was part of our design intent, the goal was to improve performance without negatively impacting feel. Other manufacturers have made shafts that limit flex and twist. Often, though, these products cause the putter to feel different than a player’s current model. One of the most important design criteria, and why it took three years to develop, is there must be no adjustment by the golfer. You can fix the oscillation problem with shafts that are extra wide or ones that are very heavy. But the problems in adjusting [to those types of shafts] are greater than the ones caused by the oscillating shaft.”
The company offers a 1- year product warranty, which covers any defects that could happen during the normal course of play.
About the Writer
Barry Lotz, J.D., Ph.D. is the director of the Professional Golf Teachers Association of America. He is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America, the California Golf Writers Association, and serves both as a Consultant and Mediator to the golf industry. He is also the author of numerous books, including “333 Best Web Sites for Golfers”, “How to Build Business Relationships through Golf” which is in the Top Ten Golf Business Book’s bestseller list. His latest book,” The Right Mind for Golf” is now in its 9th printing. He currently works with 14 Tour Players on mental coaching, putting and scoring techniques.