Don’t look now, but updated, renewed Fujikura Speeder shafts are on the horizon.
This is huge news for many Speeder fans, who have stuck with their Speeder driver and fairway wood shafts for years. Here is some Speeder history:
In 1995, Fujikura Japan introduced the Fit-On 11 Speeder for woods and irons. This was the birth of the Speeder.
In 1997, the Speeder 757 was launched in Japan. Ultimately, after migrating to the United States in 1999, the 757 would become a sensation on the PGA Tour. In 2000, three victories were produced by players using the Speeder 757. Since then, Speeder triumphs around the world have totaled more than 50.
Among these winners are Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Zach Johnson, Retief Goosen, Bill Haas, Craig Perks and Shaun Micheel.
Four new Speeder models, including an updated Motore Speeder 757, are being launched this month on several worldwide tours and will be available to consumers in October:
• Motore Speeder 757 – 75 grams, designed for Tour-type players;
• Motore Speeder 661 – 65 grams, designed for above average players;
• Motore Speeder 569 – 55 grams, designed for average players;
• Motore Speeder 474 – 45 grams, designed for golfers with slower swing speeds.
All four reflect the classic Speeder design, although the shafts have been re-engineered and are made with modern materials. The biggest change in materials in the last 20 years is the quality of the pre-preg used to make graphite shafts. These modern graphite shafts, in essence, contain more carbon fiber and less resin than previous shafts.
This is important. With new resin systems and more Nano Alloy high modulus carbon fiber, Fujikura officials say they’ve been able to stiffen the Speeder shaft in key areas, creating more speed.
“We have maintained the integrity of the Speeder 757 profile and updated the shaft at the same time,” said Dave Schnider, president and chief operating officer of Fujikura USA. “It has the same DNA as the original…. This particular profile is still probably the most popular profile used in fitting Tour players.”
The new Speeder shafts make more use of Triax Core technology. Fujikura is now placing its Triax three-directional woven graphite material on the inside layer of the shaft, enhancing its contribution to increased speed and stability.
“The Speeder has never left the Tour,” Schnider said. “It is so popular it has remained in play. The new Speeder, though, will coil and uncoil faster. We think Tour players will eat it up, and we think ordinary golfers will benefit tremendously.”
Much of the new Speeder discussion will focus on the 757 versus the 661.
“The 661 will fit a wider variety of players – average to better players,” Schnider explained. “It’s not nearly as stout as the 757.”
Ian Poulter was a longtime user of the original 661, and he won with it.
“This is the start of the reinvention of the Speeder,” Schnider said. “Golfers will see the new shaft on the PGA Tour very shortly, and consumers can buy it at select dealers in October.”
The suggested retail price is $350.
From a historical standpoint, the Speeder 569 has always been a good fit for many individuals. The 474, meanwhile, was never introduced in the U.S. because of durability issues. Now, however, this lightweight shaft has been strengthened and is expected to appeal to many golfers seeking a driver shaft weighing less than 50 grams.
Across the board, looking at golfers of different abilities, Fujikura is relying heavily on the Speeder name to maintain a prominent position in golf shafts.