Ask the expert: Mark Timms

In 2000, Timms started custom clubmaker Hot Stix in Scottsdale, Ariz. In 2007, after leaving Hot Stix, he founded Cool Clubs in Scottsdale. He later opened a second store in Irvine, Calif.

In general, do golfers know much about shafts?

Not really. They might know what color it is, or who played it on tour. Sometimes they know what’s popular, but very few people have any idea what shafts do

and why.

Do you sell a lot of steel shafts in irons?

Absolutely. We do a ton of steel. We have a lot of very good players who come in here, and they tend to use steel.

What do these players look for in irons?

I found that the better players worry about feel and about straight. That is, they have to hit their irons straight in order to make birdies. What they don’t worry about is distance, or hitting their irons a long way. They just want consistent distance from shot to shot. If you concentrate on hitting your irons as far as you can, you give up control.

Are you impressed with today’s lightweight steel?

No question about it. This stuff is really good. These shafts simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. We fit golfers in the shaft that’s best for them. Some golfers play better with lighter-weight steel.

What is your fitting philosophy?

For most amateurs, we try to fit them with the lightest or softest shaft they can control. That may be a 130-gram steel shaft, or it may be a 75- or 85-gram shaft. For tour players, it’s different. We try to get the stiffest shaft without it feeling like a board.

Are you fitting seniors and women with steel shafts?

Oh, yes. For most of them, it’s 95 to 100 (grams), max. Many of our customers still play a lot of competitive golf. We’ve got seniors who played Dynamic Gold or Rifles for a long time, and they just can’t adjust to graphite in their irons. So we go with lightweight steel.

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