MPC to re-launch Loomis graphite shaft
Monday, May 13, 2013
The Loomis graphite iron shaft is back.
That’s the word from Jeff Meyer, president of Meyer Performance Composites, and his brother, Robert Meyer, MPC vice president of marketing and tour relations. They anticipate the storied shaft will make a return appearance on the PGA Tour, and they plan to sell the shaft to consumers beginning in September.
Back in the 1990s, Jeff Meyer was vice president of engineering for G. Loomis, designer of the Loomis shaft, and he has “always had really good feelings about this shaft and its performance.”
Robert Meyer has been traveling the PGA Tour with samples of the new shaft, and he said, “We’ve had many, many requests for the shaft…. The Loomis name has a great reputation.”
In 1994, 1995 and 1996, the G. Loomis graphite iron shaft sparked interest on the PGA Tour. Greg Norman and Davis Love III won with the shaft, and more than three dozen players used it at one time or another.
In 1996, ownership of the Loomis golf shaft was acquired by Aldila. Eventually, though, the iron shaft disappeared as Aldila concentrated on shafts for drivers, fairway woods and hybrids rather than irons.
As the Loomis iron shaft traveled full circle, eventually it came back under the control of Gary Loomis, internationally known for his fishing rod designs. Loomis contacted Jeff Meyer, and the golf shaft is once again becoming a reality. Meyer, who also worked as a design engineer for Aldila and Acushnet (parent of Titleist and FootJoy), called the relationship with Loomis a “partnership” as the two old friends attempt to convince touring pros to abandon steel iron shafts in favor of graphite. About 95 percent of the iron shafts on the PGA Tour are steel.
Jeff Meyer said initially Loomis Golf EFP (Engineered for Performance) will be manufactured and sold as an iron shaft only, although driver and fairway wood shafts will follow.
The shaft will be manufactured for Meyer Performance Composites by Mitsubishi Rayon, whose shafts – such as Diamana and Fubuki – have become widely used by touring pros.
The Loomis shaft will be made in three different weights: 95, 110 and 125 grams. According to Jeff Meyer, the new shaft will be “a modernized version with a lot of the features and benefits of the old Loomis shaft from 1996, although we will use modern materials and modern manufacturing techniques.”
Most of the interest from touring pros, Jeff Meyer acknowledged, is in the 125-gram shafts. Flexes will be S, X and Tour X. The torque will be very low, about 1.3 degrees. This is a very stout shaft.
With an eye toward consumers, the 95-gram version of the shaft probably will feature at least one softer flex. In the mid-1990s, the Loomis shaft carried a suggested retail price of $125, making it one of the more expensive shafts in golf. Jeff Meyer said the retail cost of the new shaft will remain in the same $125 vicinity.
Robert Meyer, who played collegiate golf at BYU and competed on a number of professional tours, was a longtime tour rep for Graphite Design golf shafts. Thanks to Meyer and Graphite Design executive Erik Boysen, the Graphite Design Tour AD series remains popular on the PGA Tour. Three top 10 finishers, including winner Adam Scott, used the Tour AD shaft in the recent Masters.
(In recent years, the Meyer brothers also have been busy with their Collegiate Line of steel wedge shafts and steel putter shafts with college logos on them. The number of colleges and universities in the program now numbers 61.)
“From design all the way through the process of getting the right shafts in the hands of all golfers, we feel we are experts at golf shafts,” Robert Meyer said. “The Loomis shaft has a huge following… It’s like welcoming back an old friend.”