Going to a retailer/range that has many golf shafts, and a launch monitor, is "OK", sometimes it can be rather impressive actually, definitely better than buying something because a magazine, golf show, or a biased manufacturer said it's the latest and greatest and a "must have". Think about it ......... every year, shaft manufacturers are stating how much longer and straighter you will be with their latest and greatest shaft. Then why aren't all golfers hitting 300 yard drives by now and every golfer is a single digit capper? Those type of marketing statements have been made every year, for decades now. Blah, blah, blah!
I whole heartily agree that the swing is hands down the most important facet of golf if you want to play better. My job is to insure that your shafts (all the specs) are working for you and not against you, AND, the worst thing you can do is to try to perfect your swing BEFORE receiving a "real" golf club fitting, as you will change your swing to fit your possibly ill fitted clubs. If your current shafts are too stiff, you'll swing harder than you need to making center of face strikes more difficult. If they are too heavy you'll struggle to make the same swing twice. If they are too long or too light, you'll struggle to make consistent impact on the face.
In a "real" fitting, reference shafts, you are addressing the affects of shaft weight, total weight, club length, and then what is called the "shaft profile", hugely important! The brand is a non-issue. Some shafts are butt stiff tip soft, some are butt soft tip stiff, some are butt stiff and tip stiff, and of course, butt soft and tip soft. This applies to iron shafts as well as wood shafts, but due to the wood shaft length, the middle of the wood shaft comes into play as well, and they vary as much as the butt and tip section. Which profile applies to you? In the retail world, you'll hear that softer tips and lighter shafts launch higher. True sometimes ........ but not always! I can show you a 50 gram shaft that launches lower than a 75 gram shaft, with the same swing of course. I can show you a softer tip shaft that will launch much lower than another softer tip shaft. There is so much more to shaft fitting than the "glazed over" generic responses you get in retail/range. Retail tends to focus more on the brand of the head. That's a non-issue in real club fitting.
Which shaft loads and unloads properly, primarily in your downswing? In a professional fitting, I gather data about YOUR unique swing, yes with the use of a launch monitor as well as high speed video, but I "marry" your particular swing attributes to the shaft profile that matches your swing. I often "nail it" on the 1st shaft, and sometimes, yes, it's the last shaft as I learn something new with every new shaft I put in your hands, all while dialing in a length and head weight.
Conquest Custom Golf has data on approximately 1200 wood shafts, in terms of frequency and EI Profiles/Curves, of which a third of them are not even made anymore, so I have the ability to see the profile of a shaft that you may be playing right now, that is no longer made, so when I see if your current shaft, is, or is not working, and I can see and know why. Do I have 250 shaft options? I used too, but, by choice, I elected to cut that in half as it didn't take me long (OK a few years) to realize how much duplication exists in the golf shaft industry. I could show you an $80 shaft that has the exact same profile as a $300 shaft. Yes, there are times that one of the 800 grades of graphite that exist in the industry, "may" have a slight affect on feel. No doubt about.
What have I found? When a golfer sees that he doesn't hit a $300 shaft any further or straighter than an $80 shaft they tend to go with the $80 shaft. This assumes the profile, length, and weight are correct. I most definitely go through a fair amount of high dollar shafts believe me. I do not push one over the other either way. I care about how far, how straight, how well the shafts loads and unloads, and the consistency of center of face strikes .... not what the shaft costs.
Certain shaft profiles tend to fit certain types of swings, and to be able to determine this, it takes years of proper schooling, mentor-ships, and shaft fitting experience, which I have all three, compared to most retailers/ranges that are taught how to operate a launch monitor and/or attend a 1 day class on how to "fit" their particular line or lines of shafts offered. At this level, the shafts offered by a head company is usually whatever shaft company provided the lowest bid at a wholesale level or price point.
Another big one is the retailer that employs a guy that 'fit tour players", LOL! A Tour Player knows what he wants, they have the most consistent swings on the planet, at this level, it's more about a fitters salesmanship than skill set. Try getting success with an Amateur with a less than consistent swing compared to a Pro AND get results! Now that is skill! Remember a Pro will only swing a club/shaft once maybe twice as a norm, and they move on as they are so good, they know they will change their swing to fit the club, immediately. Amateurs generally cannot do that on the spot. Remember ....... follow the money!
I have structured my business to NOT be brand biased! My "paycheck" is virtually about the same no matter what head, shaft, or grip you end up with. I had to eliminate the temptation to "push" any particular brand. What would YOU do if you knew you were going to make more money with brand A over brand B? In the retail world, "spiffs" or bonuses are often paid on the side, direct to the person selling a particular brand of clubs. This week, brand A is pushed, next week it's brand B. Not at Conquest Custom Golf! I eliminated that factor ...... brands mean nothing to me, only results and happy golfers! Check out my testimonials link above! I get results, yielding happy golfers playing better golf by lowering scores!
Fitting the proper shaft in terms of specs, will help you get the ball closer to the hole!