REVIEW: House of Forged Shafts

Long Drive Shafts for the Common Golfer
The REMAX long drive competition each year brings out the biggest baddest long drivers in the world.  It is an impressive display of power and accuracy with the big stick.  In the last couple years a new company has taken the circuit by storm; House of Forged Shafts. (HOF)  Many of us watch such a competition and only dream of hitting it that far, now we have the opportunity to use similar shafts made by HOF but designed for those of us with snail paced swing speeds in comparison to the long drivers.

I demoed the Patriot shaft and the Mike Dobbyn Gamer shaft.  I also have the Tour duty, but didn’t have a 3 wood to try it in yet.  I will add that part to my review later once I have a 3 wood to try it in.  With the Patriot and the Gamer I installed I-mix tips to try in my two I-Mix heads;  FT-i LCG and FT-5, both are 9.5 degrees loft and have a neutral face angle.  I felt confident installing these shafts with their CPMs and weight marked at the butt end of each shaft.

The first thing that struck my eye is the great white coloring of these shafts.  I absolutely love the matte feeling of the white paint, and the simple logos either in red and blue on the Patriot or the black, silver and gold on the Gamer.

HOF currently uses Matrix to design and manufacture their shafts in the USA.  This in my opinion is an excellent choice, since Matrix products are some of the best on the market. HOF products are of equal quality and performance.  They are exclusive bend profiles and designs for House of Forged, so you can be confident that they are not just painted over Apache shafts or X-cons, they are HOF shafts. 

The Patriot shaft will fit the largest market of golfers.  It offers a bend profile that is needed by a large number of golfers; high/mid launch with relatively low spin.  I enjoyed the smooth release of this shaft.  This shaft came in at that nice driver weight of 64g.  The feeling of flex from the butt down rather than the tip up is unique to Matrix and reproduced in the HOF Patriot Shaft.  This is often referred to as the “hinge” effect.  The Patriot has great feel partnered with decent dispersion.  I was able to find the fairway all day long with the Patriot.

The Mike Dobbyn Gamer shaft, became my gamer with a tad more weight, (81g) a slightly different bend profile(mid launch), and virtually perfect spin numbers.  I had the chance to get this on a launch monitor and found launch angle, spin numbers, and speed were the best combo I had ever seen.  On the course I found those numbers were even better than on the launch monitor.  I hit some of the biggest drives of my life.  I am a pretty consistent driver around 260-265yards off the tee, but with the Mike Dobbyn Gamer in play, I averaged 275 yards off the tee and hit one of the longest drives of my life at 332 yards. (GPS verified).  I was happy that it was not only long, but tight.  I couldn’t quite hit all my drives into a hula-hoop, but a 10×10 box I could find with 8 out of 10 drives.

The only note I have is just to be a little careful on install.  As I was prepping the tip for install, the white paint kind of chipped off rather than sanded down.  Mine turned out perfect because I install tape as a stopping point, but I could envision someone not being overly careful and chipping paint off the shaft above the ferrule during install.  Once installed I haven’t found any paint issues, it seem rock hard and durable, but a word of caution on installation.

If you look at the 2008 REMAX Long Drive competition winners list, you will see House of Forged well represented in the top 10, better than any other company. With the young talent using their shafts, I can only see their presence growing on the LD circuit.  National exposure and an excellent product will have HOF shafts making their way into the bags of us common golfers.

 HOF Tour Duty and Jamie Sadlowski Shafts
Hitters Wanted.
Generally there are two types of golfers, swingers and hitters.  Swingers have smooth fluid swings that move the ball with grace into the fairway, while hitters use brute force to encourage the ball to get off the tee.  HOF has 2 shafts that really fit the hitters well.

The Tour Duty is a heavyweight shaft coming in at around 93 grams. It is definitely no slouch of a shaft.  There is a very small population of golfer that would be able to use it in their driver, but I think a good number would be well served to put one of these in a 3-wood or 5-wood.  I installed mine in a Sonartec GS Tour 15* 3 wood.  This combo was long.  The GS tour head is a solid, easy to elevate head; paired with the Tour duty it became a rocket launcher.  A common trait of HOF shafts is that consistent butt to tip uniform flex that snaps into the ball with a mule like kick.    The flat white finish standard on HOF shafts with a red and blue logo makes for a classy shaft in any head.  The heavy weight of the shaft really helps keep the 3-wood on plain for straight long bombs.

The Jamie Sadlowski on the other hand is a lightweight shaft for hitters.  Coming in at a scant 63 grams it is no wimp of a tip stiff shaft.  Because it is lighter weight, many more golfers will be able to use this shaft, but that list is narrowed down to those who can use the lower launch angle.  It is a low launching, tight shaft.  It is the tightest feeling shaft of all the HOF I have played.  It’s not exactly boardy, but not as smooth for me as the Patriot, Gamer or Tour Duty.  I think that is because it is based on the profile from Jamie Sadlowski’s extremely tipped design.  The one I used was actually marked as an X flex, but came in at 257 cpms, so by no means beyond my swing speed.  The stiff came in at 252, which was a little soft for my preference.  The flat white finish is paired with a sharp red and black logo.

These two shafts are both designed well for the hitter.  I think the smooth swinger won’t need the weight of the Tour Duty or the tip stiffness of the JS but that is why HOF has the Patriot.  This is the ideal shaft for the swinger.

I think the HOF line up has something for everyone, even if you are not a longdriver:  Lightweight, midweight, or heavyweight, and high-launch, mid-launch or low-launch.  At the HOF price point they have something that is worth trying for everyone.

Check the price online here

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