Early Exclusive To Flagstick Magazine, Ottawa, Ontario, January 23, 2007 – Three years ago, when their ACCRA brand shafts debuted at the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson Classic, Dave Makarucha and Gawain Robertson, partners in their company, Premium Golf Management (PGMC), knew they were on to something great. Their concept had been simple when they struck a working agreement with United Sports Technologies and their parent company, Mamiya-OP – develop a premium golf shaft line strictly for high-end custom club fitters to ensure that their shafts would be properly fit.
Of course, the golf industry being as competitive as it is, it is always nice to achieve benchmarks that show you are heading in the right direction. One of those would be proving that they had a great product – what they felt was one of the best in the world. To get that feedback it could only come from one place – from the PGA Tour, where the best players in the world play.
They got their wish that May weekend outside of Dallas in 2004, when 15 shafts from their burgeoning line were put into play. From there says Robertson, “It just grew and grew, and grew.”
The fact is that three years later, they have a network of top club fitters around the world and a growing number of the worlds best touring professionals relying on their shafts to help them make their living. Stewart Cink, Paul Casey, Luke Donald – even the partial parade of players is impressive.
Their product line has also grown to include wood shafts in three price and fit ranges, graphite and steel shafts for irons, and even a hybrid specific shaft. They are revered by premium players for providing tight dispersion on all shots while still maintaining a smooth feel – a combination that is very hard to resist, no matter the price. (Shaft prices are determined by dealer and is backed by a 30 day performance guarantee)
Robertson and Makarucha, actually based in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, say that in creating those initial product lines they did several things that ensured a successful launch. “The game was changing, especially with the ball, at that point,” says Robertson, a former PGA Professional. “With the ball spinning less and not flying as high we felt there was a demand for a shaft that would help provide a higher launch angle and lower spin. To do that while making sure the shafts still had feel and were fit correctly, as golfers ourselves, we felt it would appeal to other players.”
In keeping with the philosophy of responding to the market the pair says they continually listen to their dealers as well as their end customers for feedback. The result has been a number of new shaft options but none have been as revolutionary as what they will be offering for 2007.
“ACCRA dealers around the world requested a mid-launch shaft to complement the incredible results achieved by the current ACCRA line-up,” says Robertson. With club heads (specifically drivers) reaching an unprecedented level of Moment of Inertia, the profile of drivers has been shifting and a market has opened up for shafts to match.
Their response? Instead of just altering their current line-up to change the launch characteristics, they took it a step further to not only achieve the ball flight, but also to take their shafts to a higher level of feel. After a lengthy design process involving ACCRA/UST engineers and live player testing, they came up with the ACCRA with AXIV technology shafts.
Already in use by parent company Mamiya-OP in a “J-Spec” line of shafts (designed for the Asian market), AXIV Tetra-Axial (4 axis) weave is one of the most exotic materials used in the production of golf shafts today. It is a proprietary and exclusive material to Mamiya-OP. The new line takes the best of AXIV technology and blends it with the advancements of the ACCRA line to create a product perfectly suited to the full scope of worldwide golfers.
The AXIV Open Weave material allows engineers to weave four different modulus carbon fibres in four different directions in one material. That has a two-fold advantage for the new shafts, according to the company – extra feel and greater strength. The grip section of the shaft is very susceptible to deformation so it normally has to be very strong. Most companies achieve this by adding extra plies of graphite material. This reduces feel, something that was not very desirable for ACCRA, who are especially known for smooth feeling shafts. Use of the AXIV weave was a perfect solution, allowing the strength levels to be reached while actually increasing feel.
“From the beginning we have had a mandate to use the best materials to create the product our customers desired, no matter the cost,” says Robertson. “The use of AXIV technology is just another way of not compromising, but of finding a way to produce a better product – one that addresses what the market demands.”
PGMC will debut three ACCRA with AXIV technology shaft models today to their dealers today in Florida at a special event prior to the annual PGA Merchandise Show. The XT, XC, and XE models mimic the three levels offered in the current ACCRA shaft line. In each shaft the AXIV weave is quite visible near the grip area while the body of the shafts retains a familiar ACCRA look. (Official Images will be posted immediately upon receipt.)
The XT will be offered in 60 and 70-gram categories (flexes M2-M5): the XC will debut in 65 and 75 designations (flexes M3-M5), while the XE arrives in an 80 class in M4 and M5 flex designations. All shafts are .335” tip with a 4” parallel tip length. The full weight range runs from 64-87 grams.
The company’s website will have full details/specifications shortly.