Over the years we have had many topics in the THP Forum about SST Pure and the process of shaft PUREing. Often polarizing, we wanted to dive in a little deeper. We went right to the source and sat down with SST Pure for another episode of The Quick Six.
THP: What is SST and where did it come from?
SST: SST stands for Strategic Shaft Technologies. The process of shaft PUREing was created by Dick Weiss after his research revealed that shafts have irregularities in their composition from the manufacturing process. This affects how the shaft performs during a swing because the forces of those irregularities affect the golfer’s ability to swing a club. Dick was able to bring his technology to the PGA TOUR, where Pros using the SST PURE have won over 2 billion dollars. It’s been more or less an open secret on the Tour for about 20 years.
THP: Can you explain the process for those that might not know about it?
SST: Put simply, PUREing a shaft is aligning the shaft to the most stable position.
In more detail, The SST PURE machine analyzes a shaft to find the most stable plane where the oscillation of the shaft is as flat as possible. This is done by adding a weight to the tip of the shaft and measuring the shape of the shaft’s oscillation. In a default position with the shaft label facing up, the oscillation will have an oval shape. So, the SST PURE machine continually measures this oscillation shape by rotating the shaft to different positions until the oscillation shape is flat. The machine then marks the shaft so that the club builder can assemble the club with the shaft in this PURE alignment.
THP: What differences have you seen in regards to the outcome?
SST: If we apply the idea of shaft oscillation shape to a golf swing:
as the golfer swings their club with an unPUREd shaft, the shaft is moving in an oval or rounded path. This is another variable in a golf swing, an event with numerous innate variables. The result of the oval shaped path is less speed, less consistent impact, negatively affecting distance and accuracy. However, when a golfer is swinging a club with a PUREd shaft, the shaft is moving in a flatter, more consistent shape through the swing. The result is an increase in clubhead speed (1-2 mph), which leads to higher ball speed (2-4 mph), and more consistent impact on the face. These results lead to an increase in distance and improved accuracy.
We’ve tested these outcomes with robots and humans of varied skill levels with nonpartisan 3rd parties. The results speak for themselves.
THP: Visual technology is something that grabs golfers and tells them something works. This is the opposite. Will a golfer know, see or feel what has changed?
SST: A golfer who has their shafts SST PUREd will receive a printed report illustrating the oscillation shape of their shaft in both the PUREd and unPUREd positions. That’s a piece of visual evidence the golfer has to see how their PUREd shaft will perform better.
Feel is subjective and difficult to quantify. That being said, 85% of human testers picked the PUREd club over the unPUREd – the clubs were not marked – saying it felt better, felt more under control, and their mishits felt much better.
When a golfer sees that they are hitting the ball farther, it’s landing closer to their target, and scores are lower, that is hopefully all the evidence the golfer needs to know something has changed.
THP: What do you say when you hear things like this is snake oil?
SST: Just because a person hasn’t heard about something doesn’t make it not real. SST has had very little budget to grow until recent years. To pull the curtain back a little, the SST PURE machine is a very expensive tool to build, more expensive than many people pay for a car. Additionally, PUREing a shaft is not a fast process either, each shaft takes about five minutes. If every fitter and golf shop could spend the money on purchasing a machine, it would be everywhere. And if the time it took to PURE each shaft was more feasible, more would do it. We’ve spoken with major manufacturers and they know it’s real. But for them, time is money. Five minutes times one million drivers sold, you can do the math. Making that more streamlined is a solution we are working toward as we continue to grow.
The proof is out there, though. Look at the $2 billion won on Tour; that comes from many of the biggest names in golf PUREing their shafts and having success at the highest level. Look at all of the independent 3rd party testing done by human and robots. NOT one of these tests has ever been able to show that PUREing doesn’t work, but countless have. It’s as real as real gets.
THP: Fun question, without naming the shaft, what is the worst shaft you have encountered during the process?
SST: That’s hard to answer without a name, or showing oscillation graphs, or explaining the deviation and the deviation amounts defined. Suffice it to say that there have been shafts so bad when you do the initial test on the machine, they don’t even make an oval shape, they start moving vertically.
Another point, because we hear it a lot; money spent on a shaft does not correlate to not needing to be PUREd. They ALL need to be PUREd. There have been $5 shafts and $500 shafts that tested equally bad. Furthermore, shafts claiming to not have a “spine” and therefore don’t need PUREing is awful, terrible, misleading information. Most shafts never had a spine to begin with. They have irregularities that occur when the pieces of materials are layered together and pockets are created. It’s almost like a knot in a tree that can’t be bent against. From the sanding process making wall thickness vary, to the heating and cooling that happens in manufacturing, this all leads to irregularities in the shaft. The SST PURE process makes sure these irregularities are aligned so that when the shaft is installed, those irregularities are stabilizing during the golf swing, not fighting against the swing.
For more information about the process or to find a place near you that offers the service, check out their website at www.sstpure.com.