Truth in Matching
by Chris Nolan
VP, Sales and Marketing
The introduction of Multi-Matching marks a first in the industry
in terms of a complete approach to shaft matching. The machine
used for measurements is a creation of our Research and Development
department which was originally used for the collection of advanced
static shaft data during prototype evaluation. It proved to be
such an accurate and reliable tool that we now employ it for
many related purposes including quality control and sorting.
It is our aim that our customers receive perfectly matching shafts
in their orders.
The best way to described Multi-Matching would be to say that
Apache has developed a way of truly matching shafts to each other
in a set utilizing machines that are more accurate and reliable
than the use of a Frequency Analyzer. The machine is available
to OEM customers and clubmakers alike, but it is not a necessary
investment for most clubmaker's needs since we are using this
method to correlate our shafts prior to shipment.
The Multi-Match 100 is constructed with three towers, a roller
mechanism, and calibration unit(s). The design includes fully
adjustable towers allowing us to measure any longitudinal cross
section of a shaft, while the roller system allows for readings
360 degrees around the shaft. The machine itself has a couple
of parallel purposes. The roller system and median number matching
are related in the following way.
It's first use is as a quality control unit for our manufacturing
process. We use the roller system to measure the difference in
strength of a shaft from a high to a low while the shaft is turned
360 deg. around it's axis. It is imperative to keep these values
as close together as is possible during manufacturing to ensure
proper dynamic response and to minimize the effects of ìspinesî,
for lack of a better word. This type of measurement is called
CFI, or Circumferential Flexural Integrity. The vast majority
of the shafts available on the market today do not pass our initial
CFI test tolerance. A shaft must have the same flex characteristics
around it's circumference before it can be truly matched to another
shaft. If a shaft exhibits a high degree of flexural change around
itís circumference, matching them unidirectionally to
each other is a dubious endeavor since they would not react uniformly
throughout the human swing which is not unidirectional.
The second use is a series of tests which guarantees that clubmakers
receive the most consistent product available at any price. Each
shaft receives a thermal label affix to the unpainted grip section
area with the following information. Weight, Torque, Tip Strength,
Butt Strength, Estimated CPM, and Index number (ie: R1,R2,R3).
The most frequently asked question is how the compression readings
from the butt and tip sections rate in accuracy against the frequency
numbers that clubmakers have been using to match clubs. The answer
is that the Multi-Matching machine is indeed more accurate in
finding the individual properties of a shaft. Frequency Analyzers
are certainly a convenient way of measuring the general flex
characteristic of an assembled club or identifying the flex range
of a set of clubs. They are not as adept at determining which
shafts should be used from the beginning of the clubmaking process.
An example of this is if we at Apache test nine iron shafts using
a Frequency Analyzer to find that they appear to be correlated,
the chances are highly likely that if we test those same shafts
using the Multi-Match machine, those shafts will be determined
not to match. They will most likely have differing strength values
which would exclude them from becoming bundled into a set since
the strength values are a true indication of the amount of human
effort needed to properly load a shaft. Opposed to that, we can
correlate nine shafts using the Multi-Match that may have differing
CPM numbers. The CPM numbers may be a spread of +/-4 cycles from
the median. The CPM numbers are disregarded because we have accurately
matched them using more sophisticated means. These findings have
been systematically supported over the last two years of testing.
We are looking forward to working with clubmakers in the 1999
season to provide information and to assist them in building
the most accurate and performing clubs available today.