So you're looking to reshaft your golf clubs.
Do you have what you need?
Before you learn how to cut a driver shaft, first, let's go over the things you'll need to properly install it.
Before You Cut Your Driver Shaft Checklist:
- Two-part epoxy. Anything with a lap shear strength greater than 3,000 will do. This actually includes some 5-Minute glues; just allow them to cure for 23 hours and 55 minutes longer before hitting balls.
- Something to mix the glue. A small strip of 2" masking tape is enough. A popsicle stick will work as the stir stick.
- A new ferrule. If you're installing your new shaft with a tip adapter, you might not need one. Cobra, for example, has theirs built in. Others, like Callaway, have the adapter and a ferrule, so make sure you have both.
- A new grip, grip tape, and either grip solvent or Naptha. Most grip solvents are just repackaged Naptha, which you can find at your local hardware store. If you have "water-activated" tape, use Windex instead of straight water.
Ready to Cut Your Driver Shaft? Not Just Yet!
Slow down! First, let's measure it.
Most (but not all) driver shafts are made 46" long. This gives you a little "wiggle room" will building to a desired length.
Basically, it allows you to make a driver up to the limit of 48"... but most of you shouldn't be doing that.
Most drivers today have a standard BBGM. Unless you want to hard-step it, you don't have to bother tip-trimming it when installing it in a driver.
Wait... what's "BBGM"?
BBGM means "Bottom of Bore to Ground Measurement". To abbreviate what Jeff Summit (of Hireko Golf) said back in '14:
Back in the Wooden Wood days, there was a type of driver called a "bore thru" model. The shaft literally came out a hole in the heel side of the sole.
Eventually, OEMs ditched that idea (Callaway was the last to do so, from my understanding), and drilled their bores so they stopped 0.5" from the ground. This was known as a "blind bore".
Because of confusion, OEMs eventually ditched that, as well, and stuck with the standard (one of the few times that's happened...) "M1 Bore", which is 1.5" from the ground.
Now, even with the tip adapters, you'll see most shafts insert to a depth of 0.5", or the "M1 Bore".
If you're the owner of a "Bore Thru" driver, you may find that your shaft will play stiffer than if it were inserted into an "M1 Bore" model. That's because you're effectively hard-stepping the shaft 1".
Really, all you're going to do is butt-trim it to length. Like this:
If you don't have a measuring tool, you can use a 48" ruler you can buy at your hardware store. Just be careful; you want to measure it while in the playing position to get the best results.
If you're handy, and want to be USGA/R&A-Compliant, you can make your own 60-degree stop measuring tool, like this one from Dave Tutleman.
Now, Let's Learn How To Cut Your Driver Shaft!
What do you need to do the job?
Well, you have options.
Option #1: A Handheld Rotary Tool (aka: Dremmel Tool)
See that flat, round accessory in the center of the picture? That's a metal cut-off wheel. This tool, available on Amazon for less than $30, can be all you need as long as you use that wheel.
While this is the less-expensive option, you need to exercise care when going this route, as the tool can get out of control if you're not paying attention. Yes, that's speaking from experience... Fortunately, though, it was my club I eff'd up!
Option #2: 4.5" Angle Grinder
Option #3: Chop Saw
This is my preferred method: the chop saw. I like this Ryobi because it also has a ruler on the flat part (where you'd place the shaft), so you can double-check your measurement. You can get a renewed model for a more affordable price than what I got mine for here on Amazon.
Again, make sure you have metal cut-off wheels! I can't stress that normal "toothed" saw wheels won't work; stick with thin metal (or masonry) cut-off wheels to make your life simpler.
Couldn't I Get a Fancy Tool?
Yes, you could get something fancy. You could get a Golf Mechanix tool that cuts shafts and collects dust... if you want to spend over $600 for something you might use a few times in your life.
But if you don't plan on making a living out of reshafting your own golf clubs, why not get something that not only costs less, but will perform double-duty for projects around the house?
When You Cut a Driver Shaft, or Any Shaft, Let the Tool Do The Work!
I don't normally beg, but this time I'm gonna: if ever you cut a driver shaft, use extreme caution!
The metal cut-off wheels are designed to do just that: cut metal. That means they'll easily glide through carbon fiber. Let the tool do the work for you, and keep all of your fingers!
Keep a Steady Hand
When you're measuring, depending on the pen/pencil/marker, you're going to have thickness to your line. Make sure you know which side of the line will give you accurate results. For me, because I'm left-handed and right-eye dominant, I make my mark to the left of where I need it. That way, I can chop straight down on the line I made and it'll come out to the correct length.
Same goes for when you're cutting the shaft; if you feel your hands start to get shaky, by all means, stop. There's no sense in messing up the shaft- or worse, hurting yourself. It isn't going anywhere, so just take a break and come back to it later.
Pay attention to the butt end of the grip!
There's something called the "Grip Cap"; it's a 1/8" thick slab of rubber that nests right to the butt of the shaft.
See that thick white section? That's the Grip Cap.
You have to account for that when measuring and cutting your driver shaft.
By that, I mean if you want a driver to have a finished length of 44", you need to cut the club to a length of 43 7/8". Once you install the grip, it'll come out to the desired 44".
Now, On To You!
Do you have any successful reshafting stories? How about any nightmare scenarios? Tell them to me in the comments!