The theory behind KBS Tour $-Taper steel iron shaft seems an obvious progression in how equipment design respondsto the development of the golfer athlete: Elite players are stronger and more athletic than a generation ago so the ideal shaft shouldn’t be one created for players from the previous generation.
The KBS Tour $-Taper shaft, which has been showing up in bags of a few tour players for the last few months, was unveiled earlier this year and is available at select fitting locations now.
According to KBS founder and designer Kim Braly, “the stronger tip section stays straighter on the downswing and at impact for tighter dispersion.” But Braly says that extra stoutness “does not feel boardy,” with a feel and bend profile modeled after the company’s original KBS Tour shaft, including elongated step patterns to provide more stability in the shaft.
"The KBS Tour changed the performance and feel of steel golf shafts on Tour when it was unveiled almost ten years ago, and the KBS Tour $-Taper will do the same for a new generation of golfers," Braly said. "The KBS Tour $-Taper is for the player looking for a straighter and stronger ball flight, with lower spin resulting in a tour caliber performance and feel."
The shaft lived up to the dollar sign in its name when Si Woo Kim took home the largest first-prize of the season at The Players two weeks ago with the shafts in the bag. The KBS Tour $-Taper also was used by Cameron Smith when he partnered with Jonas Blixt to win the Zurich Classic of New Orleans three weeks ago.
Braly says his testing with tour players has shown reduced iron spin, occasionally as much as 800 rpm. That low spin trend could lead to more distance for high-swing speed players.
While its success has been at the high-speed elite level, the KBS Tour $-Taper is available in a range of weights and flexes that may appeal to better ball-strikers regardless of clubhead speed. There are offerings at R-flex (110 grams), R+-flex (115) S-flex (120), S+-flex (125) and X-flex (130). It’s available in traditional chrome and black PVD finishes.