Golf club shafts

From AmtWiki

Non-metal golf club shafts are often used as the core for Amtgard weapons due to their low price and availability. Unlike other cores such as kitespar, used golf club shafts can be found cheaply (or for free) at secondhand stores, pawn shops, and golf pro shops.

Shafts can be found at local, independently-owned golf pro shops. Often there are laws about how you need to dispose of graphite, so owners are probably happy to give them to you. Make sure you stress that you have a non-golf use for these cores. You don't want to make it seem as though your competing with his business. Dress nice and bring a nicely formatted rulebook with you in case he expresses interest or curiosity. If you build a relationship with your local pro shop, you are likely to have access to shafts for years to come.

Cheap golf club shafts can also be found at thrift stores like the Salvation Army and Goodwill. Their golf club selection is variant, and is going to be mostly metal, but hunting through them will turn up quite a few graphite shafts (Unless some other Amtgardian has already cleaned them out). Depending on the thrift store, they'll range from $1-$4. These will be full-on golf clubs, complete with heads.

If you can not get golf club shafts cheaply and you get desperate, you can buy them new. This is more expensive, but does not cost as much as you might fear. You can find shafts for as little as $3.50 each. In general, Junior (kids) shafts are cheaper, and come in 36" and 39" lengths.

Choosing Your Shaft, by Petruchio

The "Weight" of the club (50g, 60g, 45g), determines the amount of graphite used PER INCH in the construction of the shaft. This is important in determining speed Vs. durability.

The "Kick Point" is the point at which the shaft is designed to bend. This is important for Amtgard as you want a HIGH kick point to prevent hard blocks from snapping the weapon; and to prevent the tip from whipping too easily and too often. Sometimes a kick point is a "bulge" shaft is core that has a flair out in the graphite which creates a flex point but also a structural weak point. These seem to break much faster then other shafts.

The "Flex" of the shaft has to do with how the graphite is shaped, but it determines how much the whole thing will be able to move. Super Flex is FAR too whippy in my opinion, as is "ladies flex", but most things, either medium flex or firm seem to work really well when making an amtgard weapon. Super stiff (heh) also tends to break pretty quickly, though it FEELS more solid then the rest.

Other considerations need to be made when considering the colf club, such as its "flair back". The amount of graphite used in every inch of the shaft remains the same, however if the diameter of the shaft increases, then the thickness of the walls must decrease accordingly. Drivers that have long handles are best cut from the BACK END where you will be removing the shortest, structurally weakest section of the shaft, and leaving the thinnest portion where your hand will be, rather then where blocks will happen.

Removing the Club Head

When buying shafts secondhand, they will often have the head of the club still attached with a strong epoxy. You can cut them off with a fine-tooth saw. Alternatively, sufficient heat will soften the epoxy holding them in place. Several golf sites recommend a blow torch or heat gun. The club head will get extremely hot so follow safety precautions and wear gloves, use pliers, or similar safety measures.

Check out the Amtgard Resources page for more information.