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By Ju Kuang Tan
Barney Adams, the former founder of Adams Golf, came out of retirement to what he does best – create new technologies to help golfers. His next frontier? A shaft to improve your putter.
Many have said that the shaft is the “engine” of a golf club. So why not in a putter too?
This very premise led Barney Adams, founder of Adams Golf, out of retirement and diving headlong into what he considers an exciting new realm.
“I’ve been enjoying retirement,” says Adams who turned 80 in March. “I’ve been traveling, fishing, spending time with my family. Then Breakthrough came about and it’s kept me busy for several years. It is fun being back in the golf industry.”
You certainly can’t keep a good clubmaker down. Having launched Adams Golf and riding waves of success in the 90s, he sold the brand to TaylorMade in 2012. Unfortunately, the purchase didn’t turn out the way people expected.
“It went nowhere,” the New Yorker said of Adams Golf. “The inventory was sold off and I was told the brand is mothballed. To my knowledge, Adams Golf isn’t even an active company anymore.”
No matter, though. Adams is too busy minding his new business to spend time wallowing in the past. After years of research and development, areas close to his heart, Adams introduced Breakthrough – and its Stability Shaft for putters - to great acclaim from the industry.
“First, it’s critical to understand that the Stability Shaft is a technology,” he says, referring to the concept behind Breakthrough Golf Technology (BGT). “It is not a variation of a product in use. We spent three years of R&D in making a shaft that is 100% stable through impact, something not found in today’s steel shafts.
“Furthermore, our shaft fits any putter head, weighs the same as steel and requires no adjustment to putting it in play. Although BGT is a new company, most of the employees have years of experience in golf.
I like to think of BGT as a technology-orientated company rather than just a company that sells golf shafts. Every product that we launch will be unique, and technically superior,” he proudly adds.
As with any time you change the shaft of your club, any club, finding the right one is all important. The BGT offers putter fitting at the Breakthrough Putting Lab, providing in-depth analysis to help golfers determine and maximize putting performance.
With years of knowledge, BGT puts their experience with the putter stroke, fitting and putter design into helping golfers get the most out of their flat sticks.
“We have an outstanding team with literally decades of experience,” Adams provides. “When we had our putting data analysed by an independent putter test facility we knew we were really on to something different.
It’s a superior product and never done before. And with the analysis of thousands of putts, we know (our shafts) starts the ball on a straight line with the putter face and produces consistent roll.”
BGT offers three different levels of putter fitting. The Master Fit is the most in-depth and will take you through a complete putter stroke evaluation and in-depth measurement of over 45 different parameters using the Quintic Putting Ball Roll System.
Quick Fit offers an abbreviated version, but still using the Quintic system. Both fitting sessions include a Stability Shaft suited to the golfer’s putting characteristics. Shafts may also be purchased directly through Breakthrough Golf Technology (www.breakthroughgolftech.com) or through one of their authorized dealers.
How much technology can help with putting may be the next stage of club development, at least BGT is banking on this.
“We did an analysis of PGA Tour putting from 2003 to current and found that putting efficiency has declined,” reveals Adams. “ Once we confirmed that Stability could help professionals we know the benefits to amateurs would be very significant.
“I call it the theory of that one solid shot we all remember after a round. There is no better application to golfers than significantly increasing the odds of hitting solid shots. Our theory is built around the development of new, proprietary shaft concepts that significantly increase the golfer’s ability to hit solid shots.
Using a Stability Shaft, you’ll need to get around one that looks significantly different from what you’re used to. There are four parts to the Stability Shaft, and they are designed to work together to improve putting performance. BGT calls this Advanced Materials Integration, which is rather self-explanatory.
This multi-material approach to designing the putter shaft is aimed at delivering a squarer face at impact, providing a solid feel, and resulting in a lower launch for a more predictable roll and better distance control.
Getting into the nitty-gritty of BGT’s technology can be a little mind-numbing, but essentially, it incorporates four elements.
Eight layers of high modulus carbon fibre specifically layered, wrapped and widened, is used with a no-taper design to greatly reduce torque. Rigidity is enforced by a lightweight, 22g aluminium insert precisely located through fine element analysis.
A 7075 aluminium connector helps to reinforce the shaft, while allowing its versatility in an attachment to any tip diameter of any putter, regardless of the bend profile. And finally, the stainless steel tips have extremely consistent wall thicknesses and are chrome plated to add further protection from corrosion and rust.
If all this sounds incredibly advanced, Adams will be the first to admit that it’s exactly what sets BGT apart. “BGT is a technology-driven company. We have ongoing R&D. We know there is applicability and our goal is to have superior innovation applied through the bag.”
We can only wait with bated breath to see what they come up with next.