By: Matt Saternus
What do you think of when you hear “Miyazaki Shafts”? The first things that come to my mind are amazing graphics and the International Flex Code. And, of course, shafts that perform well.
We haven’t heard much from Miyazaki since they rounded out the Kusala line (reviewed HERE), but now they are back with the B. Asha series…and everyone knows it (seriously, when was the last time you didn’t see a Google Ad for it?)
B. Asha replaces C. Kua as the lightweight portion of the Miyazaki family. Through new technological developments, they have made the B. Asha lighter and lower in torque than the C. Kua. Miyazaki believes that these changes will result in higher ball speed and more distance.
A Quick Primer on International Flex Code
One of the things that sets Miyazaki apart from other manufacturers is their transparency about shaft design. They created the International Flex Code to help the golfer understand how each shaft bends, and they place this information on the tip of every shaft.
The International Flex Code is a four number sequence. The numbers represent the stiffness of each of the four sections of the shaft: butt, mid-butt, mid-tip, and tip. The numbers range from 0 to 9, with 0 representing a very soft section and 9 representing XX-Stiff.
The beauty of this system is that it allows golfers to learn precisely what they like and need. Miyazaki offers a tremendous variety of profiles, so golfers can experiment with balanced, “flat” profiles (5555), butt-stiff/tip-soft profiles (7552), butt-soft/tip-stiff profiles (5689) or anything in between.
The “International Flex Codes” for the shafts tested are as follows:
You’ll notice that the 5 and 7 share the same profile, just in different weights.
Notes, Feel, Price, and Miscellaneous
For the B. Asha, I have to start with the art: it’s flat-out awesome. The artist, B. Asha (all Miyazaki lines are named for the artist), has taken a palette of browns and greys and created a picture of two samurai unsheathing their swords. Could there be a cooler image to have in your mind when you’re pulling the driver out of the bag? Methinks not. The overall look is really understated, bordering on dull, but the samurai graphics make this amazing. It’s like the old guy at the course who doesn’t hit it far, but takes everyone’s money: sneaky good.
Alright, enough of that, on to feel. One of the things that has changed with the B. Asha line is that Miyazaki went to “flatter” profiles: this means that all the sections of the shaft, bend more evenly. The result is shafts that don’t have kick points that are as distinct as past Miyazaki models. There is much less “kick” in these shafts then in past Miyazakis that I have tried, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on your preferences. These shafts feel very low torque, even in the lighter weights.
The B. Asha line is currently offered in weights ranging from 45 grams to 77 grams. Flexes range from A to X. Retail price for the B. Asha line is $249.
For the Performance testing, I hit each of the shafts in a Callaway RAZR Fit 10.5 head on a FlightScope X2 launch monitor. I hit 20 “good” shots with each shaft, changing frequently so that fatigue was not an issue, nor did I get grooved with one shaft to the detriment of fairness.
Testing was done at Golf Nation in Palatine, IL, one of the best indoor golf facilities in the country.
*NOTE: Testing has moved back inside for the winter, and our FlightScope seems to be producing somewhat different numbers indoors compared to outdoors. To greater or lesser extents, ball speed, club head speed, and spin are all coming in lower than they did outdoors, hence the carry number is smaller. That said, it’s still an apples-to-apples comparison, so no attempt has been made to “normalize” the numbers: we’re publishing the numbers straight off the FlightScope, as always.
The first thing that I think is worth pointing out is the difference between the “Offline” number in our charts and the Dispersion Circle measurement on the Flightscope graphic. Looking at the Offline numbers, you see only a 3 yard gap between the straightest and most crooked shaft – not much of a difference. Then you look at the Dispersion Circles and see a gap of 27 yards between the best and worst.
The reason: the Flightscope number measures the difference between your two most disparate (distance and offline) shots, our number is simply an average of how far each shot was from the centerline. An example to help clarify: if a tester hit every shot 200 yards and 25 yards to the left of the centerline, Flightscope would say the dispersion is 0 yards, but we would say it was 25 yards offline.
The biggest thing that I noticed while hitting shots with the B. Asha was how low spin many of the shots were. With the 5S, for example, I hit a number of shots that didn’t even carry 200 yards before they fell out of the air. For many players, this low spin characteristic would be heaven sent; for me, it’s a recipe for knuckleballs.
Finally, with regard to accuracy, I felt that I hit a lot of shots that were very acceptable, but very few that painted the center line. Usually I will find at least one shaft that allows me to hit a number of shots right down the line, but that was not the case here. Rather, with a few exceptions, I hit everything pretty well. None of them screamed “Bag me!” but I wouldn’t have been upset to game any one of them either.
If you had handed a B. Asha shaft to me without telling me what it was, I would have been hard pressed to guess that it was a Miyazaki based on feel. For those that loved the Kusala or C. Kua line, this might be disappointing. For those who thought those shafts were too lively, the B. Asha might be a welcome change. What is inarguable is that this new line offers low spin and very acceptable dispersion. With the wealth of profiles and weights that Miyazaki is offering, I think many players will be able to find a very good fit in the B. Asha line.
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