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Understanding KBS Golf Shafts: An Interview with Kim Braly

By: | Fri 01 Dec 2023

Selecting the correct shaft for your golf swing is vitally important if you wish to improve and unlock lower scores.

Golfers who have been for fittings will understand that shaft selection is an important process of being fit for new clubs.

KBS Golf Shafts is one of the leading brands regarding shafts, with millions of recreational golfers gaming their products and plenty of touring professionals too.

The brand was established in 2008 by iconic shaft designer Kim Braly, who worked closely with professionals and leaned on their feedback to produce the best quality shafts available.

They focus on maximising performance of equipment by providing the most technologically advanced golf shafts on the market.

Golfshake sat down with Kim Braly to discuss the company’s previous endeavours – and the exciting future that lies ahead.

Kim Braly Interview

Kim Braly

The GPS putter shaft has been incredibly popular since its launch, how much work went into creating it?

With any KBS product, we do extensive testing and research for months, sometimes years to ensure that we are delivering the most premium performance golf shafts on the market. The KBS GPS was no exception. Launching our first Graphite Putter Shaft to the golf community meant we wanted to be sure it was correct right out of the gate. We started testing in late 2021 and continued the research through 2022, ultimately loving our final product in early 2023. The result has spoken for itself with multiple wins worldwide on professional Tours and record sales for a putter shaft.

KBS Launches First Graphite Putter Shaft

What was the thought process behind the number of colours on offer?

The thought process was simple, everyone in golf loves a custom product. Whether it be a custom stamping, laser etching, grips, you name it. The golf market is very much looking for custom golf products. We wanted to offer a number of custom looks for this groundbreaking shaft to appeal to everyone’s colour palette.  We have eight Colour options offered in Matte or Gloss, with more options to come. We are launching five more Colour options before the end of the year and couldn’t be more excited to release them.

The TD Graphite driver shaft was a progression from the Tour Hybrid Shaft that is very popular amongst Tour players, is the idea to get the driver shaft into the hands of many Tour players?

That is the idea for sure. We are always looking for Tour feedback amongst players and have already had success with players using the KBS TD on all professional tours. The biggest success is on the LPGA with the TD where we have seen the women take this product to greater success.

How Shafts Help - KBS TD Golf Shaft Review

There’s been a real focus in Graphite shafts of late with the PGI and PGH shafts. Do you think the stigma that they’re just for women and senior golfers is going away?

We do believe that stigma is going away. With the revolutionary KBS Graphite products we are making, we're fitting more golfers of all skill levels, age and genders and seeing that Graphite can perform just as amazing or in some cases better than steel. We pride ourselves in knowing that KBS is taking Graphite to the masses by having fitting be such an important part of the KBS name and brand.

With the conversation heating up about golf ball rollback, do you think there’s anything manufacturers or shaft builders like yourself can do to help aid the talk around the topic?

That’s a good question and a tough question. Obviously, I can only speak of the component aspect, but we do believe that the shaft is the engine of the golf club and have aided to the success of player performance and that the roll back option would be fine for us on either decision that is made.

Not many golfers will think about having a dialled in wedge fitting and KBS offers four dedicated wedge shafts. How important is it to club golfers to have this area of their game custom fit?

It’s vitally important. The club golfer very often has a stock wedge shaft that is way too heavy and stiff for their ability. The wedge fitting process will get a KBS shaft more suited to their swing, strength, and ability.

KBS now fits every single club in the bag, was this the aim when you first started out?

The idea when we started expanding our original lineup was to make a complete system of iron shafts that covered every golfer. This idea has grown recently to have a shaft for every golfer in every club. We feel strong that our steel shaft lineup is very complete, now we are getting our Graphite lineup to be just as strong.

KBS Golf shafts

In company terms, KBS is a relatively new brand having been established in 2008, but since then you’ve been one of the fastest growing companies in the game offering the most advanced shaft technology in the industry. What do you put the rapid growth down to?

We are humbled by the fact that these statements are true, but our success is simple, making the best golf shafts and products for all levels of golfers from Tour professional to Amateur and the person just starting out in golf. Countless hours, days, months and years have been put in for this to happen by such an amazing team that I should give credit to for helping grow KBS into what it is today. We tirelessly strive to make KBS the best golf brand in the world.

KBS works with every manufacturer in the game, how much input if any do they get in the creation of new shafts?

We work closely with every major OEM on the planet and love our partnerships/collaborations with them so they do obviously have input that’s so important to us. To answer it simply, yes, they do have input to help us deliver the best shafts for their product to perform at its peak.

Do Tour players ever ask you to design a shaft that they need and if so, has one ever gone into the mass market?

Yes! Our Tour team and I work tirelessly with the players on all major Tours worldwide to provide them with the best performing golf products. This happens more often than anyone thinks. With players giving us feedback, we can tailor products not only for their specific needs, but to the needs of the masses that would want to play the same performance shaft in the same or different weight and flex. The best example we have to your question is designing the KBS Tour V iron shaft for a 5-time major winner who uses the product to this day, which has carried over to the current FedEx Cup champion and we fit this worldwide and it is available to any and every golfer, pretty cool stuff.

Can you give us an insight on what is coming next for KBS?

We have so many exciting things we are working on and testing that it’s hard to sleep at night because of excitement. Without giving too much away we are working on a revolutionary product to fit into golfers that has never been seen before. We have so many exciting golf shafts and products coming in 2024 that fit into your whole golf bag. We have amazing partnerships coming as well for KBS that will excite the whole golf community.

For more information visit: www.kbsgolfshafts.com

Related Articles

KBS Launches First Graphite Putter Shaft

How Shafts Help - KBS TD Golf Shaft Review

Is picking the correct shaft important?

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