Graphite is making its mark among amateur golfers, too. Despite a wholesale price of $75 per shaft—up to $160 retail when installed—Aldila is shipping out 2,000 a day to equipment manufacturers all over the country, and to Japan as well.
"I'm amazed at the total lack of sales resistance to the price," says Joe Black, head pro at the 3,000-member Brookhaven Country Club in Dallas, which has primarily a middle-income membership. "Everyone is so pleased with the things that I can hardly keep up with the demand."
But back in Far Hills, N.J. the monster is swinging away. The USGA is testing a number of new model golf balls as well, so it will be some time before there are findings as to how much length the graphite shaft is adding to tee shots—and if that much is too much. "The other day we got a call from a man in Pennsylvania," says Frank Hannigan. "He had a chance to buy an abandoned graphite mine and he wondered what we were planning to do. I told him he'd better hold off a while."