golf club shaft flex tips

Which Golf Club Shaft Flex Should You Choose?

What Golf Shaft Flex Should You Choose?

When you’re getting a new set of clubs or repairing your existing ones, you must respect the rules of the game. On paper, a golf club looks fairly straightforward. But a lot of intricate technology goes behind making a shaft suitable for players. Needless to say, choosing the wrong shaft flex can ruin your game.

Types of Golf Shafts

We could jump right into the shaft flex discussion. But it wouldn’t be appropriate without covering the types of shafts first. After all, the material of the shaft has everything to do with the flex you get.

  • Steel Shafts: Usually the stiffest kind. As you’d expect, steel golf club shafts are quite heavy. They’re also the best budget option for most players. Unlike graphite shafts, steel shafts don’t twist laterally. For players who prefer control and accuracy over forgiveness, steel shafts are the best option for them.
  • Graphite Shafts: If you don’t want to endure the heavy weight of the steel shafts, graphite is the next best option for you. Of course, these are less durable than steel shafts. Also, the integrity of the material causes it to twist, adding more flex to every swing. On the bright side, these are more forgiving than steel, making them more appealing to new players.
  • Hybrid Shafts: As the name suggests, these shafts use a variety of materials for construction. You can get both irons and drivers with hybrid materials. In most cases, these shafts have a steel body for cost-effectiveness with a graphite tip to shave some weight. These sit in the middle of the spectrum for flex.

Swing Speed: The Main Motivation

If you’re wondering why you should bother about the shaft flex in the first place, it’s simply to complement your swing speed. Depending on what kind of speed you have, you’ll need to pick from a large spectrum of shaft flex.

If you’re not sure what your speed is, the easiest way would be to visit your local driving range to test it. Conversely, you can get a shot-tracking device to install in your home for testing. This is not the most cost-effective method, however. Unless you’re a hardcore enthusiast, there’s no point in investing in such an expensive product.

Here are the available shaft flex types you can currently get on the market.

  • Extra Stiff (XS)
  • Stiff (S)
  • Firm (F)
  • Regular (R)
  • Senior (S)
  • Amateur (A)
  • Ladies (L)

As you now know your swing speed is directly related to what shaft flex you should get, let’s put everything in a table for easier understanding.

Swing SpeedShaft Flex
75 MPH or lowerLadies (L)/Senior (S)
75 MPH to 95 MPHRegular (R)
95 to 110 MPHStiff (S)
100 MPH or moreStiff (S)/Extra Stiff (XS)

 

If you think about it, the justification is simple. The more speed you have, the harder you swing, obviously. And the harder you swing, the more resistance you need to avoid lateral twists. In case you’re not aware, an uncontrolled lateral swing can cause you to shank or slice the shot.

Driver Carry Distance: How Does it Fit In?

Apart from the swing speed, you need to consider your driver carry distance for the flex shaft too. By definition, the distance between your tee-off point and where the ball lands is your carry distance.

Although there is a relation between your swing speed and your carry distance, it’s not linear. So, go ahead and drive a few tees to see how far you can swing using one of your old drivers or borrow from a friend.

If you hit between 220 yards and 260 yards, you need a regular flex shaft. And if you hit over 260 yards, it’s time to invest in a stiff shaft. If you go way over 260 yards, an extra stiff shaft would be more appropriate.

Some Other Factors that Can Impact Your Shaft Choice

Golf as a sport is not as straightforward as it seems. If you want the best results from your club purchase, you need to take some additional factors into consideration before choosing the shaft flex.

Shaft Torque

The torque of a golf club indicates how much it twists on impact, measured in degrees. The more torque, the higher the shaft will flex. Another concept known as kick point comes associated with this same concept. The kick point is the point in your shaft where the flex occurs.

It’s important because the kick point will determine the trajectory of the ball’s flight after the impact. The higher the kick point, the lower the trajectory, and vice versa.

Shaft Length

If you get the right shaft flex but ignore the shaft length for your needs, you’re taking the wrong approach! Your carry distance as well as your accuracy is directly connected to the shaft length. Studies have shown that incorrect shaft length can result in up to 7% loss in carry distance.

If you have a driving range in your area, it would be best to get the driver and the irons fitted by a professional. If you don’t have that option, at least do proper research to match the shaft length to your height and other body measurements.

Feel

This might sound cliché but feeling has a huge impact on golf. A lot of the time, you can feel the result of your drive or fairway shot as soon as the ball touches the head of your club. Sure, it won’t come to you right away. But the more you play, the more you’ll realize the importance of feeling.

This is why it’s crucial that the club you choose feels right. Always try to hit a few balls before you finalize a decision. If your local range doesn’t offer this option, ask a friend who can lend you the club you’re looking at.

Final Words

If you search on the internet, there is an abundance of guides on how to choose the right club for your needs. But very few of them emphasize the shaft flex enough. It’s one of those underlying characteristics of your clubs that can make you a better player. Or, the opposite.

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