What do you know about golf shafts

www.martinrathbone.co.uk – martin@martinrathbone.co.uk – 07958785326

Are You Flexible Enough?

We often have golfers in the shop talking about a shaft they changed in a club and how that club is now “awesome” or “Rubbish”, whilst I’m not against changing the shafts in your clubs as they are after all, the most important component, it is vital that they are suitable to your individual golf swing. So read on for a little insight into how they work.

Flex:
When golfers get fitted for their clubs one part that is looked at will be the flex of the shaft, flex is really the strength of the golf shaft, the stiffness or softness. Every golf shaft will have a flex point, sometimes called the kick point, where the shaft will bend the most.  Both the degree of flex a shaft contains and the location of its flex point will affect the distance a player is likely to achieve with that club.

Flex Types:
There are 5 main types of golf shaft flex being L, A, R, S and X. The most flexible of the shafts are labelled “L” often referred to as Ladies Shafts. These are followed by the “A” shafts, typically labelled Senior Shafts. They then get progressively stiffer with “R” being regular, “S” stiff and “X” extra stiff. Unfortunately there is no industry standard for flex types which is why I disagree with “Labels” being attached. One manufacturers “Stiff” shaft can be equal to another ones “Extra Stiff” shaft.

Shaft Energy:
A golf shaft stores energy when it flexes during the backswing and the start of the downswing. The energy is released at impact when the shaft whips forward.
 
If you put the grip end of a club into a vice, then pull back on the clubhead, you’ll feel tension in the club. This tension is the stored energy, which will spring the club head forward if you release the club. To achieve maximum distance the stored energy must be released at the moment of impact during a golf swing. If the energy isn’t released quickly enough — in other words, if the shaft is still flexed on impact — you’ve wasted potential energy. If the shaft straightens prior to impact, the potential energy you have built is gone and, again, you’ll lose distance on your shot.
(Courtesy www.golfmagazine )
 
Which Shaft Should You use?
I would always recommend a custom fitting with a reputable body but in very general terms, a golfer with a high swing speed would probably be better using stiffer shafted clubs, while those with lower swing speeds require more flexible shafts.
 
PGA Tour players will typically have very high swing speeds and use stiff or extra stiff shafts; some club golfers who like to have a “Macho” image will use the same shafts but at great detriment to their game.
 
Normally if a golfer has a swing speed within 80-90 mph range the fitter will start with a regular shaft and then make any necessary adjustments.
 
One area of adjustment is the Flex/Kick Point. Golf club manufacturers can adjust the shaft’s flex point primarily to produce a higher or lower ball flight.  Higher flex point produces lower ball flight, while a lower flex point results in a higher launch angle.
 
If in any doubt it may be worth getting your swing speed checked to see if you are using the correct shafts.
 
Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you all enjoyed it, Take care and have fun with your golf.