How to choose a golf club shaft

Are your clubs showing wear and tear from the many rounds you have played in the last few years?

Then, you probably want to repair or replace your current clubs.

Well, if you are thinking of repairing your clubs or buying new ones, there are a few things you should be aware of to help you choose the right shaft. 

The first thing that should be on your mind is the type of shaft you would like, then the shaft flex, torque rating, kick-point as well as length. Each one of these aspects of a golf club shaft influences the performance of a club, so each should be carefully considered before you place an order. 

The following guide will help you learn how to choose a golf club shaft. 

Types of Golf Shafts

Graphite and steel are the two primary materials used to make golf shafts. Typically, a golf club will be assembled from either of these two materials. 

If you have chosen to change the material making up your shaft, be sure that you are informed about the difference between the current and the new material. Newer designs combine both materials to form what is known as multi-materials golf shafts. 

Steel Golf Shafts

These are heavier and much more durable. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive compared to graphite types. Usually, they are constructed out of carbon steel; however, in some cases, the shafts are made out of stainless steel and weigh 120 g minimum. 

Steel shafts are most preferred because a golfer will not experience lateral of torque twisting, as is often the case with graphite shafts. 

Thus, a steel shaft provides a lot more control, and it’s built for accuracy rather than distance. This means that you need to swing faster to generate almost the same yardage you would achieve with a graphite golf shaft. 

A steel shaft is the most ideal choice for a golfer with average swing speed, who’s looking for added control when golfing. 

On the other hand, if you have a slower swing speed (usually a senior player or beginner), then a steel shaft may not be for you.

Graphite Golf Shafts

 A graphite shaft is lighter, somewhat expensive, and less durable compared to a steel shaft. They weigh 50 to 85 g, almost half the weight of their steel counterparts. Since they are lightweight, they provide better swing speeds and more power. But, they trade control with speed because of the flex generated in your swing. 

As a result, a graphite shaft is a good fit for any golfer. In particular, they are a good fit for female golfers as well as seniors, because they are likely to struggle to generate a fast swing from a steel shaft. 

Graphite shafts come with extensive ranges, a variation in color, and flex. These characteristics appeal to professionals and amateurs alike. 

Multi-Material Golf Shafts

As a recent addition to the golf club accessories market, these shafts are used with both drivers and irons. Multi-material shafts incorporate both graphite and steel into a single shaft to offer golfers the best of both materials. They are suitable for almost all play types. 

In general, multi-material shafts are made out of steel, with the tip being graphite. The steel part offers a golfer greater control over the flight, while graphite ensures the golf ball traverses the desired distance without unnecessary vibrations. 

Shaft Technology

Which golf shaft flex is right for me?

Flex is a measure of the extent to which your shaft bends as you swing. It affects direction and distance. So, getting a shaft with the right amount of flex is essential. 

The flex rating you choose depends on your swing. For instance, amateurs and anyone else with a less than powerful swing prefer shafts with lots of flex as they can drive the ball more. On the contrary, players with faster swing speeds require shafts with a little less flex. 

The following are the different flex ratings available:

  • Extra stiff – XS
  • Stiff – S
  • Firm – F
  • Regular – R
  • Senior – S
  • Amateur – A 
  • Ladies – L

It’s worth noting that different manufacturers have unique flex specifications. For instance, one manufacturer’s regular flex may not be another’s firm flex. Also, all golf shafts, however stiff they are, have some kind of flex. 

This chart will help you figure out what flex to get for your own particular swing. Your general swing speed and ball speed ranges should give you a corresponding traditional shaft flex.

From The Golfworks

Kick Point on a Golf Shaft

The kick point, which is also referred to as the flex point, is the point at which a shaft flexes. This affects the trajectory of your shot. While this effect is minimal, it is still detectable. 

A shaft with a significant kick point often gives a low shot trajectory and tends to generate a “one-piece” feel. On the other hand, a low flex point often leads to a high shot trajectory. You also get to feel the shaft whipping your golf club head through. 

Shaft Torque

Each shaft comes with a torque rating. The rating is measured in degrees and is meant to help you figure out how much your shaft will shift when you swing. A higher rating indicates your shaft is very likely to twist. 

Torque also determines how the shaft feels in your hands. A higher rating gives your shaft a softer feel. Shafts with a torque rating of 3 degrees feel stiffer than those with a rating of 5 degrees. 

Each shaft, whether graphite or steel based, has some torque. It’s not possible to eliminate torque completely, but remember that a lower torque will cause the golf ball to travel a lower trajectory. 

Shaft Length

Once you attach a shaft onto your golf club, find a length that feels comfortable to you. If you are wondering why shaft length is significant, then here’s why. If your ball impact is ½ inch off-center, you will experience about 7 percent loss in its carry distance.

So, the most crucial thing to consider as you choose a shaft length is to go for one that offers repeating solid hits every time. 

How To Choose A Golf Club Shaft

How Do You Measure the Length of a Golf Club Shaft? 

To determine the length of a club, stand up tall and find another person to take measurements from the floor to the point where your hand meets the wrist. Take measurements on both hands and find the average of the two values you get. 

The list below indicates the lengths you should consider for specific heights. If the point at which your hand meets the wrist measures:

  • 29 – 32 inches – you need a 5-iron with a length of 37 inches
  • 33 – 34 inches – you need a 5-iron with a length of 37.5 inches
  • 35 – 36 inches – you need a 5-iron with a length of 38 inches
  • 37 – 38 inches – you need a 5-iron with a length of 38.5 inches
  • 39 – 40 inches – you need a 5-iron with a length of 39 inches
  • 41 and above – you need a 5-iron with a length of 39.5 inches

Unable to Decide What Works for You? Get Custom Fitted, Don’t Guess

In the past few years, custom fitting of shafts has become quite common. What was once the preserve of tour golfers and rising stars have become available to every golfer who has the time and cash to acquire a set of properly fitted clubs. 

With current technology and a lot of unique products on the market, experienced golf shaft fitters can solve shaft issues with a lot of ease. Custom fitting is available with irons, woods, and putters from almost all manufacturers. A fitter will work with a golfer to figure out the right face angles, lie angles, lengths, lofts, and swing weights. 

If you’re a bold player, the custom fitting will make you a better golfer. A comprehensive fitting has four critical stages. It begins with static fitting, which requires a golfer to provider physical characteristics. 

The characteristics include a wrist to floor measurement, height, finger, and hand length. This information will give the fitter an idea of the lie angle, club length, and grip size appropriate for the golfer. 

The next step is dynamic fitting, in which a golfer hits actual golf balls with a face tape mounted on the club. During this time, the fitter checks the swing, club head, posture, swing path, and flex point. This information is used to work out the best club makeup. 

The third step is ball flight observation. In this step, the fitter works closely with the golfer to fine-tune the chosen fit. The trajectory, curvature of the hit, and carry distance are carefully monitored until both parties find an optimal tee performance.   

The last step involves the golfer assessing the performance of the selected driver. The information collected is shared with the fitter. If there are changes to be made, they are discussed between the two, and appropriate action is taken. 

How to Know if You Have Chosen the Wrong Shaft

It’s easy to tell if you chose the wrong club shaft. When you swing, the golf ball will travel a shorter distance

Also, you are likely to strike your golf ball off-center. In some instances, your club will feel dead, especially if the shaft is stiff or unusually heavy. Alternatively, the club may feel extremely weak and soft. 

How To Choose A Golf Club Shaft

Golfing is a challenging sport. It has many dynamics that, if not carefully considered, can affect the performance of a golfer. One such aspect is the golf shaft. 

To find the right shaft, you need to consider the material and the technology in play. If you feel you can’t find what you are looking for, have your shaft custom fitted. A good custom fitting needs a bit of time, but it’s a small price to pay if you want to up your game. 

For comments, questions, or concerns, feel free to share in the comment box below.

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