What flex shaft do I need? Choosing The Right Golf Shaft Flex

When you are looking for a new golf club, the shaft is one of the most important factors to consider. And

With so many factors available, including flex, weight, and material, you might have a clear question: what flex shaft do I need?

In this post, we’ll try to demystify some of the jargon and give you clear guidelines on how to choose the right golf shaft flex for your game.

 We will also discuss what shaft flex is, why it is important, how to choose the ideal flex shaft based on your needs, and how to tie flex together with weight and material. This will help you make the best decision for your game!

Let’s go.

What shaft flex should you use?

To be honest, the answer to this question tends to be quite personal to your preferences and playing style. This is usually a two-sided choice. On one hand, there’s performance; that is launch angles, ball dispersion, and such. And on the other hand, there’s feel, which is unique to your preference and playing style.

Generally, stiffer flex shafts are typically better for experienced players with faster swing speeds and a more refined technique. The reason for this is that stiffer shafts offer more control, less slice, and less distance. If you’re an experienced player with a decent swing, stiff flex is probably the way to go.

On the other hand, regular flex shafts are typically better for moderate-to-slow swing speeds. Regular flex shafts are slightly more flexible and help maximize distance. Bear in mind, though, that more flexible shafts sacrifice accuracy since the extra “bending,” or torsion makes control a bit harder.

Ultimately, a lot of this comes down to personal preference and feel. The best way to figure out what works best for you is to experiment with different shafts and see what gives you the best results.

If you’re still unsure about what flex shaft to choose, the best thing to do is to get fitted by a professional. They will be able to help you test different shafts and find the one that is best for your game. You’ll be amazed by how much data they have available to make the right choice.

flex shaft categories chart
Different flex shafts by clubhead speed

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The basics: What is golf shaft Flex?

Golf club shaft flex is the amount of bend in the shaft of a golf club. The flex of a shaft affects the trajectory of the ball and the distance it will travel. It is important to choose a shaft with the appropriate flex for your swing speed. A shaft that is too stiff or too flexible will result in poorer performance.

Golf shaft flex is the amount of bend in the shaft of a golf club. The flex of a shaft affects the trajectory of the ball and the distance it will travel. It is important to choose a shaft with the appropriate flex for your swing speed and style of golf.

A shaft that is too stiff or too flexible will result in poorer performance. For instance, if you have a slow swing speed, you will need a shaft with more flex in order to generate extra power (thanks to the flexibility) to hit the ball further.

If you have a fast swing speed, you will need a stiffer shaft in order to increase control and accuracy.

Choosing the right shaft flex can be instrumental in improving golf consistency, and avoiding too many slices or misshits.

Do golf shafts make a difference?

Definitely, golf shafts can definitely make a difference in your golf swing and the overall performance of your shots.

At the end of the day, the shaft is what connects you to the clubhead. Therefore, the flex of the shaft is critical because it affects how much power and control you can generate in your swing and how accurate your shot will be.

If you have an incorrect shaft for your type of swing, it can cause you to miss the ball entirely or hit it off-center, resulting in a loss of distance of your shot. There are different types of shafts available depending on your swing speed and style, so let’s have a look at the different types of shafts available.

Should you use Regular or Stiff Flex shafts?

Generally, there are five different flexes available: Ladies (L), Senior (A or M), Regular (R). Stiff (S) Extra Stiff (X).

However, most people and retailers tend to make it a bit easier and summarize it to Regular or Stiff shafts. This allows beginners to make a better choice early on in their golfing journey.

The main difference between these two is the amount of flex, or bend, in the shaft. A regular flex shaft will have more flex than a stiff shaft.

They measure the degree of flex in terms of a unit of measurement called the “degree of deflection” or “D-Flex.” in short.

The higher the D-Flex number, the more flexible the shaft is. For example, a senior flex shaft has a D-Flex of about 8, while a stiff flex shaft has a D-Flex of 10.5.

The extra stiffness in a stiff flex shaft can help increase swing speed, but it can also make it harder to control the club. And this is a matter of finding the sweet spot in your case. Don’t look for the right choice as every golfer is different and your mechanics are unique compared to other players.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s important to find the right balance for your swing speed and skill level. If you’re not sure which shaft to choose, you can ask a club fitting specialist for help.

How to know if you have picked the wrong shaft?

There are a few ways to tell if you have picked the wrong shaft. One way is to look at the stiffness of the shaft. If the shaft is too stiff, it may be too difficult to control. Another way to tell if you have picked the incorrect shaft is to hit some balls with it. If you are not able to hit the ball well, or if the ball does not go where you want it to, then you may have picked the wrong shaft.

When choosing the right shaft, it is important to select one that is appropriate for your swing speed and playing style. If you choose a shaft that is too stiff, it may be harder to achieve great distance in your shots. Conversely, if you choose a shaft that is too flexible, it may cause the ball to slice or hook, losing a lot of control.

Regular shafts are typically a safer choice for most golfers, especially in the beginning. However, if you have a slow swing speed, you may want to consider a shaft with a higher flex rating. If you have a fast swing speed, you may want to choose a shaft with a lower flex rating since you don’t need as much power.

But as we said previously, ultimately, the best way to know if you have picked the right golf shaft is to hit a lot of balls with it and see how it performs. Spend a couple of hours at the range or doing some rounds so you have a good idea of how the shaft feels in your hands.

If you are still unsure, there are professional club fitters who can help you make the best decision for your game.

What is the best shaft for a fast swing speed?

As we discussed above, given a player has a moderate-to-high swing speed and they can square the clubface properly, a stiffer shaft will usually offer more control.

There’s not much need for a lot of flex since they can already produce high velocity, and stiffer shafts will be more stable and therefore offer more control.

Stiff or extra stiff shafts can do the job here. Once swing speeds get to a certain degree, say 120-125 mph, launch angles and aggressiveness in transitions become much more important.

What is the best shaft for a slow swing speed?

On the other end of the spectrum, we have lower swing speeds. A regular or softer flex is usually the way to go.

Mainly because a more flexible shaft will help you generate extra power due to the “bending” of the shaft. The trade-off is that you may lose some control and feel, but the extra distance can be worth it if that’s your main weakness.

If you find that regular flex isn’t working for you, you can try a stiff flex – but be aware that this may be too much if your swing speed is on the slower side.

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How shaft weight affects your game

The weight of the shaft is another important consideration. The rule of thumb here is that lighter shafts are for faster swing speeds and heavier

Flex rating is very important, but weight is another critical factor, and they actually go hand in hand.

When considering a shaft, you should always check the flex and weight together. Many manufacturers vary their flex naming. That’s why pairing weight and flex should be the priority.

Generally, the heavier the shaft, the stiffer it tends to be (less flexibility). In contrast, a lighter shaft will generally be more flexible and create more bending.

Just like flex, lighter shafts are easier to swing and generate more clubhead speed, but they also tend to have less control. A heavier shaft will be the opposite – it will require a more refined swing technique but offer more control.

To have a general idea, I’ve found that most driver shafts for men weigh around 55-65 grams, while ladies’ driver shafts will range from 45 to 55 grams.

In terms of professional tours, driver shafts on the PGA Tour weigh between 60 and 80 grams, while those on the LPGA Tour weigh between 50 and 65 grams.

See the correlation between flex and weight? They really go hand in hand.

Testing several shafts with varying weights and flex will give you a clear idea of what works best for you. Feel is crucial here.

Steel or Graphite Shafts?

And lastly, we’ll cover shaft material.

There are two main types of shafts used in golf clubs: steel and graphite. Steel shafts are typically heavier and stiffer and offer more control, while graphite shafts are lighter, a bit more flexible, and can aid in creating extra yardage.

Again, this is all about testing yourself to get used to each material and its feel. But for slower swing speeds, graphite shafts might be a better fit as they will help increase velocity without sacrificing too much control.

On the other hand, for higher swing speeds, steel shafts could be the better option to help keep those transitions tight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What flex shaft should the average golfer use?

Generally, experienced golfers with a fast swing will likely fit a stiff flex shaft in order to get the highest performance for their game.

However, if beginner golfers or ones who have a slower swing speed, a regular flex shaft should be a better option which allows a bit more forgiveness and allows for game improvement.

Will too stiff a shaft cause a slice?

While a stiffer club shaft can offer more control for players with a higher swing speed, it can also make it more difficult to load the club properly during the downswing. When the clubhead gets to the ball, the stiff shaft won’t unload properly, and the face will tend to open up a bit, making a slice shot more likely.

If you’re struggling to hit your shots with a stiff flex, you may want to try a regular shaft instead. While you may not have as much control over your shots, you’ll be able to load the club properly and produce more consistent shots.

Does Flex matter for irons?

It does matter as irons get high club speeds too. Therefore, flex also plays a factor in iron clubs. Remember, however, that swing speed is not the only factor to consider when deciding on shaft flex. As weight also plays an important role in the dynamics and mechanics of each shot.

If you rely a lot on irons, then stiff flex is probably the way to go because it will give you more control over your shots. However, if you tend to slice the ball, then a regular flex shaft might help you correct that.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and style. This is where using a professional fitting service can do wonders, as they will provide endless data points to make the right choice.

Is a stiff flex good for beginners?

I will try to give a more general answer, although this is not a “black and white’ answer.

Stiff-flex golf club shafts are not ideal for beginner golfers. Novice players should instead use shafts with more flex, like a regular or flexible golf shaft.

Stiff flex shafts are more recommended for seasoned golfers who are able to generate higher clubhead speeds while maintaining control in line.

Stiff shafts are firmer and harder to bend, meaning they require more energy to swing. As a result, stiff shafts can be difficult for beginners to control. In addition, stiff shafts are more likely to cause a slice, as they don’t allow for as much correction mid-swing.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the flex shaft is not the only factor when choosing the right shaft. The key is to find the right combination of flex, weight, and material for your particular golfing style and preferences.

There are many variables that go into choosing the right golf shaft. But hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of what to look for and what to consider when making your decision.

Remember that investing in professional fitting can make a huge difference, especially in the beginning before making any final decisions.  A professional fitter will have all the data and information needed to help you make an informed decision about which shaft is right for you.

If you’re still unsure about what shaft flex to choose, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Happy golfing!

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