Golf Shaft FAQ
Tips to help you understand golf shafts
When buying your golf equipment, it is very important to understand the significance of getting the right type of golf shaft in your golf clubs, and how it affects the performance of your golf game. The golf shaft is commonly referred to as the “engine” of the golf club. So, when choosing the best golf clubs for your game, the two most important things to take into account are:
Shaft type – the material a golf shaft is made from
Shaft flex – the key component in getting the optimal performance from your golf clubs
Golf shaft type
Currently, there are two basic materials that golf shafts are made of – steel and graphite.
Steel golf shafts tend to be heavier in weight, and less expensive in general than graphite golf shafts. Steel golf shafts are found primarily in men's iron sets, and are the shaft type of choice for nearly all putters, and a majority of wedges. In general, better players tend to prefer steel shafts in their irons, as they think it improves their overall consistency, and helps them to feel the club more.
Some of the brands of steel golf shafts you might encounter are True Temper, Rifle, Project X, and Apollo. True Temper has been the leader in steel golf shafts for many years, and has several different models, including Dynamic Gold, Dynalite, and Sensicore.
Graphite shafts are popular because they can be manufactured to be very lightweight (as light as 50 to 65 grams), and yet remain very strong. However, in general, graphite golf shafts tend to be more expensive than steel golf shafts. These days, graphite golf shafts are used almost exclusively in all drivers, fairway woods, and hybrid / utility clubs. Also, nearly all women's irons and “senior” men's irons are manufactured with graphite golf shafts.
Because of their lightweight nature, graphite golf shafts enable a golfer to swing the golf club faster with little or no increased effort, resulting in more distance. Also, graphite golf shafts tend to absorb the shock of impact with the golf ball and the ground, helping to decrease soreness commonly found with extensive play and practice.
The leading brands in graphite golf shafts today include Grafalloy, Aldila, Graphite Design, UST, and Fujikura, to name a few. Also, many of the top golf equipment manufacturers will have “stock” graphite golf shafts created for them by the brands listed above.
Golf shaft flex
Choosing the proper flex for your golf shafts is very important in optimizing your golf equipment's performance. The flex or “bend” of a golf shaft helps to harness and optimize your power in your golf swing.
Flex is generally designated by a series of letters: “L” is for ladies, “A” (or “RLite”) for Seniors, “R” for regular, “S” for stiff, and “X” for extra stiff.
Most flexible >>> L, A, R, S, X <<< Least flexible
The slower you swing, the more flexible you want your golf shaft to be to help generate power and distance. As your swing speed increases, you need less flex, and more control.
Keep in mind that there are no standards in the golf industry for each manufacturer's rating of flex. So, you may find that you swing a “regular” flex in one club very well, and yet play well with a “stiff” flex from another manufacturer in another club. While this can be confusing, our recommendation is always to play the equipment that best fits your game, regardless of the flex designation.
One more designation for golf shaft flex that is commonly found is “Uniflex”. This is a men's shaft flex, that rates between a “regular” flex and a “stiff” flex. This shaft design is meant to fit a wide range of skill levels and swing speeds, thus a “one flex fits all” system. If your driver clubhead speed is under 95 MPH, this “uniflex” design will most likely work for you. Many golfers find excellent performance benefits and great value from a “uniflex” set.