Shafts, More To Think About Than Just The Flex

Mitsubishi Tensei AV Series Blue 65

Every golfer is different and therefore a shaft that might be good for one of your playing partners might not be suited to you. Similarly, two different shafts in the same driver head will produce very different launch and shot characteristics. As a result of this you’ll notice when a pro changes driver head they’ll often have the same shaft in it as they did with their previous model or manufacturer. The main thing to think about when buying a shaft is how it feels. The shaft is the connection between you and the driver head and it needs to make sure it delivers the head back square to the ball at the time of impact.

“The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Potter.” – Mr. Ollivander

So what can change to make all this difference? There are four main things to look at; length, weight, flex, and launch/spin. Each will make a small difference individually, but when combined together in the right shaft for you will make a huge difference to your game.

The length of your driver is down to how you view the trade-off between distance and accuracy. A longer driver is going to generate more club head speed and result in longer drives however any small errors in your swing are going to be magnified by the additional length. A shorter driver shaft is not going to produce the same amount of club head speed but will be easier to control and thus result in straighter drives. If you don’t struggle with distance, then a slight shorter (only 0.5 inch) driver shaft might be something to consider. If club head speed is something you do struggle with then a standard length shaft is the right choice, especially with how forgiving modern drivers are.

Linked with speed and control is the weight of the shaft. The industry tends to go with lighter shafts as standards as these will generate more club head speed and distance for their marketing numbers, but it might not be right for you. A heavier shaft will allow you to control the club a little more and remain more stable. Again if you don’t struggle with speed or distance a heavier than standard shaft might be something to consider. An additional 10 grams does not sound like a lot but it can make a huge difference. Heavier shafts are by design stiffer than lighter ones. Which leads nicely into talking about flex.

Aldila Rogue White 130 MSI

The flex of a shaft is the default topic people think they’ve got wrong when they can’t hit a particular driver. Too stiff or too whippy are muttered every weekend at golf clubs all over the world. It might be the case that their shaft is not the right flex but also the other characteristics might be wrong too. Not all regular shafts are the same, just like all black cars will not drive the same. A lightweight regular shaft will act differently in hands of a golfer to one that is slightly heavier. The heavier shaft might cause a slightly lower swing speed that keep the club head more square and thus resulting in a straighter drive.

The final piece of the puzzle is the launch and spin characteristics. This is more complex as it can be altered by the club head as well as the shaft. However, finding a shaft that brings you into the optimum window of launch and spin allows you to play around with the head of your driver more as you know the shaft is a fixed variable. The goal for manufacturers is high launch and low spin but obviously as a general rule these two characteristics do not go together. It’s high launch and high spin or lower launch and lower spin.

It’s great now you understand how a shaft can affect the golf shots you’re hitting but the only way to find one that suits your swing profile is by hitting. With Golfbidder you get a no-quibble 7-day trial on all our used club. So buy one, try it, and if you don’t like it then just send it back for a full refund.

For more information or to speak to one of our PGA qualified customer services team call 0208 4016 901. Lines and emails are open and managed from 9:00am - 5:00pm , Monday – Friday and 9:00am - 1:00pm Saturday.