Golf : Shafts and Shaft Length

Of the three components that make up a golf club, the grip, the shaft and the head; by far the most important is the shaft; it is the shaft that transfers the energy in your swing into ball flight.

Get this bit wrong and you’re in big trouble, shaft flex decisions must be based on your swing speed and swing tempo when renewing or customizing your golf clubs.

You must find a shaft that suits your swing precisely (there being some 45 shaft combinations to choose from) and the shaft must be trimmed and fitted into the club head with extraordinary care, (see shaft spine alignment) not to do so, will alter the shafts characteristics and a club will fail to play as it should.

The shaft also dictates one of the most important factors in a golf club, its overall length.

Take a look at the ten shaft facts below.

Fact 1

There are more outrageous claims made by manufacturers of shafts than in any other area of the game (if we actually got the extra 10 yards promised every time a new shaft came out, we would all be driving 400 yards by now).

All too often a new graphite shaft hitting the market really means a change of color on a tried and proven shaft (it’s a fashion/marketing thing).

Fact 2

Getting the shaft length right has to be one of the most important factors in club fitting, if the club is too long for the golfers ability, it will mean an increase in off center hits/missed center of gravity (sweet spot), resulting in off line shots and a massive loss in distance.

Fact 3

Flex is not the only shaft variant to consider; every shaft type has its own torque and bend point characteristics.

Particularly true when it comes to 1000s of graphite shafts options out there.

Choose the wrong characteristics for your swing and you could struggle getting the ball off the ground.

Fact 4

When tested, the average golfer increases their club head speed only 2mph when using a 45.5″ driver over that of a 43.5″ driver; but, when they fail to hit the centre of the golf club (and they will) due to the extra length the lost distance will be dramatic.

The average golfer will hit a longer ball with a 43.5″ driver than he would with a 45.5″ .

The majority of PGA Tour Pro’s use a 44.5” driver if they could hit a 45.5” driver consistently they would.

They cant so what makes you think you can? FACT

Fact 5

Tiger Woods has used a 43½” driver to win most of his Major titles and the average driver length on the PGA Tour is 44½”.

So, why do pro shops and golf stores fill their shelves with 45″ and 45½” drivers?

And why do we buy and expect to control a driver length a tour pro won’t carry in their bag?

The answer is simple, clever marketing from the big manufactures and the average golfer failing to resist the temptation of another 2 or 3yds from the tee, which, I promise you, will never materialize.

Fact 6

Steel shafts by the nature of their construction are heavier than graphite and for this reason they’re often the first choice for the irons of the stronger golfer or golfers with faster swing tempos. They also have the benefit of being more consistent than graphite. However, realizing this some shaft manufacturers have introduced light weight steel shafts and these are ideal for the slower swinger.

Fact 7

A shaft with a little more flex than you need, will give you more distance, but less accuracy, if a shaft has a little less flex than you need, the reverse will apply.

Fact 8

It is universally agreed that there is no standard within the golf industry for governing shaft stiffness or flex.

One company’s stiff flex shaft may well be another company’s regular flex.

A frequency analyzer is the best way to find out the true flex of the shaft you’re playing, the label can not be trusted.

At Amigo4Golf all our shafts are frequency matched.

Fact 9

Graphite shafts are lighter than steel, this helps the golfers with slow swing speeds increase their club head speed, hitting the ball further.

Conversely graphite shafts can be made extremely stiff with very little shaft torque, a must for the big hitters capable of overpowering a stiff steel driver shaft.

Fact 10

Graphite shafts are kinder on hands and arms; they don’t transmit the shock of impact like steel shafts.

Good news for people suffering with problems like arthritis and tennis elbow.