The club shaft is the engine of the golf club. There are many different manufacturers of golf shafts worldwide and this includes steel and graphite as a choice to the golfer.
The manufacturing process varies from one manufacturer to another and therefore flex differs slightly. In simple terms, the definition of flex is the amount of bend in the shaft when under the load of the swing.
Another way to express it is the stiffness or the softness of the shaft.
It is generally accepted that the grading system of flex is universal.
- Should I use Senior or Regular Flex?
- What Are The Main Characteristics of The Senior Flex?
- What Are The Main Factors For Moving To Senior Shafts?
The Different Types of Club Flex Available
- L = Ladies— softest and most flexible.
- A or M = Senior— slightly firmer than ladies.
- R = Regular— middle of the road shaft and most used.
- U = Uniflex— for golfers that swing the club at the high end of R and low end of S.
- S = Stiff— for use by golfers with high swing speed.
- X = Extra Stiff— for the young, strong golfer with very high swing speed.
- XXS = Extremely Stiff—mainly used by Pros in the driver.
Should I use Senior or Regular Flex?
Before answering this question, we need to determine whether we will select steel or a graphite shaft.
The most important factors are the swing speed that is generated at the clubhead at Impact, and the tempo of the swing.
Swing Speed and How It Is Measured
Modern technology has developed a Flight scope that is readily available in most golf retail outlets or driving ranges.
Before deciding on the type of shaft you must have this test, as it will not only show your swing speed but also your ball flight and other important factors.
- Below 70 mph = Ladies
- 70 to 80 mph = Strong Ladies or Senior
- 80 to 90 mph = Regular
- 90 and above = Stiff
What Are The Main Characteristics of The Senior Flex?
When a golfer plays with a steel shaft that is too stiff or heavy for his swing speed, the shot feels like an iron rod with no feel.
The result is pushed shots because of the inability to square the face at impact. Contrary to this is if the shaft is too soft, the club feels too whippy, and “sprayed” shots in all directions are the result.
Senior flex shafts allow the golfer to launch the golf ball easily into the air. The shaft also allows for the feel and control that golfers seek when striking the ball.
How Does it Affect My Distance?
Golfers are surprised to learn that the softer shaft will consistently improve the distance by increasing the carry of the ball in the air.
How Does It Affect My Ball Flight?
The launch angle will be greater and the high ball flight overcomes the tendency to try and lift the ball off the ground.
How Does It Affect My Accuracy?
Senior or slow swing speed golfers will enjoy the benefit of hitting more fairways and greens by selecting the correct shaft.
The repetition of a square club head through impact results in straighter shots.
What Are The Main Factors For Moving To Senior Shafts?
Swing speed and control. Once the swing speed is matched to the shaft the golfer will benefit from better control throughout his game.
Senior shafts also offer the golfer stability through impact.
Do I Use The Same Flex In My Driver As In My Irons?
It is not necessary to use the same flex shaft in the complete set.
Should steel shafts be selected for the irons, the lighter graphite shaft is an option for the driver and fairway woods.
Is a Graphite Shaft Better Than Steel For Seniors?
The modern graphite shafts have many benefits:
- They are lighter and the golfer will swing the clubhead faster through impact without trying to force the speed.
- Speed equals distance.
- They launch the ball into the air easily. They offer control, stability, and less vibration through impact.
- Confidence in every swing.
What Does Kick Point Mean?
Kick point is the part of the shaft that bends the most on the downswing.
The kick point determines the trajectory of the shot.
Senior golfers should select a low kick point shaft which enables a high trajectory and ball flight. The bend in the shaft is close to the clubhead.
A medium trajectory is attained by a shaft with the kick point close to the center of the shaft.
A high kick point is for high-speed swings and offers the lowest trajectory. The shaft bends close to the grip.
It is a golfing fact that most golfers are reluctant to move to senior or softer shafts and play with shafts that are too stiff for their swing speed and tempo.
If you want to hit the ball consistently further and straighter, then use more flex.
You need to test the various shafts that are available on a flight scope to find out how each shaft performs in terms of trajectory, flight path, distance, feel, stability, and most importantly control.
I like to take it a step further and try the clubs on the driving range.
As good as modern technology is, hitting the ball on the range will add to your confidence and assist you to make the correct purchase.
- Graduating to Senior Golf- The Experience of a Senior Golfer
- What Are The Golf Senior Tee Box Rules?
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.