Shaft Flex – It’s gotten complicated

Many people think that their shaft flex selection comes down to swing speed… but there is a lot more to consider. As always, Gene has the insight and recommendation you need to transition to the right flex. Many amateurs have it wrong.

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16 Responses to Shaft Flex – It’s gotten complicated

  1. Ralph Schimmel July 8, 2018 at 11:49 am #

    I am 79 yrs old and currently play with a driver that has a senior flex. I do not know what my swing speed but it is not slow. My drives are about 230 to 240, in your opinion should I be using a regular or stiff shaft

    • Gene Parente July 8, 2018 at 3:51 pm #

      If you are hitting your drives 230 to 240 and the fairways you play on are not too hard then yes you can play a regular flex. The question is do you have a problem with your current driver? If you are hitting the ball consistently and the ball is not flaring at the peak of its trajectory then you may be maximizing your current shaft.

  2. Ioane Fetu July 8, 2018 at 12:14 pm #

    I’m always interested in flex in my clubs. But when you mentioned the distance to shaft flex, I don’t feel comfortable with that because there are some ladies they can kick that ball out there over three hundred yards. With that said, it put a shadow on your theory.

    • Gene Parente July 8, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

      Your comment raises an interesting issue that I have with shaft designation. A ladies flex shaft refers to a player who swings 75 mph and below. The golf shaft does not perform based upon the gender of the player swinging it, only on the force and velocity that player is applying to it.
      In a perfect world golf shafts would not be designated based upon antiquated monikers but would instead be related to club head velocity.
      The women you refer to who hit the ball over 300 yards play either an S or an X flex shaft.

  3. J.Tang July 8, 2018 at 12:27 pm #

    Gene mentioned that the “Ladies Flex” is the most flexible drivers” made by the golf industry. my son has been playing with the US Kids Tour series TS-63 460 cc driver with the junior flex, “J-Flex”, graphite shaft and have had difficulty in controlling his ball flight. This driver is recommended for player’s swing speed of 74 mph and up. When I contacted the US Kids factory, they could not tell me what the J-Flex is in relations to the golf industry’s flex terminology. Based on US Kid’s player’s swing speed at 74 mph plus the club flex should be between the Senior and Regular Flex, but in reality the club seems to be closure to the Ladies Flex or even lower. Can you please tell me where does the J-Flex stiffness really rank as compared to golf industry? Please note that US Kids also offer a “K-Flex” that is recommended for player’s swing speed up-to 73 mph. Thanks,

  4. Gene Parente July 8, 2018 at 3:58 pm #

    I was referring in my video to adult players. You are correct that there are more flexible shafts for junior players. While it is important to provide a junior with a shaft flex for their velocity even more important is that the length of the clubs be correct for their height.
    I recently tested a junior player who was 12 years old and had a driver club head speed of 102 mph.
    We fitted him into a stiff regular shaft but the greatest challenge was the length of his driver. While he could swing a 45 inch driver his height caused him to setup very flat in order to swing it.
    We shortened his driver length which also stiffened up the shaft to ensure that he had the correct lie angle and swing arc for not only his velocity but also his height.

  5. John July 9, 2018 at 9:44 am #

    You mentioned that shaft flex affects accuracy, but did not expand on it. Can you expand please?

    • Gene Parente July 9, 2018 at 4:16 pm #

      The stiffer a shaft is generally the lower the torque is (torque is defined as the amount of twist in a shaft). If you are playing a shaft that is too flexible for your swing speed it can twist easier which can lead to inconsistencies in head delivery and also twisting on off center hits. Both of these can lead to a loss in accuracy.
      As with anything in golf there is always a trade off. The lighter and more flexible shafts will create faster and potentially better launch conditions for more distance but they also have a higher torque value that can result in a loss of accuracy. A stiffer shaft will twist less but it also may produce launch conditions that are too low and not optimized for your club head speed.

  6. Unajacket July 9, 2018 at 3:20 pm #

    I am 90 & I would swing a club head on a noodle if it would help my swing speed. My speed has deteriorated thru the years from 102 mph when I was a single digit in my 40’s to 73 mph in my arthritic 90’s. Would a change in gender or womens clubs help me?? My 100 yard choice is now a 7 iron. Your advice??

    • Gene Parente July 9, 2018 at 4:19 pm #

      If you are swinging at 73 mph then you would see better results with the lightest and most flexible shaft that you can find. There are some shafts that are now being sold that are in the high 40’s and low 50’s in gram weight. They also are very flexible at these weights.
      I would recommend talking to a fitter in your area and asking them about the lightest and most flexible shaft to try out and see if it improves your distance

      • Unajacket July 9, 2018 at 9:08 pm #

        Thanks Gene, I appreciate your advice——

  7. Roger July 9, 2018 at 3:43 pm #

    Very interesting. I just assumed Senior flex had to do with age. I will pay more attention to flex in my next club sellections.

  8. Robert Dunn August 9, 2018 at 3:37 pm #

    I was always under the understanding that flexes are not standard between manufacturers i.e. one manufactures A flex may be comparable to manufacturer #2’s reguler flex etc. How does this inconsistency play into your swing speed vs flex analogy??

    • Gene Parente August 10, 2018 at 12:12 pm #

      Robert you are correct. There are no universal standards in regard to measuring of flex which can create some confusion. To compound that you also have to add in shaft flex (kick) point, weight, and torque all of which can affect how a shaft reacts during a players swing.
      The overall purpose of the video was to describe how the general industry definitions of flex relate to club head speed.
      To understand how a shaft can maximize your personal golf swing I recommend going through a fitting in which you try multiple shafts and see which one provides optimal launch conditions.
      Unfortunately there are no resources for golfers to be able to get an objective comparison of different manufacturers flex ratings.

  9. Gerald Roelants September 4, 2018 at 8:37 am #

    The golf industry has some inconsistencies. I have an Ozick Matrix 6Q3 driver shaft that is labeled S-Flex. I’m 84, played to a handicap of 4 in my 30’s and 40’s. Tried a half dozen driver shafts both R & Sr, but this shaft gave me the best overall results so I took it to a golf store with an oscillating machine and it was determined to be a senior shaft despite the designation on the shaft. So, I don’t think one can count on shaft designation, especially from one brand to the next.

    • Gene Parente September 4, 2018 at 7:03 pm #

      You are correct that there are mislabeled shafts in the golf world. You are also correct that the best way to test what a shaft’s static measurement characteristics are is to have it measured by a club fitter.
      Unfortunately most people do not have access or time to get their shafts checked.
      We have also found that a lot of golfers do not understand what the flex categories even mean or their relevance to their game.
      The purpose of the video was an introductory explanation into what shaft designations mean and how to utilize this knowledge to make a better purchase.

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