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Shaft Flex: What’s Right For Your Swing

Shaft flex can have a significant effect with your ball striking, we all know this, but shaft flex can also have an effect on what type of swing you have.

There’s more to consider than, what is the right shaft flex for your swing profile? You should also take into consideration, what is the right shaft flex for your acceleration profile.

If you have an early release or cast the club, even if you have a faster swing speed, you can most likely get away with a softer flex shaft. If you create and hold significant lag, even with a slower swing speed, you can most likely fit yourself with a stiffer flex shaft.

Taking these points into consideration your shaft flex will be critical in helping maximize your consistency.

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20 Responses to Shaft Flex: What’s Right For Your Swing

  1. Frank D October 10, 2018 at 9:47 pm #

    What about swing speed? My swing speed is down to 75 mph, is it time for senior flex?

    • gregg e. Joss October 11, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

      More likely time to start croquet. Jut kidding! Senior flex is the answer.

    • Gene Parente October 11, 2018 at 8:54 pm #

      Yes if you are down to 75 mph you will want to look at the Senior flex or the Lite flex shafts. Both have generally more flex and an overall lighter weight profile that allows for the ball flight trajectory that you need for your swing speed.

    • Rick J. October 12, 2018 at 1:36 am #

      Thanks for this – I’ve always had questions about shaft flex. Is it possible to name the varieties of shafts – and what swing speeds they relate to? For example, between X and X mph use and S-flex shaft, etc.? Thanks.

      • Gene Parente October 12, 2018 at 5:48 pm #

        Rick,
        Good question. There are no industry standards so these are general suggestions but here are the ranges:
        105+ mph=X Flex
        95-104 mph=S Flex
        85-94 mph= R Flex
        75-84 mph=A Flex
        74 below mph=L Flex
        There are differences within a flex category as well based upon where the kick point is located but the range above is a good starting point to determine what flex is right for you.

  2. Will Skeat October 11, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    Light and stiff is the desired profile. The stiffest shaft that you can swing at your best swing speed without inducing inertial deformation. That is all. Flex is bad, lag is bad. Deliver the club face back to address position, at speed.

    • Gene Parente October 12, 2018 at 5:50 pm #

      Will,
      Good comments that I agree with. The one added aspect is acceleration. Players with smooth acceleration profiles generally can swing shafts that are more flexible then players with high acceleration profiles at the same speed.

  3. Neil Belknap October 11, 2018 at 2:43 pm #

    I’m 85 years of age, play off 32 hdcp, and three times a week
    What flex staff would you recommend?

    • Gene Parente October 12, 2018 at 5:52 pm #

      Neil,

      I would recommend looking at a “senior” flex or a “Lite” flex shaft.

  4. Larry Clark October 13, 2018 at 2:37 pm #

    I hit my driver about 170 yards, my 5 iron 100 to 110, Irons are steel regular flex, in a points game I am a 16, my usga handicap is 20.. The question is a new set of clubs steel or graphite and what flex. I’m 80 years old. Larrymassillon@aol.com

    • Gene Parente October 14, 2018 at 7:12 pm #

      Larry,
      I would recommend a senior flex or a Lite flex driver. I also would recommend a slightly longer club at 45.5 inches as this will give you a bit more distance.
      Finally make sure that your loft is 12 degrees. This will help you get the trajectory you need to maximize distance.

  5. joe w December 8, 2018 at 7:10 am #

    Should Larry’s height be taken inconsideration b4 advising longer club length??

    • Gene Parente December 13, 2018 at 12:29 pm #

      Joe,

      Good question. I am assuming that Larry is playing with a standard 45 inch driver. a ½” increase shouldn’t have much of an effect on the players arc, based upon height, but should provide a small increase in club head speed.

  6. Steve S January 11, 2019 at 1:51 pm #

    All the “rules of thumb” about flex are nonsense. Rick Theil did a video where hit a Ping driver with Senior, regular, stiff and X shafts. The distances and trajectories were all very close. What was MARKEDLY different was the dispersion. The more flex the more dispersion. Like one other gentleman stated, use the stiffest, lightest shaft you can afford.

  7. Richard February 11, 2019 at 11:26 am #

    What about kick point? Refresh me on which does what.

    • Gene Parente February 14, 2019 at 8:43 am #

      Richard,

      Kick point is a subset of flex. The flex of the shaft refers to the overall bending of the golf shaft: Stiff, Medium, or weak. The kick point refers to the point at which the shaft bends. This point can be engineered so that within a flex category shafts can bend higher or lower on the shaft length.

      What this means is that the lower the shaft bend point the more the shaft will release into impact whereas the higher the shaft kick point the less the shaft will bend coming into impact.

      Most shafts have kick points designed for their flex range; for example Senior and Ladies flex shafts have a lower kick point and X flex shafts have a higher kick point.

      You can however get options of shafts that say are a Regular flex with a high kick point.

      This is more for fine tuning fitting trying to get the exact launch conditions and feel for a player.

  8. Jim Edwards February 11, 2019 at 11:45 am #

    In addition to swing speed I am interested whether I should have a low high or medium kick Point in the shaft. Thanks

    • Gene Parente February 14, 2019 at 8:49 am #

      Jim,

      Please see my explanation to Richard about kick point above. The main reason for adjusting kick point is if you want to alter your shot shape and trajectory more then the flex of the shaft allows. For example let’s say you were swinging at 88 mph and had a 14 degree launch angle with 3500 rpm of backspin with a Regular flex low kick point shaft.

      In this scenario you would want to lower your launch angle slightly which would lower your spin rate and provide more distance. To do this you would test out Regular flex shafts with medium and high kick points to help lower your trajectory and spin rate to provide more distance.

  9. Anthony Petronis February 11, 2019 at 8:01 pm #

    What about irons? My ball speed with driver is 127 and 97-100 with 7 iron regular 70 gram graphite shaft. Always fight hook with irons even though bent two degrees flat. I am 76 years of age. Do I need a stiffer, heavier graphite. Driver weight is 45 gram stiff.

    Tony Petronis

    • Gene Parente February 14, 2019 at 8:58 am #

      Anthony,

      You have an interesting dilemma. Most slower swinging players fight a slice and therefore most flexible lighter shafts are designed with lower kick points to help square the head earlier and help reduce the slice.

      Without seeing how much of the hook is your swing I would say that going to a stiffer shaft with a lower kick point, and possibly heavier should help minimize the hook.

      The issue is at your age you want to maximize distance and that is where the lightweight shafts are really beneficial.

      I would recommend trying through lessons or drills to eliminate your hook and stay with the lightweight flexible shafts but if you do not want to then you can go heavier, and stiffer to help straighten out a hook.

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