7 Tips To Select Golf Shaft Flex And Shoot Lower Scores

Golf club technology is complicated. Sometimes it can feel like you need an engineering degree just to understand an advertisement for that new driver from Callaway Golf.

Once you settle on the club you want, you have to decide on the shaft. To get the most out of your equipment, you need to select the correct golf shaft flex.

Don’t make the mistake of simply grabbing a club off the rack without considering the golf shaft flex – it changes more than you’d think.

In fact, experts will tell you that getting the correct shaft is more important than the clubhead.

We are here to help you make the right choice.

Below we will explore the different components of a shaft that you need to consider and provide you with a golf shaft flex chart based on swing speed.

Let’s get into the swing of it!

Younger golfer helps older golfer examine his club

What Is Golf Shaft Flex?

The flex is the amount that the shaft will bend (or flex) during your swing. This affects the distance and direction of your shots.

The key is to match the golf shaft flex with your swing. If you are mismatched you will lose distance and accuracy.

There are 5 different levels of golf shaft flex:

  • Extra Stiff
  • Stiff
  • Regular
  • Senior
  • Ladies’

These are the most common golf shaft flexes, but you may also see terms like “Firm” or “Amateur”.

A young male golfer helping a female golfer with her elbow position

A “Firm” shaft is typically between a Stiff and a Regular. An “Amateur” shaft is between a Senior and a Ladies’.

Younger and more skilled players are typically toward the top end and beginners/older golfers will use shafts with more flex.

Professional and scratch golfers will use stiff or extra stiff shafts.

The #1 factor that determines the right shaft for you is your clubhead speed. Keep reading to learn if you have the swing speed for stiff shafts.

Golf Shaft Flex Chart Based On Your Swing Speed

Further down in this post we discuss why you might want to consider getting “fit” for your shafts, but the below chart provides you with guidelines.

Driver Carry DistanceDriver Swing SpeedGolf Shaft Flex
Under 200 yardsUnder 75 mphLadies or Senior
200 to 240 yards75 to 95 mphRegular
240 to 275 yards95 to 110 mphStiff
Over 275 yardsOver 110 mphExtra Stiff

Your swing speed will vary depending on the club you are using – we recommend you test your speed with your driver.

If you swing over 105 mph and are using a regular golf shaft, you are making the game harder on yourself. A stiffer golf shaft flex would improve your accuracy.

Male golfer in bright orange trousers taking powerful backswing

Conversely, if you swing your driver 70 mph and are using a stiff shaft, you are giving away distance.

Golf is hard enough without fighting against your equipment. The wrong golf shaft flex can cause you to hit hooks and slices.

How To Determine Your Swing Speed: 3 eASY Tips

Your swing speed is the most important factor in picking the correct golf shaft flex. The obvious question – how can you test your swing speed?

There are several different ways to measure if you have the swing speed for stiff shafts.

#1: Buy A Launch Monitor

If you are interested in improving your swing speed, you may want to try a speed training program and purchase a launch monitor to measure your progress.

A launch monitor will measure your swing speed on every shot you hit on the driving range. You can quickly learn the correct golf shaft flex for your game.

Once you have your clubs you can use the launch monitor to improve your golf game and lower your golf handicap.

Analyze your stats and learn to make more consistent contact.

Man playing golf on course with view of trees and the ocean

#2: Visit A Golf Retailer

Go to a golf store to try out some clubs. Most now have a golf simulator to allow you to test different drivers and irons.

You can get the feel of the golf shaft flex, but most will be able to tell you your swing speed. You may have to ask them to turn that feature on before you start hitting shots.

You don’t have to buy anything and you will leave understanding the correct golf shaft flex for your game.

#3: Find A Demo Day Near You

Golf manufacturers such as Titleist, Callaway, and TaylorMade will host “demo days” at driving ranges.

They set up a tent, bring all of their clubs, and let you hit shots. As you hit the shots, the club representative will monitor your stats with a launch monitor.

You will learn your swing speed and can potentially get a discounted price on new equipment. Win-win!

Even if you don’t buy any clubs, you will leave with an understanding of the correct golf shaft flex.

Man in black golf clothing post swing amongst the mountains

4 Additional Shaft Components To Consider

Golf shaft flex is the most important component, but there are others you need to keep in mind before you buy new clubs.

Here are 4 additional specifications to pay attention to while shopping.

#1: Shaft Material

Golf shafts are made from either steel or graphite. There are advantages to both.

Steel shafts are heavier, more durable, and less expensive than graphite shafts. Steel shafts don’t twist and are normally more accurate than graphite.

Graphite shafts are much lighter but will cost you more. Your swing speed will be faster with a graphite due to the weight.

In other words, graphite for distance and steel for accuracy. Both are available in various golf shaft flexes.

The most common configuration is graphite shafts for drivers, woods, and hybrids. Steel shafts for your irons and wedges.

That being said, slower swing speed golfers sometimes prefer graphite shafts throughout their set.

Older golfer wearing a red beanie hat examining his shot

#2: Weight

The weight of your golf shafts is another component you must consider. Lighter means more speed and more distance, but less accuracy.

As we discussed above graphite shafts are lighter than steel, but they are offered in many different weights (50 to 100 grams).

You may want a lighter shaft in your driver for added distance, but a heavier shaft in your 3-wood to help you hit more fairways.

#3: Kick Point

The kick point (or flex point) of your shaft will help you improve your trajectory. The right option for you depends on your golf swing.

Golf shafts are offered with high, mid, and low kick points. The kick point is where the shaft is designed to bend during your swing.

A golf shaft with a high kick point will hit the ball lower and a low kick point will launch shots into the air.

If you struggle to get the ball up, you probably would benefit from a low kick point. If you tend to lose distance because your shots float, a high kick point is a good idea.

Man in blue golf clothes doing a backswing on a golf course

#4: Torque

The final specification you need to consider when shopping for golf shafts is torque. The torque is the amount the shaft twists.

Every golf shaft has a torque rating, which is measured in degrees. The higher the rating the more shaft will twist during your swing.

Lower torque will produce a lower ball flight and will be more accurate. Higher torque will produce higher shots and potentially more distance.

Similar to other specifications, it is a balancing act. Your goal is for your equipment to help you play better golf.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

Finding the perfect golf shaft for your game is difficult. You have to consider golf shaft flex, shaft material, weight, kick point, and torque.

three women golfers standing side on smiling at something in the distance

If you are feeling overwhelmed, it might make sense to talk to a professional. Over the last decade or so, club fitting has become very popular with golfers worldwide.

It can be expensive to get a custom fit for your clubs, but it is the best way to ensure you have the perfect golf shafts for your swing.

The club fitter will have you hit shots to watch your swing and use a launch monitor to capture your statistics.

They will track metrics like clubhead speed, ball speed, smash factor, and spin rate.

The cool thing about this process is that they can quickly switch out shafts. You can hit the same clubs with 5 different shafts and the launch monitor will tell you which one performs the best.

The club fitting process removes all guesswork. You will see which golf shaft works best for you.

Two golfers smiling at the camera with clubs in hand

Do It Yourself (DIY) Golf Shaft Selection

If custom clubs are not an option, you can pick a great shaft by following these steps:

  • Learn your clubhead speed (with a driver)
  • Determine the best golf shaft flex based on your clubhead speed (use chart above)
  • Identify your typical trajectory – do you hit the ball high, normal, or low?
  • Match your clubhead speed and typical trajectory to shaft specifications (material, weight, kick point, torque)

You will be amazed once you have clubs that match your game. You will hit more good shots and start to shoot lower scores.

The correct golf shafts could help you break 100, break 90, or even break 80!

Two older golfers smiling at the camera with their golf bags

Do You Have All Of The Golf Equipment You Need?

So, now you know about golf shaft flex – but what about all the other bits of golf gear that can improve your game?

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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