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Golf Club Shafts

Whether you are a novice, intermediate, or advanced golfer, the shaft is among the most important equipment choices you can make. A golf shaft not only determines how a club feels during your golf swing but how it performs in a wide range of scenarios. This significance is relevant when it comes to woods, irons, wedges, putters, and more.

What are golf shafts?

A shaft is the part of a golf club that connects the grip to the clubhead. It dictates overall length, which much be chosen based on player height, as well as stiffness. Some golfers prefer a stiffer shaft while others prefer a flexible shaft. There are 6 degrees of rigidness that are recognized by most of the leading golf equipment manufacturers, including:

  • Aldila
  • Callaway
  • Fujikura
  • Graffalloy
  • Mitsubishi
  • True Temper
  • UST Mamiya
What are the 6 degrees of shaft stiffness?

Most manufacturers rate their golf shafts on a scale of 1-6 degrees. It’s worth noting that some brands may simply have more shaft flex, which means that the ratings aren’t a precise measure across brands. The scale, however, does provide basic categories and is helpful when comparing golf clubs within product lines. The degrees from low to high are:

  • L - Ladies
  • A - Seniors
  • R - Regular
  • F - Firm
  • X - Extra Firm
  • S - Stiff
Why is greater stiffness generally associated with greater ability?

If a golfer has a swing like Rory McIlroy, then the body coils and uncoils during his or her swing in order to ensure the right amount of energy to the clubhead when it meets the ball. A golfer of that caliber generally wants a shaft as stiff as possible so that every bit of energy generated during a swing is delivered to the ball. If your swing isn’t so perfect, then you want more shaft flex because it stores energy and releases it upon contact which does some of the work for you. Your optimum shaft flex is generally based on your usual swing speed and tempo.

Are there shaft variations based on club type?

Heads, for instance, vary greatly from one style of golf clubs to the next. Shafts, however, are relatively similar for particular materials and brands across all types and only really vary based on rigidness. That doesn’t mean that you won’t prefer or be more suited to a stiffer shaft or one with more flex when using woods, irons, putters, or wedges.

How does swing speed affect flex?

Generally, the faster you swing, the more the shaft flexes. As you improve your game and your consistent swing speed increases, you’ll require a stiffer shaft in order to compensate. There’s still a degree of preference here, and 2 golfers with the same speed may prefer different degrees of flex.