How Do I Select the Right Shaft Flex for a Golf Club?

by Jackson Lewis

    With the improvement in golf club technology since 200, the golf club shaft has become one of the most important components of any club. The shaft is the primary instrument by which the swing energy is transferred to the club head when striking a golf ball. The shaft flex is the measure of bend or forgiveness that the shaft experiences during the golf swing. To maximize the energy transfer during club head impact with the golf ball, the shaft flex must be matched to the golfer's overall swing speed.

    Step 1

    Determine your overall swing speed by visiting your local golf shop if it is equipped to provide swing speed measurements. If there is not a facility convenient to your location, the rule of thumb measures to use for clubs that are used to hit the golf ball from 150 yards are: Ladies Flex for a 3 iron or wood; Senior Flex for a 4 iron; Regular Flex for a 5 or 6 iron; Stiff Flex for a 6 or 7 iron and X-Stiff Flex for a 8 or 9 iron.

    Step 2

    Identify the golf shaft flex point, which is where the shaft primarily bends when hitting the golf ball. Low flex points will result in higher ball trajectories with less difference observed across steel shaft flex options than with graphite shafts.

    Step 3

    Pick a shaft torque rating that decreases with the increased stiffness of the shaft flex. Extra-stiff shaft flex ratings will normally have a torque rating approaching 2. Senior flex shafts will have a torque rating of 6 degrees.

    Step 4

    Hit practice shots with clubs shafted to the same flex rating but made by different manufacturers before making a purchase. Because there is not a U.S. Golf Association mandate for shaft flex ratings, you may see a noticeable difference on the practice range between shafts of the same rating.

    About the Author

    Based in Memphis, Jackson Lewis has been writing on technology-related material for 10 years with a recent emphasis on golf and other sports. He has been freelance writing for Demand Media since 2008. Lewis holds a Master of Science in computer science from the United States Naval Postgraduate School.