How to Choose Golf Shafts

By Bill Herrfeldt

People can pay thousands of dollars to buy golf clubs that are top-of-the-line, and they don't give a second thought as to whether they have shafts that are correct for their games. Choosing clubs with the correct shafts is actually more important than selecting the club heads. In fact, with the correct shafts, players can add as much as 20 to 25 yards off the tee. At the same time, they can improve their accuracy. Read about the different shafts that are available for your next set of golf clubs.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Match the flex of your new shafts with your type of swing. Flex refers to how much your club will bend during your swing. The trajectory and the distance of your shot will be affected by the wrong flex because the ball will not be hit squarely. Absent of any industry standards, you'll find there are five different flexes--ladies, seniors, regular, still and extra-stiff. As a rule of thumb, you should probably have ladies flex if your drives go less than 200 yards. If your drives carry 25 yards farther, seniors flex is probably for you. Stiffer shafts are called for if you hit your drives longer. If there is any doubt about which flex you should have, opt for the shaft with the greater flex.
Step 2
Pick either steel or graphite shafts. When graphite shafts became available, they were meant for beginners and higher handicappers because they were hit incorrectly less often than steel shafts. Better players had clubs with steel shafts. However, with advancements in shaft technology, this is no longer so. Today, many touring professionals have drivers with graphite shafts because more of a club's weight is in the club head since the graphite shaft is lighter. Players can increase their club head speed and hit the ball further.
Step 3
Consider the torque, length and weight of the shafts before making a decision about which clubs you will buy. If you choose shafts with greater torque, you will probably hit the golf ball higher and there will be more spin. Generally, play with longer clubs and you'll hit the ball further, but clubs that are shorter are more accurate and are easier to hit. Finally, opt for a lighter shaft if you want to increase your swing speed and distance, but expect some loss of accuracy.
Step 4
Keep your ego in check. Some men feel it's more "macho" to play with longer clubs with stiff shafts even if those clubs are not a good match with their games. Remember that you will dazzle your golfing buddies with a lower score and handicap more easily than if you show up with the wrong clubs.

About The Author

Bill Herrfeldt specializes in finance, sports and the needs of retiring people, and has been published in the national edition of "Erickson Tribune," the "Washington Post" and the "Arizona Republic." He graduated from the University of Louisville.

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