Golf Shaft Comparison

By Glenn Mcanally

The main elements of a golf shaft that distinguish one golf club from another are the material (steel or graphite), the shaft stiffness, weight and length. Your type of swing will play a major role in determining what material to use for your shaft and how stiff, heavy and long it should be.

Shaft Material

You have the option to play with golf clubs made with graphite shafts or steel shafts. Graphite is more expensive and lighter than steel and you will swing faster with it and get more distance. Graphite shafts are more susceptible to damage than steel shafts. If you swing the club fast (high tempo), then you would be better off with a steel shaft since it will help you control your swing.

Shaft Stiffness

Shaft stiffness correlates with your swing speed. If you have a slow swing speed, a flexible shaft helps your club bend back before impact and snap forward like a whip, thus giving the ball some extra launch, which helps add some distance. If you have a high swing speed and were to use the most flexible shaft, you would cause the shaft to bend back before impact. Your club face would be open and cause you to slice the ball. A stiff shaft helps to bring your club face squarely down to the ball at impact. If you were a slow swinger and used a stiff shaft, you would never get the benefit of that extra speed from the whipping effect.

Shaft Weight

Shaft weight changes considerably between a graphite shaft and steel shaft. Graphite shafts can be up to 130 g lighter. You will not find much variation among different graphite shafts nor among steel shafts. If you swing the club fast, you want a heavier shaft weight and the opposite applies if you swing the club more slowly.

Shaft Length

You will find that shafts are made in many lengths. Shafts are made shorter for children and women and the average adult male's steel shaft driver is 43 inches and a graphite driver 44 inches. Graphite is longer due to it being lighter and thus the club can be longer without the golfer feeling any additional weight. The longer the shaft, the higher the swing speed. But the longer the shaft, the harder to control the club.

About The Author

Glenn McAnally is a thriller novelist and life long golfer who lives in Southern California. His most recent work is the action thriller Endangered as well as a story credit for the upcoming Nintendo DS title Elite Forces: Unit 77. He is a graduate of Villanova University.

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