How Does a Golf Club Work and What Are the Effects of Different Shafts?

By Steve Silverman

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Your golf club provides the force needed to propel a golf ball off the tee, down the fairway and toward the green. The length that the ball travels is determined by club head speed at impact. That speed is determined by how much force is behind the swing and the flex delivered by the shaft of the golf club. Stiff shafts, regular shafts and flexible shafts all deliver different club head speeds, and each club can be the right one depending on the golfer's swing.

Stiff Shaft

A club with a stiff shaft is good for a golfer who gets plenty of distance but may be a bit concerned about accuracy. A stiff shaft will not have as much flexibility and therefore will probably hit the ball squarely on impact.

Regular Shaft

This club is the standard golf club used by most golfers. This club has some flexibility, but not as much as one that is primarily composed of graphite. This club will give the golfer some added distance while not compromising accuracy.

Flexible Shaft

Graphite is the primary material used in a flexible shaft. It is an excellent club for golfers who are trying to increase distance. This is primarily true of older golfers who are concerned about losing strength and know they don't bring the same force they once did. In order to prevent the ball from spraying out of the fairway, the golfer must turn his hips fully and not rush the swing.

About the Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.