Signs you need a stiffer shaft for your golf club

What happens when you play with a shaft that is too flexible for your type of game? A lot of things, of course. The same applies when you play with a golf club with a shaft flex that is too stiff. One of the most critical factors you need to consider when purchasing golf clubs before spending your hard-earned money is your shaft’s flexibility. 

You may ask yourself, what is the difference between a regular shaft and a stiff shaft? The answer to this is simple and quite self-explanatory. A stiff shaft is harder to bend and tends to be more firm, while the regular shaft is the opposite. Both of these shafts have their advantages and disadvantages. 

In this article, we describe the signs you may experience that mean, that you should go for a stiffer shaft. Go through them carefully and compare them with your experience on the golf course to determine whether you need a stiffer shaft. Note that wood, iron, and hybrid shafts have different levels of flexibility. 

Factors Affecting Golf Club Flexibility

Before we dive into the signs and outcomes of using a highly flexible shaft, there are factors that affect shaft flexibility that you need to know. Distance and accuracy, swing speed and golf club material affect shaft flexibility. In this article we look at their impact on highly flexible shafts and their effect on the turf. 

Distance and Accuracy

People find it impressive when you can hit the ball yards away and this can boost your morale. Are you hitting the ball in the direction you want, though? This is a question of accuracy that every long hitter should try and ask their conscience. If you are using a regular golf club and having inaccurate long hits, you may want to change to a stiffer shaft. 

With such a shaft, you will achieve more control.  You won’t need much energy when taking swings and hitting the ball. All in all, distance without accuracy is not what a golfer wants.  

Swing Speed

First, let’s define swing speed. It is the speed in miles per hour at which the clubhead travels through the hitting area. On that note, it would be great knowing that if you are a fast swinger, a highly flexible shaft is not for you. It makes it difficult for you to control the clubhead. Therefore, the higher your swing speeds, the more difficult it will be for you to control the club head. 

Type of Shaft Material 

When purchasing a golf club, always consider the type of material used to make the shaft. Different materials have different flexes. For instance, graphite shafts tend to be lighter than their steel counterparts. You are likely to have higher swing speeds when using shafts made from graphite than those made of steel. 

We understand that different people have different swing speeds. For anyone with lower swing speeds, graphite shafts will only make you lose clubhead control. Therefore pick a golf club with a steel shaft since it is stiffer than the graphite shaft and offers more control on the clubhead. 

Signs and Outcomes of Highly Flexible Shafts

Unfortunately, most golfers overlook the importance of shaft flexibility following their swing speeds and general play type. If you purchase a light and highly flexible golf club, expect your strength to overpower the club. On the other hand, a very stiff golf club reduces your distance, and you will have a lot more misses here and there. 

Therefore you need to be true to yourself and understand your type of play to get what you want. The outcomes below indicate what happens when your shaft is too flexible. These results may vary according to your swing speeds; however, they are general observations. 

  • With highly flexible shafts, expect misses from high and right to low and left that may either be a big hook or a simple slice. 
  • You will experience inconsistencies in distance and direction. Sometimes you will cover very long distances and other times relatively short distances. 
  • Low smash factors are relatively consistent with highly flexible shafts. This scenario means that your shaft and club head combination was not synchronous, hence you lose distance. 
  • Once you hit the ball with a highly flexible shaft, it will go too high and may tend to spin too much. This makes the ball lose direction quite easily. 
  • It is normal to have wild shots when using a flexible shaft. However, if you notice that your shots vary hugely every time you hit the ball, then your shaft might be too flexible. 
  • Expect misdirected flight paths of the ball. This happens because when a golf club impacts with the ball, the shaft tends to move forward. A right-handed golfer with a flexible shaft will notice that the ball moves towards the left. The driver’s face gets a bit closer which makes the ball go in the opposite direction. 
  • Unlike professional golfers, amateurs will find it challenging to maintain the tempo of a highly flexible golf club. This high flexibility will give them an awkward feel when taking swings. 

Before you pick out your golf club and head to the course, you should be mindful of its flexibility. A highly flexible club is not what you want, especially if you are an amateur. The outcomes described above are a clear indication of what may happen if your clubs are too flexible. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: How do you know if you need a stiffer shaft?

There are several ways you can use to tell if you need a stiffer shaft. One and the most common is distance and direction. If you tend to hit long balls, but with high inaccuracies, you likely need to have a stiffer shaft.

Q: What happens if your shaft is not stiff enough?

The outcomes of a highly flexible shaft are quite detrimental. You will notice that the ball takes misdirected paths towards the opposite direction. The ball tends to go too high and spins a lot. 

Q: Will too stiff a golf shaft cause a slice?

There is a high chance that your stiff golf club will cause a slice. This happens because the face remains slightly opened when it hits the ball. The shaft fails to unload appropriately, leading to a slice. 

When choosing a golf club, make a point of picking one that is neither too stiff nor too flexible. Either of the two has detrimental effects on your performance. Factors such as your swing speed and the shaft material affect the flexibility of your golf club. 

If you often lose your direction despite having an impressive distance, then the problem might be that you are using a highly flexible golf club. If you feel your club’s flexibility is not helping you improve your score, you might want to seek professional consultation. Your club may provide custom fitting to bring flexibility to your required balance. 

Last Updated on March 11, 2021 by Tom Fiore

Hey ! I'm Tom. I have been playing Golf for most of my adulthood and have an experience of about 10+ Years. I love to guide people on their golf journey and share my experience of playing Golf, using products and all the tips I have for people out there ! Thanks for reading my blog.

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