Buying golf clubs off the internet is a great way for beginners and amateurs to start their journey. However, making sure that all clubs fit to perfect is an often impossible task without the help of a club fitter.
You must understand picking the right shaft for your driver and setting each club up to meet your needs. Golf shafts vary in design and construction and can significantly impact your overall performance when you are playing.
Golf shafts come in varying lengths, flexes, and kick points, which all affect the torque properties they have to offer. A different driver shaft can change the complexion of your golf club significantly.
Unfortunately, knowing which shaft is the right one for your driver can often be daunting, and many people don’t understand how to pick the right shaft for their driver.
While we would recommend the assistance of a club fitter, we aim to give you some insight and pointers that could make it slightly easier when choosing one.
Steel Shafts Vs. Graphite Shafts – What Are The Differences?
Before even diving into the smaller components that affect the golf club shaft, you will need to understand that most professional players use two main types of shafts. The graphite shaft is the most common nowadays, but the steel shaft is the cheaper option for many beginners just starting.
1- Steel Shaft
Steel shafts were the original shafts used by many players and were often used until the end of the 20th Century. Since they are heavier, they emphasize control and accuracy but lack some distance, which makes them ideal for those perfecting their swing.
The downside with a steel shaft is that you will need to generate plenty of swing speed to build up enough momentum to propel the golf ball forward effectively.
2- Graphite Shafts
Nowadays, graphite shafts are some of the best modern shafts you can rely on. Graphite shafts are slightly lighter and help the player produce more swing speed, increasing the distance. Due to the materials, there is also more versatility, and the flex point can vary more significantly. Weight is also much lighter than the traditional steel shafts.
You will find that almost every golfer will rely on the graphite shaft in the modern era to ensure they have the functionality needed to improve their game. However, some beginners might still find some use in the original steel shaft.
You might also enjoy reading: Why Don’t PGA players Use Colored Balls? (It is not what you think!)
5 Main Elements To Consider When Choosing A New Shaft For Your Driver
Much like buying new clothes or shoes, there are a few important factors to consider when choosing a new shaft for your driver.
It is often important to take a step back and understand the golf shaft to get an idea of how certain features will affect your overall performance.
Here are five main points to keep in mind when buying a new shaft:
With the length of the golf club being one of the most important factors to keep in mind, you should consider the length of the shaft. The shaft is the main driving factor behind the length of the overall golf club.
The longer your shaft, the harder it is to control, which affects consistency, but if the shaft is too short, players tend to reach and connect with the toe of the club more frequently.
Things like your size and overall height play an important role when it comes to choosing the right shaft for your golf club.
A taller player with longer arms will need a longer golf shaft, but things like the flight and feel of the club and golf ball also play an important role. The club fitter should take all your measurements before assigning you a new shaft.
Flex is one of the most misunderstood concepts when it comes to a golf shaft. In essence, the flex can be described as how much the golf club bends when it is moved through the air, especially on the downswing. You can get a variety of shaft flexes that range from extra stiff to weak, but these all affect your game.
- A Stiffer Shaft: The more stiffness your shaft has, the less spin you have, and shots tend to launch too low, which makes the harder to attain adequate distance. Without spin and good peak heights, you will be losing extra yardage.
- Weak Shaft: if your shaft is too weak, it will bend too much, and you will find that the ball is launched higher in the air, and the spin will be much higher. The main problem with this is the wide dispersion patterns. It becomes much harder to get good accuracy.
You will also notice the regular shaft in the middle of these two extreme points. The regular shaft will give you the best of both worlds, and it is often the ideal flex point for beginners.
As you improve your swing and become unique in your game, you can change this up to a different flex on your clubs.
We all know how important weight is when it comes to golf clubs. A heavier golf club might assist a powerful golfer with a faster swing speed to launch the golf ball much farther. However, the weight of the shaft will impact your overall performance whilst playing.
If the club is too heavy, you might not get underneath the ball, which means less height in the shot, and it often goes much lower.
A lighter shaft is responsible for launching the ball much higher, and it also tends to give you more spin on your shots. Unfortunately, a lighter shaft does not mean more distance, and you could find that the golf ball is hooking. Finding the ideal balance for your shaft and ensuring your driver is comfortable is important.
The torque measurement is one of the most fascinating when it comes to playing golf. The torque measurement relates to how much the club can twist while you are playing. As you might have guessed, it could significantly impact your overall performance, and the feel you get when playing is mostly affected.
A club with higher torque will be more prone to twisting, and this could cause a player to hook the golf ball when they have a fast swing speed.
On the other hand, a lower torque club is more suited to players with a faster swing speed, and it will offer less twisting in your hands. Keep in mind that your swing speed plays an important role in the golf club you select.
5- Kick Point
The kick point or bend point is one of the parts of the golf club that many people often do not understand. A lower bend point will allow the club to “scoop” the golf ball more effectively, launching it much higher into the air. This could also generate more spin from the club, which influences your play.
The higher the kick point, the lower the ball tends to travel, and players that often want the perfect balance of distance and height will settle somewhere in the middle when it comes to the kick point.
You don’t want something that launches the golf ball too high and sacrifice distance, but you also want to have some height to clear certain obstacles.
Shaft Table Based On Your Carry Distance
Much like your clothing is related to the size of your chest and other parts of your body, the shaft you choose can be determined by the carry range you have and the swing speed you are currently playing.
The following table is designed to give you an idea of how each of these factors can affect your overall carry distance.
|Flex||Carry From Driver||Measured Swing Speed (MPH)|
|Extra Stiff||260+ yards||95+|
Remember that the above table is only an estimate, and certain factors, like your strike point on the golf ball, can also affect the club you choose to play with.
There are numerous different factors to keep in mind, but for those buying a golf club on the internet, this should be a great way to determine which is best.
What Size Shaft Do You Need For Your Driver?
To find out your optimum driver length, look at where you hit the ball on the face of your driver. Your driver is too long if your hits are mainly towards the heel.
The table below shows driver shaft length suggestions based mainly on players’ height.
|Golf Player’s Height In Inches||Driver Shaft Length In Centimeters||Driver Shaft Length In Inches||Driver Shaft Length In Centimeters|
|Less than 4’10”||147.32||43″||109.22|
|4’10” to 5’0″||147.32 to 152.40||44″||111.76|
|5’0″ to 5’2″||152.40 to 157.48||44.5″||113.03|
|5’2″ to 5’4″||157.48 to 162.56||45″||114.3|
|5’4″ to 5’7″||162.56 to 170.18||45.5″||115.57|
|5’7″ to 6’1″||170.18 to 185.42||45.75″||116.21|
|6’1″ to 6’2″||185.42 to 187.96||46″||116.84|
|6’2″ to 6’4″||187.96 to 193.04||46.25″||117.47|
|6’4″ to 6’6″||193.04 to 198.12||46.75″||118.74|
|Over 6’6″||Over 198.12||47.25″||120.015|
Should You Visit A Club Fitter?
You should consider using a club-fitter if you are struggling to find the right golf club. The club fitter will assist you in taking the measurements and often serves as a tailor to golfers. While you can use some of the estimates you find online, you should be cognizant of the fact that these are only pure estimates and not final numbers.
As a golfer, you must know which golf clubs are best suited for your game. However, some golf clubs might offer you the best performance but feel uncomfortable.
This could be down to the shaft of the club not being the right one for your game. You should consider improving the shaft, and you might see an improvement in your game.
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