Do your homework when selecting golf club shafts.
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Finding the correct shafts for your golf clubs is probably one of the most complicated endeavors when fine-tuning equipment. The reason is due to the vast variety of performance characteristics produced by different shaft manufacturers. Two of these characteristics that are important when club fitting are torque and flex. Both can affect distance and accuracy, but more importantly, the way the club feels in your hands.
The torque of a golf shaft describes its ability to resist the twisting forces placed upon it by the golf swing. The twisting forces are present because of the weight of the clubhead at the end of the shaft. Shaft torque is measured in degrees, which range from around 1.5 to 5.5. If your swing tempo is slow and smooth, try to select a shaft with 4 degrees of torque or higher. If not, the shaft will feel too stiff at the clubhead and usually the shot will fade and fly low. If your swing tempo is quick and aggressive, try to select a shaft below 4 degrees. This way, the shaft will be more stable at the club head providing greater accuracy.
Shaft flex is a measure of stiffness or resistance to bending toward the target when comparing one shaft to another. Your flex is based on your clubhead speed or carry distance of a driver for wood shafts and a five iron for iron shafts. Flex is categorized in letter form, the most popular being L (ladies), A (seniors), R (regular), S (stiff) and X (extra stiff). It is vital that you choose the correct flex to have the best chance of a square clubface at impact. Shaft flex also can have an effect on many golf shot factors such as trajectory, consistency of your hit, directional control and how solid the impact feels.
A shaft's flex point -- sometimes called bend point -- is a characteristic that promotes flexing at certain areas of the shaft to control trajectory. A shaft that bends lower toward the clubhead will promote a higher trajectory, while a bend higher on the shaft will produce a lower trajectory. A flex point toward the middle promotes a mid-flight. With today's technology and materials, shaft manufacturers can make one shaft with multiple flex levels, giving you a greater performance based on your swing style.
If you like to save time and money, one of the best investments you can do for yourself when selecting shafts is to get professionally fit. If getting fit for the whole set is not viable, then a driver fitting should be a priority. The combinations of wood shafts with different flexes, torques and flex points can get quite exhausting. While all of these aspects of a shaft are important, flex governs multiple parts of your golf swing and should be the first measurement you get fitted for, followed by flex point and torque.