What Happens If A Golf Shaft Is Too Flexible?
Using the right golf shaft is imperative to maintaining a good standard of play.
If you don’t then all kinds of problems will follow and you’ll notice that your performance dwindles.
But for many people, the idea that their golf shaft is the cause of all their problems is a bit of a stretch of the imagination.
But think about it; you must tailor your golf club to your own strengths and weaknesses as well as your physical build.
Golf shaft flex is just one of the things you’ll be looking at when choosing the right golf clubs.
When you use a golf shaft that is too flexible, you’ll notice that you simply can’t hit the ball where you want it to go.
What’s more, you’ll likely find that you lose distance.
In this guide, we will be looking at why it is so important to use a golf club that isn’t too flexible (or too stiff, for that matter) as well as talking about how you’ll know if there is too much flex.
What Is Golf Shaft Flex?
When we talk about golf shaft flex, we are referring to the ability of the club to flex during the swing.
Regardless of how stiff a golf shaft is, it will flex and bend to some degree when under placed under the pressure and force of the swing.
But depending on your swing speed, you may need a less or more flexible shaft.
For example, if your swing speed is much higher then you’ll need a much stiffer shaft whereas a player with a slower swing speed will perform better with a flexible shaft.
Generally speaking, golf shafts are either made from steel or graphite.
Graphite is much lighter than steel but regardless of the material, the shafts will be sold in a variety of different flexes.
These are extra stiff, stif, regular, senior and women’s.
Depending on the brand you buy, the degree of flex may vary slightly in each of these categories, but it won’t be so much that a stiff shaft from one brand is akin to a senior shaft from another.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that while most brands will use the extra stiff, stiff etc scale to label their golf shafts, there are some companies that prefer the use of a numerical scale.
You’ll be able to discuss this with the expert in your local golf shop.
What Problems Will I Have If The Shaft Is Too Flexible?
One of the biggest issues you will face when using a golf shaft that is too flexible is that the ball will not travel in a straight line.
But on top of this, you will notice that it doesn’t travel as far as you’d like it to either.
The problem is that you don’t have as much ease when trying to control the clubface, especially when it comes to squaring up at the point of impact.
If you’re new to golf then the chances are that your swing speed will be slower and so a flexible shaft will probably be right for you.
However, players with a higher swing speed are the ones that need to be careful when choosing a golf shaft and ensure that they don’t end up with something too flexible.
This will result in these players having a very hard time when trying to hit the ball in a straight line as they’ll find that it typically travels to the left.
There are some things that you can look out for that will help you determine if the shaft is too flexible for you and we will look at these in a little more detail later on.
But on top of negative effects on the distance and direction of the ball, you may also face problems with the launch of the golf club.
When you use a shaft that has too much flex for you, you’ll notice that the ball goes much higher than you intend.
Of course, it is good to get a decent flight on the ball but you can have too much of a good thing.
This is essentially what causes that loss of distance and affects your ability to control the ball.
How Do I Know If A Golf Shaft Is Right For Me?
As we have just discussed, the flight of the ball may be well off when you use a shaft that is too flexible.
So, if you notice that the ball is travelling much higher than you’d like but your swing speed is spot on, the issue could be related to your shaft being too flexible.
On the other hand, if it’s not going high enough, your shaft may be too stiff.
One of the best ways to determine the behaviour of your golf ball is to use a launch monitor.
This will tell you the distance, the height, the spin and even how far it rolls once it hits the ground, along with other stats.
You might not be able to do this alone but by enlisting the help of a professional, you will be able to get a very good idea of your ball stats and whether they need to be improved.
If this is the case, it could be as a result of a too flexible (or too stiff) shaft.
Of course, you might not be able to use a launch monitor so in this case, you’ll need to manually experiment with various shafts and see which one delivers the best performance.
You should take note of the distance of the ball as well as your swing speed and this should be enough information to tell you the right shaft flex for you.
Does Shaft Flex Influence Weight?
A lot of the weight of your golf club will be related to its flex but that doesn’t mean that the weight and flex of the shaft are the same thing.
Essentially, you’ll find that the more flexible a shaft is, the lighter it is.
The reason for this is that lighter shafts are more suited to players whose swing speed is lower.
Additionally, these players benefit from a more flexible shaft so it makes sense to combine the two aspects.
For the most part, golf shaft weight is based on averages unless you are looking at shafts designed for players with a low handicap.
In this case, they may have varying abilities and strengths so these shafts typically come in a range of weights to match this.
Finding the right golf equipment is essential to getting the best performance and playing to your strengths.
However, when you use a golf shaft that is too flexible, this could result in the ball flying off course and not travelling as far as you would like.
The flight of the ball may also be higher.