What Golf Shaft Flex Is Right For Me?

Anyone who says that golf is easy or boring has probably never been on a course. They’ve probably never felt the thrill of hitting a perfect shot, and they probably never will, because they’ve already made up their mind: the game is boring and slow.

Those aren’t the people this article is aimed at.

This article is aimed at people who understand the sport, who have a good grasp of what’s going on, and a good grasp of what’s needed of them in order to overcome obstacles and continue to improve. It’s aimed at people who are passionate and who want more out of their game.

Understanding golf in its entirety is hard. It takes a lot of effort to improve. It takes a lot of effort to understand what’s going wrong, and what you should work on. 

Impact Of Shaft Flex On Your Game

A lot of people think magnets are something magical until they get a better grasp of the physics behind them. 

So, too, is the impact of Shaft Flex for people who aren’t quite there yet with their game. 

First thing’s first, let’s start easy: What is shaft flex?


Golf shafts are marked with a letter, the most common of them being X, S, R, A, and L. 

What do they mean? The letters are there to tell you what flex your shaft has, or, in other words, the relative stiffness of the shaft.
What does each letter mean?

“L” is the most flexible, and “X” is the stiffest.

“L” = Ladies Flex.

“A” or “M” = Senior Flex. (It can also be “AM” or “A/M”, or “Senior”).

“R” = Regular Flex.

“S” = Stiff Flex.

“X” = Extra Stiff Flex.

Now that we’ve covered a small introduction on what types of flex are out there, let’s head on into the deeper subject of their impact on our game. Why different shaft flexes are needed, and why you might need to choose a different one.

Why do we need different shaft flexes? Why do we need different shaft flexes?

The chance of two people having the same driving habits is pretty big. But what about 1,000 people? The odds start going down, quickly.

Just like how everybody drives their car differently, everyone also has a different swing speed, a different tempo, and a different type of swing.

That’s exactly why some golf shafts bend more than others. Different strokes for different folks.

In theory, the slower your swing, the more flex you need in your shaft. The faster the swing, the stiffer.

You also need to pay attention to your tempo. If your swing is jerky, you’ll need more stiffness, while a smoother swing requires less stiffness.

Let’s follow up by taking a look at swing speeds and how they’re associated with each flex rating.

It goes without saying that you’re going to need to know your swing speed and carry distance in order to select the right shaft flex for your golf clubs. The following shaft flex chart is great if you want to get a general idea of things.

Speed/Carry Guidelines for Driver

If your driver swing speed is approximately 110 mph or higher, and your carry distance is around 270 yards, go with X flex shafts.

If your speed is 95 to 110 mph and your carry distance is 240-270 yards, go with S flex.

If your speed is 85 to 95 mph and your carry distance is 200 to 240 yards, go with R flex.

If your speed is 75 to 85 mph and your carry distance is 180 to 200 yards, go with A flex.

If your speed is below 75 mph and driver distance less than 180 yards, go with L flex.

Speed/Carry Guidelines Using Your 6-Iron

If your 6-iron swing speed is 90 mph or higher with a carry distance of 175 yards or more, go with X flex.

If your speed is 80-90 mph with a carry distance of 155 to 175 yards, go with S flex.

For 70-80 mph and 130 to 155 yards, go with R flex.

For 60-70 mph and 100 to 130 yards, go with A flex.

And for speeds under 60 mph with a carry of less than 100 yards, go with L flex.

What have we covered so far?

The different types of shaft flexes, and why we need each one, the impact they have on our game, and a general guide you could follow in order to find out what type of flex you need.

What happens if you’ve chosen the wrong type?

Well, for starters, if your swing and golf shaft flex are mismatched, you’ll have a harder time squaring the clubface at impact. Carefully analyzing the way your shots are flying can give you very good insight into the whole deal. If you use the wrong golf shaft flex, you’ll also have to deal with lower or higher ball flight, a draw of slightly hooking ball flight, or just not having the feel of a great shot even if it’s a center hit.

Types of Golf Shafts 

Now that you’ve got all this new information about shaft flexes, let’s also take a quick look at the different types of material your club shaft can be made out of.

The 3 most common options out there are steel, graphite, and multi-material shafts.

It’s hard to choose. It’s even harder to choose when you’re unsure of the differences. Beginner and experienced players alike sometimes have problems understanding the different types of golf shafts. It’s considered normal.

So, what’s the difference between them? 

Steel Shafts

They’re usually much heavier, but they’re also more durable and generally less expensive than graphite shafts. Most of the time, golf shafts made from stainless steel tend to offer the golfer more feedback and feel than their graphite counterpart. 

Graphite Shafts

Graphite shafts are much lighter and more expensive when compared to steel shafts. Lightweight graphite shafts can help you develop a greater swing speed and more power.

Multi-Material Shafts

Multi-material shafts are a new thing. They tend to be made of both steel and graphite, which should result in the solid feel and tighter dispersion associated with steel, along with the easier launch, greater distance, and higher trajectory typical of graphite.

The biggest issue associated with multi-material shafts is usually the high prices, as is the usual trend with new technology.

Final Thoughts

Here we are, at the end, and the question still looms, What golf shaft flex is right for me?”

The truth is that, to get a better feel of what you’re looking for and what works best for you,  you should try everything out. You’re not going to find the answer to what type of shaft fits you best in a blog article, but it’s a good starting place to get your information. 

Go out there and try everything. Finding out what suits you best is up to no one but you!

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