Buying golf clubs is an intensely easy and excruciatingly difficult task all at once. It’s easy for someone who focuses on how the golf club ‘feels‘ in their hands. It’s more tedious for someone who relies more on the golf literature about shaft types, flex of shaft, shaft material, swingweight and what not. But the latter set needs take all the help they can get. This feature on the flex of golf club helps you find the right flex for you. Golf clubs don’t come cheap. This guide will help you avoid the usual mistake with stiff vs regular flexes. It will help you determine which flex is best for you and makes you take into account the various stakes involved which are easy to miss.
Answer The Question:
The choice of flex in a golf club depends on your swing speed. First, understand what flex means. Flex is the angle by which the shaft bends when you swing it.
As you can see, the shaft which is more flexible bends more and stores more energy for impact. Flex can be of various types apart from regular and stiff. There’s ladies’ flex, senior flex, extra stiff flex etc. However, regular and stiff are most commonly used.
Why Does Shaft Flex Matter?
Shaft flex determines the power and control of your shot. The shaft of a golf club is the energy manager of your swing. The shaft gathers the energy from your swing and releases it at the impact depending on the flex. The more the energy is dissipated, the less control you have on your ball. On the other hand, you need the ball to have more momentum and cover better distance too.
A shaft that is too stiff for you will not flex enough in your downswing. It will end up impacting the ball very less. The reduced club speed will limit the shot distance and shot trajectory. The carry distance will be less and so will be the ball-running distance. Too flexible a golf club will flex too much during the swing. The bend of the club will change the angle of impact between the ball and the clubface, thus resulting in inconsistent ball driving. For driving straight, you must always choose shafts that bend only enough according to your swing speed.
So the flex of the shaft must be such that it gives you a balance between control and distance.
How To Find The Right Flex For You?
Your shot distances can change over time. Also, the flex required for your drivers may be different from those required for your irons. You can take multiple measurements of the distance driven by a golf club. Take an average of these distances and compare:
250 yards or more
Less than 200 yards
Swing speed above 100 mph : Stiff or Extra stiff
90-100 mph : Stiff-regular combination flex
Below 90 mph: Regular flex
So, note that a shaft cannot increase your swing strength. But a flex that doesn’t fit you will decrease the power or accuracy of your shot.
This is just a reference. Based on these loose calculations, you can pick up a club of specific flex and start hitting some balls. If you don’t find it comfortable, you can switch to lower or higher flex.
If you are still confused, the best course would be to get help from a pro. Use some launch monitors and shoot some balls with them. They will help you determine which golf club flex makes the maximum out of your potential. You can also get fitted for clubs. This is a costly exercise, but it will put your mind at ease.
A. The Dilemma Of Kick Point
Kick point is a term you should know while discussing stiff vs regular flex. The kick point is where the shaft bends the most. A stiff club has a high kick point. This results in lower trajectory. It controls the excessive force with which a good golfer might be swinging. Excessive swing strength with a flexible club could be damaging. Plus, the whole energy is not transferred by a flexible swing on impact, resulting in wasted energy.
A flexible shaft has a lower kick point. This results in a higher trajectory with lesser swing strength. This is perfect for golfer with lower distance averages.
B. The Stigma Around Regular Flex
As you advance in age, it’s normal for your swing strength to wane. You might find the stiff flex too stiff for you. But many golfers associate the regular and senior flex with weakness. Sticking to such notions only ruins your golf handicap. We always emphasize that the golf club should feel like an extension of your own arm. The more mismatched your club is, the clumsier it will feel to you.
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There are a number of considerations while buying golf clubs. In the end it boils down to how good the club feels to you and whether or not it exploits your potential as a golfer. If you are a novice, you must rely on the advice of pros at a local course for selecting the right clubs. Don’t fall for the clubs of lower flex just because they make you feel Thor-like on the golf course. The right flex for you will teach you to manage power and control without compromising on either. If you have any questions about flex, do leave us a note in the comments.