Posted on May 6th, 2016 at 10:52 AM
Golf club shafts are a critical component of your golf club. Golf shafts are more important for the club’s overall performance than the club head. There are hundreds of golf club shafts on the market; it is often difficult for a golfer to find a shaft to fit his game. Each shaft is designed for a certain player profile in mind, shafts are not designed to perform for a certain club head. Customers are often asking “what is the best golf shaft?”. The proper question should be “what shaft will improe my game and fit my swing?” and the answer is based on the golfer’s player profile.
Steel versus Graphite Shafts
A traditional rule of thumb was that recreational golfers should use graphite shafts, whereas low handicap golfer would stick with steel shafts. However this rule is not true anymore as many, if not most, professional golfers are using nowadays graphite shafts on the Tour. Steel shafts are usually lower priced than graphite shafts however high performance steel shafts can be more expensive than average graphite shafts. Steel shafts feature a lower torque and offer more accuracy, give more feedback at impact, but tends to be harsher on the joints. Graphite shafts will dampen vibrations and are easier on the joints. However the biggest advantage of graphite shafts is the light weight design boosting your swing speed. Graphite shafts promote more distance at less distance and are preferred by golfers with smooth to average swing speed seeking more distance.
Location of Bend Point
If the bend or kick point is located in the tip section of a shaft, the shaft will open the club face at impact, actually increasing the loft angle. This will promote a higher ball trajectory. A ball travelling higher, will stay in the air longer and travel farther, i.e. a shaft with a low kick point increases distance and is designed for golfers with smooth swing speed. A shaft with a bend point located more towards the butt section offers a lower ball trajectory and more accuracy. Golfers with an athletic or aggressive down swing prefer a shaft with high bend point, otherwise the ball would fly too high and loose control.
The flex of shafts is sorted from soft to stiff as Lady Flex, Men’s Senior flex (A-flex), Men’s Regular (R-Flex), Stiff (S-flex) and X for Extra Stiff. There are also Tour flexes offering even a lower ball trajectory than the equivalent flex. Unfortunately there is no industry standard among shaft manufacturers clearly defining what is R-flex and what is Stiff. An R-flex shaft of manufacturer-A could equal S-flex of manufacturer-B increasing confusion among golfers. A shaft with more flex gives you more power but reduces feel and accuracy and is designed for golfers with smooth swing speed.
UST Golf Shafts developed the MP5 and MP6 shafts with ultra light weight design. These shafts feature multiple thin layers using advanced aerospace Micro Ply Technology offering a solid feel without sacrificing performance, i.e. these shafts offer you the best of the two worlds: ultra light weight for increased distance without a dull feel.
For 2016 UST launched their new Recoil 760 and 780 graphite iron shafts featuring a lower torque and ight weight than the original Recoils. Recoil Technology increases the spring effect in the walls, improves the energy transfer to the ball and increases distance.
Aldila Golf Shafts launched for 2016 the new Aldila NV 2KVX shafts based on the original NV shafts featuring Micro Laminate Technology. Aldila created NexGen Micro Laminate Technology with even more and even thinner high performance carbon fibers for more consistency and improved performance. The new Aldila NV 2KVX also offers even better feel than the original NV. The new NV 2KVX shafts are coming in two versions: Green for a low-mid ball flight, Orange for a mid-high ball flight for players seeking more distance at less efforts.
When searching and selecting a new shaft we suggest that you try different shafts in a store or in club fitting studio. When hitting different shafts, review the ball flight and check which shaft gives you more distance and find out which shaft better fits your game. You can also attend a free demo day at your local golf course. Or simply ask the Pro at your local golf course to watch you hitting some golf balls and ask for his advise.