Loving your new Callaway Paradym or TaylorMade Stealth Driver? Make sure you do it justice by outfitting it with appropriate golf shafts.
But before you buy golf shafts online, make sure you know what you’re getting into, and don’t guess. All driver shafts are different in terms of technology, material, and shaft flex ratings.
Here are the most basic things you need to know before you buy a golf shaft online.
Know Your Swing Speed and Tempo
This is likely the most important thing you need to know before you buy a new golf shaft. Swing speed and tempo will both impact how a golf shaft performs.
The faster your swing speed and tempo, the less you will need to rely on the shaft itself to boost your range. Most players with higher swing speeds prefer a shaft with low launch and low spin characteristics, which are traits that usually accompany a stiff shaft.
Golf shafts with stiff shaft flex ratings, which produce lower launch and spin characteristics, also produce less shot dispersion, helping improve shot accuracy.
Conversely, if you have a slower swing speed, you would need to strain to swing harder and faster when playing with a stiffer shaft. For players with slower swing speeds and tempos, higher shaft flex ratings are usually preferable.
These shafts produce (usually) higher launch and spin characteristics that help to carry the ball further – which is necessary for some players with slower swing speeds.
Know the Shaft Flex
Once you know what your swing speed and tempo are, that will help determine the shaft flex rating you need.
Shaft flex ratings are typically categorized as amateur, ladies, senior, regular, stiff, extra-stiff, and tour-spec extra-stiff, although these are not industry standards and each manufacturer has its own specifications.
Know the Length You Need
Length, like shaft flex, is also critical. Fortunately, this is also a metric that you can easily determine by working with a club fitter, and once you know it, it won’t change, no matter how much you practice.
Playing with a shaft that is either too long or too short can have significant complications for your golf game. If you play with a shaft length that is inappropriate for you, you can exacerbate form errors and instill bad habits.
Moreover, if the shaft is too long or too short, you might find yourself inadvertently struggling with a higher incidence of fat shots (too long) thin shots, or topped balls (shaft too short).
Know What Your Driver Needs
You should also take into account what the driver itself needs. For instance, some driver heads are heavier than others; these generally benefit from a stiffer shaft because more flexible shafts can cause the driver head to lag during the swing. Heavier club heads can also result in greater torquing, causing the club face to open at contact, resulting in shot errors.
It’s also important to know this because if you choose a light golf shaft, like a Mitsubishi VANQUISH shaft, with the goal of lowering overall swing weight, you’re working against yourself if you pair that shaft with a heavier club head.
In Doubt? Work with a Golf Club Fitter Before Buying Golf Club Shafts Online
One of the most impactful things you can do before buying a golf shaft online is work with a club fitter. Club fitters (like the professionals at Dallas Golf Company) will take your measurements, observe your swing, and make personalized recommendations based on your swing mechanics, speed, tempo, and measurements.
They help take the guesswork out of buying golf shafts and the information you glean from one fitting service can be applied to many future purchases. Consider it something you should do before buying golf shafts online.