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rwoten

Shaft question/help

12 posts in this topic

Hello everyone. My name is Riley, I am 25 years old, 6'4"/275lbs, and about 40lbs overweight. When I was 15 I bought a complete set of clubs, driver-sw-putter and bag. They were graphite shafts and standard length. I joined the military at 18 right out of high school. Every Air Force base has a 18 hole golf course so I had my clubs shipped to me and continued to play. Well needless to say I was not 6'4" when I was 15 so the clubs at this point were a little short for me lol. I bought a set of Ti9 knock off R9's. They were stiff shafts and 1-1/2 extended. They greatly improved my game as to be expected with my height. I had those clubs for about three years and started playing a lot more and bought a set of Taylormade RBZ irons at my local Golf Galaxy last august. Again, greatly improved my game. Here's where I think I got screwed, but them again, maybe not which is why I'm coming to thesandtrap. My backswing with all clubs ie driver and irons is a slow one, with an aggressive down swing. My average club head speed with my driver is 120 measured at my local golf galaxy one week ago when I purchased the SLDR. I am still learning a lot about the game. But when I purchased my irons, I grabbed a couple different clubs from different manufacturers right off of the wall. I liked the rbz's the most. Well coming from the knock offs, I hit an actual set of clubs way way better. I was "fitted", and had oversize grips put on and the clubs were extended 1in. Sorry for this being so long guys. Only when I picked the clubs up after the work was done did I realize that they were Regular flex. I am not a pro nor a club fitter but I thought I should be in at least stiff flex shafts. When I asked about it the guy who fitted me said and I quote, "you were carrying your 7 iron 195 yds and you were hitting them well, I don't think you need anything to be changed. Touché I thought to myself. When I went down and purchased the driver, the man who fitted me didn't look familiar, well he was an actual taylormade rep who was there for some program they were doing. He explained to me that, with a swing speed as high as mine, playing regular flex shafts, the amount of flex I'm getting is way too much which in turn causes inconsistency when the club head makes contact with the ball. He recommended x stiff, soft stepped down. I'm not sure what that means. Last thing, knowing how much better I hit the taylormades vs the knock offs, it was hard for me to think that the clubs "could be" causing my inconsistencies. So I was wanting some advice and really hoping you guys could help shed some insight. Again sorry for the long story by all to often I see people asking for help and all the replies are saying how they need more info. Thanks in advance
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Hey Rwoten

With regards to the flex of any golf club its all about spin and flight control.

For example you may hit both an x flew and reg perfectly fine but the ball flights and spin numbers will be different. This is important because say you were playing into a head wind with the regs you'd struggle to get the ball moving forward, it would just spin too high. Also the correct shaft for the player provides a more consistent shot pattern.

And basically soft stepping is a way of helping you get the best shaft were maybe trimming or extending the shaft isnt an option so allowing the fitter to give you the optimal ball flight and spin rate. so an example of soft stepping is using a 3 iron shaft in a 4 iron, this makes the club play slightly softer and would raise the ball flight. likewise hard stepping is this process in reverse.

Hope this helps

All the best

PeterFaragher

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To be fit properly, you'll want to hit your irons on a launch monitor too, but it sounds as if those reg flex shafts are way too soft for you. You'll gain consistency, and likely distance with more appropriate shafts. With your size, strength, and swing speed, x flex doesn't strike me as unreasonable at all. Welcome to The Sand Trap!
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Ideal shaft flex and shaft characteristics also depend on your transition move. If you have a quick transition from top to downswing, you  will need a stiffer flex and probably firmer tip than someone with a smoother transfer. Shaft weight is also critical.

Trackman (a complex system) can help you narrow down the shafts, and then you make the final pick on what feels best.

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WUTiger not sure if you read my post or if you are giving suggestions based on my post but I do have an aggressive transition and down swing. Thanks for all the advice
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from my understanding of shafts. if you have to much flex in your shaft the club face tends to be closed at impact. what i have always been told with shafts is the stiffer you go the more accurate and less distance you will get. more flex causes less accuracy and more distance. maybe if it isn't to late you can return the clubs and get the proper shafts. my ss with a 6 iron is 92 and i play stiffs so your ss is much higher than mine. i couldn't imagine you being less than stiff or TP stiff. good luck out there

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from my understanding of shafts. if you have to much flex in your shaft the club face tends to be closed at impact. what i have always been told with shafts is the stiffer you go the more accurate and less distance you will get. more flex causes less accuracy and more distance. maybe if it isn't to late you can return the clubs and get the proper shafts. my ss with a 6 iron is 92 and i play stiffs so your ss is much higher than mine. i couldn't imagine you being less than stiff or TP stiff. good luck out there

Golfers will tend to disperse more shots with a wrong flex. The dispersion might be larger or small depending on shaft characteristics. In which direction that depends on the golfer. For example, if the shaft is not stiff enough for me I will loose shots left and right because I am trying to time that flex loading into the golf ball to hit a certain shot. When I get to a very stiff shaft my dispersion tends to tighten to a draw.

Also swing speed isn't the over riding factor with flex. It is more how you load the golf swing in your transition. You take Ernie Ells versus lets say a Graham McDowell. They both swing fast, but Ernie loads the shafts MUCH differently than Graham does. So even if their club head speed might be similar, they would need different golf shafts. Given being at the fast tend they can get away with playing many different X-stiff shafts. You can really tighten the dispersion of your shots and get those launch monitor numbers to be very precise when you get fitted for your swing.

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Golfers will tend to disperse more shots with a wrong flex. The dispersion might be larger or small depending on shaft characteristics. In which direction that depends on the golfer. For example, if the shaft is not stiff enough for me I will loose shots left and right because I am trying to time that flex loading into the golf ball to hit a certain shot. When I get to a very stiff shaft my dispersion tends to tighten to a draw.

Also swing speed isn't the over riding factor with flex. It is more how you load the golf swing in your transition. You take Ernie Ells versus lets say a Graham McDowell. They both swing fast, but Ernie loads the shafts MUCH differently than Graham does. So even if their club head speed might be similar, they would need different golf shafts. Given being at the fast tend they can get away with playing many different X-stiff shafts. You can really tighten the dispersion of your shots and get those launch monitor numbers to be very precise when you get fitted for your swing.


saevel25 - you are a wise man!

I played stiff shafts for the past 3-4 years - just recently had a lesson with video analysis ... Instructor recommended an X-Stiff driver shaft moving forward so I purchased a demo club for $120 with an XS and the dispersion has been much tighter since I swapped shafts. I'm wondering if I need new iron/woods shafts as well ...

Rob

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In regard to performance of certain clubs vs. their knockoff imitations, what you are encountering is that a good set of clubs is just that a SET. Where quality manufacturing distinguishes itself is in the consistency of its components from one club to the next. This applies as much to shaft charateristics as it does to clubhead ones. Today's quality clubs are built to much more consistent standards than those of decades ago. The Knock-off/clone market lacks the quality control. In some regards they are using the cheap discards or imitations. They are more concerned about delivering a look than quality or consistency.

In regard to your height etc and the need for longer than standard clubs, keep in mind that as much as some people are taller, their arms are longer. At 6' 4", yeah, you are a little on the tall side for standard clubs. I am just saying don't instantly assume you need something longer. Same thing in regard to oversized grips. Your mileage may vary. Just don't assume. I have a friend almost your height and has played standard clubs all his life.

In regard to shaft flex swing speed etc., while there is a general belief that faster swings need stiffer shafts, I don't consider this an absolute. Plus, a faster swing isn't a better swing. There are plenty of golfers who if given a regular shaft probably would swing not only better but faster because rather than try to power through the ball with hands and arms, they let the big muscles (legs, hips, core) do the work. In my book, consistency of shafts in a set is the most important thing. In that sense, I think the major reason why it is worth measuring flex at all is that it helps ensure consistency in assembling a set of clubs. A minor value may be an attempt to match flex to swing speeds, but I think this often leads to folks overswinging in order to "qualify" because stiff shafts carry more cachet.

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So rob and saevil, you guys both seem to be confirming my research and what the Taylormade rep had old me. Thank you for your advice/input! Joe, no offense to you but you are coming off as trying to argue/debate everything I said or wanted help with. I am not taking offense I just wanted you to know. At 6'4" very few people would play standard length clubs. As for your reasoning of long arms, everyone is built anatomically different. Also implying that wanting a stiffer shaft will make an individual lose their fundamentals is also wrong. Not that everyone plays better with stiffer shafts but you cannot say they will all play worse. And lastly, I gave all my statistics/bio out to try and narrow this down to what your opinions were on what would/could be good for me. People swinging a club faster and better because of a softer shaft? Sounds to me like they need to start playing softer shafts. And again not everyone fits this criteria. My questions have been answered and I appreciate everyone advice/input.
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Oh and at 120mph club head speed, a stiffer shaft then regular is probably an absolute. Thanks again guys
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Joe, no offense to you but you are coming off as trying to argue/debate everything I said or wanted help with. I am not taking offense I just wanted you to know.

Fair enough. I don't think I disagreed with much, but I did (respectfully) illustrate some thinking different from your own - that tends to happen when you solicit input ;-). As long you are happy with the answers you got, great.

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