I've always heard that altering the length of a shaft affects its flex, with the formula being 1 inch = one flex. I recently cut one inch off the grip end of the stock shaft on a Cobra Long Tom driver (48 to 47 inches). If it was a senior shaft at 48 inches, did that make it now the equivalent of an R shaft? I have an 88 mph swing speed and have R shafts on all my other clubs. With the Cobra, I get good results downwind or into a crosswind, but against the wind the ball tends to sail upward, losing about 20 yards over a typical drive. Is this problem caused by the shaft, my swing, or the dimple pattern on the ball?
how does cutting shaft length affect flex?
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Do you have any idea what your angle of attack is? If it's negative, then this could be the problem.
Trimming the tip will stiffen a shaft noticeably. You should consult the shaft's trim chart to determine the stiffness change.
Technically, trimming the butt stiffens it a little, a slight fraction change you wouldn't notice for an inch. Trimming from the butt will change the swingweight, about 3 points per half inch. So, your club is now 6 swingweights lighter (assuming you regrip with the same weight grip).
As for the ball ballooning, any of the three could be a factor. A good clubfitter could advise you on dynamics of particular shaft you have (either Blackbird or RIP?)
Disclaimer: I have no clue what I'm talking about.
I have shortened a driver from the butt end from 46 inches to 45 inches and I would say the difference in flex was slightly noticeable.
I would guess that going from 48 inches to 47 inches would change the flex less noticeably than going from 46 to 45. Sort of a sliding scale based on how long the club was to begin with.
Maybe one of the engineers can say if my theory holds any water.