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Is there really a huge difference between Senior, Regular & Stiff flex?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am 60 and play regular flex steel shafts.  However sometimes I find myself looking for a deal on a preowned driver, fairway wood, hybrid or a wedge.  A lot of the time the best deals are clubs with senior flex shafts, or sometimes the used clubs all seem to have stiff flex.  How detrimental would it be to play with one of these?

Thanks

post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnl390 View Post
 

I am 60 and play regular flex steel shafts.  However sometimes I find myself looking for a deal on a preowned driver, fairway wood, hybrid or a wedge.  A lot of the time the best deals are clubs with senior flex shafts, or sometimes the used clubs all seem to have stiff flex.  How detrimental would it be to play with one of these?

Thanks


It really does depend on your swing speed and much more. If you are 60 years old, I can assume your swing speed isn't too high, but not too low since you are already using regular shafts. I'm also assuming you were fit to those regular flex shafts? When I first started playing golf, my swing speed was 87 and played all graphite regular shafts in a set of older Wilson's. I had a stiff flex driver that someone gave me for a short period of time (Cobra S9-1). Simply put, I couldn't hit it. The launch angle was super low and the distance was 25 yds less than I could have gotten at the time, making my drives around only 200 yds. I could control the ball better, however. 4 years and many lessons later, my swing speed is avg 107 and I use stiff flex. I had since gotten a regular flex G10 driver and it began to feel very "whippy" and I could no longer seem to control it. Got fit for my driver now, and I love it. Matter of fact, played Sunday morning before the Mother's Day festivities and hit 6/7 fairways. 4/7 of which were +275. Best day of driving I have ever had.

 

It's more of what works for you and what you prefer. If you don't mind a less than "ideal" launch angle and 25 yds less, stiffen the shaft. I, however, wanted what was "right" for me. I would not recommend softening the flex. You will loose consistency and control. I have played 9 holes with a "Soft Regular" driver and my accuracy went way down, but the yardage went up if and when I got a hold of it "properly" (which didn't happen more than 2 times)

post #3 of 12

This is with irons but it may be helpful for you.

 

post #4 of 12

The last few years, lots of different shafts have come out. One thing I've noticed is a crossover between shaft weight and flex.

 

In some of the 85-gram superlight steel shafts, I can hit a stiff shaft fairly well. But, I'm no longer able to handle my Project X 5.0 (115 gram) shafts, which are listed as regular, or firm.

 

The flex that the shaft makers put on the tubes doesn't have an industry standard.  For comparisons, you can try to find the Frequency Coefficient Matching (FCM) rating for the shaft.

 

For "stiff," you can have the Dynamic Golf S300 at FCM = 5.8, while the Project X stiff has FCM = 6.5. But, the S300 is more than 12 grams heavier.

 

Besides stiffness and weight, other factors are torque (amount of twisting), flexpoint (where shaft bends - this finetunes ball height), and tip profile (soft to stiff). And, your transition (how quickly you start your downswing) influences what shaft you need.

 

Best thing to do: Try out the club on the launch monitor. If it gives you better performance and feel than your old club, consider getting it.

cnl190, from your earlier posts, you probably have what you need for the next couple of years. :dance: 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the input, I understand the concept of flex a better now.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

The last few years, lots of different shafts have come out. One thing I've noticed is a crossover between shaft weight and flex.

 

In some of the 85-gram superlight steel shafts, I can hit a stiff shaft fairly well. But, I'm no longer able to handle my Project X 5.0 (115 gram) shafts, which are listed as regular, or firm.

 

The flex that the shaft makers put on the tubes doesn't have an industry standard.  For comparisons, you can try to find the Frequency Coefficient Matching (FCM) rating for the shaft.

 

For "stiff," you can have the Dynamic Golf S300 at FCM = 5.8, while the Project X stiff has FCM = 6.5. But, the S300 is more than 12 grams heavier.

 

Besides stiffness and weight, other factors are torque (amount of twisting), flexpoint (where shaft bends - this finetunes ball height), and tip profile (soft to stiff). And, your transition (how quickly you start your downswing) influences what shaft you need.

 

Best thing to do: Try out the club on the launch monitor. If it gives you better performance and feel than your old club, consider getting it.

cnl190, from your earlier posts, you probably have what you need for the next couple of years. :dance: 

You are correct, I am pretty happy with my current clubs.  I do need a SW, and have found a few used in Stiff flex.  I replaced my Amp Cell Offset 11.5* with a Ping G25 9.5* and am hitting my drives much better.  So I am considering replacing the Baffler T-Rail+ with a G25 3w, which I have found in stiff as well.  That is why I was inquiring about flex.

post #6 of 12

I'm 56.

 

In my opinion, shaft flexes are like shirt sizes. Shirts come in small, medium and large. However, there is no standard and one brand's large may be another brand's medium. Fortunately, this is more the exception than the rule. Most of the time, small is small, medium is medium and large is large.

 

In my experience, same thing with shaft flex, although there is no standard as to what a regular flex means, most of the time a regular flex falls in a certain range of stiffness, stiff falls in another range, etc.

 

I have owned in the last two years ten different sets of new irons and about ten new drivers, with all possible combinations of brands, models and flexes.

 

I have never used a senior flex, so I don't have an opinion on them. But to me there is a clear difference in how a club feels and responds when I use a regular flex shaft vs a stiff flex shaft. I play much better with regular shafts. Stiff shafts feel harsh, my swing feels out of tempo, and I lose distance. For me, a good shot with a regular shaft feels great. With a stiff shaft even a good shot feels not so great.

 

This is my opinion based on my experience. Other people may have a different views.

post #7 of 12

In my opinion the most important qualities of a shaft are it's weight, then it's torque, and then finally it's flex. The weight absolutely affects how you deliver the club is delivered. Next the torque or how much the club twists under force contributes to "whippy" or "boardy" feels even though this is interpreted after the ball has already been struck.   Shaft flex is almost irrelevant because there is no standard like there are for weight and torque and so the flexes vary from company to company.

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Righty to Lefty View Post
 

...  Shaft flex is almost irrelevant because there is no standard like there are for weight and torque and so the flexes vary from company to company. ...

 

True, there's no industry standard for regular or stiff, but three organizations have devised methods for comparing shaft flexes across manufacturers.

 

The Rifle crew devised a measurement which allows you to compare the relative stiffness of different model and manufacturer's shafts. Called Frequency Coefficient Matching, it was developed by Royal Precision, originators of the Rifle and Project X shafts. (RP went on hard times a few years back, and True Temper bought the Rifle and PX names.)

 

Anyway, FCM compares different shafts on a deflection board, and determines relative stiffness. The cycles per minute CPM of a shaft would come out 248 for a Dynamic Gold SL R-flex, and 255 for a Project X 5.0 "regular" shaft

 

To get FCM, you drop the 200-digit from the cycle rating, and convert it into a two-digit decimal. So, the SL- R ends up with an FCM of 4.8, a Project X 5.0 has FCM = 5.5 (yes, it can get confusing).

 

Several TST members have posted an FCM iron shaft summary chart from 2011 (source = GolfWRX). (It needs to be updated with all the new iron shafts available).

http://thesandtrap.com/g/i/62413/a/68191/which-project-x-shafts-would-work-best-for-me/

 

Fitting reps generally rank weight, then flex (with good FCM comparison), and then kickpoint/bendpoint. The kickpoint describes the launch tendencies of the shaft; but, recent tests show KP/BP to be a fine-tuning consideration.

 

Also, GolfWorks developed the MPF Shaft Ratings. It's a 4-digit code that takes into account swing speed and other factors to determine a cluster of shafts which would fit your swing. See http://www.ralphmaltby.com/265

 

Third, Miyazki has come up with its own 4-digit International Flex Code for graphite shafts. (Maybe someone else can explain it... I'm still trying to crack the code.)

http://www.miyazakigolfshafts.com/


Edited by WUTiger - 5/16/14 at 3:19pm
post #9 of 12

I think short answer is it matters more for some people than others. Mark Crossfield has another video where he has a clubhead with interchangeable shafts and he gets very little difference in results between a ladies flex and an extra stiff.  But this may be in part because he has a smooth transition and even tempo. My understanding is flex can matter more with a more agressive transition or also with a later release. Also, for some people the differences in feel will lead them to change their swing, where if they repeated the same swing, there would be little difference in results.

 

So the only way to fnd out what matters for you is to either get fitted, or experiment with different things. I tend to think picking up a few of those spare used or preowned clubs might be a good way to experiment. 

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

 

True, there's no industry standard for regular or stiff, but three organizations have devised methods for comparing shaft flexes across manufacturers.

 

The Rifle crew devised a measurement which allows you to compare the relative stiffness of different model and manufacturer's shafts. Called Frequency Coefficient Matching, it was developed by Royal Precision, originators of the Rifle and Project X shafts. (RP went on hard times a few years back, and True Temper bought the Rifle and PX names.)

 

Anyway, FCM compares different shafts on a deflection board, and determines relative stiffness. The cycles per minute CPM of a shaft would come out 248 for a Dynamic Gold SL R-flex, and 255 for a Project X 5.0 "regular" shaft

 

To get FCM, you drop the 200-digit from the cycle rating, and convert it into a two-digit decimal. So, the SL- R ends up with an FCM of 4.8, a Project X 5.0 has FCM = 5.5 (yes, it can get confusing).

 

Several TST members have posted an FCM iron shaft summary chart from 2011 (source = GolfWRX). (It needs to be updated with all the new iron shafts available).

http://thesandtrap.com/g/i/62413/a/68191/which-project-x-shafts-would-work-best-for-me/

 

Fitting reps generally rank weight, then flex (with good FCM comparison), and then kickpoint/bendpoint. The kickpoint describes the launch tendencies of the shaft; but, recent tests show KP/BP to be a fine-tuning consideration.

 

Also, GolfWorks developed the MPF Shaft Ratings. It's a 4-digit code that takes into account swing speed and other factors to determine a cluster of shafts which would fit your swing. See http://www.ralphmaltby.com/265

 

Third, Miyazki has come up with its own 4-digit International Flex Code for graphite shafts. (Maybe someone else can explain it... I'm still trying to crack the code.)

http://www.miyazakigolfshafts.com/

 

I checked a couple of those sites. Reason being I hope to get new irons next month, I had narrowed it down to the Ping i 25's or the G 25's. On their website, the steel shafts only have 2 choices other than soft, and the 2 that I would likely fit into are both mid trajectory shafts, I was thinking of getting a shaft that would give me some height.Example, on a well struck 6 i my shots are a minimum of 20 feet lower than the guys that I know there, some middle aged, 1 in his early 60's and 1 in his mid 50's, my shots fall a tad short due to their height. And is there some sort of standard for low, mid, mid-high, and high trajectory..?

 

If I have to go with custom shafts on the Ping irons, I may have to choose another brand, can't afford the extra 250.00 for shafts..

 

Lastly, thanks for all of the info. you give us on clubs, shafts , ect. 

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hammer 4 View Post

 

I checked a couple of those sites. Reason being I hope to get new irons next month, I had narrowed it down to the Ping i 25's or the G 25's. On their website, the steel shafts only have 2 choices other than soft, and the 2 that I would likely fit into are both mid trajectory shafts, I was thinking of getting a shaft that would give me some height. ...

 

.... And is there some sort of standard for low, mid, mid-high, and high trajectory..?

 

If I have to go with custom shafts on the Ping irons, I may have to choose another brand, can't afford the extra 250.00 for shafts..

 

 

Standard for Low, Med, High? No.

 

AS for the irons, I got to test both models when the Ping rep came last month. It was fun, I was the only customer for a half hour. I hit both the i25 and G25 with the CFS shaft, R.flex. The G25 went about 12 yards farther, and also flew higher. As per the Ping 2014 Equipment brochure, the G25 are "engineered to help launch the ball high with distance and forgiveness."

 

The i25 skirts the Players-Game Improvement category line, and caters to golfers who want to be able to shape the ball high and low.

 

Anyway, the G25 has the CFS steel and the TFC 189i graphite as stock shafts. I e-mailed Ping for more shaft details, and they say the CFS is mid-kick - medium launch - and mid-tip.

 

Another factor to consider: all things equal, a lighter shaft will launch the ball higher than a heavier shaft. So, you should be looking at the CRS R (99 grams), and Soft R (94 rams) flexes, and the TFC graphite - all of these are stock. (TFC weights in in the 70-gram range).

 

You might also consider the Ping Karsten irons: 3H and 4H, 5i-PW. The head-shaft combo really gets the ball up - and you get hybrids at the long end. Stock shafts are the CFS Distance, and the KS401 lightweight graphite. Karstens come in at about $800, compared to $700 for the G25.

 

As you said, get fitted. You likely can find a Ping stock shaft + clubhead that will give you the height you need. Plus, custom-fitted clubs will help you hit the ball more squarely, which improves height.

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
 

 

Standard for Low, Med, High? No.

 

AS for the irons, I got to test both models when the Ping rep came last month. It was fun, I was the only customer for a half hour. I hit both the i25 and G25 with the CFS shaft, R.flex. The G25 went about 12 yards farther, and also flew higher. As per the Ping 2014 Equipment brochure, the G25 are "engineered to help launch the ball high with distance and forgiveness."

 

The i25 skirts the Players-Game Improvement category line, and caters to golfers who want to be able to shape the ball high and low.

 

Anyway, the G25 has the CFS steel and the TFC 189i graphite as stock shafts. I e-mailed Ping for more shaft details, and they say the CFS is mid-kick - medium launch - and mid-tip.

 

Another factor to consider: all things equal, a lighter shaft will launch the ball higher than a heavier shaft. So, you should be looking at the CRS R (99 grams), and Soft R (94 rams) flexes, and the TFC graphite - all of these are stock. (TFC weights in in the 70-gram range).

 

You might also consider the Ping Karsten irons: 3H and 4H, 5i-PW. The head-shaft combo really gets the ball up - and you get hybrids at the long end. Stock shafts are the CFS Distance, and the KS401 lightweight graphite. Karstens come in at about $800, compared to $700 for the G25.

 

As you said, get fitted. You likely can find a Ping stock shaft + clubhead that will give you the height you need. Plus, custom-fitted clubs will help you hit the ball more squarely, which improves height.

 

 

Thanks. I guess I'll have to try them and see what happens.

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