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  1. #1
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    Advice for people asking what shaft flex they should use.

    I think nearly every week there is someone asking what shaft flex that they should be using for a XXmph swing, XXXlb, XXX tempo.

    Its nice that people are kind enough to offer you advice on what they think, but without being properly fitted or trying shafts the chances are you will probably get the wrong one.

    I used to hit Dynamic Gold R300's up until I was about 20-21yrs and had a very smooth tempo & transition. When I purchased some Titleist 990s I thought I needed S300s as I was older/stronger. The fitter at the time did nothing to suggest otherwise, basically just asked what I wanted. For 8 years I think I may have been hitting irons with the wrong flex for my swing (currently Apex 4).

    I got curious while getting fitted a few months back. The pro said I had a 6i swing speed of 85-90mph which was confirmed on two other launch monitors. However, my transition only registed 2 on the mizuno shaft loading club (very low). He said I would be fine with Dynamic Gold Lite R300s but sort of pushed me towards the S300 even though I said I prefered the softer feel of the R300s.

    I used one other launch monitor of which the fitter said again R300, or S300 should be ok but said it was up to me. The last which only had a swing speed indicator, he just said I needed stiff. Pretty confusing.

    I purchased my BH-5s with Apex 4s as they were a good price, but also because I believed that I needed the firmer shafts (could have got the Apex 3 for less). I still dont get my tempo consistantly although its getting there, but I feel that I need to work the stiff shafts harder and I believe it is more fatiguing on my game and causing less consistancy.

    Last night I did an experiment. I hit my BH-5 Apex 4 6i against a Taylor Made Burner 6i with an A-flex TX-90 (more flexible than Regular). The Apex 4 is about 105-110g the TX-90 is 90g. Most of you would expect the result to be that I snap hooked the A-flex all over the range. Well I didnt, I pulled a few left with both, I hit a few right with both, and I hit most straight, both with soft draws, although the A-flex moved very slightly more (about 1 or 2 yard left) as it came down. Due to the low kick the A-flex flew higher, but it also carried slightly longer (or would carry the same with less effort) and had a better feel to me. I was suprised to say the least and think I could use either of these in my clubs without too many problems.

    It has completely changed my views on shafts and flex and I am going for a fitting at my local true temper shaft lab this week to find out what shafts would suit my swing. I think I would be better with a softer shaft but will report back once I've been.

    Overall I think its fair to say that you cant choose the best flex for you by club head speed alone.

    Stu

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart S

    Overall I think its fair to say that you cant choose the best flex for you by club head speed alone.
    You're absolutely correct. Some people with relatively slow swing speeds will do best with a stiff flex, and some with relatively fast swingspeeds but very smooth swings will do best with a regular flex. The reason swingspeed is used so commonly as the determining factor is that a large percentage of people who work in sporting goods shops and even golf shops really don't know how to properly advise people on shaft selection, so they used a cookie cutter approach that works for most people: swingspeed.
    Seldom right, never in doubt......

  3. #3
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    You do need to be careful you don't get something too weak though. You'll notice a difference in shot dispersion.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorkman53
    You're absolutely correct. Some people with relatively slow swing speeds will do best with a stiff flex, and some with relatively fast swingspeeds but very smooth swings will do best with a regular flex. The reason swingspeed is used so commonly as the determining factor is that a large percentage of people who work in sporting goods shops and even golf shops really don't know how to properly advise people on shaft selection, so they used a cookie cutter approach that works for most people: swingspeed.
    Agreed...I've been to a few golf shops where it was obvious they didn't know what the heck they were talking about. That's why I often like to ask others (folks on this board included) their opinions as well, to temper what I hear from the so-called experts in the pro shops. Not that they're all bad, but they're not all good either.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by collegegolfer
    You do need to be careful you don't get something too weak though. You'll notice a difference in shot dispersion.
    That is true. I am just trying to point out to some of the people that were asking (or were thinking of asking), that its not just a case of club head speed. The problem is some of the pros out there are not helping as they just want to make the sale.

    I am not saying that I am going to switch to an A flex as I dont really struggle for distance(although if I am recommended it I will give it a try) but feel something softer (ie Regular) will be more beneficial for my swing, and because I will be swinging more within myself I will get more control & consistancy in distance and direction. (thats the plan anyway)

    Stu

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart S
    That is true. I am just trying to point out to some of the people that were asking (or were thinking of asking), that its not just a case of club head speed. The problem is some of the pros out there are not helping as they just want to make the sale.

    I am not saying that I am going to switch to an A flex as I dont really struggle for distance(although if I am recommended it I will give it a try) but feel something softer (ie Regular) will be more beneficial for my swing, and because I will be swinging more within myself I will get more control & consistancy in distance and direction. (thats the plan anyway)

    Stu
    The reason I say that is because I hit X-Flex and take man 1/2 to 3/4 shots for accuracy. WIth this type of shot I may hit an 8-iron, say, 140 yards. I am capable of hitting an 8 170+. But, hitting an 8 140 obviously doesn't require an X-Flex. The thing is, I'm more accurate with the stiffer shaft than I ever was with an S-Flex. Does that mean you should buy the stiffest??? No, just saying there could be benefits in accuracy IF you're good enough to control the stiffer shaft.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by macmai
    Agreed...I've been to a few golf shops where it was obvious they didn't know what the heck they were talking about. That's why I often like to ask others (folks on this board included) their opinions as well, to temper what I hear from the so-called experts in the pro shops. Not that they're all bad, but they're not all good either.
    I've worked in the golf business since I was 13. Yes, it was slave labor for a free membership running carts from age 13-16. I can personally attest that 19 out 20 people that work around golf have no ****ing idea what they're talking about. I've worked in two different high profile stand alone golf outlet stores and was the only salesperson who had a clue. I've shopped in numerous others and been fed nothing but BS. Most of them are just really good and spitting the crap back out that the reps feed to them.

    I'm too honest to sell clubs. I know that there is less than a 1 degree variance in distance from a persimmon to a 460cc Ti driver when hit by the Iron Byron. The larger driver carries a lot further into the woods on mishits, however.

    I know that if you suck, you're going to suck no matter what you're swinging. The money would be much better spent on a ton of alcohol to keep yourself intoxicated during every round to take the expectation thus frustration out of the game that you will never improve at.

    I guess that is kind of harsh, but golf is a game that either exceptional athletes with mindblowing coordination or genuine students of the game excel at. You won't ever break 80 playing weekends only. If you do, you're a cheater or played everyday as a kid.

    I'm not sure what the point of this rant is anymore... I just know that it's late and I'm tired. That is all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart S
    I think nearly every week there is someone asking what shaft flex that they should be using for a XXmph swing, XXXlb, XXX tempo.

    Its nice that people are kind enough to offer you advice on what they think, but without being properly fitted or trying shafts the chances are you will probably get the wrong one.

    I used to hit Dynamic Gold R300's up until I was about 20-21yrs and had a very smooth tempo & transition. When I purchased some Titleist 990s I thought I needed S300s as I was older/stronger. The fitter at the time did nothing to suggest otherwise, basically just asked what I wanted. For 8 years I think I may have been hitting irons with the wrong flex for my swing (currently Apex 4).

    I got curious while getting fitted a few months back. The pro said I had a 6i swing speed of 85-90mph which was confirmed on two other launch monitors. However, my transition only registed 2 on the mizuno shaft loading club (very low). He said I would be fine with Dynamic Gold Lite R300s but sort of pushed me towards the S300 even though I said I prefered the softer feel of the R300s.

    I used one other launch monitor of which the fitter said again R300, or S300 should be ok but said it was up to me. The last which only had a swing speed indicator, he just said I needed stiff. Pretty confusing.

    I purchased my BH-5s with Apex 4s as they were a good price, but also because I believed that I needed the firmer shafts (could have got the Apex 3 for less). I still dont get my tempo consistantly although its getting there, but I feel that I need to work the stiff shafts harder and I believe it is more fatiguing on my game and causing less consistancy.

    Last night I did an experiment. I hit my BH-5 Apex 4 6i against a Taylor Made Burner 6i with an A-flex TX-90 (more flexible than Regular). The Apex 4 is about 105-110g the TX-90 is 90g. Most of you would expect the result to be that I snap hooked the A-flex all over the range. Well I didnt, I pulled a few left with both, I hit a few right with both, and I hit most straight, both with soft draws, although the A-flex moved very slightly more (about 1 or 2 yard left) as it came down. Due to the low kick the A-flex flew higher, but it also carried slightly longer (or would carry the same with less effort) and had a better feel to me. I was suprised to say the least and think I could use either of these in my clubs without too many problems.

    It has completely changed my views on shafts and flex and I am going for a fitting at my local true temper shaft lab this week to find out what shafts would suit my swing. I think I would be better with a softer shaft but will report back once I've been.

    Overall I think its fair to say that you cant choose the best flex for you by club head speed alone.

    Stu
    To answer your question, I think you'd be better off with a stiffer shaft assuming you aren't suffering from extreme lack of distance or an annoyingly low trajectory. Iron play is about precision, and the bottom line is; you will hit a golf club with a stiff shaft more accurately than you will a golf club with a weaker shaft. A stiff shaft should not be causing you fatigue. I think you're suffering from a mental block of sorts.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesusCrizzle
    To answer your question, I think you'd be better off with a stiffer shaft assuming you aren't suffering from extreme lack of distance or an annoyingly low trajectory. Iron play is about precision, and the bottom line is; you will hit a golf club with a stiff shaft more accurately than you will a golf club with a weaker shaft. A stiff shaft should not be causing you fatigue. I think you're suffering from a mental block of sorts.
    There wasnt actually a question there. I was trying to point out that shaft flex shouldnt be chosen on clubhead speed alone. There are other factors like tempo, transition speed and load on the shaft. I know irons are about precision, but the best shaft for me will be the one that allows me to play my best golf consistently.

    If your quote about stiff shafts being more accurate is true, why dont all of the pros use the stiffest shafts? Luke Donald is an accurate iron player but uses S300s, Sergio Garcia even uses S300s

  10. #10
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    I think you should play the stiffest shaft in your irons that you can handle up until you start to see a discernible decline in performance distance/trajectory wise. You have been tested at "on the bubble" by numerous custom fitters, which is why I offered my advice of going with the stiff shaft.

    I never disagreed with your comment about swing speed not being enough to determine the ideal shaft for a golfer. However, your claim of it being the thesis of your rant is wrong. At least it didn't read that way. It read like someone who was confused about whether or not to use regular or stiff shafts and wanted another person to validate his desire to use regular shafts. I'm sorry I couldn't oblige.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesusCrizzle
    I think you should play the stiffest shaft in your irons that you can handle up until you start to see a discernible decline in performance distance/trajectory wise. You have been tested at "on the bubble" by numerous custom fitters, which is why I offered my advice of going with the stiff shaft.

    I never disagreed with your comment about swing speed not being enough to determine the ideal shaft for a golfer. However, your claim of it being the thesis of your rant is wrong. At least it didn't read that way. It read like someone who was confused about whether or not to use regular or stiff shafts and wanted another person to validate his desire to use regular shafts. I'm sorry I couldn't oblige.
    I think we may have our wires crossed here. I am not looking to validate my thoughts on whether I should be using regular shafts, thats why I am going to get fitted at the shaft lab to make sure I try a few and get it right. I was just using my experience as an example for people that ask 'what flex should I use for XXmph'. As you said above, you agree that that isnt enough on its own.

    I wont bore you with details about the custom fittings.

  12. #12
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    I have a 100+ swing speed. I have an extra stiff shaft on my driver. It's the club I swing the hardest.

    But I've found that a smoother swing works best for me with my woods and irons so I use regular flex shafts on those.

    The biggest problem with getting fitted at some shop is that you'll normally take an agressive swing with the club of your choice because you know you're being measured.

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