Every club in my bag is an s-flex. Should I use the same flex in all of my clubs or should I vary it?
This is an excellent question, and I believe we’ve discussed it in the past few years. Still, information like this ought to be repeated, so here it is.
There isn’t one, to put it bluntly. Your signature is as unique as your swing from one club to the next. When it comes to the driver, you may be a ferocious swinger, but when it comes to woods and hybrids, you prefer to take it easy. Alternatively, you may be a light swinger with the driver yet prefer to hit your irons with more force. It’s really up to you and your trainer to figure out what flex profile is appropriate for each club. Even if it means using shafts with varied degrees of flex throughout the set.
Flex, in fact, has a lot more to do with how rigid a shaft is. It’s one thing to bend it in a certain way, but when and where it bends are equally crucial. Furthermore, no two shaft manufacturers utilize the same shaft ratings, making things a little more tricky.
Let’s take a look at it for a minute.
Most shafts are classified according to their flex rating, which ranges from lady, senior, regular, stiff, extra-stiff, and beyond. As previously stated, a stiff flex from one manufacturer may be regular or extra-stiff flex from another.
A frequency rating—the number of times the shaft oscillates when clamped down at the grip end—is sometimes used to mark shafts. The shaft is more flexible the lower the cycles per minute, or frequency. The firmer the shaft, the greater the frequency.
True Spec Golf, for example, offers a technique called “frequency matching,” which involves aligning shafts by frequency to provide a seamless transition from one club to the next. In other words, when your shafts go shorter in shorter clubs, they become stiffer; frequency matching can help space out the differences in frequencies evenly by roughly 4 CPMs.
But here’s the catch: Shaft flex and/or frequency are a nice place to start and are more egalitarian than going by the flex name alone, but they don’t give the complete story. Other considerations include the location of shaft bends, not only the amount of bend. Shafts with bend points higher on the shaft (towards the grip) produce significantly lower trajectories than shafts with bend points lower on the shaft (towards the grip) (towards the clubhead). Softer flex shafts, for what it’s worth, tend to twist more during impact, which might help or hinder you depending on your desires.
Your swing tempo also plays a huge role in choosing the proper shaft. You might have a quick swingspeed, but if you also have a smooth tempo and a lengthy, slow transition from backswing to downswing, you might be able to get away with a flexier shaft for added distance. Or perhaps you have a swingspeed that is ordinary to slower but a really quick pace. In this instance, a stiffer shaft may be preferable. To summarize, when determining your optimal shaft flex, you should consider your tempo with each club as well as your swingspeed.
This brings us back to your original query. If your driver, woods, and irons all have an s-flex, but they’re all different models from different companies, you may already have a wide range of shaft flexes. That might be OK if you’re happy with all of your clubs, but it could also explain why your driver and/or woods feel wonderful but your irons don’t—or vice versa. Get your clubs fitted by a fitter and have them altered as needed based on your data so every club feels excellent in your hands and when you swing–even if that means a few of your clubs have various flex ratings and/or frequencies.
Original article posted on Golf.