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Does shaft flex and weight even matter?


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One could argue that this forum proves that since a large majority of people on this forum are playing heavy extra stiff shafts and even tipping them. I really enjoy this forum but don't know how I was allowed to join with 103 driver speed.😂

 

There's even a special link in this forum for people who swing stiff shafts and softer.......really like this is uncommon?

 

 

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There are several problems with this and Crossfield's logic. First, the small sample size. Everyone swings and feels the club differently, so saying that there is nothing in it based on that is obviou

I’m a low/low high spin player as well.   But I think you’re missing the point of the testing though.  The shaft seems to affect the impact location on the head, the shaft is NOT putting tha

Different shafts provide different kinesthetic feedback.  People vary a lot on how much they are effected by that feedback.  Highly sensitive players will change their delivery significantly as flex/w

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Proof once again that golf isn’t played on launch monitors it’s played inside television sets. 😂  On a monitor you can hand me any club you want and I will get pretty similar numbers within a few swings. Can I feel the difference, yes but I can groove it to where the numbers stay pretty good. But on the golf course it matters. And it matters big time. Monitors don’t put a 20 mph headwind in your way or the nasty left to right crosswind. There are no elevation changes on a monitor and they’re are firm or soft conditions to account for. Shafts that fit me and perform the way I prefer enable me to control the flight of my golf ball in all conditions and move the ball in both directions on different flights. I can’t do that with shafts that are too soft or too light or a combination of both. But stock swings with those clubs, yes I can make them work just fine. Golf isn’t about stock swings. To truly play your best and score your best you need to be able to hit every shot. Shafts do matter. 

 

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My driver came with a 55g shaft. I tried a 65g shaft and noticed improvement. I went to an 80g shaft and I've never hit my driver better.

 

Placebo? Maybe. But it works.

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20 hours ago, clinkinfo said:


 

I’m a low/low high spin player as well.

 

But I think you’re missing the point of the testing though.  The shaft seems to affect the impact location on the head, the shaft is NOT putting that spin on the ball directly.  Your impact location is causing that.  So when you test a senior flex shaft, you’re likely hitting out of the bottom of the face and that’s why the spin is rising, NOT because the shaft is more flexible.  That’s what makes the results so unintuitive.   
 

I guess you can have a “‘chicken/egg” argument about it all, if the shaft is causing you to miss the center of the face, and that causes bad launch, does it matter how the bad launch comes about?  I guess not, it’s still coming from the shaft.  It’s just not for the reason we all intuitively seem to think.  

 

 

Impact IS cause by shaft profile however and to an extent flex .....I'm not a high speed guy anymore but my swing dynamics don't allow to me to play either lower kickpoint shafts or softer tipped shafts.....

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33 minutes ago, SwooshLT said:

 

 

Impact IS cause by shaft profile however and to an extent flex .....I'm not a high speed guy anymore but my swing dynamics don't allow to me to play either lower kickpoint shafts or softer tipped shafts.....


 

I guess the big question would be, if someone did a blind test with you and just handed you shafts to try would you be able to tell the difference?  Or is the difference in your head when you read the label.  The fact that shields can’t tell you the correct flex on those shafts AND crossfield has a similar video.  It makes me wonder.

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I think where shafts come into play, for me at least, is about what works best for allowing me to feel like I am sensing and controlling the head. So to that extent, yes, shaft weight, flex, torque, etc., all matter. As others point out, a really good ball striker will be able to compensate for small differences easily so the results tend to be good regardless of the differences in the shafts.

 

In addition to the video's you listed, you might want to take a look at this one also. I think it shows how it can affect things for a player...

 

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7 minutes ago, clinkinfo said:


 

I guess the big question would be, if someone did a blind test with you and just handed you shafts to try would you be able to tell the difference?  Or is the difference in your head when you read the label.  The fact that shields can’t tell you the correct flex on those shafts AND crossfield has a similar video.  It makes me wonder.

 

I'm being totally honest......blind tested , I could.....very sensitive to all specs including swingweight, length and torque......this is without seeing specs which is come in as confirmation......wish, at times , I wasn't so 🤷

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Feel is the only difference I find.  If I can't feel the club head, I have zero idea where my ball is going to go. 

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I played college baseball, and as a result, could generate some pretty crazy club head speed 10-12 years ago.  Consistency was an issue.  Lol

 

I'm a much better driver now, because I've learned to throttle back.  But my main discovery, was to stick with a shaft that I could feel 'kick' with my normal swing.

 

I could definitely play a heavier/stouter shaft, but I subconsciously put a stronger move into it to feel the same kick, which reduces fairways hit.

 

I'm sure some people are exactly the opposite.  That's what makes golf fun ... we have our own unique preferences.

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Weight and flex both matter as we are all different players with different swings, body types, feels and preferences.  The flex argument loses out anytime someone with a short backswing and hard transition steps up to the plate. 

 

I'm sure many of us have taken an L flexed club and tried to go at it.  The second you go aggressive, it melts in your hands.  If you are smooth, you can 'make it work'.

I don't think Holmes would be even marginally successful with Freddy's L flexed 7 wood.  Same can be said for basically anyone who is going to try out Bryson's rebar shafts. 

 

Weight is a whole other world now that we have sub 90g steel (substantially less in graphite) and still many options north of 130g.

 

To say there is basically no to only a minimal difference between a light weight wet noodle and a heavy piece of rebar is, well, dumb...

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23 hours ago, phizzy30 said:

I like Rick Shiels and his vids.  However I would take some things he says with a grain of salt.  That being said, you can't argue with numbers.  Weight matters the most IMO, then flex.   Ever tried hitting a senior flex if your ss is 118 like mine?  Spin rates jump to 3500+rpm.  Weight is more for control/dispersion.  Remember, length of shaft also matters as well. 

 

23 hours ago, phizzy30 said:

Yep.  I'm already pretty wild off the tee, but the sub 70 gram shaft makes is 10x worst. 

 

I feel much the same as you.  I've lost a fair bit of speed from my peak 10 years ago (aging sucks), but I still don't do well with softer or lighter.  If I could do so easily, I'd still be playing 100g graphite in my driver, even in my advancing years.

 

A last thought...  people forget that distance is actually somewhat self limiting...

 

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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: TM Original One 11.5*, one click lower loft, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X -or- Aldila NV105 X

3w: Cobra King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h, NV105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58*
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1 hour ago, clinkinfo said:


 

I guess the big question would be, if someone did a blind test with you and just handed you shafts to try would you be able to tell the difference?  Or is the difference in your head when you read the label.  The fact that shields can’t tell you the correct flex on those shafts AND crossfield has a similar video.  It makes me wonder.

 

First driver I ever hit well didn't have any sort of spec identification on the label.  Flex, weight, all unknown.  Used it for a full season, maybe two, with moderate success.

 

Regripped it in the off-season, found the specs label under the grip tape.  It was 107g, and turned out to be stiffer than I'd thought.

 

Once I learned that, I couldn't hit it worth crap for months.  LOL

 

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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: TM Original One 11.5*, one click lower loft, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X -or- Aldila NV105 X

3w: Cobra King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h, NV105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58*
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Rife Bimini, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or TaylorMade TP5

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In my opinion a shaft helps you do two things:

 

1. More consistently find the center of the clubface without having to adjust your swing to the shaft (leads to consistent ball flight and higher ball speeds)

2. Improves ability to control trajectory and tighten dispersion/ eliminate one side of the course

 

 

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22 minutes ago, NRJyzr said:

 

 

I feel much the same as you.  I've lost a fair bit of speed from my peak 10 years ago (aging sucks), but I still don't do well with softer or lighter.  If I could do so easily, I'd still be playing 100g graphite in my driver, even in my advancing years.

 

A last thought...  people forget that distance is actually somewhat self limiting...

 

You mean like the X100 or the Fuji Lucas Glover proto from way back when.  I had that shaft in my 3 metal and it was beastly.  100+grams uncut and mid-low/low shaft.  Very stable though. 

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11 minutes ago, phizzy30 said:

You mean like the X100 or the Fuji Lucas Glover proto from way back when.  I had that shaft in my 3 metal and it was beastly.  100+grams uncut and mid-low/low shaft.  Very stable though. 

 

NV105, or maybe NV95, would be nice to see again.  Won't happen, of course, but I'd be on it.  Ran into an RIP Alpha 80, which is close to the zipcode, but they're largely same as the heavier NV's.

 

The shaft I mentioned in my other post above was a Composite Dynamics HP/M Tour.  A $100 shaft when there weren't any at that price point. 😉  Always liked that thing.  Totally lucked into it in the Misc rack at 2nd Swing.  

 

Funny what you find when folks aren't aware of what they have.

 

I don't know how they'd measure up to modern in performance terms, but the old GD D03 sounds like it would be good for you.

 

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: TM Original One 11.5*, one click lower loft, Aldila RIP Alpha 80 X -or- Aldila NV105 X

3w: Cobra King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h, NV105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58*
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Rife Bimini, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional or TaylorMade TP5

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5 minutes ago, NRJyzr said:

 

NV105, or maybe NV95, would be nice to see again.  Won't happen, of course, but I'd be on it.  Ran into an RIP Alpha 80, which is close to the zipcode, but they're largely same as the heavier NV's.

 

The shaft I mentioned in my other post above was a Composite Dynamics HP/M Tour.  A $100 shaft when there weren't any at that price point. 😉  Always liked that thing.  Totally lucked into it in the Misc rack at 2nd Swing.  

 

Funny what you find when folks aren't aware of what they have.

 

I don't know how they'd measure up to modern in performance terms, but the old GD D03 sounds like it would be good for you.

 

This is one of the most demanding, dead feeling shafts made IMO. I had an X flex in a 3 wood and it was very tough to hit. Distance wasn't any better than steel. I would drop at least 1/2 a flex from what you normally play. D03 is very stiff for flex.

 

That was from a member over at TSG.  I might try one if someone had a TM tip thrown on it, but I wouldn't actively seek one on the bay let's say.  Thanks for the recommendation though.  I ultimately ended up with Ventus Blue 8x but picked up a TB 80x which is my gamer now.  I was debating whether to try a 90 gram shaft, but went with the 80 gram because the modern ones are very stable at that weight. 

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Different shafts provide different kinesthetic feedback.  People vary a lot on how much they are effected by that feedback.  Highly sensitive players will change their delivery significantly as flex/weight changes, resulting in significantly different results.  Less sensitive players will make more or less the same swing, and get more or less the same result regardless of flex/weight.  A robot produces essentially identical results once shaft droop is accounted for (this is what causes low strikes with more flexible shafts, the shaft is not kicking forward appreciably, there is more droop which effectively shortens the shaft).

 

There really isn't a 'debate' here.  Crossfield is absolutely correct that shafts make very little difference for him, as are the people in this thread who state shafts make a huge difference.  Both are true, because when you change the shaft, the variable is not the shaft, but how the person responds to the shaft.

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Weight does matter as does flex, but not to most people playing golf.  What doesn't really matter is the comparison of different flex shafts and weights like seen in the OPs 2 videos?  Nobody in their right mind does a comparison like that.  However, both video fitters were right about one thing, don't get bogged down in shaft specs or ego.  Pick what feels good and works with your level of swing mechanics and stick with it.  Don't concern yourself about what others think either. 

 

You see two younger guys with grooved swings in both videos.  Yet they do NOT represent most golfers, more like better golfers.  Most people assume as we age (I am 70yrs) we follow this "X" to "S" to "R" or "A" flex process..NOT true.  My driver shafts have been 65-78g in weight and stout.  When I tested Ventus 5 series as mentioned in one of the video's, I was apprehensive about the 5 series, but not at all about the 7 series.  Ultra-light shafts have never stood up to my swing, and some almost collapse (not literally) at impact when I want to go after a drive, hard.  Ventus Velocore 5 Series 59g "S" stays with my swing, allowing me to go after the ball without hesitation.  It's party why I am still playing the big-kids tees.

 

"NOBODY" I have played golf with has asked me about the red shaft in my driver.  But I have received plenty of praise about the distance of my drives.  The only remarks I've heard are "it's pretty Red" and some "couldn't play a Red shaft."  Go figure that.. Ego is a funny thing.

 

What's also interesting a fair number have asked about my graphite iron shafts, and more than a few have tried to hit them.  Only one guy hit Tensei AV White AM2 "S" successfully, and a few hit Steelfiber i110 "S."  I am pretty sure part of that is tied to the 620 series heads, as they are not for the timid swinger. 

 

All I care about is my shafts standing up to fast tempo and transition and zippo dispersion.   I stood on a Par 5 tee box Sunday, facing a blind shot over a wide almost diagonal OB.  Played that course many times, and for the longest time felt trepidation till I got Ventus.  The more I hit it, the more I bite-off over OB.

 

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2012 - Diamana Blueboard 83 (78g) x5ct "S" 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, clinkinfo said:


 

I guess the big question would be, if someone did a blind test with you and just handed you shafts to try would you be able to tell the difference?  Or is the difference in your head when you read the label.  The fact that shields can’t tell you the correct flex on those shafts AND crossfield has a similar video.  It makes me wonder.


I think you would find a smattering of different results. My old boss thought my Diamana Ahina 80X driver shaft felt the same as the stock regular flex Taylormade shaft he had in his RBZ driver. That says nothing about the merit of different shafts and everything about how arthritic and messed up his hands were. 

I'm also not sure where you're getting the "Shiels can't tell you the difference" point, because in the video I watched he only incorrectly guessed the R and A flex models getting them reversed, which is perfectly understandable mistake given that once a shaft is soft enough it can be hard to tell between them, especially since they were also in different weight classes. Crossfield on the other hand is on the slower side with comparatively less leg and an earlier release, which is pretty much a blueprint for being much more shaft agnostic. 
 

4 hours ago, BackNineCollapse said:

There really isn't a 'debate' here.  Crossfield is absolutely correct that shafts make very little difference for him, as are the people in this thread who state shafts make a huge difference.  Both are true, because when you change the shaft, the variable is not the shaft, but how the person responds to the shaft.


Well said. 

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5 hours ago, NRJyzr said:

 

First driver I ever hit well didn't have any sort of spec identification on the label.  Flex, weight, all unknown.  Used it for a full season, maybe two, with moderate success.

 

Regripped it in the off-season, found the specs label under the grip tape.  It was 107g, and turned out to be stiffer than I'd thought.

 

Once I learned that, I couldn't hit it worth crap for months.  LOL

 


 

I have a feeling a lot of us might be more like that than we realize.  Hadn’t connected the dots, but recently we were tweaking a really good, under scratch,  high speed player’s driver, and I handed them a counterbalanced 80 gram shaft.  They told me it felt too light.   I handed them a non-counterbalanced 60 gram, they said it felt too heavy. This player does not care one bit what it actually was, and didn’t want to know what I was handing them, they just wanted results and a particular feel.   Point being, when someone is really committed to not knowing or caring what they are hitting, and just looks at results, it’s not always what you expect.  Kinda what you see in those videos too.  That guy in the 3rd video with crossfield is a shaft enthusiast.  He NEVER would have predicted that result either.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Dpavs said:

I think where shafts come into play, for me at least, is about what works best for allowing me to feel like I am sensing and controlling the head. So to that extent, yes, shaft weight, flex, torque, etc., all matter. As others point out, a really good ball striker will be able to compensate for small differences easily so the results tend to be good regardless of the differences in the shafts.

 

In addition to the video's you listed, you might want to take a look at this one also. I think it shows how it can affect things for a player...

 


 

but in that video he hits almost everything out of the heel?  Which he says he’s trying to do because of a swing issue he has and toeing the ball.  But how can you draw any real shaft performance conclusions when all impact is so skewed to the heel?  Aren’t you just testing the launch differences of center vs heel at that point?


 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Valtiel said:


I think you would find a smattering of different results. My old boss thought my Diamana Ahina 80X driver shaft felt the same as the stock regular flex Taylormade shaft he had in his RBZ driver. That says nothing about the merit of different shafts and everything about how arthritic and messed up his hands were. 

I'm also not sure where you're getting the "Shiels can't tell you the difference" point, because in the video I watched he only incorrectly guessed the R and A flex models getting them reversed, which is perfectly understandable mistake given that once a shaft is soft enough it can be hard to tell between them, especially since they were also in different weight classes. Crossfield on the other hand is on the slower side with comparatively less leg and an earlier release, which is pretty much a blueprint for being much more shaft agnostic. 
 


Well said. 


 

If you read the responses here, the senior flex should be a 50g wet noodle.  It should have been the EASIEST one for him to guess.  In fact, he says before he reveals the flex, he’s MOST CERTAIN that shaft 1 is senior flex.  That was his most confident guess.  And he was wrong.  The rest of his guesses become, well, less confident guesses.

 

and let’s remember, the A flex shaft is a 50g shaft, the rest are all 60g!  So among 3 60 gram shafts, he couldn’t even pick out the 50g shaft based on weight either, much less flex.  

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1 hour ago, clinkinfo said:


 

If you read the responses here, the senior flex should be a 50g wet noodle.  It should have been the EASIEST one for him to guess.  In fact, he says before he reveals the flex, he’s MOST CERTAIN that shaft 1 is senior flex.  That was his most confident guess.  And he was wrong.  The rest of his guesses become, well, less confident guesses.

 

and let’s remember, the A flex shaft is a 50g shaft, the rest are all 60g!  So among 3 60 gram shafts, he couldn’t even pick out the 50g shaft based on weight either, much less flex.  


Only easiest if compared to something dissimilar enough. He was confident in the X-flex, which makes sense, and i'm sure the R-flex felt like a wet noodle as well with his violent tempo. Harder to tell two wet noodles apart. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, clinkinfo said:


 

but in that video he hits almost everything out of the heel?  Which he says he’s trying to do because of a swing issue he has and toeing the ball.  But how can you draw any real shaft performance conclusions when all impact is so skewed to the heel?  Aren’t you just testing the launch differences of center vs heel at that point?


 

 

 

3A695B1A-6E59-4010-848C-44DDA038D79E.png

True but the point was not to compare the 5 shafts but to show how he felt that he control the head better with certain shafts than with others. He felt like, as he said, he was "losing the face" or not being able to "feel where the head" is with some of the shafts. That is what I thought was the take away from the video. Everyone's results with be different of course, but imo, for most people,  some shafts you will get on with, while others are just a plain no go.

Edited by Dpavs
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