One of the most underrated aspects of club fitting is finding the right shaft for your unique swing. This includes the shaft’s weight, true flex, flex profile, and torque. If you don’t have the right shaft for your swing, it will be nearly impossible to truly play your best and just as important, minimize your swing flaws.
To be blunt, this has nothing to do with a letter stamped on your club. In fact, what you think is a stiff flex on your driver‘s shaft, could potentially be a completely different flex. The awful truth is there are no standards of flex (along with length, lie, loft or even how to measure these aspects). So brand X’s stiff flex could be brand Y’s regular or vice versa. Even from the same shaft company, flex varies so widely that you can’t compare those shafts based on a letter flex. What you should do is seek out a professional club fitter with a vast knowledge of every shaft on the market, plus the experience to fit you to the shaft that will maximize your abilities.
But you know your swing speed! Great, but the truth is finding the right shaft has very little to do with your swing speed. While swing speed is a good starting point to find a general flex, feel is what determines your final flex. If a shaft feels stable while at the same time gives you a feeling of loading and unloading, that is the flex range to go with. But that is only the beginning…
What’s more important than true flex is the profile of the shaft, which includes the butt, mid, and tip flexes, coupled with the kick point and total weight of the shaft. This is where a club fitter becomes indispensable. Knowing how to match a shafts profile to your swing tendencies, like transition from your top of swing position to impact and your swing tempo, along with what you want to feel in a shaft, is what custom fitting is all about. The only accurate way to determine the proper profile is to have a fitting done on a launch monitor. This is the best way for a club fitter to tailor your new shaft to you based on optimizing your launch angle, spin rate, and ball speed. The whole fitting process should take around one hour per club and should include a length, swing weight, and grip size test as well. While working with your fitter, don’t be shy. Get involved and communicate as much as you can. Even the smallest detail being left out can affect the final product.
Remember that by the rules of the USGA, club heads are now maxed out for performance. So now it’s up to being fit properly to get every yard out of your swing.
Todd Daigneault is a certified club maker at Golfers’ Warehouse.