|Golf Swing / Graphite Shafts|
The four aspects of graphite shaftsThe four primary aspects of Graphite Shafts - In the world of custom golf clubs, not every graphite shaft is created equal. In the pursuit of creating the ultimate tee weapon of mass construction, you can now spend anywhere from $5 to $500 on a new graphite shaft. But before you dole out these precious dollars, it is vitally important to know what you are buying.
The 4 aspects used to measure a graphite shaft’s dynamics are the following:
Torque is a measure of lateral twisting a graphite shaft will experience when placed under stress i.e. playing conditions. The less a shaft/clubhead twists upon impact, the tighter the resulting shot dispersion which translates into greater accuracy off the tee.
Therefore, the lower the torque value the better for the player. Typical graphite shaft torque values range anywhere from 1.8 to 7.2.
Weight, as assumed, is simply a measure of a particular shaft’s weight in grams. Typically, one might think well why not look for the lightest shaft available. While it’s true that this can and will help a player generate greater club speed this is oftentimes at the sacrifice of increased torque and shaft flex.
Flex is a measure of the amount a shaft will bend under a given amount of stress. The more flexible a shaft the easier it will release for the player swinging said shaft.
For example, a player with a slower swing speed should look for a more flexible shaft to assist in generating a release and greater club head speed. Just the opposite, a player with a faster swing speed would seek a stiffer less-flexible shaft.
Generally speaking, there are 5 common values associated with flex: Ladies, Senior, Regular, Stiff and Extra-Stiff commonly referred to as (L,A,R,S,X).
A players’ measured swing speed is the determining factor when choosing the appropriate flex. Manufacturers often differ in what they consider these values to represent but solve this dilemma by providing the swing speeds by flex.
Kick Point refers to the point in the shaft where the majority of shaft flex is experienced. The three values typically assigned to this measure are low, mid, and high. Why is this important? Kick Point has its greatest effect on ball flight.
For instance, a low kick point shaft will kick or release lower and closer to the club head during the downswing. This makes it easier for a player to release and tends to fire the ball at a high trajectory.
Vice-versa, a high kick point shaft releases higher and closer to the grip during the downswing producing a lower more boring trajectory.
When deciding which graphite shaft is right for your custom golf club, one can surmise that the common tool used as a starting point for proper shaft-fitting is swing speed.
Players with lower swing speeds should gravitate towards, lighter, more flexible, lower kick point shafts. The opposite should ring true for those with higher swing speeds – heavier, less flexible, higher kick point shafts.
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