It might shock you, but chances are your off-the-rack shaft doesn’t match the stiffness on its label
“What do you mean this is a senior flex, it’s labeled as a stiff shaft!” is statement and similar ones are made frequently by clients discovering for the first time the true playing characteristics of their existing equipment. Equipment they spent good money on with brand names that represent the highest in iindustry performance. Typically following the initial shock, we will hear a follow up question like, “how can XYZ company get away with that?” We answer the question with another question, “What is the definition of a ‘stiff ’ shaft ? What is a Regular Flex? Or a Senior Flex?”
The answer is there that is no standard definition within the golf industry. Every company has a different set of rules they go by when labeling and assembling their product, and there is no governing body that will cause the manufacturers to change their processes. It’s simply the nature of the business of manufacturing and assembling golf clubs on a large scale in a cost effective way to maximize profits. As a result, the majority of clubs do not play to the specs represented on the label.
If you think you should be playing a S- ex shaft with True Temper in your irons (Dynamic Gold S300, for example) and you play Matrix in your wood shafts and Fujikura in your hybrids, it would be very unlikely that each company has the same ex and production tolerance scale. You may have heard that one or two out of every 10 golf shafts match the actual ex printed on the golf shaft. We find this to be true as we measure our clients’ current golf clubs through our testing process.
One of the machines used to determine the true flex of the golf shaft is a Frequency Analyzer. A frequency analyzer is able to determine the CPM (cycle per minute) of an individual club. CPM, along with the length of a golf shaft, tells us the true “ flex,” or frequency, of the shaft. e higher the CPM, the stiffer the golf shaft . The combination of club head and shaft weight will have an effect on the true ex of a golf shaft .
For example, if you have two identical shafts, with two club heads of differing weights, the heavier club head will create a more flexible overall club. Because there are wide manufacturing tolerances for each component, it is common to find multiple flexes within a set of clubs. The challenge with this scenario is trying to create a repeating result with non-repeating equipment. Custom club builders like The Club Fix are able to frequency match each club in a set, allowing consistent feel and club head speed into the ball. This is achieved through the cutting and installation of the golf shafts to compensate for the inconsistencies of the head and shaft weight. Frequency matching is a much more time consuming process and costs more to achieve, but the results are worth the extra time.