What Flex is Right For Your Golf Clubs?

by Bill Winters

Every seasoned golfer knows that choosing the right kind of golf equipment is very important if you want to unleash your best performance on the course. Unfortunately, one minor detail that some golfers fail to take into consideration when purchasing their golf equipment is shaft flexibility.

What Flex is Right For Your Golf Clubs?
What Flex is Right For Your Golf Clubs?

What's A Club's Flex & How It Affects Your Game

Simply put, a golf club’s flex is the degree to which its shaft will bend during a swing. More flexible shafts have the potential to produce longer-ranged shots. However, it’s not a simple matter of choosing the most flexible shaft available on the market since more flexible shafts may mean diminished accuracy as they also tend to twist more.

Obviously, choosing the right flex for you can improve your swing performance, so if possible, you might want a professional assess which flex suits you best. They will evaluate your swing and speed to recommend the perfect flex for you. 

For those looking for a bit more guidance on their swing with a more independent, low cost or less time commitment approach, I'd recommend trying the Simple Senior Swing System. This system is the only one designed by senior golf professional for senior golfers. Guaranteed to consistently get you longer, straighter drives.

The Senior Swing System
The Senior Swing System

Shaft Flex: The Different Categories Available

Golf equipment manufacturers rate their shafts in terms of their degree of flexibility, which is simply referred to as flex in golf lingo. Usually, there are five different categories a shaft might belong to such as:

  • extra stiff (X)
  • Stiff (S)
  • Regular (R)
  • Senior (A)
  • And ladies (L)

However, some professional golfers prefer to use shafts rated XX, which means that they are stiffer than shafts with extra stiff flex (X) and definitely not recommended for most players.

How To Determine Your Flex

The simplest way to know your correct shaft flex is to visit a golf equipment store and have your swing evaluated. Another method is to choose your shaft’s flex depending on your swing speed and carry distance.

Shaft Flex
Shaft Flex
  • Extra Stiff Flex – If your shots consistently cover the 300-yard range, then the extra stiff flex is perfect for you. To achieve this distance, swing speeds of over 100 mph is necessary to propel the ball. This flex is best for professional golfers.
  • Stiff Flex – If your swing speeds reach 95 mph and consistently produce shots in the 250-yard range, then the stiff flex is perfect for you. This flex is also a popular choice among mid-low handicappers.
  • Regular Flex – This flex level is popular for mid-high handicappers. If your drives fall between 200 to 240 yards, this is perfect for you. Regular flex is also a very popular choice for a number of golfers. This is the ideal flex for those with swing speeds between 85 to 95 mph.
  • Senior Flex – Older male golfers usually choose the senior flex. This is also ideal for players who consistently drive the ball in the 180 to 200 yard range regardless of age. The senior flex shaft is perfect flex for those who swing at between 75 and 90 miles per hour.
  • Ladies Flex – This is the softest flex in the market. This is not only ideal for female golfers but also to those whose drives are below 200 yards. My recommended ladies golf guide can be found here

Senior flex vs Regular flex: A comparison

Regular flex and senior flex golf clubs are among the most popular golf clubs in terms of flexibility. For this reason, one of the most commonly asked questions among golfers is whether they should buy a regular flex club or a club with senior flex. Keep in mind that these two different types of clubs are geared for different types of golfers so neither is necessarily better than the other – each has its own set requirements to maximize your game performance.

Senior Flex Vs Regular Flex
Senior Flex Vs Regular Flex
  • Flexibility – In terms of shaft flexibility, a senior flex golf club is more pliant than a regular flex one. The extra flexibility of senior flex clubs is best suited for older golfers. 
  • Distance – Senior flex clubs are best for players who can consistently drive their balls to a distance between 180 and 200 yards. On the other hand, players who can drive the ball between 200 to 240 yards are best suited to regular flex clubs. 
  • Swing Speeds – In general, swing speeds of senior golfers are lower compared to their younger counterparts. A senior flex club is designed with this in mind so it is more flexible which makes it suitable for golfers with slower swing speeds of around 75 and 90 mph. On the other hand,  regular flex clubs suit golfers with swing speeds of between 85 to 95 mph. 

Remember, senior flex clubs only refer to the club’s flexibility and not the player’s age. If your distance and swing speed fit the requirements of a senior flex club, then it might be the best-suited senior flex for you even if you are not yet sixty years old. Of course, you can also opt to have your swing speed evaluated by a professional and ask him to recommend the right flex for you.

Do You Need To Change Shaft Flex As You Age?

Let’s face reality for a moment and accept that older players are not as spry and energetic compared to their younger selves. As we grow older, changes in our bodies result in our strength declining by a bit and our bodies not as flexible as before. Unfortunately, these changes will inevitably affect our golf performance.

A time may soon come that your swing speeds and carry distance will not be as amazing as before. To offset these changes, a change in shaft flex becomes a necessity. However, there is no rule as to when you need to shift because some players have the amazing ability to maintain their bodies’ performance at its peak longer than others.

One Last Thing: It’s How You Play The Game

In life, there are always trade offs when you make a decision and that also applies in golf equipment as well. When it comes to choosing a club’s flex, the tradeoff is between distance and accuracy.

When choosing a senior flex golf club, you may achieve greater clubhead speed due to its flexibility resulting in a greater distance. However, you need to also consider that choosing such a shaft might result in a loss of accuracy given the excessive torque.

On the other hand, a regular flex club might give you better control and accuracy but at the cost of a reduced distance. If you really want to maximize your performance, you need to experiment a little bit to determine which flex is best-suited for a particular swing. It might even be necessary for you to use multiple clubs with different flexibilities throughout the game to come out on top.

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About Bill Winters

Those who have not yet tried the sport just can’t imagine what is driving these golfers to brave the sun’s heat and go around a course bigger than several football fields combined. It seems like an awful lot of work considering that the ball is quite small that is must be hard to hit, the ground of the course is not flat and, most annoying of all, there are sand traps lying around seemingly bent on preventing a player from finishing the course.

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About the Author

The game of golf may seem like an awful lot to take on when one considers that the ball is quite small, must be hard to hit and carry through windy conditions with little chance for error. The ground course has hillsides which make it challenging enough without adding sand traps who seem bent on preventing players from completing their round!

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