If you tend to miss in the same direction time after time, lack the distance you feel your swing should produce, or can’t seem to improve no matter how much you practice, the problem might lie in your golf clubs’ shafts.
Shafts for woods, irons and hybrid clubs come in a variety of flexes. The golfer’s swing speed and tempo – two subtly different but important elements -- are the primary factors in determining which flex is best for his or her clubs.
First, the difference between swing speed and tempo. Speed is a measurement (in miles per hour) of how fast the clubhead moves through the hitting area. Tempo is the pace with which a golfer swings and isn’t measurable by a speedometer. (Think about the difference between Ernie Els’ and Nick Price’s swings.)
Generally speaking, the slower a player’s swing speed, the more flexible (or “soft”) his shafts should be. A shaft that bends more easily provides extra “kick” through impact, generating a boost in clubhead speed and added distance.
On the other hand, a highly flexible shaft can cause trouble for a fast-swinging player by making it more difficult to control the golf clubhead.
Other factors play a role in shaft performance, including length, weight and torque. When your golf club shafts are customized to fit your swing, longer, straighter shots are all but guaranteed.