Engine of the Club: Shaft or Head? Golf Information

There’s a saying in golf that the shaft is “the engine of the club.” But what exactly does that mean? And is it true, or does the clubhead actually drive the club?

First of all, the metaphor refers to the shaft supplying power, just like a car’s engine. Power and speed are created by the bending and unbending of the shaft, also called “loading” and “unloading.” Both occur on the downswing. The shaft is loaded, bending away from the ball, as the hands move downward. Unloading occurs as the hands roll over (release) through impact, with the shaft whipping from a bent-backward to a bent-forward angle.

So yes, it’s accurate to compare the shaft, not the head, to a car engine.

Of course, the head does play a role in delivering power to the ball. A clubhead’s weight, materials and design affect shot distance.

But if a clubhead is paired with the wrong shaft for your swing, power (and accuracy) can be lost. To learn more about shafts and how they can impact your game, follow these links:

Benefits of Selecting the Right Shaft

Shafts: Steel or Graphite?

Getting the Shaft: Torque should Match Swing Speed