Getting the Shaft: Torque Should Match Golf Swing Speed

    By now, most golfers are aware that the shaft is the so-called “engine of the golf club.” They have a basic understanding of how length, weight and flex affect ball flight and shot distance. They may even be familiar with the concept of the shaft’s bend or kick point.

    There’s yet another factor that influences a shaft’s performance: torque. Torque is simply defined as “resistance to twisting,” and it’s measured in degrees. Basically, a low torque value means the shaft will twist very little during the swing; a high-torque shaft twists more.

    The range of available torque is wider in graphite shafts than steel, because manufacturers can blend different graphite composites to produce very specific characteristics. Still, the torque range that applies to most golfers is relatively small, between 3.5° – 5.5°.

    Like most clubfitting elements, there are no absolutes when it comes to matching torque to swing. The basic rules when choosing a shaft with the right torque are as follows:

  • Golfers with high swing speeds (100+ mph) typically need lower torque shafts. Too much torque will produce excessive twisting of the clubface and wildly off-line shots.
  • Golfers with slower swing speeds (less than 90 mph) typically need higher torque to help them return the clubface to square at impact.
  • Of course, a shaft’s torque must mesh with other qualities (length, weight, flex etc.) to produce the desired results for any individual golfer.