It’s no secret that golf shaft manufacturers make shafts in a huge range of shaft flexes to better meet the needs of their customers.
Shafts that are more flexible tend to load more fluidly and are better for players with slower swing speeds and more metered swing tempos.
Stronger players with faster swing speeds might find these shafts too “whippy” and unpredictable. Instead, they may prefer shafts that are stiffer, more consistent, and more predictable.
But what about the other components of shaft flex: torque and kick point?
What are these, and how do they work with shaft flex to benefit (or adversely affect) player performance?
Torque is a metric that tells how much a golf shaft will rotate or “twist” around an axis driven through its center.
Torque rating is typically given in whole numbers, but it connotes degrees. For instance, a golf shaft with a torque rating of 5 will twist 5° whereas a shaft with a rating of 3 will twist 3°
As a general rule, the most flexible the golf shaft is, the higher the torque rating will be as well. More flexible shafts tend to have higher torque ratings and stiffer shafts have lower torque.
Shafts with lower torque ratings will feel stiffer, and so players with faster swing speeds tend to prefer them. The reason for this is – in part – that higher torque ratings tend to allow the club face to “open” just before contact with the ball.
Thai can be problematic because when the club face is not square on contact with the ball it can impart spin that will cause slices which will scramble shot disperson.
However, a lower torque rating is not automatically a “good” thing. Higher torque ratings, like more flexible shafts, also tend to be more forgiving, particularly of mishits.
Also related to shaft flex is kickpoint, which is a separate metric. Kickpoint, unlike torque, is not a numerical rating, so it has slightly softer designations.
Kickpoint is generally either categorized as low, mid, or high, with varieties in the mix for “mid-low,” “mid-high,” and similar integers.
Just like more flexible shafts tend to have higher torque ratings, they also tend to have lower kick points. That is, the shaft appears to flex lower down near the club head.
Golf shafts that are stiffer tend to have higher kick points, feeling as though they bend near the butt-section, or not having any noticeable “bend” at all.
Kick point is another key attribute of golf shafts for sale, chiefly because it has a very significant impact on launch angle.
Golf shafts with lower kick points tend to produce higher launce angles. This can be beneficial for players with lower swing speeds that need the height in order to reach greater distances.
However, for players with faster swing speeds, a higher kick point is generally preferable, because these produce lower, flatter launch angles and more direct drives.
While it is not a hard or fast rule, players with faster swing speeds tend to gravitate towards shafts that are stiffer, with higher kick points and low torque ratings. The opposite tends to hold true for players with slower swing speeds.
However, before you buy custom golf clubs online, it’s important to understand your form, swing speed, and tempo, so you don’t throw good money after bad.
A golf club fitter can observe your swing and help you gather some helpful insights that can guide your purchasing habits so you end up with shafts that work best for your style of play.
To learn more about working with a golf club fitter, visit Dallas Golf Company online at DallasGolf.com or get in touch with them directly at 800-955-9550.