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All You Need to Know about Golf Shafts – The Wedges and Irons Edition



Do you know the difference between your golf shaft flex, torque and kick point? No? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Tim Briand of True Spec Golf once told golf.com that around 75% of the golfers he fits have the wrong shaft in their irons. So, in this guide we want to help you figure out exactly where you stand when looking at shaft options.

Often referred to as the engine of the golf club, your shaft selection can have a real impact on your performance. Read on to find out all you need to know about shafts for your golf irons and wedges.

Should Wedge and Iron Shafts be the Same?

To get started, let’s answer a question we get all the time – should I be playing with the same golf shafts in my irons and wedges? The simple answer is yes but also sometimes no. In most instances keeping your shafts uniform in your wedges and irons will help with consistency in regard to trajectory and distance.

For amateurs and those newer to the game, this is a great rule of thumb as it will ensure you don’t have any huge jumps in your gapping. However, you might notice a lot of players on Tour have different shafts on their wedges and irons. For some better players, it can be helpful to drop down to a softer flex in the SW and LW. However, the most important thing to remember is that a large part of the shaft equation comes down to a golfer’s personal preference, and what feels right for their game. That’s why we always recommend a custom fit session to ensure you’re buying the correct golf clubs for your swing.

Steel or Graphite Shafts

The next choice boils down to weight and swing speed. Composite golf shafts have come a long way in recent years. Before, steel was the ultimate choice for serious golfers and professionals, with many players believing graphite was only a sensible choice for ladies and seniors.

But technology is a true equaliser and graphite is proving to be a stronger choice for many players for a variety of reasons. Let’s break it down for you.



STEEL

Steel shafts are heavier and preferred by those players with a strong and fast swing speed. Many better players prefer this option as it lends way to better feedback and control. A more skilled golfer might prefer steel because it vibrates up to their hands, allowing them to know when they’ve hit it right or wrong.



GRAPHITE

Graphite shafts are lightweight and a great option for players with slow to mid swing speeds. But they are also a good choice for other reasons. As noted above, steel shafts create a vibration that goes up to the hands. This can be problematic for anyone with an injury, especially to their hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck or back. Graphite produces a smoother feel that is gentle on a player’s body. A lighter weight shaft also offers higher torque (more about that later) and greater flex, a combo that will help any golfer who struggles with launch or a lack of clubhead speed.



Shaft Flex

Flex is the next area you want to be aware of. The flex you get will depend upon your swing speed and it’s vital to ensuring consistency in your golf game. Choosing a shaft with too much flex for your swing, could mean you’ll be sacrificing accuracy. While a shaft that’s too stiff could see you losing distance. The chart below outlines the ideal range for choosing flex. However, if your swing speed lies somewhere in the middle of these ranges, it can sometimes be as simple as trying out different flexes to see which one feels the best for you.

Club Used From 150 Yards  Driver Distance (Yards) Driver Speed (MPH) Flex
3 Iron or Wood Less than 150  Less than 60 Ladies
4 Iron 150 - 210 60 - 75 Senior
5 - 6 Iron 210 - 240 75 - 84 Regular
6 - 7 Iron 240 - 260  84 - 93  Stiff
8 - 9 Iron More than 260 More than 93 Extra Stiff


Kick Point 

Not too sure what a kick point is? Don’t worry we can help you out. Essentially, the kick point is the exact area where your shaft bends when it flexes and it’s usually labelled low, mid or high. 

Heavier shafts will have a higher kick point, meaning the apex is closer to the grip end of the shaft. This is most suitable for players with high swing speeds because it’s not as forgiving and generates a lower launch.

Lighter shafts generally have a low kick point, meaning the apex is towards the clubhead end of the shaft. A low kick point can be beneficial to those with a slower swing speed. For golfers that struggle to get ball flight, this will definitely help.

A mid kick point, as you can probably guess, is when the apex is in the middle of the shaft area. Like the high kick point it will generate a lower launch.

Torque 

Measured in degrees, torque refers to how much the golf shaft will twist during your swing and it can assist players looking to control shots left and right by promoting a draw or fade bias. The higher the torque value, the more prone the shaft is to twisting and the softer the feel. The lower the torque value, you can expect lower trajectory and a stiffer feel.  

Shaft Length 

Shaft length is actually a really important part of the equation. Ensuring your golf irons and wedges aren’t too long or too short will only help you play to your utmost potential. While standard irons come with standard shaft lengths, someone who is either much taller or much shorter than average size could find that the standard length affects their swing and stance in a negative way.

A custom fitter will take a number of metrics into consideration when addressing a player’s ideal shaft length for their irons and wedges, including overall height, wrist-to-floor measurement as well as the player’s swing.

As a baseline, check out the table below to see where your measurements fall compared to standard shaft size.

Height (Feet/Inch)  Wrist-To-Floor Measurement (inches) Shaft Adjustment (Inches)
6' 8"  Less than 42" 2"
6'6" - 6'8" 41" - 42" 1 1/2"
6'4" - 6' 6" 40" - 41" 1"
6'2" - 6'4" 38.5" - 40" 1/2"
6'1" - 6'2" 37" - 38.5" 1/4"
5'7" - 6'1" 34" - 37" Standard 
5'2" - 5'7"  32" - 34" -1/4"
5' - 5'2"  27" - 29" -1/2"
4'10" - 5' 25" - 27" -1 1/2"
Less than 4' 10" Less than 25" -2"


Still Unsure About Your Shafts??? 

A great way to ensure your shaft selection is spot on is to book a custom fit session. At GolfOnline we take care to ensure every inch of your swing is explored during your appointment with one of our pros at GolfInstore. In terms of irons and wedges, this means you can truly take the guess work out of your selection. Book your session today and start reaping the reward of lower scores!

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