The next article in the Golf Shaft Fitting guide using the Shaft Profile System gets into the specifics of the fitting system. In the last article, we introduced the Shaft Profile system as a way to quickly determine if a shaft may be right for you. Again, this is designed to help golfers of all levels hone in on a particular “shaft profile” that may fit their game and swing.
As mentioned in the previous article, we are heavily weighing certain characteristics of a shaft with your current playing level/ability and swing generalities – Trajectory, Torque, and Weight are the primary elements of this general fitting guideline. Our goal? Take an inventory of your skill level and swing characteristics and provide a guideline of potential shaft profiles to come up with an accurate matching system.
Trajectory is loosely defined as the shaft’s ability to get the ball airborne. Trajectory is influenced directly by the bend point and tip flexibility. Therefore we are able to make generalizations of Trajectory based on your skill level and club head speed.
This would deduce a High Bend Point and best suited for the better than average player with higher club head speeds. This player would mostly likely be a single-digit handicappers that looking for a more penetrating ball flight.
A mid trajectory would require a Mid Bend Point and best suited for the middle handicapper with average or moderate club head speed and tempo. Mid Trajectory would satisfy the majority of golfers out there.
High Trajectory –
A Low Bend Point and best suited for the higher handicapper with slower and/or smoother swing speed and tempo.
Torque is one of those mysterious elements to a shaft profile but nevertheless, vitally important to get it right. Measured in degrees, it is the rotational twisting at the tip, Torque has a lesser effect on steel shafts due to it’s inherent characteristics. However, it is definitely something to keep in mind when selecting a driver or graphite shaft.
Typically best suited for the player with faster swing speeds and quicker tempos. A lower torque will allow the stronger player control and more accuracy.
Range to look for > 3.5 ~ lower
Most golfers will fall in this range. Golfers with average and/or moderate swing speeds and tempo will enjoy a mid torque shaft to combine distance and accuracy.
Range to look for > 3.6″ ~ 4.8″
Best suited for higher handicappers and/or players with slower swing speeds. A higher torque shaft will also produce a “soft” feel.
Range to look for > 4.9 ~ higher
As discussed in the Part I, weight is measured in the raw, uncut shaft to standardize the process. A very important element for a number of reasons, but mainly control and overall distance. Many golfers dismiss or don’t value the weight of the shaft – this is a mistake. Weight plays a very important part in overall performance as it pertains to the golfer skill level and swing.
Players with aggressive swings and quicker tempos looking for control will be best suited with a Standard classification.
Graphite Woods – 77 grams ~ over
Graphite Iron – 88 grams ~ over
Steel – 121 grams ~ over
The majority of players will fall into the middle classification. Players with average abilities and moderate swing speeds and tempo.
Graphite Woods – 68 ~ 76 grams
Graphite Iron – 71 ~ 87 grams
Steel – 110 ~ 120 grams
Typically suited for players with smoother-like tempo swings and want to increase distance. Control is not the major concern here, but mainly increasing distance created from faster club head speeds.
Graphite Woods – 67 grams ~ under
Graphite Iron – 70 grams ~ under
Steel – 109 grams ~ under
The intent with this system is not to replace golf shaft fitting itself, but to gain an understanding and a guide to shaft profiles as it pertains to skill level and swing speeds and styles. I hope you found this guide useful. The golf shaft is one of the most important part of your golf fitting approach, take it seriously, and you will reap rewards.