It might shock you, but chances are your off-the-rack shaft doesn’t match the stiffness on its label.
“What do you mean this is a senior flex, it’s labeled as a stiff shaft!” is statement and similar ones are made frequently by clients discovering for the first time the true playing characteristics of their existing equipment. Equipment they spent good money on with brand names that represent the highest in iindustry performance. Typically following the initial shock, we will hear a follow up question like, “how can XYZ company get away with that?” We answer the question with another question, “What is the definition of a ‘stiff ’ shaft ? What is a Regular Flex? Or a Senior Flex?”
You get the picture.
The answer is there that is no standard definition within the golf industry. Every company has a different set of rules they go by when labeling and assembling their product, and there is no governing body that will cause the manufacturers to change their processes. It’s simply the nature of the business of manufacturing and assembling golf clubs on a large scale in a cost effective way to maximize profits. As a result, the majority of clubs do not play to the specs represented on the label.
If you think you should be playing a S- ex shaft with True Temper in your irons (Dynamic Gold S300, for example) and you play Matrix in your wood shafts and Fujikura in your hybrids, it would be very unlikely that each company has the same ex and production tolerance scale. You may have heard that one or two out of every 10 golf shafts match the actual ex printed on the golf shaft. We find this to be true as we measure our clients’ current golf clubs through our testing process.
One of the machines used to determine the true flex of the golf shaft is a Frequency Analyzer. A frequency analyzer is able to determine the CPM (cycle per minute) of an individual club. CPM, along with the length of a golf shaft, tells us the true “ flex,” or frequency, of the shaft. e higher the CPM, the stiffer the golf shaft . The combination of club head and shaft weight will have an effect on the true ex of a golf shaft .
For example, if you have two identical shafts, with two club heads of differing weights, the heavier club head will create a more flexible overall club. Because there are wide manufacturing tolerances for each component, it is common to find multiple flexes within a set of clubs. The challenge with this scenario is trying to create a repeating result with non-repeating equipment. Custom club builders like The Club Fix are able to frequency match each club in a set, allowing consistent feel and club head speed into the ball. This is achieved through the cutting and installation of the golf shafts to compensate for the inconsistencies of the head and shaft weight. Frequency matching is a much more time consuming process and costs more to achieve, but the results are worth the extra time.
So, how do you know your correct frequency? Going to a store or common fitting setup like a fitting cart provided by the manufacturers is only part of the equation. e majority of these types of fitting systems are designed to determine the length and lie for a player, but do not address the correct frequency. Couple this with the 10-15 percent chance of the labels on the demo equipment being accurate, and you only slightly improve your chances of receiving a correct club. Ask the fitter or sales person if they know the CPM or frequency of the shafts being used, and then ask them if they are able to guarantee the frequency of the clubs you purchase. Unless the shafts have been pre-measured prior to testing, and the shafts and club heads are specifically installed to match a frequency, the result is a “stock” set, whether you have been fit or not.
If you love golf, invest time and money into the game, and want to play your best golf then it might very well be in your best interest to gure out your frequency, get custom t and then have a custom built set of clubs for YOUR particular swing. Not only should you have the correct length and lie angle, but you should have the correct weight and frequency to play your best, most accurate golf.