The following Golf Lesson is reprinted with permission from the “Senior Golfers Guide”, a 200+ page ebook that is available for instant download at less than $30, and targeted especially at senior golfers. There is also a 60 day money back guarantee. Click the book cover to find out more!
Choosing the right Shaft Flex
There is no difference in golf clubs for Senior Golfers compared to a young golfer, with the exception of the golfshaft. The shaft on a golf club needs to be able to bend as force is applied to it during your golf swing, how much depends on whether your swing is fast, slow, smooth or jerky.
Shaft flex (or the ability to bend during the swing) is typically rated five different ways: Extra Stiff, Stiff, Regular, Senior and Ladies, usually denoted by the letters X, S, R, A and L (“A” is used for Senior because this flex was originally called “amateur”).
It’s important that you have a flex which matches your needs or you will get a misaligned clubface at impact, causing your shots to go off-target. You want the club head to be perfectly straight so you can get the clubhead square at impact. With the wrong flex, your chances of hitting the shot squarely go down considerably.
Some General Guidelines for Golf Clubs for Senior Golfers
Take control of your game by buying clubs that have the right shaft flex for you.
You can determine whether you need a stiffer shaft or softer shaft with these general guidelines.
Gauge the distance of your driver shot. If you consistently hit shots of 250 yards of more, a Stiff driver is best; shots of 230-250 yards suggest a Regular flex; 200-230 yards say Senior; less than 200 yards, Ladies.
- Extra stiff is only for the really big hitters and hardly applies to anyone, except the John Daly’s of the world.
- Those with a smoother swing might prefer a softer flex, even if your swing is fast.
- A swing that is jerky on the top of the backswing will require a stiffer shaft.
- If your drives go left, try a stiffer flex; if your drives go right, try a softer flex.
If your Shaft Flex is too stiff
Having too stiff a shaft can affect your game in the following:
- You will likely get a lower and shorter shot that desired for any given loft.
- The ball may go off course, to the right, for right-handed players because the clubface is tougher to get square at impact. It tends to get too open.
- Even if you hit square and make good contact, the shot will simply feel less solid.
If your Shaft Flex isn’t stiff enough
When your flex isn’t stiff enough, you may get the following results:
- The ball might fly higher for any given loft.
- For the right-handed golfer there is a tendency for the ball to go left, because of hitting with too closed a clubface.
- Even average or badly hit shots could feel more solid than they actually are.
Considerations for Seniors
While not all senior golfers have a slower swing speed, many do. It comes with the age, and there is nothing to be ashamed about. There is no point hanging on to a regular flex shaft if you cannot hit it well. Also, it’s actually better to hit with a shaft that’s too flexible as opposed to one that isn’t flexible enough. It’s like when you’re going out and can’t decide between formal and semi-formal. Often it’s better to err on the side of a little too formal. Similarly, you may be better off going with a more flexible shaft. That means going with a regular shaft rather than a Stiff shaft.
The shaft length must correspond as perfectly as possible to your height. Having a well-matched shaft is just as important as having the right flex or any other variable.
To measure the length of shaft you will need to get someone to measure for you while you are standing straight up. You want to measure from your wrist (where it meets your hand) to the floor. Measure both hands and use the average.
Want some help? Here is a good indicator:
- 29 to 32 inches, your irons should be based on a 5-iron of 37 inches
- 33-34 inches, your irons should be based on a 5-iron of 37 1/2 inches
- 35-36 inches, your irons should be based on a 5-iron of 38 inches
- 37-38 inches, your irons should be based on a 5-iron of 38 1/2 inches
- 39-40 inches, your irons should be based on a 5-iron of 39 inches
- 41 or more inches, your irons should be based on a 5-iron of 39 1/2 inches
In case this sounds too confusing we recommend you visit the ‘club fitting wizard’ at Pinemeadow Golf, a helpful (and free!) online resources.