Why is weight so important? The only way to change the weight of a golf club is with the shaft and the grip. The graphite shaft of most drivers on the market today will weigh 62-70 grams. A steel shaft will weigh 126 grams, roughly twice the weight of graphite. If you are a smooth swinger with low to moderate loading of the club, you will get better feel and control with a lighter shaft. If you have a more aggressive, fast swing and load the club to a high S (stiff) or X (extra stiff) flex, you will have more control and accuracy with a heavier (75 – 90 gram graphite or steel) shaft. The load is determined by using the True Temper Shaft Lab which shows not only how much you load the shaft, but exactly when in your forward swing you stop accelerating and the shaft takes over to deliver the clubhead to the ball. Forget about potential loss of distance with a heavier club. More accurate contact with the ball will give you more fairways and greens!
How do I determine the correct length? There are two ways to determine the proper length of the club that is right for you. First, take a static measurement based on the length of your arms from the first crease of your wrist to the floor. This gives a good starting point. Second, by observing your posture, and placing impact tape on the face of the club we can determine if you tend to hit the ball more on the heel or the toe. The proper length has you hitting the ball consistently on the center of the clubface. If your clubs are too long you will tend to hit the ball on the heel of the club, hit behind the ball and potentially pull the ball left of target. If your clubs are too short you will tend to hit the ball on the toe of the club, hit your shots thin (towards the middle of the ball) and potentially push the ball right of target (for a right handed player). Even major manufacturers like Titleist, Ping and Callaway have their own standards for length so be sure you have the correct length for YOUR swing.
Does shaft flex make that much difference in consistency? Absolutely! We have found in fitting over 5,000 golfers that shaft flex is the most important factor in creating a very tight shot dispersion. If your shafts are too soft, your shots will be left and right of target, sometimes long and short, and very inconsistent in ball flight. If your shafts are too stiff for you, you will see lower ball flight, loss of distance, and shots that are consistently right of target, for a right handed golfer. With 13 clubs in your bag, the chance of each club having the same flex is pretty slim. The shaft flex also affects the lie angle of the club at impact. Soft shafts will give you a false reading that you need your clubs bent more upright due to the toe droop of the club at impact. The exact flex of the club is so important that you will see a significant change in shot dispersion if your shafts are off as little as two tenths of a flex from your optimum. By testing your swing on the True Temper Shaft Lab, we can determine your exact flex down to the tenth of a flex. Using the Golf Achiever launch monitor or the Trackman Ball Flight Monitor, we can also measure the tightness of your shot dispersion to dial you in to exactly the correct flex, weight and length.
The bottom line is that you will begin immediately to play better golf and have more fun with the correct shafts in your clubs. So whether you are looking for new equipment or love your old clubs but they need some help, look at the shaft first. Since it is the only moving part of the golf club, it is important that it moves correctly for your swing profile. With every club in your bag exactly matched to your swing, you will begin to see the consistency in both distance and direction you have been looking for since early this spring!