By Paul Myers

Golfers tend to believe a lot of different things about their equipment – some of them true, some not so much. One of the things that some golfers believe is that in order to hit long drives, you need to have almost no golf club shaft flex in your driver. Most of the players on the professional tours use x-flex shafts, so one might think that you have to have one in your club to hit long drives, right?

Well, yes and no. But you shouldn’t get an extra-stiff flex just so you can try to hit it further. You should get the golf club shaft flex that is best suited to your swing.

The Truth About Golf Club Shaft Flex

The whole point behind the golf club shaft flex is finding a club that is going to flex just the right amount so you can unload it into the ball at the bottom of your swing. A shaft that is too soft of a flex for your swing can bend too much and not recover by the time you reach impact. It is possible to hit the ball quite far this way, but you might have a hard time gaining control over the flight.

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On the other hand, a shaft flex that is too stiff may not bend enough and could rob you of power. You may be able to work it out to hit pretty straight drives, buy you may never be satisfied with the distance you are getting. When you hit the perfect balance between the two, you end up with shots that maximize your distance while still remaining under control (hopefully).

So, if you just decide to copy the pros and buy a driver with an extra-stiff shaft, you aren’t necessarily going to get the same performance from that shaft that they do. Unless you are able to swing the club in a similar fashion to your favorite players on TV, you are better off picking a shaft that is suited to your swing.

Club Fitting is the Best Option

In order to find out what golf club shaft flex you should be using, a fitting session with a professional club fitter (like those that are AGCP certified) is a great idea. The fitter will have all of the necessary equipment and technology to measure your swing and produce some shaft options for you to consider. While swing speed is important to determining the flex that you should use, it is actually not the only element. Your swing technique, and your personal tempo, can also play a role in the fitting. A good fitter will be able to analyze all of these inputs and help guide you to a shaft that provides the ball flight you desire.

A common problem is a golfer who wants to play an x-stiff shaft, because they think they need to for more distance, starts swinging too hard and loses their swing along the way. If you try to force your way into a stiffer shaft, you are likely to end up losing track of your fundamentals and may harm your game in the process. In fact, if you are in between two shaft flexes and not sure which one to go with, it is often better to pick the softer of the two.

It is true that most of the best players in the world use an x-flex shaft in their clubs, but that is because they have the power and speed to use them properly. Don’t get caught up copying them – head to a local club fitter and find out exactly what golf club shaft flex is the right fit for you.

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