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AskThePros

Check your Shaft

by Patrick Quernomoen


Q: I bought these irons, Taylor Made Firesoles with stepless shafts last year. Even though the proshop where I got them checked my swing speed (85) I still feel the shafts are too stiff for me. I am a 58 year old male golfer, 8 handicap. I hit my driver about 235 yards and my 6iron about 153 yards. I am pretty consistent but feel I don't get the full benefit of my potential as far as distance is concerned.

I read in the Golf Magazine that if I switched the shafts i.e. 3i to 4i, 4i to 5i, 5i to 6i, and so on, I would end up with a little bit softer shafts. My Pro disagrees with this assertion. Who is correct - the Pro or the Golf Magazine?

I would appreciate your answer. - Joe K.

A: You have brought up some very important points in golf club technology. Most people these days are worried about clubhead technology when I feel that one of the most overlooked parts of the club for most consumers is the shaft. A misfit shaft will feel worse than a misfit clubhead.

I understand you swing about 85 miles an hour and are currently swinging a stepless shafted club. Swing speed is definitely a major component to fitting. Another major component is the load factor. A player may swing a club at an average swing speed like yourself and put a lot of load or little or no load on the club. The player who plays a weak shaft but puts a lot of load on the club should be swinging a SR or S shaft depending on personal preference and ball flight.

My suggestion to you would be to find out your swing speed along with your load factor. This will tell a true picture of how you swing the club. If you swing about 85 miles an hour, have an average load, and are looking for distance you should consider switching to a lighter shaft. The Rifle has a Lite version and many other companies have lighter shafts. The Rifle or Sensacore shaft like you have will give you the softness you are looking for. If you don't feel that you are loosing much control on the club with a lighter and more flexible shaft, go with that. I feel that most players these days feel they need a stiffer flex shaft. For instance, I am a professional and feel like I hit R flex shafts pretty well.

I know I might not have answered your question directly, but I hope I gave you some more options for you to find out what the best combination is for you.

Best Wishes,
- Patrick Quernemoen, Head Golf Professional, Windermere Golf Club

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