The club shaft plays a vital role in the performance of your golf clubs. Yet, one of the most common errors that golfers make when purchasing new clubs is having the wrong shafts. If you are looking into purchasing a new set of golf clubs you have probably come across so many different shaft options and it is easy to see why golfers can get lost amongst the terminology.
In simple terms, a uniflex shaft is one that sits between regular and stiff in terms of flexibility.
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How do shafts differ?
Are you someone that just buys golf clubs ‘off the rack’? If so, then you might not be aware of how many different ways every shaft can differ.
Steel or graphite
Steel shafts are heavier, offering more control and playability. Graphite shafts are often favoured by seniors and ladies. Because they are so much lighter they can help generate more clubhead speed and improve distance.
This simply refers to the ability of the golf club to bend during the swing. Your swing speed is the most important factor in deciding which flexibility would suit you best. The general options are (from stiffest to most flexible): extra stiff (xs), stiff (s), uniflex (u), regular (r), seniors (a) and ladies (l).
The weight of the shaft is mainly determined by the material (graphite or steel) and the club the shaft is in (e.g. heavier for drivers). The weight of the shaft will then alter slightly depending on the brand as well.
This is the point on the shaft where it bends the most during the swing. High kick points encourage a low ball flight and vice versa.
This refers to the amount the shaft twists during the swing. Every club will have a torque rating, the higher rating refers to a higher degree of twist. More torque encourages a higher ball flight.
The length of the shaft is normally decided by two factors; the club (unless you are going down the Bryson DeChambeau route of one length clubs) and your height. Having incorrect length clubs can cause difficulty for golfers to strike the ball in the centre at impact.
Which shaft should I get?
In an ideal scenario golfers should always receive a custom-fit session from their local PGA Professional to determine which shaft suits them best. However, not all golfers want or have the budget for this option. If that’s the case then the best way to make a decision on which shaft flexibility will suit you best is by determining your swing speed.
According to research by True Spec Golf the table below shows what shaft you should be using based on your average swing speeds with driver:
|Over 105mph||Extra Stiff|
|Less than 72mph||Ladies|
How do I know my swing speed?
The most reliable way to find out your swing speed is by using a launch monitor. They are used during custom-fittings or you could request one be used during your next lesson with a Professional. Most PGA Professionals will have at least one launch monitor at their disposal.
If for whatever reason the above is not an option available to you, the best guide is to use your driving distance. It is only a very rough estimate, but head down to a driving range and see how far you hit your driver on average. Take this yardage and divide it by 2.5 (e.g. 200 yards = 80mph).
Who is a Uniflex shaft designed for?
Uniflex shafts were designed for the average male golfer. The majority of male golfers are either a regular or stiff shaft, yet cannot consistently repeat a similar swing speed every time. Uniflex shafts provide more support for varying swing speeds that fluctuate between the regular and stiff flexibility.
Some golfers are trying to improve their swing speed to increase distance, others are losing swing speed because of increasing age. Because the uniflex shaft sits in the middle, closest to the average golfer’s average swing speed, it will reduce the severity of punishment for significantly faster or slower swings.
Let’s use a driver as an example. According to research by Trackman the average men’s golf swing with a driver is 93.4mph.
Many male golfers have the capacity to swing up to 100mph on any given shot, but equally could struggle to hit 90mph with a bad swing. The uniflex is designed for exactly that area, 90-100mph swing speeds.
Are all uniflex shafts the same?
As outlined above, there is far more to selecting a club shaft than just the flexibility. However, even when you know when you have figured out which flexibility suits you there are differences. There is currently no industry standard specifying what flexibility falls into each category for the manufacturers. This means that for example; a uniflex shaft from Callaway may be stiffer than a uniflex shaft from Wilson.
Uniflex shafts often come as standard stock shafts in ‘off the rack’ purchased clubs with the large manufacturers. This means that most will keep to middling range. The kick point, weight, length and torque are all probably around the industry average. However, they will still all vary from one manufacturer to another, so it is best to check before buying.
How do you know if you have the wrong shaft flexibility?
There are some tell tale signs if you have the wrong flexibility in your shaft. Obviously there can be more causes of the below problems than the wrong shaft, but they can give a good indication of when to check your shaft is correct.
Shaft is too flexible:
- Hooking shots
- Ball flight too high
- Generating too much spin
Shaft is too stiff:
- Not enough spin
- Ball flight too low
- Struggling for carry
- Blocking shots
Uniflex shafts are the most common men’s golf club shaft for a reason. Manufacturers use uniflex shafts to cover the bases when it comes to the average male golfer. That being said, they will not suit everyone.
Lower handicap and elite standard golfers in particular benefit the most from having a custom shaft to specifically suit their golf swing. Their ability to repeat a similar golf swing each time means that a custom shaft will optimize results for good golf shots.
Golfers with particularly slow or fast swings that easily fall outside of driver swing speeds of 90-100mph ballpark should get shafts more suited to them.
Uniflex shafts are perfect for golfers with either inconsistent and changeable swing speeds that sit between regular and stiff flexibility. These shafts are likely to give you more forgiveness and last longer.