What's the Difference Between a Senior Flex & a Regular Flex Golf Shaft?

Shaft flex is one of many characteristics that can influence the trajectory, accuracy and distance of your golf shots. Golf shafts come in several levels of flexibility, and it's difficult to play your best without a shaft that matches your game.

A younger golfer may still require a senior flex shaft. (Image: miflippo/iStock/GettyImages)

Senior and regular flex shafts are two measures of flexibility and are recommended for golfers of different levels. The labels "senior" and "regular" refer to swing-speed measurements, not necessarily the type of golfer who uses them.

Shaft Flexibility

The degree to which a shaft bends during the golf swing is referred to as flex. Shafts that are more flexible can produce more distance but also tend to twist more and can result in a loss of accuracy.

While the head of your club contacts the ball, your club shaft generates the speed and flexibility of the shot. The shaft also helps with the angle that maximizes the distance of your shot.

Available Shaft Flexes

Shafts are typically available in ladies, senior, regular, stiff and extra-stiff flexes. The actual flex of the shaft is measured by its vibration frequency. Vibration frequency measurements are taken by attaching weight to the tip of the club, holding the butt of the club in a fixed position and then vibrating it. The more the shaft vibrates, the stiffer it is.

Comparing the Two

Certain shaft flexes are designed to match a particular swing speed. Because seniors generally have slower swing speeds than younger golfers, they require a more flexible shaft.

Senior flex shafts are appropriate for golfers who swing between 75 and 90 mph and carry a driver about 180 to 200 yards. Regular flex shafts are designed for golfers who swing 90 to 100 mph and carry a driver about 200 to 240 yards.

Choosing the Right Shaft

Select a shaft that matches your swing speed. A shaft that is too stiff will feel rigid to you on impact and will limit your distance. But a shaft that is too flexible will feel "whippy" and can lead to either inaccurate shots or shots that balloon into the air.

Have your swing speed measured by a local golf shop to help you determine the correct shaft flex. You can also ask for advice on other shaft characteristics, such as weight, kick point and torque.

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