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In golf, what is the relationship of shaft flex with accuracy, with NO regard to distance?

Most sources seem to talk about shaft flex as being a balancing act with distance. I am trying to separate out the distance variable and consider it with accuracy only. Does a stiffer shaft mean more accuracy?

  • It's generally the greater the distance, the lesser the accuracy...but with respect to shaft stiffness, I'm not sure if accuracy is affected or not by that factor alone (given said golfer is using the proper flex for his/her swing speed). – user527 Dec 16 '15 at 13:30
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A stiffer shaft does NOT necessarily mean "more accurate". The important part is to find a shaft which fits YOUR swing. Get a shaft which is too stiff and you will lose distance and accuracy.

The stiffness of the shaft, and where it bends (called the kickpoint) is dependent upon several factors of the player, including swing speed, and transition quickness. Just because a player has a fast swing speed does not automatically mean they should use a stiffer shaft. HOW the transition occurs from back swing to down swing is just as important as the top speed of the swing (if not more important).

In addition, "stiffness" is a non-standard spec between manufacturers. There is, in fact, no way to compare shafts just by the "stiffness" label on a shaft.

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    +1 This is exactly the point I was trying to make with the other answer. – user527 Feb 3 '16 at 20:03
  • It doesn't necessarily mean more accurate, but a shaft that is too stiff will be more accurate than one that's too soft/whippy. That softer shaft will cause the clubhead to "wiggle" and twist, varying the clubhead's position and angle at impact. A stiffer shaft that isn't being "loaded" will more or less keep the clubhead where it was at address, relative to the player's hands. Now there are always other variables, including the fact that a player's best swing usually doesn't come back exactly to address position at impact, especially with the driver which is teed so far forward. – KeithS Jul 20 '16 at 18:48
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More flexible shafts are less accurate than stiffer shafts.

Playing with a shaft that is too soft will exaggerate your swing imperfections, with gentle fades becoming wild slices and pulls turning into snap hooks. A Guide to Shafts

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    Shaft flex a golfer uses is dependent on his/her swing speed. If a golfer who swings < 80mph uses a stiff shaft or a golfer who swings > 110mph uses a flex shaft, then said imperfections will take place. This factor alone doesn't equate to less accuracy...this means, as it states immediately after the statement you quote, "getting the right flex in a shaft is vitally important." If you don't have the right flex, then any questions about distance, accuracy, etc. are null and void until said golfer uses the right flex. – user527 Dec 16 '15 at 13:25
  • More context from the same paragraph: "The amount of flex you need will depend on how fast you swing the club and also how smoothly. Playing with a shaft that is too stiff will rob you of distance if you do not swing hard enough to load up the club." – user527 Dec 16 '15 at 13:28
  • How does the shaft increase distance? I've heard that it has nothing to do with a rubber-band like bow and arrow effect (it's more about swing style). golfwrx.com/forums/topic/… – wayofthefuture Dec 16 '15 at 23:19
  • @Dude2TheN The shaft doesn't increase distance by itself. With respect to lighter/heavier shafts, this study found no discernible impact to swing speed and distance (which weren't directly proportional because ball spin impacted distance while swing speeds were consistent). What do you mean by swing style? Distance is increased by increasing club speed and a higher smash factor (due to better ball striking). – user527 Dec 17 '15 at 14:01
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    Saying more flexible shafts are less accurate than stiffer shafts is like saying a golf ball that spins more is less accurate. There are so many other factors to consider to the extent that such a blanket statement cannot be made. – just curious Sep 21 '18 at 13:11

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