The primary component of the golf swing that will impact how far the golf ball will carry is swing speed.
Players with faster swing speeds generally prefer stiffer shafts with high kick points and low torque ratings. It is easier for them to control these shafts and extract exacting performance with respect to shot dispersion.
The thing is, not everyone has a high swing speed – say, in the area of 90 mph or higher. It requires great strength and training to achieve this.
Another problem (though related) is age. All golfers age and a diminishing swing speed is a natural component of aging.
Even strong young players will experience a downshift in their swing speed as they get older.
And, at a certain point, some of them will welcome golf shafts for seniors. Here’s why.
The Problem with Slower Swing Speeds
Senior or not, a slower swing speed can frustrate efforts to send the ball further and complicate ball flight. The higher the swing speed (all else being held equal) the higher the club head will be at the point of contact with the ball.
Therefore, higher swing speeds equate to higher energy transfer and therefore greater shot ranges.
Players with slower swing speeds will naturally have a harder time reaching the shot ranges that players with higher swing speeds can easily attain. This is particularly the case when compared across swing speeds between different players using the same equipment.
This is one of the reasons there is so much variability in golf shafts and club heads. Different materials flex, load, and release energy better than others.
The Problem with Stiff Shafts
Some players may feel as though they should be playing with stiffer golf shafts because that is what the professionals use. It might be seen that the stiffness of a golf shaft is the mark of proficiency.
That’s not entirely true. The whole point of performance is playing with golf equipment that is best suited to your natural abilities. This is similar to how weight classes are tiered in wrestling and boxing. It’s not quite “fair” to have a bantamweight pitted against a heavyweight.
The same concept is true in golf. Shafts that are too stiff are not a good match for players with slower swing speeds – such as seniors.
They are unforgiving and require a high swing speed and great strength to load them with energy and control them through the point of impact.
Players with slower swing speeds and less strength will struggle to control shot dispersion with stiffer shafts, often losing in accuracy what they gain in range, if anything.
For them, more flexible shafts will load and unleash energy more effectively, sort of like the limb of a bow – supplementing with a bit of “spring effect” wherever the swing speed on its own wasn’t high enough to carry the shot.
The Solution: Golf Shafts for Seniors
Golf shafts for seniors, like golf shafts for ladies and golf shafts for amateurs, have generally lower stiffness ratings than regular, stiff, and extra-stiff shafts, though it is important to recognize that there is no single standard. You may see senior flex shafts marked with an “A” or “M,” as “S” is typically reserved for stiff, a step up from regular and Uniflex shaft flex ratings.
This makes the importance of working with a fitter tantamount to success, as a fitter will take your measurements, observe your swing, and make individualized recommendations for golf shafts, custom fitted to you, that will best suit your abilities.
And Where You Can Get Them
Dallas Golf Company, online at DallasGolf.com, offers both golf shafts for seniors and the aforementioned golf club fitting services.
Check out their website. They carry a wide collection of golf shafts (including senior shafts) from the top names, including True Temper, MCA, Aldila, Fujikura, and others, as well as excellent service.