Picking out new golf clubs isn’t always an easy decision. A lot of times it feels like you’re trying to decipher hieroglyphics more than picking out the right equipment for the golf course.
Terms such as tipping and shaft tip, torque, kickpoint and other technical terms are used. Golf terms can make the buying process a lot more difficult. This is why it’s important to understand them because the wrong golf shafts can make the sport 10X harder.
Shafts are the heart of the golf club, regardless of whether you realize or not.
The grip and clubhead are important, but the shaft is just as important. I’ve seen golfers switch shafts Without making swing changes and improve their game overnight. It’s about finding shafts that match your swing based on flex, weight, kickpoint, and more.
Today, we’ll simplify this process so you can better understand shafts and find the right equipment for your golf swing.
Kick Point in Golf Shaft
Before getting into all thing kick point, let’s break down the five aspects of any golf shaft. These are the five major components.LENGTH, WEIGHT, flex, kickpoint, torque, and HEIGHT. This is a brief overview before we dive into the kick point.
The first part of the club that’s easy to spot is the shaft’s length.
The driver shaft lengths, however, are the longest. Lob wedges or other high-lofted wedges have the shortest clubs. According to the USGA, “The overall length of the club must be at least 18 inches (0.457m) and, except for putters, must not exceed 48 inches (1.219m).”
Competition sites have the option to allow clubs to be no longer than 46 inches thanks to a new rule. Most new drivers come standard with 45 inch shafts so you shouldn’t have to worry about your driver being too long. But some professional golfers don’t like this new rule as it can make golfers swing too hard with shorter shafts and cause potential injury.
It is more difficult to control the shaft the longer it is. That’s why you driver misses a lot more right or left than your lob wedge (plus the lower loft).
Shaft length isn’t something you need to worry about a ton unless you’re above average height. Most male golfers can play standard-length clubs with no need to increase the length of their golf iron shafts. But golfers who are taller than six feet might need to add ½ inch or more to the shaft to get optimal results.
The shaft’s weight is the second thing you can feel when you pick up a golf club. There are two types of shafts. graphite and steel shafts. These are both a major upgrade from the old days when players used different types of wooden shafts.
Steel shafts were the most popular choice until the 1970s-80s when players realized that graphite shafts were much more forgiving. Now, 99.99% of golfers play graphite shafts in their woods and a lot of amateur golfers do in their irons as well.
Steel shafts are much heavier than graphite shafts (20-50 grams depending on the make and model). Better players benefit more from these heavier shafts, while less experienced golfers will likely benefit from lighter, graphite shafts. Plus, they even make a mixed shaft that is made of both steel and graphite.
Click here to read our full guide on graphite vs. steel shafts.
The third component to a shaft is the flex of the golf club. The shaft flex you should play is based on your clubhead speed with a driver. The faster you swing, the more flex you need or else your accuracy will suffer.
There are several types of flexes based on your swing speed; here’s the order from most to the least amount of flex.
- Ladies flex
- Senior flex
- Regular flex
- Stiff flex
- Extra stiff flex
- Tour stiff flex
Newer golfers will usually play senior, regular, or stiff shafts as they have slower swing speeds. While more experienced golfers with faster swing speeds will play stiff to extra stiff. Only the best golfers in the world use Tour X-stiff as they require 115mph+ swing speed.
Shaft flex is incredibly important!
If you play a shaft that is too stiff for your swing speed, you can lose distance, reduce accuracy, and make your mishits much worse. If you had to choose, it’s better to play a shaft is too soft vs. one that is too stiff. But ultimately, you always want to play a shaft that matches your swing speed to get the most out of your golf game.
Check out the two articles below for more information on shaft flex:
- Senior flex vs. stiff flex
- Regular flex vs. stiff flex
The fourth component to the golf shaft is the torque, which is not a common topic of discussion among most golfers. While a lot of players know their shaft weight and flex, most don’t know or fully understand torque.
So, what is torque in a golf shaft?
Torque is the shafts resistance to twisting during the swing.
It is measured in degrees and ranges from 2-5 or more degrees. BothShafts for graphite or steel have torque and if you swing two different shafts, it’s pretty easy to feel the difference.
Lower torque golf shafts don’t twist easily and should yield a straighter ball flight (if you have enough swing speed). Shafts with higher torque (5+ degrees) will twist more, but they are better for golfers with slower swing speeds.
The torque can also have an impact on the trajectory. The lower the torque, and the higher the trajectory, the more important it is.
Now that you have a better understanding of the first four components of a golf shaft, let’s get into the different kick points…
Shaft Kick Point 101
What is kickpoint on a golf shaft? It’s easy to think it’s the same as the shaft flex but there’s a big difference in your golf shots.
Kick point is where the shaft bends (it’s also called bend point or flex point).
The kick point determines the ball’s flight. However, the shaft has the exact same flex as all other shafts. While a low kick point has more “whip” to it and will create a higher launching golf ball. A mid-kick point will provide a moderate launch and is suitable for most everyday golfers.
Kick point will also influence how you perceive the club’s feel.
High Kick point shaft
A shaft with a high kickpoint will result in a lower launch. This is great for advanced golfers. These players are very fast and can swing at high speeds.
Many want to fly the golf ball lower to get a more powerful flight. This can also help to manage spin rates and their shafts.
High kick point shafts are capable of doing this and are usually heavier which means that you need more swing speed. They’re also not as forgiving on off center hits which is why most average players should avoid them.
These higher kick points are generally better for professional golfers and amateur players.
Mid-Kick point shaft
A lower kick point will be more beneficial for most everyday golfers who have a normal or below-average swing speed. A mid-kick point shaft is the best choice.
A mid-kick shaft is the best choice for everyday golfers. They provide enough shaft tip stiffness to allow for accuracy and distance improvement.
These are the best of both worlds and offer forgiveness, optimal launch, and don’t require a ton of speed. Mishits are also better.
Low Kick point shaft
Finally, low kick point shafts create high launch even if you don’t have a ton of speed in your swing. They are great for speeding up the ball and creating a higher ball trajectory.
These shafts are used in senior clubs, ladies, and beginner sets. These clubs also have flexible shafts which can help you hit irons high. Although they aren’t great for hitting into the wind as they might go too high but generally speaking are more forgiving overall.
How to Find the Kickpoint in a Shaft
The kickpoint of the shaft is easily identifiable, just like the flex and weight. Those are usually both prominently shown on the shaft while kickpoint isn’t. The only way to figure out the kickpoint of a shaft is to find the specifications’ sheet online.
Google your shaft + specifications is the best way to do it. The manufacturer website will be found by your search engine. Scroll down to see the loft, lie and shaft details.
FAQs regarding Shaft Flex & Kickpoint
Do you have additional questions about shaft flexibility? Keep reading to find out how to buy the best shafts that match your swing.
What is the low point of the golf shaft?
A club with a low kick point can help players increase their ball launch, even at slower swing speeds. Senior and ladies golf clubs have lower kickpoint shafts, which can help create a higher ball flow.
What is a high kickpoint shaft?
A high kick point club will cause the ball to fly lower due to the shaft bend. Higher kick points are best suited for stronger golfers who can swing faster.
What does a shaft’s bend profile influence?
Bend refers to the stiffness of the shaft in the golf club. For example, elite players will have less bend when they use stiffer shafts. Senior players use shafts with more bend, but they are typically made from softer shafts.
The bend profile shows where the shaft is stiffest and where it’s softest. For example, some shafts are stiffer at the tip (higher kick points), and others have stiffer shafts at their grip end.
Is a stiffer shaft likely to result in a lower flight?
Yes, stiffer shafts can result in lower ball flight. This is why X and TX flex shafts are so popular with the best players. They create a lot of spin and height at high swing speeds so they require stiffer shafts to lower their trajectory.
It is a good rule of thumb to say that the more flexible the shaft, the higher the ball flight.
Is a stiffer shaft more likely to reduce spin?
Yes, stiffer shafts will reduce spin. Steader shafts are important for faster swingers. To increase distance and overall performance, it will keep the spin and ball flight low.
Final Thoughts about Kick Point in golf
Now you should have a better idea of the kick point as well as the four components of a golf shaft. Remember, a shaft plays a massive role in your ball striking so don’t settle without doing your homework. Too stiff a shaft can make the sport difficult and cause serious injury to your game.
If you’re hitting it too high and it’s negatively affecting your game, look into a shaft with a higher kick point. Or, if you’re hitting it too low, try a shaft with a lower kick point to increase launch trajectory. Don’t forget, shaft selection is essential to getting the most out of your golf swing.
Also, please read our golf shaft selection guide with 10 of our favorite shafts. Or, if you’re ready to add new shafts, learn How to reshaft clubs now.