Regular flex golf shafts might be ruining your performance on the golf course. While I know most male golfers don’t want to make the switch to senior golf shafts, it could transform your game.
A senior shaft can increase your distance, accuracy, and help you play better golf.
A regular flex shaft (or stiff shaft), can make this game more difficult. The key is to know when to switch to a senior golf shaft.
Continue reading to find out more about choosing the right golf shaft for you.
Senior Flex vs. Regular Flex Golf Clubs vs. Senior Flex
Have you ever wondered, “Do I need to be a senior to play a senior flex golf shaft?”
It’s a great question and something we’re doing to debunk today.
The short answer is no, you don’t need to be a “senior” in order to play a senior flex golf shaft. What is senior anyway… 50? 55? 60 years old?
There’s no need to play a senior flex shaft just because of your age. In some cases, you may be able to switch from regular to a senior flex shaft because of your age. might actually hurt your performance on the golf course.
Instead of worrying about age, you want to consider one thing – Swing speed.
The most important factor in choosing the right flex for your golf shaft is clubhead speed. Whether it’s a choice between a stiff vs regular flex shaft, stiff vs extra stiff, or in this case a senior shaft speed matters!
Clubhead Speed for Senior Flex Shafts
First, let’s define clubhead speed as a lot of players confuse this number with ball speed.
Clubhead speed refers to the speed at which the head of the club is moving before impact. It’s mostly measured with a driver but you can measure with all sorts of clubs using a launch monitor. This number is important because it represents three yards for every MPH with a driver.
Driver numbers are the most efficient as most golf shaft flexibility charts are based on driver swing speeds. Once you have identified your driver flex, all of your other clubs can use the same shafts.
To determine if you need a senior golf shaft or regular shaft, don’t guess based on age alone though. There are some older golfers who swing faster than players half their age so this isn’t a good way to decide on senior golf shafts.
Instead, use a Start monitor to find your swing speed and match it with the right golf shaft flex. Here’s how to get started:
- Stretch and loosen up at home or before hitting the fairway.
- Warm up for 10-15 minutes at the driving range, or in a golf shop with a launch monitor.
- Don’t go straight to hitting your driver though. Instead, work your way up from the wedges to the irons and then to your driver.
- Once you feel good, you can start hitting drivers with a launch watch. Swing like normal and don’t try to swing extra hard.
- Clubhead speed is the main number you should be focusing on in this session, not ball speed.
- After hitting 10-15 drivers, calculate the baseline average clubhead speed. To not mess with the data, you should discard any drives that are more than the average.
Once you know your average clubhead speed, you can compare it with this chart from True Spec Golf. Golf Magazine.
If your average swing speed with a driver in hand is between 72-83 MPH, you’re the right type of golfer to use a senior flexible shaft.
Shaft flex is often overlooked by golfers. This is a huge mistake. It’s vital to play the right weight for your clubs as too heavy or too light of shafts can have real consequences.
While lighter shafts are easier to swing, you lose some control over your golf ball. The distance is reduced by heavier shafts, but they also have a tighter shot dispersion. The shaft’s weight also has an impact on the trajectory.
This is why it’s important to test out different shaft weights to see how it affects distance, accuracy, and ball flight. A launch monitor is the best way to do it.
It’s also helpful to do a demo day on the golf course where you can see the ball fly on the range. To get a better feel for your club data, you can swing into a simulator.
When switching to a more flexible shaft, it’s not uncommon to go lighter as well. A lighter flex can offset some distance loss as most golfers lose their swing speed with age. A lighter flex can make it easier to swing faster and increase speed and range.
Don’t forget, for every mph more you swing with a driver, that equals about three yards more distance.
Some clubs are very lightweight and specifically designed for seniors. One of the most popular clubs is the Callaway Epic Max Star. It’s 52 grams lighter than the Epix Max thanks to a redesigned head and ultra lightweight shaft. Read our complete articles on our top drivers for seniors and the best irons to seniors.
The shaft is only 30 grams in weight (most senior flex shafts are 40-50 grams). Playing the right weight shaft can help offset distance loss due to aging and lead you to higher scores.
Why speed matters
The faster you can swing with any golf club in your bag, the better. Here’s why: you want to create a faster golf swing:
- You can travel farther with every club in your bag. It’s easier to hit the ball harder. When you can hit it long off the tee (even if it’s not always the most accurate), you will have shorter approach shots. This will usually result in more greens per regulation and hopefully lower scores. Golf courses are getting longer and more difficult. This is why you should always be prepared for any distance.
- It is easier to get through the rough. Swing speed is your friend if you do miss the fairway. This is perhaps the best example of this than Tiger Woods’ early career. Tiger Woods would often put a lash to the golf club and retrieve the ball from the rough, even though it was sometimes hidden in the rough. A lot of this was due to his strength from hitting the gym, but some was due to his overall swing speed.
- Improve shot trajectory If you want to hit the ball higher, you need more swing speed. Slower clubhead speeds simply won’t allow you to hit the ball at a higher trajectory. Senior golf clubs are designed to improve your trajectory, even with a slower swing speed.
- More par 4s and 5, in twos. If you are able to hit it further off the tee, your chances of hitting par 4s and par 5s in two shots are higher. This will make it easier for you to score more pars and birdies. You might even be able to sneak in an eagle while playing a short par 5.
How seniors can improve clubhead speed
Whether you’re young or old, you have the ability to increase your clubhead speed. While most golfers think of increasing their swing by golf workouts, that’s only part of the equation.
Speed training is a better choice, since some older golfers might not have the time to hit the gym as often as they used to.
SuperSpeed golf is an external device that can be used to help you improve your speed. Soon, you will be able to swing as fast as you can every time you swing your golf club.
The best part is that it doesn’t take hours and hours of time each day to improve swing speed. SuperSpeed golf, which has a set with senior shafts, takes 15-20 minutes to master. This is all you need to retrain your brain for faster swing speeds.
Click here to see our complete review of SuperSpeed Golf.
FAQs About Golf Shafts
Are you looking for more information about choosing the right golf shafts that will suit your swing speed? Scroll down to see the most frequently asked questions and answers regarding senior shafts.
Is senior flex a benefit?
Senior flex can make a huge difference for all players, as it has more flexibility. Ladies flex shaft is the only club that has less flexibility.
For example, if you’re in a regular flex now and switch to senior flex, it can improve distance, accuracy, and ball striking. The key is to make sure you switch shafts based on clubhead speed as it’s the most important factor (not age).
Do seniors need to use steel shafts or graphite
A graphite shaft that’s flexible would be a great choice for most golfers. Too many players play a stiff flex or steel shaft when they shouldn’t.
Almost all senior flex golf shafts are graphite as they’re easier to generate swing speed. Steel shafts can be heavy and difficult to hit, making them not suitable for older golfers.
To hit the golf ball better, choose a lightweight graphite senior shaft.
Learn more about graphite shaft and steel shaft golf clubs by reading our complete article.
Is senior flex more rigid than regular?
Regular flex is not stiffer than senior. Senior flex is typically the lightest shaft flex for men and might also be labeled “lite” or “A-flex” too.
These are great for senior golfers and players who don’t have a fast enough swing speed for a regular golf shaft. Golf Magazine states that regular golf shafts require a swing speed between 84 and 96 MPH with a driver.
Is senior flexibility good for beginners?
Senior flex isn’t a bad idea for beginner golfers. Because beginners tend to have slower swing speeds than professionals, they require less flexibility to square the club at impact.
Beginners will have a difficult time making contact with shafts that are too stiff and heavy.
Is senior flex more tolerant?
Yes, senior flex will help to square your face at impact. This makes it more forgiving. Senior flex shafts are ideal for older golfers who may have lost strength and speed over the years. It makes playing a tough game easier and can bring you more enjoyment, as long as it is played well.
While senior flex is important, don’t forget to play a lightweight shaft too. It could have a significant impact on your scores by going from regular to junior and playing a lighter shaft.
Who should use a senior flexible shaft?
Golfers who are able to swing between 72-83 MPH and a driver. If you’re 80 MPH or above consistently and are speed training, a regular flex might be better suited. To find out which driver shaft feels best and produces the best results on launch monitor, test them all.
Is there a way for seniors to increase their distance?
Senior flex can improve distance if you’re playing a regular flex shaft now but don’t swing fast enough. To reap the benefits of regular flex shafts, you must have a clubhead speed of 84-96 MPH. If you’re lower than that, it can hurt both distance and accuracy.
This distance will increase firsthand if you go to a local store and ask to hit the exact same driver with regular and senior flexible shafts. Hit 10 balls with each, calculate your average carry distance, and I bet you’ll be impressed with the results.
How far should a senior golfer be able to hit a 7-iron?
The distance you can hit a 7 iron will depend on many factors, including clubhead speed, 7-iron type (blade vs. hollow back), shaft weight, shaft flexibility, and many other factors. There isn’t a set range for how far a senior golfer (which is also a broad definition in itself) should hit a 7-iron.
A TrackMan Golf study found that the average PGA Tour player hits a 7-iron 172 yards with a 90mph clubhead speed. LPGA Tour players hit a 7-iron of 141 yards with a 76mph clubhead speed.
Since the recommended club speed for seniors with a 6-iron is between 65-75mph, we can assume it’s between 130-140 yards. This is an estimate based on data and may vary depending on many factors.
What’s important is that you know your total distance with each club. This will help you choose the right club to play on the course.
Do you have to play the same shafts at all golf clubs?
Yes, every club should have the same shaft flex. The only exception is wedge flex as it doesn’t matter nearly as much as woods or your driver.
I use extra stiff shafts for my irons and woods, but not my wedges. This gives me more feel and workability, plus I don’t like to swing hard with wedges. Instead, I prefer to use controlled swings to hit different shots within 125 feet.
A Golf.com article from 2019 found that 7 of the top 10 players at the time used slightly softer shafts. This equipment move was popularized by Tiger Woods when he played True Temper Dynamic Golf X100 irons with S400 shafts.
Here’s how playing softer wedge shafts can help your game, “While it varies from player to player, most will notice a slightly lower ball flight and more feel in the hands with a softer flex. Some feel it can help maintain spin, while others prefer to use the same shaft throughout the board.
Considering many Tour players prioritize feel, consistency and control on shorter approach shots, it’s easy to see why so many drop down in flex with the wedges.”
Don’t feel like you need the same flex in your wedges as your irons. Oftentimes it’s not worth the extra money for the upgrade and might actually hurt your game. To hit better shots from close distance, you can use a slightly heavier shaft.
Check out our list of top driver shafts.
Final Thoughts on Regular or Senior Flex
A senior flex-grid shaft could make a huge difference in your game. But don’t let age be the deciding factor, instead think about your swing speed. This is a better way to determine which shaft is best for your golf game.
The correct flex shaft will help you increase your distance, accuracy, and ultimately score higher. While flex is a big factor, don’t forget about the weight of the shaft too. Too heavy shafts can reduce distance, while too light shafts can reduce accuracy.
Also, don’t forget that even if you’re a senior golfer, you can still add club head speed with overspeed training. SuperSpeed golf can help you increase your game’s distance. You only need to practice a few times a week at home to start seeing results.
If your driver swing speeds are between 72-83 MPH, it is time to ditch the regular shafts and switch to senior flex golf clubs.