Tom’s Bonus Tip:
Shaft Characteristics

For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties …. well, you know what to do!

Here’s a brief review of shaft characteristics that affect ball flight.

Kickpoint, sometimes referred to as bendpoint
low kickpoint – high trajectory
mid kickpoint – mid trajectory
high kickpoint – low trajectory
Flex – how much the shaft bends under stress
Junior, Ladies, “A” (Senior) flex shafts are the most flexible
“R” regular flex shaft – average flexibility, good for the average golfer; however the average golfer doesn’t believe this so instead he gets a ….
“S” stiff flex, thought to be good for players with higher swing speeds or players that load and lag the shaft well during their swing
“XS” “XXS” etc. these shafts get stiffer and heavier, which may be necessary for extremely fast swing speeds or players that put too much backspin on their driver swing.
To read a definitive study of how shaft flexibility affects how the clubhead is delivered to the ball click here:
http://www.tomtuckergolf.com/shaftflexstudy.pdf
The most significant finding was that shaft flex can have an effect on the “feel” for the player. Certainly, the feel of the driver is linked to the golfer’s confidence in executing the shot, which will inevitably weigh heavy on the final outcome of the swing. It is also possible that, early in the swing, the feel of the club associated with shaft flexibility may subconsciously influence the golfer’s swing mechanics, and thus increase the club speed.
Torque – how much the club twists during the swing
lower torque number, the club twists less, has a stiff feel
higher torque number, the club twuists more, releases more, and has a softer feel
Shaft Weight
from the same manufacturer, more flexible shafts weigh less than less flexible shafts
generally speaking, the lighter the shaft the higher the launch
and the heavier the shaft, the lower the launch
Newer off the rack drivers these days have lightweight shafts. Golf research and development exerts are working on a lightweight shaft that provides a low launch, I’ll let you know when that happens.

Love your practice, enjoy your golf,

Tom