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 help you increase distance, improve accuracy, and play better golf!
While a regular flex golf shaft (or stiff shaft) is only making this game more difficult. But the key is learning when to swap to a senior flex golf shaft (hint: it has nothing to do with your age).
Keep reading to learn more about finding the proper golf shaft for your swing.
Senior Flex vs. Regular Flex Golf Clubs
Have you ever asked yourself, “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, switching from regular to senior for age alone might actually hurt your performance on the golf course.
Instead of worrying about age, you want to consider one thing – swing speed.
Clubhead speed (also known as swing speed) is the most important factor when it comes to picking the right flex of golf shafts. 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 is defined as how fast the head of the club is moving right 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 crucial because every MPH means about three yards with a driver.
The driver number tends to be the most effective as most golf shaft flex charts are based on driver swing speed. Once you identify your driver flex, you can play the same shafts in all your other clubs.
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 launch monitor to find your swing speed and match it with the right golf shaft flex. Here’s how to get started:
- Stretch and get loose at home or before hitting a golf club.
- Then, at the driving range or a golf store with a launch monitor, warm up for 10-15 minutes.
- Don’t go straight to hitting your driver though. Instead, work your way up from wedges to irons and then to your driver.
- Once your body feels good, start hitting drivers with a launch monitor. Swing like normal and don’t try to swing extra hard.
- The main number you want to focus on for this session is clubhead speed, not ball speed.
- After hitting 10-15 drivers, calculate your baseline average of clubhead speed. If you have any drives that way outside the normal, discard them to not mess with the data.
Once you have your average clubhead speed, compare it to this chart from True Spec Golf that was featured in Golf Magazine.
If your average swing speed is between 72-83 MPH with a driver in hand, you are the right type of golfer for a senior flex shaft.
Most golfers tend to focus on shaft flex but neglect shaft weight, which is a big mistake. It’s vital to play the right weight for your clubs as too heavy or too light of shafts can have real consequences.
Lighter shafts make it easy to swing faster but you lose some control of the golf ball. While heavier shafts minimize distance but tend to have a tighter shot dispersion. Plus, the weight of the shaft impacts the trajectory too.
This is why it’s important to test out different shaft weights to see how it affects distance, accuracy, and ball flight. Once again, the best way to do this is with a launch monitor.
It’s also helpful to do a demo day on the golf course where you can see the ball fly on the range. Or, at least swing into a simulator to get a better idea of your club data.
When switching to a more flexible shaft, it’s not uncommon to go lighter as well. Since most golfers tend to lose swing speed as they age (more on that in the next section), a lighter flex can help offset some distance losses. A lighter flex makes it easier to swing faster which can increase speed and distance.
Don’t forget, for every mph more you swing with a driver, that equals about three yards more distance.
Some clubs are incredibly lightweight and designed for seniors specifically. One of the best examples is the Callaway Epic Max Star. It’s 52 grams lighter than the Epix Max thanks to a redesigned head and ultra lightweight shaft. Make sure to read our full articles about our favorite drivers for seniors and best irons for seniors.
In fact, the shaft only weighs 30 grams (most senior flex shafts weigh 40-50 grams). Needless to say, playing the right shaft weight can help offset distance loss that comes with aging and lead to better scores.
Why Swing Speed Matters
The more swing speed you can generate with any golf club in the bag, the better. Here’s why: you want to create a faster golf swing:
- Longer distance with every club in the bag. Hitting the ball longer makes the game easier. 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 generally lead to more greens in regulation and hopefully lower scores too. With golf courses getting longer than ever, more distance is always your friend.
- Easier to get through the rough. When you do miss the fairway (which is an inevitable part of the game), more swing speed is your friend. Perhaps no one personifies this better than Tiger Woods in the early part of his career. Oftentimes when the ball was buried in the rough and barely visible on TV, Tiger would put a lash on the golf club and get the ball out like no other player could. Some of this was his strength thanks to hitting the gym but a lot of it was 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. This is why a lot of senior golf clubs are designed to improve trajectory, even with reduced swing speed.
- Hit more par 4s and 5s in twos. When you hit it longer off the tee, you have a better chance of getting on long par 4s and some par 5s in two shots. This will make it easier to card more pars and birdies on the card. Plus, you might even sneak in an eagle on a short par 5 too.
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.
Since some older golfers might not be able to hit the gym like they used to, speed training is a better idea.
Overspeed training works by using external devices like SuperSpeed golf to reset and train your mind to swing faster. Eventually, you will start to expect to swing this fast every time you swing the golf club.
The best part is that it doesn’t take hours and hours of time each day to improve swing speed. With a product like SuperSpeed golf (which has a set designed with senior shafts), it only requires 15-20 minutes of work a few times per week. This is all the time it takes to retrain your mind for faster swing speeds.
FAQs About Golf Shafts
Do you have more questions about finding the right golf shafts for your swing speed? If so, keep scrolling to learn more of the frequently asked questions and answers about senior shafts below.
Does senior flex make a difference?
Yes, senior flex makes a big difference for all kinds of players as it has a lot more flex. The only club with less flex is a ladies flex shaft.
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).
Should seniors use steel shafts or graphite?
Most golfers in general would benefit from a graphite shaft that is flexible. 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 are heavier, hard to hit, and not ideal for older golfers.
Opt for a lightweight graphite senior golf shaft to hit the golf ball better.
Is senior flex stiffer than regular?
No, regular flex is stiffer than senior flex. 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. According to Golf Magazine, you need a swing speed of 84-96 MPH with driver to play regular golf shafts.
Is senior flex good for beginners?
Senior flex isn’t a bad idea for beginner golfers. Since most beginners tend to have slower swing speeds, they need less flex to square the club at impact.
Shafts that are too heavy and stiff make it hard for beginners to make good contact consistently.
Is senior flex more forgiving?
Yes, senior flex will help you square the face up at impact, which makes it more forgiving. Senior flex shafts are great for older golfers who might have lost speed and strength over the years. It makes a hard game a little easier and can give you more enjoyment as long as you play this game.
While senior flex is important, don’t forget to play a lightweight shaft too. By going from regular to senior and a lighter shaft, it might have a tremendous impact on your scores.
Who should use a senior flex shaft?
Golfers who have a driver swing speed between 72-83 MPH with a driver. If you’re 80 MPH or above consistently and are speed training, a regular flex might be better suited. Test out different driver shafts to see which one feels better and produces the best results on the launch monitor.
Will senior flex increase distance?
Senior flex can improve distance if you’re playing a regular flex shaft now but don’t swing fast enough. Remember, you need an 84-96 MPH clubhead speed to reap the benefits of a regular flex shaft. If you’re lower than that, it can hurt both distance and accuracy.
To see this distance increase first hand, go to a local golf store and ask to hit the same driver with regular and senior flex 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 hit a 7 iron?
How far you hit a 7-iron will vary on so many factors including clubhead speed, type of 7-iron (blade vs. cavity back), shaft weight, shaft flex, and more. 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. While the LPGA Tour player hits a 7-iron 141 yards with 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 estimated guess based on the data and depends on so many factors.
What’s important is that you know your total distance with each club. This way you can pick a club on the course with confidence.
Should you play the same shafts in all golf clubs?
Yes, you should play the same shaft flex in every club. The only exception is wedge flex as it doesn’t matter nearly as much as woods or your driver.
For example, I use extra stiff shafts in all my irons and woods but stiff shafts in my wedges. This gives me more feel and workability, plus I don’t like to swing hard with wedges. Instead, I prefer to use a controlled swing to hit different types of shots inside 125 yards.
A Golf.com article from 2019 found that 7 of the top 10 players at the time used slightly softer shafts. Tiger Woods made this equipment move popular when he was playing the True Temper Dynamic Golf X100 irons but 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. For some, it can also help maintain spin compared to using the same shaft across 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. Instead, play a softer shaft that is slightly heavier to hit better shots from close range.
Make sure to check out the list of our favorite driver shafts.
Final Thoughts on Regular or Senior Flex
A senior flex golf shaft might have a big impact on your golf game. But don’t let age be the deciding factor, instead think about your swing speed. This is a much better way to assess which shaft is right for your golf game. Make sure to read our full article on signs you need a stiffer shaft.
Playing the correct flex shaft can help you add more distance, increase accuracy, and ultimately lead to better scores. While flex is a big factor, don’t forget about the weight of the shaft too. Too heavy of shafts minimize distance and too light of shafts reduce accuracy.
Also, don’t forget that even if you’re a senior golfer, you can still add club head speed with overspeed training. By using something like SuperSpeed golf you can safely add distance to your game. All it takes is a short practice session every few days at home to start to see results.
If your driver swing is between 72-83 MPH ditch regular shafts and opt for senior flex golf clubs.