You can control how much flex your golf shaft has by selecting either stiff or softer shafts to match your game. Until the development of steel-shafted golf clubs in the 1920s there was only one amount of flex with hickory shafts – a lot. Find old videos on YouTube and watch how smoothly golfers had to swing wooden-shafted clubs to control the whip.

Lightweight steel made it possible to manufacture shafts with varying degrees of thickness in the tubes and correspondingly different degrees of stiffness in the shaft. Equipment companies eventually developed five different amounts of flex in golf shafts that are designated by the letters L (Ladies), A (Seniors), R (Regular), S (Stiff), and X (Extra Stiff).

Well that certainly simplified matters neatly didn’t it? Not so fast. There is no great golf power that decrees exactly how much each category actually flexes. One company’s Stiff shaft may play exactly like another company’s Regular shafts.

Generally the faster and more powerful a swing, the greater stiffness required. Players who generate clubhead speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour are best served with Stiff shafts; swingers in the 90-100 miles per hour range benefit from Regular shafts; A shafts are for players who swing between 80 and 90 miles per hour and L shafts for tempos below. As a gauge, the average woman amateur swings the club about 65 miles per hour, women professionals around 95 miles per hour. But those are just vague guidelines. Testing has shown that R flex shafts on the market can exist within a range of 55 miles per hour to 105 miles per hour!

So if you are a woman buying clubs off the rack at the golf shop it is possible that you are swing clubs that only players of near-professional skill should be using. About the only thing that can be said with certainly about the flex rating of a stock club is avoid anything that says Extra Stiff unless you are that guy who is blasting the ball over the end of the driving range.

The only way to know how much flex your golf shafts should have is to be fitted by an experienced professional. And the only way to take the guesswork out of the flex in your clubs is to purchase shafts that are custom-fitted for your swing. To learn how Fujikura delivers that certainty, click here.