How Much Does Shaft Torque Affect Performance?

Posted by on Oct 2, 2012 in Shaft Fitting | 29 comments

Shaft torque affects performance a little bit, but not nearly as much as does the shaft’s weight, overall stiffness design and bend profile design. And here’s why.

The term “torque” is used to convey the relative, comparative amount that a shaft is designed to resist twisting in response to a specific force. If the Rules of Golf were to allow clubheads to be designed so that the shaft would attach directly in line with the clubhead’s center of gravity, shaft torque would be a non-issue. The reason is because what causes a shaft to twist is, 1) the downswing force of the golfer, 2) the fact that the shaft attaches on the very heel end of the clubhead, which means all the weight of the head sticks out in front of the shaft. With all the head’s weight sticking out there, under the force of the downswing that weight will elicit a twisting force on the shaft.

The golf industry’s first experience with shaft torque came way back before the early 1900s when the predominant shaft material was hickory. Wooden shafts had very little resistance to twisting. In fact, a completely different swing technique was required to prevent wooden shafts from twisting too much during the swing. Golfers who are used to seeing torque measurements on today’s shafts between 2 and 5 degrees would be interested to hear that a typical hickory shaft has a torque of more than 20 degrees!!

In fact, the biggest reason that steel shafts took over in the 1920s and wiped the hickory shaft off the face of the golf industry was their MUCH lower torque, which resulted in far more accuracy and control of the shot. The first steel shafts were much heavier than hickory shafts, but golfers were willing to deal with the downside of heavier golf clubs to get the far superior resistance to twisting that steel shafts brought with them.

Next came the introduction of graphite and fiberglass shafts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Heralded as a huge break through because they were much lighter in weight than steel shafts, early graphite shafts failed to gain much of a foothold because their torques were over 10 degrees. The companies that introduced the first graphite shafts really did not know how to make their shafts with a lower degree of torque.

As a result, the first graphite shafts could only be used by golfers with a smooth, passive, totally non-aggressive swing tempo. And this realization is what led to the industry learning just how shaft torque works, and what had to be done before graphite shafts could gain a much larger following.

Because most of the weight of the clubhead protrudes out there well in front of the shaft, the moment the golfer begins the downswing, that force causes the clubhead to exert a twisting influence on the shaft. The greater the golfer’s downswing force, meaning the more abruptly and more aggressively the golfer starts the club down, the more of a twisting force the clubhead will exert on the shaft.

At its worst, a very strong, aggressive swinging golfer using a shaft with a torque of 6 degrees and higher can see the ball fly with a severe, low hook. This is because that much torque does not provide enough resistance to the twisting force that a golfer with a strong transition move and aggressive downswing tempo will generate.

The reason that torque is not much of a fitting factor today is because the shaft makers all design the torque of their shafts to fall in line with the flex. Shaft makers know that the faster the swing speed of the player, not always but quite often with that higher swing speed comes more twisting force on the shaft. Hence you rarely ever see S and X flex shafts with a torque higher than 4 degrees.

And typically for the R, A and certainly L flex shafts, the shaft makers design the shafts with a higher degree of torque. This is because the slower swinger puts less twisting force on the shaft and thus the shaft does not need to have a lower torque. One of the best new gadgets on the market is the range finder and I think it is a necessity. Check out the best range finders out there at

As always, to get the very best shaft fitting and Clubfitting advice, do think about taking the time to search for a good clubfitter in your area through our Find a Clubfitter locator here –


  1. I’m interested in the actual hickory shaft data.
    I’m curious about your statement that hickory shafts had more that 20˚ of torque.

    I’m interested to learn because I’ve been searching and have found no actual hard data and usually people point to old photos where the camera creates an illusion of massive shaft flex and then they state that hickory shafts were super flex-y and twisty. The few hickory shafted clubs I’ve used don’t really feel all that flexible or twisty. So that’s why I’ve been searching for data from actual measurements.

    I have a few questions and I’m hoping you might respond.
    Have you actually measured the torque of any hickory shafted clubs?
    or was that information in your article from another source?
    If you have measured hickory shafts what did they actually measure? (please publish)
    If not, I can send you a hickory shafted club or two so you can measure the torque etc.
    All I’d like to see are some actual tests with the data published.

    • Always happy to help with the best information possible from my experience. What you are seeing when you see photos that show the shaft curved dramatically is in no way the way a shaft actually bends. It is a trick of the camera and how it picks up a fast moving object that is called “rolling shutter effect”. Here is a link to some info on that so you can better understand it and know why you’re not seeing what you think you are in any of these shaft images –

      I have done some work with hickory shafts in the past so I can answer some of your questions. I did do some torque measurements on a handful of hickory shafted clubs and found that in the woods, the torque approaches 20*, in the irons around 15-16* because they are much larger in diameter than the hickory shafts for woods. Flex wise hickory shafts run the gamut with most being a little stiffer than what we see today in modern steel and graphite shafts. But the biggest reason from my experience and work that you may not feel the twistiness of hickory is a combination of two things. First, old wood shaft clubs are much heavier in total weight than are modern clubs. This is because most hickory shafts weighed in the area of 6 to 7 oz – they were totally solid so they had much more mass than today’s thin walled tubular construction steel and graphite shafts which exist in a range as low as 1.6 oz up to the heaviest steel shafts today weighing around 4.2 oz. With that the heads on wood shaft clubs were not all that heavy, they were in most cases similar to head weights of today. So swingweights were lower in the old clubs which meant less bending effect on the shaft from the head.

      Second, whether a golfer feels the twistiness of a high torque shaft depends completely on his swing characteristics. Players that can make a shaft twist the most are those who have a short backswing with a VERY abrupt and forceful transition move to start the downswing. Players with longer backswings or players with a timed/rythmic/smoother transition move to begin the downswing just never put that much twisting force on a club. I don’t have any of that data anymore – long story but when I left Golfsmith in 01 to start my own company they kept the then subsequently destroyed all my technical data files so all that early work of mine went POOF. And what I have left of that work exists in my memory only. Sorry about that but that’s the way it ended there.


  2. Hi Tom,

    Since trimming a shaft doesn’t affect spin and launch angle that much, wouldn’t it make more sense to just choke down on the driver to the desired length instead of cutting it? Only drawback I see is if the grip tapers too much it can throw off feel but that can be easily fixed by regripping with a few extra layers of tape near the lower end.

    It may affect swingweight also but that’s an easy fix as well with lead tape or if you have an adjustable diver you can just swap out weights, correct?

    • TODD

      Yes for sure, you can definitely grip down on the driver or any club for that matter, to achieve better control and accuracy. And you are also right in saying that it would be better to re grip or to build up the lower part of the grip more so the gripping down would not leave you with a smaller grip that could be uncomfortable. It’s a funny thing that most times when a player grips down on a club, he does not usually have to increase the headweight to retain a decent head weight swing feel. But if you physically cut the club shorter, you do. Of all the many technical things I have studied, discovered and figured out, this difference between gripping down and cutting down a club is one thing I have not gotten a truly clear technical grasp of as to why. So when you play around with gripping down for a while, reflect on the head feel when you hit some shots to see if you sense that it is heavy enough to keep you from feeling the head is too light feeling during the swing, or if it feels heavy enough. You can of course always experiment on this with lead tape to see if a little more head weight helps your tempo and timing or not.


  3. Hi Tom
    I’ve been playing golf for 50 years now and have been single figure handicap for 40 of those. I’m only 5 foot 6 inches and have played a 46 inch R flex driver for the past few years. I’ve just started experimenting with shorter shafts and even put a 3 wood shaft in my flyz+ driver. I’ve seen no noticeable loss of distance. Why is this. One of the reasons I tried a change in shaft is because when ‘I go after one’ I tend to get a pull with the long shaft. I’ve always hit pretty straight but my divots with irons tend to point left. Is it my mechanics that are at fault or have I got the wrong shafts?

    • GRAHAM

      There are two main reasons why a golfer can go shorter with a driver and not see any distance loss. And sometimes it happens where the player increases distance with the shorter length driver. First reason is if the golfer does not have a very late release of the wrist hing angle coming into the ball. The only way that a longer length turns into more distance is if the longer length allows the golfer to generate a higher clubhead speed from the increase in angular acceleration that could come from the increase in length. However, this increase in speed only happens if we have a very late release.

      The moment we release the club is when we reach our maximum clubhead speed for our swing characteristics. Once the release is done, from that moment on the club is actually slowing down. It is only when you have a very late release that an increase in length can result in an increase in clubhead speed. This is true for all clubs, not just the driver.

      One other thing that happens with longer length clubs is the fact that the longer the length, the more “load” is put on the golfer. This happens because as the club gets longer, the moment of inertia of the whole club increases greatly. We’re talking about the MOI of the full club, not just the MOI of the clubhead on its own. The higher the MOI of the whole club, the more effort it takes to swing the club and the more load the club puts back on the golfer. For some golfers, this increase in load causes them to release the club earlier than they would if the length were shorter.

      Hence if a golfer hits the shorter length driver the same distance or even a little farther than they hit the longer length driver, it very much can be because the shorter length is now allowing the golfer to release the club a little later in the downswing, while the longer length was forcing the release to happen a little sooner in the downswing, thus causing the clubhead speed to drop a little by the time the head got to the ball.

      The other reason is because the shorter length can bring about a change in the angle of attack of the clubhead coming into the ball which is now more conducive to maximizing your driver distance than before. Also with this, the shorter the length, the more tendency there is to hit the ball more on center, more often. Miss the center of the face and you lose about 5% of your potential distance. it is very well known that longer lengths do contribute to more off center hits.

      The reason you may be losing the shot left when you go after it is because your more aggressive move causes one of two things to happen – either you make more of an over the top move and with it you close the face slightly due to the increase in aggressiveness. Or, your more aggressive move causes the clubhead to bend the shaft more forward coming into impact which also has the effect to close the face a little more. Either way, it most certainly sounds like the increased load of swinging a longer length will cause your swing to break down sooner and with a higher level of error than will the shorter length.


  4. Hi Tom. My question regards torque in graphite iron shafts. I’m 65, with a driver swing speed of 88. This past year I was fitted to XR irons with Recoil 460, F3 shafts. For the most part these are working pretty well, but my dispersion is very wide. Many misses are hooks, and low left shots. The torque specs on these are 5.1, and weigh 65 gr. Whereas the Recoil 760 ES has a torque of 4.1, and weigh 68 gr. I have tried the 760 in a booth / simulator with better dispersion results. I have not tried on the range or course. What are your thoughts on these two shafts in irons? Thank you.

    • Grant
      IMO I cannot believe the torque has anything to do with the reason you are fighting the dispersion of the clubs with these shafts. With your 88mph swing speed with the DRIVER, your iron speed would be in the area of 70-75mph and in all honesty, that is not enough to cause an IRON shaft to twist badly enough before impact to be the cause of the accuracy problem. To me this has to be more of a cause from one or more of the following – wrong lengths, wrong total weight/swingweight for your tempo/strength, wrong lie angle. At the risk of sounding like I am pushing something, I might suggest that you would be an ideal candidate for the single length set because you’d then be in the same identical set up/stance/posture/swing plane with irons that all would be identical for swing feel. Tightening up dispersion and accuracy problems with irons is what single length does more than any other form of game improvement.


  5. Hello Tom,
    I’ve recently increased tighter dispersion in a 9* Driver since adding weight to the clubhead area. The PLred S @1.8 torque has a higher bend area. Now knowing that the Big-dog will break away from weaker tip links, He just can’t jump as high as he use too. I think -my problem is the correlation of overall shaft balancing due to the Very low trajectory now. It hasn’t occurred to me that the same method of correcting the horizontal effect can be applied to the vertical outcome… If so, will I feel a big difference adding a heavier handle for the Big Dog?

    • DJ:

      What you are talking about is chiefly a FEEL oriented issue with the club. Once you head out into the realm of feel you walk into a door that is trial and experimentation to simply find out how YOU react to the change to a heavier grip. no one, not me or anyone, can predict how that will perform because you and only you know your preferences for feel when you make such changes in a club. But the good thing is that to experiment with this won;t cost you much money and you can always go back to the previous grip if this isn’t any better. In short, have fun experimenting with feel issues with clubs !


  6. I have a 515 GRT 3 wood that can send the ball a country mile when I feel like I hit it near the toe. Could it be the torque of a Wishon ZT Ultra lite R high launch, with soft butt and tip?

    I still think I could benefit over all from a stiffer shaft, but on those certain hits the ball goes forever. I am guessing the shaft is torquing, or whatever the proper term is.

    • LEIGH

      Most often when a golfer suffers from off center hits, it is a matter of either the length being a little to long and or some aspect of the weighting of the club not being quite right yet for the golfer’s sense of swing tempo and timing. Not really the torque. Although you can have a way to know this by first cutting the length of the wood down by 1/2″ and then adding 4 strips of lead tape each one 4″ in length to the head to get the headweight feel up there more. Then try that and see what the results are.


  7. Since torque is how much the shaft twists, would it be unlikely for a golfer to actually need more torque?

    I understand torque can affect the feel of a shaft, but if we assume a relatively low torque, say 2.8-3.0, and a flex and bend profile that are otherwise appropriate for a golfers swing, would it be rare to find a golfer who actually performed better with more torque (say going to a torque of 4.0-4.5 degrees)?

    • BRIAN:

      Shaft torsional stiffness, AKA torque, is a factor in shaft design that can have a bearing on the accuracy of the shot and the impact feel of the shot. The higher the degrees of torque and the more aggressive the downswing tempo of the golfer, the more the head can twist closed on the downswing to cause more of a hook or pull than the golfer deserved from his swing move. And the lower the torque, the less solid the feeling of impact can feel to the golfer, depending of course on his clubhead speed and his downswing tempo.

      However, over the past 20+ yrs, shaft designers have learned to understand this relationship of torque to golfer swing force such that very rarely do you find a golfer who ever suffers from torque problems when fit into the right flex and bend profile for his swing. Shaft makers understand that they can eliminate well more than 90% of any potential torque problems for golfers by simply making the torque change in relationship to the flex of the shaft. That’s why you typically see X flex shafts have lower torque than S, S lower torque than R, R lower torque than A and so on.

      There is a basic relationship between clubhead speed and torsional force on the shaft that dictates this torque design trend in shafts. The higher the clubhead speed, the more twisting force is put on the club on the downswing and vice versa. So this is why you see lower torques on stiffer flex shafts graduating down to higher torque on the more flexible shaft designs. And for over 90% of all golfers, this trend takes care of any and all possible shot problems that could come from an ill fit torque in the shaft to the golfer.

      Who are the 10%? Golfers who have inordinately more aggressive downswing tempo for their given clubhead speed. Thus if you happened to see a golfer with an 80mph speed but who happened to start the downswing with a very abrupt, aggressive move, it is possible this type of golfer could end up with some torque related problems and would need a shaft with a lower torque than what is typically made into shafts for his lower speed. On the other side, it is very rare but possible to find a golfer with a high clubhead speed but a very smooth gradual tempo into the ball who could find the low torque that goes with the much stiffer shaft flex could result in more of a dead or boardy feel at impact from the torque being too low for his downswing force, even though he would have a higher swing speed.

      Thing is, these situations in golfers are very rare because so many golfers tend to generate a twisting force on the club that is proportional to their clubhead speed. What you don;t want is too high of a torque matched with too high of a clubhead speed AND a very aggressive downswing move at the ball. But even so, the torque would have to be quite a bit higher than what is put on shafts today per each flex for there to be such a shot problem related directly to the torque.

      For example, on the tour today, there are tour players using shafts with 4* of torque. Not many for sure, but it happens. And they don’t see any accuracy problems from that level of torque. Now if a tour player were to somehow use a shaft with say, 5* torque, then you would likely start to see some problems. But in all the shafts that a tour player would consider using to match his swing speed and his downswing force, the odds of one of those shafts being made with 5* are slim to none because the shaft companies all know what this relationship of torque to flex and bend profile needs to be to eliminate torque from ever being a problem.

      To directly answer your question, if you had two shafts that were identical in flex and bend profile and both shafts matched your clubhead speed and downswing force perfectly in their flex and bend profile, if one of those shafts were 2.8* torque and the other at 4-4.5*, more than likely the only difference you would note between the two would be that the one with 2.8* would feel as if it is stiffer when you hit shots than the one that is at 4-4.5*. And that right there can be enough to say you want to stay away from the lower torque so impact could never feel as if it were less solid. Only if you had a super aggressive downswing move would you ever possibly see any accuracy issue with the 4-4.5* shaft and that still would be very unlikely.

      Hope this helps and THANKS for your question – it was a good one.

  8. Hello Tom,

    I have a hypothetical question about shaft torque for you.

    I know that what I am about to describe is not considered a typically “correct” swing technique, but please bear with me.

    Let’s say we were using a shaft with approximately 5* TQ.

    But instead of swinging “traditionally” by fanning open the clubface on the backswing and closing the clubface on the downswing and squaring the clubface at impact, you were to keep the clubface “relatively square” to the swing path and ball thru the entire swing and thru impact-WITHOUT imparting twisting forces on the shaft due to the non-fanning of the club AND also making ball contact on the sweet spot of the clubface.

    My question after all of this IS: Would then, the higher shaft TQ matter at all, unless of course you were to make contact with the ball on the heel or toe of the clubface, which would obviously close or open the clubface more than a lower TQ shaft, resulting in MUCH less accuracy in that manner alone?

    I apologize for being so long with the question, but I wanted you to be well informed of the variables and the results that I already have somewhat of a grasp upon.

    Oh yeah, I have one last question, “What do you know about, and think about the “HARRISON SHOTMAKER SHAFT INSERT”, that they claim increases accuracy by a lot?

    Do you know if this would help to compensate for higher TQ shafts in any sort of manner?

    Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you,


    • JOHN:

      What makes shaft torque work or not work is not really the position of the face as it rotates into the ball as much as it is the downswing acceleration of the golfer. The more forceful the transition move to start the downswing and the more acceleration and aggressiveness the downswing, the more the mass of the head can cause the shaft to twist on the downswing. Of course, no one can accelerate the club at a positive acceleration rate because once the release happens, the arms begin to slow down. So all acceleration is at a decelerating rate. That means as the initial force of acceleration causes the head to twist back, the head then eventually springs back from the torque of the shaft to twist the other direction, closed. Hence when you see a shot hit by a golfer who definitely over torques the shaft, the shot is a low sniping hook as the head springs back to snap closed.

      Therefore if you had a swing as you describe WITH A VERY AGGRESSIVE DOWNSWING, the shot would be a very severe low sniping hook, more so than with a normal rotation back and rotation through type of swing. Thing is though that since torque is always matched to flex in a shaft design, it is very, very rare to see a golfer over torque a shaft providing he has been fit correctly for the flex of the shaft vs his clubhead speed and transition force.

      I have not done any actual work with this shaft insert or any other plug in a shaft so I can only offer you theory based on my experience with all other areas of researching shaft bending and the effect of the golf swing on shaft bending. It’s not likely that this insert could have any real effect on the actual amount that a shaft will twist in the downswing. One big reason is that the insert only is put in the tip end of the shaft. And when a shaft torques, it twists over far more of its length than the tip section. Also,filling the inside of a shaft with a solid material that only extends a little ways up from the tip section can’t have that much effect on stiffness either for the same reason, the shaft bends over its full length during the downswing. What these things do more than anything else is change the vibration of impact so the feeling of impact is different for sure than if the shaft’s core is left open. To some players, that change in feel is something they like and can then key off to develop a little more consistent timing and tempo.

  9. I have been struggling with the driver. I tend to draw the ball and my club head speed is 96-97 mph. I used to play with a Diamana Ilima R flex shaft, which have a 3.6 torque. I hit that pretty solid, but lost the club. I now have a Fubuki 50g reg shaft in my driver, but I tend to hit low hooks, which makes me think that the higher torque might be the culprit. Do you think the difference in Torque could be the reason for my added inconsistency?

    • Claus
      Please understand that without us knowing a lot more about your swing characteristics AND all of the other specs on the driver with which you are having issues, it really is not possible for us to pinpoint the exact reason for your problems with the club. BUt with our experience we certainly can make some viable educated observations. First one is to ask you what is the length of this driver? And then, what is the face angle of this driver? After that, we would want to know about your downswing characteristics. Would you characterize your downswing move as being more aggressive than most, as if you tend to be much more of a “hitter” than a “swinger” with regard to your transition move to start the downswing and your downswing tempo?

      For any golfer with a slightly aggressive to very aggressive tempo, driver lengths of more than 44″ and shaft weights less than 65g can tend to cause problems with consistency and control of the club. I doubt seriously this is a torque issue. 3.6* is not a high torque in any sense and not even close to enough to be the cause of low hooks. Typically torque only can do this if the torque is 5* or higher AND the golfer has a VERY aggressive downswing move at the ball.

      Hope this helps a little and thanks so much for coming to our site to ask,

  10. Thanks for the great insight Tom. It makes perfect sense.

    I actually hadn’t placed the order, so I was able to go to Golf Tech, who had much better shaft availability, and got fit. They got me into the Proforce VTS 7X Black. I was a new man with that shaft. I’ve never hit the ball that consistently… at least in a simulator.

    I’m going to take it to the course this weekend for a test run.

    Thanks again,

  11. Tom,

    Great article.

    I recently got fit for the UST Proforce VTS 6S Red shaft. But this is primarily, I think, bec of limitations on shaft availability.

    My swing speed averaged out at 116mph. I have a very aggressive transition at the top and apparent I swing with a lot of force bec I’ve cracked the heads of two drivers before.

    Anyway, my main concern is the relatively large torque, 5 degrees, in that shaft. They did not have the XS version of that shaft, but I assume I’ll need that for sure.

    Thing is, that shaft was such a VAST improvement over my current shaft and the stock shafts that come with the club—I think bec the VTS is very tip stiff—that I’m worried that I might order the XS, and possibly the Silver 4deg or Black 3deg, and not like it. Note, the Red XS is 5degs also.

    But my gut tells me that the XS with 3deg should perform even better for me than the S with 5 degs, or the XS with 5 degs. But there is no way for me to know bec nobody stocks the Proforce VTS 6XS Black shaft.

    What is your opinion?

    Thanks in advance,

    • Marc:
      I hear what you are saying about your swing speed and transition saying that on paper you should go with a lower torque. Fact is that torque is not a distance element in the shaft, it is an accuracy factor. So if you are seeing the occasional shot that takes off in an off line, mostly left, direction, then ok, going with a lower torque in the same shaft model and flex could help that a little bit. But also, missing left with the initial ball flight direction can be a “too low swingweight” matter too. So if you are starting the ball off line or seeing more of a draw or hook than you normally would have, first add some lead tape to the head to get the swingweight up there to see what that does to the left shot before you would go spend more money on the same shaft with a lower torque.

      Now if this shaft is not resulting in any off line tendency that was not there before, that says that even though on paper the torque is a little high for your speed and transition force, as long as everything else seems good for the shots with this shaft, stay with it and just forget about that 5* torque vs your swing force. Fitting can take different turns that toss the “on paper analysis” out the window – and as such if the shot pattern is good, if the trajectory and ball flight shape is good and if the feel of the club and shaft is good for your preferences, stay with that shaft.


  12. Hi Tom,

    I am a professional club fitter in the Columbus, Ohio area.

    In my experience, I have found that certain tip profile-torque value combinations produce shots that tend go one direction. For me, this has been a very useful trick to fine tune a club by promoting a certain shot shape or helping to eliminate a particular side of the golf course.

    I haven’t heard many fitters talk about using this combination of shaft properties as a method choosing one shaft over another. What are your thoughts?

    • NICK:

      When you use the terms “tip profile” and “torque” you are talking about TWO SEPARATE design elements in a shaft. Tip profile as we view the term is the expression of how tip stiff, tip medium or tip flexible that lower section of the shaft is designed to be. Torque as you know, is the resistance of the shaft to twisting during the application of the downswing force in the golfer’s swing. They are somewhat related, but only in the sense that most typically if a shaft is made with a stiffer tip, that brings with it a tendency for a little lower torque. However, it is eminently possible to make a tip stiff profile with a higher degree of torque and vice versa by reducing the longitudinal fiber wraps on the tip section while increasing the angle ply wraps on the tip section. It’s just that most shaft designers do not typically make tip flexible shafts with low torque or vice versa.

      Tip profile most certainly can have a bearing on the launch angle and spin and height of a shot – but ONLY for players who have a later to very late unhinging of the wrist cock angle on the downswing. For players with an early to midway release, that earlier release move causes the shaft to “unhinge” and go into its forward bending action well before the club gets to the ball. Hence by the time the earlier release player gets the clubhead to the ball, the shaft’s forward bending action is done with and rebounded back to essentially straight. But for the later to late release player, that action causes the shaft to get to impact in the amount of forward bending as dictated by the combination of the shaft’s overall stiffness plus the shaft’s tip stiffness design. So for the later release player, stiffer tip means less forward bending of the shaft at impact which means a slightly lower flight and spin for the given loft on the head. And conversely, for the later release golder, a more flexible tip means more forward bending of the shaft which means a little higher flight and more spin on the shot.

      Torque on its own does not have anything to do with how much the shaft bends forward at impact. That’s strictly controlled by the overall stiffness (flex) of the shaft with the tip section stiffness design separate to the overall stiffness design. But torque can have a definite effect on the shot both from a stiffness FEEL standpoint as well as from its primary role in affecting how much the shaft twists on the downswing before impact under the stress of the golfer’s downswing force. MANY golfers who have played a lower torque shaft swear that the shaft is either stiffer overall or more tip stiff because of the FEEL that a low torque shaft can transmit back up the shaft to the golfer. And as we know, when a golfer FEELS something different in a shaft, that can affect how the golfer swings the shaft, which in turn can affect the delivery of the clubhead to the ball which can affect launch conditions.

      But if the golfer is totally oblivious to shaft feel or ignores it completely such that he never changes anything in his normal swing regardless of getting a stiffer feel at impact, then the torque is not going to have an effect on the launch angle, height and spin of the shot. So the best advice I can give is to fit the shaft on the basis of how the swing speed rating of the shaft matches to the golfer’s clubhead speed PLUS his downswing transition force and downswing accleration. Then fit the tip section of the shaft to the golfer’s point of release – earlier release = more tip flexible; midway release = tip medium; later to late release – more tip stiff.

      Hope this helps,

  13. Hi Tom,
    Most of the golfer’s I fit have the classic outside in swing with high fades. They usually will comment that their ball flight is too high and want a lower loft. Let’s assume their club head speed is 85MPH and they hit a 9.5 driver. What kind of parameters would you look for in a shaft for a longer fluid swing and then a shorter choppier swing to reduce spin or help them get a better result? Thanks.

    • Chris
      The most common reason that slicers of the ball tend to hit the ball higher is because when they make the swing error that causes the face to be open at impact to cause the slice, this opening of the face actually increases the loft of the head at the moment of impact. Spin is NOT the issue with people who hit the ball high due to a slice. Getting the right FACE ANGLE that is a little more closed than what they are using is the first priority. Second is then getting the right loft to go with the more closed face angle so their launch angle can be a little lower along with the reduced slice from the more closed face angle.


  14. But doesn’t the CG become in-line with the hands before impact?
    And what about torque acting as resistance to twisting on off-center hits?

    • TODD

      Sorry for the delay in responding. I was out of the office on an extended business trip for 11 days.

      During the swing, the shaft bends in two different planes – the toe up/toe down direction that has to do with shaft droop and lie fitting, and the other one is 90* perpendicular to that which can have an effect on the launch angle, trajectory and spin of the shot. Whether it does this AT THE MOMENT OF IMPACT completely depends on the golfer having a later to very late unhinging of the wrist c o c k angle on the downswing. If the golfer unhinges/releases the club early to midway on the downswing, the shaft goes into both these bends too early so that by the time the clubhead gets to the ball the shaft has rebounded to being virtually straight.

      For the later to late release golfer, whether the shaft bends enough in both planes to get to the point that the CG of the head is in line with the upper portion of the shaft depends on how stiff the shaft is in relation to the golfer’s clubhead speed + transition and tempo force – if the golfer prefers to play with a little stiffer shaft than what his clubhead speed + transition/tempo would otherwise dictate, then the shaft will NOT bend enough for the CG of the head to get in line with the butt end of the shaft.


  15. Just got fitted in September thru Golf etc in Mandeville, La. Using True Temper rifle shafts and your 870 heads!! First round out shot a 77 on a 6.300 yard course. I did not want the fitter to tell me what equipment he was setting me up with during the fitting. Your 870’s are awesome!!

    Thanks, Rick

    • RICK

      Outstanding to hear your news and we all are very pleased that you like the new custom fit clubs!!

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us all!

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