Tip Soft Shaft: What Does it Mean for Your Swing?

Shaft Fitting | 49 comments

What is meant by a “tip soft” shaft?  A shaft can be designed with any variation in its stiffness over its whole length.  So a tip soft shaft is one that is designed to be more flexible in the tip area of the shaft.  Likewise there can be any number of variations in how stiff the tip section of a shaft is designed.  The reason this is done is to help golfers with different swing characteristics find the right shaft that matches best to how they swing.

Most typically, golfers who unhinge the wrist cock early in the downswing are better fit with tip soft shafts, while golfers who hold that wrist cock until very late in the downswing are better fit with a tip stiff or tip firm shaft.  Those who unhinge the wrist cock somewhere in between early and late then are typically better fit to shafts that are more what is called a tip medium design.

But these terms “tip soft/tip firm/tip medium” are completely generic in their description and in no way tell you HOW TIP SOFT or HOW TIP FIRM is the shaft exactly.  That’s why we created this Bend Profile Software so that clubmakers can see exactly how much stiffer one shaft is than another, and where on the shaft from butt to center to tip is the shaft more or less stiff.

Let me explain using a graph and data from our Bend Profile Software data base.  In this software we store the FULL LENGTH STIFFNESS measurements of over 2,600 different shaft models and flexes so that clubmakers can empirically compare the stiffness design of one shaft to another to help them make better shaft fitting recommendations for the golfers they fit.

Shaft Profiling














These are two different shafts which are designed to be virtually the same exact stiffness from the butt to the center of the shaft, but then different in stiffness for their tip section. In the graph and data box, the 41 to 11 columns tell you WHERE the stiffness measurements were made on each shaft, in inches up from the tip end. So the 41/36 measurements are considered the BUTT end of the shaft, the 31/26 measurements the CENTER section of the shaft and the 21/16/11 considered the TIP Section of the shaft. In the measurements, the higher the number, the stiffer the shaft is at that point.

So from this you can see that the Gold Tour R shaft is more tip stiff than is the Gold Plus High R because the 21/16/11 measurements of the tip section of the Gold Tour are higher and thus more stiff than the same location measurements of the Gold Plus High shaft.

The best way to be sure you are properly fit for the right shafts that match all your swing characteristics is to find a GOOD Clubmaker/clubfitter in your area and have them use their knowledge and experience to custom fit you.