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What effect does shaft weight have on your golf shots? With the help of Nippon, Coach Matt Lockey and I put it to the test in this new video.

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Mark Crossfield has been coaching golf for more than 20 years, and has enjoyed shaping the digital golf world with fresh, original and educated videos. Basically, I am that guy from YouTube. You can connect with Mark on Periscope (4golfonline) and Snapchat (AskGolfGuru), as well through the social media accounts linked below.

11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. KK

    Jul 30, 2016 at 7:26 am

    It’s all about feel, with lighter shafts generally spinning a bit more with a bit more speed. The real problem is many golfers choose ego and show over darts-into-the-green control and scoring.

  2. Nooner

    Jul 27, 2016 at 3:25 am

    I think the length and girth of the shaft are more important in satisfaction for all involved

  3. Variable Step Patterns

    Jul 26, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    You’re talking about two shafts with variable step patterns as well. So that should be considered. Mark obviously loads the shaft different than coach. And as Mark stated he adjusted to the lighter shafts second time around. You shouldn’t have to adjust to a shaft. Your natural tendency will come out eventually. I’m willing to bet if they went with the lighter shaft they would develop different swings to compensate to get his timing right all the time to play the irons. But then he will have to compensate the rest of the bag. You should swing what ever allows you to achieve the proper shot window and dispersion and swing the same through out the bag.

    Like people have stated people need to be fit. what works for one may not work for another. Plus not having an industry standard for flex doesn’t help. DJ plays KBS Tour 120 in his wedges….that’s light for a wedge shaft…..but look at his stats…

  4. FlexVariesWithWeight

    Jul 26, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    It’s disappointing to see Mark Crossfield completely miss the fact that flex does in fact vary according to shaft weight. Even Nippon will tell you that a 950GH stiff is not equal to the 1150GH stiff in absolute flex. Looking at EI profiles, the Zelos 7 is nothing like the Modus3 shafts that Mark compared. Mark continually “emphasized” that all the shafts were stiff flex, but he just doesn’t seem to get it. So unfortunately there were a lot more variables in play here than just shaft weight.

    • Nooner

      Jul 27, 2016 at 3:27 am

      And what about MOI? He’s only swinging one middle club. I would love to see how this same test works with the PW and 3 irons

  5. Mmmmm

    Jul 26, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    What
    Was
    The
    Swingweight
    in
    Each
    Club
    Tested

  6. MB

    Jul 26, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I agree with Steve. Also I think it has to do with feel. A full swing wedge made by a pro, is different to a full swing 3i – 9i. The shaft is shorter, not generating the same speed and a greater value is put into dispersion and zooming in on target. In order to create the same feel as with X100 in their other irons they choose a shaft with the same weight but slightly softer in overall flex, adding a fraction more spinn. Feel being factor No. 1 in their priority.

  7. JG

    Jul 25, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    Great analysis! My question goes back to flex… Many tour pros use a different shaft in their irons versus their wedges with TTDG S400 being the popular wedge shaft choice. Is this just a feel thing? How would an amateur know whether they would benefit from different flex in their wedges?

    • steve

      Jul 26, 2016 at 7:35 am

      From what I understand they want a softer tip in wedges to create more spin

    • jo

      Jul 26, 2016 at 7:42 am

      Test it. Like Mark said, go to a golf shop and hit as many different weights and flex’s of shaft as you can. And instead of looking at the results, only go by ur feel to narrow down ur top three shafts. Then look at the numbers or results. I did this with my irons. Did it with the Mizuno shaft optimizer fitting system, even tho I don’t play Mizuno irons. I fully went in thinking I was going to be getting KBS tour shaft because of the hype. But after testing my top three where in order Project X 6.5, DG X100 and then KBS tour. I didn’t not like the feel of the KBS shafts at all. And the Project X shafts distance numbers were slightly longer then the DG X100 by a yrd or 2. But the feel of the DG X100s for me was way above the others for my swing which is compact, short and aggressive. All and all no one person can tell u ur shaft weight and flex, you need to go out and feel the perfect shaft for you.

    • Alex

      Jul 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm

      The s400 is heavier than the x100 so it gives the feeling of fractionally more control with the s400 wedge shafts. Thats the main reason why the s400 is more sought after is the weight. But there are a few outliers i.e. Rory McIlroy who uses PX 7.0 in his irons and PX 6.5 in his wedges. The 7.0 weighs more but is also stiffer, so he choose the lighter but not quite as stiff shaft in his wedges. To answer your question, most off the rack wedges come with DG s200 aka “Wedge Flex” These shafts are plenty heavy enough for I would say >90% of golfers. For most people I would say start with the s200 and work you way down to a lighter shaft.

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One of the most fun things about being a golfer is that we all want to get better–hit drives longer and straighter, iron shots that find greens more often, pitches and chips that get closer, and putts that go in more often. And we all seem to take great pleasure in finding that next “missing link” in our bags that will help us achieve one of those goals.

Today I want to share some thoughts about how little things can often mean a lot when it comes to tweaking your equipment. On the surface, a golf club seems to be a pretty simple thing—a piece of metal, at the end of a tubular piece of metal or graphite, with a rubber-like handle at the end. But when that golf club is put into motion at 100 mph or so, a lot of dynamics begin to happen.

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Increasing your driving distance: The industry has taken us on this dramatic quest for distance and power, and the average driver sold today is over 45” long. That’s two inches longer than the standard of 25 years ago. And while the humongous driver heads brag about “forgiveness”, the fact is that your longest drives (and straightest) will always come from dead center hits. It’s still a fact that a sweet spot miss of just ½” will cost you 7-9% distance loss, and a miss of 3/4” will increase that to 12-15%. I suggest you try gripping down on your driver an inch or more the next time you play and see if you don’t hit the ball closer to the sweet spot and see it consistently going longer and straighter. It’s been proven over and over again.

Examining iron specs: The “standard” way a set of irons was engineered for decades was that the irons vary in length by ½”, and in loft by 4 degrees. But the past few years – driven by the relentless quest for distance – we have seen the loft gaps increased to 5° at the short end of the set and as small as 2.5° at the long end. The harsh reality of this geometry is that almost every golfer will have much smaller distance gaps at the long end of the set than at the short end, where distance precision is critical. I have tweaked my irons for years so that I have smaller length and lie differences at the short end than the long, and that allows my distance gaps to be more consistent. Most golfers could benefit from examining their TRUE carry distances from club to club and then tweaking lofts and lengths to fix their gapping.

Fit your putter. It amazes me to watch how many golfers–even some of the pros on TV–and see the toe of the putter up in the air at address. Simple fact is that this makes the face point left because of the loft. I’ve become a true believer in putter fitting. A good fit will ensure that your putter really is aimed at the target, and that the lie angle allows the ball to come off the putter straight. Yes, the style of putter is a matter of personal preference, but a putter that is accurately fit to you makes this maddening part of the game much less so.

Watch your grips. We spend hundreds of dollars on a driver or set of irons, and we get disposable “handles”. It’s a fact that grips wear out. They get dirty. And they need replacing regularly. Take a close look at yours. Worn, dirty grips cause you to grip the club tighter to have control. And bad shots are much more frequent because of that.

Experiment. The toys are a big part of the fun of golf, so don’t be afraid to experiment. I’ve long suggested all golfers should try the blade style short irons of one of your better player friends or pros, but experiment with other clubs, too. Hit your buddies’ hybrids, fairways, irons, drivers. Try different golf balls. [But I just can’t buy that tees can make a difference, sorry.] It’s fun.

So, there you have some random thoughts of the hundreds that swirl around in my head. Let me know your other questions about equipment, and I’ll try to address them in future columns.

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