What Does Regular + Flex Mean in Golf Shafts

Getting better at golf means that you are starting to learn more and more about all the equipment. Of course, a golf club is the most important element of your game, and you might be wondering – “What does regular + flex mean in golf shafts?”.

Each and every golf shaft has a certain flex ratio. Regular plus flex shafts are the most common ones, and they are especially good for beginner golfers. Such golf shafts are usually made of steel. They provide good control and are suitable for both players with explosive and less powerful swings.

Person swinging a golf club

The Regular Plus Flex Shaft Is the Most Popular Option Among Golfers

Let us first explain what the term “Flex” means. When swinging a club to take a shot, the shaft will bend. Depending on the material and the process of manufacturing, there are shafts with lower or higher flex ratios. Currently, these types of shafts exist when it comes to flex:

  • Extra Stiff (XS),
  • Stiff(S),
  • Firm(F),
  • Regular(R),
  • Senior(S),
  • Amateur(A),
  • Ladies(L).

Regular stiffness is the most popular as it provides overall the most control both when it comes to long and short-range shots. Even though amateur flex exists, usually regular is almost always recommended, even for beginners.

Why Is Flex Important?

Truth be told, amateur players will not feel much difference when replacing a golf shaft. However, more experienced players, and especially professionals, feel the difference. Flex can affect the quality of the shot a lot. Generally, explosive and fast swingers go for shafts that bend the least, while slower players need more flex. More flex gives more power to the shot, but you can also lose control significantly. Of course, the technique, execution, and other details like how well the golf clubs have been regripped means a lot, particularly at the professional level. But at the amateur level, while you are still learning, control and steadiness are highly important, and regular flex helps with that a lot.

They Can Be Made of Different Materials

Before you start organizing your golf clubs, it is important to know that different manufacturers have different standards when it comes to the flex ratio. Hence, a certain company’s regular flex may have the same ratios as the firm flex of another company. That does tend to create confusion, but as a beginner, you should look to try different regular ones. Furthermore, regular flex shafts can be made of different materials, and here are the most popular ones.

SteelSteel is the most popular material for regular shafts. Overall, it offers the most control for all types of shots, and it is especially recommended for people who want to improve their swing speed and explosiveness. There are two types of steel shafts, stepped and rifle. The stepped shaft gradually becomes thicker towards the club head, which gives a slight flex that all types of players appreciate. The rifle shaft has no differences in thickness. This shaft is especially valued among players with highly powerful swings who want to improve their long-range accuracy.
GraphiteGraphite shafts are less durable and more expensive than steel ones. However, they do have some advantages. Namely, the longest shots are usually achieved with graphite shafts. Still, even though it is regular, the flex is much higher than with steel shafts. This means that you can potentially add more power to your shot, but accuracy and control can suffer a lot.
Multi-MaterialSuch shafts most commonly combine steel and graphite in an attempt to achieve a good level of power and control at the same time. However, they are not recommended for beginners and are usually used by professionals. The regular multi-material shaft can be completely different from graphite and steel, and sometimes, it is questionable whether regular can be used at all for description.
TitaniumTitanium shafts are still new, and there are few manufacturers who make them. However, titanium is lighter than steel, and yet it has certain properties which restrict the flex potential much more efficiently. Overall regular titanium shafts can provide you with great control and accuracy, but they tend to be more expensive than steel ones.

They Also Have an Average Torque Value and Kick-Point, Which Provides a Lot of Additional Control

Torque is the potential twisting moment that can occur during a swing. Shafts with higher flex ratings always have a higher torque potential as well. Generally, a regular steel shaft will have a three degrees torque ratio, while the graphite will have five degrees. Bigger torque potential means that you can achieve higher shot trajectories. However, accuracy can be affected significantly.

Kick-point is the place where the shaft bends during a shot. High-kick point shafts are made for low-shot trajectories and provide overall more accuracy and control. On the other hand, low-kick point shafts are ideal for high-shot trajectories, and they are mostly used by players with powerful and fast swings who are trying to go under par. As you might expect, it could be said that the kick-point for regular shafts is somewhere in between.

Two men playing golf

Regular Flex Shafts Are Great for All Players, Regardless of Whether You Are an Amateur or Professional

After purchasing a golf club membership, you will see that the majority of players use regular plus flex shafts. They are the most versatile and provide the most control and accuracy both for long and short distances. Of course, nothing stops you from trying other kinds, but you will need time to adjust, as different flex ratings can affect the quality of your shots. Nonetheless, if you are a person who is new to this beautiful sport, we highly recommend getting a regular shaft for practice.