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A Low Spin Golf Shaft?

Is there such a thing as a low spin golf shaft?

In a word: no, there is no such thing as a “low spin” golf shaft.  However, since this is GLG (or, if you’ve ever read any of my Yahoo! Answers), you should know I’m going to use a lot more than just one word.

The shaft has one main job to do: allow you to deliver the club face to the ball in a positively consistent manner.

How does a golf shaft create or take away spin?  If you have an “ideal” late release, the stiffness in the tip area can have a slight effect.  If a shaft has a stiffer tip than what you’re currently using, than it will help lower the backspin rate of your drives.  But there’s a catch:

There is no true low-spin golf shaft.

What really happens is this:

  • The loft of your driver creates the primary amount of backspin that’s imparted on the ball.  Obviously, the more loft, the more backspin.
  • A properly-fit golf shaft bends forward just a little bit when someone with a late release* reaches the ball.  This will only have a minor influence on the backspin rate.  Say, a static loft of 9*, with the shaft bend at impact it’d be maybe 9.3* (with a level angle of attack).  Ooooh… three-tenths of a degree!  Just watch those yards pile up!

*: The unfortunate truth is, there are a LOT of golfers that don’t have that ideal late release.  We more often than not cast the club, where the club is released early.

Check these ugly wonderful (Ed. note: yet still effective) works of computer drawing out:

Lag for low spin golf shaft

Lag; notice the sharp angle between the arm and the shaft?

No Lag, no low spin golf shaft

No lag; see the wide angle between the arm and the shaft? The stickman has cast the club.

When we take the club back, our wrists hinge the club up, so it forms an “L” with our arms.  We take it to the top of the swing… but let it go way too soon.  Don’t do that in your downswing if you want to maximize the shaft’s effect.

In a perfect world, we want to decrease the angle- or, at worst, maintain the “L” shape.  Most often, however, we lose it before the hands reach the hips on the way down.  That’s “casting” the golf club.

Wondering what the “A” on your wedge means?  Click here!

The golf shaft will have no effect on launch parameters when we cast the club.

We get inundated with information about launch angles and backspin rates to “optimize” our launch parameters.  We’re brainwashed into thinking that that version of the ideal is the only way to maximize our potential drives… and the only way to do that is through the golf shaft.

That’s the reason why former USGA Tech Director Frank Thomas calls them “launch monsters”; they create an obsession over numbers you might never recreate in a real-world setting.

But what about you, the Weekend Warrior?  Should you get caught up in that rat race trying to find a low spin golf shaft?

There’s a lot of information about golf shafts.  Some of it is good, but much of it is crap.  You need to be able to filter out that crap.  Check this video out, from Mark Crossfield:

Did you catch that, around the 8:28 mark?  The shaft is only contributing about 1% of the performance of the club, per the host.  That’s it.  Not nearly as much as you’re lead to believe.

So… how do you find your ideal shaft?  Or, is there a “one-shaft to rule them all” standard?

That, dear readers, is what I’m here for.  I’ve mentioned it before, but there’s a lot of stuff that can bog the average golfer down.  My fear is that it will lead you to something like buyer’s remorse… and I don’t think that’s something you should have to deal with.

If you’re following along at home, I won’t let you waste money on something, especially a golf shaft, that could lead to Buyer’s Remorse.

About the Author

Justin Blair is the founder of Green Lantern Golf. When he isn't bringing his 10+ years of excellent craftsmanship experience to golf club fitting, building, and repair, he's geeking out about Star Wars (he's watched them all about 8,437 times!) and things like the MCU and LOTR, he's drinking mead and craft brews. If you wanna know more, check out my About Page!

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