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There’s two instances I can think of off the top of my head for when you should reshaft golf clubs:
1. When a shaft breaks. Yes, the “oh so obvious” answer.
2. When your swing changes so dramatically that any output, even those on the “sweet spot”, have negative outcomes.
Many shafts are actually the same, just with different paint applied to it. Check this out:
Four shafts, four different price points, four exactly the same bend profiles. For all intents and purposes, these are the exact same shaft.
Check this video out:
There’s little difference between shafts, as far as carry distance and dispersion are concerned.
Now, some shafts will have a softer butt section or a firmer tip section, but in reality, it only adds a tiny fraction of how the club works. The loft of the club mixed with your swing speed and angle of attack will have more say than any shaft.
Where the shaft effects things, and if that’s a sign to reshaft your golf clubs.
While shafts might not affect the output, they do affect what you “feel”:
- Shaft too stiff: it’ll feel boardy, like swinging a telephone pole
- Shaft too weak: it’ll feel whippy, like trying to control a bull-whip
- Shaft too stiff: impact will feel harsh
- Shaft too weak: impact will feel dead/mushy
Finding the right stiffness for your particular swing speed and transition will allow you to feel and control the head through the swing, and produce a pleasant feeling at impact.
The weight also plays a factor. If it’s too heavy, you won’t get to maximize your distance potential. If it’s too light, you risk losing control. There’s no right or wrong answer, but if you find you’re losing swing speed, it might be a good idea to look into a lighter shaft.
Some people wonder whether shafts lose their properties and if that should be a sign whether or not to reshaft them.
The honest answer is: I don’t know. Steel shafts can become rusted and pitted on the inside and you’d never know it. Graphite fibers can break unseen… but how do you know if that’s the reason for any poor play?
Unfortunately, not many people keep their golf clubs/shafts long enough to get any useful data on that subject. Everyone seems to be in search of some holy grail…
What’s your take? Do you believe golf shafts are a mystery? What do you like in a shaft? Let me know in the comments section!