Choosing the right shafts for your golf clubs is really important, as it influences various aspects of your golf game. One important aspect to consider is the torque of your clubs, which refers to the way in which your club twists during the swing.
But what exactly is golf shaft torque, and why is it important?
We answer these questions and more in this article, as we reveal eight critical facts about golf shaft torque and how it affects your game.
- What is Golf Shaft Torque?
- What Difference Does Golf Shaft Torque Make?
- How Does Golf Shaft Torque Affect Ball Flight?
- What Torque Shaft Should I Use?
- Golf Shaft Torque vs. Flex
- What is the Difference Between High Torque and Low Torque?
- Low vs. High Shaft Torque Explained
- Does Tipping a Shaft Affect Torque?
What is Golf Shaft Torque?
The torque of a golf shaft refers to how prone the shaft is to twisting when you swing the club. Every shaft, regardless of material or flex, exhibits torque, which is measured in degrees. As such, a low torque shaft will twist less than a high torque shaft, and vice versa.
While it’s a somewhat difficult concept to get your head around, another way of looking at torque is that it’s a measure of how well a particular shaft resists twisting. This is important because the shaft influences your ball striking, as we explain in this article.
Many golfers ignore the torque of their shafts and focus instead on other things like the weight, trajectory, and flex of their clubs. But in reality, torque is important, and it can make a big difference to your scores on the course.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about golf shaft torque as you select the ideal golf clubs for your game this golf season.
What Difference Does Golf Shaft Torque Make?
The reality is that the torque of your golf shafts can make a big difference to the quality of your ball striking. For instance, if you’re a strong player with a big swing, if you use a shaft with too high a degree of torque, you are likely to hit fades more often than not, even if you don’t intend to.
Also, players who swing smoothly and methodically might find that a low torque shaft results in a low trajectory as the shaft doesn’t do enough throughout the swing. After all, it’s important that the torque of a shaft is matched to your setup and swing for the best results.
This being said, if you’re just starting out in golf and are trying to come to terms with the different aspects of your game, torque isn’t something that you need to spend a great deal of time on, and it’s a metric that’s of more importance to lower handicappers.
But if you want to invest in shafts that are best suited to your swing type, it’s a good idea to enquire about the degrees of torque before settling on a make and model.
How Does Golf Shaft Torque Affect Ball Flight?
Torque can influence your ball flight in various ways.* For example, if your golf shaft consists of less torque, the result is more likely to be a straighter shot with a stiff feel. However, if you opt for more torque, your shots are likely to be slightly less accurate but capable of going further.
Another thing to be mindful of is that the torque of your shaft can influence the direction of your shots. Naturally, a shaft with a higher degree of torque can cause your shots to have a slight fade or draw as standard.
This isn’t necessarily a problem if you can control it, but if you’re a beginner that’s just starting out, choosing a shaft with too much torque can make it difficult to keep the ball in play.
For people hoping to hit the ball as far as possible, more torque is the better option, as a higher degree of torque can help to increase clubhead speed. Ultimately, you need to consider a range of factors before settling on the best degree of torque for your game.
What Torque Shaft Should I Use?
Generally speaking, 3-4 degrees of torque is normal for steel shafts, as they don’t have a great deal of twist in them. With graphite shafts, the torque can be anywhere between 7-8 degrees, as it’s not a solid material and has much more natural flex.
Therefore, graphite shafts tend to have higher torque than steel shafts, but it’s not always the case.
If you’re not sure about the torque to go for, we recommend staying somewhere in the middle. You don’t necessarily want something too low or too high, particularly if you’re just starting out and hoping to keep the ball in play.
But if you’re looking for an advantage on the golf course and are keen to reduce your handicap even further, it makes sense to invest in a higher or lower degree of torque for your shafts, depending on the setup of your swing.
Golf Shaft Torque vs. Flex
While torque refers to the twist of a shaft, flex refers to a club’s ability to bend during the golf swing.** Flex is really important because it directly influences whether or not your club head is square at the point of impact. If you get the flex wrong, you’re much more likely to hit a shank.
When choosing the ideal shafts for your game, both torque and flex are important metrics. However, golf club flex is nearly always considered above torque and is widely regarded as more important by many golfers.
A general rule of thumb is that if you’re not sure which type of flex to go for, it’s better to go for a softer flex. This is because it’s more forgiving than a stiffer flex and provides you with greater flexibility throughout the swing.
So, while they’re both important, torque and flex are not the same. You need to consider how both will affect your setup before settling on the ideal shaft for your golf clubs.
What is the Difference Between High Torque and Low Torque?
The difference between high and low torque is how much the golf club is able to twist during your swing. A high degree of torque means that the club twists a lot, while a low degree of torque means that the club twists less.
Low torque is 4 degrees and lower, while high torque can be up to around 8 degrees. Although there are certainly exceptions, low torque is common in stainless steel shafts that are preferred by better players, while graphite shafts have a higher degree of torque and are better suited to recreational golfers.
If you opt for a shaft with torque that is too low, your swing can become rigid, and it can be difficult to shape your shots in the way that you desire. Conversely, if you have too much torque on your golf shafts, it can be difficult to keep the ball in play.
Therefore, it makes sense to go for shafts with torque that is between 3-6 degrees if you’re not sure which is best suited to your game. This ensures that your selected shaft provides you with a reasonable degree of torque, and it isn’t likely to negatively impact your game.
Low vs. High Shaft Torque Explained
We’ve already touched upon the differences between high and low shaft torque, but the following ‘rules’ are helpful when considering the torque of your shafts going forward:
- Low torque (3-4 degrees) is common in stainless steel shafts.
- High torque (7-8 degrees) is common in graphite shafts.
- Torque refers to a shaft’s ability to twist throughout your swing, while flex is the bendiness of a club.
- Low torque helps the ball fly straighter and sometimes results in a lower trajectory.
- High torque can lead to a fade or draw, which can be difficult for beginners and some recreational golfers to control.
- If you’re unsure about whether high or low torque is better, it’s best to opt for a degree somewhere in the middle (3-6 degrees).
When considering the torque of a shaft, it’s helpful to consult a professional club fitter before making your choice. This is because torque can be quite difficult to understand, particularly if you’re only used to considering the flex of a golf shaft.
Does Tipping a Shaft Affect Torque?
If you tip your golf club at the address, it won’t affect its torque, as it is built into the very design of your club. However, if you instruct a club builder or fitter to tip your shaft, you can remove a length from its tip, which will affect its torque.***
When a professional cuts the tip, it increases the stiffness of the golf club, which will have a direct impact on the torque of the club. It’s not a good idea to make these adjustments yourself, and if you want to tip your golf shafts, it’s best to employ the services of a professional.
Of course, another option is to remove and replace the shafts that you currently have within your clubs to install those with the ideal level of torque and flex for your game.
But if you simply attempt to tip your shaft at the point of address, it won’t make any difference to the degree of torque built into your clubs.
There are lots of things to think about when deciding on the ideal shafts for your golf clubs, and torque is undoubtedly one of them. Alongside material, weight, and flex, torque affects the way that you strike the ball and the results of your long game.
While we hope this article helps you understand torque, we recommend working with a professional club fitter to ensure you get the best possible shaft type for your clubs this season.