Are graphite shafts better than steel?
It depends. Graphite is lighter and will result in faster clubhead speed, hence longer ball flight. They are better for most people who have a slow swing tempo. For a strong player with a fast tempo, steel is probably better. A Professional clubmaker can help you determine which is best for you.
Will an “S” flex shaft hit the ball farther?
Definitely not. In fact a golfer should play with the most flexible shaft he can control. Believe it or not, John Daly uses an “R” flex! It is extremely important that the shaft, often called the “engine of the club”, match a golfers swing. A Professional Clubmaker can analyze your swing and help you select the right shaft.
What’s all this talk about spine alignment and FLOing?
When shafts are manufactured they are always imperfect. FLO stands for Flat Line Oscillation. The perfect FLO position can be determined by clamping the butt end, placing a 200g weight on the tip, clamping a laser light to the shaft then tweaking the shaft and watching the pattern of light on the wall. If the shaft in in its proper position the pattern of light will be a straight line on the wall. If the patter of light is an oval or circle the shaft will be repositioned until the perfect alignment is achieved. Then the shaft will be marked so that it can be installed properly in the club head.
Test have proven that improperly aligned shafts cause inconsistent shots.
Should I be concerned about the torque of my shafts?
Torque is the term used to describe the torsional stiffness or resistance to twisting of a shaft. With the shaft inserted in the heel of a golf club there is a fair amount of twisting force applied during the downswing.
A powerful downswing could cause the head to be twisted open at impact and cause the ball to fly off-line.
In the 70s and 80s many graphite shafts had little resistance to twisting and were unsuitable to big hitters. Later some shafts were developed with better resistance to twisting or lower “torque”.
Today shafts are manufactured with varying degrees of torque ranging from 1.5 all the way to 8 degrees with most being less than 6 degrees. Steel shafts are typically in the 2 to 3.5 degree range.
Most golfers do not need a real low torque. Many PGA professionals are using shafts with 3.5 to 4.5 degrees. If you have a quick tempo and a fast swing stay away from shafts with 5.0 degrees of torque or higher. If you have a swing speed of less than 85 mph with a smooth tempo stay away from shafts with 3 degrees or less.
Other than that torque, should not be an issue.