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How Much Does Shaft Torque Affect Performance?

How Much Does Shaft Torque Affect Performance?

 

Shaft torque is defined as the relative and comparative amount of force a golf shaft is able to resist twisting. Yes, it can affect the golf game but not that much.

Shaft torque will not actually be a concern if the Rules of Golf would permit aligning the shaft with the clubhead’s center of gravity. The golfer’s downswing force and the clubhead’s weight sticking out of the shaft are what actually cause the twist. Therefore, twisting cannot be prevented since the golfer always exerts the force in downward manner and the shaft is attached on the heel side of the clubhead.

The issue regarding shaft torque started when shafts were made of hickory way back in the early 1900s. Shafts made of wood are very susceptible to twisting. Golfers had to modify swing styles to keep wooden shafts from twisting heavily during golf games. Shafts nowadays usually have a torque measurement of about 2 to 5 degrees while back then, it has more than 20 degrees.

The concern regarding shaft torque was the main reason why wooden shafts were eventually replaced by steel shafts even as early as 1920s. Golf industry found out that steel shafts carry much lower torque compared to the wooden ones. They are better used for golf since they deliver more accurate and controlled shots.

The downside of the first steel shafts released was its weight. They were much heavier compared to hickory shafts but golfers, in general, wanted them more because of their greater twisting resistance.

Due to the weight concerns of the existing steel shafts, the next generation of golf shaft was made of graphite and fiberglass. This big advancement came between 1960s and 1970s. The shaft torque was recorded to be over 10 degrees.

Shafts in our generation are designed with torques in line with the flex. For this reason, torque is no longer much of an issue. Flex shafts nowadays have shaft torques lower than 4 degrees which can be considered as almost negligible for golfers.

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