The Golden Shaft

The Golden Shaft

Pros like Paul Casey don't look at the price tag on their equipment.
Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Frank Thomas is a former technical director of the United States Golf Association. He has written several books about golf equipment, the most recent being 'Just Hit It: Our Equipment and Our Game.'

If you have a question about golf equipment, e-mail him at [email protected].

Dear Frank,
I see pros today using graphite shafts that are priced to $500 and beyond. Do they really have that much more technology than a shaft that costs $100, and what are the pros and cons to a 'regular Joe' such as myself in the $500 shaft vs. the $100 shaft?
Thank you,
Josh Devonshire, Buffalo, N.Y.

It is true that some tour pros are using very expensive shafts in their drivers and fairway woods. (They don’t pay for them, of course.) These shafts are excellent, but the stock shafts that manufacturers use are also very good. If they weren’t, the big club companies would go out of business.

After many years of experimentation, we have arrived at a club length (approximately 44.75 inches for the average tour player) and flex properties that we find in standard clubs. The right flex is crucial, of course, but most players don’t need to worry about more than that.

It might help your ego to tell your fellow golfers that your shaft cost $500, but it won’t have a significant affect on your game. Wait until you become a tour quality golfer to go for the pricey models. When that happens, you won’t have to pay for them anyway.


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