Learning about shafts can be confusing, especially when looking for reviews of the best golf shafts.
There are many technical terms the average golfer might not understand.
The golf shaft balance point is one of those head-scratcher terms for many golfers.
It is the point on the shaft that is 100 percent balanced from the tip to the butt section of the shaft.
Another way of describing the definition is the location on a golf shaft where weight is equally distributed on both sides of one fulcrum.
In this article, we will explain why the shaft balance point is imperative and describe what it does for your game.
How the Golf Shaft balance point is measured
Static Flex Measurement
One method that can be used to measure the balance point of a shaft is a static-flex measurement.
The butt end of the shaft is clamped by a cantilever while a load is put on the tip portion of the shaft. The more the shaft bends will show where its balance point is and how stiff it is.
When testing using the static method, an extra stiff shaft will bend much less than a ladies’ flex.
Golf Shaft Frequency
Frequency measurement (or golf shaft CPM) is another way to find the balance point of a shaft and learn about its characteristics. It is considered a “dynamic” measurement.
In this test, the shaft is clamped on the butt end while the shaft is pulled while the weight is on the tip of it. It makes the shaft oscillate. If it oscillates faster, then it’s usually stiffer.
The weight of an iron shaft can affect a frequency measurement.
For example, if two shafts are being tested with the same static flex, although one is a lot heavier, then the heavier one will result in having a lower frequency.
What Affects The Golf Shaft Balance Point
There are different elements in the golf shaft that affect the impact balance point.
They can include the materials used to build the shaft, the flex, the length, and the kick point.
Different materials used in golf shafts
The two most common materials used to make golf shafts are either steel or graphite.
There are many other items used to put it together. Shafts can be made from titanium, chrome-plated steel, stainless steel, aluminum, carbon, or graphite fiber-reinforced epoxy.
All of these materials can affect the balance point of a golf club. It is rarely found exactly 50% in the middle of the shaft.
If the balance point were exact, then a 44-inch driver shaft would have a balance point at precisely the 22-inch mark.
Many shafts can have a balance point slightly higher or lower than dead center. Driver shafts usually have a balance point from about 47 to 57 percent away from the tip.
Flex of Shaft
The flex of the shaft can also render the balance point in being slightly higher or lower than the 50% center point of the shaft.
There are different shaft flexes to choose from such as ladies, senior, regular, stiff, and extra stiff. The ladies will be the most flexible, bend the most, and weigh the least.
The extra stiff will be the least flexible, bend the least and be heavier. The balance point will often be higher in stiff shafts.
Using the two methods mentioned earlier, the balance point can be determined.
Length of Shaft
The length of the shaft can also be a factor as to where the balance point is located.
Different clubs have different length shafts.
For example, a driver shaft can be 46 inches long compared to an eight-iron shaft (around 36 inches). The balance point will be closer to 23 inches in the driver shaft while the point will be near 18 inches in the eight iron.
Kick point of the shaft
A shaft’s kick point describes the difference between how stiff the tip is vs. the butt.
The kick point is lower when the tip is softer than the butt end of the shaft. It is higher when the tip is firmer than the butt.
A ball’s trajectory through the air is affected by the shaft’s kick point. If the kick point is lower, the higher the launch will be. If the kick point is higher, the lower the flight will be. Pretty cool right?
How does the balance point impact your swing?
The balance point in the shaft does correlate with a player’s swing.
Depending on if the balance point is closer to the middle, higher, or lower it can influence a player’s swing speed, how accurate they are, and ball flight.
Having the correct balance point can lead a player to have a more consistent swing and help their swing mechanics rather than hurt them.
When getting fitted a player can try shafts with different balance points to see how it affects their speed, accuracy, and ball flight.
💡 Golfible Tip: Where can I watch a video on balance points? Tour Experience Golf created a video to help explain shaft balance. In the video, there are tests done to show the differences.
How To Choose The Right Balance Point for your game
Balance Point options
There are three types of balance points found in different shafts. Low, mid, and high.
Most shafts contain a mid-balance point. These contain balance points near the center of the shaft. These are the most commonly played and offered balance points by golf brands.
Each golfer will enjoy using a different style.
Low Balance point
A low balance point will make the center of gravity higher near the club head. The low area will be stiffer and have more weight in this portion of the club.
The swing weight will be heavier on the club but can be much less forgiving. This can force the face to close a lot and force misses to the left.
Mid Balance point
Mid-balance points have the center of gravity in the middle of the shaft.
It’s easier for most players to hit this balance point since they’ll have likely used this type of balance point unless they had a shaft customized differently.
A shaft with a mid-balance point will promote a straight ball flight. Misses can be in either direction depending on how open or closed the player makes the face.
The balance point does help the player keep the face neutral.
High Balance point
High balance points have the center of gravity higher in the club around the grip area. The shaft is thicker and can have extra tungsten.
The purpose of having a high balance point is to allow the swing weight to be lighter without altering things such as the club head, length, or grip.
Having a high balance point can help open up the face and make it easier to hit the ball straighter. Misses to the right are promoted with this balance point. This is key to remember.
📢 Need To Know: A counterbalanced golf shaft is just another way of describing a shaft with a high balance point. Some manufacturers prefer this term since most standard shafts have a mid-balance point.
Next Steps With Your Golf Shaft Balance Point
Now that you understand the shaft balance point better if you want to have your shafts measured and evaluated, head to a professional club fitter.
If you need a fitting, the club fitter will have you test out different shafts with different balance points. Ask to try low or high to see if they are suitable for your swing style.
Doing this can help you achieve lower scores and better overall performance on the course.
What does high balance point mean in a golf shaft?
A high balance point in a golf shaft means that the center of gravity will be higher up on the club compared to a mid (center) or low (near the head). It will help players avoid hooks to the left.
Where should the balance point be on a golf club?
The balance point on a golf club doesn’t need to be in one particular area. Depending on the golfer’s style, they could benefit from it being in a specific area. It is usually easier to hit a club with a mid-balance point.