Golf Shaft CPM (Learn When To Use It Effectively)

Talking about Golf shaft CPM (cycles per minute) can often turn casual golfers in the other direction.

The mixture of golf shaft chat and abbreviations can be a bit daunting, we get it.

Golf is all about small margins though so learning this (slightly) technical topic can only benefit your game.

Below we demystify CPM and show you how grasping its concept can help improve your game.

But be wary because CPM is only effective in some circumstances (we break those down too).

Let’s get into it.

What does CPM mean in golf shafts?

CPM means “cycles per minute” which are units used to measure the frequency. It is described as the number of oscillations a shaft makes each minute. 

📋 Keep in mind: Higher-frequency shafts are stiffer than lower-frequency shafts.

The issue with Golf Shaft CPM Measurement

The problem with golf shaft CPM measurement is that there is no standard CPM throughout the golf industry.

The CPM varies from company to company which can cause confusion for golfers.

Some brands will react differently than others and describe the shaft as being soft for example when in reality the shaft is stiff. 

📢 Need To Know: The high numbers for one company won’t feel the same as the identical number for another club maker.

How do you measure CPM on a golf shaft?

A club fitter will clamp the grip end of a golf club and then pull and release the tip part of the shaft to cause it to oscillate in order to take this measurement.

The machine will then give the number of the CPM which can be around 200-300 or more. 

What Is The Difference Between CPM and Shaft Flex?

The difference between CPM and shaft flex is that CPM is the cycles per minute and number that indicates how stiff or soft a shaft is.

Shaft flex is a description of how much the shaft bends. This is given by the manufacturer.

True Temper might make a shaft and label the flex as stiff, extra stiff, regular, senior, or ladies.

These flexes bend differently and fit various swing speeds and skill levels of players. 

Will Different Shafts With The Same CPM play the same?

No, even among high-performance golf shafts, different shafts with the same CPM will not play the same. Each shaft has a different bend profile and it varies between both shafts and brands. 

Some manufacturers will label a shaft “regular” when in reality, it plays more like a stiff. There are generally 12 CPMs between flexes. 

A club that is 300 CPM compared to a 312 CPM for Mitsubishi could be closer to reverse for a shaft maker such as Accra.

When Can Golf Shaft CPM Be Used Effectively

It is important when choosing a shaft to get fitted by a professional.

CPM can be used effectively when being fitted. This will save you the hassle of buying a shaft not right for your game.

CPM is effective when you’re comparing it to shafts from the same brand.

CPM is also useful to make sure that there’s a 4 CPM difference between every half inch and club in your bag. If your 6-iron has a 300 CPM then your 7-iron should have 304 CPM. 

This can be tested to ensure the golf shaft frequency matching is correct in your set of irons and that they are gapped correctly.

Your fitter can show you a golf shaft CPM frequency chart to show you how they should be gapped as well as the results. 

💡 Golfible Tip: Match the golf shaft you are hitting well while being fitted with the one you end up purchasing. You don’t want them to be too different or not feel similar. 

frequently asked questions

What CPM is a stiff shaft?

The CPM that is considered a stiff shaft is around 250. This is meant for golfers who boast higher swing speeds between about 90-110 miles per hour.

How many CPMs are there between each Flex?

There are 12 CPMs between each flex. If one of your clubs is a stiff flex and has a CPM of 250, the exact club in a regular flex shaft should be 238 if the shaft is from the same brand.

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Lawrence Smelser has been part of the Golfible writing staff since 2019 and is a freelance golf journalist. Smelser has covered the PGA Tour including the U.S. Masters with He holds a journalism Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M and a Master’s journalism degree from the University of North Texas. Learn more about our team at Golfible on our About Us page.

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