Golf Shaft Torque: Everything You Need To Know

Selecting a golf shaft can be tricky since there are so many attributes to consider. Golf shaft torque is one crucial factor. Torque is defined as the resistance of the shaft to twisting.

In this article, we will dive deep into what torque is, explain how it can affect your game, and teach you how to pick the correct shaft with the proper torque.

How To Understand Golf Shaft Torque

Another way of explaining torque is that it is a characteristic of a golf shaft that demonstrates how easily or hard the shaft will twist during a golf swing.

All types of shafts such as steel or graphite contain torque.

Many members of the golf community think flex is the most vital attribute for feel.

Still, torque actually plays a larger role in how rigid or easily swingable a club can feel. Interesting, huh?

📋 Keep in mind: Torque plays a huge role in the feeling of a shaft. 

What is shaft torque and how is it measured?

Torque is measured in degrees by a device that calculates the amount the shaft will twist under a specific quantity of force

A shaft that has two degrees of torque will rotate less than a shaft containing 5 degrees of torque. 

Shafts can have varying torques in them from as low as two degrees to as high as seven.

How does shaft torque impact your golf club’s performance?

A club will do different things depending on the level of torque in the shaft. A shaft with a higher torque will have an increased chance of twisting at impact and while swinging. 

One with a lower torque won’t twist so much. The club head and type of swing the golfer has will also come into the equation.

📋 Keep in mind: Torque can impact how much distance you’re gaining as well as ball trajectory, spin, and launch angle.

Certain players with different swing speeds, styles, and skill levels should select a shaft with a torque suitable for their game. 

Owning the wrong one can lead to mishits to the right or left and affect clean and consistent contact.

As mentioned earlier, torque plays a huge role in feel, more than the club’s flex. 

It all depends on the golfer and how they feel when they hit the club. For example, you could have a stiff shaft with high torque, and it might seem more forgiving.  

Depending on the torque of the shaft, it could feel lighter or heavier as well as easier or more challenging to hit. 

You could play a regular shaft which is supposed to feel flexible and easier to hit, but it might have low torque and feel stiff.

💡 Golfible Tip: Testing out different torques and shafts can answer which shaft is the proper one for a specific player. Every golfer has their own unique swing.

Factors that Affect Shaft Torque

There are varying factors that affect a shaft’s torque. The major ones include shaft material, weight, flex and length.

Shaft Material

The material the shaft is made from (steel or graphite) will affect torque and performance.

A steel shaft will have much more consistent torque between clubs. The clubs will all feel similar in terms of torque.

Graphite shafts will have less consistent torque numbers. Nowadays, with improved technology, shaft makers have made it closer to steel.

Shaft Weight

The shaft’s weight correlated with torque will also have an effect on a player’s performance.

A heavier driver shaft with low torque can feel extraordinarily stiff and might be difficult for a beginner or senior to hit consistently.

When considering the best golf shafts for beginners, a lighter shaft with a high torque might be a better choice for a high-handicapper with a slow swing speed.

It would be bad for a low-handicapper with a fast swing speed.

Shaft Flex

Pairing the right shaft flex and torque for your game together can make a huge difference. 

Shaft companies will usually pair a torque such as 3.8 degrees with a 55-gram shaft (light and usually regular flex). 

They’ll place a shaft with three degrees of torque to a shaft that weighs around 64-66 grams. Lastly, they’ll assign a low torque such as 2.3 degrees with a heavier 75-gram club.

Owning a regular, stiff, or extra stiff flex shaft that correlates with the right degrees of torque can lead to more accurate shots and more hits on the sweet spot.

Shaft Length

The length of a golf shaft also has an influence on the club and the golfer’s performance.

Having a shaft that is too long will cause players to try and reach out. It can affect address as well as create bad habits. 

There is a higher likelihood a player will hit the ball on the toe or heel.

The same goes for a shaft that is too short. Players will likely lose distance and swing speed, as well as make bad contact more often.

Most graphite driver shafts will have a torque between 3.5-5.5 degrees. Shaft makers match the length to the torque so you won’t have a problem unless the shaft is too long or short for you.

The best way to check this is by going to a certified club fitter. The fitter will measure you and match you with shafts fit for your height. 

The fitter will conduct plenty of other tests to ensure you selected the right shaft for your swing type.

How does shaft torque affect ball flight (all things being equal)

Torque doesn’t have a significant effect on ball flight but it can if it is too high for a player who has a fast swing.

It can cause the player to open or close the face slightly and result in shots not hitting the sweet spot.

If a shaft’s torque is way too low, it can make it hard for the player to get a feel for the club and not give them the desired ball flight they want.

Shafts with higher torque will feel more flexible, and ones with lower torques will feel more rigid. This should be one of your key takeaways from this piece.

📢 Need To Know: The lowest torque given to shafts by shaft-making companies is two degrees. These are usually assigned to extra stiff shafts and can be very difficult to hit for players who don’t own a low handicap.

What impact does shaft torque have on dispersion?

Torque does play a role in how the golf ball is dispersed around the course and where it will generally fly to.

A shaft with a low torque will aid a golfer in hitting the ball left more often. 

A golfer with a high swing speed who has trouble with fades or slices can benefit from a low torque shaft that can help promote a draw.

A shaft with higher torque will promote dispersion to the right in terms of ball flight. 

Choosing the best shaft torque for your game

Testing different shafts and being fitted for the right torque is the best thing you can do for your game. Using the wrong torque can hinder your potential and ability to shoot lower scores.

What types of golfers are suited to high-torque shafts

A golfer with a high swing speed who has trouble with fades or slices can benefit from a low-torque shaft that can help promote a draw.

If you like using stiffer shafts, a low-torque shaft is usually the best bet, but you won’t find out for sure until you test out different shafts with varying torques and flexes.

💡 Golfible Tip: The highest torque usually assigned to a driver shaft is 7 degrees. It’s rare to find a shaft with this high of torque, and it will be much less resistant to twisting. It is usually assigned to a very flexible shaft and can be forgiving for beginners or people with extremely slow swing speeds.

What types of golfer Is suited to low-torque shafts

A player who battles hooks with a medium or slower swing speed can benefit from using a high-torque shaft. Most of these players have mid-high handicaps or are beginners or seniors.

If you feel more comfortable playing a more flexible shaft such as a regular flex, senior or ladies then a high-torque shaft will be a great option.

Does golf shaft torque matter?

Shaft torque does matter, and when selecting a golf shaft, it’s important to find out the details regarding the torque. 

Make sure to ask a knowledgeable employee or club fitter at a golf store or specialty fitting center to try out different degrees of torque and provide the exact number. I recommend doing this.

FAQ

What does less torque mean in a golf shaft?

Less torque means the shaft will have a high degree in terms of its resistance to twisting. Low torque golf shafts will be in the 2.5-3 degree range.

How does golf shaft torque affect ball flight?

Shaft torque doesn’t play a huge role in affecting ball flight, but if you use the wrong torque that is not suitable for your play style, then you might have trouble achieving your desired ball flight.

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Author

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 Augusta.com. 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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