What is the Torque of a Golf Shaft?
Torque is the amount a golf shaft is twisting when subjected to a defined amount of force. A lower torque means that a shaft is twisting less, a higher torque value means that a shaft is twisting more. The torque is measured by degree. A shaft is clamped at the butt in a vise clamp and an arm with a one-pound weight is mounted to the tip section of the shaft. The weighted arm is twisting the shaft to the side and a dial is showing the amount of twisting.
Unfortunately, there is no standard in the golf industry how to measure the torque in a uniform way. The difference is the beam length, i.e. the distance between the butt clamp and the tip clamp. Some manufacturers clamp the shaft 2 inches from the butt in a vise clamp and install the weight arm 1 inch from the tip = beam length is 43 inches at 46-inch long driver shafts. Other manufacturers clamp the shaft 11 inches from the butt and clamp the weighted arm 3 inches from the tip = beam length is 34 inches. The longer beam length of 43 inches measures the same shaft at 6-degree torque whereas a shorter beam length of 34 inches measures 4.3º torque for the same shaft.
Makes a Lower Torque Reading a Better Shaft?
Many golfers believe that a lower torque shaft is better and a low torque design will improve accuracy and result in straighter shots. The myth that high torque shafts are less accurate results from the early days of graphite golf shafts production. The main reasons are the production cost and the retail price that a shaft with a higher torque is considered less accurate. A high torque wood shaft is not made of 100 graphite but made from a fiberglass composite. Fiberglass contents increase the weight, i.e. a heavier shaft has a higher amount of fiberglass. Price pointed graphite shafts are made from low modulus materials featuring less strength, the carbon fiber content is lower, the raisin content is higher. These shafts are designed for package sets for beginning golfers. A shaft with a soft tip, heavier weight, and weak materials will be less accurate in the hands of a stronger player.
These days not all high torque shafts are made from low modulus materials. Some of the most expensive shafts feature higher torque values by design purpose.
A new trend is to reduce ovalization and to increase the hoop strength for improved shot consistency. This objective is achieved thru a 4-axis winding of fibers, i.e. high modulus graphite plies are wrapped at 0º angles on the mandrel. However, these fibers do not contribute to a low torque value but improve the shaft integrity.
An aging population of golfers with smooth swing speed requires light weight shafts. There are shafts on the market at 50-gram ultra light weight and even 45-gram sub ultra light weight range. The lighter weight increases the torque value. If less material is used for a reduced weight, there is simply less material to resist twisting. These super light weight shafts feature a thin wall and are made from high-quality materials to avoid breakage. These light weight shafts are high-performance shafts despite their higher torque values.
A higher torque may also benefit your game if you tend to fade, push or slice the ball. Additional torque helps you to close the club face and will not resist it.
How Important is Torque?
When evaluating a shaft, there are 4 criteria: Weight, Flex, Torque and Kick Point. Weight is of major concern, torque is ranking third in importance. To achieve a super light weight design, shaft manufacturer allows for a higher torque value.
What Torque Value is good for you?
A low torque shaft may not be a good solution for every golfer.
- Your swing speed is low, consistent ball strike: Medium torque, light to medium weight, Senior to R-Flex
- Your swing speed is low, inconsistent ball strike: Mid to high torque, light to medium weight, Senior to R-Flex
- Average swing speed, consistent ball strike: Medium torque, medium weight, R-Flex
- Average swing speed, inconsistent ball strike: Mid to high torque, medium weight, R-Flex
- High swing speed, consistent ball strike: Low torque, heavier weight, Stiff flex
- High swing speed, inconsistent ball strike: Mid to low torque, medium heavy weight, Stiff Flex
The torque itself does not cause control problems of your shaft. The main culprit is the longer club length, i.e. the club is too long for you to handle or that the club weight is too light for your high swing speed. You may check our latest arrived golf club components here!