What 7-iron swing speed = stiff shaft?

13/11/2009 at 10:32

Hi all,

As in the title, what 7-iron swing speed equates to a stiff shaft?

I have been to two fitting centres in recent months and been measured as a 7-iron swing speed of between 75-80 mph..which both centres stated was regular.

I was watching a vector session the other night and the pro, who was knocking a 6-iron nearly 200 yards had a swing speed of 83mph and he was using a very stiff shaft!

Is it really a case of a couple of miles per hour makes *that* much difference when it comes to shafts??

13/11/2009 at 10:49

83mph with a 6i wouldn't amount too 'nearly 200yds'. I would say you would be fine with a regular shaft. What kind of ballflight do you get?

13/11/2009 at 11:07
nickGT wrote (see)

83mph with a 6i wouldn't amount too 'nearly 200yds'. I would say you would be fine with a regular shaft. What kind of ballflight do you get?

Nick, I was standing watching the swing and the Vector stats and trust me..it showed a swing speed of 83mph and a total distance of 199.6 yards! This was with a 6-iron.

As for my ball flight - Quite high, but with too much backspin..and it is that I need to lower with a conjunction of lessons and equipment.

Edited: 13/11/2009 at 11:09
13/11/2009 at 11:09
JC wrote (see)
nickGT wrote (see)

83mph with a 6i wouldn't amount too 'nearly 200yds'. I would say you would be fine with a regular shaft. What kind of ballflight do you get?

Nick, I was standing watching the swing and the Vector stats and trust me..it showed a swing speed of 83mph and a total distance of 199.6 yards! This was with a 6-iron.

I'd think that the vector will need re-calibrating if that is the result it is showing for 83 mph with a 6i.
13/11/2009 at 11:21

Well, it showed what it showed

Anyway..back to the original question..What 7-iron speed equates to a stiff shaft?

13/11/2009 at 11:30

My swing speed is about the same - 75 -80mph - and i've just been fitted for ping fairways and hybrids - and have got soft regular graphite shafts - these give me more height and therefore more distance. And the ball fairly whizzes off the face and sounds wonderful - and it goes straight

I'm also using Srixon Soft Feel balls - which are designed for swingspeed under 80mph.

Think you'd also benefit from softer shafts

Think they used to be called Senior flex - but apply to younger golfers too

13/11/2009 at 11:43
I know I can't hit really soft shafts, because I tend to hook them all over the place
13/11/2009 at 14:03
The set of Aldila PKP shafts I used to have on my clubs were swing rated at 83-90mph rather than Stiff and I know that they are now to stiff for me and I now play regular shafts. Last time I was swing speed checked it was around the 70-80 mph mark with irons and 108 mph with a driver.
13/11/2009 at 14:56


Possibly..however it wasn't me having the lesson!

I was just bogging at the guy (who worked there) hammering balls into the distance!

So unless he was just showing off (though nobody was actually officially watching), then what was the point of having it display dodgy stats?

13/11/2009 at 15:43

Just test the shafts and see whats best for you.

Swing speed isn't the only relative variable IMO. If you load the shaft excessively in your transition you may need a stiffer shaft.

I really dont understand though why you are 2nd guessing 2 professionals. Playing a stiffer shaft in your golf clubs doesn't make your penis bigger and it doesnt make you a better golfer. (just wanted to clear those 2 rumours up)

13/11/2009 at 16:06

I was recently fitted for new irons and a swing speed of 75mph put me in regular flex. Different brands of regular flex gave different launch angle, ball speed and spin rate all of which had an effect on carry distance.

I started with a launch angle of around 11 deg., ball speed 100mph with low spin rate(3000 ish) and carry of 152ish and settled for launch around 17 deg., ball speed 110, spin 5500+ and carry around 160. All from the same 75mph swing speed with "regular flex" shafts.  

13/11/2009 at 16:19

As well as swing speed you'll need to bear in mind your height.

If you need lengthened shafts you MAY need them stiffer than would normally be the case to stop the club feeling like a brick on a  licqourice stick.

My Mizuno MP30s are 2" over standard length with a stiff shaft and Mizuno fitted lighter swing weight heads to avoid this problem.

My advice is to get the clubs custom fitted, many manufacturers do it free or take the cost off the price of set of irons if you order them. It's well worth it.

13/11/2009 at 16:43

OK - here's the reason I am asking this question.

Those who fllow my posts will know that I have been fitted by two different manufacturers in recent months.

Primarily based on the stats from one of these, I purchased a set of their irons (also somewhat enticed by a stonking promotion)

My existing 7-year old Mizunos have a S300 shaft in them, yet both fitting sessions spec'd me as a R300

Anyway when the new bats arrived, I instantly noticed a problem on the course. I was consistently hitting a club, if not 2 more than I had previously

So what? I hear you ask.

Well, the Trackman stats of this particular "fitting" showed figures some 20 yards superior to the other fitting and to a recent independent fitting, indicating that I should have been hitting these a club *further* - not 2 less!!

Given I had purchased these clubs under somewhat false pretences, I have contacted the manufacturer, provided evidence of the independent fitting (which also tested my old Mizunos as a control and these matched my other fitting) and have returned the clubs to them for verification that they have been built as specified (1/2" longer, 2º upright, regular shafts)

If they have been built to spec, then I will be demanding a full refund as the fitting session was more of a "fitting up" one.

One of my concerns though, is that with the new clubs, I had a tendency to snap-hook, which I have never suffered from before...reverting to the stiff-shaft old clubs cured this instantly. That's why I was asking about shafts.

13/11/2009 at 16:54

I visited my local American Golf Discount and bombed the new Cobra driver 375 odd yards on the their launch monitor.  I found this very misleading.........Then I figured I must have topped it or something.

and Stiff shafts do make your penis bigger!

13/11/2009 at 19:59

i have roughly the same swing speed as the 200+ 6 iron and my average carry was 165.

With 82mph i was on the border of stiff/regular, but to get to the 4000rpm spin i had to go for the stiffs

Edited: 13/11/2009 at 20:03
13/11/2009 at 21:46
pasty wrote (see)
So, you've gone from S to R based on recent fittings.   Based on 75-80mph I would suggest that is fine so I wouldn't worry about that.

Just to summarise what's happened, you've had a few fittings, and on the basis of one of them bought some clubs which are giving you a couple of clubs LESS distance.

My 2 questions to cover the bases would be:

1.   With the fitting that persuaded you to order the irons, did you use your Mizunos as a control (as you did with an independent fitting)?   If not, that's where the problem could be, and as you suggest, the results could be misleading.

2.   The fitting (what went with the order) recommended R300, did you get R300 with the order or did they swap for another shaft (maybe hence the great deal)?


I did take my old clubs to the second fitting, but the guy only got me to hit a couple of shots as a warm up and never measured them on the Trackman!

I did get the R300 (at least that's what the stickers on the shafts said) and the deal was to do with a promotion the company are still running.

The problem with the fitting (apart from the obvious) is that the range markers weren't very prominent and the custom fitting bay was at the very end of the range, hitting to the very edge of the measured area, which was partially obscured by a copse of trees. This made it very difficult to accurately gauge carry distance

13/11/2009 at 21:46

Why all of the talk about swing speed and shaft flex ? I thought that there was more to it than that, ie transition, tempo and preferred ball flight.

As for believing the flight monitors ???????? Unless you are using your own clubs with known distances then I wouldn't believe them. I would be willing to bet that the "operator" can input certain constants, for eg temp (warmer = longer distance), wind speed and direction (10mph wind behind giving more distance), altitude (same again).

Would a salesman be so dishonest to manipulate these numbers to get a sale ???? Surely NO salesman would do sucha thing.

14/11/2009 at 00:36

You could be right

Edit: Upon reflection, this wasn't the problem - it just prevented me from noticing the *real* problem, which was an erroneous at best and deliberately misleading at worst, Trackman set up!

Edited: 14/11/2009 at 00:48
14/11/2009 at 00:56

Looking at the Trackman stats, the setup appears pretty benign

No Wind

75º F Temp

Altitude - 0 yds

Humidity 75%

Pressure 1013 mbar

I have no idea if the last two are likely to produced skewed readings

One of the major differences in the Trackman stats (apart from the increased distance, is that my swing speed is in the 79 - 82 mph range, rather than the 75 - 80 range on the other tests.

14/11/2009 at 08:05

Yeah, the independent session tested both sets of clubs side by side.

The Mizunos distances were consistent with my normal distances and verified the Mizuno fitting readings.

The new clubs however contradicted the fitting stats by some 20 yards..which is what I was seeing on the course.

Last week, I also took the Mizunos out on the course and instantly began hitting the sort of clubs and distances I had been in the past!!


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