Senior Flex vs Regular Flex from Tell Me More Golf Coaches Giving You the Pros and Cons of Senior Flex Shafts

Senior Flex vs Regular Flex — Golf Coach’s Advice

Senior Flex vs Regular Flex from Tell Me More Golf Coaches Giving You the Pros and Cons of Senior Flex Shafts

As an experienced golf instructor and swing coach, I have seen firsthand how important it is to choose the correct shaft flex for your swing speed and individual swing characteristics. 

Certain shafts are better for those with “smoother” or slower swing speeds, while others work better for high clubhead speeds and quick tempos. In this article, we will take a closer look at the senior flex category of golf shafts to help you determine if they are a good fit for your game and golf swing. 

What Is Senior Flex?

Senior flex is the category of golf shaft that is one step less stiff than “regular” flex. While there are certain manufacturers that produce a “R/S” category that falls somewhere between regular and senior flex, this is less common compared to the main stiffness categories. 

The term “senior flex” is an industry term that was coined many decades ago, and this category of golf shafts is suitable for far more golfers than just senior golfers. Golf clubs with senior flex shafts are recommended for all golfers with swing speeds between 75 and 85 miles per hour

Using the right shaft flex for your unique stroke and swing speed will increase ball speed and overall carry distance, as well as optimizing the shape of the ball flight. Steel shafts are used on the majority of irons and wedges, while graphite shafts are nearly always used for drivers, woods, and hybrids

Stiff flex and extra stiff shafts are often used by lower handicappers that hit the golf ball very far, leading some people to believe that stiffer shafts lead to longer drives.

In reality, maximizing distance is all about matching the ball speed and launch angle, and many average golfers will benefit from more flexible shafts. 

The term “senior flex” became the industry name for these flexible shafts many years ago, as they were originally designed with older golfers in mind. There is also a category called “ladies flex” though both terms are being phased out by many manufacturers in exchange for a stiffness numbering system. 

In reality, there are no golf clubs or shafts that are meant to be used by an entire group of people. There is much more to a golf swing than just clubhead speed, and everything from arm length to swing tempo play a role in finding the perfect golf shaft for a swing. 


Senior Flex Vs Regular Flex Shafts

Many golfers who could seriously benefit from the extra flexibility associated with senior flex shafts instead use regular flex golf shafts. Regular flex shafts are stiffer than senior flex shafts, but more flexible when compared to stiff shafts

Two of the main reasons that golfers do not use the correct shaft flex in their golf clubs are pride and misinformation.

Many golfers are too proud to switch to senior flex golf shafts, as they believe that they are only for senior golfers or those with slow swing speeds. 

Others have been told that they are not good candidates for senior flex shafts because they are either too young or swing too hard for flexible shafts. In reality, there are dozens of factors that go into finding the ideal golf shafts, and many weekend golfers would benefit from making the switch to senior flex shafts. 

The team here at Tell Me More Golf always recommends getting a proper club fitting on a launch monitor from a certified professional when shopping for new clubs. Custom fitting will help optimize the kick point and flow of your swing leading to faster swing speeds and increased driving distance.

A proper club fitting will also help keep you in the fairway more often, and many golfers who use golf shafts too stiff for their swings end up “pushing” the ball right after contact. Having a full set of clubs with the correct driver and iron shafts can make a world of difference on the golf course, and some fittings also include wedge flex fittings. 


Pros and Cons Of Senior Flex Shafts

While there are many golfers who could benefit from making the switch to senior flex shafts, they are not a good fit for all golfers and swings. Players with higher swing speeds require a stiffer shaft, as more flexible shafts will lead to decreased distance and accuracy with hard swings. 

The same flexibility that helps those with slower swing speeds generate power becomes an issue with higher speeds, and a shaft too flexible for a given swing will not “kick” correctly at the bottom of the swing and drop into the “power pocket” erratically. 

Another issue that some golfers run into with senior flex shafts is that they can “grow out” of them as their swing improves.

Golfers who are on the borderline between senior and regular flex shafts should choose regular if they plan to take lessons and improve over time. 


Is Senior Flex Good For Beginners?

Many beginners have found that they benefit greatly from using a set of senior flex golf clubs while learning the game of golf. Flexible shafts encourage new golfers to focus on rhythm and swing mechanics rather than swinging hard for more distance. 

One of the best parts about using a set of senior flex golf clubs as a beginner is the fact that the increased flex will encourage you to swing with a slower and more controlled motion.

This will increase the chances of clean ball striking, leading to better shots and more fun on the golf course. 

A great way to start for new golfers on a budget is to purchase a set of used golf clubs with senior flex shafts. This is a great way to develop a new golf swing, and once the swing develops and skills increase, making the switch to regular flex is often the next step. 


Will Senior Flex Increase Distance?

For golfers with swing speeds between 75 and 85 miles per hour, making the switch to senior flex golf clubs will likely increase distance compared to other options. While this is not a universal rule and all swings are different, it applies to the majority of golfers in this swing speed range.

There are also golfers who use senior flex shafts to increase accuracy and find the fairway more often. These shafts allow certain golfers to slow down their golf swings and focus more on sound fundamentals, which often leads to straighter shots and lower scores.  

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Does senior flex make a difference?

The shaft of the golf club is considered by industry professionals and club fitters to be the most important part of the golf club. The shaft is like the “engine” that powers the golf club, and using the correct shaft flex is extremely important. 

Making the switch from regular to senior flex golf shafts can increase both distance and accuracy for many casual golfers, and they are suitable for much more than just older golfers. Many young golfers find that using senior flex shafts makes them better golfers and lowers their scores. 

What is the difference between senior flex and regular flex?

Regular flex golf shafts are one step stiffer compared to senior flex. There is also an option called “ladies flex” that is generally one step more flexible than senior flex shafts. It is important to note that different shaft manufacturers label shafts differently and there is no universal system for shaft stiffness. 

Do I need regular or senior flex?

The best way to figure out which shaft flex stiffness is best suited for your individual golf swing is with a proper club fitting on a launch monitor. Without a club fitting it is impossible to give universal shaft flex advice, though they are generally designed for golfers with driver swing speeds between 75 and 85 miles per hour. 

There is far more than just clubhead speed that goes into selecting the optimal shaft flex for your needs, and a certified club fitter will use many different combinations of different shaft styles and flexes to determine which gives you the optimal launch angle and most distance off the tee. 

Is senior flex stiffer than regular?

No, senior flex is one step less stiff when compared to regular flex shafts. Golfers who are looking for a shaft that is stiffer than regular should look at stiff shafts, which are generally suited for golfers with higher swing speeds. 

There are many manufacturers who are abandoning the terms “regular,” “stiff,” and “senior” flex. These terms have led to a good amount of confusion, and the preferred method for labeling shaft flex by many companies now is a numbering system. 



Senior flex golf shafts sometimes get a bad reputation within the golf community, as many uniformed golfers mistakenly believe that they are only for older golfers and those with slower swing speeds. In reality, there are many golfers who could benefit from making the switch from regular to senior flex golf shafts. Using golf clubs with the correct shaft stiffness for your swing can improve your game by both increasing distance and accuracy, leading to lower scores and better rounds of golf.


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