What is a Senior Flex Golf Shaft (vs. Stiff and Regular)?

When looking at golf club configuration and build, the golf shaft is potentially the most crucial fact. Although golfers can adjust to a club being too long or a bit too upright, the golf shaft must fit the player’s game.

I know that it took me a bit of time to find a golf shaft that was a perfect fit for my swing. However, once I did, it made all the difference.

If you are curious about a senior flex shaft, whether you are ready for it or if it is a good idea for your game, we have all the information you will need. Senior golf shafts have made the game much easier for many golfers. It is a technology that is often worth taking advantage of. 

What Is A Senior Flex Golf Shaft? 

A senior flex golf shaft is a graphite shaft built to accommodate the needs of a slower swing. Players that use a senior flex golf shaft will typically have swing speeds below 85mph. These golfers struggle to get both distance and launch. The senior flex golf shaft is almost always offered in graphite so that it has a lightweight feel. 

Senior flex golf shafts are available in everything from the pitching wedge to the driver. Many players will make the transition to the senior flex shafts as they get older. This tends to coincide with a loss in swing speed. This is what gives the senior flex shaft its name. 

senior golf swing

How Does A Senior Shaft Compare to Other Shafts? 

Several factors can help golfers decide to switch to the senior shaft. One of the most critical parts of this process is understanding the difference between senior golf shafts and other flexes.

Senior Vs. Stiff Flex

A senior flex shaft and a stiff flex shaft are made for two very different types of golfers. Senior shafts are flexible, lightweight, and easy to launch. A stiff shaft is built for a golfer with a very fast swing speed.

When a golfer has a fast swing speed, they are going to get high ball flight typically. However, they may not get very much control over their golf shots. With a stiff shaft, golfers will be able to control their shots quite a bit better. Stiff shafts help players to manipulate the ball flight as well. 

Stiff golf shafts typically come in both steel and graphite materials. The senior shaft is usually only available in graphite material. This will help ensure that it is lightweight and has the most forgiveness. 

Senior Vs. Regular Flex 

Senior golf shaft flex and regular flex can be very closely related. The senior golf shaft is typically a step down for those that have played with regular golf shafts. Some golfers that are aging will have both senior and regular flex golf shafts in their bag. 

The reason behind this is the increased speed that golfers typically have when using their drivers and fairway woods. It is not uncommon to find a bag with regular flex in the woods and drive, but senior flex in the irons. 

The regular flex shafts are typically made for swing speeds in the 80-95 mph range. The lower end of the regular flex swing speed recommendations and the higher end of the senior golfer swing speed recommendations will overlap. 

If you are a golfer who notices your game is starting to slide a little, and you can’t get the distance you once did, the senior flex is the best choice. However, for newer players that are starting to pick up a bit more speed, the regular could be the better choice. 

Senior Vs. Ladies Flex 

A ladies flex golf shaft, and a senior flex golf shaft is very similar. The ladies’ shafts tend to be softer and have higher launching capabilities; however, this is not always the case. There are so many golf shaft manufacturers out there, and they all have different specifications. 

Some ladies and senior golf shafts will be almost identical in the performance that they can offer. However, it is essential to remember that most of the time, the ladies’ golf clubs will be shorter in length. If you are a golfer switching to something with lots of flexibility like a ladies golf shaft, make sure that it is the right length for you. 

Who Should Use Senior Flex Shafts? 

Senior golf shafts are obviously built for senior golfers, but there is more to it than that. Here are some factors that will help you decide if a senior golf shaft is a perfect fit for your golf game. 

Swing Speed Between 75-85 MPH 

Senior golfers with a swing speed between 75-85 mph will benefit greatly from the senior flex golf shaft. If you are not sure what your swing speed is, the best idea is to go and get your swing speed measured on a golf launch monitor.

Chances are, when you are getting your speeds measured, there will be regular and senior flex shafts available for you to try and practice with. A swing speed between 75 and 85 mph is still plenty of speed to enjoy the game of golf and play well. 

Ensuring that the proper equipment is in a player’s hands can help expand the length of any golf career. If you are a senior golfer frustrated with your swing speed continuing to decrease, the senior shaft could help bring the fun back to the game. 

Drive Distance Around 180

If you are playing a regular golf shaft and hitting the ball around 180 yards, it is likely time to switch to the senior shaft. By going with the higher launching, lighter, softer senior golf shaft, the difference in the distance could be an extra 15-20 yards. 

What golfer would complain about getting an extra 10-15 yards simply by putting a new club in their hands. Driving distance is a key factor in the ability to score low. When you can start your hole off with enough distance to reach the green in two shots, the entire round gets easier. 

When switching to a senior shaft, ensure that the driver has specific characteristics and functionality that increase distance. For some players, this means going with a non-adjustable driver head that cuts down on overall weight. 

Low Launching 

Although you may think the lower ball flight golf drives that roll on the ground for yards are going further, they are not. Trust me on this one. I have tried this on a launch monitor over and over again. The longer that you can keep a golf ball in the air, the further it will go. 

Of course, a drive trajectory can be too high, but this is typically only a problem for those that have very fast swing speeds. Senior golfers tend to start hitting the ball too low because their swing speed is slowing down. 

The only way to help this is to add more loft to the driver or get a more flexible shaft that increases launch. The problem with adding more loft to the driver’s club head is that it can actually decrease the overall distance. 

Most experts will agree that if you have issues with the low launching types of golf shots, it is best to look into a new shaft before you try changing the club head. 

Older In Age and New To The Game 

The name senior golf shaft does suggest that these clubs are best for golfers that getting up there in age. However, not all seniors are going to need the senior flex shaft. For players new to the game and older in age, chances are the senior shaft will have better specifications than any other golf shaft option on the market. 

However, if you are a senior player that still hits the ball over 200 yards and has a faster swing speed, the regular shat could still be the best choice. 

Is Senior Flex Good For Beginners? 

A senior flex can be an excellent choice for a new player who is older or lacks a bit of strength. The senior flex shaft is a terrible idea for a college kid who plays baseball and runs marathons on the side. 

For new golfers, the amount of forgiveness in a golf club is the most important factor. If you want more forgiveness, you will need to choose something built explicitly to the needs of a beginner player. 

Senior golf sets for beginners make it easier to get the ball in the air. In addition, the clubs will likely be made more of a hybrid type technology as opposed to a players blade style golf club. Senior flex can be an excellent choice for beginners with slower swing speeds and can benefit from this type of technology. 


I hope you feel you have a better understanding of what a senior flex golf shaft is and whether or not it could be a good fit for your golf game. The overall benefits of a senior flex golf shaft include increased launch, added forgiveness, and a lighter feel. If these factors could positively influence your game, it is worth looking into the readily available senior flex golf shafts. 

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Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli is the founder of TopRankGolf, a passionate golfer with decades of experience playing this amazing sport. He's dedicated to helping golfers learn, improve and enjoy the game of golf.