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From the Magazine

Explaining how a shaft bends during the golf swing

June 14, 2021

Golf biomechanist Sasho Mackenzie’s research with Ping reveals how a shaft bends during the swing and how that bending affects clubhead speed.

In the illustration above, the yellow shaft represents the typical bending compared with the theoretical unbending blue shaft. During the downswing, the shaft bends back (called "lag"). Near impact, the shaft bends down ("droop") and then toward the target ("lead").

MacKenzie's research found that forward bend (called "kick velocity") increased more with flexible shafts than with stiffer shafts—but not for all players.

Even though kick velocity might increase, the overall clubhead speed didn't change because that forward-bending effect causes the hands to slow down.

Says MacKenzie, "There's not really a great way to be able to predict who is going to get that clubhead speed."

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