What differentiates a good golfer from a great one? Have you always wondered what gives certain players an edge over you even though you consider yourself equally skilled?
The answer to this mystery lies within a very important, albeit often overlooked aspect – the contents of your golf bag.
Golfers carry a variety of different golf clubs – each of them serving a special purpose. One such type of club is called a wedge - perhaps the most decisively important one as studies show that a quarter of the game is played with a wedge.
The performance of a wedge is highly dependent on the shaft that is equipped with it. This is because the shaft affects factors such as spin, loft, angle, and accuracy.
Considering how important a wedge is, you as a player will always want to use the best wedge shafts with your wedge head as it can greatly improve your performance and give you the edge that you have been missing.
In this article, we will give you a rundown of the things you need to consider before purchasing a shaft for your wedge. We’ll also review a few such shafts that we think are among the finest.
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What To Look Before Buying A Wedge Shaft?
Weight And Wall Thickness
The weight of the shaft that you require greatly depends on your playstyle and wedge preferences. Shafts perform differently depending on the shot you want to play. For instance, weight affects the ball path as heavier shafts lead to a lower ball trajectory whereas lighter shafts do the opposite.
Wedges are used mainly for pitching. Thus, a heavier type is preferable as they are firmer and give you more control. A lightweight shaft is better when using wedges with higher lofts, delivering shots with higher flight and more backspin. This is ideal if you want a shot with a greater loft with lesser travel.
Another shot type where a wedge may be used is chipping. A thin-walled shaft would give you greater responsiveness for partial and finesse chips when using a wedge clubhead.
The common choice for materials is graphite and steel. Each has its ups and downs.
Steel ones are much more durable but they are heavier and have high vibrational feedback which can be stingy to your hands after mis-hits. Lighter graphite ones reduce this feedback. These less durable graphite types are generally more expensive.
Newer material types in the market are multi-material ones made of a steel-graphite combination and lightweight titanium. They offer similar support as their steel counterparts. If you aren’t interested in experimenting, our suggestion is to stick to the commonly used materials.
During a swing, the club bends due to the rotation speed. The amount of bend is dependent on the Shaft-Flex which is a rating that indicates flexibility.
A common misconception regarding flexibility is that increased accuracy is achieved by extra stiff ones. For optimal accuracy, you need to choose a flexibility rating that suits your swing speed.
Lower flexibility is desirable for faster swing speeds. The top wedge shaft for beginners is usually the ones with a higher shaft flex as they are convenient for less powerful swings.
You can have an expert analyze your swing speeds and recommend you the most-suited rating for your playstyle.
Torque is measured in degrees and it is defined as the twisting movement on the shaft when swinging. This is due to the clubhead applying a force causing it to twist. It also affects how soft or smooth the club feels.
Another way to define torque is the resistance to the torsional forces caused by the clubhead twisting around a shaft.
An extra stiff type with a high torque can feel whippy. This is because the torque is completely independent of the flexibility. Higher torque values result in lower ball trajectory and vice-versa.
Flex-Point Or Kick-Point
Another feature that affects the ball trajectory is the point at which bending occurs during swings. The lower the flex-point or kick-point, the higher the trajectory.
It is like an inverse-relationship and it can be explained by visualizing the shaft as two separate pieces connected by a string. If the lower piece is smaller, it moves faster relative to the upper part that is held by hand and launches the ball higher.
This also implies that a shaft with low flex-point and low torque will result in a higher ball trajectory than the one with either of the options. Different combinations let you change the trajectory as desired.
Shorter lengths give you more control over the shots. On the other hand, longer ones let you swing faster and launch the ball to greater distances. We advise that you choose the longest length that doesn't cause you to lose significant control. This would aid you in making accurate long-distance hits.
The most important factor to consider before making the choice is your height and the distance from your wrists to ground. Ensuring that the length is suited for your posture before you make your purchase will save you an awkward trip to return an uncomfortable product.
Our Top 7 Best Wedge Shaft Reviews In 2021
1. Fujikura Vista Pro 60
Fujikura has always specialized in the creation of durable shafts, often incrementing a collection of favorable technology in their creations. Moreover, the vista pro series is often considered their tour trusted ace with exceptional performance.
This shaft is no exception. A hybrid shaft made primarily from graphite, this shaft features an innovative build design technology called “cage”. It is named so due to its construction where the graphite shaft fibers in the outer walls are surrounded by a rigid cage-like structure.
This results in the shaft to have thinner and lighter walls that pack the same control and feel mimicking those of heavier wedge shafts. Another feature called the "Maximum Fiber Content" ensures that it offers greater strength and stiffness to its users compared to shafts belonging to a similar weight class.
This greatly enhances the stability and balance of this shaft when slotted into your wedge head. You’ll be guaranteed to improve long-distance shots and ultimately your gameplay.
Moreover, this product looks amazing as it boasts trendy tour aesthetics and a great design with vivid colors. The look is sure to raise a few questions from your peers and your wedge game will be considerably improved if you are using it right.
2. Dynamic Gold True Temper Shaft .355 Taper Tip
Just by looking at this product you will be spoilt for choices. You can choose the compatible length for a wide range of irons and wedges. The shafts offered in this package belong to the well-known dynamic gold series.
You may think about why there are 3 stiff flex ones. It’s because the products are weight sorted. The 130 gram S300 is the standard of the three. As they are produced with a ± 2 grams tolerance, the ones that are lighter are the S200 and heavier ones are labeled S400.
One of their exceptional features is the use of True Temper’s variable wall technology. Usually, it is extremely difficult to determine what the top-notch wedge shaft is due to how different they perform. In this case, the variable wall technology makes it one of the favorites of pros.
These models have a constant mass throughout its body due to this feature that also allows them to have a high kick-point. It maintains the center of gravity approximately at the same position as the center of mass, providing a uniform feel.
Such characteristics mean that they produce similar effects with different swing speeds. This makes them very suitable for moderate speed swingers and players who change their swing speeds throughout a game.
All the models in the series have very similar weights and hence improve consistency. They are designed for a low-launch angle and deliver decreased backspin to the ball. This set of top-notch shafts make the perfect set for players wanting more control and stability in their wedges and irons.
3. The Golf Works 3 Pack Universal Golf Shaft Extensions
The Golfworks has been manufacturing different components for golf equipment for many years. The experience in this very industry has allowed the brand to produce superior quality products for concurrent requirements.
What do you do if you have ordered a shaft with the wrong length? Your answer would most likely be to return it. However, sometimes this isn't feasible. For instance, when you have already played many rounds with it and then start to feel that the length is not convenient.
Another case could be that you love the shaft but can't find a suitable length. Moreover, either getting a custom-fitted club is too expensive or the brand doesn't offer custom fitting for that specific model.
There are multiple reasons when golfers need an instrument such as this. This product is not exactly a wedge shaft itself. Rather they are shaft extenders which are universal fits that go with any shaft type made of either graphite or steel.
This convenience and shaft support got them a spot on this list. The product comes as a 3 pack and can be used with all models in your bag. The build quality is surprisingly premium which would go with your most expensive and high performing shafts.
They are long-lasting due to precisely controlled manufacturing processes. Fitting one of these is easy as pie. All you have to do is add epoxy and insert it to the butt end of the shaft.
Then insert the tapered plug included into the extender until it fits the inner diameter. It can also shrink when fitting into models with a smaller inner diameter.
4. KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 Taper Tip
KBS is the best wedge shaft in the market and they are never fails to impress with their continued innovation and drive to provide golfers with fitting equipment.
Inexperienced players tend to ignore the small changes that can further lower their scores. This shaft is designed specifically to counter this issue with minuscule additions to its construction.
The high rev 2.0 is designed with an active tip section for greater accuracy. It has an increased spin optimal for providing the ball with more stopping power when landing in the green. The increased backspin is apparent even with partial swing shots.
This model increases the effective loft of any wedge to increase the launch angle. It is optimized for higher launches which would allow you to make some impressive pitch shots. The golf ball will land close enough for you to grab your putter for the next stroke.
A decrease in thickness from the butt to tip is the main design feature that makes the shaft capable of mid-launch angles and increasing the rpm of the ball.
Despite being designed for higher trajectory shots, it gives a similar feel and responsiveness as those having a lower trajectory. Players appreciate the responsive feel after every stroke with it and the consistency of the shots.
Being able to provide exceptional performance in the short game, this can be easily considered one of the most effective shafts for playing around the greens.
5. KBS C-Taper 130 X-Flex
KBS is a brand well known for its top quality products resulting from their extensive research, testing and feedback from tour players. They have also been praised for the ability to prove their claims.
Belonging to one of the finest iron shaft series in the market, the C-taper 130 X-Flex greatly enhances the performance of fast swingers with unmatched accuracy. The rifled type is quiet and offers a very responsive feel.
This particular model consists of a carefully designed tip for launching the ball with a low trajectory and slower spins. This is to meet the needs of tour players requiring more control over backspin without compromising accuracy.
Strokes with this shaft maintain the consistency of ball trajectory even at high swing speeds. Unlike its counterparts which are convenient for either fast or slow speed, this model allows players to vary their swing speed.
This eliminates the need to change to another type of club while maintaining the same level of accuracy. It’s also different regarding looks, the surface is matte or brushed silver unlike the usual shiny appearance of steel shafts.
Steel used as a material gives it greater durability and the stepless design provides a smoother feel. It is a well-designed product and proves that the brand is focused on providing players the desired equipment.
Overall, this is a great product that qualifies as one of the high end wedge shafts for backspin. It massively increases control on the spin given to the ball while simultaneously improving accuracy.
6. Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Shafts True Temper
The Dynamic gold series is among the most popular shafts fitted with wedges and irons in professional games. They are usually manufactured with variable wall technology and have weight tolerances of ± 2 g.
This is a tight tolerance but expert tour players can feel the slight difference of even a few grams. True Temper approached to tackle this by releasing the tour issue models which are produced with ± 0.5 g weight tolerances.
The products are as identical possible to one another. They are quite similar to their standard counterparts in most other aspects. You have the option to choose between S400 and X100 tour issue variants when ordering this product.
It is difficult to find any other product with a stiff flex that is as heavy as the S400. It weighs 132 g, just 2 grams heavier than the X100. If you prefer a more flexible type without any decrease in weight then the S400 is exactly what you are looking for.
The X100 has extra stiff flex suited for low trajectory and penetrating ball flight. The term penetrating refers to a low trajectory swing technique that is especially effective with short distances and shots into the wind. Their similar weights improve the consistency of strokes.
Players tend to use heavier shafts during tour games to have more control and make accurate strokes. Both these models have a 355 tapered tip and a high kick point. They offer increased responsiveness and reduced backspin and are optimized for low launch angles.
7. KBS C-Taper 120 Stiff Flex Steel Wedge Shaft
Kim Braly, the founder of KBS is an expert in shaft technology and has been working in the field since the ’70s.
He is the man behind the development of the technology of “Frequency Measure” and “Planar Oscillation” which has been used to make iron shafts of exceptional characteristics.
So you can rest assured knowing that KBS understands their trade well. This model we’re discussing belongs to the underestimated C-Taper series. There are several technologies embedded in this model.
Advanced constant taper technology results in a greater mass close to the tip which increases the distance even at very low launch angles. Furthermore, low launch angles allow for shots with penetrating/piercing ball path.
The tip section is firm and encourages low to mid-ball trajectory and increases stability. The center of gravity of the shaft is located at a high position allowing for very fast swing speeds.
One of the disadvantages of steel as a material for shafts is their vibrational feedback. C-tapers are commended by players for being quiet. This is achieved by uniform loading and unloading throughout the shaft, providing a smooth feel.
Another feature that players appreciate is how pleasing its appearance is and how well it looks in combination with aesthetic irons and wedges. They are stepless and with a satin finish, a visual charm to golfers.
There isn’t much to debate about the fact that this is a durable, sleek steel shafts. The manufacturers claim that it delivers a 5% Lower trajectory, 5% reduced backspin and a 5% increase in distance.
We can consider it to be one of the best wedge shafts as several testers have experimented with the product to verify these claims. Fascinatingly, all have concluded their experiments with a positive feedback.
Benefits Of A Wedge Shaft
Specialized shaft for wedges appeared around a time when regulations on wedge grooves limited the backspin wedges could deliver.
It didn't take much time for the brands to realize that this compromise could be countered by using suitable shafts. Below are listed some of the benefits these shafts offer-
Increase Ball Spin
They are more flexible near the clubhead. This design feature increases the angle of attack and the loft of the wedge. It serves the very purpose of a wedge shaft which is to increase the spin of the ball.
If you are wondering why spin matters, higher rpm means that the ball has more stopping power and is less likely to roll far from the landing position.
Adjusting Launch Angles
The main factor that affects the launch angle is the wedge. The fact that the shaft also plays an important role should not be overlooked. For instance, a lightweight, low-flex, low kick-point shaft allows you to maximize the launch angle when pitching.
They Provide Greater Control
The characteristics of a shaft need to be chosen according to one's comfort. Wedges are used in the short game where accuracy is crucial.
Therefore, it is essential at such a stage of the game to have the right features to land the ball as close as possible to the flag. Always check for the wedge shaft reviews from the users to find out how they actually perform in the field.
Range Of Options
Just like other shafts, wedge shafts also have lots of variations in designs as manufacturers have recognized the importance of it and made available tons of options. This gives players such great flexibility when using wedges. They can choose one according to their convenience and playing style.
Great For Both Beginners And Amateurs
Top-level golfers are seen using fewer options when it comes to shafts. This is just to maintain consistency. Less experienced players focus more on improving their accuracy and require more options to achieve that.
Wedge shafts give the varying options they need to experiment before reaching to a final comfort zone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Should I Use The Same Shaft Irons And Wedges?
Some professional players do this to maintain the same "feel" for each stroke. We would like to stress on the fact that they are the pros and not everyone benefits from doing this.
Instead, you can use shaft and club combinations that have similar weights. This gives you a feel of consistency while improving your game.
Q2. How Much Importance Should I Pay While Choosing The Right Shafts?
Here’s an overview of what you can achieve by changes in shafts that affect each shot.
For more accurate shots use heavier and stiffer types. This gives you more control. Using a more flexible, lighter one lets you land the ball at greater distances.
The flex-point/kick-point of a shaft affects the ball trajectory. You can use one with a lower flex-point for higher shots. Similarly, higher flex types lead the ball through a lower path.
Q3. Is It Necessary To Choose A Very Stiff Type For Hitting The Furthest?
Stiffer ones are the best for longer distances, but only if you can swing fast enough. Fitting an extra stiff shaft to your club doesn’t guarantee the ball traveling as far as you’d expect.
Swing speed is the major factor in this case. Slow speed swinging using low flexibility type puts you in a bad situation with inaccurate shots.
Q4. What’s The Difference Between Pitching And Chipping?
Both shots serve one purpose, getting the ball to the green. The difference is as follows:
Pitching is a short game shot where the ball has more flight time. Players pitch to minimize ground contact; for instance, when they aren’t sure of the condition of the terrain on which the ball will land.
Chip shots are played closer to the green and the ball is mostly in contact with the ground. Chipping also causes the ball to bounce a few times upon landing.
Q5. My Swing Speed Is Slow, What Kind Of Club Should I Use?
Slow swingers prefer higher flexibility with a shorter length for best results with slower speeds. To determine exactly what you need, you need to know your swing speed and then you can easily find the ideal club on the internet.
An optional way to gain more insight into your playstyle is to have an expert analyze your swing speeds and suggest what equipment is right for you.
Q6. Do I Need To Use Different Shafts For Different Wedges?
Golf is a game with large variations in the available clubs and the shafts for players. It’s how these clubs feel to the players that make a huge difference. One golfer may find it suitable to use the same shaft for more than one wedge, while another may prefer using a different one for each.
Our recommendation would be to experiment with different wedge heads and shafts to determine what improves your performance.
Q7. What Is Pureing?
PURE stands for Plane of Uniform Repeatability. It a computerized process that involves analyzing the roundness, stiffness, and straightness of a shaft and determining the best fitting orientation in a very accurate manner.
This process is still unknown to many golfers and there are controversies as to whether it’s worth the extra cost or if the technology even works.
Q8. Changing The Shaft Doesn’t Improve Backspin, What Could Be The Issue?
Other factors that affect the backspin is the swing speed and the condition of wedge grooves. Hitting with higher speeds is not the easiest way to improve spin for beginners.
Wedge grooves provide friction to the ball giving it backspin. This friction decreases when there is dirt or grass stuck between them. The same happens with usage as their condition degrades.
Regularly clean the grooves for better results. Grooves can be sharpened a few times before you need to finally replace the wedge. However, in some wedges, they are machined to maximum tolerances so they can no longer be sharpened.
Do wedge shafts matter? Yes, they do, especially if you are considerate about improving certain aspects of your wedge game. The shafts can heavily influence factors such as spin, accuracy, and angle among other things.
All of this can lead to you having improved performance and more controlled outcomes.
In this article, we have broken down the aspects of why you should be using the best wedge shafts in the market and how they would impact your golfing tours.
While we recommended a few of the top picked shafts available out there, you need to discover what works the most for you. Our buying guide can help you with that.
Passionate players should use everything available at their disposal to have themselves a perfect game of golf. Because after all, golf has become more than a casual sport, hasn’t it?