Shaft 101: TORQUE
News

Shaft 101: TORQUE

Support our Mission. We independently test each product we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

Shaft 101: TORQUE

What exactly is torque? Should I care?

The first one is straightforward. The second, however, can get a bit convoluted.

The exact language varies but, in the realm of golf shafts, torque is a number (measurement) that communicates how much a shaft twists under a prescribed amount of force. The lower the torque number, the greater the resistance. And vice versa. For example, a piece of rebar would have very little torque whereas braided rope would produce a much higher number.

TORQUE BASICS

The amount of torque a shaft has doesn’t matter. Or, more accurately, torque isn’t universally applicable. Lower torque isn’t better. And higher torque isn’t bad. It’s not like counting calories.

That aside, the conventional thinking that higher swing speed golfers who produce more force throughout a swing can benefit from shafts with less torque has merit. But it’s not exclusively true.

Just as the inverse—that slower swing speed golfers always require shafts with greater torque—isn’t entirely accurate either.

So what is the correct answer? As you likely expected, it depends.

Most every piece of golf equipment has measurable characteristics: loft, lie, face angle, weight, balance point, etc.

This creates equal parts clarity and confusion. Plenty of characteristics are subject to uniform measurement systems. For example, loft is measured in degrees. Weight is recorded in grams. And pretty much everyone abides by the same system.

But torque is different.

COMPLICATIONS

Somewhere along the line, you might have heard that lower torque shafts are more accurate. Or that they are better at resisting forces during the swing. That type of industry language can lead golfers to conclude that “less is more.” That is: less torque is preferable to more torque. And that simply isn’t true.

Ultimately, the goal should be to properly match the golfer to their ideal specifications.

Further complicating matters, manufacturers don’t use the same protocols for measuring shaft torque. There isn’t a single industry standard that determines which portions of the shaft should be measured and how much force should be applied. Most companies measure torque based on the tip section of the shaft. But without consistent norms, consumers can’t make any meaningful comparisons between brands or even shafts within the same brand. Moreover, terms like “low torque” or “mid torque” are, at best, a generic guide.

As a result, companies can massage results to fit the narrative they want. For example, let’s say the goal is to produce a shaft with 3.5 degrees of torque. To achieve a predetermined outcome, the manufacturer applies the desired amount of force to the selected section of the tip. So torque can be a contrived metric rather than an actual measurement of a potentially meaningful specification. It would be like writing down your 18-hole score on the first tee and then playing the round of golf.

I’m not suggesting every shaft manufacturer is complicit or that every brand misrepresents torque values to deceive golfers. But it does happen. And it helps explain why the universal term might not be worth the weight some golfers assign to it.

APPLICATIONS

Arguably, the most interesting current application of torque in the shaft industry is Fujikura’s work around variable torque.

It stands to reason that before you can vary something, you first must measure it. To accomplish this, Fujikura utilizes a proprietary machine that determines two sets of torque values. The first is a composite total torque. Let’s say that number turns out to be 4.2 degrees. The same machine also helps engineers determine how each section of the shaft (butt, mid, tip) contributes to that total number. To clarify, shafts do not have uniform torque. Put differently, the torque measurement in the tip section is not the same as the butt or mid-section.

The application of this line of thinking is that Fujikura can alter the torque profile of each section of the shaft to accomplish specific performance goals. Speeder NX is the first Fujikura shaft to feature Variable Torque Core technology. With Speeder NX, Fujikura focused on stiffening torque in the tip and handle/butt sections. In player testing on Enso, Fujikura’s proprietary 3D-motion capture system, Speeder NX helped golfers better control dynamic loft and face closure rates.

In addition, the recently launched Ventus TR employs a similar, though more isolated, strategy. Specifically, Fujikura utilized a nearly weightless Spread Tow carbon fabric to increase the torsional stiffness in the handle section.

Fujikura isn’t claiming that the thinking is revolutionary. Torque and its role in shaft design aren’t anything new. That said, quantifying torque over the length of the shaft using modern technology is significant. Taking it a step further, Fujikura is applying this information to provide golfers with a more extensive library of shafts to better address the unique swing characteristics of a wider array of players.

If we agree that no two golfers swing the same, it seems reasonable that a greater variety of shaft profiles can only be a good thing. Right?

What questions do you have about torque? Or other shaft topics? Let us know.

For You

For You

Putters
Feb 22, 2024
Toulon First Run Putter Line
Partner Content
Feb 22, 2024
What Club Should You Use to Get Up and Down?
adidas tour360 24 adidas tour360 24
Golf Shoes
Feb 22, 2024
adidas TOUR360 24: The Return of an Icon
Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris is a self-diagnosed equipment and golf junkie with a penchant for top-shelf ice cream. When he's not coaching the local high school team, he's probably on the range or trying to keep up with his wife and seven beautiful daughters. Chris is based out of Fort Collins, CO and his neighbors believe long brown boxes are simply part of his porch decor. "Isn't it funny? The truth just sounds different."

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Driver PING G410 LST Fairway Cobra SZ
Hybrids PXG (17°) Irons Mizuno MP 20
Wedges Vokey SM8 (50F - 56D - 60L) Putter Whatever floats
Ball Titliest Pro V1x
Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel

Chris Nickel





    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

      Vic

      9 months ago

      There is a golf shaft testing website.

      Reply

      Jimmy Choo

      2 years ago

      I think torque of a shaft affect greatly on those golfer that played a roll over swing (open club face on up swing and swing down to close face)? Can’t see much effect on those golfer that apply the straight down swing (Club face maintain square throughout the swing). But again, I am not sure.

      Reply

      James T

      2 years ago

      Chris, what do you suppose the torque of a hickory shaft would be? Has anyone ever measured that?

      Reply

      WYBob

      2 years ago

      Chris: as you point out, there are no industry standards when it comes to shafts. This is an area where MGS could add some real value by creating a Shaft Lab similar the the MGS Ball Lab. Y’all could test and verify frequency numbers (flex), shaft torque, bend points, shaft quality, etc. If shafts for testing are difficult to come by, y’all should consider a collaboration with someone like TXG. They have entire walls of shafts, and could do in club testing for spin numbers, flight, etc. (they have previously done many shafts reviews on their YouTube Channel). Just a suggestion.

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      2 years ago

      I’ve always wanted to do something like this – need to look into the costs a bit more, but I think you’re 100% correct in that this could be quite valuable information for consumers.

      Reply

      KJC

      2 years ago

      How does torque effect dispersion?

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      2 years ago

      Entirely depends on the player and how they swing the club. Torque is one of many factors golfers should consider when getting fit for a shaft.

      That said, you’ve possibly heard that “lower torque shafts are more accurate.” This line of thinking is anything but conventional.

      Reply

      Jon

      2 years ago

      The world can’t decide on a size 9 shoe consistency so not sure why we thing golf manufacturers would bother – just test everything and pick the one that suits your game. ie shoes, wow these are comfy

      Reply

      Trusty Rusty

      2 years ago

      Oh they have, it’s just that some manufacturers build their shoes to fit the masses to sell more shoes ( Nike for example & even some lower-end footjoy models) the fit suffers, the toe box is very open, width is wider. Performance brands take a more serious approach to an athletic fit, matching it to performance, rather than someone who wears their shoes untied and bought too big. For this reason, alone many manufacturers use different “lasts” of a size 9 when designing shoes. The two largest manufacturers that adhere to performance 1st is Adidas and higher-end FootJoy models. It comes to no surprise how well they do when reviewed here. Im sure golf shafts are the same way in instances of golf talent. .

      Reply

      mackdaddy9

      2 years ago

      For me torque and kick point are the most important parts of the shaft. I play an Accra Tour Z TZ6 55 M3 The torque is 2.7 and the kick point launches the ball a bit higher. Accra don’t mark a flex on their shafts, M3 is basically a regular flex shaft. My friend who plays and x flex shaft with 3.9 torque wanted to try it because I was out driving him and he is 15 years younger than me. I didn’t say anything to him about the shaft and he hit it great. because his toe mis didn’t hook as much. I love the shaft because my miss is I pull my arms in tight and then hit it off the toe. The torque keeps me in play on those shots.

      Reply

      David

      2 years ago

      Like any industry, need standards

      UL, USDA, OSHA, etc

      Reply

      Gerry T

      2 years ago

      Sadly the Golf club component industry had been seriously lagging there.

      Reply

      Hopp

      2 years ago

      Isn’t torque just a mathematical equation. In theory the equation is the equation so it should be the same from manufacturer to manufacturer. I suppose where they are measuring the torque at on the shaft could influence the numbers, but it should be relatively consistent unless they are gaming the system.

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      2 years ago

      Theoretically, you’re correct. But there are no industry standards, so companies are free to measure how each sees fit.

      It’s like saying that because the concept of addition is simple, then everyone should agree that 4 + 4 = 8. But, what if a company prefers the answer to be 6? Then, it’s just 4 + 2. Still addition…but moving the goalposts.

      Reply

      John Ball

      2 years ago

      Geeked me out there, Chris.

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      2 years ago

      Sorry….tried to keep it relatively simple….if you have questions, hmu.

      Reply

      GilB

      2 years ago

      Since we have governing bodies like the R & A and the USGA setting limits in just about everything to have a “standard”, why don’t we have a governing body that standardizes all facets of the shafts, i.e. torque, flex, etc that requires all testing to be the same at the same locations to get these numbers. They have a standard for max length so why not the other measurements?

      Reply

      Gerry T

      2 years ago

      I agree ????! We need consistency between shafts and even lofts so that suppliers of shafts and club head components so we have industry standards. That way, instead of worrying about not playing the same lofts, we can be rest assured that the lofts in various brands are the same across the board as are the shaft swing weights and kick points. This is where we need consistency. We expect the same with grips so why not the rest of the components?

      Reply

      Chris Nickel

      2 years ago

      Toothpaste is out of the tube on that one, I’m afraid. But there’s still the opportunity for a central clearing house that tests, measures and assesses every shaft on the market and creates a database with all of this information.

      Perhaps cost aversive to do so….but who knows?

      David

      2 years ago

      Those BGT putter shafts that are apparently zero torque, are they nonsense then? The company charge too much for their shafts but recon more putts easily made due to zero torque

      Reply

      WBN

      2 years ago

      How much torque can you apply to a putter shaft? Is it really a cause for concern or just a marketing ploy?

      Reply

      Terry

      2 years ago

      Thanks Chris, this is an article best read on a rainy day in south Texas, if we ever get one ! What % of golfers really think of torque, especially since going from company to company there are no set standards, or is it just really another gimmick, that is best applied to 2% of golfers out there, or are there more important things when looking for a club, but I understand that everyone wants to score like tiger, but then reality kick in,is good reading, Thanks!!

    Leave A Reply

    required
    required
    required (your email address will not be published)

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Putters
    Feb 22, 2024
    Toulon First Run Putter Line
    Partner Content
    Feb 22, 2024
    What Club Should You Use to Get Up and Down?
    adidas tour360 24 adidas tour360 24
    Golf Shoes
    Feb 22, 2024
    adidas TOUR360 24: The Return of an Icon