1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://golf.about.com/od/faqs/f/shaft_flexes.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

What Do the Letters X, S, R, A and L Mean When They Appear on a Shaft?

By

Golf shaft bending at impact due to flex

All golf shafts bend in response to the forces of the golf swing. How much they bend - how flexible they are - is noted in the shaft flex rating.

Chris Condon/Getty Images

Question: What Do the Letters X, S, R, A and L Mean When They Appear on a Shaft?

(Editor's Note: Most shafts are designated with a letter code, the letters being X, S, R, A and L. What do these letters represent? Here is Tom's answer.)

Answer: Some golf shafts bend more than others, of course. The letter code represented by the letters L, A, R, S and X represents those different grades of flex.

"L" is the most flexible shaft and "X" is the stiffest shaft:

  • "L" denotes "ladies flex"
  • "A" denotes "senior flex"
  • "R" denotes "regular flex"
  • "S" denotes "stiff flex"
  • "X" denotes "extra stiff flex"

Why is senior flex represented by an "A"? When shaft manufacturers first started using this code to denote the flex of their shafts, "A" stood for "amateur," but that level of flex later became associated with senior men.

See also: Are there industry standards for how flexible each level of flex (L, A, R, S, X) should be?

Return to Golf Shafts FAQ index

  1. About.com
  2. Sports
  3. Golf
  4. Beginners
  5. FAQs
  6. What Do the Letters X, S, R, A and L Mean When They Appear on a Shaft?

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.