Decoding the Kick Point: How Your Club Shaft Impacts Launch in Golf

Published on 06/17/2023 · 6 min readEver looked at your golf shaft and seen the word high, mid, or low and wonder what that is? Golf Expert Jorge Arteta explains what it means and how it affects your game.
Jorge Arteta, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Jorge Arteta

Photo courtesy of Cobra

Golf equipment is associated with science. For example, when talking about a golf shaft, there are terms like shaft flex, twisting, shaft torque, shaft weight, profile, flex point, low torque, frequency, and high torque, to name a few. And then there’s the shaft's kick point.

As a teaching golf professional, I see many different students. Some have a fast swing speed, high ball flight, slower speed, good accuracy, a fade shot, hooks, or a quick swing tempo. Other students have low trajectory shots, good grip, bad grip, slow golf swing, or faster swing speeds.

I’ve seen students who’ve hit slice and those with stiffer shafts, lighter shafts, heavier shafts, boardy feeling shafts, regular flex shafts, stiff flex shafts, extra stiff shafts, and fairway woods that aren't appropriately gapped.

Some student golfers have lofts that are too strong, steel shafts that are too strong, graphite shafts that are too light, clubhead speed that is slow or fast, and usually play the wrong golf ball for their game. Sometimes they’re inconsistent.

Interestingly, with all those variables, kick point might be a game-changer for some golfers. So what is kick point, and does it affect the launch angle? That's what this article will define and explain.

What Is the Kick Point in the Golf Shaft?

A shaft’s kick point in golf clubs is when a golfer swings, and the club "bends." The bend is the flex of the shaft. There are three kick points:

1. High Kick Point

A high kick point is toward the higher end of the shaft, toward the grip.

  • The shaft will launch the ball low, keeping it lower to the ground when a golfer hits it.
  • You will see this with better players' shafts; they usually want the ball to stay lower and not balloon into the sky.

2. Medium Kick Point

A medium kick point is toward the middle of the shaft.

  • The ball will have a medium trajectory through the air.
  • Low-to-high mid handicappers would benefit from this kick point depending on their swing and swing speed.

3. Low Kick Point

A low kick point will be toward the bottom of the shaft.

  • This will help the ball launch higher when the golfer hits it. Most amateur golfers need help launching the ball up in the air.
  • You will typically see this kick point used by golfers with slower swing speeds. Mostly mid-to-high handicappers that want the ball to get up higher.

What Is a Launch Angle?

Launch angle is the angle the ball ascends from when the golf club hits it and is affected by a few things. For example, swing speed, spin rate, shaft kick point, and club loft will affect the launch angle.

Ideal Launch Angles

In general, the following are optimal ranges for different clubs. The numbers here include amateur players to advanced players. These are just primary ranges to be used as a guide. A club fitter will dive into more detail for your particular swing. These numbers all depend on your swing speed:

  • Driver: Ideal launch angle is between 12-16 degrees.
  • Irons: Ideal launch angle is between 11-24 degrees (3-iron to PW)
  • Wedges: Ideal launch angle is between 23-32 (gap, sand, and lob wedges)

There are parameters that a golfer wants to be within, but my ideal launch angle may differ from other golfers because of how I swing. There are no right or wrong numbers.

Does the Kick Point Affect Your Launch Angle?

The simple answer is yes, but it’s not the only thing that affects your launch angle. Many variables will impact the launch angle. Finding the right kick point for your swing will help, but it won’t cure any flaws. Let’s look at seven other factors that will affect the launch angle.

1. Swing Speed

Swing speed is measured by how fast you can swing the club. The faster you can swing, in general, the farther the ball will go.

2. Angle of Attack

3. Shaft Flex

Flex is the golf shaft’s ability to bend as forces are applied during the golf swing. Depending on your swing speed, the flex can be categorized as a ladies’, senior, regular, stiff, or extra stiff shaft.

4. Shaft Material

Should you be playing with graphite or steel shafts? There are a variety of materials these days, and determining which one is for you will help your golf game immensely.

5. Shaft Length and Weight

The proper length and weight of a golf shaft are determined by many variables, including height, strength, and swing speed. Finding the proper measurements for your swing will help.

6. Shaft Torque

Torque is the golf shaft’s ability to resist twisting during the golf swing. The lower the torque degree, the stiffer the shaft will feel. The higher the torque number, the “whippier” the shaft will feel.

7. Club Loft

Loft is different than launch. Loft is the degrees of the angle between the clubface and the ground. For example, a driver in a store that is 10.5 degrees means that the driver's clubface has 10.5 degrees of loft.

Where Can You Go to Determine the Right Kick Point?

There are a lot of variables that affect kick point. However, finding the right kick point for your swing will help.

As I was teaching one day, one of my students had difficulty getting the ball up in the air during their warm-up. He had never had this issue before, so it was surprising to see his shots go so low. I thought maybe he was just off. Then he said he was trying out some clubs he borrowed from his friend. I looked at the shaft and saw Dynamic Golf S400 stiff shafts. I just smiled and asked him why he was trying these out. He mentioned that he wanted to get some new clubs and thought he’d give these a try.

I explained to him the characteristics of this shaft, which is meant for better players, and since he was not there yet, I showed him why the ball was going low. Then, I had him hit his clubs, and the ball launched high in the air as he had prior.

I recommend going to a golf professional or club fitter. The professionals will be able to find the right shaft to purchase.

Conclusion

Your club shaft’s kick point affects your launch angle. While several elements impact the kick point and launch angle, it is essential to understand that the shaft is the engine of the golf club. Try different clubs and shafts if you’re looking for a new set, and find the best clubs for your game.

Chat with me or one of my fellow Golf Experts here on Curated to see which golf club and kick point is right for your game. Then go out and smile and enjoy the next round!

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