Regular vs. Stiff Shaft Drivers

Golf is a game of technique but if the equipment is not right, you can’t expect to play the game at your best.

The same is the case with the type of shaft you are using on your driver. It can affect the quality of your game even if your technique is perfect. If you don’t pick the right shaft, it can hinder the distance and accuracy of the ball by either having a too low launch or too much spin.

Also,  golf equipment is expensive and there are various options available in the market. So you should at least know the type of shaft that suits you before you spend some valuable amount on it and then regret your decision later.

Regular vs. Stiff Shaft Drivers

Hence, you need to know certain things before you buy a shaft driver for you.   

After extensive research, I’ve come up with almost everything you need to know on the subject matter. So without any further delay, let’s get straight into it.

Shaft Drivers: What are They?

A driver comes with different shaft variations which affect the flex (how much they bend) and the reliability of your shot depends upon it.

 The main types of driver shafts are:

  • Extra Stiff (or pro) shaft 
  • Stiff shaft
  • Regular shaft 
  • Senior shaft 
  • Ladies shaft

Because your first shot needs to be reliable, you must choose your driver shaft wisely.

Regular VS Stiff Shafts Drivers: What’s the Difference?

80% of men are using either regular or stiff golf shaft drivers. Stiff golf shafts are harder to bend and flex. Also, they’re heavier in weight which maintains their stiffness. 

As a rule of thumb, these properties are going to benefit golfers with faster swing speeds and longer distances. If you think of your shaft as a lever than the stronger the lever, the more reliable the shot.  

Regular shafts are more flexible compared to stiff shafts. They’re also a little lighter in weight which means they’re going to flex more. This flex produced by regular shafts can benefit when you’re hitting the ball at a slower swing speed.

Deciding if a regular or stiff shaft is best for you is going depends upon these factors:

Swing Speed

The number one fact when you’re going to select a shaft for you is how fast you hit the ball. 

In general, golfers with a fast swing should use a stiff shaft and slowed swings should use a regular flex shaft. To check your swing speed a shot tracking device will be the most accurate method.

Based on your swing speeds here are our recommendations:

  • 80-95 mph swing speeds should use regular shafts  
  • 90-105 mph swing speeds should use stiff shafts 

Driver Carry Distance

The distance from the tee to where the ball lands when you hit it is your driver’s carry distance. How far you can hit the ball is also a determining factor in picking the right shaft for you. 

Recommended shaft based on your driver distance are:

  • 220-260 yards, use a regular shaft

  • 260+ yards, use a stiff shaft 

So, if your swing speed and driver carry distance are on the higher end, a stiff shaft would be preferable because you do not need the additional aid that comes from the flex produced by a regular shaft.

Watch this YouTube Video learn more:

Driver Stiff vs Regular Shaft | Midhandicapper

Additional Factors: Let’s See their Affect

Shaft’s Material: Graphite or Steel?

The material should also be considered when deciding to get a new driver shaft.

A graphite shaft is lighter in weight (roughly weighs around 50-85 grams) and provides additional swing speed than a steel shaft would. It feels smoother and more comfortable when compared to a steel shaft and produces more torque which depicts less control. 

Steel shafts on the other hand are more durable, feel solid, and are more responsive when you hit the ball. They weigh around 90-120 grams.

The material that you’re measuring your swing speed or driver carry distance with should be the same that you’re going to use with your club when you’re out on a golf course. 

Clubhead Mass: How Does That Relate? 

Experimental studies show that shaft stiffness can affect the launch conditions of the ball if clubhead mass alterations are made.

Golfers can shift the weight at the toe or heel of the clubhead by using screws that alter the center of gravity of the clubhead. 

So, you must know what your clubhead mass is, the type of shaft you’re using and the technical correlation between them to predict your performance.  

Kick Point

A kick point on a driver shaft is the point where the shaft flexes the most. At a higher kick point, the ball is most likely to go far but could lose trajectory whereas, at a lower kick point, the ball will launch higher, potentially losing some distance. 

Stiff shafts are more efficient if you give them enough power. They have higher kick points to assist the player to control the speed and landing distance of the ball efficiently.   

Stiff VS Regular Shaft Drivers: Pros and Cons

You’ve learned about stiff shaft drivers and regular shaft drivers, but maybe you want a comparison, right? Here it is.

Flex

In terms of flex, the regular shaft driver stands out in comparison to the stiff shaft driver. It is because it has flexibility, which allows the driver to bend hence, producing the flex. Here, the material of the shaft counts the most. Heavier the material, the heavier the shaft.

Graphite shafts are lighter than steel shafts and are easy to control. Stiff shafts usually come with steel as it is heavier and has less flex.    

Hop into this YouTube link for more about weight:

How Does Golf Shaft Weight Affect Playability?

Torque

You are probably thinking what does a term associated with motor car engines have to do with golf?

Well, you should be concerned about the torque that your driver shaft produces.            

Stiff shafts produce lower torque (resistance to twisting) and go well with high-speed swings. Lower speeds should opt for a regular shaft that produces greater torque, to assist them with their launch speed.

See this YouTube guide about torque and kick point to have a better understanding.

Accuracy

The accuracy of a shaft is determined by different factors including its type, material, and swing speed. If your swing speed is good, consider a stiff shaft to land your ball more accurately on the targeted area. The regular shaft may help in increased distance, but would you want to hit your ball inaccurately? Of course not.

Durability 

Which shaft will last longer? Regular or Stiff? Well, this again goes on the material.

Steel shafts are more durable than graphite shafts. Also, a stiff shaft is comparatively harder than a regular shaft consequently making it more durable.

Feel

A regular shaft is considered more comfortable as it is lighter, flexy, and has a smooth feel. Stiff shaft drivers are hard to control due to their weight, stiffness, and strength.

What I believe is that you cannot be certain about how a driver shaft feels unless you try it. 

Best Picks for You

After a whole lot of research, now is the time to pick the driver shaft that suits you the best. Selecting the best shaft for you can be critical especially when different brands offer different flex if you’re going for a regular shaft.

 Here are the best shafts to add distance and accuracy to your game:

Experts suggest that at the beginner level, you should opt for a regular shaft. This is because it is easy to handle and it assists you with your range.

A stiff shaft is a better option for those who are more experienced at golf and have a good swing speed and driver carry distance.

I would suggest you go out there and try both shaft types with your club. Trust the swing speed displayed on the launch monitor, your draw distance, and the feel of the club. Once you’re comfortable and confident with a shaft, you will know which is best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most asked questions about regular Vs Stiff Shaft Drivers

Can any shaft fit any driver?

It depends upon the capacity of the shaft to fit the clubhead. If it does not directly fit on the driver you can always use a shaft adapter.

Should I use a stiff or regular shaft?

This depends on swing speed, distance and general preference. You may need to use regular shafts to get the maximum performance in a slower swing but others will find more benefit in a stiff flex because it allows you to control the force you are putting into the ball.

What swing speed requires a stiff shaft?

Golfers at driving speeds over 90 mph should generally use a stiff shaft. Under 90 mph should probably use a regular shaft.

Can you reuse a broken driver shaft?

You cannot reuse a broken shaft, but you can easily get it replaced at golf stores.

Conclusion

Now that you know the difference between the types of driver shafts it should be easier for you to select one for you.

In the end, here is some advice: No matter what, believe in statistics and know your game. Once you know your game, you would know what is best for you and what is not. Try and test all sorts of different types of equipment until you find what you like best and what works best with your particular swing. Once you have clarity on that, it’ll be a piece of cake for you to pick the best equipment that compliments your game. This will also help you improve your game and have a better experience of golf.

Have a great round!

About The Author

Writers of Independent Golf Reviews
Independent Golf Reviews has tested and reviewed 1000+ golf products over the past 10 years. We use our experience and expertise to give golfers an unbiased insight on the market. 
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