If you’re looking to improve your game and lower your handicap level, it’s necessary that each shot you hit covers long-distance and is accurate. In order to get the perfect strike, you need to choose a golf shaft that suits your game, as the golf shaft serves as the engine of the golf ball.
Shaft flex helps to transfer power from the shaft to the clubhead and finally to the golf ball. Around 80% of golfers are best suited to either regular or stiff shafts.
However, it’s important to remember that the shaft used for a driver and an iron differs, as drivers are swung with a wide arc, whereas irons with a much shallower swing. These variations cause some players to hit better with a driver compared to an iron, or the other way around.
Therefore, when getting a new club from a store, it’s better if you have an idea about which shaft you should buy. Getting a shaft that’s either too flexible or too stiff just won’t work for you. As a result, an incorrect flex would make you uncomfortable and can hurt your performance at the game.
Regular Shafts vs Stiff Shafts: What’s the Difference?
It’s a common problem for many players to struggle to find the right flex. Despite having a swift and mechanically-proper swing, you can still suffer from low performance due to the flex in the shafts.
It’s important that you evaluate your own game well. If your swing speed isn’t high enough it’s best to avoid striking a club with a stiff flex. It’s good to let go of your ego and pick the right golf shaft that suits your swing.
A regular shafted club will flex more during a swing. These shafts are better suited for golfers who have a slower swing speed. These shafts have additional flex that gives a bit extra power and more accuracy. They are lightweight shafts that make it easier to bend.
Compared to regular shafted clubs, stiff shaft clubs tend to flex less when you swing. These shafts are an ideal pick for players who swing harder. The stiff shaft flex provides the player with more control and offers the power you require to hit better strikes. These shafts are harder to bend and usually heavier in weight as well.
Why is it Important to Get the Right Shaft Flex?
Using a flex that doesn’t complement your swing speed can have negative effects.
If you get a shaft that’s a bit stiff, it won’t flex to its full capacity. As a result, even a well-struck shot would fall short of both the distance covered and the flight of the shot. Although it’s true that a shaft that’s stiff or firmer would help to hit a straight shot, the limited distance offered would result in a shot that’s a low runner with no chance of stopping.
On a wet golf course, that ball won’t run which will hurt your performance. Neither would it benefit you on a dry course as with the low runner, you would be clueless about where the ball will come to a stop.
It’s commonly believed by many players who use a shaft that’s too stiff that a mishit is due to their shaft being too weak. Whereas in case the shot is a mishit when using a shaft that’s too stiff, it would result in a slice from left to right for a right-handed player, or a push-slice. Without correct shaft flex, the clubhead would not release, and the clubface would be open at impact.
On the other hand, when using a shaft that’s too weak, it’ll flex excessively when you swing it. This would result in an inconsistent release point. The shot hit would create an extra spin causing the golf ball to travel in various directions. Usually, the golf ball draws from right to left for right-handed golfers and has a high flight.
This won’t be favorable in wet and/or windy conditions. As when it’s windy, the high spin will be intensified in the wind. Whereas in wet conditions, the golf ball that has a high trajectory won’t be able to cover much distance and won’t roll out.
Regular vs Stiff Shaft Driver Distance Examined
As we discussed before, the shaft flex can make a difference to the driver’s carry distance.
The driving distance is how farther you usually strike the ball off the tee to where it lands with the driver and most of your woods. Try it out at the driving range or ask a partner to note the landing spot of your hits and then measure.
For regular shaft drivers, the driver carries distance is usually 210 to 240 yards. Whereas for stiff shaft drivers, the driver carries distance typically measures 240 to 260 yards.
A regular shaft is mostly preferred by golfers that tend to have a medium-fast swing speed. Those who are able to drive the ball around 210 to 240 yards on a consistent basis would find it a good fit. Players who use regular shafts have club speeds of around 80 to 95 mph.
Golfers who have a reasonably fast swing speed tend to favor the stiff shaft. Players who are capable of driving the ball from about 240 to 260 yards on a regular basis usually choose this shaft flex. These golfers have club speeds somewhere between 90 to 105 mph.
Being able to hit the golf ball long distances can be a great confidence booster and impress your fellow golfers. But if the ball doesn’t travel in the direction you intended it to go, it isn’t of much use. If you’re able to cover more distance but not with accuracy while using a driver with a regular flex, consider switching to a stiff shaft.
If you’ve gotten hold of the right club, you won’t have to swing faster. A stiff shaft would provide the golfer with a bit more control over the swing.
The shaft material can also make a difference. The shafts that are made using graphite are light in weight which means that they swing faster. On the contrary, a steel shaft would be heavier and as a result, would have a slower swing.
To find the right flex for your irons ensure that you make a usual, rhythmical swing. If you’re able to hit 150 yards with a 6- or 7-iron, then your optimal shaft flex is regular flex. Whereas a stiff flex is a better choice for those of you who can cover 150 yards with an 8-iron.
Our Final Thoughts
Before stepping onto the golf course, try to get hold of the right shaft flex that goes with your swing speed. We’ve provided you with all the information that you need to choose the right club, so you can make your decision with ease.
We would also advise you to get a professional club fitting. They’ll guide you well about the different flexes, give you great advice, and help you find the perfect shaft flex for you!