Whether you are an amateur golfer or a highly experienced one, you just can’t deny the significance of a shaft in golf club. Knowing the importance of a shaft for your performance, it can be challenging for you to decide whether you need a stiff shaft or not. But don’t worry because we have you covered!
Continue reading to find out:
- What is shaft flex and what are the different ratings for a shaft flex?
- What is the swing speed for stiff shaftsand what factors determine this speed?
- Why do you need a stiff shaft?
- What are the 3 stiff shafts with the best swing speed?
A shaft determines the success of the ball flying straight and far by deflecting or bending during a golf swing. This causes the clubface to be in the right position that is relative to the grip of the club and launches the golf ball accordingly.
Understanding Shaft Flex
A shaft flex is the ability of a golf shaft to ‘flex’ or bend during a golf swing when a force is applied. The kind of force generated depends on the nature of your swing, i.e. smooth, fast, etc. A shaft flex tends to directly affect the trajectory, accuracy, and distance of your golf stroke. Choosing the right flex will prevent you from misaligning the clubface that could make your shots miss the target.
Golf clubs are designed to have one of the following flex ratings:
- Extra Stiff (X). This shaft is difficult to find because of its limited popularity. It is good for long hitters who have excellent control over their shots. Extra stiffness can easily lead to loss of loft and control.
- Stiff (S). The swing speed for stiff shafts makes them capable of driving the ball for over 250 yards off the tee. Hence, they are ideal for mid-low handicap golfers who consistently make long shots and can improve golfers who make jerky swings.
- Regular Flex (R). It is one of the most popular flexes due to its forgiving quality. High handicappers who go for average drives, such as 230-250 yards off the tee, find this shaft to be very helpful.
- Senior Flex (A). Such a shaft is frequently used by older adults who cannot make fast swings and drive the ball consistently between 200-230 yards.
- Ladies Flex (L). This is specifically designed for ladies because they usually have the lowest club speed.
In short, the stiffness of the shaft generally depends on the speed of the club which means that the swing speed for stiff shafts will invariably depend on the speed of the club too.
Swing Speed of Stiff Shafts
Now that we have established an understanding of shaft flex, it is easier to imagine and estimate the swing speed for stiff shafts. Golfers who are used to making longer drives are recommended to opt for stiff shafts. This is due to a stiff shaft’s ability to generate a swing speed that lies between 95 and 110 miles per hour (mph).
Components of a Shaft
To determine the factors behind the swing speed for stiff shaft, let’s look at the different components of a shaft and their functions.
Torque refers to the twisting motion of the clubhead at the moment of impact on the golf ball. It can also be understood as the shaft’s resistance to twisting. If you are a beginner, you should consider getting a shaft with high torque rating because it will help you make long and straight shots. A stiff shaft will have a low torque rating, which means that it will not twist too much, feel hard, and produce low swing speed for stiff shafts than those with a higher torque rating.
A kick point is the point or location on a shaft that flexes when a force is applied to it. It correlates with the ball flight and trajectory of your stroke. This means that if your shaft has a high kick point rating, the bending point is closer to the grip and will be effective in the lower trajectory of the ball. Swing speed for stiff shafts with a low kick point will be enough to carry the golf ball longer and at a greater distance. The difference between the two kick points is around 2 inches, but it is best to get a club with mid-range kick points.
Shaft weights directly impact the swing speed for stiff shafts by helping you generate clubhead speed that could hit long-distance strokes. These weights can fall anywhere between 50 to 85 grams, with lighter weights swinging faster and producing greater distance. Choosing the wrong shaft weight can cause you to lose your control in a golf game.
This is also a determining factor of swing speed for stiff shafts because the material itself accounts for the flexibility and durability of a shaft. Stiff shafts are made of materials including:
- Graphite: lighter and less durable than steel
- Steel: very strong and durable
- Titanium: lighter than steel but has a similar level of strength
Why You Need a Stiff Shaft
Are you still confused about whether stiff shafts are perfect for you or not? Remember that unlike other aspects of a club, you should choose a shaft that most closely compliments your game style and preferences. You can make these comparisons based on your preferred:
- Tempo or pace of the swing. Do you have a fast, medium, or slow tempo? Stiff shaft flexes are best suited for faster pace of swing.
- Release timing. Do you release the ball too early or too late? While the stiffness of a shaft is not directly related to this, but stiff shafts work better for late releases that produce higher swing speeds too.
- High of ball flight or course of trajectory. Do you like a high, mid or a low ball flight? Stiff shafts generally tend to be the most effective in producing low-level ball flights as compared to mid-level flight. Refrain from getting a stiff shaft if you like playing high-level stroke.
- Flight direction tendency. What direction do you prefer your shot to take? The stiffer the shaft, the more accurate and straight the flight direction. However, right-handed golfers should avoid very stiff shafts because they can lead to many missed shots.
- Control over distance. Do you aim to have distance, control or both at the same time? You should opt for a stiff shaft over a regular one if you seek for a greater potential of control. Stiff shafts result in tight shot dispersion and shorter overall length of the stroke.
Top 3 Stiff Shafts
Not having a stiff shaft can have an enormous impact on your golf game. Your ball flight will be higher for any loft and the ball may not move in the direction that you intended it to. It may also leave you under an illusion that your strokes are solid and strong even when they are not even close.
Here are 3 of the best stiff shafts:
Accuflex Vizion Ultralite – White 55gram Golf Wood Shaft
AeroTech Steel Fiber i110 Iron Shaft (0.355)
Project X PXV Stiff Driver Shaft
Our Final Thoughts
This article has hopefully helped you decide whether a stiff shaft is a good fit for you and how to achieve the desired swing speed for stiff shafts. If you still have doubts, you can head out for a professional club fitting service near you and get help to choose the right equipment.