Shaft type determines the club’s performance according to the swing type. Even if your technique is perfect, the shaft type will still affect the ball’s speed, trajectory, and distance. Different kinds of shafts are made up of different materials exhibiting various characteristics.
Not all shaft types of drivers are ideal for all players. The most commonly used are regular shafts and stiff shafts. So, regular vs. stiff shaft driver, which is best for your swing type. Regular shafts exhibit little flexibility, while stiff shafts have no flexibility.
Today I will give you a detailed comparison of drivers with both shafts, discussing their characteristics, qualities, features, and performance.
Understanding Shaft Drivers:
Flex is the key component when looking for shaft material in a driver. As you already know, that long structure followed by the club head is known as a shaft; it uses different materials. The material used makes a difference in flex level, also known as bending power, in simple words.
The flex point is crucial in determining the quality of the short. The shot’s distance, speed, and height are shaped with the equal role of swing action, club head, and driver shaft. There are different types of shaft drivers based on flex points.
- Ladies Shaft
- Senior Shaft
- Regular Shaft
- Stiff Shaft
- Ladies Shaft
All these shafts have their qualities and way of playing. The most common ones are regular and stiff shafts. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Regular Shaft:
A regular shaft has more flex factor; its bending ability increases during the swing. Flexibility comes in handy for players with slower swing action. Beginners and those who prefer consistency over larger distances can use the regular shaft drivers.
The flexibility of the shaft also helps the club head to square up more easily, reducing the chance of slicing and promoting higher launch angles. Those players who struggle to generate a lot of club head speed due to weak swing can go for regular shafts.
2. Stiff Shaft:
A stiff, less flexible shaft works with a faster, strong swing speed. Golf players with a quicker tempo, high swing speed, and more aggressive transition often prefer stiff shafts.
Stiff shafts are known for providing stability and more control to the player. These shaft drivers have lower launch angles and reduced spin rates. Players who struggle with reducing hooks and generating distance can work effectively with stiff shaft drivers.
Choosing the Right Shaft:
To select the driver’s shaft, you must consider several factors: swing speed, tempo, skill level, and personal preference.
1. Swing Speed:
Swing speed is a basic point when choosing a shaft for yourself. If you are a beginner with a slow swing speed (less than 90mph), you need more flexibility and a regular shaft to cater with it and provide balance to your shot. If you have strong swing action (over 90 mph), the stiff shaft driver compensates for your shot.
2. Tempo and Transition:
Your swing tempo can either be smooth and rhythmic or quick and aggressive; it will impact the choice of shaft driver. A regular shaft works well with a smoother tempo allowing the club head to square up easily.
In contrast, playing with an aggressive and quick tempo will require a stiff shaft driver for added stability. Otherwise, the ball with an aggressive hit may cover more distance but will miss the targeted point if the shaft is flexible.
3. Skill Level:
Skill level also matters when choosing a shaft; beginners and high handicappers need more forgiveness and ease of use than regular shaft provides better. On the other hand, professional players who have strong swing action need stiff shaft drivers for better control.
|Criteria||Regular Shaft Driver||Stiff Shaft Driver|
|Swing Speed||Slower swing speed (less than 90 mph)||Faster swing speed (over 90 mph)|
|Tempo||Smooth, rhythmic swing tempo||Quick, aggressive swing tempo|
|Transition||Gentle transition between backswing and downswing||Rapid transition with more force|
|Skill Level||Beginner or high-handicap golfer||Experienced golfer with a consistent swing|
|Desired Ball Flight||Higher launch angle, more forgiveness||Lower launch angle added control|
|Accuracy vs. Distance||Prioritize accuracy and consistency over distance||Prioritize control and distance|
|Clubhead Speed||Lower clubhead speed||Higher clubhead speed|
|Tendency for Hook/Slice||Struggle with slices and hooks||Desire to minimize hooks and control shots|
|Spin Rate||May benefit from higher spin rates||May need to lower spin rates for optimal flight|
4. Shaft Material
The other factor is the shaft material. Usually, the shaft of drivers is made up of graphite and steel. Steel shafts tend to provide more durability; conversely, graphite shafts are light in weight but flexible.
|Factor||Graphite Shaft||Steel Shaft|
|Material||Made from lightweight graphite fibers||Made from steel|
|Weight||Lighter weight||Heavier weight|
|Flexibility||Generally more flexible||Generally less flexible|
|Vibration Dampening||Offers better vibration dampening||Less vibration dampening|
|Shock Absorption||Absorbs more shock during impact||Transmits more impact feedback|
|Swing Speed||Well-suited for slower swing speeds||Well-suited for faster swing speeds|
|Distance||Can help generate greater distance||May sacrifice a bit of distance|
|Accuracy||Offers good accuracy due to flex||May provide more control and accuracy|
|Trajectory||Can lead to higher launch angles||Tends to result in a lower trajectory|
After a detailed discussion on regular vs. stiff shaft drivers, you are aware of both shafts’ characteristics. Choosing a shaft for yourself might sound tough, but experimenting and knowing better about your skills will make it easier.
In short, a regular shaft with flexibility would be good for you if you have a slower swing speed. The stiff shaft driver will work best if you are professional with control and aggressive swing.
1. Do I need a regular or stiff shaft driver?
It depends on your skill set; having more aggressive swing skills will work best with a stiff shaft driver, but a skill set with a slow swing will work best with a regular shaft driver.
2. Is a stiff shaft driver harder to hit?
Yes, if you have slow swing speed, hitting with stiff shaft driver is difficult because its flexibility is low and gives less forgiveness factor.
3. Why would you want a stiff shaft driver?
Players with fast swing speed (105 mph or more) need stiff shaft drivers for better control and great distance. Otherwise, flexible shafts will lead the ball to mishits.