Reviews of drivers generally concentrate on the details of the clubhead and all the technology included. This does not do justice to the role and the importance of the shaft. To help you decide, we look at the best driver shafts.
Having the right shaft attached to the head of your driver will make a massive difference in the direction, consistency, and distance of your drives.
The right shaft is exactly the one that fits your swing speed and tempo, irrespective of which shaft is used by your favorite professional or your golf buddies.
Fortunately, the shaft should last for the lifetime of the club unless you get frustrated and break the shaft. However, this makes fitting the right shaft crucial.
Golfers tend to look at the shaft flex as an indication of how strong they are and how fast their swing speed is.
There are several factors to consider when selecting the most suitable shaft for your driver. Shafts are manufactured from a variety of materials, weights, flex, length, torque, and kick-points. To get the combination correct, you have to understand the function of each component.
Club weight is one of the most important factors in the golf swing. This makes the selection of the shaft material crucial.
Although most drivers and woods come standard with a graphite shaft, alternative options are available. I will briefly explain the various materials and the impact on the driver shaft.
Steel is the most frequently used material in iron shafts. The progress in quality and strength of graphite shafts are making major inroads to the stronghold that steel shafts have had in the market.
Although steel is heavier than graphite, the benefit is that it adds accuracy to your drives. If you however prioritize distance, the lighter graphite shaft will enable you to swing slightly faster thus adding distance.
Carbon steel, and sometimes stainless steel, are used in the manufacturing process of steel shafts.
Steel results in stronger, durable, and less expensive shafts that produce less torque and lateral twisting than graphite shafts.
The predominant steel shafts are:
Stepped Steel Shaft
The shaft reduces in diameter from top to bottom via some steps at intervals. One strip of steel is used in the process with a wider diameter at the grip end than the clubhead end. It is rolled and mechanically drawn to the required length while steps are generated.
These types of shafts are most frequently used in irons.
Rifle Steel Shafts
Rifle steel shafts are manufactured using a similar process to stepped shafts but without the reduction in diameter and any steps. This allows for a smooth look and the electronic calibration of flex throughout a set of clubs.
Graphite is lighter than steel and therefore it allows the manufacturers to produce lighter shafts which in turn allows you to add speed to your swing. More speed results in more distance while sacrificing some accuracy.
Graphite shafts are made from carbon fiber strands for weight reduction. Carbon fiber is more expensive thus making it more expensive.
Since the material is available in a variety of colors the major brands can add a variety of descriptions and branding onto the graphite shaft. This however results in a loss in durability as the shafts can chafe against the sides of the bag and result in scratches and loss of paint.
Graphite shafts weigh between 50-85 grams compared to 120 grams of their steel counterparts.
Graphite shafts offer greater distances from today’s oversize titanium drivers as they allow shafts to be longer.
Nanocrystalline alloy with a carbon fiber composite polymer sublayer is used in the manufacturing of NanoFuse shafts.
The inconceivably tiny and rigid grain structure of the material offers the consistency of steel and the distance and feel benefits of graphite.
As mentioned earlier the weight of the shaft plays a significant role in the amount of speed that you can generate in the swing. The shaft weight is calculated before the shaft is cut to the required length.
For left to right (draw) trajectory and lower spin, more weight is required while a lighter shaft will produce the opposite.
Graphite driver shafts between 0.12 to 0.13 pounds for men and 0.09 to 0.11 pounds for women.
Heavy shafts offer more control, lower torque and stability in the clubface, lower launch angle, and more accuracy and consistency. In contrast, lighter shafts offer more speed and distance and a high launch angle.
The disadvantages of heavier shafts are less speed and lower spin while light shafts contribute to inconsistent contact on the clubface and high ball flight.
Golf clubs are built around the industry standard for male golfers measuring 5 feet 9 inches and women golfers for 5 feet 7 inches. Standard
Shafts measure in at 45 inches with the maximum allowed by the governing bodies at 48 inches.
A longer shaft will increase your swing speed while decreasing the control you can exercise on the path. To achieve the optimum balance of speed and control it is extremely important to have the shaft cut down to the correct size keeping the impact of reducing the length on the shaft characteristics.
This video will give you some insights into the ideal driver shaft length.
The longer the shaft, the bigger the arc that you can create and the faster the swing speed that you can generate.
Why are all drivers not fitted with the maximum length shaft?
Although a longer shaft generates more speed, it will substantially impact the feel and strike point on your clubface.
Shafts that are too long will cause inconsistent face contact and a promote heel side impact while shorter shafts generate a consistent strike pattern with impact on the toe.
Every ½ inch off-center contact results in a 7% loss of carrying distance.
The correct length shaft will result in solid contact repeatedly.
Heavier, stiffer shafts are ideal for better golfer for gains in distance and accuracy.
Shaft flex is more than a letter on the shaft that provides you with an opportunity to compete with your playing partners.
Flex is the EI profile of the shaft that defines the stiffness of a shaft from the tip stiffness through the butt stiffness measured at different points in the shaft.
Static flex is the amount the shaft bends when the butt end is clamped, and weight applied to the butt end. The shaft will bend more the softer the flex is.
Frequency is the amount of sway in the shaft when the butt end is clamped and then pulled to one side before being released. The shaft weight can affect the sway with light shafts having the highest frequency.
Tip flex or retro flex refers to the average stiffness at the head side of the shaft. This is measured by clamping the tip end and applying weight to the butt end of the shaft. Launch angle is affected by the tip flex with a softer tip producing a higher launch angle and spin rate.
- Extra Stiff (X) for golfers with a swing speed of more than 110 mph.
- Stiff (S) for golfers with a swing speed between 100 and 110 mph.
- Regular (R) swing speed between 90 and 100 mph.
- Senior (S) / Amateur (A) for young golfers, senior golfers, and beginners with a swing speed between 80 to 90 mph.
- Ladies (L) for golfers with a low swing speed below 80 mph.
Torque is the amount of shaft twist experienced during the golf swing measured in degrees and shown as a rating. More twist equals a higher rating. A higher rating produces a softer than a low rating.
A low ball flight is produced by low torques and it increases as the torque increases.
High swing speed requires less torque shafts while slower swingers and slicers require more torque.
This is the point where the shaft bows most during the downswing and impact and impacts the ball trajectory. A low kick point will bow near the clubhead thus producing a higher trajectory and a high kick point will generate a low ball flight.
Best Drivers Shafts
Quick Overview: Our Top Picks for The Best Driver Shafts
|Mitsubishi Diamana||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Accra Tour Z 85 Driver Counter Balanced||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Project X HZRDUS||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Project X Even Flow||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
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|Graphite Design Tour||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Mitsubishi Tensei Ck||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Aldila RIPX||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
1. Mitsubishi Diamana
Mitsubishi is a well-known brand internationally for producing motor vehicles, electronics, and sporting equipment.
Driver shafts are included in their armory of golfing products with the Mitsubishi Diamana D+ series having a long history of success.
Diamana D+ Plus Limited Edition is a low-launch, low-spin shaft designed with Dialead Pitch Fiber in the butt section for maximum stability. This includes the Multi-Dimensional Interlay and the company’s Tough-Qure Resin System for high speeds and a penetrating ball flight.
It is one of the most frequently used shafts on the professional golf tours by top professional golfers, as is the DF model. The DF shaft is a low-to-mid launch and low spin shaft designed with a stiff tip section.
Diamana 2nd Generation S+
Diamana 2nd Generation S+ is designed using innovative materials featuring pitch fibers strategically positioned in the shaft for enhanced stability and performance without sacrificing feel.
It is available in a variety of flex and weight options ideally aimed at golfers requiring workability. The mid-kick point promotes medium launch and maximizes distance for golfers that struggle to get the golf ball into the air off the tee.
Diamana is graphite shafts weighing between 62 – 77 grams available in R, S & X flex options.
2. Accra Tour Z 85 Driver Counter Balanced
Accra is one of the lesser-known shaft manufacturers in the amateur game but has been supplying shafts to professional golfers for decades.
The Accra New Tour Z 85 shaft is counterbalanced offering low spin and it comes with an adapter for easy plug-and-play making it the most consistent shaft for mid-handicap golfers.
Lightweight shafts are explicitly engineered to provide low spin for exceptional distance and stability.
Low spin generates consistent ball flight and shot shape on each shot.
A sleek black and silver finish adds visual appeal while remaining affordable including a high-quality grip installed before delivery.
3. Project X HZRDUS
Project X New HZRDUS Yellow
Project X New HZRDUS Yellow is ideal for high swing speed shaft available in a variety of adapters for maximum versatility. It offers amazing strength throughout the swing with low flex for a stable feel and dependable distance. It comes standard with a quality Golf Pride grip at delivery.
Project X Hzrdus T800 Green
This is one of the most sought-after mid-weight shafts on the market offering an incredibly solid feel and mid-level spin promoting extraordinary distance over control. The grip is a quality Golf Pride as standard on all HZRDUS shafts.
Project X HZRDUS Smoke
A lightweight graphite shaft ideal for golfers with a slower swing speed to contribute a great deal in boosting distance consistently.
Project X HZRDUS Black
This is one of TrueTemper best driver shafts currently available. It was designed for high tempo golfers offering an extra stiff midsection for increased power in the swing. Fast tempo golfers will produce low trajectory and low without sacrificing accuracy and control.
HZRDUS shafts are available between 62 and 75 grams, R, S & X flex options, and a high kick point.
True Temper offers a variety of high-quality Project X steel iron shafts as well as graphite driver shafts. It has proven to be the most versatile shaft for low handicap golfers.
4. Project X Even Flow
Another shaft made by True Temper is the Even Flow range designed for transferring load efficiently for the highest energy release at impact.
It offers a mid-launch ball flight and mid-spin making it ideal for both drivers and fairway woods.
Project X Even Flow Blue Shaft is aimed at golfers with high swing speed that require an outstanding feel.
The standard length of 46 inches allows room for modification should it be required.
Project X Even Flow Riptide is a mid-spin and mid-launching shaft including the company’s Torsional Stability Optimization for stability and a smooth feel. The bend profile of the Even Flow shaft optimizes energy release during impact.
5. Fujikura Vista
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- Boosts swing speed with maximum ease
- Promotes consistent launch angle
- The lightweight cage structure offers a solid feel
- Comes in standard length
- It can only be used for older TaylorMade drivers
Fujikura is a celebrated company that has built a standing for delivering quality shaft for all types of drivers. It’s one of the best graphite shafts on the market today.
The Fujikura Vista Pro 60 shaft is specifically to upgrade your TaylorMade driver that has lost its snap.
The company’s patented rigid “cage” structure is the basis of this graphite shaft. The thin walls offer the feel of a heavier shaft without a load of extra weight while promoting a consistent launch angle.
It comes in the standard 45-inch length.
The shaft also is well adept at providing a trustworthy response for more confidence, encouraging you to reach deeper for more strength and speed off the tee.
6. Graphite Design Tour
AD-DI (Deep Impact) is designed with t\Graphite Design’s Nanoalloy technology in the tip section for enhanced stability, high launch, and low spin from the soft mid-section.
AD-BB (Blue Bullet) is a low-to-mid launch and low-spinning shaft with a stiff tip and midsections that is, similarly to the AD-DI, designed with the company’s Nanoalloy technology in the tip section.
AD HD driver shafts are available in a variety of 5 different kick points (HD-4, 5, 6, 7 & 8) manufactured from high-quality carbon for enhanced rigidity and stability throughout the shaft. This results in stable spin amounts that deliver exceptional accuracy.
Graphite Design driver shafts are the shafts of choice for many golfers internationally and are available in a variety of models for outstanding performance and feel.
Flex options available are Senior, regular, Stiff, and Xtra-stiff.
All graphite models come in a variety of weight options ranging between 49 and 88 grams.
7. Mitsubishi Tensei Ck
Tensei is a Japanese word that translates into transformation in English.The multi-material Kevlar and carbon fiber construction offer a smooth Tour-proven bend profile while improving feel making it extremely versatile suitable to most levels of golfers.
It is available in a variety of models.
Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue
Tensei CK Blue shaft features a Carbon Fiber/DuPont Kevlar weave for a mid-launch and mid-spin ball flight.
It’s slightly higher launching and spinning than the CK White version listed below.
Mitsubishi Tensei CK White
8. Aldila RIPX
Aldila is a universally recognized brand used by golfers around the world.
Its trademark Reverse Inter-Laminar Placement (R.I.P) technology marks the return of one of their most iconic shafts offering incomparable stability.
RIPX features Aldila’s Micro Mamba technology moving the weight from the midsection for increased stability and feel.
Graphite shafts are available in a variety of weight options varying between 52 – 97 grams, high kick point, and available in a variety of flexes.
Selecting a shaft for your driver is a rather complicated process with various components playing a significant role.
Custom fitting can be achieved through a standard 4-step process and it is the most reliable way to aid in improving your golf.
This article is aimed at providing you with a better understanding of what to consider in your assessment as well as some of the best shafts available.
In our assessment, the HZRDUS range from True Temper stood out for golfers of all levels with a suitable option for anyone. All weight options and flex options are included in the range.
Please add your feedback in the comments section below.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.