You probably want to hit the golf ball as long and accurately as possible, so what type of golf shaft should you choose? In most cases, you will choose between a stiff and regular flex.
So, let’s compare: stiff vs. regular flex shaft? Golfers with a slower swing speed would prefer a regular flex golf shaft. It’s more flexible, allowing for a smoother and easier swing. A stiff flex golf shaft has more resistance, making it more suitable for golfers with faster swing speeds.
It’s not as simple as that, though. You’ll want to understand the shaft you need for your driver and irons because it can help you avoid getting stuck in your game.
Read on to learn the type of shaft you need based on your swing speed, driver carry distance, and accuracy.
Read more: If you’re looking for new clubs, check out our in-depth review of the best golf clubs this year.
Stiff vs Regular Flex: Overview
One of the most common problems many golfers face is choosing between the stiff and the regular flex. You could have a smooth and mechanically-proper swing but still not play your best golf because of the flex in the shafts.
If you have a slower swing speed, you will probably choose regular shaft clubs because the additional shaft flex will provide a little more power and accuracy. When you swing harder, the stiff flex will be more controlled and give you the punch you need for better shots.
But there are more factors to consider, which you’ll learn about now.
Read more: How To Pick The Right Shaft for Your Driver
How To Pick The Right Shaft for All Your Clubs
There are 5 basic factors you will need to understand to find the right woods, irons, or hybrids. They are:
- Swing speed
- Driver distance
- The club you hit from about 150 yards
- Graphite or steel
Let’s walk you through how to pick your shaft.
This is the most accurate factor in the type of shaft flex you should have in your clubs.
You can consider the other two options if you cannot get properly evaluated in your area. You may download an app to assist you if you have a phone.
The recommended swing speed for shaft flex is:
- Stiff – Between 90 and 105 miles per hour
- Regular – Between 80 and 95 miles per hour
If you’re wondering, “What swing speed requires a stiff shaft?” The golfers who tend to have a faster swing speed between 90 to 105 mph.
The professionals often carry an extra stiff golf shaft. The stiff flex isn’t a good choice for beginners because most beginners don’t start with a fast swing speed. It’s too stiff for beginners.
You also have ladies’ flex and senior flex. Manufacturers designed them to swing at slower speeds.
Driver Carry Distance
This is how far you typically hit the ball from the tee to where it lands with your driver and most of your woods. You can possibly do this at the driving range or work with a partner to mark the landing spots for you and then measure.
The typical statistics of stiff vs regular flex using this measurement technique are:
- Stiff– 240 to 260 yards
- Regular– 210 to 240 yards
Read more: These are the best driver shafts on the market today.
Club From 150 Yards
This will help you find the right flex for your irons and help you get the best iron golf shafts. When using this method, be sure to make a typical, rhythmical swing. Again, going to the range is a great way to find this measurement.
The key measurements for this are:
- Stiff– 6 or 7 iron
- Regular– 5 or 6
How do stiff flex vs regular flex irons compare? The biggest difference between the stiff and regular shaft iron is that the stiff is harder to bend. Along with difficulty in bending them, stiff irons are harder to bend.
Distance vs Accuracy
Hitting the golf ball a mile can be a confidence booster and impress everyone around you, but if you aren’t hitting it where you want, this can be a problem. If a regular flex driver hits the ball long but inaccurately, you may want to consider a stiffer shaft.
The stiffer shafts should give you more control over your swing without having to swing faster, provided you have the right club in your hands.
Graphite and Steel
You should also consider the shaft’s material when making these important decisions.
The graphite shaft is lighter and less stiff than steel shafts. But it will likely make you swing faster than a steel shaft. That’s the big difference between graphite vs steel.
So if a graphite shaft speeds up your swing speed to +90 miles per hour, you’d use a stiff flex shaft.
A steel shaft would lead to slower speeds; if you’re under 90 miles per hour, you will use a regular flex shaft.
What Are All The Golf Shaft Options?
Golf shafts come in two basic options: graphite or steel.
Most manufacturers will assemble your golf club as steel or graphite shaft. Steel shafts weigh more and offer better durability. At the same time, they cost less than graphite.
Why, then, would anyone buy a graphite shaft? Graphite shafts give you faster swing speed, which will translate to hitting the golf ball farther. Women and seniors will especially appreciate the graphite golf shafts.
Who Should Play with Regular Shafts?
Everyone who swings under 90 mph should swing a regular shaft. If your driver carry distance is between 210 and 240 yards. And you use a 5 or 6 iron from 150 yards out.
The only exception here would be if you were a senior or lady.
Women with swing speeds under 60 mph and men with swing speeds under 80 mph should use a ladies’ shaft flex. For those who swing under 70 mph, you could also swing a senior flex shaft.
They each have their own flex shaft.
Who Should Play with Stiff Shafts?
When you swing the club over 90 mph, you should choose the stiff club. Players with swing speeds over 105 mph should choose the extra stiff club.
If your driver carry distance is between 240 and 260 yards. And you use a 6 or 7 iron from 150 yards out.
Difference between Shafts for Irons and Shafts for Drivers
You don’t have a big difference between shafts for irons and shafts for drivers. The biggest difference is that iron shafts come in steel or carbon. You can buy driver and wood shafts in graphite.
You should consider a custom fitting for each club to ensure you receive the most from its performance.
Suggested Article: The Best Driver Shafts
What is the Kick Point on a Shaft?
The kick point is part of the shaft that bends the most during the swing. Your kick point matters because it affects the ball trajectory. The kick point on a shaft falls in the high, mid or low category. Low kick points will result in a higher launch, whereas a high kick point will result in a lower launch angle. The mid-kick point will hand you the best of both worlds.
Most of the time, you will see the kick point labeled on the shaft, or they will label it in the user’s manual.
What Swing Speed Requires a Stiff Shaft?
You should pick a stiff golf shaft whenever you swing the club at a speed of over 90 mph. The stiffer shaft will let you swing the club faster and hit the ball over greater distances.
Can You Reuse a Broken Driver Shaft?
Once the driver shaft breaks, you can’t reuse it. Luckily, they don’t cost much, and you can easily replace them. Just be aware that this will be more difficult to replace if you have an adjustable shaft.
Will I Lose Distance with a Stiff Shaft?
Stiff golf shafts will improve your golfing distance. That’s one of the biggest reasons you would choose a stiff shaft because of how it gives you the better distance.
Before you begin your next round, consider finding the right types of clubs for your golf game. The information provided throughout this article should help you to choose the right shaft for your golf swing, whether a regular or stiff shaft.
You may still want to go to a professional club fitting at some point. These services are usually free of charge, but they can help you to become a better golfer by helping you to use the right shaft, and they’ll teach you the difference between stiff vs regular flex.
Read more: If changing your golf club set could help, check out our full review of the best golf club sets under $300.
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.