What Shaft Should I Use? Which Is Right For Me?

Choosing the proper shaft is critical in golf

Written by Michael VanDerLaan 

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Golf can quickly become a minefield of technical information and doubts, especially when it comes to equipment. This is compounded by an industry that loves to promote very complicated-sounding technologies when marketing products. Our equipment experts take a look at any and everything shaft-related, give you the definitive guide to first understanding what the options are when it comes to golf club shafts, and then the expertise to choose which attributes you want in your own club, all in an effort to answer the question you’re asking - “What shaft is right for me?”

What Shaft Should I Use?

No matter your age or experience level, choosing a golf shaft that fits your needs is highly important. Golf club shafts have a lot of variables, and every combination of those variables is available in one of the thousands of shafts on the market today. It can sound overwhelming, but let’s look at each possible attribute one-by-one to understand what the choices are, and what the effects might be of playing with each of these variables. When we’re done you’ll have a better understanding of the categories and types of shafts and what they do for performance. Through this, it won’t be nearly as complicated as it currently sounds.

What Factors To Consider When Choosing The Right Golf Shaft For Your Swing

Golf Equipment - Shafts

Believe it or not, having the right shafts in your clubs is an easy way to get better at golf without taking lessons. Each of the factors we are going to cover has a different but equally important impact on overall performance. Understanding them all is a key component of choosing the right golf shaft for your swing.


Steel and Graphite Shafts

Golf club shafts generally come in two materials: steel and “graphite.” Many modern “graphite” shafts are more exotic materials and metals woven together with graphite, but generally are referred to as graphite if they are not purely steel shafts.

Historically, all clubs were made with extremely light, flexible hickory. Then came heavy, stiff steel, and finally the modern graphite and multi-material composite era is upon us.

In today’s game, the most common setup you will see is graphite shafts in all hybrids, fairway metals, and drivers while using steel shafts in all putters and irons. Having said that, there are other combinations used at all levels of the game!

As graphite and composite shaft technology continues to improve and gain the trust of consumers - all while putting up better numbers in testing - we are seeing its use in more and more putter shafts and iron shafts, albeit it remains a very expensive investment.

As prices for top-line materials continue to decline, and the results continue to pile up, it is very likely that more and more golfers will start to use graphite shafts for their entire set in the coming decades.


Golf shafts

The important thing to know about flex is that it is an extremely arbitrary attribute. There is no industry-wide definition of what “regular” or “extra stiff” is. Some companies maintain their own standards, and you could reasonably compare clubs from that same company, but just like with clothing sizes - one company’s “stiff” could be another company’s “regular”.

The traditional wisdom when it comes to shaft flex is very straightforward: the faster you swing, the stiffer of a shaft you need in order to be able to control the club head. We’ll explore this more later, but while it’s a good start, it's been proven that “if you hit it 300 yards you need an extra stiff” isn’t the hard and fast rule we once thought it was.

The flex of the golf shaft you choose can effect your ability to hit different shot shapes, as the club will release through the golf ball differently.


Women in golf tend to use lighter shafts than men

Weight and length are often overlooked and can actually have a lot more impact on a golfer’s swing than flex, although every attribute ends up affecting the final feel of the club.

The logic here once again comes down to speed - lighter clubs swing faster than heavier clubs. In the hands of a golfer, though, all kinds of things happen and some people actually swing heavier clubs faster because they automatically leverage their body in a different way.

RELATED: Proper Golf Swing Sequence

Generally speaking, however, the trend is for physically stronger players to swing heavier shafts, with around 130 grams being a number that is in a lot of PGA TOUR players’ wedge shafts. Light-weight iron shafts for men might come down closer to 100 grams, and driver shafts could be 65 or 75 grams, while “ultralight” models for seniors or players seeking maximum speed could be as low as 40-50 grams for a driver shaft.

The flip-side of lightening the shaft for more speed is that the club can become harder to control, or too easy to manipulate, as well as issues balancing weight between the grip end and the clubhead. It’s also very difficult - and expensive - to make lightweight shafts that are truly stiff in flex, so many players end up finding a balance in weight that affords a fast club head while still being able to feel it and control it.


Choking down on the club to make it shorter

Length is probably the variable that should be nailed down first when it comes to picking a shaft for your golf club. Once again we see the trade off of speed versus control at play - longer shafts create more speed, shorter shafts favor more consistency and control. There are even golf club brands now using single length technology!

Traditionally, static fitting charts and wrist-to-floor measurements have been used as a starting point in a club fitting session, but an experienced club fitter will note that club length makes a lot bigger difference throughout the swing than just the physics of speed versus control.

The length of the club is paramount to setting up properly and creating proper impact conditions. Clubs that are too long will need a bad setup or too much shaft lean through impact ― or worse, backing out of the shot or standing up to create room. Clubs that are too short will need a crouched setup, cause the golfer to stand too close, or bend too far over to be balanced, and they will have a hard time leaning the shaft forward and still being able to reach the ground.

Shaft Profile

Golf shaft with a low kick point

You can see with the help of the lines drawn the place where the shaft "kicks" or bends, adding loft to the club

Shaft profile is also referred to in terms of “kick point.” And generally you will see high, low, and mid kick points advertised. All shafts have a kick point, but they are more relevant and more easily moved up or down the shaft using multi-material driver shafts.

Each shaft can be stiffer or softer near the handle or the tip - giving the shaft a “profile.” These shaft profiles are used by expert club fitters to fine-tune little tendencies of high/low/heel/toe strike locations and spin rates in players who have an extremely repeatable swing to begin with, or in other cases to add speed and height to a low speed player. The latter is done through lowering the kick point. 

RELATED: Best Cavity Back Irons In 2024 - The Complete List For All Golfers

Swing Speed

Swing speed is traditionally the #1 factor in determining shaft flex. The general rule is - the faster the swing, the stiffer a flex you need. For a long time it was in fact common for faster swinging players to naturally use stiffer and heavier steel shafts, and this is by far the common logic in the golf world.

However, the nature of steel shafts has almost dictated this be the case - because in order to make a steel shaft stiffer, you basically have to make it heavier. With multi-material composite shafts, club fitters can come up with all kinds of exotic combinations, and some extremely powerful tour players have begun to favor shafts that are more flexible than most would imagine, even though they swing it as fast as anyone on the planet. Some World Long Drive competitors even use ladies flex shafts now!

Swing Tempo

Just as important as speed might be tempo. The tempo - specifically the tempo in transition - can have as much effect on a shaft as the outright speed. A player can have a very fast swing with a very smooth transition, and not need to play with a telephone pole.

The key with tempo and flex is that you want the golf club to flex and un-flex exactly one time (and on time) in the swing. A golf club that is too soft could load and then dramatically unload too early, causing wild or random impact conditions, but it could also just flex and never release, leaving the face wide open through impact. Likewise, a club could be too stiff to flex properly and then rob the player of the distance created by having that stored power unleash through the bottom of the swing.

Because of this, players with a very fast, abrupt, kind of more violent or more jerk-y transition move will need stiffer flex shafts, and players with more flowing swings will tend to be able to use more flex to their advantage.


Trajectory is a major factor in choosing a golf shaft

The key to understanding the shaft’s impact on trajectory is understanding the timing of the release in stiffer versus softer shafts. Generally speaking, the stiffer a shaft, the sooner it will start to release flex in the downswing, and the softer the shaft, the longer it will stay flexed before releasing.

In this scenario where everything is kept the same in a properly sequenced swing, a softer shaft can promote less dynamic loft and a lower ball flight.

This can get complicated, however, because a softer shaft can also create more speed (possibly) and promote a higher-face strike, both of which definitely launch the ball higher.

To make matters even more murky, with amateurs who have manipulations in their swing, and inconsistent timing, a too-soft shaft flex combined with an early release is very common and can indeed add a lot of loft at impact and cause a completely ballooned shot.

There is a lot coming out about some of the hard-and-fast “rules” when it comes to shaft flex and ball flights now that we have more data, so its best to be able to understand what the consequences of shaft flex are for the face rather than memorizing a rule if you want to get a really precise fit. 

Ball Flight Tendencies (Hook, Slice, Etc.)

Golfer hitting a hook

In the same vein as the trajectory, ball flight tendencies can very much be affected by the shaft, and specifically the shaft flex.

Again, there are some common “rules of thumb” here that modern data is making a bit more complicated. Again, the best thing to learn is “what are the consequences of shaft flex and release at impact” and you can have a more holistic understanding of troubleshooting your swing and/or equipment.

When a shaft is softer, it will flex more, which de-lofts the club head and opens the face. Through impact, this face will either not release, release rapidly through impact, or release early. Soft shafts promote more flex which takes longer to unload (all else being equal) so the face will tend to be held open and de-lofted, encouraging a cut or slice pattern.

However if this same soft shafted club were overloaded, and had a large, whippy “rebound” type of action before impact, a too-soft shaft would have the face adding loft and shutting down too quickly before impact - but also add a lot of speed. The result would be a high, hard hook.

It’s because of this that the conventional wisdom for the average golfer is that soft shafts cause hooks. However, many PGA TOUR-level players will soften their shaft flex slightly in order to encourage a held-off baby cut without changing their swing, for example.

It sounds like completely conflicting information, but if you understand what flex does to the face, it makes sense that a player could either get into big trouble with a softer-than-normal shaft, or they could use it to fine-tune an advantage.

RELATED: Golf Slice vs Hook: Causes And How To Fix Them

Distance Control

Having the proper golf shaft can help with distance control

One of the maxims we can hang our hat on is that soft shafts can be more erratic, especially in novice hands. The shaft has to have some ability to flex, or the golfer would lose major speed. However with that extra speed comes extra unpredictability - in contact, face angle, anything.

Professional golfers also favor stiffer shafts because they get less “surprises” - like the club head overloading and causing the high, hard hook mentioned above. Different players may also have different shaft flex preferences in their wedges that change their feel on chipping and pitching. Knowing how the club will deliver to the ball on these shots is extremely important!

High level players might also favor a stiffer shaft because they are not concerned about maximum distance, but are happy to take a little bit of the “life” out of the shaft in favor of being able to get more precise distance control.


There is a big price difference between steel and graphite shafts. Steel is steel and a golf shaft is an extremely straightforward piece to manufacture, while composite shafts can use expensive materials and processes to achieve the necessary performance benchmarks. 

The prices of steel iron shafts might be under $40 per shaft brand new, while performance-grade graphite and composite driver shafts can be up to several hundred dollars each.


Shafts play a crucial role in the way we feel shots

As with many of the hyper-technical golf industry sectors, a lot of the data is trying to clarify or confirm things that have long been dumped into the never-ending basket of “feels” that are traded amongst novice and expert golfers alike.

As we have addressed, the golf shaft attributes can produce some complicated combinations when paired with each golfer’s swing, body type, and intentions that they associate with a good golf shot.

Some people perceive and react to speed, weight, and flex in different ways. The x-factor with club shafts is that they are never being swung by robots, and each golfer reacts differently depending on how much flex they can or cannot feel in a club, or how easy it is to feel the weight of the club head.  And some of them know what’s best for themselves and some of them definitely don’t!

Ultimately most develop patterns and tendencies that they associate with good shots, and develop personal preferences in shaft flex. Sometimes even if a certain flex might improve the numbers on a radar, it doesn’t mean that the golfer can go on the course and trust that the clubhead will be where they expect it to be when they need it.

Types Of Golf Shafts

Originally, golf clubs used hickory wood shafts, and not until about 100 years ago did steel start to become adopted, after many years of it being an oddity.

Steel Shafts

Regular flex steel shaft

Steel golf shafts were used for all clubs for most of the latter 20th century, until graphite started being introduced in the 1970s. Steel remained the go-to for basically all clubs until the mid 1990s when graphite driver shafts started to take over the market.

Graphite Shafts

Regular flex graphite shaft

Pure graphite iron shafts, when they first came out, were necessarily very flexible and lightweight, and they presented an entirely different feel and were marketed mostly to ladies and senior golfers when they first came out, before becoming the material of choice for driver shafts in the mid 1990s.

“Modern” graphite shafts are a completely different animal and are almost always technically a multi-material design, but the term “graphite” is still commonly used to refer casually to the entire category of composite shafts.

Multi Material Shafts

Multi material or composite shafts (often advertised as carbon fibers) can contain any number of materials, but commonly use titanium, steel, various types of graphite or carbon fiber materials woven together to produce shafts that can do things that would never be possible with steel - such as being extremely lightweight yet extremely stiff and torque resistant at the same time.

As these technologies progress, companies like LA Golf are successfully getting even tour pros to switch to composite putter shafts and brands like Aerotech Steelfiber and Mitsubishi have tour pros playing composite iron shafts.

What Golf Shaft Flex Is Right For Me?

There are definitely some guidelines for choosing flex, and swing speed is often used as the only guideline. A closer look reveals that while swing speed might be able to get you in the neighborhood, there are lots of personal combinations of release styles and ball flights that can make you match up to a shaft slightly stiffer or softer than your swing speed might suggest.

Keep in mind also that there are no industry-wide definitions in place for these terms, and they can mean different things from manufacturer-to-manufacturer or even from year-to-year.

Extra Stiff (X)

People with fast club head speeds typically use extra stiff shafts

Extra stiff is commonly reserved for the most macho of players, and for a long time it was considered a kind of badge of honor. These shafts would garner nicknames like “The Hulk” and generate comments that it felt like trying to swing a “telephone pole” or a “piece of rebar” meaning - no matter how hard you swing it’s hard to feel the shaft flex more than a tiny bit.

These shafts are mostly favored by players who cannot get a softer flex club to “behave” reliably through impact. Many male TOUR pros play extra stiff clubs, but not all of them do.

Stiff (S)

Stiff flex clubs are probably the most commonly used clubs for adult males under age 40. Golf clubs with stiff flex shafts are going to provide a small feeling of loading and unloading at full speed, but are meant to resist any substantial over-flexing or overloading possibilities.

Regular (R)

Most people can benefit from using a regular shaft

Regular flex golf shafts are usually considered a little bit soft for adult male golfers, but keep in mind that just as many guys made it to scratch using hickory shafts as they do now, so it’s absolutely not the deal-breaker many make it out to be.

Some very rough guidelines for players who might want to start searching in the range of regular flex are:

  • Average drive under 250 yards 
  • Average 7 iron under 150 yards 
  • Average driver club head speed under 100mph

Players who's average sit over these numbers should start looking into stiff or extra stiff shafts, keeping in mind that these are general guidelines.

Senior (A)

Senior flex shafts are the next-softest step below regular. Oftentimes you can feel a senior flex shaft bending and unloading with just an aggressive waggle, and this is a great way to teach someone how to feel, perceive, and understand the concept of shaft flex in stiffer clubs.

Naturally, these shafts can be used by anyone regardless of age, but their target market is usually slower swing speed players.

Ladies (L)

Women's golfer hitting an iron

For some manufacturers, the difference between ladies flex clubs and senior flex clubs is mostly the paint scheme, graphics, and marketing. If both options are offered, typically the ladies flex will be the softest and most flexible, even more than senior flex.

Contrary to their name, the vast majority of female golfers will fit into another flex that is stiffer than “ladies flex.”

Despite the label and the idea that "faster swings fit with stiffer shafts," some long drive competitors are now using ladies flex shafts to help them move the club faster!

RELATED: Men’s vs Women’s Golf Clubs – The Difference Between Them

Golf Shaft Flex Chart By Swing Speed And Carry Distance

You will see many club fitters suggest to choose shaft flex based virtually exclusively on swing speed. As we have detailed, there are actually a lot more things to consider, not limited to but definitely including: transition tempo, dispersion, release patterns, strike tendencies, desired ball flight, and personal feels.

Because of these factors and more, many players may actually be properly fit into a flex that is one notch above or below the level that their swing speed might suggest on paper. So keep in mind that static fitting charts like these should always be used as a starting point in the fitting process, not the end-all be-all.

Static Fitting Chart For Driver Shafts

Below is a chart showing suggestions for shaft flex based on your club head speed and carry distance of your driver:

swing speed

carry distance

suggested flex

105+ MPH

275+ Yards


95-105 MPH

230-275 Yards


85-95 MPH

190-230 Yards


75-85 MPH

165-190 Yards


Below 75 MPH

Below 165 Yards


What Is The Kick Point Of A Golf Shaft and How Does That Impact My Selection?

The kick point refers to how high or low on the shaft the flex occurs. Golf shafts are not uniform - most have taper to them and can change thicknesses and materials throughout the length of the shaft, creating a “bend profile” that doesn’t always bend the easiest directly in the middle of the club.

Shafts that have a high kick point reach their peak flex closer to the handle end of the club, and create a longer, smoother-feeling and more uniform-feeling loading and unloading of the flex. Since they unload essentially for a longer time period these shafts tend to delay the release and keep the ball flight lower, and tend to be favored by faster speed, lower handicap players.

Low kick point shafts are the opposite - they are very stiff through the handle and middle, but can do the bulk of their flexing and unloading in the bottom third of the club shaft. This creates a more rapid kick at the bottom that can be harder to manage in a faster swing, but can provide a ton of extra pop and height for a smooth swinger.

What Is Golf Shaft Torque?

Torque is the “hidden” variable when it comes to golf shafts. Much talked about at the highest-levels, it is completely overshadowed by shaft flex for the general consumer.

Torque in a golf shaft refers to its ability to resist twisting rather than flexing. There is a lot of force on the toe of the club in a golf downswing and having a shaft that either doesn’t torque much or torques and untorques in an extremely reliable way is probably more important than having your flex just right.

The catch is, while a graphite shaft as stiff as rebar and and still lightweight, it takes some serious effort to make a golf shaft that can flex some and still resists the torque that would twist the club face open or let it rebound shut.

It’s this resistance to torque that really drives the high-end performance shafts that go for hundreds of dollars - and making shafts that can provide flex but not torque is the real challenge that the engineers demand big bucks for.

What Golf Shaft Weight Is Right For Me?


Shaft weight is once again most closely tied to swing speed, but there is plenty of room for personalization. Generally speaking, you want to swing a club that is as light as possible while still being able to control it.

Obviously different golfers have different goals for speed or dispersion, and most want to find a happy balance between both, and adjusting shaft weight can help that.

Changing shaft weight can also help a golfer change their mechanics. Let’s take a look at a few instances when you might want to look at making an adjustment to shaft weight.

When To Go Heavier

A heavy shaft helps control your consistency of contact

If you have plenty of speed, but have trouble finding solid contact, heavier clubs could help reign in a tendency, but don’t expect a complete cure. Because many pro players have plenty of speed, but are constantly battling for more consistency, you will see many golfers go for heavy steel shafts in their irons and wedges.

Another tendency is that players who tend to change planes more from backswing to downswing can benefit from a heavier club, helping encourage them to “pick the club up” and then “drop it in the slot” more easily. Heavier shafts can help a golfer flow with the weight of the club, encouraging the shallowing of the club in the downswing. 

Heavier shafts are also useful for swing weighting and achieving the right feel in the club fitting process.  All else equal, heavier shafts will make the club feel less head-heavy and reduce the swingweight.

When To Go Lighter

Use A Lighter Shaft For Junior Golfers

So the first thing to understand is that lighter = faster. Except when it doesn’t! On pure physics lighter = faster, but in the hands of a human sometimes we swing lighter things slower. This is due to the way it feels in our hands and our - maybe misguided - concepts of how to generate swing speed.

But the #1 reason to go lighter is because it can open you up to a few extra MPH if done properly. It can also result in less strain or stress on the joints for golfers who need to mitigate injury problems.

Lightening shafts in your golf set can also be done to match your swing weight. The lighter the shaft, the more head-heavy the club can feel. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, but if you don’t like to mess with lead tape, switching to a lighter shaft can accomplish a similar feel.

What Golf Shaft Length Is Right For Me?

The right golf shaft length for you is the one that allows you to setup to the ball correctly as well as give you a chance to impact the ball correctly.

This means the length should match your setup so that you can be relaxed, balanced, and in good golf posture at address. It should also be long enough to allow the appropriate amount of shaft lean at impact for your desired ball flight, without having to change levels or stand up in the downswing.

RELATED: The Best Iron Sets Under $500 In 2024

How To Measure Shaft Length

Measuring the length of a golf club

When referring to shaft length, you want to measure what is known as the “playing length

  • Playing length should be measured to the edge of the grip cap not the end of the grip
  • Playing length should be measured to where an imaginary extension of the shaft touches the ground when the club is soled in a playing position at its proper lie angle

This method is highly dependent upon holding the club in exactly the proper lie angle. There are devices sold for clubmakers to do this more precisely when building clubs.

Be aware that the USGA, for rules purposes, measures to the very end of the grip. The maximum playing length for a non-putter is 48” but has recently been limited to 46” at the professional level. There is no maximum playing length for a putter, by rule.

How To Measure Yourself To Determine Proper Shaft Length

The starting point for a shaft length fitting is usually a “static fitting chart.” These charts deal with a “wrist to floor” measurement for a proper prescription. This should be measured from the crease in the wrist while standing in a natural relaxed posture with hands hanging by the sides.

This static fitting point should also be combined with a properly balanced setup and then very importantly fine-tuned with a dynamic fitting that also considers how the club is being delivered at impact, and how longer or shorter shafts might complement that.

Proper Shaft Length For A 5 Iron Based On Your Measurements

Golf clubs laying on the ground

The standard five iron length is 38” for a men’s iron set with steel shafts. Each iron in the set is then usually incrementally ½” longer or shorter as you go up and down the set, although some non-traditional or customized sets can use alternative gapping, such as ⅜”. The numbers on golf clubs are very closely associated with the standard length.

Typically a player will refer to their playing length in reference to this standard, and just say “I play one inch over standard” or “a half inch under” for example.

Proper Shaft Length For A Driver Based On Your Measurements

The “standard” length driver has changed over the years, and has a lot more variability and room for customization than with irons.

Nowadays, it is most common for manufacturers to ship new drivers with around a 45.5” shaft as their stock option. On the PGA Tour, the standard length might be more around 44.5”, and when steel shafts were popular in drivers the standard was more like 43.5”.

The starting point for a driver shaft length is usually the same as your iron club fit - if you play a certain amount over or under, you can start experimenting with a driver that is that same amount over or under standard.

From here, however, there is a lot more freedom to use club length to add an extra MPH or two by adding length, or trying to gain an accuracy advantage by cutting the driver down a half inch or an inch.

How to Choose The Right Golf Shaft For Irons

Choosing the right length golf club can have a huge impact on yoru golf game

There are a lot of ways to go about choosing the right golf shaft for your irons, but working with an experienced and knowledgeable club fitter is by far the best way to get dialed in.

Short of that, the best thing a consumer can do is check the three main variables when selecting a new club: flex, length, and weight.

RELATED: Most Forgiving Irons For Beginners And High Handicaps In 2024

Iron Shaft Fitting Charts

Check out the charts linked below for an in depth look at the factors to consider when being fit for irons:

How to Choose The Right Golf Shaft For Fairway Woods

There are lots of options for different golf clubs that may fit you the best

Without a club fitter to help tweak some minor details, most golfers are generally going to play similar shaft preferences in their fairway woods that they do in their irons and driver, and for the same reasons of body type, athleticism level, and swing style that they used to choose their other shafts.

One thing to watch out for is when changing from manufacturer to manufacturer, weight and length are very easy to measure but “stiff” versus “regular” flex designations and other superficial identifications can vary quite a bit.

How to Choose The Right Golf Shaft For Driver

RELATED: Performance Golf SF1 Anti Slice Driver Review

Driver is definitely where shafts start to matter the most, and where you will see the most tweaking, customizations, and unique setups. 

RELATED: Golf Driver Buying Guide: What Should I Buy?

That said almost all players are going to stay exactly with or very close to the same profiles they had in their other clubs. If a player matches well with short and heavy iron shafts, they will probably also use a shorter, heavier driver shaft. 

Because the shaft differences are easiest to feel in drivers, and because of differences between manufacturers, it is very important to test driver shafts in-person before investing in an aftermarket upgrade.

Have a look at our driver shaft fitting chart to start understanding what you are looking for.

RELATED: Best Driver For Seniors (Distance-Forgiveness)

How to Choose The Right Golf Shaft For Wedges

Hitting a wedge shot

RELATED: Performance Golf One Wedge Review

Wedge shafts are where the differences in weight and flex are least pronounced, and make the least difference. They are at the other end of the spectrum from the driver.

Typically there is very little technology in wedge shafts. Basic physics says that shorter clubs are automatically stiffer, and it's pretty much universal that golfers want consistency over speed when it comes to wedges. So by design, wedges are always going to be the least flexible shafts in a set, with the exception of the putter.

Because of these factors there isn’t a need for a great variety in wedge shafts, and unless you are really trying to do some TOUR-level dialing-in. Players from a wide variety of ability levels can all play with very similar wedge shafts. It is fine if they are the same as your other clubs, and it is also fine if they are stiffer and slightly heavier.

RELATED: Does Shaft Flex Matter In Wedges – Stiff vs Regular vs Senior

How Do You Know If You Have Chosen The Wrong Golf Shaft?

If you haven’t had the experience to develop “golfer’s instincts” that come from holding and playing with thousands of different golf clubs over the years, and cannot immediately tell if a shaft is way too “whippy” or way too rigid for your liking, the best resource is a static fitting chart.

While there is plenty of room for dialing in exact matchups, most players do fall in-line with their static fitting charts, and unless you are going for a specialty like World Long Drive competitions, almost all players will be within one “flex” of what is suggested by the chart.

Final Thoughts

While the club head might be king, the shaft is the “engine of the golf club.”

When picking out a shaft, there is a lot that can be done. From using simple common-sense guidelines and static fitting charts to full-blown radar-assisted club fitting with an expert, the technology is out there to get the perfect shaft for your swing. While there are thousands of options and combinations on the market, the most important variables that will make up most of your shaft’s performance are: length, weight, and flex.

With or without the help of a club fitter, most players learn to understand their preferences in these three categories - short vs long, heavy vs light, and stiff vs soft. Most golfers can then pick up a club off of the shelf and understand pretty much what to expect from it, although there can definitely be variations from year-to-year and from manufacturer-to-manufacturer when it comes to shaft flex definitions.

Whether you want to “DIY” it, just understand your off-the-shelf options better, or want to be able to have a functional conversation with a golf pro when you go in for a club fitting, we hope the information we have provided will be a great foundation for understanding not just the basics, but some of the tweaks that can come with different torque ratings, kick points, and other exotic new technologies as well.


What happens if your shaft is too flexible?

A too flexible shaft will over-load or over-flex very easily. From here, anything can happen - it can stay over-loaded through the strike and produce wipey shots, or it can wildly unload early through impact and produce dramatic hooks. Or worst of all - it can randomly do both.

RELATED: Best Driver For A Slice – With Expert Reviews

What happens if your shaft is too stiff?

If the golf shaft is too stiff, it will never load (flex) enough during the swing. This mostly robs the player of getting the speed and distance that they would with a shaft that properly loads and unloads through the swing, and can also cause directional and height issues due to the shaft releasing sooner. Having the proper flex in your shaft can play a major role in lowering your scores.

RELATED: Best Ping Drivers For Distance And Forgiveness

What Is The Difference Between A High Kick Point And Low Kick Point Shaft?

High kick point shafts flex closer to the handle and typically are intended to lower the ball flights and are commonly used by high level players.

Low kick point shafts flex closer to the head of the club and typically are intended to add height and possibly speed to a player’s normal shot.

RELATED: The Lower The Loft On Your Driver, The Farther The Ball Will Go

What Driver Shaft Do I Need?

You need a driver shaft that helps you accomplish three things: set up properly to the club, swing the club on an appropriate plane, and load/unload the club efficiently. As a baseline for choosing, you want to match three key variables in the shaft: length, weight, and flex.

In order to understand how to match up these variables to your swing, use resources such as the ones provided in this article, and/or a local club fitter.

RELATED: Best Driver For High Handicappers And Beginners

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Michael VanDerLaan

Michael is an Associate Editor here at Golf Gear Advisor. He is a playing professional with a passion for finding the best equipment through product testing and evaluation. He has an intimate knowledge of the golf swing and a very effective way of communicating his knowledge to those that are interested in learning more. As an Associate Editor at Golf Gear Advisor, Michael shares his knowledge about the golf swing, fitness and finding the right equipment for your game.

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