Chapter 2: How to choose the best shaft for your driver

We are back with our Chapter 2 of how to choose a driver; in this article, you’ll get to know about how the shaft affects your performance?

Do you know that a shaft is known as “the engine” of a golf club? Yes, it is, and that is why it’s crucial to use shafts that boost your performance and deliver according to your swing tendencies. There are some things to consider while choosing a shaft; flex, length, weight, and bend profile are the main parameters that we will discuss further.

Types of golf shafts

Steel and graphite, these are two basic types of golf shafts. All modern drivers come fitted with graphite shafts and you can typically choose the flex you want; however, if you decide that you would like to change your type of shaft, you should know the basics of golf shafts.

Steel Shafts

Drivers till the end of the 20th Century were only fitted with Steel Shafts. These shafts offer more control and have a greater emphasis on accuracy than distance, which means that faster swing speed is required to generate the same distance as a graphite shaft.

Which players normally use steel shafts – In today’s time nobody uses a steel shaft in a driver anymore; as these shafts are much heavier, they don’t deliver the optimum performance out of a driver. 

Graphite Shafts

Graphite Shafts help to produce a more majestic swing speed for added power; however, it surrenders control due to the flex generated in the swing. Therefore it is of utmost importance to choose the right flex and weight combination for your driver shaft. A perfect shaft can deliver great results off the tee even for a high handicap golfer.

Which players normally use this – Every golfer from club players to professionals use graphite shafts in drivers now.

What went wrong?

The most common place golfers go wrong is in the amount of flex they have in their golf club’s shaft. But finding the club shaft that makes you happy involves some trial and time.

How Do I Know?

What golf shaft flex is right for me?

The flex defines a golf club shaft’s ability to bend during a swing, affecting the distance and control. There is a thing you must know that the shaft flex really impacts the accuracy, trajectory, and distance of your shot. Therefore, getting the right flex in your golf clubs is essential.

Talking about the flex rating you use, then it will clearly depend on the type of swing you have. Like the beginners and those with normal swings tend to use a shaft with greater flexibility to propel the ball more. Whereas, powerful swingers will require a stiffer shaft with less flex.

According to what you carry, below is a table to understand better. 

Driver Carry                 Flex Swing Speed
260 yards +            Extra Stiff 94 + mph
245-260 yards            Stiff 85-94 mph
220-245 yards            Regular 75-85 mph
200-225 yards            Senior 62-75 mph
>200 yards            Ladies >60 mph

A club fitting with a golf expert is the suggested way to choose the proper golf shaft flex for your golf clubs.

Golf Club Shaft Length

Now if you feel that you have learned the art of choosing the right shaft after studying about the flex, then you must know that the shaft length also plays an integral role in driver performance. Shaft length varies depending on different aspects such as player height and wrist to floor distance. For more details see the chart below.

You can’t pick the right shaft without knowing how much the shaft’s length and weight will impact your game. For instance, a ball impact that is 0.5 inches off-center equates to a 7% loss of carrying distance, and an impact that is 1-inch off-center equates to a 14% loss of carrying distance. So, the key to choosing the right shaft is finding the correct length that provides a repeating, robust hit all the time.

Golf Shaft Weight 

Another crucial thing to consider in your shaft is its weight. Shafts can range anywhere from 40 to 85 grams. Typically, the rule of thumb is that a golfer with a slow swing might use lighter shaft, and he/she would add weight as swing speed increases. 

The simple fact is that the lighter shafts provide the opportunity to increase swing speed. Increased swing speed correlates to more distance; however, playing with a shaft too light will ultimately lead to off-center hits. Whereas, the heavier Shafts will not allow the golfer to generate enough speed to maximize distance and produce more off-center hits. 

Also, a lighter shaft promotes a higher ball flight while a heavier shaft generally produces a lower ball flight. So, yes, weight can affect swing speed along with other factors, and it’s critical to find the right weight that fits your swing so you can maintain control while also increasing club speed.

Conclusion 

Sometimes a player doesn’t know what he or she needs in a golf shaft; Even the most devoted players undervalue the significance of selecting the right shaft for their golf equipment and then troubles in the game.

But, after reading this in-depth article, I’m pretty sure you’ve discovered a lot about how to choose your driver’s shaft, and from now onwards, you will not make any mistake of selecting the right shaft for your driver. 

Stay tuned for the next chapter of the series: How to choose the right grip for your club?

Posted on: 17-Mar-2020
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