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    Your Golf Club Shaft is Too Stiff

    Updated: Mar 15, 2023
    Golf Club Shafts Blog

    Golf shafts are the engine of the golf club. But what does that mean? Since the very first golf clubs, club makers have considered how much or how little a golf shaft flexes; the golf shaft provides the power that is transferred to the clubhead and, ultimately, to the golf ball. Because the shaft flex directly facilitates this power transfer, your shaft choice can make or break your game.

    Marrying swing speed with the correct shaft flex will not only maximize distance but will also tighten dispersion (an individual’s lateral accuracy). Generally speaking, you can choose from a regular, stiff, or extra stiff shaft flex, though there are options such as the Senior Flex, Ladies Flex, and Uniflex.

    Your swing speed plays a major role in choosing your shaft flex.

    Incorrect Shaft Flex Leads to Poor Golf Shots

    Before we determine which shaft flex fits which swing speed, we should first review the negative effects of using a shaft flex that's not appropriate for your swing speed:

    • Inaccurate shots
    • Unsatisfying trajectory
    • Less distance

    As the shaft flexes and releases, the golf club’s clubhead changes position; this directly affects whether the golf club’s clubface is open or closed and whether it adds or decreases loft.

    You want to optimize all these factors for your swing and your ball flight.

    Is Your Golf Shaft Too Stiff?

    Typical Miss: Slice (left to right for right-handed golfer)

    If your golf shaft is too stiff and your swing speed is too slow, your well-struck shot will be limited on both carry distance and shot trajectory; a too-stiff golf shaft will most often lead to weak fades or slices.

    While it is true that a more rigid or stiff shaft flex can assist in creating a straighter shot, the lack of carry distance also means the shot will be a low runner with no chance of stopping.

    Choosing the correct shaft flex ensures that the golf club’s clubhead releases properly and the golf club’s clubface is delivered to the desired position; then you can hit the golf ball straight!

    Is Your Golf Shaft Too Weak?

    Typical Miss: Draw (right to left for right-handed golfer) with too much spin

    A golf shaft that is too weak will flex excessively throughout the golf swing, creating an inconsistent release point.

    Swinging with a weak shaft flex can hurt you in both windy and wet conditions. Because the spin is so high when you hit it with a weaker flex, the wind will magnify the spin and decrease your distance and accuracy. This same spin will also negatively affect your play when the course is wet; a golf ball that flies too high will not travel as far or roll out because it could plug.

    Which Golf Shaft Material is Right for You?

    Do you like Callaway golf clubs? Maybe TaylorMade golf clubs?

    No matter what you brand of golf clubs you play with, it is important to pair your clubs with the right golf shafts. With materials ranging from graphite to steel, we all need to ensure we are using the right golf shafts to optimize our games.

    Graphite Golf Shafts

    Graphite shafts can be used in drivers and irons, though they are most commonly found in longer golf clubs. Graphite is typically the best material for amateur golfers, though some low-handicap players and professionals enjoy the vibrations they can feel in their hands after hitting a golf ball with a steel shaft.

    • Lighter than steel shafts
    • Increase swing speed and distance
    • Benefit golfers with slower swing tempos
    • Tighten dispersion off tee


    • Mitsubishi golf shafts are known for their high-quality graphite golf shafts and can be placed in both irons and drivers

    • Fujikura graphite golf shafts have already been rated #1 for drivers in 2020

    • True Temper’s Project X HZRDUS graphite shafts are known for having the largest range of shaft flex options because they have .5 increments

    Mitsubishi Shaft

    Mitsubishi Rayon Shaft

    Fujikura Graphite Shaft

    Fujikura Graphite Shaft

    True Temper Graphite Shaft

    True Temper Graphite Shaft


    Insider Tip: Swing Tempo Matters

    As golf shaft technology continues to advance, manufacturers are experimenting more with bend profiles within golf shaft flex segments; in other words, not all stiff golf shafts bend the same.

    A person’s swing tempo (i.e., smooth, quick, deliberate, etc.) will correlate with how he/she will “load” the golf shaft during the swing.

    Finding the right golf shaft for your swing speed and tempo will optimize the technical side of your golf game; doing so will give you your best performance on the course, and isn’t that what we all want?

    Determine the Proper Shaft Flex for Your Swing

    In order to figure out the best golf shaft flex for you, you must first determine your swing speed.

    Please note: you DO NOT need to get on a launch monitor to have your swing speed tested, though it certainly wouldn't hurt. Simply answer this question (preferably with your ego far, far away):

    What club do you fly or carry 150 yards?

    Honesty with yourself is key: an inaccurate answer will lead you to select an incorrect shaft flex, which won't get you any closer to improving your game! Once you answer that question, use the information below to begin selecting your shaft flex:

    If You Can Hit 150 Yards with a... Then Your Optimal Shaft Flex Is...
    PW or 9-Iron Extra Stiff Flex (X)
    6- or 7-Iron Regular Flex (R)
    5-Iron/Hybrid or 4-Iron/Hybrid(Male or Female) Senior Flex (A/M)
    Any Iron/Hybrid lower than 4 or any Fairway Wood (Females or Juniors) Ladies Flex (L)

    After determining your shaft flex, you can then refine your selection based on a desired ball flight; for example, if you are between a regular and stiff shaft flex, how do you know what to choose?

    Well, which miss do you find acceptable while you play? Golf is a game of misses, after all! 

    • If you prefer a short but straight shot, go up a stiffness in shaft flex
    • If you prefer a longer shot that will potentially go offline, go down a shaft flex

    Ensuring you get golf clubs with the appropriate shaft flex will not only significantly improve your game, but also make your time on the golf course much more enjoyable.

    Still Undecided? Use UTry®!

    Are you not quite ready to make the purchase? By using our UTry® program, you can choose two versions of the same club – each with a different golf shaft or shaft flex – and test them out yourself!

    Do you really want to buy the Callaway MAVRIK but don’t know if you should use True Temper’s Project X EVENFLOW RIPTIDE 50 Graphite shaft or the UST Helium Black 4 Graphite shaft? Try them both! There are so many chances for you to customize your clubs to your swing.

    How about the TaylorMade M5 driver? Would you rather have the Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Orange 60 Graphite shaft in regular or stiff flex? You can easily find out!

    With our UTry® program, you can order two new clubs for only $25 each with free 3-day shipping, play with them for 14 days after you receive them, and then keep the one you want (with the trial amount deducted from your purchase) and return the one you don’t (with the prepaid label included in the box).

    Whether you take the golf clubs on the course or hit them on the range for two weeks, the choice is yours. You can decide which golf shaft and shaft flex are right for you without the hassle of returning demo clubs at the end of the day.