Finding the right golf club for your swing is a vital and necessary step in order to perform well while on the golf course. Although you can just walk into a store which sells golf clubs, pick some out without even taking them for a test swing and be successful, it is very rare. More than likely, you are actually setting yourself up for failure in the long-term. Taking the time to swing a golf club a few different times and see how it feels as it contacts the ball is a very important step in finding the right golf club for you.
When it comes to choosing the best golf club, you should not just limit your decision to the brand, or the grip or the size of the head on the golf club. An often overlooked aspect to finding the right golf club is the type of shaft you have with your golf clubs. Most golfers spend the time to find the right length and feel, but go with the shaft that comes standard on the golf clubs they purchase. Although you can do this and still shoot a low round, you are adding shots to your round each and every time, and normally if you have the opportunity to lower the number of shots during each round, you should take advantage of this.
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Within this guide, we’ll go over what characteristics go into picking out a good shaft for your golf clubs. Overall, there are ten different combinations you can chose from when it comes to style of shaft, and then there are countless options when you take colors into consideration. After we go over in detail what your options are there, we will give you a review of the top 10 golf shafts we found within the marketplace. After that, we’ll help you narrow down your choices to help determine which combination of shaft is best for you and your golf swing.
With this as the foundation, let’s get started!
What Types of Shafts are Available in the Market?
As stated before, there are ten main combinations available when it comes to the shafts on your golf clubs. Here are the two categories, and what are the specifics within each category.
Shafts for golf clubs are made out of two different materials; Graphite and Steel. Each one gives you an advantage, depending upon your swing and how the impact you want to strike the golf ball with.
Graphite – Of the two materials, this one has become the most popular over the course of the last few years. A graphite shaft is lighter in comparison to the steel shaft you’ll read about here shortly. With a graphite shaft, you can swing the club faster due to the lightness, which can help you generate a higher amount of club swing. The higher velocity of the swing from the graphite shaft means you can hit the ball further, which really aides those people who do not have a lot of upper body strength.
One thing to be aware of with the graphite shaft is because the swing is faster; there is more of a chance of the clubface getting turned during the swing. This is due to your tempo being faster, during the swing, and due to the various moving body parts, if the swing is faster, than everything within the swing needs to lineup faster, which does not always happen.
Steel – The steel shaft of a golf club is heavier compared to the graphite shaft, which means it is harder to swing overall. However, those who want to hit the golf club with more power, and not just a higher velocity, then going with a steel shaft is the right decision for you. The steel shaft does require a more muscular upper body, as it does take more power to generate the club head speed you desire. However, due to the higher mass of the club, you can strike the ball harder and a little bit more pure compared to a graphite shaft.
Although you can hit the golf ball harder, that does not always mean it will go where you want it to. There are still a lot of factors involved with hitting a golf ball, but a steel shaft typically means your swing will be a little bit slower. Because your swing is slower, your body will have a better chance to be in the perfect position when you strike the golf ball.
Types of Shafts
When determining the type of shaft you want for your golf club, there are five different flex shafts you can pick from. The flexibility of the shaft helps determine exactly how the face of the club head will strike the ball. If you have the wrong combination of material and flexibility, it will mean you will not hit the golf ball purely, which means you will not have the optimum amount of distance, accuracy or trajectory for your golf ball. Here is a list of the five different types of flexibility available for all golf clubs:
Extra Stiff – This kind of flexibility is the least chosen type of flexibility, as it is only for those who are very strong within the upper body. Even if you think you can handle it, the recommendation is to always go with one flexibility level less than what you think you can handle. For the extra stiff shaft, you should only consider this kind of a shaft if you can drive the ball over 275 yards on a very consistent basis.
Stiff – One step down from the Extra Stiff, this is the type of flexibility which if most commonly found among men on the golf course that have a decent amount of upper body strength. It is not completely stiff, and the flexibility is just enough to where the clubface is not too far behind your hands on your downswing. The typical drive with this kind of shaft is between 230-375 yards.
Regular – This is the standard shaft in which most golf club sets come with, as well as individual drivers. Due to this, it is the most common shaft you will find on the golf course among all adults, and between men and women. It allows you to have some flexibility within your shot, where you can swing the club with the right amount of tempo to allow the clubface to perfectly hit the golf ball in a good rhythm. The average driving distance within this type of shaft is between 200-230 yards.
Senior – The Senior shaft is meant for those who cannot swing the golf club very fast, even if it is a graphite shaft. There is a great amount of flexibility on this shaft, and if you swing the club too fast with this flexibility, your arms will not be fully perpendicular to the ball, when in fact your arms would be too far out in front. This would cause your shot to have a lower amount of trajectory, which will mean the ball could roll further, but depending upon the course, could mean the ball will not go nearly as far down the field. The average drive distance is less than 200 yards.
Ladies – Although by the name you might think this is only for women, it is not. This kind of shaft is a mid-level shaft, and is in between the regular and senior shaft. There is a lot of flexibility with the shaft to allow you to create some velocity while also giving you a little bit of a stiffness to hit the ball harder and further compared to a senior shaft. Overall, you would typically hit a drive between 215-245 yards with this shaft.
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This model of shaft for a golf club has for different flexibilities available, which are Ladies, Regular, Senior and Stiff. It is made out of a graphite material, meaning it will be easier to swing because of how light it is (weighing only 65 grams), and the flexibility will be more pronounced. This shaft from Pro Taylor promises to provide you with better control, accuracy and distance with every shot you take. The bend point on the shaft is along the lower half of the shaft, which means the velocity generated will pass right thru the ball instead of being wasted on motion around your hands.
- Graphite shaft makes your golf club easier to hit
- Low mid-point flex gives you greater velocity while hitting thru the ball
- Only weighs 65 grams
- Comes in the most popular four flexibility types
- Has consistent price among those flexibility types
- Only comes in one color
- Can’t change length of shaft before purchase
This shaft is intended to go with your wedges, which will help give you better control over the shots which need the greatest touch. Made out of a steel material, the shaft itself weighs 131 grams. This shaft is intended to flex in a way to help you add spin to any and all of your approach shots, as well as allowing you to stop the ball on a dime if you so desire.
- The increased Rotations you can add to the golf ball will help you control the ball closer to the hole
- Can be installed to all of your wedge golf clubs
- Has a tapered design, so the flexibility will be more towards the club head
- Steel shaft is very heavy, so you can keep a good tempo on your closer to the green shots
- Can only be used on wedge golf clubs, so you could have a different feel for your wedges compared to the rest of your golf clubs
One of the rarest types of shafts available out in the marketplace, this wood shaft will give you a very unique look while on the course. This shaft has been designed with some technological advantages, as the torque and flexibility are designed to give you the most control while also maximizing the speed and power combination. The flexibility point is in the middle of the shaft to provide you a greater amount of stability closer to the club face.
- Has technology which will increase your power and velocity
- PGA Tour tested and approved
- This graphite shaft only weighs 68 grams
- Has a midpoint flex spot to allow you to have control over more of your shots compared to a high point flex spot
- Only comes in one color and design
- Made out of a composite wood material which could break down easier over time
This set of eight shafts have varying lengths so you can fit all of your golf clubs from a 3-Iron down to a Pitching Wedge. These shafts are made out of steel, which means you will have a lower trajectory overall, but allow you to run the ball further on the ground with each shot.
- Having a set of eight shafts means all of your irons and wedges will have the same shaft
- These shafts come to you uncut, meaning you can the shafts to your own specifications
- With a mid to low flex point, you have greater control over your shots, especially as you get closer to the green
- A lower trajectory means you cannot pin the ball into a certain spot
- Cannot use this shaft for your diver or your fairway woods
This tapered shaft is made out of a graphite material, and weighs only 58 grams. The taper goes from .595 on the end of the shaft down to .350 along the tip. This is a stiff flex material, meaning it should only be used for those with good upper body strength. This shaft is uncut, and will come to you in a 46” length.
- Made out of a very light graphite material, weighing only 58 grams
- As an uncut shaft, you can customize the length to match your needs
- Tapered shaft means you can control the ball better with each swing
- Only comes in a Stiff Flex model
- Is available only in one color
This graphite shaft comes with a RBZ tip, which will allow you to have confidence in its ability to help control the ball within each shot you take. It is for your driver, so you can make be assured it will give you the strength and power you desire. The flexibility level with this shaft is Extra Stiff, meaning you can use this shaft to hit the golf ball as far as you can.
- Has a RBZ tip, which helps ensure you can hit your sweet spot as often as possible
- Made out of a Graphite material
- The tip will work on a variety of different brands of club heads
- The extra stiff flexibility means this shaft is only good for those who are very strong within the upper body
- Only comes in one color
Made out of a Graphite material, this particular shaft will help provide you a very smooth and efficient swing. This is performed as the shaft will add stability while increasing your acceleration in your swing. This shaft weighs only 63 grams, and has a mid-point flex spot.
- Made out of a Graphite material
- Has a mid-point flex spot
- Will fit a variety of different club heads from various manufacturers
- Has an Uncut length of 44.25”, so you can easily adjust this to meet your needs
- Only for a Driver
- Has an Extra Stiff flexibility, which limits who can use this shaft
This golf club shaft is made out of a graphite material, and is available in a few different flexibility models. This shaft is intended to provide you with as much torque as possible within each swing, and comes to you in a 46” uncut length. This shaft only weighs 68 grams. The flex point is along the higher portion of the shaft, allowing you to generate as much velocity as you want with each swing. The shaft tapers from .600 down to .335.
- Made out of a Graphite material
- Long uncut length allows you to cut this shaft to your own specifications
- Is available in multiple models of flexibility
- Nice tapered size allows you to have a greater feel for each shot
- Only comes in one color
- The high bend point means you have less control over each shot
Made out of a composite wood material, this shaft provides you with a unique way to approach your golf shots. Only weighing 67 grams, it acts more like a graphite shaft in both velocity and flexibility. This shaft is intended to help decrease the amount of spin along each shot, while attempting to help you increase your velocity.
- Made from a wood composite material which acts very similar to graphite
- Weighs only 67 grams
- Will provide a higher arc for each shot
- Allow you to swing with a higher velocity
- Only comes in one color
- Is available for only your driver
Our number 1 rated shaft is made out of a composite wood material, which acts very similarly to graphite. This shaft is available in all five models of flexibility, and only weighs a paltry 55 grams. This uncut shaft comes in a 46” length, so you can customize it to the length you desire.
- Comes in each of the five flexibility models
- Only weighs 55 grams
- Comes in an uncut 46” length
- Made out of a wood composite material
- Only comes in one color
Determining the Best Golf Shafts for you and your Shot
Finding the best golf shafts for your golf clubs can be a tedious task, as you need to take a few swings with each combination to find the right one for you. When you go in for testing, you should keep your mind open to the material, as well as the flexibility, so you can ensure you find the right combination, whatever that might be. There is no shame in having a shaft which is a ladies or a senior shaft, if that shaft allows you to hit the ball better and purer.
So, how do you determine what kind of shaft and flexibility you should have? Here are some basic rules for you to consider.
When it comes to a graphite or steel shaft, the greater amount of muscle you have in your upper body, the more you should consider a steel shaft. This kind of shaft will not generate as much velocity, but you will be able to hit the ball harder, and more within the sweet spot of the club face, which will project the ball further out.
If you want to have a golf club which will allow you to generate a faster club speed during your swing, then going with a graphite shaft is the better choice. It is easier to swing, especially if you do not have a lot of upper body strength, so you can generate more speed and power in your swing to help elevate the amount of distance you can put on each golf shot.
When it comes to the flexibility, no matter which shaft you choose, you will know if you have the wrong type of flexibility depending upon how you hit the ball. For example, you will know that you have too stiff of a shaft if you hit the golf ball and it goes in a line drive, rather than having a nice, smooth arc to the shot. Also, if the ball tends to go in the direction in which you are oriented with your hands (i.e. if you are left-handed, the ball will go more left, and vice versa). Also, your hands will be able to tell because there will be more of a stinging feeling within your hands, even if you hit the shot fairly pure.
You can tell if the shaft is too flexible during your shot if the loft of the shot is too high, and doesn’t meet the nice arc you would expect to see with any shot. In addition, your grip will feel as if it is a pure shot, even when you can tell that it is not. Lastly, the ball will go to the opposite direction of your hand orientation (i.e. the ball will go right when you are left-handed, and vice versa).
Even though it takes some time, finding the right cross of a material and flexibility which is best for you will lead to lower scores on the golf course, which is what your goal should be each time you step out on the golf course.
Overall, there is a lot of evidence which points to the fact that most golfers tend to have the wrong combination of material and shaft flexibility among their golf clubs. Even if you change one or the other, there is no guarantee it will help you lower your score, as you need to find the right combination of the two. Because there are ten different combinations to choose from, it will take you some time to find the right one, but once you do, you will be setup for success. This is not a component which should be overlooked, especially if you have taken the time to find the right golf clubs. Every aspect of the golf club should be analyzed to help ensure you have the best chance to shoot a low score every time you step on the course.
We wish you good luck in your hunt for finding the best golf shafts, and we look forward to hearing how taking the time and finding the right combination has led to lower scores on the golf course for you.