Updated on February 9th, 2023 at 06:24 pm
The focus in the golf world at the moment is for people to find a golf club that fits their swing properly. This brings up lots of discussions about shaft weight, shaft performance, and of course, shaft flex. Many golfers have a debate about the stiff vs. regular flex choice they have in their golf clubs.
If you think you may have the wrong shaft flex in your current set of clubs, we have some information that can help. Sometimes this decision becomes too much about a label on the club, and not enough about the golf shaft flex best for you.
Regular Flex vs. Stiff Flex: What Is The Difference?
The regular flex golf shaft is more flexible and easier for slower swing speed golfers to swing than the stiff flex golf shaft. A stiff flex golf shaft creates more resistance in the swing of a golfer. Therefore when they attempt to hit the ball with a bit more speed, they can get the incredible distance.
The clubhead speed for most golf swings is too slow for a Stiff flex shaft. The correct shaft flex will improve your ball speed, club head speed, and will improve your driving distance. The average driver carry distance will improve significantly, and the ball flight and your inaccurate shots should also improve.
If you are swinging with a stiffer shaft, but your swing speed is not all that high, you will struggle with your ability to hit the ball both far and straight. A regular shaft will be the more flexible shaft of the two. The major difference between these shaft is the amount of flexibility that they have.
Typically speaking, an average swing speed will be better suited for a regular flex, and higher swing speed golfers need a stiffer flex. However, other things go into this, including weight, heavier shaft material, and even the brand of the shaft. Let’s take a look at some of these factors so you can choose the right shaft for your swing.
What Shaft Options Do Golfers Have?
Even though we are investigating the difference between stiff vs. regular flex, it makes sense to understand all of the different golf shaft options that you have on the market. Not every golfer can choose between regular or stiff and should seek to find the correct flex for their swing speed range.
Extra Stiff Shafts
For golfers with the highest swing speeds of about 105 mph and above, the extra stiff shaft is a perfect choice. This is what you will notice that most PGA Tour professionals are using out on the course.
Stiff shafts are great for golfers with a swing speed of around 100 mph. If you have hit on a launch monitor and have seen those three-digit numbers pop up, chances are the stiff shaft could be the best choice for you.
The regular shaft is perfect for the golfer with around 90mph of swing speed. Most average golfers and beginners enjoy the regular flex shaft.
Senior Flex Shafts
For swing speeds of 85 mph and below, the senior shaft is the best option to consider for shaft recommendations. These shafts have a higher flex rating and are typically only offered in graphite material.
Women’s flex golf club shafts are usually for the female golfer that swings around 85 mph. For women golfers, the shaft material is almost always graphite. Faster swinging women golfers need to consider looking into regular flex golf shafts cut to a woman’s length.
Junior shafts are made for the slowest of swing speeds and are typically graphite in the material. The idea with the junior shaft is to create a lightweight shaft that is forgiving enough to encourage kids to play more golf.
Stiff vs Regular Flex – Which Golf Shaft To Play?
One of the best ways to determine which shaft flex you should have in your golf clubs is to go for a custom fitting. At the fitting, they will do measurements and let you test equipment. It’s important to remember that when choosing between regular and stiff, a few other factors will come into the decision.
A stiff flex graphite shaft could have a very similar performance to a regular flex steel shaft. The graphite material in the stiff shaft helps to make it just a little easier to swing and, therefore, a bit softer when it comes to flex.
If you are borderline between the stiff and regular flex, start to experiment with different shaft materials. You can see our comparison of Graphite vs steel shafts here.
There is no such thing as a standard regular flex. What Fujikura thinks is a stiffer flex shaft is going to be different than what Adila thinks are stiff golf shafts. This is very difficult for golfers. The flex you use in one shaft doesn’t necessarily mean you need it in another. This is part of the reason that testing equipment is so important to find the proper shaft flex.
A heavy shaft is going to feel stiffer. A regular flex golf shaft with a lot of weight will perform very similarly to a stiff flex golf shaft. There are so many different combinations of weight, material, and flex that club fitters can access when building a modern-day set of clubs.
Remember that heavy shafts are better for faster swing speeds that tend to hit the ball rather high, and the lighter shafts are for slower swing speeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Golfers tend to get very confused by the golf shaft options they have; here are a few questions that we are often asked about the difference between regular flex and stiff flex.
Should I Use A Stiff or Regular Flex Shaft?
Typically speaking, if your Driver swing speed is above 100 mph, you should use a stiff flex drivers. For those with swing speeds in the upper 80s and 90s, the regular shaft flex options makes more sense.
Remember that the shaft flex you choose may be different in your irons than in your driver. Most golfers can swing a driver much faster than they can swing a set of irons.
Be sure to check out our recent review on Driver Shafts as well as our article on the difference between Steel and Graphite Shafts.
Stiff flex is great for beginners that are strong and have lots of speed. If you are a former baseball player or an athlete and you are thinking of taking up the game of golf, it makes sense to look for a stiff flex golf club. Sometimes it can be hard to find beginner sets in the stiff flex, but they are out there, and they can always be custom-built.
Should I Use Stiff And Regular Flex Shafts Throughout My Set?
Many golfers will use stiff shafts in their Driver and regular flex in the rest of the set. Finding the right shaft can be difficult if your swing speed is borderline between regular and stiff.
It would help if you found an option that allows you to have both power and tempo and to make great contact with the golf ball. If that means that you have some regular and some stiff flex shafts in your lightest golf bag , that is completely acceptable.