Does Driver Shaft Flex Make A Difference?

Most of my buddies are using a stiff flexed driver shaft because it’s what they’ve always been told to use. I’ve always thought the same thing but it actually might not be true and in this post, I’m going to be talking about whether or not driver shaft flex makes a difference.

Long story short, after testing out 4 different shafts (senior, regular, stiff, extra stiff) I do think shaft flex makes a difference. A regular shaft gave me the widest shot dispersion while a senior shaft gave me the tightest dispersion. I had the most distance with an extra stiff shaft while a stiff shaft was about 5 yards less. It’s more than just swing speed when it comes to the shaft you pick but I got the best results with a senior or extra stiff shaft.

I was definitely not expecting that. I thought for sure I’d get the best results with a regular or shift shaft because my swing speed isn’t as fast. I think you’ll need to give them a try to know for sure but you might want to consider going extra flexy or extra stiff to get the best results possible.


Senior Flex

I thought for sure that I’d have trouble keeping the ball in the fairway with such a whippy shaft but that actually wasn’t the case. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t need to swing as hard but I hit the most fairways with a senior flex.

My distance was definitely shorter than I was used but I liked the idea of being in the fairway. It’s one of the easier ways for the average golfer to lower scores. I know it sounds crazy but it might be worth trying.

John Daly said that you should use the most flexible shaft that you can comfortably control so he might have been onto something. Some people aren’t going to like swinging a super whippy club but it’s something you’ll get used to overtime. If it’ll help me hit more fairways then I’m willing to put in the time to get used to it.

I actually found one of my grandpas drivers (senior flex Callaway Big Bertha Warbird) in the garage shortly after and decided to give it a try. It’s a lot smaller than my driver and it was a lot more whippy but it performed super well. I don’t know the reason for it but the results are hard to disagree with.

Regular Flex

I’ve been using a regular or stiff flexed shaft for a while now and am pretty comfortable with them but the results were a bit surprising. The distance I got with it was slightly more than the senior flex but my shots went a lot more left and right on mishits.

The regular flex was around 5 yards longer compared to the senior but for some reason, I didn’t feel like I had much control over the ball. Hitting the ball straight was definitely a harder thing to do and that’s a pretty big deal in my mind.

Does Driver Shaft Flex Make A Difference

The ball trajectory was pretty much the same with the regular and senior shaft but it was quite higher compared to the shift shafts. If you hit low drives then you could probably benefit from using a more flexible shaft. If I had to pick between the 2 flexible shafts then I’d go with a senior (worked better for my swing).

Stiff Flex

I think this is the shaft most golfers use and I’m sure the majority of them picked that shaft because of their swing speed. A lot more than that goes into what shaft you should use and oftentimes you’d get better performance from something else.

The stiff flex was slightly lower launching compared to the previous two and it gave me a few yards more (when I really smacked it). I felt like I had to give it a bit more juice to get the most out of it and if I used the same swing as the regular, it didn’t go quite as far.

Compared to the regular, I felt like I had a lot more control using this shaft and the shot shape was much straighter. It still wasn’t as good as the senior but it was respectable. I feel like the stiff shaft was better than the regular but not quite as good as the senior.

Extra Stiff Flex

I had never thought about using an extra stiff shaft until recently because I knew my swing speed wasn’t fast enough. I assumed it was only for tour players but after testing it out for myself, that might not be the case at all.

In terms of distance, the extra stiff driver was the longest for me but I really had to give it some power. If I gave it an easy swing like the senior it definitely didn’t go as far but it gave me the longest drive of the day. It was around 5 yards longer on average compared to the stiff.

The shot dispersion was also really good. It was better than the regular and the stiff and was pretty similar to the senior. I’m not saying that’s going to be the case for you but it was for me. If you tend to hit the ball way up in the air with a lot of curve then you might benefit from switching to a stiffer shaft.

To sum things up, if you want to make a nice and easy swing with your driver and prefer accuracy over distance then you might want to try a senior shaft. After testing out the regular shaft I probably wouldn’t recommend it. If you like to swing fairly hard with your driver or hit high curvy shots then you might want a stiffer shaft (I liked the extra stiff slightly more). I’d recommend you go to fitted though because that’ll give you the best information.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

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Hey, I'm Jon. I started Out Of Bounds Golf to share my findings after testing golf gear for the past 10+ years. My goal is to make the game a little easier to understand, whether that's with finding the right product or answering common questions. I currently live in the Pacific Northwest.

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