An important factor in evaluating shafts is stiffness vs. flex. For all players, a shaft can either be too stiff or too flexible. In both of these cases, their performance will be somewhat compromised. However, what makes a shaft too stiff or too flexible is different for each player, and depends on how they swing. One of the most important factors in determining how stiff a shaft should be is a player’s swing speed.
There’s a popular line of thought that golf professionals use stiff shafts in their game. This is mostly true, but it comes down to swing speed. Golf pros tend to have slightly higher swing speeds than average or even advanced players, and therefore, their shafts have a propensity to be a bit more stiff. This is because these shafts are usually custom engineered to a player’s swing.
What Does “Stiff” Really Mean?
The stiffness of a shaft refers to how far the shaft bends (or doesn’t bend) when the club is swung. This impacts the transfer of energy from the swing to the ball. When a shaft is more stiff, it takes less time for the transference of energy to occur, which is why players with faster swings need a shaft that can ‘keep up.’ On the other hand, when a shaft has more flex, it takes more time for the transference of energy to occur.
When we refer to ‘stiff shafts,’ the difference between ‘stiff’ and ‘not stiff’ is subtle. The difference is also quite subtle when a pro opts for a lighter or a heavier shaft. Each of these choices is made strategically depending on an interweb of the player’s strengths, experience levels, and performance goals. Every shaft (and club) offers a different circumstance of performance that must be understood contextually.
If You Want to be a Pro, Should You Use a Stiff Shaft?
The most important step you can take in your golf game if you’re hoping to improve and become advanced or even a professional golfer is to find a shaft that can enhance your performance right now. Fairway Jockey has thousands of potential options for every type of player. By zeroing in on your performance goals, swing speed, and preferences, you can find a shaft that helps you in your game and customize it to your liking.
Again, the appropriateness of a shaft’s stiffness is heavily dependent on the player. So, a shaft that is slightly more stiff will not improve your game to a professional level unless you already have the propensity for a faster swing speed. Survey our many shaft options, and if you have questions about the best shaft option for you, our experienced fitters are online and ready to help by live chat every weekday.