Stiff Vs Regular Flex Driver


Before answering the question of using the Stiff vs Regular flex driver, we must know that the driver is longer than the Iron. The driver offers a little loft than the Iron. So with the driver, the swing should be in a way that hits the ball in the air.

Thus, the setup required for a driver is different than the setup required for the Iron. More so, the shaft choice, either the stiff or the regular flex, requires different considerations. Either a stiff shaft or a regular flex shaft can be used with a driver. As the name suggests, the stiff shafts have less or no flexibility, while the regular shafts offer greater flexibility.

Usually, stiff shafts are more massive and thus heavier in weight. The objective should be to synergize the game by matching the swing with the shaft’s right flex.

Difference Between Stiff and Regular Shafts for Drivers

It will not be wrong to say that the shafts are the engines of a golf club. The power is transferred to the golf ball from the shaft through the clubhead. The synergy, in the form of maximum distance and minimum dispersion, is produced in the hit with the right mix of swing speed and shaft flex.

Light in weight and flexible shaft will cause give more power to the driver. It will, in turn, cause a whip-round too soon, causing longer distances than required. On the other hand, if a stiff shaft is chosen on a driver, it will make the whip slower, and the ball is likely to cover less distance than required.

Generally, for more speed, use the stiffer shaft on a driver and vice versa. Therefore, due diligence should be done for choosing between a stiff shaft or the regular shaft. There are significant considerations for choosing between the stiff shaft and the regular flex shaft.

Golf Shafts Stiffness Types

The stiffness of golf shafts is available in five different types. Each golf player requires a different type of stiffness in their driver shafts that fit them well. The stiffness or the flex is available in five variations, which are given below from extra flex to extra stiff.

  1. Ladies
  2. Seniors
  3. Regular
  4. Stiff
  5. Extra-Stiff 


The right stiff/flex shaft on a driver can be chosen with the help of a club-fitter. Mostly, a club-fitter determines the stiff/flex shaft for a golf player by knowing the swing and distance a ball covers, etc. Using this information, the club fitter recommends the right stiff/flex shaft for the driver, which best suits the golf player.

Right Flex/Stiff Shaft for Each Club

A golf player does not have to use the same flex/stiff shaft for each club. Since each club requires plays a different role, therefore, each club requires a different flex/stiff shaft. For instance, a golf player may choose a stiffer shaft for 7-iron and benefit from a flexible shaft in the driver.

For the amateurs and recreational players, the rule of thumb can be to use a flexible golf shaft for long-distance shots and a stiffer golf shaft for other shots. It also depends on one’s swing speed. In case the swing speed is high, the stiffer golf shaft can be used since it is heavier.

On the other hand, if the swing speed is not high, the flexible golf shaft should be used since it is lighter. In this way, the problem of swing speed, if any, can be managed. It is also important to remember that the shaft (flex or stiff) also depends on the speed of hitting the ball.

In case the speed is high, the stiff shaft is required and vice versa. Therefore, there are two significant variables, among others, come into play while choosing stiff or regular flex shaft for drivers.

  1. Distance
  2. Swing Speed

Wrong Shaft Flex for Club Leads to Disaster

Wrong is wrong, period! The wrong shaft flex for your driver will lead to disastrous golf scores for you. It will have adverse effects on your game both in the short term and long term.

The wrong shaft flex leads to:

 1) inaccurate shots

2) Unsatisfying trajectory

3) less distance covered by the ball.

While these are short term problems, one may face long term problems if the player uses the same golf shaft flex for a more extended period. With the continuous usage of wrong flex shafts, at minimum, one gets used to the wrong setup and wrong swing speed. One player gets adjusted accordingly, and therefore misses holes and score high.

The Golf Shaft Flex for Your Swing Speed

To have one right golf shaft flex for yourself, you must determine your swing speed. While there are many golf shafts available, the one just right for you that matches your swing speed must be your choice.

The question arises, how can one determine the swing speed without the speed swing test? The answer is simple: determine the club number you use to carry the ball about 150 yards away? If it is 9-iron, then extra stiff flex is for you. If it is 6-iron / 7-iron, then Regular flex is for you.

Similarly, senior flex golf shafts match with 4-iron and 5-iron, while any iron lower than the 4-iron matches with that of the ladies flex golf shafts.

Best Golf Club Set For Intermediate

Cons and Pros of Stiff vs. Regular Flex Driver

There are cons and pros of stiff and regular flex driver are opposite of each other. With the flex shaft drivers, the increased distance is achieved. However, this increase in distance is achieved at the expense of accuracy and control. Therefore, the golf player has to choose accuracy vs. distance and control vs. distance.

The compromise is because it is difficult to maintain accuracy and control with a flexible shaft than with a stiff shaft. However, with the stiff shaft, the golf player has to lose the distance but gains accuracy and control. It is important to point here that instead of the distance, the control and speed should be prime control, as the distance can be achieved through experience and practice.

Final Verdict

Which driver shaft that offers the best driver flex should a player choose? In the plight of stiff vs. regular flex, remember, you are the best judge, and your score must drive your choice for the regular or stiff shaft for the driver.

Using the regular flex shaft with the driver offers a better score than using the stiff shaft with the driver; the regular flex shaft is the right choice for you. Remember, the amount of synergy created by each type of shaft in golf must drive your choice for the type of shaft.

Custom fitting offers different types of golf shafts to choose from the golf club. It allows determining the synergy. Therefore, the best golf shaft for your driver that best synergizes your game is the right choice.

Thus, the bottom line is to determine your swing speed, either manually or with the swing speed meter. Once the swing speed is determined, one should match the golf shaft flex with the swing speed.

The greater the swing speed, the stiffer the golf shaft be. On the other hand, the lesser the swing speed, the Flexer the golf shaft be. 

Learn about Chipping vs Pitching techniques.