Stiff Vs Regular Flex Driver – Which One Is For You?


Choosing the right golf shaft is crucial to striking the ball efficiently and confidently. But which should you opt for, a stiff or a regular flex driver? We will share everything you need to know between the two as well as a few important tips in this guide.

Stiff Vs Regular Flex Driver

Before we discuss which to use between a stiff vs regular flex driver, it’s important to understand the different requirements and setups for drivers and irons. A driver is longer than an iron. The driver offers a little loft than the iron, so the swing should be in a way that hits the ball in the air.

For the driver, a stiff shaft or a regular flex shaft can be used. 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 are heavier in weight.

The objective is to synergize the game by matching the swing with the shaft’s right flex. Here is a more detailed comparison to help you understand better:


Difference Between Stiff and Regular Shafts for Drivers

Shafts are considered 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.

A light and flexible shaft will give more power to the driver. As a result, it will cause a whip-round too soon, which will cover longer distances than estimated. On the other hand, a stiff shaft will make the whip slower, and the ball is likely to cover less distance.

For more speed, use the stiffer shaft on a driver.

Golf Shafts Stiffness Types

The stiffness of golf shafts is available in five different types since each golf player requires a different type of stiffness. The stiffness or the flex is available in five variations, 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. 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, it 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 plays a different role, they require a different flex/stiff shaft. For instance, a golf player may choose a stiffer shaft for a 7-iron and benefit from a flexible shaft in the driver.

For amateurs and recreational players, the rule of thumb is 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.

stiff shaft

On the other hand, if the swing speed is not high, the flexible golf shaft should be used since it is lighter. 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, a stiff shaft is required. In sum, these two significant variables, 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 will lead 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 over again for an extended period. With the continuous usage of wrong flex shafts, even at minimum, one gets used to the wrong setup and wrong swing speed. 

The Golf Shaft Flex for Your Swing Speed

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

But 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 the extra stiff flex is for you. If it is 6-iron / 7-iron, then the 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.

regular shaft

Cons and Pros of Stiff vs. Regular Flex Driver

There are benefits and drawbacks to using stiff and regular flex drivers. With flex shaft drivers, increased distance is achieved but at the expense of accuracy and control. Therefore, the golf player has to choose between accuracy vs. distance and control vs. distance.

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 gain accuracy and control.

Control and speed are more important since gaining distance can be attained through experience and practice.

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Final Verdict

Which driver shaft offers the best driver flex? In the battle of stiff vs. regular flex, remember that you are the best judge, and your score is driven by your choice.

Custom fitting allows you to avail different types of golf shafts to choose from. Thus, the bottom line is to determine your swing speed, either manually or with the swing speed meter. Once the swing speed is determined, you should find a matching golf shaft flex.

Learn about Chipping vs Pitching techniques.