Ask any golfer what the FLEX is of the shafts on their driver and 100% of them will know the answer. Ask any golfer what the WEIGHT of their shaft is and they will give you a blank stare. That’s because most golfers believe that the flex of the shaft (stiff, regular, light or ladies) is far more important than the weight of the shaft. I would argue the opposite is true. Here’s why.
Let’s put to rest the idea of buying drivers based on shaft flex alone. There is no industry standard as to what is “stiff” or “regular”. Each manufacturer may be different and it makes economic sense for them to limit the number of variables that they offer the consumer when it comes to flex and weight. So, it becomes important to select a driver with a shaft weight that fits your swing and then determine the flex and head style.
The shafts in most drivers typically weigh between 40 grams and 85 grams. Shaft manufacturers will offer stiff and regular flex in nearly all weight classes while most light and ladies flex clubs will weigh no more than 55 or 60 grams, but could be as light as 40 grams.
A shaft that is too heavy for your swing will result in a shot blocked to the right or a hook. That’s because as you make your downswing your club gets “stuck” behind your hands as your body tries to race through the swing. As your hands make the correction your club face cannot get back to square.
A shaft that is too light for you leads to lazy swings, or “flipping” the head at the ball. Your shot is more hands and arms resulting in blocked shots or pulls. The distance lost is considerable with these mistakes!
Your choice of driver is obviously complex and a proper fitting from a qualified fitter can help to simplify the process. Start with shaft weight, shaft flex and then head style and you’ll be able to find a driver that helps you to hit it straight and long!