It seems that golf gets more and more complicated every year.
The options for golf clubs, shafts, fittings, and equipment never stop expanding.
This will only make it more stressful for golfers to choose the perfect club for their bag.
Luckily, there are some steps that you can take to help you choose the right shaft for your driver.
If you follow the steps carefully, you will end up with a club that will likely last you for years to come.
Here is our best advice for how to pick the right shaft for your driver.
How to Pick the Right Shaft for Your Driver
The following considerations must be taken into account when you are choosing which driver shaft will work for your game.
Too many golfers focus on the head of the club and forget to pay enough attention to the shaft that they are using.
1. Swing Tempo
Your swing tempo is a bit different than your swing speed.
There are players who can have really fast swing speeds but have a terrible swing tempo.
The swing tempo is more of the pace of your swing than the overall speed.
With swing tempo, you can either have a fast, medium, or slow tempo.
Similar to speed, you will need a stiffer shaft for a faster swing tempo.
If you have a slow swing tempo, you will want to go with a more flexible shaft.
Golfers who have a fast tempo and a fast swing speed will need to be very careful about which shaft they choose.
These are the players who may need to go with an extra stiff golf shaft as opposed to the stiff.
The two fast factors will compound each other, and players need to take that into consideration.
The release is a factor in the golf swing that will take players some time to develop.
The release is essentially the turning over of the clubhead so that the ball can go straight towards the target.
When you release the golf club, the ball will travel straighter and further, but the release has to be done at the right time.
For golfers who are a little late to release or struggle to release the club at all, the shaft must be a little more lightweight and flexible.
Those players who have more power will want to hold their release off to the perfect position in the swing.
This holding off of the release is going to make it easier for the player to get distance and better ball control as well.
Pay attention to see if you have an early, mid, or late release and see how that impacts the type of golf shaft that you may want to use.
The trajectory is the height that you can hit your golf shots.
If you hit the ball very high or struggle to get the ball up in the air, you will need to choose a golf shaft that is going to help you.
One of the things that you will look for in a driver shaft will be the kick point.
The kick point is the bend point in the shaft.
With a low kick point, the shape of the shot is going to be quite a bit higher.
Higher kick point golf shafts help players keep the ball flight down.
You have to think of the kick point as being a bit counter to what you would think it would be when figuring out the trajectory of your shots.
Years ago, people thought that having a golf shaft that produced a very low and piercing ball flight was the best way to go.
We have since learned that the longer the golf ball stays up in the air, the better the chances that the ball is going to travel a further distance.
The trajectory can also be impacted by the weight of the shaft.
A heavier golf shaft is going to keep the ball flight quite a bit lower than a lightweight golf shaft.
It is essential to pay attention to these factors when you are thinking about the weight and the kick point of the shaft.
If you end up choosing a golf club with a shaft that doesn’t allow you to get the right trajectory, you will likely be changing your golf shaft out pretty soon.
4. Ball Flight and Direction
As much as we hate to admit it, most players are slicers.
Slicing the golf ball is perhaps the most annoying miss that there is in the game.
When you slice the ball, you get to watch the ball travel straight and towards the target and then continually start to turn further and further right.
Suddenly, rough water, tall grass, and trees start to come into play.
The slice is the most common and most frustrating miss that golfers have.
The other types of shots that our swings are sometimes subject to are hooks, draws, and fades.
If you continually slice the golf ball, it could very well be related to the shaft that you have in your club.
A shaft that is too stiff for a player makes it very difficult to release the ball and hit it straight.
A shaft that is too flexible can make it very easy to produce a hook shot.
Regardless of the type of shot you are trying to hit, a mismatched golf shaft can cause problems with the ball’s trajectory and direction.
Most importantly, you want to choose a shaft flex that is going to help you control your ball flight on the first tee and the eighteenth tee.
Many players with fast swing speeds will use an extra stiff shaft.
At the beginning of a round, when a player is full of energy, the shots are easy to hit.
As the eighteenth tee comes around, the club may start getting harder to control.
Although it is a great accomplishment to be able to hit an extra stiff shaft, don’t force yourself to play to it.
Your game is going to be much more consistent and better off if you are playing with a club that comfortably fits your game throughout your entire round.
Controlling the ball flight will also be impacted by the clubhead.
You just won’t want to choose to be in a situation where the club shaft prevents you from ever hitting it straight.
5. Distance or Control
When you choose a golf shaft for your driver, you are going to have to choose whether or not you want your priority to be distance or control.
Golf shaft manufacturers will make clubs that will appeal to those who need extra distance, and they will also make clubs for those who want control.
It can be challenging for some people to imagine that there are golfers out there who would want less distance.
It’s not that these players don’t enjoy hitting the ball far, but they are just better at getting distance than others.
Sometimes when you have so much clubhead speed, you can get a tremendous amount of distance but won’t be able to control the golf ball.
Speed is a difficult thing to control.
If it is not applied to the clubhead at precisely the correct angle, the resulting shot could be a bit out of control.
If you know that your distance is an issue, don’t worry so much about control in the shaft.
Use something that is more lightweight and higher launching so that it can get you the distance that you need in your shot.
Golf shafts that can hit the ball a long way are often longer than a traditional length golf shaft.
This is simply a scientific equation where a longer golf club can produce higher levels of speed.
For those who want control, thinking about shortening the shaft and making it just a bit heavier will help to keep the ball flight in control.
Finding a great shaft means that you can hit the ball a long way and also control the distance of the shots you are hitting.
Keep this in mind so that you can work to find the proper balance in your next golf club.
The golf shaft is one of the most expensive parts of the club.
Depending on the type of shaft that you purchase, you could spend hundreds of dollars just to change out the shaft.
An average new driver on the market is going to be close to $500 in price.
If you purchase one of these drivers and then find that the shaft is not the right one for you, you will likely end up spending at least $300 more on a new golf shaft.
Many of the performance benefits of a golf driver are located within the shaft.
When it comes to feel, consistency, and trajectory, the golf shaft is probably most important.
Remember that, when you consider the price of the golf shaft, you are going to have to think about the fitting of the club as well.
If your driver does not have interchangeable shafts, you will have to spend some additional money to have a club fitter put your golf shaft in the club.
You can expect to spend at least $200 on a golf driver shaft.
When you start looking at golf shafts that are available on the market, you will quickly become overwhelmed.
It can be hard for a golfer to decide if it makes sense to purchase a $30 shaft or something that is closer to $400.
The brand name is essential, yet it shouldn’t be made more important than the performance of the shot.
If you are hitting a stock shaft and it is going two yards less than a $650 premium driver shaft, you can probably assume that the stock shaft will be just fine.
Some of these performance fitting attributes get a bit too detailed for the average golfer.
Unless you are a low handicap player who is looking to make it as a professional, don’t get too hung up on the custom shaft options.
Always think about how high you need to hit the ball, where your miss usually is, and the speed of your golf swing.
If you find a shaft that fits those different specifications for you, then it really doesn’t matter what brand name it is.
Do I Need a Custom Fitting to Choose the Right Golf Shaft?
When you go through a custom golf fitting, the proper golf shaft is going to be much easier to choose.
You will hit a few shots into a simulator screen, and the results will tell you exactly which shaft is going to be the best fit for you.
This takes a bit of the guesswork out of choosing the proper golf shaft.
However, it is still recommended that you see these results for yourself.
Even if a driver shaft looks like it performs the best on paper, it may not feel right to you.
Taking some time to play with the golf shaft that you are planning on purchasing is truly the best way to see if it is for you.
The more you can watch the actual flight of the ball on the course, the better chance you have of knowing if this shaft is right for you.
When you go through a club fitting, you still need to go with your gut about the club that feels the best.
Does My Driver Shaft Flex Need to Match My Irons?
Many golfers will play with a stiff shaft in their driver and then a regular shaft in their irons.
This is quite common, and there are some good reasons behind this.
For the most part, golfers are going to take a more aggressive swing when they are hitting with their driver.
The more aggressive swing comes from a desire to get more distance from the tee.
This swing brings more speed, and sometimes, with the graphite material of a golf shaft, the regular flex is simply not stiff enough.
You do not need to have your driver shaft match with your irons, but it is recommended that you have a general reason or feeling behind this.
Playing with mismatched clubs because it is all you have is typically not the smartest choice.
Choosing a shaft for your driver is an important task.
However, in reality, many amateur golfers make this process a bit more involved than it needs to be.
Playing with a standard stock golf shaft is truly an excellent option for the majority of players.
When you get a bit too involved in the club shaft selection, you can end up spending more money than you need to.
Instead, choose a shaft that allows you to get plenty of distance and the proper trajectory.
Combine the shaft with a clubhead that looks great to you but allows for forgiveness as well.
This combination is going to provide high-quality golf shots round after round continually.
In the end, the golf shaft is very likely the most critical part of the golf club, so if you choose the wrong one, expect to be replacing it very soon.