The shaft on a golf driver is the heart and soul of the club. A well-designed shaft can help with swing speed, accuracy, and distance; just as a poorly customized shaft can negatively impact your swing and sabotage your overall game. First, the importance and technical design specifics associated with driver shafts is discussed in detail below, then we include several reviews on the most popular and best-selling driver shafts.
The Different Types of Driver Shafts
There are many different types of driver shafts these days, but two of the most widely used types are the graphite shaft and the multi-material shaft. It’s important to understand these two types of shafts.
Graphite shafts are the industry standard. These shafts are very lightweight; a quality which has enabled manufacturers to lengthen them without adding a lot of extra weight. Consequently, these lighter graphite shafts are great for increasing swing speeds for amateur players. Also, since they are longer and lighter than traditional steel shafts, they can also generate longer drives.
On the flip side, graphite shafts tend to be less accurate, more expensive, and slightly less durable than steel shafts. Regardless, they are still very popular among a wide range of golfers, particularly beginner, intermediate, and senior players.
Multi-material shafts essentially combine both graphite and steel in an effort to exploit the advantages of both materials. Most multi-material shafts boast a lightweight graphite tip with a firm steel shaft. The result is a club that can add distance to your swing thanks to the lightweight graphite, while also controlling accuracy due to the firmness of the steel shaft.
The Different Types of Driver Shaft Flexes
- Extra Stiff. As the name suggests, an extra stiff shaft has very little flex. It is more appropriate for advanced golfers who have a swing speed over 110 miles per hour and a carry distance of over 275 yards. Many Tour players use extra stiff shafts.
- Stiff. A step away from extra stiff in terms of the amount of flex is the stiff shaft. The stiff shaft is ideal for those with a swing speed of around 95 to 110 miles per hour.
- Regular. Considered perfect for amateur and weekend players, the regular shaft is generally the recommended stiffness for players who swing their drivers at about 85 to 95 miles per hour. This type of stiffness, or flex, is usually associated with carry distances of about 200 to 240 yards.
- Seniors. Usually marked “M” for “medium” or “mature,” this shaft stiffness is perfect for older golfers with slower club head speeds (75 to 85 miles per hour). With this stiffness the carry distance typically ranges from 180 to 200 yards.
- Ladies. Those who typically drive the golf ball fewer than 180 yards, such as many female players, are better suited to clubs with this level of flex. It is ideal for anyone with a swing speed under 75 miles per hour.
What Is Shaft Torque?
Torque is the force that produces or tends to produce rotation or torsion. If you look at the shaft of the golf club as an axis, where the heel of the head of the club is centered on that axis, then the toe and most of the club head’s weight would be off-center. When swinging the club, the head rotates around the shaft. The toe of the club essentially lags behind as you start your downswing, then it later catches up and returns to its normal position at impact. The shaft resists that twisting motion, allowing only a certain amount. This twisting—the twisting permitted by the shaft—is the shaft’s torque, which is measured in degrees.
What Is Shaft Kick Point (Flex Point)?
On a club like a driver, the flex of the shaft is perhaps the most important factor, one that can be customized to the speed and accuracy of the swing. Within this formula is the “kick point.” This point, which is also known as the “flex point,” signifies the height at which the shaft bends, and thus dictates the ball’s trajectory on each shot.
Weight of a Shaft?
Graphite and multi-material shafts are available in a wide range of weights, ranging from 50-gram ultra-light shafts to heavy 100-plus gram shafts. The correct weight of the shaft can be matched to the strength of the player. This is an important decision to make because a shaft that is too heavy can leave you exhausted by the 9th hole, while a shaft that is too light might cause you to lose feel in your shots.
Alignment of Shaft?
Every driver shaft has a spine, and that spine is the stiffest and largest part of the club’s shaft. Experts say that aligning the spine with the club head—and therefore aligning the shaft with the spine—will make the shaft perform better and lead to purer more assured shots.
Tips of the golf driver shaft can be parallel or tapered where the end of the shaft fits into the hosel.
With a parallel-tip shaft, the entire tip section—the part of the shaft below the last step—is a constant diameter. Conversely, with tapered-tip shafts, the shaft gets smaller where it meets the hosel.
Parallel-tip shafts are cut the same throughout the model of the club. For each club they are generally the same yet trimmed to match the appropriate length. Tapered-tip shafts, on the other hand, are made to the proper length for each club, which means they are very club specific.
Pureing a Shaft?
Golf shafts are NEVER perfectly straight, nor are they perfectly round. These slight irregularities can create problems when the shaft of the driver twists and bends during the swing. To clean up these irregularities many golfers elect to “pure” their shafts—a process in which the most stable bending plane (or neutral axis) of the shaft is determined and corrected.
How to Find the Perfect Shaft Flex For Your Game
Reviews of the Best Driver Shafts
Below we have reviewed several of the most popular and hottest-selling driver shafts on the market today; highlighting the performance and feel you can expect to experience with each one.
1. Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange
The Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange golf driver shaft features a well-designed counter balanced, low-launch, tip with a stiff profile to provide added versatility for stronger players with rapid club head speeds.
The shaft boasts a multi-material design that incorporates more performance-oriented materials than the company has ever used. This includes a carbon fiber/DuPont Kevlar weave in the butt section of the shaft.
The tip-section of the shaft is reinforced with MR70—Mitsubishi Chemical’s strongest carbon fiber to date—which promises to deliver lower torque, and Tour-level control and stability.
Collectively, the high-quality materials used to make the Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange shaft provide an enhanced level of stability and maximum feel, all incorporated into a one-of-a-kind versatile design.
2. Project X HZRDUS Black
The Project X HZRDUS Black shaft is made with the stronger and more aggressive player in mind. The shaft delivers incredible distance without sacrificing control, and boasts a feel that has to be experienced to believe.
The shaft features increased stiffness along the full length of the golf shaft—a level of stiffness that allows golfers to put more power behind the ball on every shot type.
Stability is also a major selling point with this shaft, as it has just enough kick to keep the shaft from feeling too stiff. This is important to golfers, because when a shaft is too firm, they may tend to over-swing and lose control. The Project X HZRDUS Black gives you just enough action to keep your swing smooth and let the shaft do its job.
The Project X HZRDUS Black is a low spinning and low launching shaft that is available in for both woods and hybrids.
3. Graphite Design Tour AD-BB
The Graphite Design Tour AD-BB (Blue Bullet) shaft model is specially designed to promote a low- to mid-launch angle and a lower degree of ball spin for straighter, longer shots.
The shaft takes advantage of premium, aerospace quality 50t carbon-fiber materials, as well as the company’s DI Technology in the tip section, all of which combine to provide the best performing shaft available.
The Tour AD BB design features an increase in stiffness from the tip to the mid-section of the shaft, which produces a higher kick point for lower launch angles. The end result is a tighter shot pattern and an overall increase in ball speed.
You can always expect a high-quality experience with the Graphite Design Tour AD-BB, as all shafts are designed and manufactured exclusively at the Graphite Design factory headquarters in Japan.
Graphite Design TOUR AD BB-5 Driver Shaft - Choose Adapter - Includes Grip & TSF Ball Marker Graphite Design TOUR AD BB-5 Check For Price
4. Project X HZRDUS T1100
The Project X HZRDUS T1100 shaft is the lowest spinning and lowest launching shaft in the Project X HZRDUS family; and with a bend profile that is stiff throughout, the shaft is the ultimate spin killer for the game’s most aggressive tempo players.
The makers of this performance-rich shaft utilize the tough T1100G carbon fiber—the strongest carbon fiber available—to create a shaft with an extra stiff tip section that is also counter-balanced.
The latest in the Project X HZRDUS family, the T1100 uses the highly-sought-after Toray composite material. This high strength yet high modulus material improves the strength of the shaft to resist ovaling during the swing and offers a level of impact resistance that provides less movement on off-center hits.
In addition to its great performance, the Project X HZRDUS T1100 is also very aesthetically pleasing, thanks to its deluxe metallic chrome paint and uniquely designed logo.
Project X HZRDUS T1100 65 Driver Shaft - Choose Adapter - Includes Grip & TSF Ball Marker Project X HZRDUS T1100 65 Check For Price
5. Graphite Design Tour AD-IZ
The latest in the Tour AD premium line of golf shafts, the Graphite Design Tour AD IZ (Into the Zone) shaft is made with the expert golfer in mind.
The new Tour AD IZ shaft has a firm stiffness, beginning at the handle to the medium center section, and a firm-plus tip profile to promote a high launch angle and super low spin.
The shaft is designed with TORAYCA T1100G carbon-fiber with NANOALLOY technology, giving it increased stability in the mid to tip region of the shaft and unsurpassed feel that makes swinging your driver a real treat.
The new Tour AD IZ wood shaft also looks very good, designed in black and white colors with orange accents and a new, sleek matte finish.
Graphite Design Tour AD IZ-6 - Driver Shafts Upgrade Tour Shop Fresno Check For Price
6. Mitsubishi Kuro Kage
The Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Series is Mitsubishi Chemical’s latest design innovation, a shaft that features a carbon fiber, elastic titanium nickel wire blend in the tip section for superior performance.
The body of the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage, coupled with twice the amount of tin-nickel wire in the tip-section of previous models, is sure to deliver the utmost in stability, power, and control.
The Mitsubishi Kuro Kage has a very smooth profile, a shaft that is softest in the tip, regular in the mid section, and stiffest in the butt, making it ideal for those golfers with smooth swing tempos.
Although modest looking at first glance, with a predominantly black color scheme, a closer look reveals a lot of cool detail and character, such as the noticeable rainbow foil look throughout the shaft.
7. Aldila NV 2KXV Green
A shaft that offers a low launch angle and less ball spin, the Aldila NV 2KXV Green is made from thin high-performance carbon fiber combined with the latest in advanced fiber resin technology.
The result of this technology is a shaft with even more layers of carbon fiber, which ultimately offers golfers maximum consistency and performance.
Aldila’s next generation micro laminate technology (MLT) uses super-thin layers of premium aerospace-grade materials to create solid, stable shafts that are void of “dead zones.”
This unique design revolution, present in all Aldila NV 2KXV Green shafts, eliminates inconsistent shots caused by shaft variability, while enhancing the overall feel.
8. Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec
The Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec line of golf shafts is geared toward the performance-hungry golfer seeking a lower launch angle with less ball spin.
The shaft produces a solid kick upon impact for longer and more consistent drives and the low launch angle lends itself to greater roll-out on the fairway.
The colors of the Fujikura Atmos Black Tour Spec shafts actually represent a code, with red producing a higher launch angle, blue offering a mid launch path, and black offering the lowest of the three launch angles.
Although flighted series of shafts is not a new concept, what the Fujikura Company has done with its ATMOS line is produce a greater degree of reliability. That’s because the handle of each shaft is the same, despite the color, offering golfers a consistent feel throughout their line of clubs.
As you can see, golf shafts come in an abundance of shapes, sizes, and designs, each with its own special purpose. Finding the right golf shaft can really help you obtain the extra distance and accuracy you are looking for to help take your golf game to the next level.