Regular Flex vs. Stiff Flex

At Golfer’s Authority, we’re always stressing the importance of playing with equipment that fits your game and swing. 

And we spend a lot of time researching the latest and greatest clubs on the market.  Not only is it fun, it allows us to help golfers like you make informed decisions when it comes to your equipment.

While clubheads are usually what we spend most of our time focusing on, shafts often go overlooked.

That’s why we need to address the differences between stiff and regular flex shafts. 

What’s the Difference Between Regular Flex and Stiff Flex?

Whether shafts are graphite or steel, regular flex is meant for average or slower swing speeds.  Regular shafts flex a bit more than stiff shafts.  This allows for increased lag and more speed through impact. 

As their name would suggest on the other hand, stiff shafts don’t flex as much as regular flex.  They’re meant for golfers with faster swing speeds as they provide more stability in the hitting area.  This limits face rotation and helps keep the ball online.

Are There Other Shaft Flex Options?

Yes.  Regular and stiff flex are the most common shaft flexes, but there are several others designed to suit all different kinds of golfers.

Junior Flex

Most kids aren’t strong enough to swing regular flex shafts.  They don’t generate enough speed. 

That’s where junior flex shafts come in.  Junior flex are the most flexible of all the shafts available.  They’re usually made of graphite and allow juniors to utilize torque to get the ball in the air and hit it an adequate distance. 

Women’s Flex

On average, women are a little stronger than juniors, but not quite as strong as men. 

Women’s flex shafts are almost always graphite too.  The material flexes more than steel and allows women to generate additional clubhead speed and hit the ball higher and farther.

Senior Flex

Senior flex shafts are perfect for ladies that are strong and men that don’t swing fast enough to hit regular flex shafts. 

Like women’s and junior flex shafts, senior flex shafts are usually made of graphite. 

Senior shafts are lightweight and help golfers generate clubhead speed.

Extra Stiff Flex

We’ve already discussed regular and stiff flex shafts.  So, you’re probably wondering if that’s the end of the line. 

Not quite.  Extra stiff flex shafts are meant for golfers with the highest swing speeds in the game.  The likes of Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas, and just about everyone else on the PGA Tour swing extra stiff shafts. 

Unless you’re swinging the club north of 115mph, extra stiff is probably too stiff.

How Do I Know Which Shaft Flex is Best for Me?

The only way to ensure you’re swinging the right shaft is to go through a fitting with a PGA Professional or Certified Club Fitter.  These folks have the knowhow and technology to determine which shaft is best for you.

While you might be tempted to figure this out on your own, it’s best done by a Professional.  Just because one shaft feels good, doesn’t mean it’s the one you should be swinging.

Is Regular or Stiff Flex Better?

This entirely depends on the individual.  If you swing the club at a slower speed, a more flexible shaft will fit you better.  In the case that your swing speed is fast, stiffer flex shafts are best.

Should I Choose Steel or Graphite Shafts?

As we’ve mentioned, junior, women’s, and senior shafts are made from graphite.  That’s because graphite is lighter and allows golfers with slower swing speeds to maximize the speed they have. 

Steel shafts are common in regular, stiff, and extra stiff shafts.  Players with that swing the club faster prefer steel because of the stability it provides.  Steel shafts help the ball fly straighter but don’t fly as far as graphite shafts.

When you go through a fitting, you’ll learn whether steel or graphite is best for your game.

Conclusion

Choosing the right shaft is an all too important piece of the equipment equation that goes overlooked.  If you’re swinging the wrong shaft, it can spell disaster for your golf game. 

That’s why it’s so important to have a basic understanding of different shaft flexes, and to go through a proper fitting. 

We’ve covered shaft basics in this article.  There’s a lot more that goes into the discussion.  If you have additional questions, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below and will do our best to provide clarity.

Paul Liberatore
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Paul Liberatore

Founder of Golfers Authority

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