How to select a golf shaft

Golf Shaft Selection: 10 Golf Shafts you Need to Consider

Everyone seems to talk about the latest and greatest golf clubs to hit it further and straighter. Often in search for a new driver that will add 10-15 yards. Or, the irons with great feel or the wedges with tons of spin.

But what golfers should talk about more often are the shafts they’re using.

Each shaft plays a much bigger role than most people think. If you’ve ever had a professional fitting by a certified professional, chances are you have seen first hand what a difference the right shaft can make in your golf swing. 

No two shafts are the same and each one can have a massive impact on your ability to pure each shot. Plus, you need to play different shafts with your irons, woods, and wedges to play the most consistent golf. 

So if you’ve ever wondered, “What are the best golf shafts” you’ll love this post.

We break down everything you need to know about golf shafts and what are the best ones to help your game. 

Understanding The Right Shaft For Your Golf Club

Before diving into the best shafts for all clubs in your bag, let’s talk about why shafts matter so much. 

Shaft flex is so important because with the right flex for your swing, it can make the game so much easier. On the other hand, a shaft that isn’t right for your game can make it so much harder. And as you probably already know, the game doesn’t need to get any more difficult.

One of the best things any golfer can do is to get fitted for the right shafts. When I did it five years ago, it made an almost instant impact on my game. Unlike swing changes, using the right flex and shaft can help your ball striking during your next round or practice session.

For example, if your shaft is too stiff, it will fly too low and negatively impact your carry distance. It can also be harder and more challenging to square the club face at impact as well. Plus, injuries are always a possibility with shafts that are too heavy. 

On the other hand, if your shaft isn’t stiff enough, you might get too much spin as the ball flies much higher. While you want your shaft to help get the ball airborne, there is a thing as too high of a launch.

Plus, a shaft that has too much flex also impacts your accuracy as well. A shaft with too much flex leads to a wider shot dispersion which makes it much more challenging to score consistently well. 

Needless to say, shafts play a big role in your game. From your wedges to your driver shafts, you want each one to match your game. 

Golf Club Shaft – What To Consider

Here is a quick breakdown of what you need to consider before investing in a new set in hope to improve your game and club speed.

Weight (Steel vs. Graphite Shafts)

The first thing to consider when buying new shafts is the total weight.

Graphite shafts are almost always lighter and will help you create more swing speed without exerting more effort. Unless you’re Tiger Woods in the early 2000s, every golfer in today’s world plays a graphite shaft for their driver shaft.

But irons and wedges are a different story. Some golfers prefer lighter graphite shafts, while others prefer a slightly heavier steel version.  We’ll break down some options for both in this post to ensure you find the right golf shaft for your game.

Shaft Flex

The second thing to consider is the shaft flex.

The flex of the shaft ranges from light flex, regular flex, stiff flex, extra stiff, and tour x-stiff. The stiffer the shaft, the more swing speed you need to get the golf club square at impact .

For mid to high handicappers (with a slower swing speed), you’ll want both a lighter shaft and probably a regular flex. As you groove a more consistent swing, you’ll likely go from regular to stiff (or maybe x-stiff), and possibly a heavier shaft as well. 

The good thing is that playing regular or stiff flex makes it easier to get a stock shaft vs. an upgraded charge on certain golf clubs. Low handicap players with faster swing speed usually have to custom order each shaft which is usually more expensive.

Shaft Length

Shaft length also plays a role in picking out the best driver shaft for your game.

While the normal driver shaft is around 45 inches, if you decide to take an inch off, just know that a shorter shaft length will make the club more stiff. But a shorter shaft length should also help you find the fairway more often and tighten up shot dispersion.

A shaft for distance is great but make sure you can find the short stuff too!

Feel & Flight 

While weight and flex are important, don’t forget about the golf ball flight as well. Some shafts are meant to help get the ball airborne, while others are meant to keep it flighted lower. 

Also, when you try out different shafts you can feel the difference in your hands too. Some shafts naturally look and feel good while others don’t fit your eye. This is more intangible but should be considered as it will help you create a good rhythm for your swing

Price 

Finally, don’t forget about the price as well. For example, a driver shaft can quickly become one of the most expensive parts of your bag if you’re not careful.  Especially if you choose a specific golf shaft in all your woods and hybrids as well.

Luckily, golf club manufacturers offer higher end shafts in recent years, make sure to double-check what is an upgraded option and what’s not. 

Best Graphite Driver Shafts

5 Best Golf Driver Shafts (and Fairway Wood Shafts)

Let’s start with the clubs that everyone loves to hit – the driver, specifically your driver shaft. While the driver (head and driver shaft) are important, don’t forget about your fairway woods either.

As you’ll see in our list, you can also get these graphite shafts for fairway woods as well. Which is something I highly recommend that you do. When you play the same shaft (only different weight) it makes it easier to have a more consistent ball strike and ball flight.

Whether you need a club for slower swing speeds or faster swing speeds, we got you covered.

Here are the best driver shafts to add distance and accuracy to your game.  

1. Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Series (Best Driver Shafts Overall)

First up on our list of best driver shafts is the Mitsubishi Tensei shafts. As their website says, “The Japanese word “Tensei” means “transformation” in English — a more-than-appropriate name for this new franchise, as the TENSEI™ CK Series integrates more advanced materials than we’ve ever combined before into a single shaft series.”

Your swing might get a much needed transformation thanks to these amazing shafts. I first played one of these in an older Titleist hybrid and was a huge fan as soon as I took it to the driving range. They now have several flex options to choose from making them a great fit for every type of golfer.

First up is the CK Pro Red which is geared for a mid to high launch and mid-spin. These are flexible enough to help higher handicappers but stiff enough to minimize shot dispersion. Available in 60-80 gram weight with R-X flex.

The second up is the CK Pro Blue which has similar characteristics but is a lower spin driver. Next up is the CK Pro white which is low launch and low spin. 

While the Tensei CK Pro Orange shaft has the absolute lowest launch and spin. This club is meant for physically stronger players and has an extremely stiff tip. 

Overall, you can go wrong with any of these driver shafts and it’s easy to see why club manufacturers have partnered with them to make them stock options. 

2. Fujikura Ventus Black

Fujikura has a ton of popular shafts but maybe none more popular than the Ventus. These driver shafts are a Tour-inspired profile and have a profile for almost any golfer. 

It has a multi-material bias core construction that helps with stability through impact which results in more speed and higher smash factor. The latest version of this club is the black shaft which is made for scratch golfers (or low handicaps) who want a low spin shaft.

While the blue shaft is a mid-launch and the red is a mid to high launch. These shafts are sleek and provide a stiff to minimize shot dispersion in each model. All three shafts are available in regular to x-stiff flex with different weights as well. 

3. Project X HZRDUS Smoke Shaft 

The Project X HZRDUS smoke shaft is one of the best ones on the market. Plus, I think it’s gained a ton of popularity as it’s the stock driver shafts that come with Callaway drivers. 

This is not a club for the faint of heart as geared more toward lower handicap golfers. Ever since I picked up the Epic Flash a couple of years ago, I’ve played this shaft in all my drivers, woods, and hybrids. Needless to say, I’m a huge fan. 

This club is designed with aerospace-grade carbon fiber to help produce low launch and low spin characteristics. Only available in stiff and x-stiff flex. 

If you like these characteristics but aren’t someone with faster swing speeds, opt for the HZRDUS yellow shaft instead. It also offers a low launch, low spin ball flight but is geared toward a moderate tempo. Plus, they do have a regular shaft option as well.

Alternate Option: HZRDUS Smoke Green Shaft (Best Driver Shafts for Fast Swings)

This golf driver shaft is usually known as the “Hulk” shaft with it’s all green characteristics and incredibly strong flex. It can also withstand a hulk swing and is one of the most stiff shafts out there. This club is made for an aggressive tempo, firm kick point and also produces an extremely low launch and low ball flight.

Mid to high handicappers, stay away from this golf shaft or you’re about to make the game much harder on yourself. But if you’re a low handicap or scratch golfer with a fast swing speed, this could really help you straighten out the big stick. 

4. Project X EvenFlow 

Another popular shaft line from Project X is the EvenFlow series. These are a better fit for mid to high handicappers and feature an even bend profile. This helps produce effortless distance without needing a superfast tempo. You’ll also find these stock in some of the most popular drivers and aren’t usually any sort of upcharge. 

Like other driver shafts on this list, there are several varieties to choose from. For a lower launch, lower spin profile check out the Even Flow Project X shaft as well. 

You still don’t need a superfast swing for this club but will help produce a lower trajectory and spin rate than the blue version. And for the absolute stiffest and lowest ball flight, opt for the EvenFlow T1100 white. 

5. KBS TD Graphite 

Rounding out our list for best driver shaft are the TD shafts from KBS. This is the first time ever they’ve added a driver-wood shaft to the product line, but it’s worth the wait. If you love the KBS shafts in your irons and wedges, chances are you’ll love them in your woods as well.

It’s a perfect combination of lightweight but still stiff enough to minimize spin and launch. This gorgeous white and red shaft is a mid-launch with low spin. The stiff tip should help with ball dispersion and minimize your misses. 

Plus, there are tons of options for your drivers and woods. It’s as light as 40 grams and heavy as 80grams with five different flexes to choose from. Plus, three unique color options as well for a classy, distinct look.  

5 Best Iron Shafts 

Now that we have the best driver shafts covered, next up is your iron shafts. These should be heavier than your woods, but not so heavy that you can’t get the club around at impact.

This is where a lot of amateur golfers make mistakes…  

One of the most common things that so many players make is playing a shaft that is too heavy. This results in a ball that doesn’t go as far and also experiences late round fatigue. Or, in some cases, injury… which is obviously the last thing we want to have happen to your game.  

Put your ego aside and swing the shafts that are best for your game. Whether that’s switching to graphite or a lighter steel shaft, play what’s right for your swing. 

Here are the best iron shafts in our opinion:

1. True Temper Elevate Shafts 

First up is the True Temper Elevate Tour iron shafts. I’ve played these for two years with the Callaway Apex Pro 19 irons and have been impressed with their performance. 

As I mentioned, one of the biggest mistakes that so many amateurs make with iron is playing too heavy of shafts. I say that from experience. I switched from the True Temper X100 (which is 8 grams heavier) and immediately saw an improvement to my ball striking. 

This Tour-inspired design is great for mid to low handicap golfers. These don’t require a fast tempo and will help you produce a medium trajectory and medium spin rates. They are available in regular (112 grams), stiff (117 grams) and x-flex (122 grams).

For a higher launching version, make sure to opt for the True Temper Elevate series. These have similar characteristics but are lighter and produce higher launch and spin.

2. KBS C Taper Lite 

The KBS C Taper Lite is a great shaft for mid-handicap players who want a steel shaft with a lightweight design. The firm tip helps control spin, but it’s light enough to help you have plenty of speed for a higher trajectory. 

KBS C Taper 

If you prefer a lower launch, lower spin shaft, consider the C-Taper instead. This shaft is available in five flex and different weights ranging from 110 to 130 grams. The C Taper is great for players who have a quick tempo and love to shape the golf ball with different trajectories.

3. Project X 10 

The Project X 10 shaft is a nice upgrade from the PXi shaft of the past. As they said on their website, “Project X IO takes the DNA of the popular PXi shaft and evolves it by having each shaft flex designed with a specific weight and trajectory progression in mind.” 

This is a medium trajectory, medium spin shaft that is perfect for a large percentage of golfers. 

As you go up in flex, the weight increases five grams heavier as well. It also has a distinct look with it’s brushed chrome finish that minimizes glare. 

Project X LS

If you’re a stronger player who likes the look and feel of the X10 but needs a lower launching shaft, opt for the LS. The “Low spin” version is designed for guys with a faster tempo and want to reduce spin and keep trajectory lower.

4. Nippon N.S. Pro Zelos 

Nippon is another brand for shafts and makes some of the best shafts on the market. The N.S. Pro Zelos shaft is incredibly light steel and is made for high spin and high trajectories, making it great for higher handicap golfers. Since it’s so light and made for spin, even if you don’t have a ton of swing speed you’ll get amazing results.

These shafts are made for slower swing speeds but for golfers who want steel over graphite. They recommend this shaft for someone who swings a driver 60-80mph and hits a 6 iron 100 to 135 yards. Only available in regular or stiff flex. 

Alternate Choice: Nippon N.S. Pro

If you’re easy swinging but prefer a little heavier steel shaft, go with the standard Nippon N.S. Pro. These are great for the everyday player who swings a driver 80-100mph and this a 6 iron 130 to 165 yards. 

Since they are steel, they are naturally heavier than the Zelos and have more of a mid-trajectory. They’re available in regular, stiff, and extra stiff flex with five different weight setups. With so many options, there is bound to be one that is perfect weight and flex for your game. 

5. Project X Cypher

One of the newest additions is the Project X Cypher graphite shaft. This shaft is made with an ultralight resin to promote a high launch and incredible distance. It’s designed for golfers with a deliberate tempo and meant to help with trajectory and create more spin. 

The cool thing about this shaft is that it’s also great for woods and hybrids as well. This makes it easier to transition between shots with all clubs winning the bag. If you’re looking for a dependable, lightweight graphite shaft (that also looks incredibly sleek), you’ll love this one. 

Best Wedge Shafts 

Finally, I wanted to include some of our top picks for wedge shafts as well. 

The biggest thing to think about is if you want a steel or graphite shaft. So many golfers play a graphite shaft then a heavy steel wedge shaft and wonder why they’re struggling. Sometimes it’s 20-40 grams of weight more! That much more weight will affect your timing and tempo so instead, keep it within ten grams of your iron shafts. 

If you’re a mid to high handicap player, I suggest using the same shafts that you use with your irons. This will make your transition so much easier and provide better results from 100 yards and in. 

However, if you’re a more consistent golfer, you can choose to play the same shaft in your wedges or one that is a little heavier. Since your goal isn’t to hit wedge shots as hard as possible, additional weight can help you with knockdown shots.

Here are some of our top picks for wedge shafts: 

  • Nippon N.S. Pro Wedge Shaft: This wedge specific shaft is a low trajectory wedge shaft for low handicap players. It’s available in 105, 115, or 125 grams. 
  • Dynamic Gold S300: These are some of the heavier shafts out there but super dependable (and cheap if you accidentally break one). They’ve been a mainstay with wedges and have come stock with top manufacturers. 
  • KBS Tour V Wedge Shaft: This shaft is exclusively designed for wedges to help provide a low to mid trajectory. It’s 125 gram weight produces a mid ball spin and is an awesome first for mid to low handicap golfers.

FAQs

Do you have more questions about finding the right shafts for your game? Make sure to read our most common questions and answer below.

What swing speed requires a stiff shaft?

If you want to play a stiff shaft, you’ll need to swing a driver around the 97-104mph mark. Anymore than that with a driver and you should consider x-stiff and anything less you might need a regular flex shaft. 

Should you play the same flex for all your clubs?

In general, yes, if you play regular, play regular flex in all of your clubs. The only thing that really changes is the weight of each club as each one has its own purpose.

Since the number one goal with your driver is distance, you want the lightest shaft possible. Meanwhile, you want a heavier shaft for your irons, and possibly an even heavier one with your wedges.

Since you don’t normally try to hit wedges super long and hard, a heavier shaft makes knockdown and three quarter shots much easier.  Remember, wedges are about distance control!

What flex of golf shaft should I use?

That’s a great question, here is a guide on what shaft flex you should use, courtesy of this Golf.com study. Please note, these are based on your driver clubhead speed on a normal swing. 

  • Lite flex (also known as senior flex): 72-83mph
  • Regular flex: 84-96mph 
  • Stiff flex: 97-104mph 
  • Extra stiff flex: 105mph+ 

What shafts do pros use?

Pros use a variety of shafts and with more selection than ever before, it’s impossible to say what each one is playing. But I will say that most guys on the PGA Tour are playing shafts that are much more stiff and heavy from the everyday golfer.

Since their golf swing is more developed and consistent, they have certain requirements that most players don’t worry about.

A lot of times they’ll play a Tour X-stiff shaft which is almost impossible to hit without a super fast swing speed. While others will play heavy shafts in their wedges, as it makes it easier to hit all the shots they need around the greens. 

Should I use the same weight in each shaft?

Not necessarily. Instead, you should use the same flex but not always the same weight. For example, here’s a breakdown of my golf bag:

  • Driver  shaft- X flex, 70 grams
  • Fairway wood shafts – X flex, 80 grams
  • Driving Iron shaft – X flex, 90 grams
  • Iron shafts (5-9) – X flex, 115 grams
  • Wedge shafts (GW, SW, LW) – S flex, 125 grams

As you can tell, my driver is the lightest club in the bag. This is required to help you produce the fastest swing speed and get the most distance out of your club. 

My woods and driving iron are the same exact shaft as my driver, just different weight. My irons are then heavier than my woods as they switch from graphite to steel flex. 

Finally, my wedges are stiff flex as you don’t need super stiff shafts with your wedges.

Club fitters usually recommend going down in terms of flex. I also prefer heavier wedges than my irons as I hit a lot of knockdown shots, but that is 100% dependent on the golfer. 

Are expensive shafts worth it in golf? 

Yes and no. 

Yes, in the sense that I’m all for playing the right equipment to make the game easier. It still astonishes me that guys 30-50 years ago were as good as they were. Think how hard the game would be with persimmon woods, hickory shafts, and irons that you could spread butter with. 

So yes, the right shafts will make the game easier. But, that doesn’t mean you need to play expensive ones to see the results. Instead, you need to play the right ones for your game. 

Don’t play the one your favorite PGA Tour pro plays to try and be like him. That will almost never work as their swings are better than 99.99% of the everyday golfer. 

But no, shafts aren’t worth it if you think that  more expensive shafts will automatically make you a better player. Instead of buying the most expensive ones, invest in the right ones for you. You will want to make sure you have the right shafts in your woods, irons, and wedges to see the most improvement in your game. 

Does my putter shaft matter?

Not really, it’s more weight and what you like looking down at more than anything else. Some golfers prefer a heavy shaft while others prefer a lighter option. It’s 100% dependent on each golfer.

Since you’re not using it for anything other than putting (or at least I hope you aren’t), flex isn’t an issue. With putting, my biggest tip is to always play the one that gives you the most confidence. 

Whether that’s a blade, traditional mallet, or a high MOI putter. Play the one that works for your putting stroke and game! 

What is the average length driver shaft?

The average length is around 45 inches for a driver shaft. While the USGA limit is a few more inches, very few golfers play a longer shaft as it decreases your accuracy. This is why the long drive guys opt for 47-48 inch shafts as they are focused on distance, with very little emphasis on accuracy. For more on driver shaft length, check out this article.

Will I lose distance with a stiff shaft?

If a shaft is too stiff for your swing, yes, you could lose distance. This is why it’s so important to match your swing speed with your shafts. Plus, make sure to check every year, especially if you’re making swing changes.

For example, if you use the Superspeed system and add 5-10mph with your swing speed, you’ll probably want to change out your shafts. 

On the other hand, as you get older and lose swing speed, you might want to opt for a lighter shaft with more flex. 

What is the most expensive driver in golf?

Drivers today are definitely not cheap clubs but they come with so much amazing technology that it makes it worth it. Since the game is only creating longer and longer holes, it’s vital to keep up and hit it long. Plus, who doesn’t love hitting a great long drive that goes right down the fairway?

Drivers themselves range from $300 to $550 in general. But what makes them even more expensive sometimes is the shaft itself. Some shafts might only cost an extra $100 or so while others might cost more than the driver itself.

Needless to say, don’t slam that shaft into the ground from anger without thinking it won’t cost you big time. The most expensive shaft I’ve seen is the one Adam Scott played in early 2021. Reports have said it cost around $790, yikes!  

Final Thoughts 

As you can tell, your driver shafts (and iron shafts) play a much bigger role in your game than you might realize. Playing the wrong shaft makes it so much more challenging to score well. Conversely, playing the right shafts will help make your misses better and easier to score your best.

Think about your shafts as three different ones; your driver/woods, irons, and wedges. 

At the end of the day, play the shaft that is right for your golf game. Whether that’s an x-stiff flex or a senior flex, don’t try to impress others by playing one that isn’t suited for your game.

Your driver is arguably the most important shaft in your bag since it’s used so frequently. Plus, playing the wrong flex shaft can negatively affect your distance and shot dispersion. Once you love your driver shaft, try to play the same model but with different weights in your fairway woods and hybrids. Doing this was one of the most beneficial things I’ve done and helped my game tremendously.

Once you get your wood shafts dialed in for distance, think about your irons. Decide if you want graphite or steel then research the ones that will yield the best ball flight for your swing. 

Finally, don’t forget about your wedges either. You can choose to play the same wedges with your irons or switch to a heavier model to help with knockdown shots. It can also help with shots around the green as well depending on the golf course you play most often.

I’m confident that these strategies will help you play your best golf yet. More distance, better accuracy, equals lower scores!

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