Golf Shaft Selector: How to Choose the Best Golf Shaft for You

Published on 03/11/2024 · 9 min readFind your perfect match on the fairway: Our golf shaft selector guide helps you choose the best golf shaft for your swing speed, style, and accuracy goals!
Britt O., Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Britt O.

Photo by Matt Apps

Tl;dr: When choosing a golf shaft, focus on material, flex, and length. The material will help with ball flight control, flex will match your swing speed, and length ensures consistency with a club designed specifically for your height.

If you are surprised by how quickly golf manufacturers develop new clubs, you won't believe the differences in shaft technology in the last few years. The golf shaft market is thriving, and if you want to, you can find hundreds of different shaft options to suit your game.

While you don't need to understand all of them, it does make sense to know some things like shaft flex, weight, length, material, and even the manufacturer.

As a golf professional, I can tell you that playing with the right shaft is more important than playing with the right clubhead. It's that important. If you want to make the most out of your game, here's how to choose the best golf shaft for you.

What Is A Golf Shaft?

Photo by Parnupol TK

A golf shaft is the material that connects the grip of the club to the club head. Golf shafts can be made from steel or graphite. The golf shaft flexibility, stiffness, length, and even the torque will impact the golf ball’s flight, accuracy, and distance.

What to Consider When Buying A Golf Shaft?

You will need to understand golf shafts when you purchase new clubs and if you want to replace the shafts in your current clubs. Tour players constantly tweak their golf shafts to get the most out of their equipment.

What shaft length do I need?

The length of your club will ensure you get consistent contact with the center of the face. Golf clubs are made for players who are about 5'9" tall.

Golfer Height RangeLength Factor
6'9" - 7'0"Add 2"
6'6" - 6'9"Add 1 1/2"
6'3" - 6'6"Add 1"
6'0" - 6'3"Add 1/2"
5'9" - 6'0"Standard Length
5'6" - 5'9"Subtract 1/2"
5'3" - 5'6"Subtract 1"
5'0" - 5'3"Subtract 1 1/2"
4'9" - 5'0"Subtract 2"

Is a graphite shaft or steel shaft best for my game?

Graphite shafts are lightweight and easy to swing fast. Golfers who need more swing speed will do best with a graphite shaft.

The downside of graphite shafts is that they can be harder to control. This is why players on the PGA Tour with fast speeds use steel golf shafts.

All golfers should look for graphite shafts in their drivers and fairway woods. The irons and wedges are where the graphite vs. steel must be considered.

What shaft flex do I need?

The shaft flex you need depends on your swing speed. The faster you swing, the stiffer the shaft you need. In a properly fitted set of clubs, golfers may have more than one shaft flex.

Some of the best amateurs swing the club so fast with the driver they need a stiffer shaft than they have in the irons. Talking to an Expert can help ensure each of your clubs has the proper shaft to get you greater swing speed and more accuracy.

Swing Speed (mph)Recommended Shaft Flex
< 75Ladies
75 - 85Senior
85 - 95Regular
95 - 105Stiff
105 - 115Extra Stiff
> 115Tour Stiff

How Is my ball flight going to be impacted by the golf shaft?

The golf shaft you choose impacts the ball flight of your golf shot. A shaft needs to have the correct flex for your swing to ensure you keep your shots straight.

You'll notice that the ball tends to go left when a shaft is too flexible, and when it's too stiff, it stays out to the right.

When a golf shaft weight or kick point is incorrect for your game, the launch is impacted, making it hard to get the correct trajectory.

How much should a golf shaft cost?

Golf shaft pricing varies based on the manufacturer, the type of shaft (iron vs. driver), and the technology in the golf shaft.

When you purchase a new driver like the TaylorMade Stealth or Callaway Paradym, the shaft is included in the price.

What Are The Different Types of Golf Shafts?

Photo by Orest Drozda

There are two main categories of golf shafts: graphite and steel shafts. Many golfers have a mix of graphite and steel shafts in their set. Some players have all graphite.

Graphite Shafts

Graphite shafts are used to decrease the overall weight of the golf club. If you know you could benefit from a faster swing speed and greater flexibility, graphite could be the right flex. In addition, graphite shafts are used in drivers, fairways, and hybrids, even for professionals, because of the ability to generate speed with a graphite shaft.

Benefits:

  • Generate a lot of clubhead speed
  • Generally easier to hit high-lofted shots
  • A good choice for slow swing speed players

Keep In Mind:

  • Graphite shafts often cost extra money because of their material
  • Controlling the ball flight with a graphite shaft can be more challenging

Steel Shafts

Steel shafts have a greater emphasis on control and accuracy than on generating more speed. The steel shafts are most often found in irons and wedges.

Benefits:

  • Can offer better feel and accuracy in the short game
  • Priced considerably lower than graphite shafts

Keep In Mind:

  • Steel shafts can have more vibrations at impact
  • Beginners often need to avoid heavy steel shafts
  • Putters can have both steel shafts and graphite shafts

Features To Look Out for When Buying Golf Shafts

When buying golf shafts for your clubs, there are some essential things to remember. In recent years, golf shaft designers have gotten creative with their golf shaft options. You have a lot to choose from!

Bend Profile

When you know your specs, you can choose the golf shaft flex you need. However, the way the shaft bends in different areas is called the bend profile.

Benefits:

  • Choosing the proper bend profile will help control ball flight
  • Golf shafts have improved technology that allows for more customized shaft bend

Be Aware:

  • The bend profile may not match your game even if you choose the right flex.
  • Always explain your typical ball flight pattern to your Golf Expert to ensure you get the right bend profile.

Weight

Some of the most popular golf shafts from companies like True Temper, Fujikura, and Mitsubishi offer each shaft model in four or five different weights.

Benefits:

  • Lightweight shafts can help increase speeds
  • Heavy shafts help golfers control ball flight
  • Shaft weight can be customized so it's lighter in the longer clubs

Be Aware:

  • Shaft weight should be customized based on the type of club; it won't remain consistent throughout the set
  • Minimal differences in shaft weight can have a big impact (even just a few grams)
  • Check the golf swing in transition from backswing to downswing to ensure it's not too heavy

Kick Point

A shaft kick-point is also known as the flex point. It's the section of the shaft that bends the most during a swing.

A high kick point golf shaft will lower ball flight, and a low kick point shaft will increase ball flight. If you are a player who struggles to get a fairway wood high enough, think about adjusting the kick point.

Benefits:

  • Customizing kick point can make it easier to maximize distance and control
  • Kick point can be fine-tuned to be different for clubs in the bag
  • Proper kick point improves control of shot trajectory

Be Aware:

  • Talk to a Curated Expert about kick points
  • The wrong kick point will seriously impact control

Tip Stiffness

The tip stiffness of a shaft can help you improve overall feel and control. When golfers talk about feeling what the clubhead is doing through impact, they often refer to tip stiffness.

Benefits:

  • Improved feeling of the shaft tip and control of shots
  • Get better spin and feel
  • It may reduce some twisting at impact

Be Aware:

  • Too much tip stiffness is only for faster swing speeds
  • Tip stiffness is most important in the woods and driver

How To Choose The Right Golf Shaft

Photo by Stephen Coburn

Now that you have a better idea as to what golf shaft options there are on the market, let’s break down some different golfers and how they found the proper golf shaft. Pay close attention to the things they consider when making their decision.

Sam

Sam is a low handicap golfer that typically goes for a custom fitting when he purchases new clubs. However, he recently made some swing changes and felt his high swing speeds no longer matches his needs in his Titleist driver.

Features To Look For:

  • A stiff or extra stiff shaft to help accommodate the faster speed
  • Higher kick point to help keep the flight down
  • A few more grams of weight to keep the ball flight controlled

Shaft Examples: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black

Joe

Joe is a golfer who struggles to keep the ball straight with his irons. He often notices that the ball starts slicing as he gets further along in his round. He's playing with stainless steel stiff shafts in his irons and is nearly 55 years old.

Features To Look For:

  • Graphite shafts to help increase speed
  • Regular flex
  • Slightly lighter weight

Shaft Examples: UST Mamiya Recoil ES, Fujikura Vista Pro

Eliza

Eliza is a brand new player with normal swing speeds for women. She is very dedicated to becoming a golfer and wants to find clubs that fit her for the long run. She struggles with low shot trajectory and lack of distance.

Features To Look For:

  • A lightweight shaft
  • Low kick point
  • Ladies flex

Shaft Examples: Aldila NV Ladies 45, UST Mamiya Recoil 450

Find The Best Golf Shaft For You

There’s a lot to figure out regarding the proper golf shaft for your game. The process often gets too overwhelming, and you end up with the stock shaft option by default. If you have concerns that the stock shaft may not be the best for you, talk to a Curated Golf Expert. Many golfers have found that their golf swing is not the issue; instead, it's the shaft they had in place.

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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