Let’s begin with a fact check – picking the best driver shafts isn’t just about choosing the right flex!
A good shaft is what gives you the best chance at striking the face in the center and thus giving you consistency. There are many factors that we consider when comparing driver shafts, including their weight, length, flexibility, material, torque and price-quality ratio.
I recently read an awesome analogy that describes a shaft as a transmission in your vehicle. If you are driving a sports car, the transmission that is more appropriate for a truck won’t be any good. It’s not the engine but it’s equally important.
After reviewing plenty of driver shafts in the market, we settled on the below list of top 5 products that accommodate different skill sets.
Project X HZRDUS Black 6.0 Shaft – Best Overall
This offers a stiff flex with customizable features to meet the needs of different players.
Fujikura Vista Pro 60 – Best Versatile Shaft (my personal favourite)
This is the most versatile shaft, thanks to its regular flex and the customizability options.
Matrix OZIK MFS X5 White Tie 50 – Best for Experienced Players
The stiff flex of this unit makes it ideal for experienced players. It is also a durable unit with a great grip.
What to Look For in a Driver Shaft
Before you buy a shaft, it is important for a professional to analyze your swing. This way, you will be sure of the length and style of shaft that fits your game. You also need to ensure that the driver shaft you choose will accommodate your driver head. Although most shafts fit a wide variety of driver heads, you still need to be sure as some shafts are unique.
Last, do not forget about the grip of the shaft. A comfortable grip plays a huge role in how the club feels in your hands.
Below are some of the main factors we consider when picking the right shafts for you:
Most shafts today feature a graphite construction. Graphite offers more advantages over steel, including light weight and varied flexibility. With graphite, a shaft can be as stiff or as flexible as your swing style requires without adding weight. Manufacturers are able to engineer the shaft to different flex points to make them versatile for different golfers.
You might still come across steel shafts. These are less common. Steel doesn’t offer as many flexibility options as graphite and therefore, won’t suit different categories of golfers. Again, steel is heavier. If you love a stiff shaft, and you do not have a problem with a little added weight, steel might be a good material for your shaft.
Again, if you are on a budget, steel saves you some money although it may cost you on distance.
Steel lasts longer than graphite, guaranteeing you years of service. However, you need to avoid bending it over your knees as this may affect its durability.
Graphite is ideal for beginners and seniors who need to improve their distance and their swing. The varied flexibility makes it easy for one to pick a shaft that improves their distance. Steel is great for experienced golfers who have enough power to swing a heavier club.
Weights and Length
Picking the right driver shaft length guarantees you balance, more control, and stability. Most driver shafts are 45 inches long, but some are longer and others shorter. Shorter shafts are ideal when you plan to hit more fairways. They are also great for shorter players who need their club to feel comfortable. If your shaft is so short, however, it may not offer the flexibility you need for long distance shots.
Longer driver shafts offer more flexibility for when you need to send the ball flying far. They are also ideal for taller golfers.
A club’s weight determines how comfortable your swings feel. Luckily, most shafts on the market feature an optimal weight, so most golfers find them comfortable. Ultra-lightweight shafts are ideal for seniors or people who need to improve their swing speed. If you already generate enough clubhead speed, you do not need a lightweight shaft. Most underweight shafts make it challenging for you to establish a consistently steady tempo.
When the driver shaft is of standard weight, you can make different shots with ease.
Flexibility refers to the shaft’s ability to bend when you swing the club. The magnitude of the bend will depend on the force you put in your swings. If you have a slow swing speed or your swing tempo is smooth, the force you apply on your swing may not be enough to achieve a long distance. Those with a high swing speed and an aggressive tempo will apply more force into their swing and will achieve a longer distance.
You cannot see the shaft bend during a swing, but it does. This bend helps you leverage your swing style to achieve a longer distance. However, you need to match the shaft flex to your swing style.
If you swing slow, get a shaft with a fair amount of flex. If you swing fast, get a relatively stiff shaft. Too much flexibility causes inconsistencies in the ball flight. However, if the shaft is too stiff, it will be challenging for you to square your clubhead at impact, and this will result in a lower trajectory than you intended.
There are designations on shafts that indicate the flexibility level:
• L – This letter denotes Ladies. The flexibility accommodates those with a swing speed below 75 mph.
• A – This denotes shafts designed for seniors. It accommodates swing speeds between 75 and 85 mph.
• R – R is for Regular. It is for players with a swing speed between 85 and 95 mph.
• S – S Shafts are stiff and accommodate only players with swing speeds between 95 and 110 mph.
• X – X denotes extra stiff shaft flex. It is for the fastest swing speeds – above 110 mph.
Getting the shaft flex right ensures that you get better clubhead-ball contact for better quality shots. Again, the right flex will help you achieve consistent shot patterns, more control, and better distance. If the shaft is wrong, the quality of your shots will suffer.
Torque refers to the ability of a shaft to resist rotational twisting when you swing. All shafts offer torque, but in different levels. As a golfer, you need a shaft that matches your swing style. Manufacturers designate torque levels in terms of degrees. The degrees indicate how much the shaft twists.
If the shaft has a low torque, say two or three degrees, it means that it twists less. A torque of four degrees or more indicates a shaft with a considerable amount of twist. Most amateurs do not understand torque. When shopping for a shaft, consider how your club feels when you swing.
Shafts with a higher torque feel smoother during a swing while shafts with a lower torque will feel stiff when you swing. The softness or stiffness you feel when you swing is more related to torque than to flex.
If you have a faster swing, a lower shaft torque will help you. However, if your swing speed is slow, you will benefit from a higher shaft torque.
5 Best Golf Shafts of Our Choice
To pick the right one from the list of best driver shafts, you need to consider your height, swing style, compatibility with the driver head, and the grip. Whether you need to better your swing or increase your distance, there is a shaft for you.
Project X HZRDUS Black 6.0 Shaft: Best Overall
Project X HZRDUS is a stiff shaft that offers stability and consistency with every shot. The unit has a large wall layer along its entire length, and this offers more power and consistency. It is a low-twisting and low-launching shaft that is available for hybrids and woods.
Thanks to its stiff flex, the shaft is ideal for golfers with fast and aggressive swings. Even with its stiff flex, it offers just enough kick, so it doesn’t feel too stiff and allows you to achieve a longer distance.
You can fit the shaft in multiple drivers as long as the driver has a .355 tip to accommodate the shaft tip. It is of regular length, but the manufacturer accommodates special requests to make the shaft shorter or longer to match your swing style. You only need to include a note when checking out and a special length will be available for you.
The graphite shaft sports an ergonomic grip that makes it comfortable on your hands.
• Customizable shaft length to meet your needs
• High quality graphite construction to last long
• Large wall layer for power and consistency
• The paint on the shaft might chip after some time
Fujikura Vista Pro 60: Best Versatile Driver Shaft
The fact that you can custom order this shaft is its main selling point. It offers an R-rated shaft flex to accommodate most experienced players and even some beginners with relatively fast swing speeds. It comes ready to install right out of the box and fits on many drivers. At only 63 grams, this graphite driver shaft accommodates all players who need to achieve a longer distance.
The installed Golf Pride Tour 360 Velvet grip makes it easy for you to adjust the adapter while keeping the logo in position. It comes in standard length to fit a high number of players. However, you can make a custom order for the length and the grip of the shaft. Include a message when you check out, and you will have the shaft designed to meet your specs.
The shaft sports a tip to fit in TaylorMade M1 upto M4. However, the tip is still compatible with so many other drivers. For players with a more aggressive swing, the shaft offers more clubhead feel for longer distances.
• More clubhead feel for players with an aggressive swing
• Accommodates beginners as well as experienced players
• Excellent customizable grip
• You might have to pay more if you request for a different grip
Matrix OZIK MFS X5 White Tie 50: Best for Experienced Players
Matrix Shafts keeps updating their shafts. This is the fifth generation of the White Tie shaft, and it comes with great upgrades to make it versatile. It is a lightweight shaft that offers stability and higher launch performance. The stiff flex offers an enhanced feel with tight dispersion for players with an aggressive swing.
The White Tie has a lower spin to accommodate players with fast swing speeds. It comes ready to install and fits on many driver tips. Each shaft sports a Tour Velvet 360 grip that allows you to easily adjust the adapter while keeping the logo intact. You can, however, request for a different grip during checkout if the Tour Velvet 360 grip doesn’t impress you.
Each shaft comes at standard length and many players will find it comfortable. Coupled with its stiff flex, the standard length gives you more control. If you need a different length, indicate that in your order and the manufacturer will customize the length for you.
The unit weighs only 53 grams, which makes it one of the best under 60 gram golf driver shafts on the market. If yours is shorter than the standard 46 inches, it will be lighter.
• Balanced weight and torque to accommodate all players
• Enhanced impact feel
• High quality construction
• Relatively pricey
UST 2018 Proforce V2 HL Golf Shaft: Best Driver Shafts for Distance
UST redesigned this shaft to bring more appealing graphics and make it more versatile. The unit features advanced recoil technology that allows it to offer optimal spring effect in its walls. This effect is ideal for transferring more energy to the ball even when your swing speed is low. If you need more ball velocity and more distance, this technology will help you achieve that.
There are two weight options – 50 and 60 grams. Both are light enough to accommodate players of all swing styles. Further, the manufacturer offers Pro-Force swing technology, which offers stable and consistent ball flight. Its butt section offers more control for both aggressive and less aggressive players.
The shaft offers a regular flex, which is ideal for most players. It comes at a standard length of 46 inches, but you can customize the length. It also has a high torque to accommodate players with a low swing speed.
• Perfect grip for comfort and enhanced control
• Best for increased shot distance
• Not ideal for ladies
The HZRDUS T800 has a regular flex that offers great performance in mid-spin and mid-launch swings. With its regular flex, the shaft offers a more comfortable feel than the stiff options from Project X. According to the manufacturer, the regular flex accommodates more than 95 percent of all golfers, and this makes this shaft highly versatile. It comes ready to install and accommodates a variety of drivers.
It is custom assembled, so you can order a grip and height that accommodates your game style. It is for players who need a shaft to use in different settings. Whether you are an amateur or an experienced player, the shaft gives you great performance.
• Ideal for beginners and experienced players
• High quality grip to give you added control
• Additional customizations delay shipping of the product
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the different types of golf shafts?
Driver shafts are available in categories based on their flexibility. The most common types include:
• A for Seniors. The A used to denote amateurs as the shaft’s design allows players to achieve a longer distance.
• R for Regular. These are shafts for people with a high swing speed – between 85 and 95 mph.
• S for Stiff. These shafts accommodate players with swing speeds between 95 and 110 mph.
• X denotes Extra Stiff Shafts. These are shafts for players with aggressive swings and those with high swing speeds.
• L is for ladies. These are shafts for quite slow swing speeds – below 75 mph.
How long do they last?
Manufacturers say that a driver shaft should last indefinitely. If you play several times a week, however, the driver shaft will wear out fast.
Which shaft flex is good for my swing speed?
If you have a slow swing speed, pick a shaft with more flex. You can take a senior shaft or a regular shaft. If you have a very high swing speed, above 95 mph, you can go for a stiff or an extra stiff shaft. If your swing speed is below 75 mph, go for a ladies shaft.
What is the kick point of a golf shaft?
The kick point is the part of the shaft that bends the most during a swing. This point determines the trajectory and the launch angle of a shaft.
Why are length and weight of the shaft important?
The length of a shaft determines how much control you get over your club. Longer shafts offer more flexibility than shorter shafts. The weight determines how comfortable the shaft feels on your hands. The weight should balance so that the club can generate enough force and speed to achieve a long distance.
The Project X HZRDUS Black 6.0 Shaft is our top pick among all the products above. It sports a stiff flex that enhances the feel and the accuracy of your driver. Although it is stiff, it still offers enough flex to accommodate many players.
If you are a professional player, you already know your swing style, and it will be easy for you to pick the right shaft.
If you are amateur and quite unsure about your swing, consider getting your swing style analyzed by a professional. This will help you choose the best driver shaft with the right weight, length, flex, and torque to match your style.