There are essentially three parts of a golf club: the grip, the shaft, and the clubhead. If you have asked yourself, how much difference does a driver shaft make, you likely haven’t played a lot of golf.
The strength and speed of your swing is going to determine what type of shaft is best for you. As a general rule, the faster your swing is, or the more power it has, the firmer you’re going to need the shaft to be.
Fortunately, you can purchase shafts with different firmness levels, so it’s easy to accommodate your own personal swing.
The shape of the shaft also makes a difference, even though all of them are tapered with the smaller end close to the clubhead. But it’s the firmness of the shaft that makes the most difference, and this article will explain why this is so.
How Much Difference Does a Driver Shaft Make?
The driver shaft indeed makes a difference because let’s face it, if you can get a golf club that is best suited to your type of swing, it can help you play much better and have more control over your game.
Here is a breakdown of the type of shaft you should aim for:
- If your swing is fast, you should choose the stiff or even an extra-stiff driver shaft.
- If your swing is somewhere in the middle and neither super-fast nor super-slow, you can choose a regular shaft.
- Finally, if your swing is slow, choosing a flexible or senior shaft is your best bet.
There are numerous things that directly affect your golf game. This includes the ball, your shoes, and everything related to your golf club.
The more you personalize these items, the better your odds of having extraordinary results at your next game. Your shaft is an important part of that equation, but the good news is that you can easily find a shaft that meets your needs and helps you play a better game.
In other words, the type of driver shaft you choose does indeed make a big difference in the outcome of your game.
Think of it as a musical instrument. If you choose an inexpensive, cheaply made instrument, you’ll only be able to go so far and get so good at playing it, regardless of how much you practice.
When you decide to splurge on a better-made instrument, you can go as far as you like as long as you practice. A driver shaft is the same way.
If you have the wrong one, it will limit your ability to improve on the golf course. This is a very simple concept to understand.
What Is the Actual Function of the Shaft?
Stuck in the middle of your golf club, the driver shaft is an important part of the club because this is the part of the club that allows golfers to hit the ball very far away by simply rotating your body.
You use your hips, arms, and shoulders to swing your golf club and ace your shot, but it’s a lot more difficult to do this if you’re not playing with the right shaft. The longer your shaft is, the farther away your ball will travel.
This is a general rule, of course, but it works out this way more often than not.
Shafts are also made wider at the part that touches the grip and narrower near the clubhead. If you choose a graphite shaft, the progression is very smooth, whereas with metal shafts, you can actually see the width reduction on the shaft itself.
In the latter case, you’ll notice clear reductions that are the same diameter size and which are set at regular intervals. But even though you can see the intervals on a steel shaft and not on a graphite shaft, this doesn’t mean that one is better than the other.
In fact, this characteristic affects mainly the aesthetics of the shaft and not the function, so you can choose whatever material you like best.
What Are Kick Points?
When you want to know, how much difference does a driver shaft make, you have to know a little about the shaft’s other characteristics.
For instance, the regions of the shaft that bend the most are known as kick points, and there are three of them – found at the top of the shaft (the high kick point), the middle of the shaft (the mid kick point), and at the bottom of the shaft near the clubhead (the low kick point).
What is the significance of the kick points? Simply put, a shaft with a higher kick point will send the ball flying fairly low, whereas a shaft with a low kick point will do the opposite – cause the ball to fly a lot higher.
In addition to kick points, shafts are also available in three different sizes. So far, we’ve used the words “shaft” and “driver shaft” like they are the same thing, but they aren’t. A driver shaft is just one of the three shaft types.
The driver shaft is the longest and the putter shaft is the shortest. The shafts in between, called the irons, will decrease in length while the loft increases. For example, a 5-iron is going to be longer than a 6-iron, and a 6-iron is longer than a 7-iron, and so on. The smaller the number, the longer the shaft is, in other words.
Furthermore, since it is possible nowadays to get custom-made golf clubs, it is easier than you think to get the perfect shaft size when picking out your set of clubs.
This is why a player who is 6’3” can still play as well as someone who is average height. Those players would benefit greatly from customizing their golf clubs so that the shaft is the exact size they need to play much better on the golf course.
In the case of someone who is much taller than average, they can choose shafts that are 0.5” to 1” longer than the standard sizes of each to feel more control over their game.
Tweaking the Length of Your Shaft
Of course, regardless of the type of shaft you’re using – driver or otherwise – you can adjust the length of the shaft by placing your hands in a certain part of your grip.
For instance, if you place your hands closer to the bottom of the grip, the ball is going to have less speed and travel a shorter distance than it would if you held your hands near the top of the shaft, where the ball will go faster and travel a much longer distance.
But on delicate shots where you don’t need the ball to go the maximum distance, placing your hands lower on the grip can help you control the ball better and get it where it needs to go.
Furthermore, since shafts tend to be shorter the stiffer they are, this means that if you need to make a shot with a lower flight path, a shorter and stiffer shaft can be the perfect solution.
Shots that don’t need to penetrate the ground but which need to hit the ball thinly, such as shots from the fairway bunker, often do better with shorter, stiffer shafts.
In other words, there are situations in which you don’t actually want the ball to go fast or far, and in these cases, learning how to place your hands at the bottom of the grip can work right every time.
Finding the perfect driver shaft is easier than you think, because all you have to do is:
- Keep in mind that the shorter your shaft, the more consistent your strike pattern will be.
- Make sure that it is neither too stiff nor too flexible.
- Pay attention to the rules mentioned above regarding the kick point.
- Pay attention to the weight of the shaft, because the heavier the shaft is, the lower your ball will fly and the less spin it will have.
- The lower the torque measurement, the more it will resist twisting.
As you can see, the driver shaft you choose makes a big difference in your game, so learning as much as you can about this important part of your golf club is always recommended.
The driver shaft is one of three different types of shafts, and the way it is made makes a big difference in your golf game.
The more you know about the different shafts and the driver shaft in particular, the more you can use this information to your advantage and learn to play a better game.
These details are not difficult to learn, and of course, the more you practice, the more your game will improve. Still, you need the right golf club to get things started on the right path, and this means learning all about your driver shaft.
A lot of the decisions you make will depend on your experience level and how fast your swing is currently.
Custom-made golf clubs are also an option, especially for tall players, and can help you play the best game possible every time you get out on the course.
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