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Is my driver shaft too stiff?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I currently use an Adams Insight XTD a3 driver with a stiff shaft. The stiff shaft was suggested to me by a pro shop guy, based on an average swing speed of 105 mph as calculated by the machine there.

The problem is, I was swinging as hard as I could at the time. I can't consistently find the sweet spot with that swing speed. With that swing, maybe 1 time out of 30 I get a low, penetrating shot that goes 280+.

I went out today and toned it down a little. I felt like I could consistently find the sweet spot (or at least a "sweeter" spot) by using about 75% power. Problem is, I got a ballooning ball flight that consistently faded a good bit. Even if I teed the ball lower, or moved it back in my stance an inch, it went sky high. So high, in fact, that the ball would only go about 200-220 yards. That's never happened to me, but then again I've never really toned down my swing that much in the hopes of increasing accuracy.

I feel like I've made a classic mistake by getting the stiff shaft. I've read that side effects may include a fading ball flight and a lower tragectory. I definitly have the fading ball flight, but as I mentioned, the tragectory is sky high.

Of course, there is always a question as to how much the issues are caused by my swing and how much by the club. But I do know that when I hit them right, even with a "toned down" swing, my 5i or 3h go straight with a normal flight path.

What do you guys think?
post #2 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

I was in the same boat. I too had a Stiff shafted driver and was driving horribly. My swing speed is 105 as well and the local Pro said I should use a Stiff shaft. That was a year ago and I took it upon myself to test a Regular shaft driver this summer. It made a huge difference with my accuracy. Not only was it straiter, but it went farther too.

I say, got to your local store/shop and try a regular too see if it works better for you.
post #3 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

I picked up my buddies R5 with a regular flex shaft and borrowed it for a round. I haven't driven that well in my life. I ordered an Aldila VS Proto which is the same shaft his club had. I'm gonna fit it to my hi-bore and let it ride.
post #4 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

I was considering doing the opposite of what you're saying, so this thread is interesting to me.

I have a reg flex on my 10.5* driver and I generally carry 220-230 on the range with a tiny fade, but also a very high trajectory. I am relatively consistent, but have some low pulls every once in a while.

A couple of weeks ago I found two r7 Ti in a bin at the local pro shop for a great price. The 3W had a reg flex and the 5W a stiff. I decided to leave the shafts so I could check out the difference.

Yesterday I hit my (stiff flex) 5W about 200 yards in a perfectly straight line and had a very easy time controlling the ball. Then I switched to my (reg flex) 3W and hit the ball also 200 yards, but was much less consistent with my trajectory. This lead me to think that I might need stiff shafts, but when I did research on what effect flex has on trajectory, it didn't match my observations. I am not consistently pulling my shots with the reg, though I do feel I need to use a much stronger grip on my reg than my stiff flex to get the straight shot.

I measured my swing speed quite a while ago and I was in the high 80's, but that was with a very armsy swing and when I was slicing the ball horribly. I am guessing I am in mid to high 90's now, perhaps 100+... I have no idea.
post #5 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

In general, if I hit my driver very low and with a hook when i mis-hit, would my shaft be too stiff? or too flexible?
post #6 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

I was having the same problem and went to a shaft with a higher kick point. My current driver is 9.5* stiff, same as my former driver, but the kick point is higher. Not only am I getting a lower ball flight with a whole lot more distance, it also helped me cure my slice (for the most part, anyway). It seems to me you would get a higher trajectory with an R flex than you would with an S flex but I'm no expert. From what I understand the kick point has more to do with launch angle than most anything else. Maybe one of our resident shaft experts will weigh in and correct me if I'm wrong.
post #7 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

Originally Posted by ZaPPPa View Post
I was considering doing the opposite of what you're saying, so this thread is interesting to me.

I have a reg flex on my 10.5* driver and I generally carry 220-230 on the range with a tiny fade, but also a very high trajectory. I am relatively consistent, but have some low pulls every once in a while.

A couple of weeks ago I found two r7 Ti in a bin at the local pro shop for a great price. The 3W had a reg flex and the 5W a stiff. I decided to leave the shafts so I could check out the difference.

Yesterday I hit my (stiff flex) 5W about 200 yards in a perfectly straight line and had a very easy time controlling the ball. Then I switched to my (reg flex) 3W and hit the ball also 200 yards, but was much less consistent with my trajectory. This lead me to think that I might need stiff shafts, but when I did research on what effect flex has on trajectory, it didn't match my observations. I am not consistently pulling my shots with the reg, though I do feel I need to use a much stronger grip on my reg than my stiff flex to get the straight shot.

I measured my swing speed quite a while ago and I was in the high 80's, but that was with a very armsy swing and when I was slicing the ball horribly. I am guessing I am in mid to high 90's now, perhaps 100+... I have no idea.
My take on this is that you hit the 5w better because of the angle of the club. Steeper angle clubs are going to be much easier to hit. My 3w is a regular and my other 3w is a stiff, the reg is all me the stiff is a shanker.
post #8 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

Originally Posted by blackxpress View Post
I was having the same problem and went to a shaft with a higher kick point. My current driver is 9.5* stiff, same as my former driver, but the kick point is higher. Not only am I getting a lower ball flight with a whole lot more distance, it also helped me cure my slice (for the most part, anyway). It seems to me you would get a higher trajectory with an R flex than you would with an S flex but I'm no expert. From what I understand the kick point has more to do with launch angle than most anything else. Maybe one of our resident shaft experts will weigh in and correct me if I'm wrong.
This is interesting. So you're saying a higher kick point = lower ball flight? And by higher, I assume you mean towards the grip end of the club, right?

Looks like I've got some research to do. I hope this is something that manufacturers mention in their club specifications.
post #9 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

Interesting. Yes, maybe you need a shaft adjustment. I'm guessing if your 100% swing is 105mph, your ideal swing would be definitely below 100mph, probably making you a regular flex candidate, but I'm no fitting pro. Although a ballooning ball flight can also mean too much flex, at least for me it did. Kind of strange.

By the way, putting the ball back in your stance and/or teeing it lower will just increase the backspin and make for a higher, weaker, shorter ball flight. Try teeing it higher and towards your front heel, see if that solves anything.
post #10 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

Find a low handicapper with about the same swing speed as yours and let him hit it and see what happens - then you can decide if you go for new equipment or a couple lessons.

I normally hit a pretty tight spot on my driver, but if i´m off with my tempo i come over the top and hit the nastiest slices or if i overcompensate too much i hook it - it doesnt matter at that point if i hold a stiff/regular shafted driver, one of those square headed MOI canons or an old persimon wood in my hands
post #11 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

A lot has to do with feel. Seems like if you have to ask, it is probably too stiff. A too soft shaft is wimpy and hard to hit straight no matter you do, whereas the correct shaft feels solid through impact and adds distance, not lessens it.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

I did some research and found that my shaft has a mid kick-point and is supposed to produce a medium flight path with low spin.

While the fading issue may be due the stiff shaft, I think my sky high ball flight is a problem with my swing. I'll mess with some stuff at the range and report back!
post #13 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

I have a regular flex with mid kick in my driver and my drives are typically around 260-280 but no roll at all. The ball flight is pretty high and wherever it lands it sticks. Over the weekend I tried a friends driver who has a stiff shaft, and got a much more penetrating ball flight that carried the same distance but got a bunch more roll.

Is there any kind of formula on what swing speed = in driving distance?
post #14 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

I also have a question related.

I am currently using True Temper Tour Concept X1 for my irons with MP37 heads. I hit them fairly well in terms of contact/distance.

I have a Cleveland Hi-bore Tour spec STIFF driver where I'm pull hooking all the time if I slow down or fade it if I try to rip it. I get about 300+ Yards when I really get a good hit, but that is about 1 out of 30 shots as well for me.

I have about 110-115mph swing speed and I hit about 180 with my 7 iron. Should I try using a regular flex driver? I've tried it once as well and I was able to be very consistent.

Maybe it has to do with something mentally when I have the driver in my hand?

Thanks,
post #15 of 33

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

Most golfers play with shafts that are too stiff for them. Our old pro picked four guys A<B<C<D players and gave each a set of ladies clubs and sent them on the course. All four played under their average handicap score by at least 4 strokes.
post #16 of 33
Thread Starter 

Re: Is my driver shaft too stiff?

First off, I'm happy to report that I fixed the sky high ball flight. It was a swing issue, not a shaft issue. I still get some fading unless I really rip it (assuming I hit the sweet spot). I think a regular flex might do me some good.

This sort of relates to a question I posted in the equipment section about shaft flex for irons. I'll post it below since I haven't gotten a response, but the question is basically whether you should slow your swing down and use regular flex clubs, or just learn to swing hard.


Originally Posted by Armonster20 in a different thread
My issue now is shaft flex. I don't really have a specific "swing speed." My 6i speed ranges from 65-90 mph, depending on how hard I swing. I tried both the stiff and regular steel shafts, and they felt totally different. The regular was a true temper dynamic gold, but felt really whippy right before impact. It was much more flexible than Cleveland's "regular" flex. If I swung around 70-80 mph, I could make great contact. Any faster and it started to hook. With my current stiff shaft I have to swing 85+ mph to get pure contact, but I lose my consistency.

Would it be better for me to get the "whippy" shafts and just tone down my swing to about 85%? If it makes a difference, I felt the shaft start flexing when the clubhead was probably about 3 feet away from the ball, and then it would swing back and smack the ball at impact. It just feels really strange and new to me, but seemed to make my contact easier. Are you supposed to get that whipping sensation?
post #17 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Biegoe View Post

I have a regular flex with mid kick in my driver and my drives are typically around 260-280 but no roll at all. The ball flight is pretty high and wherever it lands it sticks. Over the weekend I tried a friends driver who has a stiff shaft, and got a much more penetrating ball flight that carried the same distance but got a bunch more roll.

Is there any kind of formula on what swing speed = in driving distance?


Were you testing driver A, and driver B, in same weather conditions and same terrain conditions?

 

If you tested them in same terrain conditions, then obviously the driver B, with the same carry + more roll, would be more effective.

 

I know that my own top drives this year, have been 275carry exactly (they carried in the air and impacted the back safety fence)

 

I was looking at a chart with max carry distance and launch conditions for the driver. The chart suggested that I would have 105mph  clubhead speed, with my current driver 10,5 loft (and slightly aiming high at the ball, to create slight upward angle at impact)

 

 

YOU on the other hand... Have most likely 105+ clubhead speed... So you can have less dynamic loft at impact than me, but still get good carry + good roll.

 

The mathematics get rather complicated... There are many factors like ball's backspin rpm, dynamic loft at impact...

 

What the long drivers use is generally low loft driver, stiff shaft applicable to their high clubhead speeds. But, it seems that they still have good dynamic loft at impacts (i.e. they are striking at the ball with upward angle for more loft).

 

These guys will also have to reign in, their ball's spin rpm, in order to lower the spin, but still have decent loft for launch conditions (apparently loft and backspin are related, more loft brings generally more backspin, too much backspin lowers distance, but also too low loft causes too low carry...)

post #18 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armonster20 View Post
 

First off, I'm happy to report that I fixed the sky high ball flight. It was a swing issue, not a shaft issue. I still get some fading unless I really rip it (assuming I hit the sweet spot). I think a regular flex might do me some good.

This sort of relates to a question I posted in the equipment section about shaft flex for irons. I'll post it below since I haven't gotten a response, but the question is basically whether you should slow your swing down and use regular flex clubs, or just learn to swing hard.

 

 

And that is what you will find the vast majority of time, I know equipment has to fit the player most importantly lie and loft the shaft length and flex, however being a high index means your swing is not going to be what you will be sticking with as you improve, changing specs on equipment at this stage can sometimes be more detrimental than helpful, best thing is to start with the most standard specs and go from there, unless your extremely tall or short standard will be fine until you at least reach an 18 index and even lower in a lot of cases. Also don't purposely swing hard, you will develop some bad habits on top of possibly injuring yourself, swing naturally and athletic and don't try and force club speed it happens with good technique not brute force. 

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