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Stiff vs Regular shafts?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'm hoping to get a chance to go this weekend and get fitted, but I thought I'd toss this question out and get your feed-back. Even though I can't give you my "specifics" yet, I'd really appreciate your thoughts?

I'm a 6 handicap, 52, 5'9", 165 lbs. I am going to "guess" my swing speed is low to mid 90's.

Right now I'm hitting a Sumo2 9.5 with an Aldila NVS 65-R regular shaft. When I swing SMOOTH and easy the ball is dead-straight. If I try to give it a little "extra" it is still straight, then tails off with a fade. I tried a friend's new "Burner" the other day and consistantly out-drove my Sumo. His club is a 10.5 degree with a regular shaft (the 50gram) shaft that comes in the new Burners. Same results...easy swing...LONG and straight...harder swing....straight, then a slide fade at the end. When hitting my IRONS they always go DEAD-STRAIGHT.

Two questions:

1. What would happen if I was swinging a STIFF shaft?

2. Since the new Burner is what TaylorMade describes as a "high-launch" club, should I go with the 9.5.....even though I was outdriving my normal shots with his 10.5 ?

Once again, I realize a proper club-fitting would address these questions, but there are a LOT of very knowlegable people on this board, so your thoughts would be VERY much appreciated!!

Thanks,

Bill
post #2 of 7

Re: Stiff vs Regular shafts?

When you hit your friends Burner, was the trajectory noticeably higher than your Sumo?? If so, was it so high that it seemed like it might be costing you distance?? (even it was going further than the Sumo anyway....there's a chance that a lower loft and/or stiffer shaft may get you EVEN more distance).

Also, be careful what marketing ploys certain companies use (ie. "high launch"). There are so many different factors that effect trajectory. A club that may launch it high for someone else may not do the same for you and vice versa.

I suspect, as you mention, a solid club fitting will answer your questions. But it's fun to speculate, ponder and wonder in the meantime.
post #3 of 7

Re: Stiff vs Regular shafts?

Disclaimer: Not a pro or even very knowledgable!!

I was in your shoes not long ago. I was getting new irons/new woods. I had been using regular shafts (that were also offset). Whenever I mishit, it was always...ALWAYS a pull/hook sometimes a downright duck hook. I knew that some of it was to blame on my swing and the offset of the clubs. I also thought that I might need a stiff flex shaft.

I bought a new set of irons, after reading NUMEROUS articles about shaft flex and decided I needed stiff. Right after I ordered them is when I found out about the free fitting month of April. I went ahead to get fitted (and prepared myself that I might've gotten the wrong clubs for me) and he said I got everything perfect. So far, my irons are ALOT more consistant...every now and then I might pull one...but thats mostly my swing. I have a new driver, the stiff flex vs the reg flex has made a lot of difference. I even have a slight fade everynow and then. So, switching to stiff was the right move for me. By the way, my swing speed is hovering around mid 90's.

For you, i'm not sure. I've always heard that if you are hitting with a staff that is too stiff, the clubface will have a harder time closing at impact and you'll be more likely to push it right. If you have too much flex, it should tend to whip around a little more and close at impact resulting in a pull. So I would've thought if you really swung at it...with a regular flex...it would go a little left, but i'm not sure. Sometimes when I really swing hard at a ball...I try too hard to get that weight shift and I slide out in front of the ball and open the face to push it. Otherwise, I'll hook it.

I can't tell you one way or the other which one to go to, because its so individual. I have heard before if you are on the fence about reg vs stiff, always go with more flex. I would recommend heading to a golfsmith or some other place with a launch monitor and hit the same club with the two different shafts. Because you'll probably get told that each company has their own version of "regular" or "stiff". So Company A's regular flex might be equal to Company B's stiff...or vice versa.

Anyway, good luck!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Re: Stiff vs Regular shafts?

Thanks for the input guys!

I was definately hitting the 10.5 higher that my 9.5 degree...but I was consistently 10 to 15 REAL yards longer with the Burner. With the 10.5 I was a bit concerned about the ball flight, even with the yardage gain, if I was hitting INTO a wind.

I never pull or push a driver....or DRAW the ball. It either goes DEAD straight, or tails off with a slight fade, but never a slice. My irons are regular flex and everything from my 3 iron down to the wedge ALWAYS files only one way...dead-straight.
post #5 of 7

Re: Stiff vs Regular shafts?

Originally Posted by mrbillinoc View Post
I was definately hitting the 10.5 higher that my 9.5 degree...but I was consistently 10 to 15 REAL yards longer with the Burner.
You know, if your old driver had a launch angle that's too low, that alone may be the reason the other driver was going further (that and the fact that it has a 50-gram, 46-inch shaft). Going to a 9.5 Burner might land you right back in the same realm as your SUMO - shorter.

Too many amateurs launch the ball too low. Watch pros - watch how quickly the ball gets up off their driver. With your swing speed, you want a launch angle of around 14-15 degrees, depending on the spin.

Originally Posted by mrbillinoc View Post
With the 10.5 I was a bit concerned about the ball flight, even with the yardage gain, if I was hitting INTO a wind.
Read this article. Specifically, this part:

Originally Posted by article linked above
A consistent launch angle and spin rate are the cornerstones of solid driving. Downwind or headwind, soggy or dry, draw or cut, it doesn't matter: the ideal launch conditions are ideal in all but the most extreme situations. Though players in windy Texas may want to see a lower ball flight than is optimal, Titleist reps do what they can to educate players on the optimal trajectory and spin.
In other words, optimal launch conditions are always optimal launch conditions. Downwind, into the wind - they're the same. You'll get maximum distance in all situations (except perhaps the extreme cases, like 40 MPH winds) with optimal launch conditions.

In more other words: longer is longer. If you hit the one longer, stick with it. The end.
post #6 of 7

Re: Stiff vs Regular shafts?

You are doing the right thing in getting fitted.

I recently got fitted for a new driver and before going was certain i needed a stiff shaft. Unknown to me was that there is no industry standard for shaft strengths. Manufacturers just roll out 3 shafts and say, Thats S, R or F. So S for one manufacturer could be R for another.

I had a Ping Si5 with Graffaloy Blue R shaft on prevois driver, only for pro to tell me that it was one of the stiffest shafts around.

It was amazing to see how the ball flight was affected by different shafts.The pro will get you sorted.

I ended up with pro launch R shaft on a PIng G5. SUPERB.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Re: Stiff vs Regular shafts?

I REALLY appreciate all your comments!
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