Stiff Flex vs. Regular Flex: In-detail Comparison

We list the advantages and drawbacks of both types and compare them in detail
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Last updatedLast updated: May 01, 2022
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One of the most challenging aspects of golf equipment shopping is finding the right clubs. This is especially true if you’re not armed with the correct information. Keep in mind that you can’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach because you need to find a club that accurately fits your swing. You could go to a professional fitter, but even then, you’ll need to understand some variables such as the right kind of flex for you.

If you’re facing the stiff flex vs. regular flex dilemma, this article highlights everything you need to know about which option you should go for. This includes the advantages and drawbacks of each option as well as a quick comparison. Let’s dive in!

Golf Club Shaft Basics

Stiff Flex vs. Regular Flex: In-detail ComparisonFirst things first, before you choose a golf club shaft, you need to identify what kind of play stiff flex and regular flex clubs support. You should also note that your driver shaft could be different from that of your irons. This is because most golfers typically hit their irons with a shallow swing and swing their driver club with a wider arc.

If you go for a shaft that is too flexible and light, you may end up overpowering the club. This increases your chances of missing and makes it difficult to control the club. On the other hand, if you go for a stiff and heavy shaft, your swing will be slower. Causing you to make misses low and right.

Here’s a quick overview of both stiff and regular flex.

What Is Stiff Flex?

A stiff flex is a bit heavy, and it adds resistance to your swing. So, when you try hitting the golf ball with a lot of speed, you’re able to achieve more distance. These types of shafts will be perfect for you if your swing speed hits about 100 mph. If you don’t know your swing speed, you can easily determine it by using a rangefinder, some of which cost below $100.

According to popular reviews, one of the best stiff flex for high handicappers is the Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Wood Golf Club. It features a versatile head that’s easy to launch and has a beautiful yet functional design that allows you to make fast swings.

Alternatively, you can choose any Cobra Fairway Woods as they come highly recommended. They’re available in multiple designs and flexes, ensuring that you get a shaft that suits your gameplay.

What Is Regular Flex?

Regular flex is a great option for golfers that have a slower swing of 90 mph or less. It’s light and therefore more flexible. It allows you to achieve high club speeds on your downswings, allowing you to achieve more distance. Due to their design, regular flex shafts allow you to hit the golf ball at a fast pace and on a higher trajectory.

Who and When Should Use Stiff Flex?

Stiff Flex vs. Regular Flex: In-detail ComparisonAs a rule of the thumb, golfers that have a very high swing speed (more than 105 mph) should go for an extra shift shaft. The same also applies to players that generate more power and lag. Another telltale sign that you should look out for when choosing a shaft of the distance that you hit the ball. If you’re a long hitter, then this is the feal flex for you.

Stiff shafts are common among PGA Tour professionals.

Advantages

Some of the benefits of using a stiff shaft include;

  • Great results for players with fast swing tempos
  • Increased control and accuracy
  • Better short game control
  • Reduces dispersion

Drawbacks

If you go for a stiff shaft even though your swing speed is low, you’ll limit your shot trajectory and carry distance. It will also result in slices or fades.

Who and When Should Use Regular Flex?

Stiff Flex vs. Regular Flex: In-detail ComparisonRegular flex is mostly recommended for beginners and players with a low swing speed.

Based on an article by the BBC, the number of golf players is steadily increasing, and in the UK alone, there was a 2.1 million player increase. If you’re new to the game, make sure you start with softer shafts, as they’ll help you increase your speed.

Advantages

The main benefits of flexible shafts include;

  • Higher efficiency
  • They’re easily affected by vibrations
  • They eliminate alignment problems
  • They allow for larger bending offsets

Drawbacks

Perhaps the main disadvantage of flexible shafts is that even though they allow you to hit longer distances, you have to compromise on control and accuracy. This is because it’s difficult to control the impact of the clubface when the shaft is that soft. As a beginner, your primary focus should mostly be on accuracy, so this can be a huge inconvenience.

Quick Comparison

According to CNN, one of the key aspects of improving your game is analyzing your swing, and this is highly influenced by the flex you go for. This will help you increase your potential shot distance and optimize your accuracy. If you go with a flex that is too stiff, your distance will reduce. On the other hand, if you go for a regular flex iron when you are best suited for a stiff one, you’ll experience a lot of inconsistencies in ball flight.

Here’s how the stiff flex vs. regular flex compare.

Stiff Regular
Swing speed 90-105 mph 80-95 mph
Driver carry distance 240-260 yards 210-240 yards
Club from 150 yards 6 or 7-iron 5 or 6-iron

As you choose between regular and stiff flex, there are other factors that come into play

Shaft Material

Some materials change the performance of your club. For instance, if you go for a stiff flex that has a graphite shaft, its performance will almost be similar to that of a regular shaft made of steel. Since graphite is lightweight, it will make the club very easy to swing. If you’re unsure of the material you should choose for your club, experiment with different materials and then stick to the one that suits your needs best.

Distance or Accuracy

The driver’s carry distance should help you determine the best flex. For instance, if your distance is between 240 and 260 yards, you should go for a stiff flex. If it ranges between 210 and 240 yards, then a regular flex would be the best fit.

Other factors that you should consider include;

  • Brand: a standard flex doesn’t exist, so what one brand may consider as stiff flex could be regular in another brand. This is why you should test several pieces of equipment before you make a purchase.
  • Weight: generally, stiff shafts tend to feel heavy. So if your regular shaft feels a bit heavy, it could provide the same performance as a stiff shaft.

Final Thoughts

Between stiff flex vs. regular flex, which one should you go for? Well, the purchase decision should be based on your swing and experience levels. Beginners typically use regular flex as they’re easy to control, while experts tend to lean more towards stiff flex for accuracy. You should also consider the material of the shaft. If it’s graphite, it will perform similarly to regular flex. On the other hand, if a regular flex feels a bit heavy, it will perform the same as a stiff s flex. These disparities occur because there isn’t a standard flex, so you have to test out various clubs to find the one that’s best for you.

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