Stiff vs Regular Flex: How Do They Differ?

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Stiff vs Regular Flex featured image

The difference between stiff and regular flex in swing speed. Stiff is suitable for fast swings, while regular is good for moderate swings.

Stiff flex shafts offer less flexibility and increase control and accuracy at higher swing speeds (90-105 mph). In contrast, regular flex shafts are more flexible. It allows moderate swing speeds (80-95mph) while balancing distance and control.

We will compare stiff vs regular flex, their features, and how to determine which one is right for you. Understanding the differences between the two shaft types will improve your performance.

A Brief Introduction to Stiff Flex

The stiff flex is a type of golf club shaft stiffer than the regular flex. It is best suited for golfers with faster swing speeds and heavier clubs. Stiff flex produces clubhead speeds above 95 mph and 105 mph.

You will benefit from stiff shafts if you drive the golf ball over 275 yards frequently. With these shafts, you can improve your control and accuracy during swings. The more rigid shaft also reduces spin for golfers who hit the ball higher on the face.


  • Firmer and more responsive impact feel
  • Suitable for golfers with fast swings
  • Speed-related forgiveness for accurate shots
  • A better energy transfer for longer drives
  • Ideal for beginners as well as experienced players
  • Comparable price and availability to regular flex counterparts

A Brief Introduction to Regular Flex:

A regular flex golf shaft is designed for golfers with swing speeds typically between 75 and 85 mph, occasionally up to 90 mph. Most new clubs have regular flex shafts as the standard option.

However, It is available in steel and graphite materials with an “R” designation. You should consider a regular shaft if you consistently drive within 210 to 240 yards. You will find a substantial portion of golfers with moderate swing speeds in this range.


  • Balanced combination of distance and control
  • Higher ball flight with increased spin
  • Soft and dampened impact feel
  • Suited for golfers with a slower, smoother swing tempo
  • Reliable accuracy without sacrificing driving distance
  • Widely adopted by over 80% of golfers
  • Suitable option for various experience levels

Stiff vs Regular Flex: Comparison Chart

In this table, I compare the two most popular Flex applications. Using this informative chart, you can see how they differ from one another. Here’s the chart for your review:

FeatureStiff FlexRegular Flex
Swing Speed90-105 mph80-95 mph
Control and AccuracyEnhanced control and accuracy for faster swingsBalanced control and distance for moderate swings
Ball Flight and SpinModerate ball flight with less spinHigher ball flight with increased spin
Feel and SensationFirmer and more responsive impact feelSofter and more dampened impact feel
SuitabilityFast-swinging tempoSlower, smoother swing tempo
Speed-Related ForgivenessYesLimited
Distance PotentialOptimal for longer drivesProvides adequate distance without excessive twisting

What’s The difference between Stiff Flex and Regular Flex?

diffrence between flex

A shaft’s flex helps maximize power and accuracy during a swing. Specifically, stiff and regular flex are the most common flex options. It may seem similar, but there are distinct differences you should know.

Here’s a comparison of stiff flex and regular flex to help you choose:

  • Flexibility and Swing Speed

Stiff shafts are designed for golfers with faster swing speeds, typically 90 to 105 mph. This reduced flex allows these golfers to maintain better control and accuracy.

Alternatively, regular flex shafts give golfers with moderate swing speeds more flexibility. It’ll be around 80 to 95 mph.

  • Distance and Control

There is no doubt that stiff shafts minimize missed shots. It offers greater control and accuracy to golfers who hit the ball faster than average. Plus, it is beneficial for players who focus on precision.

Golfers with moderate swing speeds prefer regular shafts, which provide distance and control. With reliable performance, they provide consistent shots without excessive twisting.

  • Ball Flight and Spin

As compared to regular shafts, stiff shafts produce a moderate ball flight. Those with faster swing speeds can benefit from this characteristic when dealing with adverse weather conditions.

Alternatively, regular shafts generate more spin and a higher ball flight. It enables players to achieve higher trajectories and increased stopping power.

  • Feel and Sensation

It is easier to receive feedback at impact with shafts with a stiff flex. Golfers can refine their swings with this enhanced feedback.

Conversely, their increased flexibility makes regular flex shafts softer and more dampened. Some golfers prefer this characteristic for its comfort and different sensations upon impact.

  • Experience Level:

Even beginners who have a forceful swing may find benefits from stiff shafts. The key is not only expertise but also understanding individual swing characteristics.

In general, 80% of golfers use regular flex drivers. However, players shouldn’t rely solely on adoption trends but consider their needs.

  • Swing Tempo:

An essential consideration for shafts is their flex about your swing tempo. The stiffer flex shaft is better with faster swing tempos.

With their more forgiving nature, regular flex shafts are better suited for golfers with slower swing tempos. As a result of this flexibility, this category of players can load more efficiently and produce higher clubhead speeds.

  • Accuracy:

Those with high swing speeds who find it difficult to maintain accuracy will significantly benefit from stiff shaft drivers.

Regular flex drivers offer accurate driving performance suitable for most golfers.

  • Forgiveness:

The forgiveness of a golf club is closely tied to shaft flex. Regular flex drivers provide forgiveness by offsetting low swing speed tendencies.

A stiff shaft, on the other hand, provides forgiveness for high-speed swings, reducing speed-induced trajectory errors. Matching shaft flex with a golfer’s swing characteristics is important to maximize forgiveness.

  • Consider Your Skill Level:

Skill level is another crucial factor. Those with advanced skills and a forceful swing can benefit from a stiff flex shaft for accuracy and control. Even beginners with a fast, powerful swing can benefit from it.

Regular flex shafts may be more comfortable and forgiving for beginners. They build confidence and improve overall play by providing a softer feel and a more forgiving experience.

What’s My Driver’s Carry Distance?

Choosing the proper shaft flex for your swing depends on the driver’s carry distance. Your driver and most woods travel a certain distance from the tee to the landing spot.

According to shaft stiffness, here are general driver carry distances:

  1. Stiff Flex: 240 to 260 Yards

Many golfers with fast swing speeds, typically between 90 and 105 mph, find that stiff flex shafts optimize their performance. As a result of greater rigidity, driver carry distances range from 240 to 260 yards.

  1. Regular Flex: 210 to 240 Yards

Regular flex shafts suit golfers with moderate swing speeds, 80 to 95 mph. Golfers in this category can expect driver carry distances ranging from 210 to 240 yards.

Tips: It’s important to note that these ranges are general guidelines, and individual variations exist.

Factors such as swing tempo and launch angle can influence driver carry distance. For optimal performance on the course, try different shaft flexes and seek feedback from experienced players.

Should I Use Regular Or Stiff Shafts In My Golf Clubs?

Choosing between regular and stiff shafts for your golf clubs is crucial to your performance. Choosing regular or stiff shafts is fundamental to club fitting for 80% of golfers.

A light, flexible shaft can overpower the club, causing it to whip around too soon. As a result, shots veer high and left more frequently, making the club challenging to control.

Conversely, selecting a too-heavy and stiff shaft can impede your swing speed. When you swing slower, it is harder to square the clubface at impact with a more serious, stiffer shaft. This, in turn, can lead to more shots missing low and to the right.

Try both regular and stiff shafts at the driving range or through club fittings to see how they feel. You can also optimize your club setup by seeking guidance from experienced players or golf professionals.

When to Switch From Stiff to Regular Shaft?


If your swing speed decreases, you might need to switch from stiff to regular shafts. With this adjustment, your swing speed will be slower and more moderate.

Switching to a regular shaft may be beneficial if your swing speed drops between 85 and 95 mph. Usually, a common flex shaft provides more distance and forgiveness for golfers with moderate swing speeds. It promotes a smoother swing.

Also, this switch enhances comfort and consistency. Beginners or those seeking to optimize their game can use this shaft.

What Shaft Flex Should a Beginner Use? 

Beginners should use a regular flex shaft. It allows a variety of swing speeds, providing forgiveness and ease of use. Standard flex shafts are best for golfers who are still developing their game.

The regular flex shaft is best for beginners since it provides flexibility and forgiveness. The shaft adapts to swing speeds. Without challenging stiff shafts, you can develop your fundamentals.

As skill levels advance and swing characteristics become more defined, players can reassess their shaft flex needs.

However, regular flex remains a good option for most. Stronger options may be available depending on individual preferences, strengths, and swing mechanics.

Is Stiff or Regular Flex Better?

The choice between stiff and regular flex depends on your swing speed. Regular flex benefits moderate swing speeds (85-95 mph) for distance and forgiveness, while stiff flex offers control for faster swings.

The decision between stiff and regular flex depends on your swing speed. Players with faster swing speeds (95-110 mph) benefit from stiff flex, minimizing shaft deflection.

On the other hand, regular flex is ideal for moderate swing speeds (85-95 mph), offering a balance of distance and forgiveness. For beginners or those with smoother swings, regular flex is more forgiving.

Ultimately, individual preferences, skill level, and the search for specific golf performance characteristics determine which flex type is the best.


What happens if I use a stiff shaft with a slow swing?

Using a stiff shaft with a slow swing speed restricts carry distance and shot trajectory. Due to the shaft’s inability to flex, well-struck shots may result in weak fades or slices.

Does a stiff shaft help a slice?

No! Stiff shafts don’t help with slices. It does not address the cause of the slice, which is usually swing mechanics, clubface angle, or grip.

What happens if My shaft is too flexible?

A flexible shaft may cause high ball flight, excessive spin, or inconsistent shot dispersion. It impacts overall shot performance and accuracy due to inadequate stability and control.

Do pros use stiff or regular shafts?

Most professional golfers use stiff shafts, but it depends on their swing speed. Since professionals swing faster than average players, their shafts are typically stiffer.

How do I know if my shaft is stiff or regular?

If your golf shaft is stiff or regular, check for markings. Look for abbreviations or labels such as “S” for stiff or “R” for regular. Ask your club fitter or check your golf club’s manufacturer’s website to find out the shaft stiffness.

Last Note

Choosing between stiff and regular flex in golf clubs ultimately depends on personal preference.

A stiffer flex may provide more control and accuracy, while a regular flex may offer more distance and flexibility. It is essential to experiment and find the right fit for your game.

Consequently, the most significant factor is to select clubs that allow you to feel confident and comfortable on the course. So you can focus on improving your game. Consult a professional and consider your playing style before deciding on flex. 

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Hey, I am Allen Jackson a golf expert with over 30 years of experience. From my childhood, I have found my passion. I played on high school and college teams and went on to become a professional golfer. Now, I am a full-time trainer.