Stiff Vs X-Stiff Driver Shafts – How To Decide Whats Best For You

Golfers with fast swing speeds can have a hard time deciding which golf shaft they should put into play. With the number of golf shaft options on the market, the choices are almost endless.

However, the difference between stiff and extra stiff golf shafts needs to be carefully considered before you purchase your next driver. 

This isn’t the time to let your ego get in the way either, playing with a shaft that is too stiff will have just as negative an impact on your game as one that has too much flex.

Flex will vary between manufacturers too so it’s always best to try it out before you buy it unless you are seeing the signs of your shaft being too flexible or stiff showing up in your drives and just need to move up or down to scale accordingly with the same brand.

We have all the information you need to decide if a stiff shaft or extra stiff shaft will be the better fit for your golf. We can guarantee you will know which is better after reading this advice.


Stiff And X Stiff Driver Shafts Overview

Golf shafts have both material and flex options. Golf shafts are offered in steel, titanium and graphite shafts.

Most driver shafts are going to be graphite for increase swing speed but the flex of the shaft is most important when a golfer makes their final decision on a new club.

Stiff shafts are for golfers that swing fast; the extra stiff are for those that swing exceptionally fast. In years past, the extra stiff shafts were a bit hard to find and rare to see a player using.

With modern club technology and the golfer’s ability to swing clubs faster, the extra stiff shafts are becoming more and more popular.


How Important Is Flex In A Driver Shaft

Flex is one of the most essential features of a golf driver shaft. If you swing a club that is the wrong flex, it will have significant impacts on the distance and the direction that you can hit the ball.

It’s important to have a golf shaft that is both stiff enough, yet not too stiff.


How Does Flex Effect Performance Exactly

When you don’t have the proper shaft in your golf clubs, the ball will not travel with the proper flight or trajectory.

The performance of the shot is going to be very much impacted by the shaft being incorrect.

Golfers playing with a shaft that is too stiff will have a hard time getting the ball to fly straight. Most of the shots are going to be left out to the right.

In addition, you will notice that the ball flight will be a bit too low.

Golfers that are playing with a shaft that is too flexible will end up hitting the ball very high and potentially hooking the ball as well.

In order to hit the best golf shots, the player must have a golf shaft flex that matches their swing speed. 


How To Know If You Need Stiff Or X Stiff Flex

To know what golf shaft you need, you will need to know your swing speed. The faster your swing, the more stiff of a golf shaft you are going to need.

When you swing the club fast, the club needs more resistance and a stiffer shaft.

Head to a local golf shop and have your swing speed tested.

If your driver swings are clocking in at more than 105 miles per hour, you are going to need an extra stiff shaft.

If, however, you are closer to 95 mph, the stiff should be the right fit.


What Swing Speed Should Use Stiff Flex

Golfers with a swing speed of 95 to 105 mph will do best with a stiff flex golf shaft.


What Swing Speed Should Use X Stiff Flex

Golfers that swing their driver more than 105 mph will be best suited using an x stiff flex.


Advantages Of A Stiff Shaft

If you find that your swing speed is a good fit for a stiff golf shaft, these are the benefits that you will notice.

  • Easier to release the club than an extra stiff shaft
  • It can be easier to control the flight and height
  • Readily available and easy to find in current equipment
  • It can help players that have high driver speeds but not as fast as the rest of the clubs
  • Ball flight should still be relatively high


Advantages Of An X Stiff Shaft

The X Stiff shaft also has some good advantages that should be considered. For the most part, X Stiff shafts are only a good fit if you are swinging the club over 105 mph.

  • Great for golfers that hit the ball too high
  • Will help manage ball flight
  • It makes it easier for faster swinging players to control their tempo and flight
  • Can sometimes find deals on leftover clubs with X stiff shafts


How Can I Tell My Swing Speed?

There are a few ways that you can find out your swing speed. The easiest way is to go to a local golf retail store and use their golf simulator.

You will be able to take a few swings and get an average number that gives you an idea of what your swing speed is.

You can also purchase a golf launch monitor that will help you determine your swing speed. The launch monitor gives golfers lots of data about their swing and how they are spinning the ball as well.

Although a golf launch monitor is a great thing for learning your swing speed, it is a device that is also very helpful for becoming a better play and understanding your golf statistics.


What Will happen if My Shaft Is Too Stiff?

If your golf shaft is too stiff you are going to spend a lot of time on the right side of the golf course. The ball is very hard to release and hit straight when your golf shaft is too stiff.

If your golf shaft is too stiff, you may also lose a bit of distance. Since you aren’t getting the proper flex in the golf shaft, you will notice the ball has a hard time getting the distance that it should be getting with your club head speed.


What Will Happen if My Shaft Is Too Flexible?

If your golf shaft is too flexible, the golf shots will go too high, and they will also potentially travel to the left of the target.

Golfers that have this extra swing speed can tend to swing across their body a bit quicker than intended and cause the shot to end up left of the target.

When the golf shaft is too flexible, the ball will tend to balloon a bit, and then it will end up losing distance as well. Although hitting a golf shot high is important, there is a limit and you will need to make sure that the trajectory is proper as well.  


Try Before You Buy Whenever Possible

It is definitely in your best interest to try the shafts out before you make a final decision if at all possible.

A Stiff in one brand may be the equivalent to an extra stiff in another brand.

Testing a few during a driver fitting is always going to be the optimal solution.


Other Factors To Consider

Shaft Weight – How Will It Affect Performance And Flex

The heavier golf shafts will impact the club head speed a player can generate and the ball’s height.

If you are borderline having to choose between x stiff and stiff shafts, then make sure you choose something a bit lighter so that you are able to swing it with enough speed.


Shaft Material – Are All Drivers Graphite?

A graphite shaft in extra stiff will be a little easier to swing than a steel shaft in extra stiff. The lighter weight and more flexible materials will help golfers hit the shots that they want.

This is why you will notice that many people that are borderline between stiff and x stiff will switch in their driver first, it’s the club you hit the furthest.


Shaft Length – How To Make Sure You Get It Right

If you are going to have your swing speed tested, you might want to be measured for the proper shaft length as well.

If you fall out of the standard height that golf clubs are created for, then you will likely need a golf club to have the weighting adjusted.

Kickpoint – How Will It Affect Performance

A golf shaft with a high kick point will help golfers to keep the ball flight down. A golf shaft with a low kick point is going to have a much higher ball flight.

Sometimes the X Stiff shafts knock the ball flight down so much that a golfer should go with a lower kick point shaft. 


Stiff Or X Stiff Flex For Irons

Unlike Drivers, which usually come with Graphite shafts, irons will often give you a choice between steel and graphite.

This is most likely to be the first consideration, when choosing irons shafts before flex.

Weight is also going to play an important role in your decision with steel shafts obviously weighing more.

Seniors, ladies, juniors, beginners and anybody else with a slower swing speed is likely going to benefit from graphite shafts with a good amount of flex.

As we start getting towards the higher end of golfer performance, players are going to want heavier shafts with a more stiff flex.

Mid to low handicappers with high swing speeds should use stiff steel shafts and only those with the highest speeds will want x stiff shafts for more stability in the club throughout the swing.

Too flexible and the club will be still bent on impact resulting in higher shots, less distance and less accuracy.

Too heavy or stiff is going to slow your swing down and cause a slice because your missing the sweet spot on impact.


Best Stiff Driver Shafts 

Project X New HZRDUS Yellow 6.0 76g Driver/Fairway Shaft Stiff Flex

The Project X HZRDUS is a low spinning golf shaft for those that want to reduce launch but still get plenty of distance.

Many top manufacturers are using this shaft in their golf clubs as it is an excellent option for the mid to fast swinging player. With Project X, you can get quite a bit of ball speed as well.

Check Out More Reviews Here:



New Aldila NVS 65 Graphite Driver Shaft Stiff Flex .335

Aldila makes golf shafts that are both affordable and high performing. This shaft is a bit lighter than some of the other stiff flex choices on the market.

You will have no issues getting the proper launch and being able to control your ball flight with this shaft.

Check Out More Reviews Here:



Best X-Stiff Driver Shafts

Fujikura New Pro 70 Extra Stiff Flex Shaft Only (Fairway/Driver) 44″

Extra Stiff shafts can sometimes be considered specialty shafts. This, of course, makes them quite a bit more expensive.

Although this Fujikura Pro does not come with the multipurpose adapter, you can take it to a club-fitter and have them do an installation for you.

Check Out More Reviews Here:



Project X New Even Flow Blue 6.5 75g Driver/Fairway Shaft X-Stiff Flex

The Project X Even Flow Blue is a bit of a heavier driver or fairway extra stiff shaft. This is an excellent option for those that tend to hit the ball a bit high, and they want to knock down the spin a bit.

The mid launch, mid spin performance on the Project X Even Flow makes it an excellent choice for the higher swing speed player.

Check Out More Reviews Here:




Best Stiff Iron Shafts 

KBS Tour Iron Shafts – Stiff Flex – .355 Taper Tip

KBS Tour Shafts are an excellent choice for those golfers moving from the regular to the stiff shaft.

This is a bit of a heavier option that will help the faster swing speeds get the distance they deserve out of a shot.

Check Out More Reviews Here:


Best X Stiff Irons Shafts 

NEW Project X 95 Stiff Flex Steel Iron Shafts  .355

The Project X 95 Flighted golf shafts are an excellent choice for the golfer that is a very fast swinging player.

Golfers that swing extra stiff shafts tend to have a lot of speed. These extra stiff shafts help players get the distance that they need as well as the precision.

Check Out More Reviews Here:



Making the jump up to an extra stiff shaft is a big one. You have to be sure that your game is fully ready to take a leap like this.

Since the extra stiff shafts take quite a bit of extra club head speed, it is smart to get your swing speed tested before changing your golf shafts.

Some golfers can make the switch to extra stiff a bit faster in the driver than in the irons. The most important thing to remember is not to push this transition; if your swing is not ready, wait until it is.

Otherwise, you will be left with golf clubs that are too difficult for you to play with properly.