Listen: we can’t fit you in the perfect shaft for YOUR swing over the internet. Go to a trusted, certified club fitter in your area. Ask around and find out who is best. Or, if you just don’t want to do that, read on for some general suggestions.
If you have a fast swing speed when driving the ball, then congratulations as you are probably getting some pretty impressive driving distances, assuming you are hitting the center of the clubface. However, length isn’t everything. After all, what’s the point on driving 250+ yards when you aren’t hitting the fairway and landing in all kinds of trouble?
Here’s a quick list of all of the factors that you should consider when selecting a driver shaft.
- Flex: Generally, faster club head speeds need stiffer flexes. The right flex of your driver shaft for you depends on club head speed, ball flight, and transition speed. It’s best to use your current flex as the starting point. High, spinny ball flights need stiffer shafts. And fast transitions need stiffer shafts.
- Weight: Faster club head speeds typically want heavier shafts. To simplify things, heavier shafts will result in slightly more accuracy, lower ball flights, and have a slight fade bias. Lighter shafts will result in slightly more club head speed, higher ball flights, and a slight draw bias (as it’s easier to close the clubface)
- Length: A shorter length driver shaft will be more accurate, while a longer length driver shaft will be slightly longer (only if you are hitting the center of the clubface, though). Personally, I like slightly shorter driver shafts. I feel more confident over the ball.
- Kickpoint: High kickpoint shafts result in lower ball flights, while low kickpoint shafts result in higher ball flights.
- Torque: High torque drivers shafts twist/rotate easier, while low torque driver shafts have greater resistance to twisting. High torque shafts feel whippy, while low torque shafts feel stiffer.
Here are some rough suggestions for picking a driver shaft if you have a 100+ mph driver club head speed.
Selecting The Right Driver Shaft for Fast Club Head Speeds (100+ mph)
Let’s go down the list of the 5 factors, starting with flex. Fast club head speeds are generally going to want stiff or extra-stiff (X-Stiff) shafts. However, there is more to flex choice than club head speed. It’s best to use your current shaft stiffness as a guideline. If you have a high, spinny ball flight, consider trying out a stiffer shaft. If you hit low drives and struggle to get enough height on your drives, consider a flexier shaft.
Next, let’s talk about shaft weight. Shaft weight DOES have an effect on club head speed, but not as large of a factor as you’d expect. However, I recommend using your current driver shaft as the baseline again. If you are hitting high shots or unwanted draws/hooks, consider trying out a heavier shaft. If you are hitting low shots or unwanted fades/slices, consider trying out a lighter shaft. Lighter shafts are easier to close the club face at impact. The last thing you need to happen with your driver shaft when you have fast swing speeds is to go ahead and change to a lighter one. Doing so will increase your swing speed, but if you are struggling a bit in the control department then it’s going to do nothing to help.
Up next: shaft length. Your high club head speed has no impact here. If you want more consistency, go with a slightly shorter shaft. It’s important to note that simply cutting 1/2 an inch of of a shaft will effect swing weight, stiffness, feel, kickpoint, torque, and more. However, I cut 1/2 an inch off my shaft, added some lead tape to the sole of the head, and I’m driving the ball straighter than ever, without losing any distance. An interesting concept is that many times, a shorter shaft is longer. That’s because goflers hit the center of the club head more often with a shorter shaft, resulting in more distance. However, if you want to max out your potential distance, take the advice of Bryson DeChambeau and go with a longer shaft.
Now let’s talk about kickpoint. Kick point relates to the point on the shaft that bends the most at impact. A low kick point bends at the bottom of the shaft, near the club head, producing higher ball flights. A high kick point bends higher up the shaft, resulting in lower drives. If your drives are ballooning and losing distance because of it, go with a high kickpoint shaft. If you are struggling with getting enough air on your drives, a lower kickpoint shaft is a better option.
Lastly, we can’t forget about torque, or the resistance to twisting, of a driver shaft. It has a HUGE impact on feel. Even a XX-stiff shaft with a high torque can feel whippy, so the torque definitely impacts feel more than most people realize. Conventional wisdom says that faster swingers need a low torque shaft, but that has been busted many times. All other things the same, it’s best to try out a high torque and low torque shaft out in person, as we are all different. Most find that they like a mid-torque shaft anyway. However, if you have a technically sound swing but still slice or push the ball, consider a low torque shaft. If you pull or hook the ball, consider a high torque shaft.
This driver shaft is aimed more at the pricey end of the market, so that may mean it’s not going to be right for you. However, this shaft is stiffer than most and is always towards the heavier end of the weight range, and it’s those two things that make this the perfect shaft for people with faster swing speeds.
Also, the shaft is designed to reduce the amount of spin while it also helps to produce a lower trajectory while offering greater control over your entire swing. The fact it creates a reduction in height is important since so many individuals with a faster swing speed will only be too aware of the tendency to get too much height on the ball. The greater the height, the more spinny, and the greater the reduction in distance even with so much energy being generated.
Overall, this Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana D+ is the perfect shaft for people with a lower handicap who are still struggling with their faster swing speed.
The Tensei CK Pro is typically around 70g in weight, so while it’s not the lightest on the market, it’s still more towards that end of the market. It provides a lower launch, so with this being mixed in with the more balanced swing speed, then your ball is going to cut through the air with less resistance resulting in an increase in distance.
This driver shaft is made from a combination of carbon fiber and kevlar, so that’s why the shaft is so light while still being pretty resilient. The key here is that it is stiffer than others, and it’s weighted towards the tip of the shaft which then makes a difference to the balance. Ultimately, you feel in control of your entire swing, so that confidence boost is going to be huge.
The Fujikura Ventus Black is going to reduce the height you are getting from your drives off the tee while also reducing spin. The shaft is aimed more at those with a faster swing speed, and that’s why it’s important to know the spin is cut down as is the height. Both aspects can reduce the distance you can drive, so counteracting that is a huge bonus.
The level of torque increases as the flexibility becomes stiffer, but this is completely normal. However, you should find that the driver shaft is capable of reducing as much twist in your swing thanks to the weight distribution, so your drives should also be straighter than normal. Overall, this shaft is going to bring your drives back on line, and do so without sacrificing any of the natural distance you can achieve thanks to the speed.
Best Value Alternative
Several of the driver shafts we have listed above can be more on the expensive side, and that’s not always going to be appropriate. After all, a faster swing speed is hardly linked to how much money you have available.
So, there are some value alternatives that we feel can still deliver the kind of difference you are hoping for without it costing a fortune.
For us, we recommend checking out for a used version of the Project X Hzrdus Smoke Black when you have a fast swing speed. The original isn’t too expensive, but there are used examples out there on the market as well.
This shaft is going to bring the ball height down while it also reduces spin, so that’s going to allow the ball to penetrate through the air with significant ease. This shaft has been designed for people with a more aggressive swing so it offers the kind of balance and weight distribution that you need in order to maintain a controlled swing even when the power is flowing through your shoulders.
Driver shafts that are specifically aimed at those with faster swing speeds aren’t about cutting down distance. Instead, they are often about bringing down the height at which the ball is launched along with reducing spin and giving you more control over your swing. Any of the shafts listed above are going to be capable of delivering on those scores. However, if money is an issue, or you want to test out how a different shaft can have an impact on your game, then the best value alternative is undoubtedly the better option.
So, do you have what is typically viewed as a faster swing speed? How has a change in driver shaft helped you? Let us know in the comments below.