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Driver shafts: Stiff vs. X-Stiff, and the tradeoffs of using one vs. the other


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#1 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:15 PM

What is worse: a stiff shaft swung too hard, or a x-stiff swung too soft? Opinions wanted, thanks.

Bill

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#2 MB_Viking

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:50 PM

Ooh, good question.  Which do you consider "worse"?  Poor dispersion or loss of distance?

#3 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

Good question back at ya.  :)

Dispersion.

Edit: And lack of control, which could affect dispersion.

Edited by wrmiller, 04 November 2012 - 03:55 PM.

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#4 MB_Viking

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:00 PM

I have debated this myself for some time and came to the conclusion that if I am between flexes, I would rather be short and in the fairway rather than long and in the bush.

#5 dbornack

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:10 PM

View PostMB_Viking, on 04 November 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

I have debated this myself for some time and came to the conclusion that if I am between flexes, I would rather be short and in the fairway rather than long and in the bush.

What he means is he'd rather have a stiffer shaft, and lose a little distance, but have a tighter dispersion..


IMO..   if you ARE between flexes..  maybe pay attention to torque too..   If you can find a stiff with low torque (IE Matrix OZIK HD6/7)..  It might help you out.


#6 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:11 PM

Yea, kinda thought that myself, but...

What about feel? Does the stiffer shaft bother you in that regard?

Just thinking that this might bother me on the tight(er) holes where I want a smooth 80% swing.
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#7 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:15 PM

View Postdbornack, on 04 November 2012 - 04:10 PM, said:

View PostMB_Viking, on 04 November 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

I have debated this myself for some time and came to the conclusion that if I am between flexes, I would rather be short and in the fairway rather than long and in the bush.

What he means is he'd rather have a stiffer shaft, and lose a little distance, but have a tighter dispersion..


IMO..   if you ARE between flexes..  maybe pay attention to torque too..   If you can find a stiff with low torque (IE Matrix OZIK HD6/7)..  It might help you out.

Don't want to make this about me, and the arguments that would be forthcoming.

Just a hypothetical question on the differences.

Having said that, thanks on the heads up on the torque. That might be why I was more consistent with my WB, but unfortunately, I don't have that anymore and don't want to pay for another.
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#8 Nessism

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

I'd go with the X-stiff.  Recently did just that with a Wishon 919TH and Wishon Black shaft for my 110 mph swing.  Haven't noticed any loss of distance compared my other driver,  a Ping G20 W/70S RIP tipped 1/2".

#9 Mob

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:23 PM

This is a great topic.  I fall between a stiff and X flex, and go back and forth between the two, depending on the brand of the shaft.  The Japanese shafts have a SX flex which seems to suit me.  I have gone from a stiff to x-stiff in my Fubuki driver shaft.  I have lost alittle yardage, but my dispersion is clearly better.  In this shaft, I would therefore go with the x flex.  I bought a Japanese Crazy shaft, which play stiffer, and the x flex felt like a board.  I lost 15-20 yards with this shaft, so I went down to a stiff flex, and got back to my original yardage, plus a little extra.  I tend to play 60 gram shafts, but a guy I know goes up in weight, but sticks with the stiff flex.  This way, he feels it solves both issues.  I haven't tried this yet.  The bottom line, as always, get a good club fitter to find the right shaft for you, as the flex will depend on the shaft maker, as the flex will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.
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#10 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:25 PM

I am considering Aldia RIP for my driver, and maybe my 3 wood. I20s both.

I guess for specific info, you guys will need some details. The last time on a launch monitor, I hit 100 balls in an hour (to simulate walking the course and getting tired) to get a range of SS numbers. I used different scenarios, from having to hit a tight fairway on a par 4, to long/wide par 5s where I could 'go after one'. My conservative numbers hover around 108-110, and my high numbers were 117-118 if I remember correctly. Average was 113-114 (?)

Anyway, for the above shaft, what would you guys recommend. S? X? Tipped S?

TIA.

Edit: the above SS numbers were with a WB, 83g S-flex, 45" OAL. If that matters.

Edited by wrmiller, 04 November 2012 - 07:27 PM.

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#11 dbornack

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:31 PM

I have about the same numbers as you do..  and I have a tipped X..  I play an R9 ST, Matrix Ozik HD7 X, tipped to playable 45".  You definitely need an X with those swing numbers.

#12 J13

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

stiff flex swung too hard.

Edited by J13, 04 November 2012 - 07:36 PM.

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#13 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:44 PM

I don't swing hard, if I'm intrepreting the last post correctly. If not, I apologize profusely.  :)

I did try swinging too hard a couple times and I remember just going over 120, but I was off-balance both times.

I don't swing that hard any more.

I guess x-flex it is. Thanks guys!
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#14 MB_Viking

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

Hi again Bill.  Sorry for the delay but I just zipped over to have dinner with the folks.

Yes, with those numbers, you appear to be an X.  As for your "Feel" question, I am willing to give that up for more fairways any day.

Good luck in your quest.  :good:

#15 dlefty

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:23 PM

I think a lot is going to boil down to YOUR golf swing, and YOUR sense of feel.  Do you put a lot of load on the shaft or not.......
Easier loader may prefer a heavier shaft in Stiff-flex tipped 1", harder loader may need whatever weight they prefer in X-flex.

If the bend profile suits the golfer, agrees with their sense of feel, etc. and the weight is correct, and the Spin rate is correct, they would not necessarily hit one flex longer or more accurately......

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#16 dlefty

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:36 PM

Just to add......I had a 10.5* driver years back that I could MAX out at 181 ball speed, that was absolute MAX, my average with that driver was 173-176mph ball speed.
In that driver, I had a shaft that weighed in the upper 70gram range, and was a Stiff-flex tipped 1".  Hit A LOT of fairways with it, just as many as with any driver I can think of, and went as far if not further than anything else.....also bombed it INTO the wind as well because the spin numbers were right.

Now based on swing speed and ball speed numbers most people would blindly yell out, you need X-flex.......just trying to call out that is not always the case.  Because things "feel right" to me, I will hit them better.

You could classify me as a fast swinger, but NOT a heavy loader of the shaft.....therefore I may fit into different things than a simple set of numbers would suggest.

Hopefully that didn't screw you up too much now :haha:

Edited by dlefty, 04 November 2012 - 08:39 PM.

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#17 Mob

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:42 PM

One of the most insightful pieces of advice I read somewhere on a forum was, "get the softest, lightest shaft you can CONTROL, as that will give you maximal ball speed and distance".
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#18 J13

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:51 PM

You also have to understand the CPM of the shaft.  Because there is no set standard one companies xflex could be anothers Stiff or Stiff plus.  CPM is the measure you want to be concerned about not the label of R,S, or X.
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#19 J.W.

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

View Postdlefty, on 04 November 2012 - 08:36 PM, said:

Just to add......I had a 10.5* driver years back that I could MAX out at 181 ball speed, that was absolute MAX, my average with that driver was 173-176mph ball speed.
In that driver, I had a shaft that weighed in the upper 70gram range, and was a Stiff-flex tipped 1".  Hit A LOT of fairways with it, just as many as with any driver I can think of, and went as far if not further than anything else.....also bombed it INTO the wind as well because the spin numbers were right.

Now based on swing speed and ball speed numbers most people would blindly yell out, you need X-flex.......just trying to call out that is not always the case.  Because things "feel right" to me, I will hit them better.

You could classify me as a fast swinger, but NOT a heavy loader of the shaft.....therefore I may fit into different things than a simple set of numbers would suggest.

Hopefully that didn't screw you up too much now :haha:

Kinda like Steve Stricker at 165 ball speed using Fujikura 8.2 Tour Spec X tipped 1" and Louis Oosthuizen using 6.2 Tour Spec S tipped 1" at 175 ball speed.  There are not always absolutes in club fitting and what works for the individual player.  The player still has to decide what shot he's most comfortable playing on the course and pick a club he feels he can do that with...

Edited by J.W., 04 November 2012 - 09:01 PM.

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#20 sblack5

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

I have a driver ss into the 120s....ive played plenty of x shafts and even xx (296 cpm at 45")....i have a smooth transition and while i can load and unload an x no problem i have found that gaming a strong stiff (268 cpm at 45") provides the best feel for my tempo which allows me to find the sweetspot more often....long and straight.  I think if you have a more rapid tempo and transition (ricky fowler) a stiffer flex will be better and if you have a pause at the top before transition (fred couples) then a softer flex is better to keep you from overswinging looking for more feel from the shaft.

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#21 dlefty

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

View PostJ.W., on 04 November 2012 - 08:59 PM, said:

View Postdlefty, on 04 November 2012 - 08:36 PM, said:

Just to add......I had a 10.5* driver years back that I could MAX out at 181 ball speed, that was absolute MAX, my average with that driver was 173-176mph ball speed.
In that driver, I had a shaft that weighed in the upper 70gram range, and was a Stiff-flex tipped 1".  Hit A LOT of fairways with it, just as many as with any driver I can think of, and went as far if not further than anything else.....also bombed it INTO the wind as well because the spin numbers were right.

Now based on swing speed and ball speed numbers most people would blindly yell out, you need X-flex.......just trying to call out that is not always the case.  Because things "feel right" to me, I will hit them better.

You could classify me as a fast swinger, but NOT a heavy loader of the shaft.....therefore I may fit into different things than a simple set of numbers would suggest.

Hopefully that didn't screw you up too much now :haha:

Kinda like Steve Stricker at 165 ball speed using Fujikura 8.2 Tour Spec X tipped 1" and Louis Oosthuizen using 6.2 Tour Spec S tipped 1" at 175 ball speed.  There are not always absolutes in club fitting and what works for the individual player.  The player still has to decide what shot he's most comfortable playing on the course and pick a club he feels he can do that with...

Good call.....funny I was just talking to a local club pro about that beastly shaft Stricker plays just the other day.......The guy I was talking to is a beast with the driver, and would have no chance hitting that shaft well.
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#22 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:17 PM

Guys, thanks again for your help. Being an engineer got me into tinkering with clubs (and pretty much anything else I touch), and am familiar with the quantifying metrics of shafts. But then again, I try not to get too lost in the numbers. If that makes any sense.

I'm more of a feel player than anything, so as someone above said I need to find "what feels good". This all started when I dropped down in flex a few years back because I'm thinking I'm too old for x-flex anymore. With the exception of the 83g s-flex WB I had in my i15, I've not felt confident of my full swing since. Should have figured it out, because I had to pull and tip it 1" to get to that point.

This could explain why I have to swing my irons softer to control the shot. :fool:
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#23 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:20 PM

View Postsblack5, on 04 November 2012 - 09:07 PM, said:

I have a driver ss into the 120s....ive played plenty of x shafts and even xx (296 cpm at 45")....i have a smooth transition and while i can load and unload an x no problem i have found that gaming a strong stiff (268 cpm at 45") provides the best feel for my tempo which allows me to find the sweetspot more often....long and straight.  I think if you have a more rapid tempo and transition (ricky fowler) a stiffer flex will be better and if you have a pause at the top before transition (fred couples) then a softer flex is better to keep you from overswinging looking for more feel from the shaft.

I've not seen this personally, but a teaching pro once told me that I start my transition (weight and hands) forward while the head is still going backwards, putting (as he put it) a really impressive bow in the shaft.

Can I assume from that description that I am more of a quick/fast transition type?
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#24 roll - gybe

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:24 PM

View Postwrmiller, on 04 November 2012 - 07:25 PM, said:

I am considering Aldia RIP for my driver, and maybe my 3 wood. I20s both.

I guess for specific info, you guys will need some details. The last time on a launch monitor, I hit 100 balls in an hour (to simulate walking the course and getting tired) to get a range of SS numbers. I used different scenarios, from having to hit a tight fairway on a par 4, to long/wide par 5s where I could 'go after one'. My conservative numbers hover around 108-110, and my high numbers were 117-118 if I remember correctly. Average was 113-114 (?)

Anyway, for the above shaft, what would you guys recommend. S? X? Tipped S?

TIA.

Edit: the above SS numbers were with a WB, 83g S-flex, 45" OAL. If that matters.

I would not think the rip stiff could hold up unless you have a perfect angle of attack. That shaft is pretty sneaky soft. I have one ripped an inch if you want to trade, but I think you need to find something beefier

#25 wrmiller

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 09:29 PM

Just pulled the trigger on two RIP Alphas, 70 and 60g x-flex at a decent price. I will experiment with these.

Edited by wrmiller, 04 November 2012 - 09:30 PM.

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#26 phase3golf

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 02:28 AM

The player still has to decide what shot he's most comfortable playing on the course and pick a club he feels he can do that with...

Now that is a quote but unfortunately over looked by many fitters! Nice JW
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#27 J.W.

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:47 AM

View Postphase3golf, on 05 November 2012 - 02:28 AM, said:

The player still has to decide what shot he's most comfortable playing on the course and pick a club he feels he can do that with...

Now that is a quote but unfortunately over looked by many fitters! Nice JW

Thanks, look at Bubba for example... launches it at 16 with 1800 when hes screwing around at PING.  On course, he launches it at 8 degrees.  I've learned from fitting early on that you can hurt a players game by forcing him into 14 launch because the numbers say so for efficiency even though on course he has no intention of ever hitting it that high.
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#28 kellygreen

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:01 AM

View Postwrmiller, on 04 November 2012 - 03:15 PM, said:

What is worse: a stiff shaft swung too hard, or a x-stiff swung too soft? Opinions wanted, thanks.

Bill

All other things being equal, a shaft that is being overpowered by the player is worse than playing a shaft that is too stiff.

A shaft that is too stiff will typically just cost you distance.

But shaft that is too soft will cost you direction, and probably distance due to excess spin.
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#29 Kadin 25

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

If your considering Aldila shafts they have a swing chart that is really helpful. It may help with your decision.

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#30 NRJyzr

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:23 AM

View Postdbornack, on 04 November 2012 - 04:10 PM, said:

View PostMB_Viking, on 04 November 2012 - 04:00 PM, said:

I have debated this myself for some time and came to the conclusion that if I am between flexes, I would rather be short and in the fairway rather than long and in the bush.

What he means is he'd rather have a stiffer shaft, and lose a little distance, but have a tighter dispersion..


IMO..   if you ARE between flexes..  maybe pay attention to torque too..   If you can find a stiff with low torque (IE Matrix OZIK HD6/7)..  It might help you out.

Torque is a non-player in dealing with shot direction.  It was a factor in the early days of graphite shafts, when some graphites were north of 10° torque.  In modern shafts, no one gets anywhere near that.  

These days, it's reduced to being a feel thing.

The other problem in paying attention to torque...  you can't compare it across manufacturers.  They all measure it differently, rendering any comparison impossible.  The only way you would truly know is to measure it yourself, or find someone that measures everything using the same method.  The DSFI listings found on Hireko's site (formerly done by Dynacraft) are about they only such I've seen (not sure if Wishon Golf does this).  

They don't measure every shaft, however.

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