Just look­ing at the four big­gest wood brands (Call­away, Taylormade, Ping and Co­bra) there are 34 dif­fer­ent driver shaft weight op­tions in 2018, and that’s be­fore you even start look­ing at cus­tom or up­grade op­tions. In the past, great drivers came with a stan­dard stock shaft in ei­ther a reg­u­lar or stiff flex, but things have changed dra­mat­i­cally. Mac­niven even says “shaft weight is more im­por­tant to­day than shaft flex”, say­ing that “golfers can just about get away with play­ing the wrong shaft flex, but get­ting the wrong weight can ab­so­lutely kill your game”.

Think about it like this; each swing is in­di­vid­ual to its owner and how the club is de­liv­ered at im­pact is dif­fer­ent for ev­ery­one. A long, lan­guid swing can cre­ate the same amount of speed as a short, punchy one, but how each loads the shaft is very dif­fer­ent. A short, punchy swing might want a heav­ier shaft while the longer, lan­guid one might well go into a light­weight model.

Mac­niven says: “Get­ting the shaft weight wrong means you could hit shots hor­ri­bly, with ball speed and dis­per­sion be­ing all over the place. It’s likely dis­tance will go down, dis­per­sion will go up.” But of­ten golfers don’t even re­alise why they’re hit­ting those bad shots, which ex­plains why shaft weight should be cen­tre stage when con­sid­er­ing a new driver.

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