Driver shafts are so interesting because they have the exciting task of providing maximum speed transfer while minimising dispersion. It is no secret that the right driver shaft can make a big difference. It’s not for nothing that professionals are constantly testing and trying to get the maximum out of them, whereas with iron shafts they often don’t make any changes for years or decades.
In short, who wants to play golf seriously should not take the topic of driver shafts lightly – and certainly not buy according to Stiff or Regular. Because these labels mean practically nothing. Stiff with shaft X can be softer than Regular with shaft Y. You can see enough examples of this in our charts.
Especially the weight of the shaft plays a big role here. In our comparison, the weight goes from 45g to 85g – whereby the “typical” shaft weight is rather between 50g and 65g. The majority of players will be in this range.
Before we take a closer look at the individual shafts we have to give an important hint: At ExactGolf we only work with original shafts and not OEM or made for shafts. The latter are usually manufactured in a different factory than the originals – and at a lower cost and with lower quality standards. This is not to say that these driver shafts are all bad. It just means that they are not the same shaft and that stiffness, profile and above all weight can vary greatly. A Fujikura Ventus made for shaft, for example, which is now used by some of the major manufacturers, has little to do with the original Fujikura Ventus and it is possible that it has little to do with the shafts discussed here.
In this comparison of shafts, we place particular emphasis on the CPM, i.e. the stiffness. In addition to the shaft and swing weight, this is decisive for the performance off the tee. The shaft profile also plays a major role, i.e. how the shaft behaves during the swing.
The Fujikura Ventus, for example, has a very special bending profile in which the middle part of the shaft is extremely soft, while the tip is particularly stiff. The Velocore technology promises less unwanted twisting in the swing and thus more precision from the tee without losing speed. In order to achieve this, Fujikura has to use expensive materials and install them elaborately. The result, however, is a shaft that is now played by a big part of all tour players. OEM or Made for shafts do not have this Velocore technology and therefore have little in common with the original.
The profile of a shaft has to fit the player and it is a very individual matter. That is why a fitting is always recommended, in particular for drivers. Especially from the point of view that one and the same shaft behaves differently when a club head with a different head weight or centre of gravity is used. It is therefore not automatically suitable to keep a shaft and replace the club head e.g. with a newer model if the new club head has a different weight or centre of gravity.
As you can see, when it comes to drivers, it really does come down to the little things. And that’s no wonder, after all, the highest possible force is being applied to the shaft with a driver.
The following values refer to 45.5 inch shafts. The longer the shaft, the softer it is. Therefore, you will need a different shaft for a 46 inch driver than for a 44.5 inch driver.
Category 1: 210 to 250 CPM
This category ranges from extremely light and soft 45g shafts to common 65g shafts. The club head speed should be below 105mph. However, it is impossible to make a general statement because every driver swing is very individual and it also plays a big role how a player “loads” and “releases” a shaft. Therefore, this value is only a rough guideline.
The softest shafts from Japan:
The Oban Devotion 45 02 and the Vista Pro 45 R are two very soft shafts that we also use very often. They are mainly used by ladies and seniors who have difficulties accelerating the club.
The Armrq 47 is the shaft used by Honma Beres. As expected, this shaft is extremely soft. The special thing about this shaft, however, is the low torque. It is always amazing to see how well this shaft performs even against comparable, very high-quality shafts. It is not for nothing that Honma with Beres is the absolute gold standard in this category.
The Honma Vizard TR20 in 50R and the Fujikura Ventus Blue/Red in 5R also belong to the very soft shafts. The Vizard shafts are basically rather on the soft side. This means that a 60g in Regular is only marginally stiffer than, for example, a Fujikura Vista Pro 55 R or a Fujikura Motore F3 5R. Honma has relatively soft shafts not only in the Beres, but also in the TR20 series.
The comparison between Fujikura Ventus and Motore shows that the Motore is minimally stiffer with the same weight and flex.
The rule of thumb for most manufacturers is that the difference between the flexes is about 10 CPM. So the CPM for a stiff shaft is roughly 10 higher than for a regular shaft. This is at least the case with Ventus, Motore, Vizard, Accra and Mitsubishi.
Category 2: 250CPM and up
In this category you are (usually) with roughly about 105mph clubhead speed. And up to about 120mph you have a relatively wide choice of shafts in the 60 to 75g range.
It is noticeable that there are also shafts with 55g in this category, such as the Accra TZ5 S or the Kiyoshi Black 55 03. Both shafts are actually stiff and particularly stiff for their weight class.
Ventus Blue and Black are also in this range with the 6 X. There is hardly any difference in stiffness between Blue and Black. However, the bending profile of the shafts is slightly different and the Ventus Black is much more difficult to launch.
For its weight, the Oban Devotion HB 65 04 and especially the Mitsubishi Diamana 60 TX are relatively firm. So if you are looking for a relatively light but very stiff driver shaft, you might find what you are looking for with one of these two. The Accra TZ5 65 X is also an option and even stiffer than the TZ6 in 75 X.
Our driver shaft comparison is regularly expanded and updated.