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Stiff Vs. Regular Flex Irons: Know Everything And Make The Best Choice

Stiff Vs. Regular Flex Irons
A man with an iron

1. Swing Speed

It is your swing speed that will determine what flex you should use. Evaluate your swing speed first before deciding what flex you should utilize. Many golfers with slow swing speed prefer to use a regular flex because it builds more power and accuracy.

Here is the recommended shaft flex with the following swing speed:

  • Stiff: Between 90 and 105 mph (miles per hour)
  • Regular: Between 80 and 95 mph

2. Driver Carry Distance

The driver carry-distance is the range (or distance) that a golfer makes after hitting the ball off the tee with a driver. It is also applicable to your woods. Here is the average distance a player typically makes depending on the shaft flex:

  • Stiff: 240 to 260 yards
  • Regular: 210 to 240 yards

However, this is not always the case. Average golfers may do longer or shorter distances depending on their skills.

3. A Club Going From 150 Yards

Knowing the club that will hit a shot from 150 yards is one way of determining the correct flex for your irons. But ensure that you do the swing with rhythm and ease. In finding the appropriate iron flex, experts gave these cues:

  • Stiff: 6 or 7-iron
  • Regular: 5 or 6-iron

Read more: 5 Hybrid vs. 5 Iron: What Is The Best Club To Carry?

4. Distance vs. Accuracy

The trust you earn: whenever you hit the ball with a long-distance, keep you more abreast with the game. But are you hitting the ball accurately? When you hit the ball with a regular flex driver, and it reaches an impressive range but not accurately: try to use a stiffer flex shaft.

5. Graphite And Steel

Most low swinging golfers tend to swing faster using titanium or graphite shafts. Others do it more effectively using a steel shaft, especially the competitive and strong players. Graphite and titanium are lightweight than steel, which provides faster swing to many golfers.

The material of the shaft also matters when choosing the correct iron shaft for you. Graphite is more flexible but unpredictable. It is better for slower, women, seniors, and non-athletic golfers. So, choose the one that corresponds to your ability.

Who Should Utilize Stiff Flex Irons?

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The stiff flex iron shaft is ideal for players with a swing speed range between 90 and 105 miles per hour (mph). Taller golfers using longer shafts will also benefit from stiff flex irons. The stiffer shaft gives tall players better leverage in handling the club.

Moreover, it will provide better delivery and control on your golf club when swinging. The stiff flex will also enhance your ability to minimize dispersing the ball in untoward directions.

Who Is Ideal In Using A Regular Flex Iron?

The regular flex shafts come in three classes. They are the regular, ladies, and senior. The regular flex is for those who hit the ball the furthest. The ladies' flex is for shorter hitters. Lastly, the senior flex is for those who deliver the distance in-between the regular and ladies' flexes.

To be more specific: the regular flex is more recommendable for players swinging between 85 and 90 mph. The regular shaft helps you maximize range while you improve on your game.

What Do The Numbers Of Shaft Flex Mean?

Many golf clubs have numbers printed on them. But do you know what these numbers mean? Some club manufacturers utilized numbers to indicate the flex of the shaft. Some golf club shaft sellers tell the weight of the shaft in numbers next to the shaft’s name: like 50 and 80.

Some golf shafts with numbers like 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, and 7.0: correspond to flexes from regular to ‘extra stiff plus’.

Does Flex Affect The Distance, Trajectory, And Accuracy?

Many pro golfers will agree that incorrect shaft flex will affect distance, trajectory, and accuracy. You must pick the correct flex according to your present skill. Then, adjust later when you become better at the game.

One of the reasons flex affects those parameters is that the shaft braces during a swing. Its position changes when in contact with the ball. A proper shaft flex will correct this position in keeping the clubface square-off with the ball upon contact.

Your trajectory and distance will suffer tremendously, which will result in poor accuracy once you use the wrong shaft flex.

Are Stiff Driver And Fairway Woods Useable With Regular Irons?

You can use a stiff shaft driver and fairway woods in partnership with regular irons. The fairway woods and a driver are long clubs. It has the best possibility that you can swing both golf clubs faster because of their long shafts.

A long lever will hit an object and travel farther than shorter ones. If the stiff shaft is graphite, it will have less vibration than a steel shaft.

Does Shaft Weight Affect Flex?

A man holding an iron

Yes. The shaft weight affects the shaft flex. But indirectly: as most golfers suggest. Many experienced golfers find weight and torque have something to do with flexes. They believed that the heavier the golf club is, the harder it is to swing fast.

Also, more studies show that the weight of the shaft has a similar association to perform the same as flex. It also follows that the heavier your shaft is, the more you need to buckle the shaft.

Are Stiff Or Regular Shafts For Beginners?

Not all beginners tend to have a slower swing speed when playing golf. A regular shaft may not be appropriate if they already show fast swinging. However, most beginners have slower swings as they grapple with a golf club.

A beginner may consistently adapt to the game early: and shows some signs of improving swing. During this time, let an expert pick the clubs for them. Then, another expert does the measurement of the beginner’s swing.

You can use a golf monitor in measuring the clubhead speed, launch angle, etc. If the beginner shows signs of improvement in swing speed, he can use a moderate stiff shaft.

When To Switch From Stiff To The Regular Shaft? 

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Some golfers attest that they are played stiff shafts for years because they range in speed between 90 and 105mph. They own stiff flex irons, fairway woods, and hybrids. However, they prefer to have stiff and regular flex shafts on their driver.

Interestingly, most golfers switch from stiff to regular flex shaft once they reach the age of 50 or 60. As people get old, the body stores fatter and lose muscle due to hormonal shifts. Because of the changes in metabolism, people tend to move slower, including their golf swings.

How To Figure Out The Best Flex For Me?

You can do the trial & error method by trying both types of shafts on the golf course or a driving range. The modern way is by using a golf launch monitor (or simulator) at home or in an actual golf course.

FAQ's

1. How will I realize that I need regular or stiff shaft irons?

Start with a regular flex when you are beginning to learn golf. From here, you can determine the correct shaft flex you need as you go along the play.

2. Will I lose distance with a stiff shaft?

If you are an average swinger but your distance remains short: there seems to be a problem with your shaft flex. Your average range will be low if the shaft flex is too stiff, especially if you struggle with a slice.

3. What shaft flex should I use for irons?

If you are going between 84 and 96mph, go for a regular flex.

4. Senior vs. regular flex: What is the difference?

Senior flex is the best alternative for golfers struggling to cope with a regular flex. Senior flex is the best alternative for golfers doing a swing speed between 75 and 90mph.

5. Ladies vs. regular flex: What is the difference?

Ladies flex is for golfers with slower swing speed than users of regular flexes. The flex is ideal for lady golfers with a swing speed below 60mph. Also, men with a swing speed below 80mph can use ladies' flex shafts.

6. Is firm flex the same as stiff flex?

Many golfers consider firm flex as halfway between regular and stiff flexes.

7. How can I tell the flex of my shafts?

Most golf clubs have a sticker on the shaft indicating the flex. Some flex identifications are R for regular flex, A or M as senior flex, S for stiff flex, etc.

Conclusion

Now you know more about stiff vs. regular flex irons, you can determine the correct flex for your skill. But remember that there is no standard shaft of golf iron that you should use in any golf game.

It all boils down to where comfortable and delivering the best performance. The recommendations in this article may not suit everyone. But at least you have something to rely upon when everything seems confusing.

Read more: SKLZ Gold Flex vs. Orange Whip: Which Is The Best Golf Swing Trainer?

Written by Chuck Bennell

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