If you’re in a hurry and just want to find the Best Driver Shafts in 2023, then we recommend the Mitsubishi Diamana.
Most of the attention is given to the face of the driver and the style of the club head for irons. The golf shaft, on the other hand, is one of the most important and most forgotten aspects of a club when it comes to performance. Depending on your swing speed and the position of your hands on impact, the difference between a stiff steel shaft and a high flex graphite shaft is huge.
In this article, we’re going to be reviewing the following driver shafts:
- Mitsubishi Diamana
- Fujikura Vista Pro
- Project X Hzrdus Smoke Black
- Project X Even Flow
- Graphite Design Tour AD BB
- Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro
- Aldila RIP X
- Accra Tour Z RPG
There are also great differences in the quality of the lower end shafts compared to the best driver shafts on the market. Taking into account your skill, swing speed, pocketbook, and desire to improve, the following article will help you decide the best driver shaft for you.
How to Choose the Best Driver Shaft
Choosing the best shaft for your driver is not difficult if you know your game well. The problem is that many golfers purchase their “dream set” of golf clubs before their game is developed and before they know what they really need.
There are many golfers who notice that graphite shafts are more expensive and have heard someone say they are the best, so naturally they want the best. Others have heard that the “senior” flex is only for senior players so they naturally stay away from those shafts until they are old enough to use them.
The truth is, everyone has strengths and weaknesses in their golf game, and taking these strengths and weaknesses into account are the only way to find the best driver shaft.
For many “weekend warriors,” the driver is the most important club in their bag. It is not the most important for their score, but it provides bragging rights, confidence, and the ability to put the ball in play to start a hole.
One of my most frustrating memories when I first started playing was that I could not get the ball in the fairway to save my life. I would slice one drive, then over correct that slice and hook the next one into the woods.
I remember a particularly embarrassing shot with some new friends from college where I hit someone’s back door so hard that it actually cracked open. Needless to say we left that particular hole very quickly. Driving like this makes for a very frustrating day for you and for the people that are playing with you.
I was young at the time, but I decided to make some changes to my driver. I went to a club fitter and he analyzed my swing. The results were that I kept the same head, but I switched to an extra stiff steel shaft on my driver.
My distance was still there, and it added control that I had never had before (whether it was psychological or real I am still not sure). Every drive was not perfect, but I definitely gained a lot of control off of the tee which made the game fun again and maybe even lowered my score by a couple of strokes.
The bottom line is that the driver is an important club for fun and for scores, and choosing the right golf club shaft could make a huge difference in your game from the tee. Going to a professional club fitter might be a little out of your comfort zone, so take the time to read the rest of this article to get some tips about which driver shaft is the best for your swing.
Choosing the Right Flex
As you can tell by the above story, the flex is the most important aspect of choosing a driver shaft. The “flex” is a rating of the shaft’s ability to bend during a golf swing. A club with more flex will bend more throughout the swing plane and a club with less flex will stay straighter throughout. There are generally five classifications of golf club shaft flex as follows:
- Extra Stiff (XS): The least amount of bend and the choice of most tour players.
- Stiff (S): Slightly more bend, but the club stays relatively straight.
- Regular (R): A little more bend than the previous two, and usually the right choice for the average golfer.
- Senior (A): More flex and “whip” at impact. This is usually reserved for beginners who do not yet swing hard and for seniors who are losing some of their swing speed.
- Ladies (L): Generally the most flex.
While these flex designations should be uniform, they are not. What that means is that from one brand of club to another and one brand of shaft to another, the flex designation may not be the same. One company’s stiff might be another’s regular. It is important to test them out rather than relying on the letter written on the shaft.
Most people use “average driving distance” as an indicator for which shaft to choose. This may be a little short-sighted because the average driving distance does not take into account the number of mishits and especially for beginning golfers. Your ideal swing speed should be the major indicator for choosing flex. If you are tall, stronger than average, or have a naturally hard swing then your choice of flex may be S or XS even if you do not consistently drive the ball over 250 yards.
Understanding your swing is the first step to choosing the correct flex. Getting your swing analyzed will help you to understand what flex fits your swing the best. Remember, if you are just starting out, do not worry about spending a lot of money on a driver or any club for that matter. Wait until you begin to understand your swing and your game and purchase your driver (along with the shaft) based on your swing.
What Sets One Driver Shaft Apart from Another
Here are the things to look for when deciding which shaft is the best for your driver and your swing:
- The flex of the shaft as mentioned above.
- The weight of the shaft. The general rule is that the harder you swing, the heavier the shaft can be and the softer you swing the lighter you want it to be.
- The amount of torque in the shaft. Torque is the amount a shaft is prone to twist during the swing. For most golfers, this is the least important thing to worry about, but you actually can have too little torque for your swing.
Graphite or Steel
While there are other materials used for shafts, graphite and steel are still the standards. Graphite shafts will generally be lighter and have greater amount of flex even with the same designation. Graphite is also generally more expensive and is almost always the standard shaft for most drivers. In the past, pros and scratch golfers almost always used steel, but that has changed along with shaft technology. In general, however, if you need more flex you go with graphite and if you need more control and less flex you go with steel.
The Best Driver Shafts in 2022 Reviewed
Mitsubishi has a long and successful history as a car and motorcycle manufacturer, but they have been at the forefront of driving technology for a while too.
The Diamana comes in R, S, and XS shaft flexes so that you do not see a senior or ladies flex in the mix. It is a low-launch, low-spin shaft that has quite a few Tour level Pros carrying it in their bags. You get a great feel and immediate feedback with this shaft. It is one of the best combinations of speed, feel, and stability that you will find in a graphite shaft.
- Great for players with moderate to high swing speeds.
- You get a low-spin, low launch ball flight with a mid-kickpoint.
- You get good torque at the bottom of your swing.
- The multi-dimensional interlay gives you great stability and flex.
- It was constructed with a chemical that creates a carbon-rich structure which is ultra lightweight without losing any stability.
- If you are looking for more distance without changin your entire swing and stability that is usually reserved for steel shafts, then you should try the Diamana at least once.
- Made more for golfers who produce a higher swing speed.
- Not great if you need help with the launch off the tee.
- On the expensive side.
Fujikura is all about speed, and they pride themselves on producing some of the fastest shafts you will ever play.
With the Fujikura Vista Pro that combine that speed that is a part of all of their shafts with great stability. The “rigid cage” design they use to produce the shaft gives you the stability and feel of a heavier shaft but in a lightweight design the gives you that extra speed Fujikura is known for. You also get really good feel and immediate feedback because of the responsiveness of the shaft.
- CAGE technology is an innovative design process that surrounds the graphite fibers in the shaft with a rigid cage structure on the outside. This creates a thinner and lighter shaft with all of the feel and control of a much heavier one.
- Maximum fiber content allows for greater stiffness, strength, and durability.
- The stiff flex is one of the best for a graphite shaft and provides similar control to a steel shaft but with added feel.
- Promotes higher carry and better stop power on the fairway.
- It is customizable in terms of weight, length, and various launch and spin angles.
- One of the more expensive shafts and can account for up to 20% of the total cost of even a high end driver.
- Works great for scratch golfers and better but is not as much of an improvement for others.
The Project X Hzrdus Smoke shaft is a low launching, low spin shaft with a very stiff profile. The more aggressive your swing is the more likely this shaft is for you.
While it does provide a surprising amount of torque, the whip at the end of the swing is virtually nonexistent which means you maintain control with your shots. This shaft will help strong golfers with hard swings maintain control and accuracy without sacrificing distance.
- A low spin stiff profile and a low launch is an advantage for the strong, seasoned golfer.
- A great looking shaft.
- A slightly higher torque than other clubs on the list, this higher torque gives a little bit better feel with the stiffer shafts.
- Great control without losing distance for hard swingers.
- A good swing will produce consistent results while a bad swing will not. The results of a consistent swing are consistent quality shots.
- The same low spin, low launch qualities that are an advantage to good golfers are very much disadvantages for the majority of golfers out there.
- If you are looking for kick, you should also be looking for a different shaft.
True Temper is one of leading shaft manufacturers out there, and the Project X Even Flow is a great example. The Even Flow is aimed at golfers with higher swing speeds and provides great ball speeds because of the energy release at impact.
The “Even Bend” technology gives you that extra bit of energy from the clubhead to the ball to get the extra distance that so many golfers are looking for today. This also helps to make it a very smooth swinging club so that you get that extra distance without the extra effort. There are a lot of flex options as well, and the shaft looks great with any driver out there.
- Great energy transfer from clubhead to ball.
- An ideal shaft for drivers and fairway woods alike.
- “Even Bend” technology transfers the shaft load efficiently throughout the swing for maximum energy release.
- A mid-spin, mid-launch profile.
- One of the smoothest swing shafts for drivers out there.
- A great shaft for adding distance.
- One of the more expensive shafts, especially if you are changing all of your woods.
- No Senior or Ladies flex options.
- Other shafts are better at keeping spin rates low.
Contrary to what the name would suggest, this driver shaft is actually made from carbon fiber materials that are referred to as “nanoalloys.”
You can choose from four different weights starting at 50g and then moving up 10g each time to 80g. You can also choose from any flex depending on the weight of the shaft as well. With a clean and different look and similar performance to graphite, the Tour AD BB is a strong shaft choice.
- Many different mix and match options between the weight and flex offerings.
- While it is an alloy, it performs and weighs similar to graphite shafts. In fact, the ease with which you can change the carbon fiber makeup of the club make it easier to fluctuate on the weight.
- It focuses the kick from the midpoint of the club to the tip which produces higher swing speed and additional distance.
- While it may perform “similar to graphite,” it is not graphite.
- The same price as many of the good graphite choices out there.
- You cannot choose a regular flex with the heavier clubs.
The Tensei CK Pro by Mitsubishi is a great looking graphite shaft with an aluminum vapour coating. This shaft is lighter than previous Mitsubishi Tensei models and offers higher swing speeds while maintaining stability. The “Straight Flight Weighting” is their biggest jump in technology and is meant to help you with accuracy and consistency in keeping a smooth and steady swing.
As shafts get lighter, they also get more difficult to square the clubface at impact. This technology helps a golfer turn the club over at impact and promotes a slight draw and much greater consistency. The thought is that if you can keep your swing consistent and smooth then the results should be consistent as well. It maintains incredible stability across all of the flex options (A, R, S, X) and feels smooth no matter the flex and no matter your swing speed. The shaft is good for any swing speed, but is better for those golfers who are trying to fix a slice.
- A good fit for any swing speed.
- A very smooth swinging shaft.
- The “Straight Flight Weighting” helps with accuracy and turning the club over at impact producing a draw bias.
- The shaft has been proven on the Tour and by weekend warriors for years.
- Great stability at ever flex option.
- Produces higher spin rates than many other options.
- Not good if you struggle with a hook.
- Another expensive option.
The Aldila RIP X is a very stable club with great feel and good distance. Aldila has brought back one of their most popular designs with their trademark “Reverse Laminar Placement” that brings feel and stability to every shot.
It features a stiffer “butt section” that adds a lot of stability in the club and a lot of feel at impact. The RIP X also takes some of the weight from the middle of the club making it lighter and easier to swing but with no impact to the club’s stability. This is another club that moves the weight from the mid-section of the driver to increase energy transfer at impact and stability of the club.
- A very smooth swing with a lot of stability.
- “Reverse Laminar Placement” puts more weight in the butt of the club which produces great feel and more stability.
- The “Micro Mamba” technology moves the weight from the mid-section of the club so that it can be placed towards the ends.
- A variety of flex options makes it appealing to golfers across the skill and swing speed spectrum.
- Great feel especially for harder swingers.
- A lightweight shaft that is not difficult to square at impact.
- Provides higher spin levels.
- Better for golfers with low handicaps.
The Accra Tour Z is a highly customizable shaft with a lot of options that make it a great fit for almost any golfer.
Even at 55g, it produces the feel, stability, and stiffness of a heavier shaft. It is a shaft that produces consistent results even with the higher flex options.
- It is customizable and any flex can be chosen on any customization.
- You can choose between a low, medium, or high launch point.
- While it only weighs 55g, it has the feel and stability of a heavier club while promoting additional swing speed at its lower weight.
- Competitive price.
- The extra stiff options are not as consistent as some of the other clubs on the list.
- Focuses more on higher handicap golfers even if there are offerings for experienced golfers.
Final Thoughts On The Best Driver Shafts in 2023
Best Overall: Mitsubishi Diamana
The Diamana gives you the best combination of low spin, low launch, especially speed that you will find. In golf today, you have to be able to drive the ball well.
This shaft will not fix your swing, but it will give you the best chance to hit the ball long and straight. It is made for harder swingers, but even players with more moderate swing speeds will benefit from the feel and trajectory you get from the Diamana.