Are you considering upgrading to a 70-gram driver shaft from a 60-gram?
Or maybe you’d want to go down to a 60-gram from a 70-gram shaft.
If you’re still unsure, we’re here to help you get the best shaft for you and your play.
60 vs 70 Gram Driver Shafts
Many golfers tend to focus on shaft flex and tip flex while ignoring shaft weight. However, shaft weight is just as crucial as shaft flex to fine-tune your swing.
While there might not be a huge difference between a 60 and 70-gram driver shaft, it can still make a big difference in dispersion and clubhead speed.
Most driver shafts available in the market are within the 60-gram bracket.
This weight results in a light enough shaft to give you the speed you need while still heavy enough to provide stability during the swing.
These are also better for steep swings.
A 60-gram shaft is best suited for the standard golfer. Don’t be so easily seduced by the claims of better control and extra stability offered by a heavier shaft like a 70 gram.
You can only claim these benefits if you are better experienced and have the strength to handle a 70 gram.
While it may only be a 10-gram difference, 70 grams fall into the heavier bracket of shaft weights.
This is a good shaft to switch to if you feel that you are ready to move on to heavier shafts but are not ready to go up to an 80 or 85-gram shaft.
While it is not confirmed whether or not this extra difference could help with shot dispersion, the extra weight does make a significant difference with control, especially for stronger golfers.
Heavier shafts like the 70 gram can also help you develop your swing strength as it forces you to really develop your stance and other muscles in your body.
It is recommended that you switch to a 70 gram only if you have the strength to control it.
Otherwise, you may be better suited to a 60-gram shaft.
Light vs. Heavy Shafts at a Glance
For a quick summary, let us look at how much difference there is between these two types of shafts.
- More swing speed
- More carry distance
- Straighter shots
- More consistent swings
- Lower ball launch
- Less backspin
- More ball speed
- More total distance
Pros and Cons of a Heavier Shaft
- As explained by Andrew Tursky of Golf.com, a heavier shaft is more likely to give your ball a low launch with less spin and lower ball flight than a lighter one with the same head. This isn’t ideal for slower swingers but is excellent for faster swinger golfers who want to maximize distance off the tee.
- The extra weight of a heavier shaft can allow for a more controlled swing.
- You can expect to have more stability at impact as it promotes a squarer face.
- A heavier staff usually has a stiff flex compared to lighter shafts due to its weight. A stiff shaft can lead to a high swing speed for a stronger golfer who can handle the weight. However, this is only a benefit for stronger players. Weaker players may find themselves at a disadvantage in this aspect if they can’t handle the weight.
- While you need more power to handle the heavier driver shaft, this very weight helps you activate your swing.
- A heavier driver shaft is almost guaranteed to reduce the distance of a hit against the ball. This is because you will need more power to gain the same distance on the hill. This may not be as noticeable if you’re able to improve your swing strength.
- It’s a lot harder to make a solid swing when you add weight to shafts. If you try to use a shaft that you aren’t strong enough to handle, you can end up with slow, weak, or sluggish shots. This is why only pro or heavily experienced golfers are recommended to use heavier shafts.
Pros and Cons of a Lighter Shaft
- As they require less power, it is easier for a golfer to attain more distance with less effort.
- Because there is less mass on a lighter driver shaft, you will need to exert less force. This will result in higher clubhead speed.
- Since it is easier to swing without the added weight, you can gain more speed with a lighter shaft. It is important to note that the higher swing speed can disadvantage stronger players who can’t control their swings.
- It’s possible that shots can be more erratic (in terms of direction and distance) with a low spin rate.
- They often result in a high launch and a higher trajectory for the ball.
Other Things to Consider
The shaft weight won’t make the only difference in your swing. There are many other things to consider as well.
Driver Head Weight
The driver head weight is defined as the weight difference between the head and grip ends of the club.
A change in driver head weight will result in a change in swing weight.
Driver Shaft Weight vs. Flex
Different shafts have different flexes. Depending on your play style, you may want to look beyond the regular flex.
By nature, a light weight shaft has MORE FLEX than heavier driver shafts.
On the other hand, heavier driver shafts are STIFFER than lighter shafts.
A driver shaft that is too heavy will not give proper impact against the ball. However, a driver shaft with too much can negatively affect your swing accuracy.
Be sure to take note of the combined effects of golf swing, accuracy, and distance when making your decision.
Remember that golf is a game of multiple elements and that more weight means less flex!
Club Head Mass
Getting a heavier driver shaft is not the only way to increase a golf club’s mass.
An increase in clubhead mass can improve the accuracy and distance of your swing.
When you get a heavier driver shaft, it is not uncommon to attach heavier club heads to balance it out.
However, it is also not unheard of to attach heavier club heads to increase the total weight of the golf club.
It is essential to consider this when deciding what to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
To give more clarity, we listed down a couple of FAQs that can help you out.
When Should You Go Lighter?
If you are having a hard time swinging or feel like you need to make an extra effort to shoot your shot, the driver shaft may be too heavy for you.
If you feel that your shots are sluggish or slow, that may indicate that it is too heavy, as club speed is too low.
When Should You Go Heavier?
The main sign that the shaft is too light for you is when your wrists unhinge while you’re swinging.
If you’re finding it difficult to control your swing, it may be a sign to move on to heavier shafts.
Is Shaft Weight Critical to a Club’s Performance?
The proper shaft is essential to a golf club’s performance regardless of whether you prioritize accuracy or distance.
A study made by making 10 different golfers test different gram shafts showed that a minor 10 or 20-gram change could produce a distance variation of up to 8-10 yards.
They also showed higher accuracy, with one player going from 5 yards off-line to just 1 yard off-line.
Do Heavier Shafts Always Produce Straighter Shots?
Just because you have a heavier shaft does not mean that it is more accurate.
It all depends on the golfer and not solely on the driver shafts.
A golfer with not much strength or experience will have slow, sluggish, inaccurate shots if they cannot handle heavier clubs.
Do Lighter Shafts Always Produce Longer Shots?
Again, the shaft does not automatically determine how long or accurate your shots will be.
It depends on the golfer. If the golfer is very strong, they may find it difficult to control a lighter shaft.
Are Heavier Shafts More Consistent?
The ability to make a consistent strike depends mainly on the golfer and not the shaft.
A heavier club won’t be able to give you good, consistent shots if you can’t handle the weight.
How Can Swing Speed Be Measured?
Swing speed can usually be measured with a launch monitor that can also give you your estimated distance, launch angle, backspin RPM, and, in some models, the speed mid-launch.
A good monitor (which was also used in the study done by MyGolfSpy, is the Flightscope X2 Launch Monitor.
Choosing the right shaft for you and your play style is essential while keeping all the elements in mind.
The golf industry has a wide shaft selection out there, so you must be sure that the one you choose is right for you.
If you are unsure of what shaft model to get, it is best to go to a professional club fitting for a new driver.
The club fitters can help fit you with a new shaft that has the right weight and bend profile for you.
Don’t be afraid to try out an exotic shaft. It might just be your new favorite!
However, don’t force a shaft that you can’t handle.