By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

Cookie preferences

Optimize Your Swing Speed: Female Driver Shaft Selection Guide

Female golfer swinging club

Guest Post by Mark Yang

It’s quite unfortunate how many times I’ve seen long-term female golfers struggle with their swing and not know that the problem is not in their technique, but with their shaft.

By far the biggest stereotype in golf is that the Ladies (L) shaft is the go-to option for female golfers. Though female golfers tend to swing slower than most male golfers, that doesn’t mean the ‘L’ shaft is what they should be using. In fact, I found that almost 20 percent of the female golfers I worked with can’t use a ‘L’ shaft because it’s either too soft, too light, or too short.

Don’t forget, the shaft doesn’t know and care about who’s swinging it. With that in mind, it makes the answer extremely simple. If a female golfer has the same club head speed as a male golfer, then both of them should be using the same shaft flex.

In this post, I’m going to show you why you should consider moving on from the ‘L’ shaft on your driver. In the end, you’ll also learn what’s the best way to determine the best shaft flex for your driver. 

Let’s begin!

What Ladies’ Drivers Look Like Today

Let’s determine what makes up a ladies’ golf club. In general, there are two categories of ladies’ clubs. 

The first is what I like to call the ‘by-product female golf club’, essentially this is when golf manufacturers take a new exclusive men’s golf club, replace it with a Ladies shaft, cut the shaft an inch shorter, spray the club head with pink or some other bright color, and open up the loft of the club to the max. Ta-da! You’ve got yourself the next best ‘exclusive’ female driver.

The second is a better approach where golf manufacturers actually take the time to create an exclusive female golf club. With more ladies joining the sport, it seems that’s the only reason why golf manufacturers are starting to do this. That said, most are still fitted with a ‘L’ shaft which by itself won’t suffice. 

The Issue With a Ladies Shaft Flex

We mentioned earlier that 20 percent of female golfers aren’t suited for a Ladies shaft flex and the main reasons are they’re either too soft, too light, or too short.

Ladies Shafts Are Too Soft

The most obvious problem with ‘L’ shafts is that they’re not always stiff enough for some female golfers to play with. Most stock ‘L’ shafts are much softer than Senior and even Junior shafts. 

Of course, for a female beginner who isn’t familiar with the golf swing, the Ladies flex might be a good starting point as their swing speeds tend to be slower. But it’s likely that they’ll be opting for a stiffer shaft later on.

Why’s that a problem?

Too much flexibility leads to poorer consistency for those with a faster swing speed as the shaft struggles to keep the driver head in sync with your hands through impact due to too much bending. What ends up happening is a bunch of nasty golf shots from inconsistent contact, the most common one being the dreaded golf slice.

You’ll be surprised how much more distance and consistency you’ll get from a stiffer shaft, we’re talking at least 15 to 20 more yards with the driver. That’s huge! 

A quick way to see if the Ladies flex is making you hit the ball shorter, try this the next time you’re at the golf course. Bring a Ladies flex driver and a Regular flex driver (some golf courses allow you to rent their golf clubs), and tee off by hitting two golf balls, one ball per driver. With your Golf Pad GPS and Rangefinder, you can easily determine how well you’re performing with a Ladies driver compared to a Regular driver.

Ladies Shafts Are Too Light

Another problem with ‘L’ shafts is that they’re far too light for many female golfers today. Coming in at a standard 45g to 55g shaft weight, nothing much has changed to this shaft’s weight options since the 1970s.

You may claim that since female golfers swing slower than most male golfers, making a shaft that is lighter for females helps them swing faster. And yes, that is true, but a shaft weight of 45g to 55g is designed for someone to swing under 70mph. Female golfers today swing faster than that. Not to mention, just because a lighter shaft helps improve swing speed, it’s also much harder to control. For some beginners, they’re far better off starting with a heavier shaft with their driver. Swinging slowly but hitting the sweet spot will drive the ball farther than an off-center impact from a faster golf swing.

Shafts Are Too Short/Long

Stock ‘L’ shafts are not only the softest and lightest, but they’re usually the shortest as well. Specifically, 44” inches while other shafts are usually 45” inches. Though this isn’t the biggest issue for some female golfers, if you’re taller and have a longer wingspan, using a stock ‘L’ shaft can really harm your game. The same is true if you’re using a shaft that’s too long. What tends to happen for those using a mismatched golf club is the risk of incurring bad swing habits.

The worst thing you can do in golf is to pick up bad swing habits. Bad swing habits can appear in a day of bad practice, but take years to unlearn. I’ve seen too many golfers spending years with multiple coaches and still can’t figure out how to fix their golf swing. Don’t let that happen to you.

Though I don’t know what stage you’re at with your golf swing, I can confidently say that practicing with a driver or any golf club that doesn’t fit you will put you at risk of you changing your golf swing in order to adjust to the wrong golf club, resulting in bad swing habits.

Finding the Right Driver Shaft

Before I start, please know that regardless of what anyone says or what you read online regarding what’s the best shaft flex for you, nothing beats a good fitting session by an accredited golf fitter. If a PGA Store is nearby, go ask if they offer a fitting session. I’d avoid shops that offer free sessions as they’re often less concerned with the actual fitting but there to just use some fancy jargon to persuade you into buying their most expensive golf set. 

That said, if you’re just looking to get your foot in the right direction without getting fitted, here’s what I’ll recommend any golfer to follow when picking their driver shaft: