I've seen videos on how shafts make very little difference. I put it to the test at my work. I hit my SZ demo with a 40 g A flex, stock HZDR, and my 62 g X Pro Green. My driver head speed is usually 112-115.
The difference between all 3 was nearly nothing. X flex spun about 75 rpm less and flew .5 yards lower then the stock and 240 rpm less and 1.6 yards lower then the A. Distance between A and X with 4.2 yards.
That 3W Stenson had for however many years that he loved was an A flex when he had the shaft tested. he had no idea what it was, but loved and feel and it worked. Made me a believer in the fact that shafts is a good argument and talking point. What makes true distance is lower spin with proper launch angle and lie settings.
Shaft stiffness makes a lot of difference in length and dispersion for the golf ball. I have a 80 mph swing with the driver and my optimum shaft is an A type shaft. On the two extremes of a stiff vs A shaft you have to find a happy medium that gives you the most distance but keeps your dispersion in the fairway. I went from a R (regular) shaft in my driver to a A (UST 440 F2 Recoil) and gained 15 yards with a tighter ball dispersion. In my irons I went from a S (stiff) to an A shaft and gained 5 - 10 yards with the same dispersion. All data from Flight Scope and verified in actual play.
You and Frank Thomas would be in complete aggreement.
Here are a couple of thoughts about shafts.
1) not all shaft are created equal. One companies A could be another companies "S"
2) The shaft is the transmission not the engine in a golf swing, you are the engine.
3) shaft weight and length play a similar role if not a bigger role in the golf club for the player as flex and flex profile.
4) ok more than a couple
A while back I drove quite a ways to go to a highly reputable fitter that is known for retro fitting as opposed to trying to always sell you new stuff. He firmly believes that weight is the primary difference maker in shafts. All the other stuff is so insignificant for 99% of players and it really just attributes to feel more than performance. I believe I have heard on more than one podcast Nate and AJ say similar things while talking about the head being the primary fitting parameter, not the shaft.
In my opinion, here is how I would rank the importance of all the different components of a driver:
For me it's simply "feel". There is a certain "feel characteristic" that I need to perceive during and after impact. I've tested I don't know how many shafts and can tell immediately if I'll like it or not. There are so many other factors that contribute to your overall distance, like tee height and angle of attack for instance. Both of those have no bearing on the head or shaft you are using as they are not 100% consistant between all shots. I've found the perfect driver shaft for me after many trials with other shafts and have zero plans to change at any time. The shaft has now transitioned through 3 different head changes. I even bought a backup!
@NaydelmanCG Thats cool to know. Its always good when someone who is in the business to lay stuff out like that. That Torque Value is everything to me. I was under the impression that it had more to do with twist in the shaft but in my head its more than that. The stock shaft in the XR 16 felt like it lagged too much and I couldnt time the kick point. The same model shaft but a year older had a lower torque feels totally different. My Epic has a 5 year old shaft in it and for me is awesome. Low boring ball flight , 15 yard dispersion , and my light *** can knock it out there 280 pretty consistent. That old Speeder 565 stiff , 1.5 torque shaft is awesome. Thanks to @PC98 I got mine fixed im back on track. If you see any of those old shafts collecting dust Nate , put em off to the side and call me , haha. Hit Em Good everybody !!!
Boy I always thought the biggest change I could bring would be the driver shaft. The new drivers all have screw in shafts and the head model (at least for me) didn't change the driver dynamic as much as the shaft itself...
Even at 61 I'm still learning! Thanks Nate!