Flexible Friends: Uncovering the Shafts Champions Tour Players Use (2024)

Golfing Focus infographic of most used shaft driver brands for driver, woods and hybrids, irons and wedges on PGA Champions Tour

Having already looked at the different shafts the best PGA and LPGA Tour pros use we decided to move our Golfing Focus onto the shafts Champions Tour players use by comparison.

So we dusted down our research skills again and poured over the data of fifty of the top 100 senior tour pros we were able to find shaft information on.

True Temper golf shafts are the most used by Champions Tour players being either the most or 2nd most common shaft played across all club types except driver. Fujikura shafts are more used when it comes to drivers, fairway woods and hybrids. Nippon shafts are the second most used iron shafts but well behind True Temper shafts.

What high-level insights like this don’t tell us though is the key differences in the preferred shafts of the top senior pros when it comes to different club types from the longest driver shafts to the shortest wedge ones.

Over the past couple of decades there has been an explosion in golf technology advances and nowhere has this been more apparent than the golf shafts.

And quite what the greats of yesteryear would have made of the multitude (and multi-coloured) options that are available today is anyone’s guess.

So let us now dig into what our detailed analysis uncovered when it comes to the top Champions Tour pros’ flexible friends!

Fujikura's Ventus TR 6S red shaft, Ventus TR 7X black shaft and Ventus TR 6S Blue shaft

What Shafts Do Champions Tour Pros Use?

The top pros, whatever tour they play on, have always looked for any advantage they can get when it comes to equipment.

And the huge strides that have been made when it comes to golf club shaft development in recent times have given the best players, including the leading Champions Tour pros, a new frontier to search out yet more marginal gains.

The resultant explosion in shaft options available to the senior pros has however consequently made the answer to the question of what shafts they use a much more difficult one than it may initially seem.

A number of players have for example have at least 3 or more different shaft makers’ models in their ba.

And even when it comes to those who stick more or less with the same shaft manufacturer throughout their set of clubs they will inevitably choose different shaft flexes and weights across them.

As we did with the main and women’s tours though we were once again up for the challenge and in the table below is a breakdown of the percentage of shafts from different manufacturers Champions Tour players use across the different club types.

Graphite Design16%7%9%
Harry Mugen1%
House of Forged2%1%2%
LA Golf
Matrix Shafts3%
Nippon Shaft18%10%
RT Technologies4%
True Temper12%23%18%48%60%
UST Mamiya
No data12%12%22%11%18%
[Note – Available data of 50 of the top 100 PGA Champions Tour pros on the money list at the end of the 2023 season.]

As Golfing Focus found when we did a similar detailed analysis of the shafts being used by the top pros on the PGA Tour the shaft preference of the senior pros clearly varies by club type.

Fujikura’s dominance among the shafts of the Champions Tour players longer clubs and their preference for True Temper shafts when it comes to shorter ones mirrors that of their main Tour counterparts although not quite to the same extent.

What was perhaps most noticeable among the shaft choices of the players on the senior Tour however was that Mitsubishi shafts were hardly represented when it came to driver, fairway wood and hybrid shafts when on the main Tour they are used by between 1/4 and 1/3 of PGA Tour pros.

Our analysis also again found some niche shaft selections – such as Harry Mugen, House of Forged and RT Technologies – by the best senior pros while as with their more junior colleagues, KBS and Nippon shafts found favour only when it came to the irons and wedges used by Champions Tour players.

And now that we have the overview of the golf shafts used by the best Champions Tour players let’s take a look in more detail at the individual shafts used in the different club types.

Golfing Focus infographic of most popular driver shaft on PGA Champions Tour

Golfers of all standards seem to get the most exercised when it comes to choosing a shaft for the longest club in the golf bag – the driver.

And as a result we were interested to see what the most popular driver shaft on the Champions Tour was among the 50 senior pros we found shaft information for.

The most popular driver shafts on the Champions Tour are Fujikura’s Ventus Red 6X & Black 6X. 22% of senior pros use them according to data available including Steven Alker & Darren Clarke. PING’s Tour 65 S shaft is the next most used by 7%. Bernhard Langer’s pick of Graphite Design’s Tour AD IZ 6X shaft is the 3rd most used.

While the prevalence of Fujikura driver shafts over other brands in the choices of the best senior pros was the same as our findings among the driver shafts picked by PGA Tour pros we still found a big variety of different makes and models being used.

Overall we discovered 29 different models of driver shafts among the Champions Tour players we found information on which points to the senior pros being very exacting when it comes to their driver shaft choices.

Kevin Sutherland stands out especially with his choice of distinct shafts in the two versions of the 10.5º PING G425 LST driver he carries around.

While one boasts an extra stiff Fujijura Ventus Red 6X, its counterpart is fitted with the stronger True Temper’s Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX 60 TX flex shaft.

Kirk Triplett, on the other hand, demonstrates his driver shaft tinkering with his choice of the same PING G425 driver model in two different configurations sporting not only two different shafts but two loft options as well.

His 10.5º version is paired with an Aldila Tour Blue 60 TX shaft, whereas the 9º variant benefits from a slightly weightier Tour Blue 70 TX shaft.

Steve Flesch then takes driver shaft customization to yet another level by incorporating three unique shafts from different makers – True Temper, Graphite Design, and Fujikura – across the three versions of the Callaway Rogue ST driver series he tests out.

We also discovered some niche driver shaft selections not mirrored on the main PGA Tour with brands such as House of Forged and Radian shafts being used by Alex Cejka and K.J.Choi respectively.

Behind Fujikura’s position as the most used driver shaft brand on the Champions Tour Graphite Design shafts are the second most popular with 16% picking them, including the great Bernhard Langer, John Daly and Lee Janzen.

True Temper driver shafts, the choice of Ernie Els, are the 3rd most common with just under 12% preferring them with PING in 4th place with 6%, including Miguel Angel Jiménez, picking their Tour 65 S shaft.

Surprisingly however given our findings on driver shafts choices on the PGA Tour where they are used by close to 1/4 of the top 100 PGA Tour pros Mitsubishi driver shafts are by comparison the choice of only 2% of the Champions Tour group we analysed.

And as we always do it is worth a caveat note whenever there is discussion of the most ‘popular’ driver shaft or any aspect of golf gear chosen by the pros.

Sponsorships and endorsements obviously play a part in professional sport and as a result, although it is difficult to find details of driver shaft sponsorship deals across the Champions Tour, the choices of the senior pros we have noted should be considered in that context.

[Note – Just so you know, and we are upfront as an affiliate program participant, Golfing Focus, at no cost to you, earns from qualifying purchases made through links on this page.]

(inc. Steve Stricker, Steven Alker, Padraig Harrington, David Toms, Vijay Singh, Rod Pampling, Darren Clarke, Ken Duke, Ken Tanigawa, Billy Andrade, David Duval, Jim Furyk, David Love III)
Ventus Black 6X / Ventus Red 6X
Check eBay
Graphite Design8
(inc. Bernhard Langer, Y.E.Yang, Steve Flesch, Lee Janzen, Stewart Cink, John Daly)
Tour AD IZ 6 X
Check eBay

Tour AD DI 6 X
Check eBay
True Temper6
(inc. Ernie Els, Dicky Pride, Retief Goosen, Justin Leonard)
Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 60
Check eBay
(inc. Miguel Angel Jiménez, Jeff Maggert, Chris DiMarco)
Tour 65 S
Mitsubishi1 (Fred Couples)Tensei AV Blue 75X
Check eBay
Radian1 (K.J.Choi)Tank Technology 6 X
Aldila1 ( Kirk Triplett)Tour Blue 60 TX
House of Forged1 (Alex Cejka)Tour Z
KBS1 (Tim Petrovic)Tour TD 60 TX
[Note – Available data of 51 of the top 100 PGA Champions Tour pros on the money list at the end of the 2023 season.]

True Temper Triumphs: The Top Used Iron Shafts on the Champions Tours

Approach shots account for almost 40% of the difference between the scores of all standards of golfers according to the stats gurus.

So what iron shafts Champions Tour pros choose to use is clearly a decision they take very seriously. And when it comes that topic we found a clear winner.

True Temper iron shafts are used by 48% of Champions Tour players according to data available with the Project X shaft their most popular individual shaft. Nippon iron shafts are the next most common with 18% of senior pros choosing them. The N.S.Pro Modus3 Tour 105 S shaft is Nippon’s most used shaft model.

And True Temper’s dominance with respect to iron shafts on the Champions Tour is even more prevalent when it comes to the wedge shaft choices of the top senior pros with 60% using them.

However with our analysis also finding 26 different models of iron shafts being used among the 50 senior pros we found data for, their individual iron shaft preferences do vary significantly.

Indeed we found some senior pros using two different models of shafts within their iron sets.

Tim O’Neal for example chooses the True Temper Tour White AMT X100 shaft for his Titleist T200 4-iron but opts for Nippon’s N.S. Pro Modus3 shaft for his 5 to pitching wedge T100 irons.

In addition despite True Temper being the dominant iron shaft brand on the Champions Tour we found 15 different individual shafts being used by the senior pros if you take flex and weight selections into account.

As a result we did not find one dominant individual True Temper shaft among this elite group with their Project X 6.0, Project 6.5, Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 and Aerotech SteelFiber i110cw X shafts each being used by 6% of the senior pros we analysed.

Indeed such is the spread of individual True Temper iron shaft choices that Nippon’s N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour105 S shaft also finds favour with 6% of the Champions Tour pros despite the Nippon brand being much less used than True Temper overall.

It should be noted though that we did not include the shafts the top senior pros put in the utility / driving iron shafts in this part of our analysis.

But if you are interested in finding out what is the most used shaft in these clubs by the best senior pros check out our other article which reveals this here.

Golfing Focus infographic of most used iron shaft on PGA Champions Tour

Regular Shafts: Do Any Champions Tour Pros Use Them?

When it comes to golf shaft choices a large number of golfers seem to get very concerned about what flex shaft they, or others are using.

And in particular they are always keen to know whether the best players ever use regular flex shafts.

We have already looked at this question concerning the flex of shafts used by the PGA Tour pros so as part of our in-depth look at the shafts the senior pros use we also took a look to check whether any Champions Tour players use regular shafts in any of their clubs.

Only Jim Furyk uses a regular flex iron shaft on the Champions Tour according to the available data although David McKenzie also uses a slightly stronger regular+ flex shaft in his Titleist T100 irons.

All other senior pros use at least a stiff flex shaft in their irons and wedges and not one uses a regular flex shaft in their driver, woods, hybrids or utility irons where again the ‘softest’ shaft we found used was a stiff flex shaft.

These findings when it came to the shaft flex choices of the Champions Tour pros mirrored much of what we noted in our analysis of the shafts being fitted into the clubs of the best pros on the PGA Tour.

There we found Matthew NeSmith to be the only user of a regular+ flex shaft among the top 100 PGA Tour pros and in only his gap, sand and lob wedges.

And even though former US Open and US Senior Open champion Furyk uses KBS Tour 110 regular flex shafts in his main irons it is interesting to note he switches back to a stiff True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 shaft in his specialist wedges.

Further when it comes to his driver, woods and hybrid he switches between stiff and extra stiff shafts so throughout his bag he is using three different shaft flexes.

All of which points to the precision with which pros put their club set ups together.

It is never simply about the flex of the shaft but how that choice impacts the overall club feel they are specifically targeting. And that often changes at a minimum by club type and the clubhead speed associated with that type.

In Furyk’s case, the care and attention he takes to set up his irons exactly as he needs them also results in him setting up his longer 4 and 5-iron with a 3º degree upright lie.

His mid 6 and 7-irons then have a 2º upright lie before he switches again to a 1º upright lie for his short irons from 8-iron to pitching wedge.

In short the flex of the shaft is just one aspect of the package the best Champions Tour pros pay close attention to in order to produce the feel and shot type they are targeting with any specific club.

So when we answer the question of what flex of shaft top senior players choose in their clubs it is important we bear in mind the factors that impact this choice are many and varied.

And we should therefore consider this when deciding whether this should influence and inform our own shaft choices.

Before you go …

Swingspeed, or clubhead speed as it is also called, is one of the key factors that influence the flex of the shaft any golfer chooses to put in their clubs.

The average driver swingspeed on the Champions Tour is around the 106mph mark and we have noted above the most common driver shafts senior pros pick based partly on this.

But what driver shafts do PGA Tour and LPGA Tour pros choose by comparison with average clubhead speeds of nearly 115mph and 94mph respectively?

Check out our next article to find out.

What Shafts Do Pros Use?

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