Graphite Shafts: Lighter and Faster Than Steel, Golf Video
So here I am now with my driver and with my 7 iron. I don’t see the differences in the heads and differences in the length, but one of the biggest difference is actually the material that’s used to make the shaft. And this is something you’ll see common to a lot of the tour players as well is it they have a graphite shafted driver 3-wood maybe a hybrid club and a steel shaft in most of their irons, their wedges and also their putter. Now there’s quite a big difference in a way these shafts are made and also the way they perform. Generally speaking the graphite shaft is going to be a lot lighter, that works quite nicely when you’re making a golf club as long as a driver because a 45 inch long steel shaft could get very heavy, that could actually reduce club head speed. So with the driver we want maximum club head speed so we’d make a nice lightweight graphite shaft that encourages the club to accelerate into the golf ball and I can still hit the ball nice and straight with that lightweight shaft.
But when I go to my steel shaft and my irons, the common theory and logic is that the heaviest steel shaft actually slows your swing down, gives you a slightly better tempo and gives you more control. Now going back a little bit, the traditionalist would say that the graphite shaft isn’t actually as accurate as a steel shaft, but recent advancements in the way that graphite shafts are made, as long as you got a good quality graphite shaft, it can be as accurate as a steel shaft. And actually the benefits can be what we talked about, you can swing it quicker, but also a lot of older golfers particularly those who suffered with arthritis and pains in their fingers prefer the graphite shaft because it actually dampens the vibrations particular on. So if you’re not striking the ball particularly cleanly and you got that kind of buzzing feeling that comes back up through the golf club almost like an electric shock, a graphite shaft will dampen and reduce that.
The one thing to look for when you’re buying a graphite shaft is the amount of flex that it has and you’ll often see written on that it’ll have stiff flex or an extra stiff, stiff, regular and then maybe a senior flex and a ladies flex and it will flex more as you go through that range. The one thing you really have to be careful of is that you don’t buy a cheap quality graphite shaft that has too much bending or twisting in it. So a good quality graphite shaft will bend this way which is what it’s intended to do, but it won’t twist here. Now if you pick up your driver next time you’re out and twist it, it should feel quite stiff proportionally not much turn. If you gone by a cheap quality graphite shaft and you turn it that way you’ll feel it gave a little bit. Quite simply when you hit the golf ball, if that club had gives that way you have very little accuracy. So if you’re not spending much on your golf clubs and you go on really bottom end bargain basement kind of stuff, I would actually encourage you to make sure you focus on steel, because a steel shaft won’t twist either way whether it’s cheap or expensive. But if you’re going for a proper branded name set of golf clubs you’ll be okay looking at graphite shafts as well.
Have a hit where you have a normal 6-iron with a steel shaft and a normal 6-iron with a graphite shaft, hit them alongside each other and see which one works better for you, whether the feel, the distance that you produce and also the cost implications. Generally graphite is a little bit more expensive so make sure you bring that into the equation. But as you go through your longer clubs and you go through your driver, generally speaking it will be a graphite shaft to be a natural option. And mainly when you’re trying the clubs out the manufacturers in the shops probably won’t actually stock the steel shaft, so you’ll have less of an option there. But if you’ve decided on graphite you still need to make sure you got the flex right, whether you get the length right and also there’s a kick point issue. So make sure when you’re trying out these graphite clubs that you ask all the relevant questions and you get them professionally custom fit for you.