Nowhere have lightweight graphite shafts made a larger impact on the game of golf than in club heads. In 1980 when all driver club heads were still made of wood, as they had been for the previous 500 years, only six players on the PGA Tour averaged between 270 and 280 yards off the tee and no one averaged more than that. In 2010, 169 players averaged more than 280 yards of the tee and only one did NOT average at least 270 yards. Golf has become a totally different game – and graphite shafts made it possible. As Bobby Jones once said about Jack Nicklaus, “He plays a game with which I am not familiar.”
The revolution began in 1991 when Calloway Golf figured out that it could drastically increase the size and weight of the driver club head thanks to lightweight graphite shafts. They named their radical club after the heavy artillery introduced by the Germans in World War I – Big Bertha. The larger heads gave golfers a bigger sweet spot which delivered more distance on poor hits and extremely more distance on good ones. After that the size of club heads grew so fast the Rules of Golf capped their girth at 460 cubic centimeters.
The first oversized club heads were fashioned entirely of stainless steel. To make the biggest heads manufacturers sought out exotic metals like titanium. Most golfers buy as much club head as they can afford – titanium packs the biggest wallop and carries the biggest price tags. Steel-headed drivers are harder to hit consistently and less forgiving to mishits but they cost less and tend to retain their playing characteristics longer.
Technology never stands still and the newest club heads are being fashioned with mixtures of composite materials, including titanium. These composite drivers seek to replicate the extreme playability features of titanium without the high prices. Whatever material you choose for your next driver make sure to unleash its full potential by teaming it with a custom-fitted, high performance graphite shaft from Fujikura. Click here to learn how