There are two types of material used to make almost all golf shafts today – steel and graphite, which is woven from carbon fibers. Graphite shafts weigh much less than steel and can be swung faster to generate more power. Drivers are almost exclusively shafted with graphite composites. The heavier steel provides golfers with more of a “feel” for their shots. That is why you often see players with graphite-shafted woods and steel-shafted irons.
You should use steel shafts for irons when…
…you already have a high swing rate and a heavier shaft like steel will keep your tempo slower and increase your chances to control the golf ball.
…you want less whip and flexibility in your swing that can exacerbate swing flaws.
…you want the immediate feedback from a mis-hit iron shot that tells an experienced golfer what just went wrong with that last swing.
…your budget does not permit higher-priced graphite shafts.
You should use graphite shafts for irons when…
…you are not strong enough to swing steel-shafted clubs due to a physical infirmity or other reason.
…you want more distance with your iron shots.
…you have a very slow swing tempo.
…you want to avoid the stinging vibrations from mis-hits with steel shafts.
…you never plan to buy another set of golf clubs since graphite shafts will be more user-friendly in your twilight golf seasons.
In recent year composite shafts have emerged for irons that combine the playability of steel shafts with the weight advantages of graphite shafts. Fujikura’s Metal Composite Irons (MCI) blend steel and graphite materials to achieve a rigidity every bit as strong as steel without adding unwanted weight to the club. By ensuring the best possible weight distribution for each club it is possible to more than double the vibration dampening effect on mishit iron shots.
Fujikura is leading the way to the day when graphite will be commonplace on clubs through the bag and not just on drivers. To learn more, click here.