Steel vs Graphite Golf Shafts

Graphite shafts have been on the market more than 40 years and in all that time golfers can still can’t make up their mind on what shafts are better. Even on the professional tour where the latest greatest thing is always seized upon you see some stars swinging graphite and some playing steel.

One thing is certain, where ball speed and distance are paramount – drivers and fairway woods – graphite has won an almost total victory. But it irons where personal preference tells the tale.

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 and graphite shafts will be more user-friendly in your twilight golf seasons.

Of course after almost 100 years steel shafts have reached the terminal point of technical advancement. Not so with graphite. Fujikura is constantly working to improve its graphite iron shafts to replicate the advantages of steel without giving up the pleasures of lightweight graphite. The Fujikura’s Proprietary Metal Composite irons (MCI) combine steel and graphite materials to produce the rigidity of steel and the vibration-avoidance of graphite. Maybe the day is not so far off when there will be no steel versus graphite. Learn more by clicking here.