If you're on the fence about making the switch to graphite shafts in your irons because you're worried they will negatively affect your swing path or what your playing partners might say about your new sticks, here are a few things that might help you feel a little better.
First, let's cover the primary benefits of graphite shafts. Generally, graphite shafts are lighter than steel shafts, so they've been used to increase swing speeds for players with a slower tempo like junior and senior players. The muted vibrations of graphite shafts compared to their steel counterparts can make the game more enjoyable for players who have arm, hand or shoulder pain.
For those of you who have nagging injuries or have a body that has been worn over time by participating in various sports or physically strenuous jobs, then graphite shafts are a great alternative. Graphite dampens the impact imparted on your body when the club contacts the ball. Shock dampening is an excellent benefit for grumpy backs, rotator cuffs, elbows, knees, and hips. You will feel less sore after a round of golf when using graphite. Also, you may find you get more feedback in your hands when playing with graphite because the fibers transfer energy well and are just not as hard as steel.
When you take the immediate benefits of graphite shafts, it's easy to see why the "older player" trope of graphite has taken hold. Until recently, graphite shafts' main benefits appear to only appeal to older or slower players. That is not necessarily the case.
The debate between graphite and steel on drivers, fairway woods and hybrids is over. Finito. You won't find a new steel-shaft driver in any store anywhere. So why is there a long-lasting stigma surrounding graphite iron shafts? Technology has come a long way over the past two decades after all. To answer this question, it helps to look at the persistent and now-debunked myths surrounding graphite shafts.
1. Steel shafts are more durable than graphite shafts. FALSE. If appropriately treated, either set will last as long as you continue playing the game.
2. Graphite shafts have wider dispersions compared to steel shafts. MOSTLY FALSE. Wider dispersion profiles on graphite shafts are caused by inconsistent swing paths, not the shaft itself.
3. PGA TOUR players don't use graphite iron shafts. MISLEADING. PGA TOUR professionals have used graphite iron shafts for decades, including FedExCup Champion Brandt Snedeker and US Open Champion Bryson DeChambeau.
There's also a third option in iron shafts which may eventually fall into the "best of both worlds" category. This technology combines steel and graphite into a strong, lightweight composite material. For now, this approach to iron shafts needs more study. But, if you are interested in learning more, ask your Cool Clubs fitter about it.
We're not saying all Cool Clubs customers should be on the lookout for new graphite iron shafts. Not at all. Cool Clubs Master Fitters put in the hard work to ensure every customer has the correct equipment fit precisely to their individual swings. If that happens to be graphite iron shafts, it's essential to keep an open mind if you find yourself in the "my friends might make fun of me" camp. And if you happen to win a few bucks in the weekly Nassau playing new graphite shafts, your pards may change their tune, too!
The game of golf is about Practice, Patience, Improvement and – the most critical thing – Having Fun! And the best way to have fun on the golf course is to Play Better Golf℠. Graphite iron shafts might help you do exactly that.