Updated on October 11th, 2022 at 11:12 am
When purchasing new golf clubs, one of the major decisions a player has is graphite vs. steel. With the increase in custom fitting options, almost all clubs are offered in both graphite and steel models. If you are not sure which category you fall into, we have all the answers you need. Let’s explore the differences between graphite iron shafts and steel iron shafts so that you can determine which will be best for your golf game.
Graphite vs. Steel Shaft: What Is The Difference?
There are four main differences between the graphite and the steel golf shafts; they are distance, weight, feel, and price. Each of these factors will impact whether or not you should choose the graphite shaft or the steel shaft in your next set of clubs. Golfers need to be careful about the options they choose as this decision will greatly impact performance.
Graphite shafts are considered to be for the slower swing speed players. Since graphite shafts are built for more distance, they help players increase their ball speed and get better trajectories on their shots.
Graphite shafts are almost always lighter in weight than steel shafts. You will notice that steel or graphite shafts are going to be offered in several different weights. However, the lightest options out there are, without a doubt, the graphite shafts.
A graphite shaft has a more forgiving feel. When you hit a poor shot with the graphite shaft, it will absorb the vibrations. This helps to make sure that even when playing in poor weather conditions, you never feel that sting in your hands. However, golfers with lower handicaps tend to like the feedback they get from the steel golf shafts.
Graphite shafts are more expensive to produce than steel shafts. The materials used in the manufacturing process make the graphite shafts the premium-priced choice. Depending on the type of player you are, playing with graphite shafts may not be something you can avoid. There are times that the benefits are going to be worth the price that you pay.
What Is Better For My Game Graphite Or Steel Shaft?
The biggest step in the iron shaft decision-making process is choosing the flex and shaft type you want. Any certified club fitter will tell you that in the golf world, the flex, weights, and materials of the shafts are going to be more important than the club head itself.
Suppose you are a golfer with slower swing speed looking for distance and extra launch in your golf clubs; you should choose the graphite shafts. Some players have a very hard time getting the proper ball flight, and they struggle with hitting behind the ball and having it cause a lot of vibration in the shaft.
Those that enjoy graphite shafts are going to be doing everything possible to get distance out of their golf shots. Typically speaking, women and senior golfers will do quite well with the graphite type shaft in their clubs.
Steel shafts are heavier, and they are designed for golfers that are looking for control and feedback. Many pros will tell you that when you hit slightly behind a golf ball, you will get quite a bit of information from the mistake. Your hands, arms, and brain will start to understand why this happened, and you can make adjustments to your swing accordingly.
This type of feedback is very important, and it is the reason most lower handicapped players will choose steel shafts.
Should Beginners Use A Graphite Golf Shaft?
Have you noticed that a good portion of the beginner’s golf sets is made with graphite shafts in the irons as well as the woods. It is assumed that beginners are going to have slower swing speeds and need help launching the ball in the air. There are, however, many factors involved in choosing the best clubs for beginners. Things like athletic ability, prior experience, and swing speed should all be considered before deciding on a set.
There are many beginners who would benefit from a steel iron shaft; therefore, you cannot set the firm rule that a beginner needs a graphite golf shaft in their club.
Do Graphite Shafts Or Steel Shafts Go Further?
Technically speaking, the graphite shaft should be easier to get distance with than the steel shaft. To hit a golf ball a long distance, you will need to get as much clubhead speed as possible Since a graphite shaft is easier to gain speed with, you can learn to hit them quite a bit further.
Professionals that have very fast swing speeds like the steel shafts because of the weight and the control it gives them in their games. Since their swing speeds are so fast, there is almost no difference in the distance that they can get. These are golfers that are likely playing with an extra stiff flex shaft and have speeds that most of us will never be able to obtain.
If you are looking for distance in your game and have an average swing speed, the graphite shafts will likely be the better types for your swing tempo.
Are Graphite Shafts Longer Than Steel Shafts?
Graphite iron shafts tend to be about a 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch longer than a steel shaft. For most players, this is not going to be a problem. However, if you choose steel or graphite shafts, you should make sure that they are custom fit to your exact height specifications.
Remember that choosing graphite or steel golf shafts in your clubs is not a simple decision. Many factors from a fitting, performance, and price standpoint will need to be considered.
Graphite vs. Steel Shafts: Fairway Woods and Drivers?
Almost all Fairway woods and drivers are now made with graphite shafts. This is how it should be. Regardless of your skill level, swinging a steel shafted fairway wood or driver will not help get the distance and performance you need out of your game. Even the best players in the world will you graphite shafts in their long clubs.
The best way to determine if a graphite shaft or a steel shaft is going to be the best fit for your game is to try out equipment. You can have your swing speed tested and hit shots with lots of different shaft options. When you compare your performance, you will be able to see which one is the smartest choice for your golf game. The graphite vs. steel debate is not about which is better; it’s more about which is better for your specific game.
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