Here is one of the most common questions among golf newcomers, and even among some experienced players – what’s the type of material that should be present in golf clubs. Some prefer the newer shafts made of graphite, while some stick to the old iron shafts.
No matter what type of material is used for the golf shafts, each has their own strengths and weaknesses, and golf players must pay attention to these qualities in order to maximize their swing potential.
Graphite Club Shafts
The main advantage that graphite golf clubs have over steel ones, is that graphite clubs gives more swing power to golf players for every swing, especially in the case of drivers. This can be attributed to their minimal weight, providing more torque and flex to golf players and in turn boosting the power of their swings. Since they’re lightweight, all of the weight present will be concentrated on the heads of the club, which also contribute to the swing power. As you know, the more powerful a golfer’s swing is, the more yards the ball will travel. Another advantage that graphite shafts have is that the material itself also acts as a shock dampener when the club hits the ball and the ground. This significantly increases comfort for the player.
The increased power that graphite golf clubs have can also be cited as a disadvantage, as in exchange, accuracy and control are sacrificed. This can create a serious disadvantage when the golfer is very close to the putt area and only needs a single swing, as too much power might even cause the ball to miss the putt. In addition to this, graphite-made clubs are known to be more expensive (around 10% more) than steel-made ones.
Steel Club Shafts
Steel club shafts actually predated their graphite-made counterparts by three decades. They’re known to be heavier than graphite clubs, which then translates to less, torque and flex. That’s why they have less swing power. Also, steel shafts generate more feedback when they hit the ball, which can give a slight discomfort to some players.
What steel-made shafts lose in power, however, it gains in accuracy and control. Therefore, steel golf clubs are more popular among players who already have high swing power and don’t need the further boost that graphite shafts provide. Usually, these golfers would prefer more control over their swings, so that they won’t have to struggle in trying to weaken their swing when the putt area is nearby. Also, the feedback that’s generated from the impact can also guide some golfers into knowing which part of the club head the ball was hit with, allowing them to adjust the accuracy of their swings more effectively. Also, even the highest-quality graphite shaft can’t beat the natural durability of a steel shaft, so long as it’s taken care of properly and kept rust-free. Finally and more importantly, golf clubs with steel shafts are cheaper and more affordable than those with graphite shafts.
Choosing The Proper Material
Since each type of shaft has its own advantages and disadvantages, there’s really no clear-cut winner in this match-up. Even professional golf players have a mixed preference when it comes to this, though most of them nowadays now use graphite-made shafts.
A good advice when choosing which type of club to use is to first test them out individually before making your purchase. Most pro shops have a mini-golf course where you can put any club to the test before actually buying it. That way, you’ll be able to determine the actual power that you exert behind your swing, which will be the basis on which shaft material you should choose.
For beginners, it’s also highly recommended to seek out advice from some advanced golf players. Ask them which type of material works best for them. Though one could argue that graphite shafts are preferable for beginners, some might say otherwise.