Steel vs. Graphite

Steel vs. Graphite

Post by DOUGFOU » Fri, 14 Apr 1995 04:00:00

I'm buying some new irons and want to know if graphite shafts are worth
the price.
What's the difference. Please let me know!!!!!



Steel vs. Graphite

Post by Brad Anders » Sat, 15 Apr 1995 04:00:00


>I'm buying some new irons and want to know if graphite shafts are worth
>the price.
>What's the difference. Please let me know!!!!!


Don't really think there is a consensus answer to your question.  Here
are a few issues to consider:  First, graphite shafts come in a wide
assortment of flavors.  They vary greatly in terms of weight, flex point,
and torque.  Thus, generalizations are difficult.  In general, graphite
shafts are lighter than steel shafts and typically have more torque.
Lighter shafts are generally considered to increase swing speed, and
therefore add a bit of distance.  Annecdotal comments and my reading
of "subjective" tests comparing steel and graphite shafts suggest that
most (not all) golfers will probably get a few extra yards from graphite
shated irons.  The gain in distance will likely not be great, perhaps
1/2 to 1 club.  Secondly, there is general consensus that graphite
shafts better dampen vibrations than steel shafts.  Thus, graphite would
likely be the shaft of choice for someone with joint problems or other
physical maladies that are exacebated by the relatively harsher feel of
steel shafts.  Grahpite would also help prevent physical problems for
someone who really hits tons and tons of balls.  Third, because most
graphite shafts are lighter, they will change the swingweight of the irons
unless more weight is added to the head, this may or may not be helpful.
Fourth (again, based more on anecdotal comments than objective evidence),
graphite shafts probably provide a slightly less consistent shot pattern
than steel.  Fifth, graphite shafts are generally considered to be more
fragile and more susceptible to damage than steel shafts.

Note that several companies have introduced graphite shafts with weight
and torque characteristics which are very similar to steel.  And some
steel shafts have been introduced which claim increased shock dampening--
most notably, the Rifle shaft by Brunswick.

IMHO, for the average male golfer, with average or higher than average
swing speeds, and who don't experience any particular physical ailments,
I'd tend to recommend steel.  I think the benefits of greater consistency,
less fragility, and much lower costs typically outweigh the benefits
of graphite for irons.  No doubt, there are many golfers who would
experience considerable benefits from graphite.