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Curious - steel shafts or graphite shafts in irons. Read On.

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I know this question is going to end up about get fitted which I always do but, I just wanted an opinion from my fellow members about this. I've turned 65 and have used graphite shafts in my irons for some time. I recently hit the Cobra F7 One, Callaway Steelhead and the TaylorMade M2 irons which all had steel shafts. I didn't get any numbers but, I was striking the ball dead center on almost every swing with each club. They all felt heavier than my current ones but, the funny thing was, I felt like I was swinging the club faster than I normally do with the graphite shafts. My imagination or am I on to something I've been missing for awhile and should consider it when I do buy new irons and get fitted?

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Were they lighter steel shafts? Steel shafts can get pretty light now a days, down to 74 grams. Heavier shafts can slow your swing maybe getting your timing better synced. Downside is you might get more tired swinging a heavier shaft over 18 holes. Why did you switch to graphite?

 

MDGolfHacker

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Just got older and felt my swing speed was slowing down. Don't know the weight but, I'm still ok for 18 holes with steel if it would improve my iron play. :)

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I have no answer really. I'm not a shaft guy. Question: were you outdoors while testing these clubs?

I prefer outdoor testing when possible. You might want to consider some LM data also.

 

BTW... im 62 and play AeroTech Steel Fiber in my irons.

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The weight will play a role for sure. At the end of the day it all depends on how you load your club based on your tempo and so forth. If you are finding you are hitting well with steel shafts and not losing distance and have just as good if not better control with the consistency you are finding then switch over. I would suggest trying it on different days because every day feels different too.

 

But yes get fitted for the right shaft so you are getting the trajectory and spin numbers you want too.

 

Good luck!

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... First. At 65 I wouldn't even consider steel shafts in your irons. I had elbow tendonitis when I was playing almost every day and the graphite iron shafts cured that problem. (after some time off and rehab) Today you can find any weight and any kind of performance you want in a graphite iron shaft. From low launch to high launch, lower than steel torque to higher more forgiving torque. The wear and tear on your joints, especially if you play a lot, is night and day different with graphite. I have been playing graphite in my irons for about 15 years now, ever since Aldila released the Tour NV 130gm shafts that were the same weight and performance profile as Dynamic Gold shafts. I have moved to lower weights since and after experimenting I was able to play all the way down to 95gm shafts. 85 was just too light for my swing so 95-110 seems about perfect for me. 

... And yea you can swing heavier faster, to a point. If you were paying light weight shafts in the 65gm or lower range it is easy to lose the feel of the club. I would experiment with some heavier graphite shafts starting at 85 and moving up to 95's and up if necessary. Sooooo many really good shafts starting with Recoils, Aldila VS Proto's on eBay and Aerotech Steelfibers. There are more of course but that is a good place to start. 

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With swing weight, lighter is not always more powerful. Think about trying to break a glass window with a ball. You are standing 10 yards away and you have three options; a whiffle ball (let's say it's the kind without holes), a baseball and a shot put. Your initial launch speed throwing the wife ball is through the roof! It's light and you can really whip it but it just bounces off the window, barely makes a vibration. You try an overhand throw with the shot put. It goes thud 10 feet in front of you. Too much mass. Now, you through that baseball and it smashes right through. It wasn't as fast as the whiffle ball and it wasn't as massive as the shot put. It was in the right zone for a human to apply force to a plate glass window.

Now, I see many older golfers going with super light shafts and light. cast iron heads because they are fixated on the idea that lighter = faster = better for a player losing strength and swing speed as they age. Not always so! Find the club and shaft combo that gives you your ideal "window breaking" advantage!

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Agreed , I had graphite shafts before and I was too strong for them actually. I had way too much flex and whip that I wasn't straight with my shots, went back to steel shafts and my irons are way straighter now then with the graphite.

 

Straight is always better then long, if you need a bit more length that's why we have different irons for. Make the adjustment in the club selection.

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I went to graphite shafts a long time ago, and I would never go back to steel.  However, I hit heavier shafts a lot better, but I am defining better as straighter.  I found that 95 gram graphite shafts in my wedges provided good straight shots, so I went with similar weight graphite in my irons.  My issue is that without a faster swing speed, I only hit low to medium height shots.  I would love to hit higher shots, but I have to play what I got!!  

 

if you hit a nice high shot and have the same distance, I don't see an issue except for the elbow problems mentioned by @chisag.  I'm 5 years older than you and my swing speed has reduced in those 5 years, so keep that in mind.

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I've tried both, steel to graphite ( specifically UST recoils) and I loved them, plus they disguised themselves very well to look like a steel shaft. Since then have sold those clubs and am now back to steel but would not hesitate to at least try them out next time I am in the market for new irons.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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I'm 60 and have been in graphite for about eight years.

 

It's really become a matter of preference though. Unless you need super lite steel can get there and there are shock absorbing steel shafts as well.

 

I happen to prefer graphite

 

 

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I am 62 and have used graphite iron shafts before.  I have also found by going through fittings twice in the last 4 years that steel works better for me.  I tend to end up with very similar results in steel shafts in the 100 to 115 gram range.  I do also note higher swing speed and distance with steel shafts in the lower end of that weight with little difference in dispersion. I have tried Recoils and a few others, but they never quite made it into the bag.

 

I generally extend these fittings by renting a launch monitor bay once or twice a week to verify the results.  This last fitting I tested the results 4 or 5 times before committing to the TT XP 105.

 

Short answer is steel has worked better for me the last two times I changed irons. 

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I may be a black sheep here, but I am 27 and I recently switched to graphite shafts in my irons.  I got fitted for them and ended up going to Veylix Alpina 65g shafts.  The nice thing about getting fitted is that the data doesn't lie.  I picked up 3 mph club head speed which really increased my distance.  The funny thing was that I actually hit these shafts straighter than any others I tested, so it was hard to deny that they were the shafts for me.  

 

In tournaments recently I have received some odd looks about playing graphite shafts but the scores have been great thus far.   Overall I think you just need to get fitted in order to see what may work best for your swing.  

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I'm 53 years old and have been playing the Aldila RIP Tour in my Cobra S3 Pro forged irons since the RIP Tours came into existence. I have to say they are fantastic. Before those I was playing the True Temper Black Gold R300, before that Project X Satin 5.5's. The feel is fantastic and no more elbow issues or bent tips like my steel iron shafts would have happen every now and again. The materials now are so good that everyone can play graphite in irons if they really wanted. Graphite is not nearly the same as when my Pop bought graphite shafts 15 years ago.

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A second for the RIP Tour 115 graphite shafts.

 

Very stable, with narrow distribution is why I play 'em.

 

Now discontinued, I've started collecting backup sets.

 

Texsport

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I may be a black sheep here, but I am 27 and I recently switched to graphite shafts in my irons. I got fitted for them and ended up going to Veylix Alpina 65g shafts. The nice thing about getting fitted is that the data doesn't lie. I picked up 3 mph club head speed which really increased my distance. The funny thing was that I actually hit these shafts straighter than any others I tested, so it was hard to deny that they were the shafts for me.

 

In tournaments recently I have received some odd looks about playing graphite shafts but the scores have been great thus far. Overall I think you just need to get fitted in order to see what may work best for your swing.

Baaaaa baaaaa

 

I'm 35 and play recoil 110 in my irons. I know what you mean about the looks you get. But the scores and the lack of back pain don't lie!

 

 

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I'm on the younger end of the spectrum (23) and use steel but at an event last year I did get to try a graphite iron shaft that was really amazing but also really expensive (sorry, can't remember the model). So I'm definitely not against graphite if it fitted me and I had the funds but right now I'm good with my current setup.

 

 

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I'm not so sure if it is the material of the shaft (steel/graphite) as it is the weight of the shaft.

 

I've tried 110g graphite shafts that felt heavy.  Today's graphite isn't what graphite used to be years ago.

 

I would concentrate on the weight of the shaft more.  When I was getting fit I tried both and ended up with 95g steel shafts.

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I recently replaced the KBS shafts with Padderson Kinetics in all of my Apex pro irons. Superb results! I play hardpan a lot, and these don't shock my elbows. Great flight and spin characteristics.

 

 

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I know this question is going to end up about get fitted which I always do but, I just wanted an opinion from my fellow members about this. I've turned 65 and have used graphite shafts in my irons for some time. I recently hit the Cobra F7 One, Callaway Steelhead and the TaylorMade M2 irons which all had steel shafts. I didn't get any numbers but, I was striking the ball dead center on almost every swing with each club. They all felt heavier than my current ones but, the funny thing was, I felt like I was swinging the club faster than I normally do with the graphite shafts. My imagination or am I on to something I've been missing for awhile and should consider it when I do buy new irons and get fitted?

 

I had a very similar experience...

 

I'm 61 now and only started playing about 8 years ago. My "starter set" (cheapo's until I was sure I was committed to the game) (yeah, yeah - now I should "be committed", ha) had steel shafts but the very next season I upgraded to a set of "real" irons - R9s - with graphite shafts and felt like those were Da Bomb! Believed they really helped me start to develop my iron striking.

 

So fast forward a few years to where I start looking more and more at new irons that .. supposedly .. give you more distance with more forgiveness. Did a number of tests / demos at stores and ended up with the Cobra F6. Then I tested that club with the stock graphite vs. the stock steel (FST approx 100 grams). Note this was _not_ via an official fitting .. just me hitting them in the bay at the store. 

 

When I hit the steel I'd thought, "Wow!", so I went with those. As soon as they came in, I went out to the course and was hitting balls straighter and further and with less dispersion. 

 

However... 1. I am also constantly working on improving my swing, so we have to factor that in as a part of the result and 2. I did start to feel some right (I'm right-handed) elbow and forearm strain,

 

So fast forward again to this season (and skip over some of the club changes stories!) to when I decide to go for an irons fitting - I end up with another set of Cobras but this time the King OS (I was playing a King OS 5i then the F6s) and with Recoil 807s in them (available thru fitters only; weight about 82 grams).

 

Well... my iron striking has taken another big step forward! Making better contact, getting better ball flight, getting the ball closer .. more often .. to my target and yeah have picked up a bunch of distance. AND - the elbow strain is gone, LOVE the Recoils .. would not switch back into steel. 

 

So, long story short - based on my experience I'd suggest to temper your initial enthusiasm for the steel shafts and re-test if possible, and outdoors if possible, Also, if and when you purchase look for a "playability" guarantee so you can bring them back and swap into graphite later, if you want. 

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