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.
WITB^ of a right-handed 61 y.o. "aspiring" player ...
Callaway Bertha Mini 1.5 (Kuro Kage Silver Tini)
Callaway XR16 5W (Motore Speeder Red)
Callaway XR 4H (Project X SD)
Cobra King OS 5i-9i (Recoil 807)
Callaway Apex CF16 PW (Recoil 760)
Callaway MD3 50-10/S (R300) and 54-10/S (S200)
Callaway X-Jaws 58-08
MLA Tour XDream Black Edition w/Forward Golf grip.
^ currently ... subject to change at any time!