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Steel vs Graphite Shafts in Irons


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#1 caryk

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:41 AM

Been contemplating a switch from steel to graphite shafts in my next set of irons because of age and to help relieve stress on joints (wrist and elbow).  For those who have made the switch, what have been the upsides and downsides that you've found since going that route?  Any recommendations on weight?

I'm a single digit hcp with good ball striking skills.  I'm looking for a graphite shaft with decent performance.  I've played TT DG S300 for many years but have thought lighter weight and graphite construction might be a better way to go.  Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!!!


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#2 Johnny

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:44 AM

only downside was cost (aerotech steelfibers) if you want to move down in weight, I suggest try a steelfiber 110 first, I was not a huge fan of going lighter then that with the short irons.
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#3 Tarkata

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 01:36 PM

Definitely easier on the joints and - I believe as used to be the case - the graphites may have longer shafts and the less weight may result in longer carries for you.
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#4 Stuart G.

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:54 AM

I'm using the aldila vs-proto 100's.   Very good price, feel, and performance.   I found them a good weight when transitioning from steel.  With a tendency for quick transition/tempo, I didn't want to go too light.  Switching to graphite made a BIG improvement in joint pain issues I was having.

The only downside to using a quality graphite shaft has been when it comes time to try new irons. You're generally stuck demo'ing the the clubs using the heavier steel shafts because the stock graphites feel's terrible and flimsy compared to the aftermarket options.

Edited by Stuart G., 11 November 2012 - 05:54 AM.


#5 Norboo

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:17 AM

Hard to make a transition from TT S300 to anything else if you have played with them for so long.  Nothing comes close to feel of S300.  That being said, IF you went to lighter steel shaft, it would relieve lots of tension and pain on the joints.  Going graphite will take some time to adjust and get used to.  You’ll be all over the place after the initial honeymoon stage is over and start second guessing your choice for a while. But you will get used to it.  NOTE:  If you are a feel type of chipper, you will hate chipping and pitching with graphite.  They are not stable and consistent as steel.

I’ve heard some good things about PX, Areotech and many others.  Hard to say what might fit your swing and your preference.  Feel is purely subjective.  Try as many shafts as you can.  Sorry I couldn’t be more of help.



Better yet, call Joe Kwok and do a phone fitting

Best of luck.

Edited by Norboo, 11 November 2012 - 07:18 AM.


#6 BrianL99

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:39 AM

View PostNorboo, on 11 November 2012 - 07:17 AM, said:

Hard to make a transition from TT S300 to anything else ... Going graphite will take some time to adjust and get used to.  You’ll be all over the place after the initial honeymoon stage is over and start second guessing your choice for a while. But you will get used to it.  NOTE:  If you are a feel type of chipper, you will hate chipping and pitching with graphite.  They are not stable and consistent as steel


Better yet, call Joe Kwok and do a phone fitting


Best of luck.

That post is fairly close to the epitome of uninformed nonsense.

A "phone fitting"? Perhaps the O.P. should just get a dart board and pick a shaft.

As for the original question.  There are a # of Graphite Shafts out there, that would probably suit your needs.   Personally, I play AeroTech Steel Fiber 95's ... which is what Snedeker, Kuchar, Hale Irwin & Jack Nicklaus play. I'm fairly certain that Kuchar & Snedeker aren't 2nd guessing their switch, based on the fact that both of them played those shafts at the Ryder Cup.

Personally, I don't like the 110's and as far as I know, there's no one on tour playing them.

Switching from S300's to a quality graphite shaft, will probably take about an hour on the range to get used to them ... after that, you'll probably never again consider steel shafts.   Think about it ... how many players on ANY Pro Tour, are playing steel shafts in their drivers? With the club that's most likely to be inconsistent & inaccurate, everyone plays Graphite.

Edited by BrianL99, 11 November 2012 - 07:41 AM.


#7 OrangeCrush

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 07:58 AM

I agree with BrianL99 that phone fittings make no sense.  I believe in buying/trying a single shaft, spend the day at the range and see how it works for YOU.

I am at the same stage as you about giving graphite shafts a serious look (Aerotech i125 are #1 for me) but I also have the Nippon Modus 3 PRO on my radar.  Nippons are arguably the most joint friendly steel shaft out there.  I have an elbow injury that I am on year 8 that I am recovering from. For you the Modus 3 in S flex is 114gr which is 13-15gr lighter then S300.  I plan on buying a X flex (120gr) to demo along side the i125.  I am still young/strong enough to play a 120+gr shaft.  For ME I need a heavier shaft because something lighter I get too quick.  I want accuracy and willing to give up the extra 3-5yds.  That being said I am also thinking of trying the Modus 3 hardstepped 2x in Stiff for something a tad lighter but not too light.

There are other Nippon models that are lighter.  BrianL had been a long Nippon user and now Aerotech convert so he can offer more insight on how his joints feel.
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#8 jmvargas

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:02 AM

i'm 67 and i switched to graphite in my irons about 6 years ago for the very reasons the OP mentioned and it was a good move..

always used the stock shafts in R flex and my latest set is the Adams V3s forged iron from 7 mid-iron to PW,SW,GW,LW....

i noticed however they they will feel too light if i'm playing regularly so i also got the same set with lightweight steel shafts..

the graphite in my irons are mitsubishi bassara R flex and weigh 60 grams and the lightweights are TT performance tech R flex 75 grams..the GW and LW are in lighwteight steel on both sets..  

i interchange them depending on how often i play and it's working fine..
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#9 Funkey

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 08:53 AM

I switched to Mizuno JPX 800 with Senior Graphite shafts last year.  It has only been a good experience for me.  Seems as if the more I use them the better it gets.  I really have found no down side the switch.  Find a demo model you can take to the course.  Play with it a few rounds to get the feel if you like it or not.

#10 rge

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:05 AM

I too suffer from tendinitis from time to time and have switched to N.S. Pro 950's and 1050's which, to me, are about as shock absorbing as any steel shaft can get.  The trajectory characteristics will be significantly different from the S300.  The 1050's will still be about 20 grams lighter but the club will still feel like it has steel shafts weightwise.  When my elbow is really acting up, I also use a graphite set that is shafted with Mizuno's Tour IS graphite shafts that weigh 103 grams.  I find them to be very kind on the joints and the dispersion on them is very tight.


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#11 SwingMan

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 09:37 AM

View PostBrianL99, on 11 November 2012 - 07:39 AM, said:




As for the original question.  There are a # of Graphite Shafts out there, that would probably suit your needs.   Personally, I play AeroTech Steel Fiber 95's ... which is what Snedeker, Kuchar, Hale Irwin & Jack Nicklaus play. I'm fairly certain that Kuchar & Snedeker aren't 2nd guessing their switch, based on the fact that both of them played those shafts at the Ryder Cup.

Personally, I don't like the 110's and as far as I know, there's no one on tour playing them.

Switching from S300's to a quality graphite shaft, will probably take about an hour on the range to get used to them ... after that, you'll probably never again consider steel shafts.   Think about it ... how many players on ANY Pro Tour, are playing steel shafts in their drivers? With the club that's most likely to be inconsistent & inaccurate, everyone plays Graphite.

Agree with all of the above.

And I think you will find better accuracy with the Aerotech Steelfibers than the normal Nippons when going liighterweight.

As to the Aerotechs, the tend to play firm to flex and are lower torque than many steel shafts. The 110s? If you're the Hulk. Even the i95s are very stout to flex. I'm a normal middle aged guy who has played the i110 in the higher lofted irons about 8 years ago - would not do it again.

I play the i80's and as I get older, have gone to senior flex in these - these are not your normal senior shafts. They are very accurate. I demoed the Oban, but preferred the Aerotechs. The Aerotech is the best of both worlds - a graphite core surrounded by micro strands of steel.

Pros: If you find the right shaft and club maker, you will have accuracy, low torque, and feel.
Cons: It costs a bit more, but Aerotechs are less than other premium graphite shafts.

Edited by SwingMan, 11 November 2012 - 09:38 AM.

Callaway is trending up

#12 Norboo

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:27 AM

View PostBrianL99, on 11 November 2012 - 07:39 AM, said:

View PostNorboo, on 11 November 2012 - 07:17 AM, said:

Hard to make a transition from TT S300 to anything else ... Going graphite will take some time to adjust and get used to.  You’ll be all over the place after the initial honeymoon stage is over and start second guessing your choice for a while. But you will get used to it.  NOTE:  If you are a feel type of chipper, you will hate chipping and pitching with graphite.  They are not stable and consistent as steel


Better yet, call Joe Kwok and do a phone fitting


Best of luck.

That post is fairly close to the epitome of uninformed nonsense.

A "phone fitting"? Perhaps the O.P. should just get a dart board and pick a shaft.

As for the original question.  There are a # of Graphite Shafts out there, that would probably suit your needs.   Personally, I play AeroTech Steel Fiber 95's ... which is what Snedeker, Kuchar, Hale Irwin & Jack Nicklaus play. I'm fairly certain that Kuchar & Snedeker aren't 2nd guessing their switch, based on the fact that both of them played those shafts at the Ryder Cup.

Personally, I don't like the 110's and as far as I know, there's no one on tour playing them.

Switching from S300's to a quality graphite shaft, will probably take about an hour on the range to get used to them ... after that, you'll probably never again consider steel shafts.   Think about it ... how many players on ANY Pro Tour, are playing steel shafts in their drivers? With the club that's most likely to be inconsistent & inaccurate, everyone plays Graphite.

So, what’s your point exactly?  Did I say you won’t get used to them or like them?  Changing shafts and/or clubs takes time to adjust and get used to.  An hour at the range?  That is truly laughable.

In regards to your graphite in driver comment, how many players on tour play steel in their irons?

Do you know what goes into phone fitting with Joe Kwok?   If not, you shouldn’t knock it till you have some basic information before making ignorant comments.  As they say, ignorance is bless.

I really do think it’s worth it to talk to someone that knows what they are talking about and have the knowledge of all the shafts on the market.   You should explore all your options before jumping the gun.   If you are not comfortable with phone fitting, find a good club fitter and try as many shafts as you can.

Edited by Norboo, 11 November 2012 - 10:31 AM.


#13 myspinonit

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:09 AM

View PostSwingMan, on 11 November 2012 - 09:37 AM, said:

View PostBrianL99, on 11 November 2012 - 07:39 AM, said:

As for the original question.  There are a # of Graphite Shafts out there, that would probably suit your needs.   Personally, I play AeroTech Steel Fiber 95's ... which is what Snedeker, Kuchar, Hale Irwin & Jack Nicklaus play. I'm fairly certain that Kuchar & Snedeker aren't 2nd guessing their switch, based on the fact that both of them played those shafts at the Ryder Cup.

Personally, I don't like the 110's and as far as I know, there's no one on tour playing them.

Switching from S300's to a quality graphite shaft, will probably take about an hour on the range to get used to them ... after that, you'll probably never again consider steel shafts.   Think about it ... how many players on ANY Pro Tour, are playing steel shafts in their drivers? With the club that's most likely to be inconsistent & inaccurate, everyone plays Graphite.

Agree with all of the above.

And I think you will find better accuracy with the Aerotech Steelfibers than the normal Nippons when going liighterweight.

As to the Aerotechs, the tend to play firm to flex and are lower torque than many steel shafts. The 110s? If you're the Hulk. Even the i95s are very stout to flex. I'm a normal middle aged guy who has played the i110 in the higher lofted irons about 8 years ago - would not do it again.

I play the i80's and as I get older, have gone to senior flex in these - these are not your normal senior shafts. They are very accurate. I demoed the Oban, but preferred the Aerotechs. The Aerotech is the best of both worlds - a graphite core surrounded by micro strands of steel.

Pros: If you find the right shaft and club maker, you will have accuracy, low torque, and feel.
Cons: It costs a bit more, but Aerotechs are less than other premium graphite shafts.

Plus a million for the Aerotechs. A year ago I was in agony from basal thumb arthritis, (was playing steel shafts and stiff flex graphite hyrbrids/woods), and figured I might have to quit golf.

Changed to Aerotech and the pain (other than some twinges if I overdo it with tons of hard range balls) is all but a distant memory.

I'm almost 62, not a fast swinger, higher handicap. But a hitter rather than the fluid type.  I was fitted for the senior i70's in Miura PP9003 irons and senior i80 for my Vokey wedges. I think the 80's would probably be ok for me in all of them now, but I plan on  keeping these puppies for a long time.

Agree with the other poster that these are not your normal senior shafts. I now play regular in my woods and hybrids, but firm regular and had to tip my 90g Harrison regular hybrid shafts to work for me.

They do play as accurately as steel but with the vibration-dampening of graphite. Of course the buttery Muira's have helped me too.

I might add that I am moving away from the soft Winn midsize grips I was fitted with to the GolfPride midsize VDR. The Winn grips while soft don't last  a darn. The VDR's are cheaper, last longer and are good vibration-dampening, if maybe not quite as good as the winn. ,

Edited by myspinonit, 11 November 2012 - 11:14 AM.

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#14 takafam

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:14 AM

I switched from S300 to VS Proto 100 in my Ping S58's, I thought it would be more difficult than it was but I found the switch to have little to no impact on my irons.  It did help with my shoulder and elbow issues.  I thought the graphite shafts were good and have no issues recommending them.

Good luck on your selection of shafts I believe that to be the biggest factor in your satisfaction/results.

#15 Johnny

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 11:18 AM

for the OP.... I play

Multiple sets of Aerotech Players Spec in 4-PW (stiff and hardstepped reg) and I110cw (reg) in wedges...  SS w/driver is 110, but I dont go at my irons as hard.

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#16 getting_to_scratch

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:07 PM

Im still a young bomber and i switched to Aerotech i95 Steelfiber and its the best change I have ever made.  

Smooth graphite feel, stability of steel, and beautiful distance.  They are for real.

#17 BrianL99

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 05:37 PM

View PostNorboo, on 11 November 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:


Do you know what goes into phone fitting with Joe Kwok?   If not, you shouldn’t knock it till you have some basic information before making ignorant comments.  As they say, ignorance is bless.


Do you mean "bliss" ?

& a "phone fitting" is probably a lot like phone sex ...  if you don't have any other choice, it's probably better than nothing.  Whatever floats your boat.

#18 caryk

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:42 PM

Really appreciate all the feedback everyone's given so far.  Sounds like the Aerotech shafts are something I should look into.  It also appears that shafts in the 95-110 gram range would make for an easier transition for me.  Didn't know if the current 65-75 gram shafts in many OEM irons would be too light.  Glad to hear that the graphite shafts do help ease the wear and tear on the joints although if the Nippons are easy on them as well it might be something I'd consider as well.

Btw, glad I finally found my thread.  Didn't realize the moderators had moved it to this forum.  I originally posted it in the Equipment forum, then after a couple of days, it was gone.  Thought I offended someone or broke a rule that got it dumped ... lol.

Edited by caryk, 12 November 2012 - 05:44 PM.


#19 CheckJV

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:48 PM

I transitioned from TT X-100s to VS Proto 85 X.  Best thing I ever did shaft wise.  Don't plan on going back to steel.

#20 Johnny

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 05:49 PM

Get 1-2 shafts..  mid and short iron...  expensive experiment but worth it in my opinion... for instance I got a full set of 95's and ended up not liking the 95 in short irons... pulled and sold... at a big loss ofcourse.

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#21 Bobtrumpet

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:06 PM

So going to graphite is a better bet with respect to easing joint discomfort than, say, the True Temper GS95/85 steel shafts?

#22 DallasSteve

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:35 PM

I have not found ANY steel shafts or ANY inserts for steel shafts that come remotely close to graphite for shock absorption.  I play stiff 110 Steelfibers (softstepped once) without any problems.  I occasionally go back to a steel shaft with wood dowels and foam inserts, thinking that maybe my elbow issues are long gone, but the pain comes back fairly soon, and my iron performance is no better, anyway.  BTW, it took about 2 swings to "adjust" to the Steelfibers.  They are as awesome as everyone says.

#23 Pepperturbo

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 06:43 PM

IMO - the only reasons to move to graphite iron shafts are physical issues, and hope for more distance.   Unless the move is to costly "tour" weight graphite, dispersion is going to worsen.
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#24 timeless

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:41 PM

"That post is fairly close to the epitome of uninformed nonsense.

A "phone fitting"? Perhaps the O.P. should just get a dart board and pick a shaft."



LMAO.  well said.

#25 Tee 2 Green Custom Golf

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

I'm partial, but please check out the Accra Graphite shafts. No better shaft for custom fitting. You can get 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 gram weights and their flexes are the same across the weights. You can even get 130 gram wedge shafts which are awesome. If you're into the star-struck thing I believe Jesper Parnevik uses these.

Anthony


#26 3eagles18

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:51 PM

I play the TM R11 OEM 65g. They are too light and ball flight way too high. I play windy conditions and into the wind is a misadventure. I demoed the 80g Aerotech. Trying to decide whether to reshaft or start over with a new set.

#27 Johnny

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

View Posttimeless, on 12 November 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:

"That post is fairly close to the epitome of uninformed nonsense.

A "phone fitting"? Perhaps the O.P. should just get a dart board and pick a shaft."



LMAO.  well said.

Ok we know a phone fitting is not the greatest, but it's depending on who you talk to.. and in all honesty it has the potential to better then asking people on the internet....dont ya think?

I am personally a fan of Aerotech and I have tried no less then 20 different make/model of graphite iron shafts over the years....
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#28 BrianL99

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

View PostJohnny, on 12 November 2012 - 08:03 PM, said:

View Posttimeless, on 12 November 2012 - 07:41 PM, said:

"That post is fairly close to the epitome of uninformed nonsense.

A "phone fitting"? Perhaps the O.P. should just get a dart board and pick a shaft."



LMAO.  well said.

Ok we know a phone fitting is not the greatest, but it's depending on who you talk to.. and in all honesty it has the potential to better then asking people on the internet....dont ya think?

I am personally a fan of Aerotech and I have tried no less then 20 different make/model of graphite iron shafts over the years....

In 100's of posts on this forum & others, not one time have I ever heard anyone say they disliked AeroTech shafts in their clubs.   I personally didn't like the 110's, but love the 95's.   Obviously, there's a short list of shafts that work well for individual players, but for some reason, AeroTech SteelFibers seem to work for most everyone who tries them.

#29 jmvargas

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

if i had the funds right now i would switch to the aerotech steel fiber for my irons and the claymore for my woods in a heartbeat!!
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#30 golftejas

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:23 PM

I played Ping G2s with 75g graphite shafts for many years.  This year I bought some new G20s and got the CFS R shafts at 99g - - I had no problem transitioning shafts, so an hour or two at the range is not that far fetched.  Unfortunately, after playing steel for the year I've got some thumb and elbow pain that wasn't there with graphite - - so I'm going back to graphite. I did notice some improvement in dispersion for the steel CFS relative to the old Ping G2 made-for graphites at 75g (mainly fewer hooks) - - this time I'm getting a bit heavier graphite and hoping that the recent improvements in graphite shafts for irons helps maintain the good dispersion - - we'll see.


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