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Decades after their introduction, there are still a lot of misconceptions about graphite iron shafts — especially when it comes to the question of who graphite iron shafts are for and how they can help a golfer’s game.

This video breaks down the origins of these misconceptions to help golfers understand the truth about graphite shafts. It also offers some great tips for club builders who are building with graphite iron shafts for the first time.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Johnny Taylor

    Jan 2, 2019 at 8:39 pm

    Ryan,

    Looking for a graphite shafts for irons in the 80-110 gram weight range. What would you recommend that for performance and feel at a reasonable price?

    Johnny

  2. jimmy

    Mar 14, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Graphite shafts have been on the market for over 30 years and they still haven’t engineered out the problems inherent with them. The only reason they still exist is cause they can bring out new models with fancy eye-catching new graphics annually…. to suck in the gullible gearheads.

  3. WA

    Mar 14, 2018 at 12:46 am

    If this guy wasn’t a club builder he would be working at a quickie lube joint.

  4. frank irwin

    Mar 13, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    What type of tip weights do you recommend using for graphite shafts?

  5. Max

    Mar 13, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Love the steelfibers and recoils. Looking forward to try the Mitsubishi Thump’s and Ot’s. Driver speed: 108-110 mph.

    Love the feel of graphite. Pure strikes feel better.

    • jimmy

      Mar 14, 2018 at 10:17 pm

      you obviously lie like a gearheaded duffer… sooo obvious

  6. steve

    Mar 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    The best graphite shaft on the market is the $1200 Seven Dreamer shafts that are cured in an autoclave which drains out the plastic epoxy component to a minimum. All the other graphite shafts are oven-cured which leaves in the compromising epoxy plastic that causes the floppy soggy shaft tip inconsistent action.
    Save your money for the superior Seven Dreamer graphite shafts, boys.

  7. KevinS

    Mar 13, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Just a couple comments. I’m an “older” golfer and club tinkerer and I have to take exception with your point that firm or stiff graphite shafts for irons weren’t really available “back in the day.” They were. You just had to search more for them, high and low. Back in the early ’90s, I reshafted a set of Ram Laser FX irons with models called “Superior Graphite Shafts” by Norman Sports Company — stiff or firm flex. The reshafting, which I did myself, was fairly successful for an amateur, but as you mentioned, I had to end up applying lead tape to the backplate of many. Some not at all (PW); some a little (7 or 8 iron), some a lot (6 iron). Still don’t know today why they all came out so different in swingweight. Also, because of the overall weight and swingweight, I left the reshafted clubs a half-inch longer than the steel counterparts. I still use these clubs from time to time, but ended up abandoning them eventually, not because of the graphite shafts, but because of the Ram Laser’s sharp(er) leading edge and relatively flat sole. Somebody told me I could also grind down the leading edge, but I had fooled around with them enough. I still take them out and use them and like them and would compare the flex comparable with my Hogan Apex shafts #4, albeit lighter. To this day I still have not swung or hit any graphite shafted irons with shafts that feel as firm as the ones I installed in the early 90s. I know they exist; I just haven’t experienced them, even those marked “S.” These cavity-back forged Ram irons with graphite shafts have always launched higher and flown higher, so I have much more difficulty hitting “flighted” or knock-down short-iron shots with them.

    • Ryan B

      Mar 13, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      HI Kevin,

      Thanks for watching. You are correct that shafts were available but, like I said in the video – to the general consumer something like what you mention was not a very easy to find option for those who shopped at either their local proshop or golf store. This along with misinformed sales people lead to a lot of the misconceptions I talked about.

      I really appreciate you watching the video and taking time to comment.

      Cheers

  8. steve

    Mar 13, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    The problem with graphite shaft are at the tip section where the epoxy-graphite matrix behaves like a floppy soggy piece of plastic spaghetti… unless heavily reinforced with exotic materials and even steel fibers.
    Any pro using graphite in their irons has the shaft tips heavily reinforced with space age materials or metal strands to make the shaft tips behave predictably.
    That was the problem with graphite shafts when introduced 40 years ago and the problems are still not solved. Floppy soggy plastic straws.

    • steve

      Mar 13, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Furthermore, driver shaft tip diameters were boosted to 0.350″ from the old standard of 0.335″. This has a significant affect on tip torque. This increase was done to increase tip torque resistance on graphite shafts and to hopefully stabilize the tip as it twists and flexes.
      FYI… torque resistance for a thin-walled tube varies as the cube of the diameter. Even though it’s only about a 5% diameter increase, the torque resistance is increased by ~13%. It still doesn’t solve the problem of floppy soggy graphite shaft tips. Only the Seven Dreamers shafts fix the problems.

    • George

      Mar 13, 2018 at 7:52 pm

      FYI stiff graphite shafts can be achieved without going to exotic fibres.

      Defy you to compare Nunchuk Xi iron shafts against any of the ridiculously expensive exotics.

      Patents on Nunchuk include the method of wrapping the graphite. Defy you to find a stiffer tip, by design, on the market. Virtually zero droop, twist or kick at impact.

      Cheers

      PS video on nventix.com, Dallas Texas

      • jimmy

        Mar 14, 2018 at 10:15 pm

        A shaft with zero droop, twist or kick at impact would be totally unplayable because it would eliminate the whipsnap necessary in final release going into impact. Such a shaft would reduce the swing to shovelling and injure your hands and wrists too.

  9. Duncan Marc

    Mar 13, 2018 at 11:39 am

    If torque has nothing to do with accuracy, how can it be a factor? Contradictory statement.

    • Mat

      Mar 13, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Torque is very important. Just make sure it is a low twist graphite. But ya, that statement was way, way off.

    • Ryan B

      Mar 13, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Duncan,

      Thanks for watching the video.
      What I mean when I talk torque is that it is not a deciding factor when it comes to accuracy. It is an aspect of design for engineers as far manufacturing goes, but the overall profile and weight will have a bigger impact.
      Torque is really a byproduct of the overall design of the shaft and not the deciding factor as far as final accuracy goes.

      Thanks for watching!

      • steve

        Mar 13, 2018 at 9:01 pm

        “torque” is imposed on the shaft tip by the eccentric clubhead attempting to dynamically align to the shaft axis in the downswing and through Release.
        There is a “centrifugal” torque imposed by the clubhead that results in shaft droop; and, there is axial torque that is created by the eccentric CofG of the clubhead closing the driver face and the iron face if the leading edge is offset significantly.
        Torque is most certainly a large factor in clubface accuracy at Impact.

        • George

          Mar 14, 2018 at 8:02 am

          FYI stiff graphite shafts can be achieved without going to exotic fibres.

          Nunchuk Xi iron shafts compare against any of the ridiculously expensive exotics.

          Patents on Nunchuk include the method of wrapping the graphite. Challenge you to find a stiffer butt and tip, by design, on the market. Virtually zero droop, twist or kick at impact.

          Cheers

          PS video on nventix.com, Dallas Texas

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Equipment

Callaway announces huge all-stock merger deal with Topgolf

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Callaway Golf has announced an all-stock merger agreement with TopGolf with the number of shares to be issued based upon an implied equity value of Topgolf of approximately $2 billion – including the 14% already owned by Callaway.

Callaway first invested in the golf entertainment company, Topgolf, back in 2006 entering an exclusive golf partnership agreement at all Topgolf venues.

 

On the new deal expected to be completed in early 2021, Chip Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Callaway said that the all-stock merger between the two can create “an unrivaled golf and entertainment business”.

“Together, Callaway and Topgolf create an unrivaled golf and entertainment business. This combination unites proven leaders with a shared passion for delivering exceptional golf experiences for all from elite touring professionals to new and aspiring entrants to the game. We’ve long seen the value in Topgolf and we are confident that together, we can create a larger, higher growth, technology-enabled global golf and entertainment leader.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Callaway will issue approximately 90 million shares of its common stock to the shareholders of Topgolf, excluding Callaway, which currently holds approximately 14% of Topgolf’s outstanding shares. Upon completion of the merger, Callaway shareholders will own approximately 51.5%, and Topgolf shareholders (excluding Callaway) will own about 48.5% of the combined company on a fully diluted basis.

Topgolf’s revenue for 2019 was approximately $1.1 billion, and the company currently has 63 locations worldwide, including 58 in the U.S., and has more than 23 million customers. Find out all about Topgolf here.

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What irons are left-handers playing? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our lefty members have been dishing on the irons currently in their bag. WRXer ‘1221’ is in the market for a new set and wants to see what other left-handers have been finding success with, and our members have been sharing their clubs in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • dclccoritti: “Titleist…all blades. Love the look of the new TM P7-CB’s.”
  • LeftyMatt24: “I’m in T100s bent weak. They are an awesome middle ground between blades and players. Titleist offers their full line in left and right-handed. The new SEL from Mizuno is a good option. Can’t go wrong with Srixon z785 either.”
  • The_Champ: “Ping Blueprint.”
  • Llefty: “Srixon 585 3-PW and Bridgestone JGR Tour B HF2 5-AW.”

Entire Thread: “What irons are left-handers playing?

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Whats in the Bag

Ryan Palmer WITB (October 2020)

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  • Thanks to Ryan Palmer for the photos!

Driver: TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees, upright setting)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke RDX USA Limited Edition 60 6.5

3-wood: TaylorMade Sim MAX (@15.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke Green “Hulk” 70 6.5

5-wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZURDUS Smoke RDX 80 6.5

Irons: Srixon U85 (23), Srixon Z 785 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Elevate VSS Pro X (4), KBS Tour 130 X (5-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50-08F, 56-10S, 60-04L)
Shafts: KBS Tour 130 X (50) KBS Tour 120 S (56,60)

Putter: Odyssey Rossie II
Grip: Flat Cat

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x (‘21)

 

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