This past weekend I was watching a little of the Women’s Open (British Open) and then looked at a few holes of the PGA tournament (World Golf Championship – Bridgestone Invitation).
As I watched the game, I was impressed with the increasing number of graphite shafts in the irons of different players.
The Women’s Open – a majority of the women had graphite in their irons.
The PGA event – many of the golfers, are now using graphite in their irons
I wanted to rerun an article I had written about graphite shafting a few years ago (even more prevalent today).
During the club fitting session at our schools, we get a lot of questions about club shafting, in particular – graphite vs. steel shafts.
When answering I like always to tell a story from personal experience.
Many years ago (just over 20) I was playing in a “major” amateur event – the Ping National Amateur.
During a practice session, Karsten Solheim’s son was watching me hit golf balls and quickly realized there was something “not right” with the way I was swinging the club…. At that time, I had developed severe tendonitis in my elbow and wrist (trail) and had a sore shoulder. Reason – hitting golf balls off of the hard ground and as my elbow, wrist, and shoulder started hurting, I didn’t rest as the doctor recommended, but rather practiced even more because of the upcoming tournament.
Mr. Solheim watched me hit golf balls and saw me “short stroking” the swing (limiting the back swing) and not wanting to take a divot (because of the pain at impact).
After a few shots, he introduced himself, asked me what was going on and then asked me if I had ever hit graphite shafts in my irons. Now, remember, this was over 20 years ago – I’m not sure if I had ever seen graphite in irons. I replied no, I had not tried graphite in irons. He suggested I tried them and told me it was highly likely that the graphite would take care of a lot of my problems.
Long story shortened, I went on to play in the tournament – played okay, but played in a lot of pain. The week after the event, I went on the search for a set of graphite shafted irons. The only ones I could find were the Wilson Firestick clubs (some of you might remember – the Wilson irons with the red and black graphite shaft).
I decided to try the irons when my elbow’s pain did not subside. When I received them, I kept practicing, keep up my pace and amount of practice.
Two months passed (playing the new graphite shafted irons) and I was at another event (the U.S. Amateur). Mr. Solheim saw me at the range again, recognized and remembered me, looked in my bag and asked me how I was feeling.
I remember telling him, all was good. In fact, all my “pains” were gone. No more elbow pain, wrist pain, and no more shoulder pain. In fact, the pain subsided so fast after changing to graphite; I had already forgotten about it when I saw Mr. Solhein the 2nd time….
So, when talking to students (almost 50 years old +), most want to protect their body, most wanting longevity in their game, etc. you can imagine what type of shaft is recommended for 95% of the – graphite.
Here are the major issues behind graphite shafting in irons:
Graphite is much more forgiving
Graphite will help you hit the ball farther (it is lighter than steel – you will swing graphite faster).
Graphite is MUCH easier on the body, absorbing much of the shock of impact.
Graphite will prevent injury and will help current “injuries”/problems from getting worse.
In conclusion – if you are hitting steel shafts in your irons and hybrids currently and any of the issues above apply to you – you should consider changing to graphite.
We are more than happy to help you get the right graphite shaft for you (for flex, length, type, etc.).
If you are interested in discussing / recommendations for graphite shafting – please fill out and submit