Over the years, golf shafts have had a significant overhaul. The early golf clubs were made from steel only. But that limited the playing style of different players and also favored a certain stroke type over the other. But now there are options like the graphite shafts as well.
The main difference between graphite and steel shafts has to be their target demographics. The steel shaft is geared for players with the pro tag, high swing, and better control. On the other hand, the graphite shaft is for amateurs. Players who are still getting the hang of their swings can benefit the most from it.
But that’s not all when it comes to graphite vs steel shafts. Here’s our detailed take on their difference.
Graphite Vs Steel Shaft: Comparison Chart
Graphite and steel shafts have some distinct characteristics which set them apart from each other. Let’s have a look at their features.
|Smaller tip size
|Larger tip size
|Smaller butt diameter
|Larger butt diameter
|Less than a steel shaft
|More than graphite shaft
|Comparatively lesser loft
These are just the basic overview of the performance of each of the shafts. But it hardly tells the entire story. Each of these features has a different implication for different types of players.
What Are The Differences Between Graphite and Steel Shaft?
Now let’s move on to a more detailed head-to-head comparison between the two. Granted that each of the two shafts has considerable similarities.
But there are some major and minor differences as well which bring their unique propositions. These are –
The graphite shafts are considerably lighter than steel shafts. It’s mainly because of the composition of the material.
In the early days, graphite shafts were made with pure graphite. This rendered them brittle compared to steel shafts and they would break easily.
Over the years, the graphite shaft has gone through significant evolution using different composite materials. Now they are as durable as steel shafts all the while being lighter.
The lightweight and length of the graphite shaft provide it with more torque compared to steel shafts.
The torque is measured with the flex capacity of each shaft. Since graphite shafts have more flex, they also tend to have more torque.
The high torque allows mid-swing players to match the distance of the high-swing players. While it can achieve trajectory and distance, it falls short of the control compared to steel shafts.
When it comes to hand feel, the graphite shaft edges over the steel shaft. That’s mainly because of the superior absorption capability of the graphite shaft. But it also has its drawbacks.
Because of high shock absorption, the graphite shaft dulls the ball contact kickback from the club.
As a result, it becomes difficult to assess whether it was a perfect shot or not on the player’s part. Professional players tend to avoid graphite shafts because of this.
On the other hand, the high tensile strength and low flex points provide a more unified experience with the steel shaft. It feels great in the hand and players can feel more connected with each shot.
Butt diameter may not seem like a huge thing but it’s definitely something that determines the playing comfort of each swing. While anyone might think that butt diameters are constant, in reality, they aren’t.
Much of the butt diameter size depends on the length of the shaft. Since graphite shafts are longer compared to steel shafts, they tend to have a larger diameter.
For people with larger hands, a larger butt diameter helps to get a better grip and make more controlled shots.
The length of the shaft is an important determinant when it comes to different playing styles. Generally, the graphite shafts are several inches longer than the steel shaft.
Graphite shafts are known for their high torque. The shaft is intentionally made longer to facilitate the torque. It also affects the playing angle of the swing.
Usually, taller players tend to benefit and better control their shots with taller shafts. As a result, graphite shafts become an easy choice for them.
The first thing to notice between a graphite and steel shaft is the price. Graphite shafts have been invented and used since the end of the last century.
Whereas the steel shaft has been the primary club since the early days of golfing. Due to the material and composition, graphite shafts are more expensive compared to steel shafts.
The price difference isn’t only because of the material but other factors as well which will be discussed in the latter parts.
|Less than 5.0
|More than 6.0
|60 to 80 gm
|100 to 130 gm
Graphite or Steel Shaft: Which One To Choose?
In the end, personal preference triumphs over technicalities as the differences are pretty minute.
However, graphite shafts are easily the best choice for amateurs and for people starting out in the game.
It offers great distance and loft for those who still can’t swing like the pros. But for professionals, the steel shaft is the easy choice.
Even though it provides less forgiveness, it’s still a better choice as it offers the best overall control over the shot, be it in swing or loft.
And the low forgiveness doesn’t hurt much. After all, pros aren’t supposed to make many mistakes.
Frequently Asked Questions (fAQs)
Now let’s look at some of the most common questions regarding graphite vs steel shafts.
Which One Covers More Distance Between Graphite And Steel Shaft?
The graphite shaft easily covers more distance as it gets a better loft angle compared to the steel shaft. The high flex point also aids the graphite shaft but it comes at the cost of accuracy.
Which Is Cheaper Between Graphite And Steel Shafts?
The steel shafts are cheaper compared to the graphite shafts. It’s mainly because steel is more readily available. Also, the graphite shaft uses composite materials which inevitably runs up the cost.
Which Is Best For Tall People?
Tall golfers can consider graphite shafts as they are almost 5 inches longer than the steel ones.
However, the length itself doesn’t really impact the play as the club position can be easily adjusted depending on comfort and play style.
Which Is More Durable Between Graphite And Steel Shafts?
The answer is up for debate as it mostly depends on the play. However, in general use, steel shafts tend to last more than graphite shafts as it is more rigid and durable.
Meet Jalal, a passionate golf writer and the driving force behind Golfertroop.com, your go-to destination for all things golfing! Whether you’re a seasoned golfing veteran or a beginner taking your first swing, Jalal is here to assist you in making the most out of your golfing experience.