Steel or graphite shafts

Nippon Shafts

luvagoodshot

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Which are better - Steel or graphite shafts - what are the pros and cons of each? Is one type more age appropriate?
 

JB

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Neither is better.
No equipment should be viewed by age demographic.

If fitting is not in the cards, find a weight and feel you like regardless of material.
 

mpeterson

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Not sure there is a “better” - through the use of different materials you are able to have more control over flex profile by varying material and geometry whereas steel is steel so you can only change using geometry. You can make a really light, really stiff shaft in graphite but that’s harder with steel.

But you can also get a really good steel shaft for a lot cheaper than graphite. And vibration dampening is something that used to be a big pro of graphite but steel shafts have been made with vibration dampening properties.
 

Snickerdog

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I don't think there is a right answer. People use both for various reasons.
Graphite will absorb shock more so that is a benefit. (That was my reason for going to graphite. It has eliminated my sore elbow)
 

Reframmellator

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The way I understand it:

Graphite is preferred in woods because of its higher strength to weight ratio vs steel. That translates into lighter weight, which translates into higher clubhead speeds and more distance. It's hard to find a driver, fairway, or hybrid offered in steel these days

Steel shafts give more feedback in terms of transmitting vibration and tend to be less whippy than graphite shafts. That feedback can be unwelcome by golfers with old joints. In terms of precision, graphite shafts for irons are much improved vs where they were 10-20 years ago, and a lot of golfers, especially those our age, are considering them.

Edit: others have pointed out notable exceptions to to these general rules. Play what works for you is a general rule that I like.
 

OGputtnfool

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Neither is better.
No equipment should be viewed by age demographic.

If fitting is not in the cards, find a weight and feel you like regardless of material.
I'll expound on this by saying that no equipment should be viewed by gender either, but we'll never get there.
 

OGputtnfool

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Graphite is preferred in woods because of its higher strength to weight ratio vs steel. That translates into lighter weight, which translates into higher clubhead speeds and more distance.
It's not that easy. When I first started, I played steel shafted drivers and fairways for the first 5-6 years because even though I could swing a graphite shafted club faster, I was nowhere near as consistent with them and I actually hit the steel shafted clubs further and more accurate because I could square the clubface up easier.

It's hard to find a driver, fairway, or hybrid offered in steel these days
I'd be willing to bet steel shafted offerings from the OEMs are non-existent. Luckily, reshafting isn't exactly rocket science. I'm currently playing a steel shafted SLDR 3h, but planning to try out a VS Proto 95g shaft in it soon.
 

luvagoodshot

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JB

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Found this comment on the web . . .

"Graphite shafts are generally much lighter than steel, which should make them easier to swing for those with slow swing speeds or that lack strength, like lady and senior golfers. But use shouldn't be limited to these demographics alone. ... One key advantage of graphite shafts over steel is the feel." - https://www.golf-monthly.co.uk/videos/gear-video/the-advantages-of-graphite-shafts-over-steel
Except it’s not really accurate outside of a few standard offerings. Most graphite companies offer iron shafts as heavy as one would want and certainly as stiff.
 

Sox_Fan

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With the amazing advances in graphite shafts, there is no better or worse. Pretty much down to personal preference and the best fit. In the old days, I think graphite was considered more appropriate for older golfers. That is no longer the case with the variations of weight, flex points, stiffness profiles, etc. that can be achieved with graphite more easily than with steel.
 

mikeg_74

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I wouldn’t say one is better than the other. Modern graphite offerings are made with materials that can provide the same playing properties as steel. There are a few graphite offerings that if I blindfolded you, you would think they are steel.

The main advantage graphite has is that it’s easier on the joints. It all, mind you, but most.

If you can’t get fit I would find some in a weight class that have the launch characteristics you prefer and try them out.
 

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