While this trend has been going on for a while now, it has really accelerated in the last few months. With steel shaft companies coming up with lightweight iron shaft designs like the True Temper XP95, KBS Tour 90 and Nippon N.S. Pro 950 GH, it was only a matter of time before graphite shaft companies would counter. Graphite iron shafts have traditionally been in the 55-85 gram range, especially for stock shafts in club manufacturer’s irons. That changed a couple of years ago with Project X graphite and Aerotech Steelfiber iron shafts in the 95 gram range. Next came the OBAN i-series, the UST Mamiya Recoil and now the Loomis EFP shafts. These shafts are all in the 90+ gram range. We are now seeing another move to 110 to 130 gram graphite iron shafts as well. These will be in direct competition with traditional steel shafts. Three things you should know. First, we can make any shaft, graphite or steel, perform true to flex with consistency that is as good or better than steel. Second, graphite tends to be more expensive than steel so be prepared for that. Finally, graphite reduces vibration of the shaft and will give a smoother feel to your shots.
We just completed some live testing on the Project X, Recoil 800 series, Loomis EFP 95, and the Steelfiber i95. All of these shafts have different launch characteristics and shaft profiles so our testers had quite different performance experiences in terms of launch, spin and shot dispersion. So if you are intrigued by putting a slightly heavier shaft in your irons (or lighter) find a professional fitter with a wide array of golf shafts and go get fit!! You may be pleasantly surprised!