Once made of wood, today’s golf clubs come in steel and graphite shaft options. Steel has remained the choice of pros such as Tiger Woods, while graphite typically helps beginners hone their game. Here, learn about the pros and cons of each shaft type to determine what’s best for your game now and moving forward.

A Golfer’s Guide to Steel & Graphite Shafts

What Is a Graphite Shaft?

Lighter than steel shafts at 50 to 85 grams, graphite shafts offer the flexibility and whip that makes them easy to swing quickly. They allow those new to golf to swing faster and hit the ball with more power to increase yardage. The clubs also create fewer noticeable vibrations when in use, which is helpful to golfers with shoulder, arm, or hand issues because they can make contact with less pain. Torque ranges from one to eight, with higher torque increasing comfort but decreasing control over the swing.

The flexibility of graphite shafts can interfere with accuracy and create problems for people who have not perfected their swings. Graphite shafts also cost more than steel versions but are not as durable due to their flexibility. They can subsequently crack or peel relatively quickly.

What Is a Steel Shaft? 

golfSteel shafts weigh 100 to 120 grams. Their solid nature equals less flexibility but more durability that helps the clubs remain viable for decades. Hitting the ball with a steel shaft increases vibrations in the hands, something beginners don’t necessarily like, but seasoned golfers often prefer because it shows where they need to improve. The additional weight provides more control over the swing, especially among those with fast swings because the shafts slow them down slightly. Torque varies between one and three.

Because steel shafts vibrate and weigh more, golfers with hand, shoulder, and arm problems generally do not like them. The added weight also reduces yardage; however, golfers with fast swing speeds who do not require the distance boost from graphite shafts typically prefer steel. 


Perfect your form at Etter’s Golf Center, the golf course that has served residents throughout the Cincinnati tri-state area since 1941. The driving range accommodates all skill levels, and their instructors offer over 100 years of combined experience. Call (513) 563-8661 today with questions or learn about lessons online. Get additional tips on Facebook.