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ChetlovesMer

So, Why The Stigma Behind Graphite Shafts In Irons?

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One of my golf buddies just got fitted for an entire bag of clubs, everything except the putter. He (like me) is about 50 years old. His new irons have graphite shafts. 

The funny thing is he told me he actually paid a little extra for a certain set of graphite shafts which "look like" steel shafts. He said he didn't want anyone to know he was playing graphite shafts in his irons. (Odd, that he told me, but what ever.) 

Anyway, it made me think. Why is there a stigma behind playing graphite shafts in your irons? Nobody even thinks twice about a graphite shaft in a hybrid, why such a fuss over irons?

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My recollection is that they first showed up in irons for ladies (now women) and for seniors. Plus do you see them on tour?

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1 hour ago, ChetlovesMer said:

Why is there a stigma behind playing graphite shafts in your irons? 

I think because it is golf's equivalent of of Viagra...lol.  

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For some reason, some people think golf should be harder than it already is.  There was a stigma at some point about people who aren't playing blades.  Now we have Kevin Na saying he isn't good enough to play blades.  We also have one manufacturer making game improvement blades!

Similar with long irons versus fairway woods.  Some people laughed at Raymond Floyd for showing up to Augusta with a 5-wood instead of his 2-iron.  He had the last laugh that year.

We also have a few guys on tour playing graphite shafted irons, or nearly.  I think Matt Kuchar used them at one point.  

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1 hour ago, Carl3 said:

My recollection is that they first showed up in irons for ladies (now women) and for seniors. Plus do you see them on tour?

Uh...yeah. Bryson uses graphite shafts. 🙂

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14 minutes ago, Shindig said:

For some reason, some people think golf should be harder than it already is. 

I don't think that is why most people play blades or iron shafts in their irons. My post above was absolutely in jest and I don't think there is a stigma in gaming graphite shafted irons at all. 

I know very good players who play hybrids all the way to their 7 iron. 

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2 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

The funny thing is he told me he actually paid a little extra for a certain set of graphite shafts which "look like" steel shafts. He said he didn't want anyone to know he was playing graphite shafts in his irons. (Odd, that he told me, but what ever.) 

You should put up a sandwich board in front of the pro shop saying "So and so uses graphite shafts in his irons!"  At least threaten to do it...

BTW, those shafts (SteelFiber) are made here in Bellingham by Aerotech.  

default-user-image.png

Steelfiber golf shafts introduced an entirely new technology category in iron golf shafts. Aerotech Steelfiber combines the...

 

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I play graphite shafts in my irons.  Never had anyone comment on it.  I am surprised anyone is arrogant enough to mock someones equipment.  I play with guys who have all kinds of no name, arbitrary mixes of clubs in their bags who patiently wait to collect their skins.  

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1 hour ago, Vinsk said:

Uh...yeah. Bryson uses graphite shafts. 🙂

So after he bulks up he can switch back to steel?

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12 minutes ago, Carl3 said:

So after he bulks up he can switch back to steel?

He made the change to graphite as part of his experiment. I believe even his putter is a graphite shaft. Graphite shafts today are quite developed compared to the older ones. Aerotech for one....

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2 hours ago, GolfLug said:

I don't think that is why most people play blades or iron shafts in their irons. My post above was absolutely in jest and I don't think there is a stigma in gaming graphite shafted irons at all. 

I know very good players who play hybrids all the way to their 7 iron. 

My apologies;  I didn't mean to associate it with the comment.   But I do think there's a stigma, at least in some corners.  I also know a few people who have seemingly attached a stigma to non-blades, among other things.

I was convinced to get a 4-hybrid a few years ago by a plus handicap who saw a 4-iron in my bag and asked me why and I completely agree with you about lots of good players use them well into the iron sets. 

1 hour ago, Double Mocha Man said:

You should put up a sandwich board in front of the pro shop saying "So and so uses graphite shafts in his irons!"  At least threaten to do it...

BTW, those shafts (SteelFiber) are made here in Bellingham by Aerotech.  

default-user-image.png

Steelfiber golf shafts introduced an entirely new technology category in iron golf shafts. Aerotech Steelfiber combines the...

 

Oh wow, Aerotech SteelFiber, those bring me back.  In '08, I went for a fitting at an outfit run by a former US AM Champ and that was the iron shafts they suggested (among other expenses).  I think I paid a grand, total, between the fitting cost and buying some of their suggestions (and I was in graduate school at the time, not exactly made of money).  And then I found out they suggested those shafts, in regular flex no less, to just about everyone who came in!  It seems a running joke around here around that time was that if you saw someone playing those, you asked them if they went to that particular fitter.

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55 minutes ago, Shindig said:

My apologies;  I didn't mean to associate it with the comment.   But I do think there's a stigma, at least in some corners.  I also know a few people who have seemingly attached a stigma to non-blades, among other things.

I was convinced to get a 4-hybrid a few years ago by a plus handicap who saw a 4-iron in my bag and asked me why and I completely agree with you about lots of good players use them well into the iron sets. 

No worries at all.

Funny thing is I get shit for playing tiny forged heads more than anything since I am not a 5 cap or better. I know exactly what I might be leaving on the table and am ok with it. Like what I like. Too hard headed to care what someone else doesn't like.

@ChetlovesMer tell your buddy to man up and own it. Like Bubba's pink shaft.💪

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I feel like, from hearing people talk ever since I started playing, most people associate graphite shafts with getting older. Technology has come a long way since then. I haven't really heard many people talk about equipment like they used to. Mainly because I don't play with the same crowd that I did in the past. I would game them, no problem. I am looking for the consistently, lowest scores I can shoot. If that means graphite shafts, then so be it.

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Ha Ha. He plays graphite shafts, what a loser!

Is this really a thing? You need to be pretty hard up on insults to go after graphite iron shafts. For the people I play with the insults never come from what you are hitting, it's always how you hit them.

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My personal opinion, is its just a male ego thing. Few males want to admit they are getting older, slower, weaker, what ever. We want to be seen as strong and skilled whatever.

So, my guess is my buddy is far less worried about somebody actually making fun of him for hitting graphite shafts and far more interested in just letting people believe that his clubs are steel shafted.

How many of us have done this? Walked onto a tee-box with an 8 iron and a 7 iron in our hands. Chose the 7 iron and smoked it within a few feet of the pin. "Wow, Great Shot!" somebody exclaims. ... a moment later asks "What you hit?" At this point you already have both your 8 and 7 irons in your hand. So, you show them the bottom of the 8-iron and say something like "Just a smooth 8-iron." 

I've done it. I'm not even sure why. But I've done it. ... Not recently because I've been struggling with that hit it within a few feet of the pin part. But I can admit to having done that. 

I've also talked to fitters who've said they've fit a guy into a driver and had him hitting some really great shots. But then the guy finds out it has a "regular" shaft in it and he's no longer interested. "Stiff" would be better, "X-stiff" even better still.

I've been told (I have no way of verifying whether its true) that driver lofts are really a degree or two higher lofted than in says on the driver. Something about really needing a 10.5 but wanting to still play a 9 degree. 

Don't think women are immune to the ego thing. I remember back in the 90's when one of the big clothing brands, I don't remember which, decided to "normalize" their clothing sizes. Basically, they changed ladies' size 8 to a 6 and 6 became a 4 etc... They called it "normalization" but really it was just in an effort to increase sales by making women "feel" better about their purchases. The rest of the industry quickly followed suit. 

Ego affects some people more than others, but it does have an effect. 

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5 hours ago, ChetlovesMer said:

 

I've been told (I have no way of verifying whether its true) that driver lofts are really a degree or two higher lofted than in says on the driver. Something about really needing a 10.5 but wanting to still play a 9 degree. 

Just FYI. This isn't true. I used to hear this 15 years ago about old Callaway Big Bertha drivers but never actually measured one so I can't say for sure.

However, I have measured enough modern driver heads to say that they are usually within .5 degrees up or down of what they print on the hosel.

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I never heard of a stigma about having graphite shafts in irons, but if there is one, it's stupid. Guys swing graphite-shafted clubs in excess of 130 mph. The material the shaft is made of that you play is not an indicator of how strong or how manly you are.

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I’m playing Recoil 95 stiff in my irons. I have a bit of arthritis in my hands, and they have helped a lot.

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