When buying a new golf club, it can be confusing when it comes down to selecting between a steel and a graphite club.
We usually hear that golf pros prefer steel clubs, whereas graphite clubs are more suitable for beginners, women, or players who are old and suffer from arthritis. But golf is an ever-evolving game, where we’ve moved from wooden clubs to clubs made with steel and graphite.
Graphite vs Steel Golf Clubs: The Pros & Cons of Each
We’ll explain the features that make the two different from each other and guide you on which of them would suit you better. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make your mind up about the material of your next set of clubs.
In golf, it isn’t just the swing and speed that matters, but the club’s durability and the shot’s flexibility factors in too. Regardless of the material of the club, the durability depends on whether or not it’s kept well maintained and receives proper treatment.
Durability of Steel Golf Clubs
According to golfers who use steel clubs, the material tends to last for decades as it’s well known for its strength and durability. The steel and carbon alloy, along with the chrome plating, makes these steel clubs very strong. They have an edge over every other material that’s used to make clubs, as steel can withstand long periods until it finally cracks or bends.
However, it all comes down to the maintenance of the club. If it doesn’t get the right environment, it can easily rust, making it completely useless.
Durability of Graphite Golf Clubs
Graphite clubs are made to be light in weight and provide greater flexibility. However, the biggest concern of the players is that the material used isn’t as durable as steel. The lightweight design of graphite clubs assists in creating greater swing but you’re always exposed to the danger of the shaft peeling or cracking.
In terms of durability, steel clubs clearly stand out amongst the two.
It’s quite normal for people to miss out on the importance of the weight of the club. It plays a crucial role when it comes to game impact. The club’s weight makes a difference as it involves a number of variations that might, in turn, modify the swing plane of the player significantly.
Weight of Steel Clubs
A steel club normally weighs anywhere in the range of 70 to 140 grams. Although steel clubs are heavy, experienced players that have higher swing speed and strike prefer these as it provides them with much better control of the game. If you’re a mid or high handicap golfer with low swing speed, a steel club isn’t a suitable choice as the impact won’t give much flight to the ball. You won’t be able to hit the ball in the right direction which will result in the loss of accuracy and distance.
The weight of the graphite club lies somewhere between 60 and 70 grams. Despite having a low swing speed, the lightweight will help you get a much better swing. It helps to produce a powerful force between the iron and the golf ball. Using graphite clubs helps you hit straighter, as it improves the accuracy and trajectory of your shots.
We suggest that you choose the lightweight graphite club for an easy hit.
The vibrations produced after hitting the ball gives different sensations to each individual player. While it can be a satisfying feeling for some, for others it can intensify the pain in the wrists.
Feel of Steel Clubs
Steel clubs resonate on impact and direct the vibrations through the shaft up to the golfer’s hand giving it a more solid feel. If the player hits the ball off the sweet spot or the center of gravity of the club face, the vibrations produced might be greater. It gives a crisp feeling, or feedback, as professionals like to call it.
In case the shot’s a mishit, you might experience a bit of a sting in your wrist. The stiff and heavy steel club may cause irritation for elderly players and people who are suffering from weakened joints and bones.
Some steel clubs available today include vibration dampeners to minimize vibrations. There are also plenty of grips that you can use which absorb the shock.
Feel of Graphite Clubs
Graphite has the ability to absorb vibrations which makes it more comfortable and easier to hit. The club won’t create vibrations in the player’s hand, even if the ball is a mishit. As it’s an ambiguous term in the golfing world, many professionals consider vibration as feedback that they want after hitting the ball in order to get more control of the clubhead. As compared to the steel clubs, these clubs give a damp or muted sensation that might be appreciated by golfers that suffer from arthritis.
Steel clubs are much better as they provide satisfying feedback after a hit, or let you minimize it with inbuilt vibration dampeners or by using shock-absorbing grips.
Golf is an already expensive sport to play. But when considering the price of a set of golf clubs, you might as well go for an expensive one if it suits your game.
As the only material used is steel, these clubs are cheaper compared to graphite clubs. The clubs are almost the same, with a slight difference in the length and diameter of the shaft girth.
Graphite Club Prices
On the other hand, graphite clubs consist of multiple layers of carbon that’s kept together using resin. These two layers of resin and fiber are great for strength and firmness, providing several ways for designers to explore. Wrapped over the shaft is a thin layer of cellophane that holds all the layers together in place. As it involves several layers, it’s a bit on the pricier side.
Although the graphite club gives greater swing, only choose this expensive club if it compliments your game.
Considering the price point, choose the steel club as it is cheaper and also lasts for a longer time.
Steel vs Graphite Shafts: Which Should You Choose?
Summarizing our entire analysis, here’s why you should choose either of these clubs.
- Want a good solid feel.
- A long-lasting and durable golf club.
- If you have a stronger swing.
- If you require feedback or good feel after hitting the shot.
- If you classify as a low handicapper as you don’t require the club’s help to gain longer distances.
- Prefer a comfortable and easy hit.
- If you want a lightweight club with an easy swing.
- Suitable for a smoother shot.
- If you have a high or mid handicap, this club will provide more distance.
Our Final Thoughts
Deciding on the material of the club is influenced by the kind of swing the player has. Every individual player is on a different handicap level, which in turn results in an entirely unique approach to every person’s game. The swings vary along with each new approach. As the club plays a crucial role in directing the game, the material of the club is dictated by the swing style.
Both the steel and graphite clubs have their own pros and cons, so we would advise that you pay a visit to the store and try to assess your shots using each type. That’ll help you reach a decision on which club to choose, and which you’re more confident and comfortable with.