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Old     (mjfan23)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-02-2011, 10:27 AM Reply   
Okay, first let me say, Im not sure whats more frustrating... the game of golf itself or picking out some new irons.

I am an intermediate golfer. I learned how to play when I was little and within the last year started playing alot. Have always played with old clubs, and I'm starting to look around at something new.

My main question. Can someone please tell me the differences between Steel and Graphite irons. I have googled it and have talked to several different golf reps, they all tell me different answers.

Second, anyone have any recommendations? I have done alot of research on the Cobra S3's and they seem to be the front runner.
Old    Nick911            12-02-2011, 10:34 AM Reply   
Graphite shafts have more rotational torque flex and are less forgiving. Graphite due to its increased flex will fire the ball farther. Unless you are a 12 handicap or below I'd stick with steel. Steel is more forgiving, yet is heavier and won't fly the ball as far.
Old     (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       12-02-2011, 11:02 AM Reply   
Aren't graphite shafts basically fore people that don't have the strength/swing speed to swing a heavier/stiffer steel shafted club. Basically graphite are primarily used for seniors and women.

I am not up on current irons but I bought a set of Taylor Made Burner draws a couple years ago that I really like. how the irons looked when addressing the ball was a big factor for me and I like the way they looked. I can't stand the super thick iron heads or funny shaped one's like some of the older Ping Zings. I also can't stand the look of the hybrid/game improvement irons. To be fair I have never played a round with them so, who knows if I would actually like them or not. It seems like Taylor Made, Callaway and Cobra always seem to make good, forgiving, easy to hit irons for the average player.
Old     (mjfan23)      Join Date: Nov 2003       12-02-2011, 11:20 AM Reply   
Brett - thats what I have heard partially too... Graphite is used to help increase distance? Making it a great club for women... also it reduces the vibrations making it a great use for seniors?

I suppose there is a reason no pros use graphite irons?
Old    Nick911            12-02-2011, 11:53 AM Reply   
I know pros are very limited in what kind of equipment they can have in their bag. I'm not sure but might guess that if pros aren't using graphite it is because they can't. Also might be because their club head speeds are fast and they are so tight on their yardage and aim that the flex, particularly the torsional flex of the graphite might be a be too variable for them.
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       12-02-2011, 12:33 PM Reply   
There are a few pros playing graphite-shafted irons, but the shafts they use aren't the ones you are going to find in a set of irons you get of the rack at your local golf store. Graphite shafts are good for people with slower swing speeds, the lighter weight means an increase in swing speed. The reason pros, with their higher swing speeds, don't use graphite shafts in their irons is because of the increased rotational torque (this is the twisting from left to right as they swing). There are almost no pros that have any kind of shaft contract with a company, so that is not a reason why they choose steel over graphite. Men Pros use steel in their irons because of the increased accuracy. They use graphite in their woods, because they are looking for more distance as opposed to accuracy. Pros are using graphite shafts that are in the 200-300 dollar range for a single shaft and they are designed to resist the twisting.

Eric, if you are going to drop some cash on new irons, I can't emphasize the importance of getting fitted for clubs. It may cost you a little coin (many places do it for free if you are buying from them), but it will help your game. Graphite or steel shafts won't make a lot of difference if you are just starting to play again. Proper flex is important. I think 90% of recreational golfers have shafts that are too stiff for their swing. This is something you will learn from getting fitted for clubs.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-02-2011, 1:09 PM Reply   
I have had many sets of irons from cheap to expensive. I would say stick in the middle of price range or even used. Your swing will change over time and therefore club fitting every other year is critical regardless of clubs. The newest clubs will not make you a better golfer. The only thing that does, is practice. I do recommend having clubs that are no less than 5-7 years in your bag as technology does change alot and the clubs do lose there pop over time. Very much like a wakeboard in that respect. Just like a wakeboard, Demo DEMO demo. Hit a blade, hit game improvement sets. There will be something that feels like a perfect match for you.

good luck
Old     (alanp)      Join Date: Apr 2001       12-02-2011, 5:53 PM Reply   
i agree with what jeremy said, most golfers have shafts that are too stiff. most dont have the swing speeds to justify the stiffer flexes. but pros have stiffer flexes so ppl think thats what they need. similar the wakeboard that can barely jump the wake but has a deep 3 stage rocker board with the fins removed, riding at 80 feet and 24 mph. just detrimental.
Old    deltahoosier            12-03-2011, 3:31 AM Reply   
You then have to look at the club head. Game improvement vs blades. Unless you are really trying to spin the ball and shape your shots, you want to stay with a club head that has the thicker sole (I think that is the correct term). Most of your irons are considered game improvement irons with the big sweet spots and so on.
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       12-03-2011, 8:36 AM Reply   
There is a huge gap in price with nothing worth buying in the middle.
A good set of irons will spill 800 beans out of your pocket and the 400 dollar ones aren't worth 400. problem. No 500-600 dollar irons that I have seen. maybe i just haven't seen them.

Figure out exactly what you want, get fit and get it figured then shop used if you can. A good set of irons will last you decades so don't go cheap.
I had mine made from a custom builder in phoenix in 1986. They have been re-shafted twice in that time. the 8 and 4 irons are about bald and I lost my 7 some years ago. i have started looking this year for new irons. (depressed) and will likley have another set made. I paid 500 in 1986 so what is that in Obama dollars?
Old     (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       12-03-2011, 11:15 AM Reply   
"A good set of irons will spill 800 beans out of your pocket and the 400 dollar ones aren't worth 400. problem. No 500-600 dollar irons that I have seen. maybe i just haven't seen them."

This is not true. There is a good chance that a set of irons that were 800 dollars a few months ago can probably be found today for 400, just look for closeouts. Golf clubs depreciate faster than just about anything.
Old     (baitkiller)      Join Date: Jan 2010       12-03-2011, 11:30 AM Reply   
Jeremy you made my point. I wouldn't pay that either. New good irons are 800 clams. A year old and you can find them near half price. That is kind of what i was saying. Guess I mumbled.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       12-04-2011, 9:01 AM Reply   
When I started getting serious about my golf game I made the choice to join another online forum. Check out There are a lot of folks that are incredibly helpful and they do frequent member product testing.

Early this year I was in the same position you are. I went into the stores and hit all the clubs that were roughly in my price range, got a feel for my iron/driver swing speed and started to build a knowledge base of what felt good in my hands (& to my eye). After being able to narrow down what I wanted from my irons, I attended an outdoor demo where I was able hit all of my options on a range and see the ball flight etc.

Basically, as Jeremy said, put in the leg work and really determine what is best for you. It really is half the fun and you will thank yourself long into the future. After my iron search, I ended up with the TaylorMade Burner 2.0 w/ the stock stiff shafts and couldn't be happier. New clubs certainly help, but its all about range time and really spending time to get better.

One last bit of advice, if you don't want to support your local shops, check out They offer lightly used (think in store demo) equipment at smoking deals.


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