Can graphite shafts really help with joint issues?
Please move this post if it's in the wrong section. Apologies for the length.
Recently I've been having issues with my neck. Looks like I could have osteoarthritis. It's causing me discomfort and right now I'm experiencing numbness and weakness down my arm. The appointment is booked with the Specialist next week but the GP already took me through the MRI results (that's how I know it's osteoarthritis and not a bulging disc etc). Hopefully I can get some treatment and return to some sense of normality.
I've been struggling a lot with my game since we came out of Covid lockdown. My HCP is 5 but I haven;t gone close to breaking 80. Initially it was rust but now I'm thinking my neck has been causing issues, perhaps subconsciously. Actually, last time out it became more conscious - we are in the middle of winter here so distance is always affected, but I was struggling to get my normal distances to the tune of at least 2 clubs - so 5 irons were barely covering what I would normally use a 7 iron for.
I read up on my condition and it can cause weakness to the affected areas - in my case my left arm. Hopefully this can be treated/managed/resolved but it lead me to start thinking about my equipment. I'm 44 now and inevitably I will start to slow down, especially if I can't get on top of this issue. I have used lightweight steel shafts for a long time, currently that's the Nippon NS Pro 950. I like to see a mid to high ballflight with my irons. I'm currently using a mixed set of Srixon 765/965. I wasn't really in the market for new irons and if I was I'd stick with Srixon - most likely a mixed set again, but possibly just a straight set of 785.
Either way it seems like graphite shafts are a real option to reduce joint pain. How real is that? I've read a few posts where people swear by it but I'm unsure of the why's around that. I've also read that generally graphite will go higher (which I want to see) but is that just a result of lighter weight? Given I'm already in a lightweight steel would I see those height and potentially distance gains that others experience?
My only real experience of graphite in irons is with my 23 degree Srixon utility, which is effectively my 4 iron. It felt light to me initially but I got used to it quickly. I love it now - it feels great when flushed and is easy to hit and it gives me the ballflight I want to see. Would the right graphite iron shafts give me that same feeling or is it more the hollow club head design do you think?
Lots of questions. Thanks for reading. Share your thoughts and experiences.
Callaway BB Alpha 816 16
Srixon Z H45 19 Hybrid
Srixon Z U45 23 Utility
Srixon Z 765/965 5 - PW
TaylorMade Milled Grind 50 & 54
TaylorMade Milled Grind Hi Toe 58
TaylorMade Spider Tour Red