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Is there a such thing as a “# iron” shaft? More inside…


dlovage
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Hi all! I’m loving my club making journey so far and am migrating from single iron builds for practice to building a full set with some eBay iron heads. 
 

One question I have that I can’t find an answer to is re: finding shaft pulls. I play everything up +1” so ideally of course would find a 5i shaft at let’s say 37.75 or 38” which should build to ~39/39.25. Is it as simple as finding a range of shaft lengths on pulls that work? If so, why does Golfworks for instance sell a “5 iron” shaft you can select from (single irons)? Basically, even if some shafts are pulled from a standard set, let’s say, but I decide to “bump them up” 1-2 lofts up (ex: use the 36ish from a std 7i build as MY 8i), is that ok?

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Shopping for pulls is tough when you require extra length like that (ask me how I know, lol). The main thing you run into here (which may not be a problem) is that by getting your extra required length from a set of otherwise standard length pulls you're doing what is called "soft stepping" e.g. putting a longer shaft in a shorter club. Taper tip shafts are manufactured discretely for each club to account for the fact that as the club gets shorter, the head gets heavier (usually around +7g with each head, so your 9i head is around 14g heavier than your 7i). This means that shorter shafts have to get progressively stiffer to still play "true to flex" because of that additional weight. So that 7i shaft from a set of pulls that you're putting into your 8i or 9i will play a touch softer than the shaft specifically meant for that 8i or 9i. This may not be an issue however as a single soft step (7i shaft into 8i head) is subtle. Soft stepping twice (7i shaft into 9i head) will start to become more noticeable, and so on. If you prefer a little more feel/flex then you might actually like this. You could also go UP a flex from what you're used to and soft step them back down to something that feels more comfortable.

Lots of options, but this is why taper tip shafts are available individually.

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Taper tip shafts are sold for each specific club, parallel shafts start all the same and you tip trim them based on what club it will be going into.

 

As to whether you can simply use the length shaft you want, of course you can, but it will perform differently than if it was one that was for the specific iron you are using. Your are basically soft stepping twice by putting a 3i shaft into your 5i.

 

Here's a quick blurb on soft stepping (and hard stepping) 

https://www.hirekogolf.com/blog/post/soft-stepping-and-hard-stepping-golf-shafts

 

Valtiel beat me to it!

Edited by elsie451
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45 minutes ago, dlovage said:

This is superbly helpful- really appreciate it!


No problem! Soft stepping is a great tool for a few different applications as well my favorite is tuning the longer irons in the bag, because in addition to slight softening which can help with feel and launch, soft stepping reduces weight slightly as well since constant weight shaft designs (pretty much all taper tip shafts) are also manufactured to discrete weights. Take a 130g Dynamic Gold variant for example, ALL the shafts in the set regardless of length are meant to come out to 130g at standard length after they're cut. A standard 39" 5i shaft blank cut to 37.75" to play 39" installed (1" overlength) obviously has 1.25" cut from the initial blank. A 4i shaft blank is 1/2" longer than 5i blank, so you have to cut off an extra 1/2" to get the same playing length. Since both blanks are manufactured to weigh the same, cutting more off the 4i shaft makes it a touch lighter. Again though, subtle if you're only soft stepping once. All of this is true in reverse for hard stepping as well.  

Taylormade SIM 10.5* Kuro Kage 70XTS || Taylormade SIM 9* Ventus TR 7X 
Taylormade SIM V2 16.5* Kuro Kage Prototype 80TX || Taylormade M5 16.5* Diamana D+ LTD 80TX 
Taylormade M5 19* Tensei Pro White 90TX || Srixon ZX Utility 18* Fujikura Motore Speeder HB9.8 Tour Spec-X
Callaway X-Forged UT 22* Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0
Bridgestone 
J40 DPC 4i-7i 24*- 35* Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0
Bridgestone J40 CB 8i-PW 39*- 48* Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0

Taylormade Milled Grind Raw 54* Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0
Vokey SM6 58* Oil Can Low Bounce K-Grind Brunswick Precision Rifle FCM 7.0
Scotty Cameron Newport Tour Red Dot || Taylormade Spider X Navy Slant

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You can always add extensions.

I paid $120 for my set of Fujikura Pro Iron pulls. Then added 1" extensions.

Sub 70 849 Pro 10.5° - Tour AD-IZ 6S
Sub 70 949X 4 wood - Tour AD-IZ 7S

Honma TW-X 3 iron - Vizzard 85S

Srixon Z-765 4i, 5i - Srixon Z-965 6-PW - Fujikura Pro Iron 95i Tour Spec S

Nike VR Pro Wedges (black nitride by Flanigan Bilt) - Fujikura Pro Iron 95i Tour Spec S - 52°-10°, 56°-14°, 60°-10°

Grips - Iomic iX Touch 2.0 / Sticky Opus Black

Scotty Cameron Oil Can Newport (1998) - KBS black CT Tour, Iomic Black Army

2019 Maxfli Tour - Yellow

Vessel Player III - Iridium

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