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Switching from steel shafted irons to graphite - need advice/experiences


19Putter
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I am switching to graphite shafts in my irons due to having several battles with tennis/golfer's elbow. Right now I have golfer's elbow and am doing a concentric exercise and the Theraband bar daily to rehab it.

My current equipment is: driver 65g, 3 wood 65g, hybrid 70g, and irons 93g steel (XP90's in my Titleist AP1 716's) - all regular flex. I am looking at Steel Fiber 80g (actually is 85g) and UST Mamiya Recoil 80g (80 grams). Leaning towards the recoils due to the Steelfiber sounding a little stiff and I think a little less weight is better for me too.

I have not gotten fitted but my 7 iron swing speed is 76, obviously on the slow side. My driver speed may be 88-92 but the golfer's elbow impacts that at times. I like a little weight but the XP90's seem a little too heavy for me. I hit 70 and 75 gram shafts - Golf Galaxy did not have any 80 gram shafts - from different brands yesterday and dispersion was a bit of an issue. Too many pulls. Now, that is partially due to a defect in my swing that I will fix.

I have two questions: 1. Do you think the 80g shaft can help the pull I experienced yesterday? 2. Does an 80g shaft in the irons sound about right?

I ask because I know there should be a progression downwards from the irons to the driver in weight. 

 

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Without getting a chance to demo different shaft weights, it’s just a guessing game and trial & error to find what works. I’m pretty similar to you with driver SS 92-94, but I have a quick transition. I play a 55 gram driver shaft, but otherwise same as you. I really like Recoil 95’s, but I’ve been reading up on the Dart line as well. I recently sold my Mizuno 919 forged irons that had the 95’s and replaced them with Ping i210’s with 78 gram Recoil 780’s, more for the heads than the shafts. We’ll see how that goes. There are other graphite shaft options that are also really good, but are sometimes harder to find to demo. 

One trick is to find a lighter graphite shaft (maybe 60 grams like the Catalyst 60’s that are reasonably common) and add lead tape around the shaft just below the grip until you find a weight you like the most and works best for you. 

 

In terms of steelfibers vs recoils, I view them as Project X vs KBS tours. Some like the stiffer profile of the X, others like the “kick” of KBS type shafts. My all-time favorite steel shaft is still the old school Rifle’s which had plenty of kick (and were designed by the guy that currently designs shafts for KBS). 

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I have tried both and have similar swing speed characteristics. Thought the Steelfiber felt harsh, Recoil was a little inconsistent for whatever reason. Have had them in 3 different sets. They are great for some people though. I have found the Fujikura Pro 75i to be the best graphite shaft for me. It is consistent, doesn’t have a strong kick, and feels stable. 

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48 minutes ago, sm_watts said:

Without getting a chance to demo different shaft weights, it’s just a guessing game and trial & error to find what works. I’m pretty similar to you with driver SS 92-94, but I have a quick transition. I play a 55 gram driver shaft, but otherwise same as you. I really like Recoil 95’s, but I’ve been reading up on the Dart line as well. I recently sold my Mizuno 919 forged irons that had the 95’s and replaced them with Ping i210’s with 78 gram Recoil 780’s, more for the heads than the shafts. We’ll see how that goes. There are other graphite shaft options that are also really good, but are sometimes harder to find to demo. 

One trick is to find a lighter graphite shaft (maybe 60 grams like the Catalyst 60’s that are reasonably common) and add lead tape around the shaft just below the grip until you find a weight you like the most and works best for you. 

 

In terms of steelfibers vs recoils, I view them as Project X vs KBS tours. Some like the stiffer profile of the X, others like the “kick” of KBS type shafts. My all-time favorite steel shaft is still the old school Rifle’s which had plenty of kick (and were designed by the guy that currently designs shafts for KBS). 

My problem is that re-shafting the Titleist AP1 716's, IO need a .355 tip. The fitter at Golf Galaxy said not to trust the seller's claim they can "convert" the tip to a .355 from a .370. So, I have few options besides the recoils and steel fibers. I don't like the feel of going below 75g - just doesn't feel "secure" enouigh to me. 

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4 minutes ago, LC24 said:

I have tried both and have similar swing speed characteristics. Thought the Steelfiber felt harsh, Recoil was a little inconsistent for whatever reason. Have had them in 3 different sets. They are great for some people though. I have found the Fujikura Pro 75i to be the best graphite shaft for me. It is consistent, doesn’t have a strong kick, and feels stable. 

I think if I did get fitted, I'd just conclude what I think now, that a 75 or 80g shaft works and feels best to me. As some experts say on youtube about fitting, it's not just about the numbers but about how it feels.

 

My problem is that I am obsessing because of the extra money for graphite and I've never done this before.

 

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If your happy with the weight of your current shaft I would be looking at the recoils in regular or MMT’s in either 85 or 95g weights. The MMT’s play stiffer than the recoils, but not quite as stiff as the steelfibers, in my experience, so you may want to look at soft stepping them.  It is expensive to buy the shafts so it may be worthwhile to look at getting new sticks with graphite.  If you can get along with an 80g shaft you can get them stock in very reasonable PXG clubs.  I believe recoil 95’s come at no up charge from Mizuno also.

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I do not think in going from a 93g steel to an 80-85g graphite will feel much different, except for the dampening you will get from graphite.  I recently went from 130g steel to 70g graphite.  Much less strain and fatigue by the end of the round.  Took a couple weeks to get used to the feel of the club at the top of the backswing.

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38 minutes ago, 19Putter said:

I think if I did get fitted, I'd just conclude what I think now, that a 75 or 80g shaft works and feels best to me. As some experts say on youtube about fitting, it's not just about the numbers but about how it feels.

 

My problem is that I am obsessing because of the extra money for graphite and I've never done this before.

 

 

I went from XP95 stiff to Project X Catalyst 6.0 in 80 gram.  I also tried Catalyst 60 and KBS TGI 80, neither worked with my swing.  I was too quick for the 60 and the KBS just didn't feel right unless I went all out.

 

The point of the above is that it seems nobody knows what will work until they try them. 

 

The best deal I found was Callaway Pre-owned.  "Like new" Apex irons with the 80 gram px shafts were less than $80 each and came brand new in plastic.  This wasn't much more that reshafting my old irons would of cost and hoping everything would work out.  With CPO I could return them for a credit if they didn't work and I generally get along with Callaway irons.

 

As far as I'm concerned I got lucky that the Apex and Catalyst 80 worked.  Next time I'm making a fitting appointment and investing the time to do it right.  Hopefully next time is a long ways off.

 

Good luck 

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I switched from stock stiff steel shafts in Ping G30 irons to Recoil 95 stiff shafts in Mizuno HM 919 irons. I did this based on the recommendation of a pro I trust that said it would be easier on my body due to frequency of play and practice. I demoed several brands of clubs, and decided on the Mizuno set up because the weight was fairly close to my steel shafts, and there was no upcharge from Mizuno. 

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Switched to graphite shafts (Steelfiber) 10 years ago and my wrist and elbow pain went away immediately. I haven’t looked back since. I’m not playing MMT and like them even more.

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Thanks but the 93g shafts I play now feel a bit heavy - especially with the golfer's elbow. I'm thinking 80g would be best but like someone else said - even if you get fitted - you don't know until you've played them. And, it will probably takes 5-7 rounds to get used to graphite after playing steel my whole life.

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12 minutes ago, TwistedSister said:

With the shafts weight on the ones you play I would suggest the Recoil 95's

 

Thanks but the 93g shafts I play now feel a bit heavy - especially with the golfer's elbow. I'm thinking 80g would be best but like someone else said - even if you get fitted - you don't know until you've played them. And, it will probably takes 5-7 rounds to get used to graphite after playing steel my whole life.

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1 minute ago, hammergolf said:

Switched to graphite shafts (Steelfiber) 10 years ago and my wrist and elbow went away immediately. I haven’t looked back since. I’m not playing MMT and like them even more.

Yeah, so many have mentioned that their elbow/wrist pain disappears after switching to graphite. Cannot wait for that to happen.

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1 hour ago, jomatty said:

If your happy with the weight of your current shaft I would be looking at the recoils in regular or MMT’s in either 85 or 95g weights. The MMT’s play stiffer than the recoils, but not quite as stiff as the steelfibers, in my experience, so you may want to look at soft stepping them.  It is expensive to buy the shafts so it may be worthwhile to look at getting new sticks with graphite.  If you can get along with an 80g shaft you can get them stock in very reasonable PXG clubs.  I believe recoil 95’s come at no up charge from Mizuno also.

Leaning now towards 80g recoil shaft because I feel my current 93g XP90 is a bit heavy for me. Good information on looking for clubs. If I hadn't just bought the AP1 716's 2 years ago, I'd look more towards new clubs w/graphite.

I average a new set of irons every 7-9 years.

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2 hours ago, Ger21 said:

 

The so called "fitter" at Golf Galaxy is misinformed. Using a .370 graphite shaft in a .355 hosel only requires sanding a taper of about 7 thousands of an inch  (0.0075) on the last inch of the shaft. It's a very simple process, and is encased in epoxy inside the hosel when assembled.

This is correct. I have the Fuji pros in a set of Titleist irons. They are in my opinion the best graphite shaft. 

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4 hours ago, sm_watts said:

In terms of steelfibers vs recoils, I view them as Project X vs KBS tours.

 

Excellent comparison.

 

As far as weight, I have found graphite shafts which feel solid, but they weigh less than the steel shafts I have used. Overall balance is a bit different.

 

A second point to consider: If you go from 93-gram shafts to 80-gram, they may feel a bit feathery. My new MAXs have Catalyst 65 5.5 flex shafts, that weigh about 70 grams uncut. This is more than 20 grams lighter than my former steel-shafted irons. I had asked the Callaway rep for a swingweight tweak to D2, but he said such a request would cause supply-chain problems. (Yay, COVID!) Well, the stock build came out C9-D0, and feels feathery.

 

What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2021, post-MAX changeover)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  PutterΨSlotline Inertial SL-583F w/ SuperStroke 2.MidSlim (50 gr. weight removed)

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

     Ψ  Backup: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

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I just switched from modus 105R into Project X Catalyst 80cw 5.5.....85g taper tipped that I found on ebay for under 200.00 before shipping and taxes.  

I researched and found that these are very similar to steelfiber in that they're more "steel-like" in performance yet obviously less jarring on joints. Now the lower weight Catalyst shafts aren't offered in taper but as mentioned above , minimum shaving is required or grab a set of Callaway irons from pre-owned site. 

I put these in set of T100 2021 btw and enjoy them even more. 

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4 minutes ago, ChipNRun said:

 

Excellent comparison.

 

As far as weight, I have found graphite shafts which feel solid, but they weigh less than the steel shafts I have used. Overall balance is a bit different.

 

A second point to consider: If you go from 93-gram shafts to 80-gram, they may feel a bit feathery. My new MAXs have Catalyst 65 5.5 flex shafts, that weigh about 70 grams uncut. This is more than 20 grams lighter than my former steel-shafted irons. I had asked the Callaway rep for a swingweight tweak to D2, but he said such a request would cause supply-chain problems. (Yay, COVID!) Well, the stock build came out C9-D0, and feels feathery.

 

 

I built my set overlength to prevent this .....gotta get lies adjusted slightly but really close....Catalyst 80cw 5.5 D3 at 5/8" over coming from nippon modus 105R half over

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19Putter, I had a very similar problem to you. I had tennis elbow & tendonitis in the wrist extensor muscles, especially in the right arm, and decided to switch from steel (125gm iron shafts) to graphite. I did a fair bit of research and chose the Aerotech i80 R flex steel fibre. I had 1999 Hogan Apex blades, which needed a .355 tip, so the tip of the shaft wasn't a problem.

 

I can't say enough good things about the Aerotech i80's. It didn't take long to adjust to the lighter shaft weight, and I feel the weight is the right fit for me. The pain from the tendonitis essentially disappeared due to the lighter load and the vibration dampening qualities of the shaft. My shot dispersion was tighter, and I gained a little distance, maybe half a club, with the new shafts. I love the feel of the shafts, and well struck shots have a purity to them that is at least comparable to the steel shafts I used to play.

 

My profile is very similar to your's - Driver swing speed about 90 - 92, 6 iron about 78.

 

The Aerotechs are a bit pricey now but, in my experience, they're well worth considering. I should add that a couple of years ago, I developed a chronic inflammatory condition, and it was painful to swing a club. I was searching for the right medication for a while, but the Aerotechs allowed me to keep playing, albeit painfully. But if it weren't for them, I couldn't have played at all.

 

Now my condition is well controlled by medication, and I've still got the Aerotechs in the bag. I think they're wonderful shafts. 

 

Will they help your pull? I doubt it. I think that's a swing issue.

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7 hours ago, SwooshLT said:

.Catalyst 80cw 5.5 D3 at 5/8" over coming from nippon modus 105R half over

 

Interesting! The Catalyst 65 5.5 came in my parallel-tip MAX irons. My MD wedges still had decent grooves, so I reshafted them from steel to the Catalyst 80cw 6.0 (taper). 80cw are about 15 grams heavier than the 65 5.5. Really improved feel and distance control, especially on partial shots.

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What's In The Bag (Summary as of October 2021, post-MAX changeover)

 

Driver:  Tour Edge EXS 10.5°, set 9.5°; weights neutral   ||  FWs:  Calla Rogue 4W + 7W

Hybrid:  Calla Big Bertha OS 4H at 22°  ||  Irons:  Calla Mavrik MAX 5i-PW

Wedges*:  Calla MD3: 48°... MD4: 54°, 58° ||  PutterΨSlotline Inertial SL-583F w/ SuperStroke 2.MidSlim (50 gr. weight removed)

Ball: 1. Srixon Q-Star Tour / 2. Calla SuperHot (Orange preferred)  ||  Bag: Sun Mountain Three 5 stand bag

     * MD4 54°/10 S-Grind replaced MD3 54°/12 W-Grind.

     Ψ  Backup: Ping Sigma G Tyne (face-balanced) + Evnroll Gravity Grip

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Recently went from Modus 120 to Recoil 95s for the same reason… elbow pain. I was pulling everything at first but have adjusted and can’t recommend them enough. Elbow pain is not 100% gone yet but getting there. Plus added distance and a better ball flight! 

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16 hours ago, 19Putter said:

The fitter at Golf Galaxy said not to trust the seller's claim they can "convert" the tip to a .355 from a .370.

 

He's wrong about that.   It's very easy and does no harm to convert a parallel tip into a tapered tip - with a graphite shaft and a half way competent builder.    The shaft manufacturers themselves support that position and in fact do it all the time themselves.   UST even offers to add tapers to any of their parallel tip shafts for the customer if requested.

 

 

Edited by Stuart_G
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16 hours ago, 19Putter said:

My problem is that re-shafting the Titleist AP1 716's, IO need a .355 tip. The fitter at Golf Galaxy said not to trust the seller's claim they can "convert" the tip to a .355 from a .370. So, I have few options besides the recoils and steel fibers. I don't like the feel of going below 75g - just doesn't feel "secure" enouigh to me. 

 

That wasn't a fitter. That was the Janitor. 

 

If you doubt this you can find several MFGs who only make .370 shafts such as Accra. Easy peasy to fit into a taper Currently really enjoying the MMT 105 in my gamers, have Accra CWTs in the fun set 🙂)

 

Get the shaft weight right: 80g shafts are somewhere in the 80s, generally stiffer flexes add a few G but that is just a generalization not the same for every shaft. I would not be afraid to try 90's either if you are currently happy with the weight of your clubs. 

 

 

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17 hours ago, 19Putter said:

Leaning now towards 80g recoil shaft because I feel my current 93g XP90 is a bit heavy for me. Good information on looking for clubs. If I hadn't just bought the AP1 716's 2 years ago, I'd look more towards new clubs w/graphite.

I average a new set of irons every 7-9 years.

I’ve had decent luck picking up used sets of graphite pulls in the BST section.  Obviously you have to protect yourself, especially if you are posting a WTB add, but it has served me well.  A lot of guys are willing to work a reasonable price to help a member with some health issues.

If you are going to purchase new graphite shafts and have to pay someone to install them it may still be worth doing some price checking.  Even though you have nice sticks that don’t need replacing it may not cost you much to get new ones and then you would still have your AP1’s if the switch doesn’t work out.  You can get the new pxg xcor irons for less than $100 a club (lofts are so strong you probably wouldn’t need more than 6-g so for $600 not bad) with recoil dart or MMT 70g regular.  Wether those lofts and clubs would fit your game is an entirely different topic, but they may be a good fit.

anyways, obviously not trying to steer you in any direction, just pointing out some things I found when I was looking to get my dad into graphite.  Good luck with the switch!  It has been great for me and allowed me to play so much more.

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22 hours ago, TwistedSister said:

Must be difficult to swing a club without wrists and elbows?  LOL

really strong biceps help hold the club... LOL Easy to stay connected though!

TaylorMade Sim Max 9* @ 7* Aldila Quaranta Reg
Ping G425 3wd @ +1 Flat setting Grafalloy Pro Lite HL Reg 
Ping G425 7wd @ -1 Flat setting Ping Alta CB Reg
Ping G425 22 hybrid @ Flat setting Mitsubishi Tensei Orange Raw reg
PXG Gen 3 0311XP 5-PW Mitsubishi MMT 80 Reg

Cleveland CBX Zipcore 50*, 56*, 60* DG Spinner Stiff stepped soft
Evnroll ER7  33” Rosemark grip

 

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14 hours ago, ChipNRun said:

 

Interesting! The Catalyst 65 5.5 came in my parallel-tip MAX irons. My MD wedges still had decent grooves, so I reshafted them from steel to the Catalyst 80cw 6.0 (taper). 80cw are about 15 grams heavier than the 65 5.5. Really improved feel and distance control, especially on partial shots.

 

The 80cw is actually 85g so nearly 20g heavier...... I'm thoroughly enjoying 😉 

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On 12/5/2022 at 8:44 AM, jomatty said:

I’ve had decent luck picking up used sets of graphite pulls in the BST section.  Obviously you have to protect yourself, especially if you are posting a WTB add, but it has served me well.  A lot of guys are willing to work a reasonable price to help a member with some health issues.

If you are going to purchase new graphite shafts and have to pay someone to install them it may still be worth doing some price checking.  Even though you have nice sticks that don’t need replacing it may not cost you much to get new ones and then you would still have your AP1’s if the switch doesn’t work out.  You can get the new pxg xcor irons for less than $100 a club (lofts are so strong you probably wouldn’t need more than 6-g so for $600 not bad) with recoil dart or MMT 70g regular.  Wether those lofts and clubs would fit your game is an entirely different topic, but they may be a good fit.

anyways, obviously not trying to steer you in any direction, just pointing out some things I found when I was looking to get my dad into graphite.  Good luck with the switch!  It has been great for me and allowed me to play so much more.

Thanks. Had a fitting last night at Golf Galaxy and the Callaway Rogue ST Max irons with Tensei Blue 60 & 65g shafts were the best fit. Where can you get the PXG irons for that price? Also, what about the Mavrik's and Mizuno JPX 923 Hot Metal irons? What do you think of those sets?

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      2022 PNC Championship - Thursday
      2022 PNC Championship - Friday #1
      2022 PNC Championship - Friday #2
       
       
       
      WITB Albums 
       
      Nelly Korda - WITB - 2022 PNC Championship
      John Daly, II - WITB - 2022 PNC Championship
      Tiger Woods - WITB - 2022 PNC Championship
      Qass Singh - WITB - 2022 PNC Championship
      VJ Singh - WITB - 2022 PNC Championship
       
       
       
       
       
      Pullout Albums
       
      Tiger & Charlie - 2022 PNC Championship - #1
      Tiger & Charlie - 2022 PNC Championship #2
       
       
       
       
       
      • 28 replies

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