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Graphite Shafts for Wedges?
As I’ve written here a number of times, I believe the importance of the wedge shaft is almost totally overlooked by golfers and equipment manufacturers. Of all your clubs, the shafts in your wedges are asked to do the most difficult tasks:
1. They have to stabilize the heaviest heads in the set.
2. They have to provide proper performance at the widest range of swing speeds, from full swing to delicate pitch.
3. They should be matched to each other to ensure consistent feel and performance . . . and most importantly, in my opinion,

4. They should be matched “seamlessly” to your short irons for optimum feel and balance.
So why do mainstream manufacturers give very little attention to this crucial element of wedge performance? Why do they all offer a 30+year-old heavy and stiff steel shaft as their only option? It’s about market efficiency, guys. Wedges are sold like commodities, off the display, one size fits all. The big brands sell wedges to the stores in dozens and hundreds, so offering multiple shaft options in addition to their mindless array of bounce and loft options would be a nightmare.

And that brings me to the question for today from David, who asked . . .

“There are a large number of shaft manufacturers producing graphite shafts for irons. Is it logical to assume that these shafts are suitable for all irons in your bag including all wedge lofts?”

First David, thanks for sending your question to me, and congratulations on winning an EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge of your choice. [Note to all of you – send your questions!!!!]

As I’ve written before, I’m a huge believer in graphite shafts for wedges. First of all, if you play graphite shafts in your irons, off-the-rack wedges with that heavy and stiff steel shaft gives you a huge “disconnect” at your scoring end. Your first wedge can weigh as much as two ounces more than your last iron!!! That’s huge in golf club land.

Secondly, graphite (or should I say “good” graphite) just has qualities of feel transmission that tubular steel cannot match. A quality of carbon fiber is that it transmits vibrations from motion and impact like steel never could. (If you are a fisherman, or more precisely, a fly fisherman, you know exactly what I mean.) And a good short game demands accurate motion feedback from the shaft to let you know exactly where the clubhead is and how it’s moving.

But . . . and it’s a big but . . . . all graphite is not created equal. As I mentioned, wedges put unique demands on a shaft, and some iron shafts are not going to be up to the tasks I’ve outlined. But if you are playing a high grade graphite shaft in your irons, any good clubmaker can retrofit your wedges with complimentary graphite shafts that will improve your performance.

At EIDOLON, nearly half of our wedges are now being built with graphite shafts, and our owners love them. We are even seeing a growing number of golfers who play steel shafts in their irons opting for our SCoR graphite shaft in their wedges to benefit from the superior feel and balance it provides. And they very rarely come back on our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

If you are looking for a boost to your short game in 2010, I strongly suggest trying a wedge with a quality graphite shaft to see what lies “on the other side”. I feel certain you will be amazed, convinced and converted.

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As we get into this New Year, I sure could use your help with some good questions about wedges, other clubs, golf technology, the short game, or anything else that is on your mind. I’ve got 50 more wedges to give away! Just click on the “Ask” link below and send yours in. And please include your name and where you are from, if you don’t mind.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
Ward says:
your point about people playing graphite shafted irons and then having a heavy steel shafted iron that may be as much as two ounces heavier than their next iron is a good one,

but if someone is playing steel irons (and that's most of us) wouldn't having a graphite shafted iron that's could be as much as two ounces lighter than our next iron be a bad idea as well?

I'm sure consistency is what we'd want, even if graphite has superior feel qualities
1/14/10
 
newrider says:
I have been using graphite shafts in my wedges for years.

I use stiff SK fibers 90's in my irons(SMT MB's) and this year I went to SK 80's in my wedges (Eidolon 48, 52, 56 & 60).

The results have been great. I have a great feel of the head during a full swing, serious feel at impact and improved touch on partial swings and chips.

Combined with slightly oversized taperless grips my control of the golf ball resulted in a 6 stroke reduction in my HDCP.

I find it easier to make a concentrated smooth controlled wedge swing with the lighter shaft and the lower kickpoint hits a nice high spinning, high flying shot.

A lot easier on the hands a joints is another benny.

Certainly works for me.
1/14/10
 
Matt F says:
@ Ward - I was wondering the same thing. Hopefully Terry can give us the skinny.

Matt
1/14/10
 
wedgeguy says:
Ward is on target with his note of the weight difference between steel and graphite. When I mentioned as much as a two ounce disconnect, that would be the extreme between standard weight steel and very light graphite (75g). But there is also some very good "tour weight" graphite out there that is worth experimenting with if you are so inclined. UST Mamiya makes their V2 shaft in 75, 95 and 115 gram weights, so you have some flexibility.
1/14/10
 
Ward says:
I'd certainly be interested in trying out some of those heavier graphite shafts one of these days! at 115g that's right there with the very popular steel options
1/14/10
 
bill27 says:
i think it just comes down to the persons prefrence
1/24/10
 
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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