So every year around this time I post data regarding the new premium golf shafts which will be introduced in the coming months. The posts and updates generate a lot of “Buzz” and I inevitably start getting calls about certain shafts and why they cost so much. Basically there are two ingredients in a graphite shaft – (1) the actual carbon fibers which come in a pre-peg format and (2) the resin that holds everything together. Now don’t get me wrong some shafts incorporate exotic fiber weaves such as balistic zylon, boron, titanium, etc. but to keep things simple lets stick to the 2 main ingredients. Now there is a HUGE variety of carbon prepeg material with the more premium finished shafts containing less resin yet being significantly stronger and stable. Now the really good stuff is typically produced overseas in Japan and is made from the finest quality materials typically manufactured for aerospace or military applications. Long story short golfers now have access to premium shafts that are both significantly lighter than steel but also significantly STRONGER than steel (i.e. there are shafts available now that are four times stiffer than steel but less than a third of the weight).
Here is where we get to one of the many shaft characteristics know as MSI (million pounds per square inch). Typically shafts have an MSI of 35 or lower (which most of the cheap “Made-For” shafts fall in and are made from basically the cheap pre-peg material). Today’s new “”Premium shafts” now have MSI’s exceeding 90 with some of the tour issue models exceeding 125! Most golfers would be absolutely shocked to see how much a shaft deforms during the swing in terms of Ovaling, Twisting, Kicking, and Drooping. The premium shafts significantly eliminate these effects because of their stronger and more stable material/design yet provide exceptional feedback and performance. Now don’t get me wrong, you can make a cheap shaft much stronger and stable by increasing the resin content/percentage but then who really wants to hit a piece of rebar?
So in conclusion, don’t be so shocked and deterred about the high price tag of some of these “new-age” shafts – take one for a test drive and you will quickly realize its worth every penny!