Just a quick update after further testing. As expected the lighter shaft gave me about 4 mph club head speed with gave me about half a club extra carry distance and for me higher launch angle, which I needed, and more stop when hitting into greens. I shall be swapping into Graphite iron shafts this winter I now need to decide if I do it with my wedges as well. As mentioned in the original posting about the test this was completed using Accra 90i X flex shaft but trimmed to play a little softer, more like a regular stiff. I also have a regular flex version available for demo.
I have been reading a lot about this recently and with my new Accra experience I thought I would try an experiment for myself. I didn’t base this on an idea all of my own I must admit, there is a fair bit of chatter on club building forums on this subject. When I discovered that Accra produced a low launching 90 gram X flex graphite iron shaft called the 90i M5 I thought I would do some testing myself.
Generally all I see in my repair shop is soft flex, senior and regular graphite iron shafts. Graphite was always aimed at the golfer who wanted some increased distance, lightweight shafts increase club head speed and in turn normally more distance. The problem was that mostly these light weight shafts, normally in the 80-85 gram range were a little inconsistent. Yes they did deliver the extra distance that they claimed but they also delivered poor dispersion once the swing speeds started to increase beyond regular and into stiff flex.
So my test started with the Accra 90i M5 flex (x Flex) built it into an Orka RS 5 6 iron. First impressions are how smooth this feels. When it’s flushed it doesn’t feel like you have hit anything but you get great feedback from the sound of the club face on the ball.
I have been discussing this with a very well respected club builder based in St. Andrews who himself has changed from steel to graphite in the last 6 weeks and says the difference is night and day, that coupled with the fact that the $11m man Brandt Snedeker used graphite iron shafts to win the Fedex play offs earlier in the month. I have also learned that some of the major shaft manufacturers are also testing tour quality graphite iron shafts.
One last positive side effect I have also discovered in trawling the club builders forums is that graphite iron shafts are much kinder on hands, wrists and elbow joints and that some people have changed to them for heath reasons and have been amazed with the performance of modern graphite iron shafts.
Testing is in it’s early stages for me and I hope to get some launch monitor figures this week but I am excited with my early impressions.