Do Golf Club Shafts Wear Out Over Time?

With so much golf equipment released each year, it’s easy to think that you need to constantly upgrade your golf gear.

Golf manufacturers are constantly promoting new model woods, irons, and wedges to their target prospective customers. They make it seem like clubs go bad or that they do not work as well as their newer counterparts.

However, this isn’t the case! Especially, when talking about golf club shafts.

In the article below, we are going to cover all you need to know about the lifespan of a golf shaft. We are going to look at how golf shafts last over time, whether they need to be replaced, and how regularly you might need to do this.

We will also look at the different types of shafts available and how long they last. We have a lot to cover so let’s get started!

Do Golf Club Shafts Wear Out Over Time? 

If you look at the heads of your golf clubs when you first purchase them, they will have a new glow about them. As you check on their condition sporadically over time, you will notice some wear and tear. This deterioration will specifically be seen in your high-use low irons and wedges. Luckily for most golfers, this degradation is not seen in the golf shafts.

Golf shafts do not typically wear out or deteriorate over time. Shafts can be damaged, which can cause them to become less effective and even break entirely, but if you look after your golf shafts, there’s no reason why they cannot last and do what they’re supposed to for a long time. 

Steel Vs Graphite: Which Has Better Longevity? 

There is much debate over which shaft type is better. Many swear by the more traditional steel shaft, while others believe that graphite shafts are the superior option. It depends on which type of player you are and what you’re looking for from your shaft. 

In terms of longevity, steel shafts come out on top. However, for the average golfer, it is unlikely that you will ever play enough regular golf where longevity will be a pressing issue, regardless of the shaft type that you are using. 

Graphite shafts are lighter and offer significantly more flex, which means they are naturally less durable. Though it’s not common for them to break if proper care is taken, nor are they known to wear out significantly quicker than steel shafts. 

Steel Vs Graphite: Which Should You Use? 

There are benefits to using both steel and graphite shafts. For example, steel shafts are less likely to crack or splinter as a result of greater durability, though they are generally more suitable for experienced players.

This is because they are less forgiving, which makes them harder to hit for players who’re new to the game. Graphite shafts are what beginners are often encouraged to use and for good reason.

Graphite shafts are lighter and more flexible. Most newer players find these shafts to be more forgiving than steel shafts, and therefore, easier to hit. 

Swing speed also plays into the choice between steel and graphite shafts. Slower swing speeds should opt for graphite flex shafts to allow for greater ‘whip’ in the shaft. The flexibility in the graphite shafts can add distance to slower golf swings.

Fast speed swings need very stiff shafts to accommodate the club head speed. Stiff shafts can be made in both graphite and steel but are often done with steel shafts. This stiffer steel shaft minimizes the error at impact by preventing any unwanted ‘whip’ from shaft.

Essentially, if you’ve played lots of golf and are comfortable with your game, then steel shafts are the better option. For beginners, graphite may be the better option as they offer more forgiveness and are built for slower swing speeds. 

How Long Do Golf Shafts Last? 

There is not really an exact answer to this question. In some cases damage may cause shafts not to last very long, in others, a player can still be doing a perfectly good job with their shafts ten years after purchasing the clubs. 

If you ask most golf pros or low-handicappers who have a wealth of playing experience, they will probably tell you that if you play a lot of golf, say a couple of times per week, it’s a good idea to replace your clubs every five years.

This upgrade is not simply because of the shafts. For example, grips can become very worn after this time, while the head of the club may no longer perform at its maximum. Golf shafts typically last at least five years providing that they are treated with care and are not damaged in any way. 

If you are using graphite shafts, in many cases they are unlikely to last as long as steel shafts. This isn’t necessarily because they wear out over time, no.

As mentioned above, graphite shafts are lighter and more flexible. As a result, they are subject to small cracks and splinters, which means that optimal performance becomes impossible to achieve.

If you notice a splinter or a crack in your graphite, you will need to get it replaced, at least you will need to if you want to hit proper shots!

If you are in need of new golf grips, check out our article on the Best Budget Golf Grips.

When Is It Time To Upgrade Shafts? 

Naturally, the pros are constantly upgrading their clubs to find a competitive edge. They test new clubs and shafts regularly. For amateurs, there are few benefits to regular upgrades.

If anything, because of the cost of golf clubs nowadays, it’s nothing short of counterproductive for amateur players to regularly replace their golf clubs, and the same can be said for the shafts. 

It does of course come down to personal preference, and funds available. If you are an amateur golfer, even one playing consistently on a weekly basis, who changes clubs or shafts more frequently than every four to five years, then you’re probably spending money with little to no tangible benefit. 

It is generally considered best practice to upgrade shafts no sooner than every five years. Of course, if your shafts have become damaged, then you should have them replaced, though if there is no visible damage, and they feel fine, then you don’t need to worry too much about general wear and tear. 

Final Thoughts

The takeaway is this; golf shafts don’t really wear out like many people expect them to. Like anything, they require care, but as long as you’re not doing anything that damages your shafts, you should be good to go for several years.

Typically, steel shafts will last longer than graphite shafts, and this is merely down to the fact that graphite shafts are more likely to crack or splinter.

However, this is not necessarily an issue that many graphite shaft users experience, so if you do use graphite shafts, as long as you’re careful, there should be no need to replace shafts regularly. 

Hopefully you liked this article and found it informative. Check out our other blog posts if you liked this one!

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