Though often ignored, the golf shaft is one of the most important parts of your golf club. The shaft has a lot to say when it comes to performance. Golf shafts may be made from different materials. Steel shafts can be made of carbon steel or stainless steel. There are two different types of steel shafts – stepped steel shafts and rifle steel shafts. The main difference between the two is that the former has a step pattern due to the narrowing of the tube from the butt to the tip. The rifle steel shaft also narrows down but it is smooth, without the step pattern. Steel shafts are less expensive and more durable than other types of shafts. It also gives the player more control and accuracy when making shots. On the downside, steel shafts do not give as much distance as other shafts.
Graphite shafts give more distance than steel shafts. Furthermore, they are much lighter as well. However, this results in less control and accuracy. Another downside to graphite shafts is that they are quite expensive as compared to steel shafts. Also, graphite shafts are more high maintenance than steel shafts. Graphite shafts are well suited for those players who cannot handle the weight of steel shafts. In addition, they provide more flex to the shot.
Multi-material shafts simply combine the best of both worlds – steel and graphite. You get the weight needed from the steel part while the graphite tip gives you more distance on your shot. Currently, there are other materials being tapped for use in shafts although not much information is available as of yet. One of these is titanium, which is well known for its lightness and high price.