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Question on Equipment:

I am a female golfer and I have just recenty purchased my first set of nice graphite clubs. My whole life, I have played with steel clubs and now I feel like I am starting over!!! I can't hit a nice shot with an iron at all. I've had a lot of success with my graphite woods, but none with the irons. Any suggestions?
--Megan L.

Hi Megan. Thanks for writing MyGolfInstructor.com.

Is there a reason why you switched to graphite? Not knowing your age, I would say most female players, even skilled players eventually do switch to graphite. I myself switched after college and saw a huge improvement, but if something is working why change it? I'm guessing you wanted to upgrade to a better set.

The benefits of graphite are:

1) They are more shock absorbing. This is a great feature as you don't feel the vibration on off center hits as much. Therefore, they are in a way less discouraging and easier on your hands and joints and such. Obviously, this is a huge benefit for players with arthritis or those who are aging, but for younger players, the better feel on mishits is definitely a plus.

2) They are lighter. This has a couple of benefits. If you are playing a round of 18 and swinging something heavier, you will tire faster. So in a way they help your endurance. This is especially true if you carry as the entire set will be lighter.

3) The fact that they are lighter makes you able to swing them faster increasing your clubhead speed. This is perhaps the biggest benefit for most players.

I want you to understand that flex is flex. What I mean by that is if you are swinging between 80-90 mph with your 5 iron a good fitter will recommend that you are in the "regular flex" range. Whether you are hitting graphite or steel, you should play regular flex. It is a common misconception that graphite is whippier and therefor you need to go stiffer. This is not true. It is true however that in days passed graphite shafts had a lot of oscillation. That meant they moved around more on the downswing making shots less consistent. With improved technology today I think that is something that only the most skilled players would notice.

To sum it up for you if you are in the right flex, it shouldn't matter whether or not you are using graphite or steel if they are quality clubs. What's throwing you off is the feel most likely rather than the performance of the club. I'm sure because they are lighter you can't feel them as well as your others and you likely feel out of control. It is possible to have some weight added back on, but that should be done by a qualified fitter in your area. My suggestion is to just give them a try for a few more months. I think you will adjust and learn to love the feel and possibly even gain a few yards along with more energy.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions and best of luck to you!

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