Wedges are an imperative part of scoring low. Everyone likes to knock it close and have a chance at birdie or save par.
It’s important to know the details regarding wedge shafts before making a decision to purchase one or swap the one you have out.
This article covers important topics about wedge shafts including length and flex, graphite and steel shafts plus our top shaft picks.
Types of Golf Wedge shafts available
There are different types of wedge shafts available. The different options include both steel and graphite shafts. Depending on what company creates the shaft, the weight will be different.
The following section will explain the different shafts and their features as well as include benefits.
Graphite Wedge Shafts
Most standard wedge shafts are steel. Although, it’s important to match your wedge shafts to your iron shafts so you have a similar feel.
If you own graphite shafts it’s highly recommended to use graphite shafts on your wedges.
Graphite Wedge shafts Features
Graphite shafts are lighter than steel shafts and usually weigh between 55-85 grams. Some companies such as Fujikura and Accra manufacture heavier graphite shafts that are 115-125 grams.
Benefits of graphite shafts
Graphite shafts help increase swing speeds for players which leads to further distances since they are so light.
It’s easier to attain a higher ball flight and more spin with a graphite shaft than with a steel shaft.
Who Are graphite shafts suitable for?
Graphite shafts are suitable for golfers with slow swing speeds and who are losing distance.
They’re also great for golfers who have trouble getting the ball up in the air as well as for those that lack spin on their wedge shots.
Best wedges with graphite shafts
The Callaway JAWS MD5 Platinum Chrome Wedge (with Project X Catalyst 80 graphite shaft) is our “best of the best” pick for a wedge with a graphite shaft.
Wedge designer Roger Cleveland equips the wedge’s face with JAWS grooves that add extra spin to add a feel of maximum control.
It’s easier to shape shots and stick approach shots and chips close with the forgiving face. The Project X Catalyst 80 graphite shaft helps with high trajectory and spin.
Steel Wedge Shafts
Steel wedge shafts are the commonly used style of shaft for most golfers. Most steel shafts weigh between 115-135 grams.
The renowned Titleist SM9 Vokey wedges come stock with a True Temper S200 shaft that weighs 130 grams.
Cleveland, another top shaft maker, uses the lighter 115-gram True Temper Dynamic Gold Spinner in its RTX Zipcore wedges.
It comes down to preference on how heavy you want your shafts to be. It’s highly recommended to test them out at a golf store or get fitted before purchasing a wedge shaft.
💡 Golfible Tip: It’s not a good idea to buy used golf shafts from other golfers. It’s not worth risking the shaft having damage or wear unless they are in mint condition and a golf store can provide you with the facts.
Steel Wedge shafts Features
Since steel shafts are much more commonly found in sets of irons, it’s easier to find wedges that come stock with steel shafts.
These weights will feel similar so when swapping from a pitching wedge to a gap wedge, you won’t have to feel like you need to swing faster or slower.
Benefits of Steel shafts
Since steel shafts are heavier, half-swings and longer chips will feel more stable than graphite shafts.
These benefits golfers since they’ll have more control over their shots and increase the chances of leaving themselves a short putt.
Heavier steel shafts promote a lower trajectory and high spin so it’s a lot easier to hit a knockdown shot and control the distance with a steel shaft.
Who are steel shafts suitable for?
Steel shafts are suitable for golfers who own steel shaft irons and for those with high swing speeds. They’re also great for players who enjoy putting a lower ball flight on their shots.
Best wedges with steel shafts
Our “best of the best” pick for a set of wedges equipped with a steel shaft is the Titleist SM9 wedges.
Bob Vokey offers six different kinds of grinds on these wedges so players can pick the best one suitable for their style of the short game.
Vokey put the center of gravity (CG) more forward in the SM9 version to promote solid contact and make the club more forgiving to hit.
When designed, the faces of the clubs had a localized heat treatment to ensure the laser-tight grooves last longer and are more durable.
These grooves help add control with the flight as well as add spin. The SM9s are available from 46-62 degrees which means players can replace their pitching wedges with this wedge.
The True Temper S200 shafts are on the heavier side but can be used by any level of golfer and have been tested by the pros.
Wedge Shaft Length and Flex
Different lengths and flex options for your club
Length and flex options are important factors that can make or break your wedge game.
Having the correct options for both can help make you more consistent, and allow you to correctly gap your clubs and achieve the correct distance,
Length and flex also provide the right amount of spin and give you a proper comfortable feel increasing confidence for each shot.
📋 Keep in mind: Most wedges come in “wedge flex” which is a standard stiff. It’s up to a golfer if they want to swap out the shaft for something more flexible or firmer.
How to choose the right length and flex for your wedges
The best way to choose the right length and flex for your wedges is to go to a golf store or fitting center.
A professional club fitter or staffer will let you try out a variety of shafts with different lengths and flexes on a launch monitor.
They’ll likely narrow down your options to the two shafts you performed the best with and recommend one.
If you just select a random wedge with a stock shaft off the rack, you’ll likely be hindering your potential at shooting low scores and increasing the odds of starting bad habits.
Impact of wedge length and wedge flex on performance
Different shafts and lengths will have different weights and provide different attributes in relation to your performance.
Having a longer shaft on a wedge will increase the distance but can reduce accuracy since they’ll have more side spin.
Different flexes also make a difference. Since graphite shafts are lighter, they’ll launch higher and could be more difficult to control the distance. The stiffer the flex, the lower the ball’s flight will be.
It depends on your swing speed and style when choosing the right shaft.
Upkeep and Maintenance of Wedge Shafts
It’s vital to upkeep and maintain your golf shafts so they last a long time and don’t get damaged.
Damaged shafts will affect play or could lead to them breaking while out on the links.
Advice on maintaining and prolonging the life of your wedge shafts
To maintain and prolong the life of your shafts you can abide by the following tips.
- Wipe them down with a towel between uses to prevent them from garnering rust.
- Space them out well in your bag so they don’t clank together when walking, riding in a cart, or driving to the course. You can also use bubble wrap or put towels between them when traveling.
- Put your clubs inside the house and don’t leave them in extreme heat or cold between uses.
How to identify signs of wear and tear in your golf shaft
Golf shafts can last for many years if properly taken care of but do eventually wear out.
After 4-5 years, if you are noticing less distance or that the shafts feel different, take them into a golf store to be looked at. You can also tell by seeing dinks or rust in the shafts.
How often to replace wedge shafts?
There isn’t an exact number of years when you need to replace your wedge shafts but after about 300-350 rounds of golf, you can.
If you see or feel obvious signs of wear then you’ll probably need to replace them.
Factors To Consider Before Changing Wedge Shaft
- Test out different shafts and see how they feel.
- How you’re performing with them on the course.
- If you’re making solid contact with them or if they feel too long, short, heavy, or light.
Should wedge shafts be the same as irons?
Yes, wedge shafts should be the same as iron shafts and match your set. You want to be able to reach in the bag for a wedge and have it feel similar to when hitting one of your irons. If they feel differently, performance can be negatively affected.
How do I know when to switch from a stiff to a regular wedge shaft?
You’ll know when to switch from a stiff to a regular wedge shaft if it feels too heavy and you’re losing distance as well as not making the correct contact with your stiff shaft.