Serious golfers know technology and innovation are game-changers. Changes to golf equipment and golf balls have given way to 350 yard drives, not to mention how far the long drive players hit it. And now, AeroTech Golf’s SteelFiber Shafts are making a big splash on the PGA TOUR.
With SteelFiber, AeroTech has introduced an entirely new technology category in iron shafts. Players no longer need to decide between 100% graphite or 100% steel; SteelFiber combines the power of graphite AND the stability of steel. SteelFiber’s unique composite design lowers scores and increases player enjoyment, and SteelFiber’s performance benefits have now been embraced as custom options with every major equipment manufacturer.
At the core of the SteelFiber shaft is filament-wound carbon fiber. The filament winding process yields a seamless and incredibly uniform bending golf shaft. The high strength-to-weight ratio of carbon fiber delivers the desired stiffness and strength properties at lighter weights than steel, and the lightweight properties of graphite increase clubhead speed and promote greater distance. In addition, the vibration dampening properties of graphite reduce the risk of injury and player fatigue during the round.
The steel fiber material is produced using a bundle drawing process that utilizes multiple reductions in the diameter of stainless steel wire. Once the wire becomes thin enough, 1,000 individual wires are bundled together and placed inside an iron tube that is further reduced until each individual steel wire is 8 microns in diameter. Each 8 micron steel filament is approximately 1/10th the diameter of a human hair. Finally, 3,000 individual filaments are combined and spun onto spools.
I recently received a set of Callaway APEX 19 irons, something I’ve been after since I hit them on Demo Day in Orlando last January. I played them right out of the box for a week and then hit them on the range for another week (not the prescribed order of events but nonetheless it is what it is). I hit them well with the stock shafts but not as well as I did on the range at Demo Day. I decided it was time to change the shafts. I had a long conversation with Ray Lucas, VP of Global Sales & Business Development at AeroTech Golf Shafts. Their premier product, the SteelFiber shafts are the hottest shafts on the PGA TOUR. They’re probably the hottest product in the shaft industry right now. After discussing many things, including the benefits of living in Tennessee, we decided to outfit my new Callaway irons with the SteelFiber i110s in a regular flex. Changing from a stiff to a regular flex was a shot to my manhood, let alone my ego, but once I learned that SteelFiber shafts are more rigid than steel, going from a “S” flex to a “R” mad more sense.
The shafts were ordered, delivered and installed, just in time for a two week trip to Western North Carolina. Arriving at our first destination, I couldn’t wait to get out on the range and hit them. Unfortunately, I was running late so there would be no driving range; my first shot was a 150-yard approach shot to the green at Lake Toxaway Country Club; the ideal length a 7-iron. At least it was. I lined up the shot and took dead aim at the pin. With the new shafts, the ball had a high, arcing trajectory and was right online. Problem is that it flew the green; time to recalculate distances!
I’ve played about 15 rounds with the Apex-19/SteelFiber combination. What I’ve seen is not only a gain of 8 to 10 yards in each iron (4 – AW), but a higher, more penetrating ball flight and a tighter shot dispersion. I chose the shaft with the closest weight to my steel shafts and it seemed to be the right choice. I advise visiting your local club fitter and having them help you find the right SteelFiber shaft for your swing. The SteelFiber shafts may cost a little more than regular steel, but if you’re serious about your golf game, they’re worth every penny. For more information or to find a dealer near you, visit their website at www.aerotechgolfshafts.com.