Graphite iron shafts are lighter than steel, easier to swing, more durable, and feel better. In this post, reveal the 6 best graphite iron shafts to improve your launch, spin, and consistency on approach.
By the end of this post, you will know which graphite iron shafts are best for slow, medium, and high-swing speed golfers. In addition, I introduce you to the top graphite shafts for ladies and senior golfers this year.
Here is a breakdown of what you will learn in our best graphite iron shafts for 2023 review.
- Top 6 best graphite iron shafts for 2023 with pros and cons
- The best graphite iron shafts for slow, medium, and high swing speeds
- Best shafts for irons for seniors and ladies
- Benefits of graphite shafts
- What to consider when purchasing graphite shafts
3 Best Graphite Shafts For Irons
|Best Overall||Best Budget||Best For Moderate Speed|
|UST Mamiya Recoil 460 ESX F3||True Temper Project X Catalyst 80||Mitsubishi MMT Iron 60|
|Rating||4.5 Stars||4.5 Stars||4.5 Stars|
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How We Reviewed These Products
Golfspan only shares equipment and brands we trust.
I’m an experienced golfer of 28 years and I thoroughly researched and evaluated the products shared below. Then an editor reviewed and fact-checked the list. Finally, we conduct regular content audits to update and revise our reviews to ensure you receive the latest information.
To select these shafts, we considered these criteria:
- Energy Transfer
Read more: The Best Golf Iron Shafts
The Best Graphite Iron Shafts 2023
1. UST Mamiya Recoil 460 ESX F3 – Overall Best Graphite Golf Shafts For Irons
- Incredible stability
- Promotes more consistent shot dispersion
- Enhances energy transfer into the golf ball at contact
- Launches high
- Affordable for a graphite shaft
- Not built for excessively rapid swing speeds
- Some golfers may desire a lower launching shaft.
The UST Mamiya Recoil 460 ESX F3 are the best graphite iron shafts for 2023, thanks to their consistency, durability, stability, and affordability. UST Mamiya employs its prized Recoil technology for maximum spring and energy transfer into impact.
In addition, Mamiya engineers employed their ESX technology to enhance stability, soften the tip and minimize torque. The result is exceptional shaft control through your back and downswing for improved shot dispersion numbers. Next, UST applied an Ion Plating to create a premium finish, far more effective than a standard coat of paint.
Although the Recoil 460 ESX F3 stood out as the best overall graphite shaft, we can find two additional options in the series. The F2 carries a senior flex shaft, while the F4 achieves a stiff flex, better suited to high swing speeds.
UST Mamiya suggests driver swing speeds between 80 to 95 mph are better suited to the ESX F3. Finally, the shaft produces a high-launching iron shot, ideal for moderate mid and high-handicap golfers.
2. True Temper Project X Catalyst 80 – Best Graphite Shafts For A Budget
- Affordable for graphite shafts
- Produces a low to mid trajectory
- Offers the control of a steel shaft
- Delivers superb control
- The mid trajectory is not suited to slow swing speeds
- Unsuitable to deliberate or faster tempos
Generally, graphite shafts are not as affordable as their steel counterparts. However, there are still deals on the line. The True Temper Project X Catalyst 80 is a prime example, offering high-quality graphite iron shafts for around the same price as a steel design.
The stand-out feature is the Iso-6 material technology that replicates the torsional stability and control of a steel golf shaft. The Iso-6 combines a medium kick point and a low to mid trajectory to optimize distance on your approach shots.
In addition, the Project X Catalyst 80 delivers medium to high spin on iron shots, prompting an aggressive bite. Plus, the tapered shaft design leads to the same shaft weight throughout the set for greater consistency.
Finally, the regular flex shaft proved ideal for my moderate swing speed in testing and boosted energy transfer at contact.
3. Mitsubishi MMT Iron 60 – Best Iron Golf Shaft For Moderate Swing Speeds
- Highly durable construction
- Optimizes feedback
- Encourages greater energy transfer
- Built for moderate swing speeds
- Generates a mid-launch
- The high degree of torque can lead to right misses
Golfers with moderate swing speeds tend to fit regular flex shafts, which provide optimal energy transfer, medium spin, and launch. The Mitsubishi MMT Iron 60 regular flex produced the goods and earned its right as the best pick for mid-swing speed golfers.
Mitsubishi’s Metal Mesh technology is a highly durable design featuring individually braided stainless steel threads. Besides improving the golf shaft longevity, the composition delivered exceptional feedback on each strike.
The engineers fitted a mid-kick point to the MMT Iron 60 shaft, promoting a medium launch for controlled ball flight. However, it carries an inflated degree of torque, reaching 5.6 degrees. This combines with the regular flex to boost twist and flexibility for maximum energy transfer at impact.
The downside of excess torque is that it may prompt amateurs to leave their clubface open at contact and push the ball right of the target. Finally, Mitsubishi recommends golfers with a driver swing speed between 81 to 90 mph play the regular flex MMT iron 60 shafts.
4. Fujikura Pro 115i Tour X – Best Iron Shaft For Higher Swing Speeds
- Exceptional stability
- Low torque
- Generates reduced spin
- Built for higher swing speed
- Not suited to slow swing speeds
- Some players may prefer a higher launch and spinning shaft
Stiff flex graphite shafts prove most effective for high-swing speed golfers looking for a low launch and medium spin. The Fujikura Pro 115i Tour X ticks all the boxes for faster swingers, combining an excessively stiff shaft with reduced torque and lower spin.
Fujikura engineers acquired the services of a high-density core, optimal fiber content, and high-modulus carbon fiber for exceptional durability. In addition, these materials collaborate to minimize torque for better stability through the swing and at impact.
The high kick point produces a low to mid-launch profile of the Pro 115i, ideal for faster swing speeds seeking controlled ball flight and spin on approach. However, it is detrimental to slower swingers who require a higher-launching golf ball.
Next, a lower spin profile of the Fujikura Pro 115i Tour X shaft is made for players with no trouble generating adequate revolutions per minute, like fast swing speeds. Finally, I find it works best for players exceeding 106 mph with a driver.
5. KBS Max Graphite Iron Lite – Best Iron Golf Shafts For Seniors
- Produces optimal flex
- Launches high
- Increased spin
- Boosts energy transfer at impact
- Built for slower swing speeds
- Increased torque can cause right misses
- Faster swing speeds may balloon shots with this shaft
We find light, flexible shafts for senior golfers on the opposite side of the spectrum to high swing speeds. The KBS Max Graphite Iron Lite flex shaft enables slower swing speed golfers to increase energy transfer at contact and launch the ball high and long.
The 55-gram shaft is built in a senior flex design, which works to boost spring into the ball at contact for increased velocity. In my experience, it translated to an improved launch and high ball flight to enhance carrying distance on approach shots.
The higher ball flight is bolstered by the low kick point that accelerates the clubhead into the ball and launches it skywards. In addition, the shaft encourages increased revolutions per minute to help seniors land the ball softly on the green for extra control.
Lastly, KBS recommends these shafts for golfers who swing a 6-iron between 51 to 59 mph. These are slower swing-speed golfers desperately seeking speed, launch, and carry distance.
6. Fujikura Vista Pro 50i – Best Lightweight Graphite Iron Shafts For Ladies
- Light and easy to swing
- Promotes a high launch
- Creates increased spin
- Designed for ladies
- Moderately affordable for a graphite shaft
- Some players may prefer a lower, controlled launch
- The high spin can cause players to lose control of the shot
The best ladies’ flex graphite shaft for 2023 brings our review to a close, and it is all about the Fujikura Vista Pro 50i. Its lightweight construction simplifies accelerating on the downswing and helps ladies lift the ball effortlessly into the air.
The 57.5-gram shaft is constructed using a combination of Maximum Carbon Fiber Content, 40-ton carbon fiber, and a Phantium finish. These materials create a moderate degree of torque to provide ample stability, for improved control, without hampering flex into impact.
Fujikura engineers applied a low bend point on the shaft, similar to the KBS Max Graphite Iron Lite. My volunteers for this test reported that the golf shaft catapulted the clubface into the ball at impact, producing increased speed for a high-launching golf shot.
The Vista Pro 50i also creates an impressive quantity of spin on iron shots designed to stop your ball faster when approaching the dancefloor. Finally, the ideal swing speed for this shaft is for players who swing a 6-iron under 59 miles per hour.
What Are The Benefits Of Graphite Iron Shafts
Overall, graphite iron shafts are lighter than their stainless steel counterparts. This helps the average golfer produce increased clubhead speed for optimal energy transfer leading into impact.
In my experience, graphite shafts dampen vibrations more effectively on off-center hits to shield your palms. However, low handicappers may prefer the harsh feedback of a stainless steel strike to determine where the ball struck the clubface.
The lighter shaft weight and increased flex combination help amateur golfers accelerate on the downswing and boost energy transfer into impact. The result is rapid ball speed, a higher launch, and improved carry distance.
The final benefit of a graphite shaft is the durability of the construction. Manufacturers often employ carbon fiber, or in the case of Mitsubishi, metal mesh, which in my experience, outlives stainless steel shafts.
Read more: Graphite vs Steel Shafts
What To Consider When Purchasing Graphite Shafts
Graphite shafts are generally constructed in a stiff, regular, senior, and ladies flex shaft, catering to a broad audience of golfers. Occasionally, you also find a tour extra-stiff design, which is less common.
Your swing speed guides your decision on the best flex for your swing, with higher swing speeds suiting stiff shafts. Conversely, moderate swing speeds perform best with a regular flex, while slower velocities are better off with a ladies or senior flex shaft.
The heavier your shaft is, the more it reduces your swing speed and springs into the golf ball at impact. As a result, golfers with slower swing speeds find a lighter shaft easier to swing and produce the required velocity.
While graphite shafts are typically lighter than their steel counterparts, they still range in weight. On the lighter side, you find shafts tipping the scale at 40 grams. Conversely, heavier golf shafts push 120 grams.
Generally, the heavier the shaft, the stiffer the flex is. However, more flexible golf shafts tend to carry less mass.
A shaft kick point determines how high or low your golf ball will launch. A low kick point helps spring the clubface into impact and blast the ball high and long. But, a high bend point offers the best shafts for irons with low ball speed and greater control.
Finally, a mid-kick point causes the golf ball to release off the clubface along a mid angle for a combination of control and optimal flight.
The final factor to consider when purchasing a graphite shaft is the degree of torque it produces. Graphite shafts range in torque from 2 degrees in stiff shafts to over 5 in flexible golf shafts. Although flex and torque differ, they tend to complement one another.
Highly flexible shafts often carry more torque than stiff shafts, which means the golf shaft is more likely to twist during the swing. This gives slower swing speeds ample leverage on the way down to release the club and strike the ball with optimal force.
On the contrary, a lower torque shaft is best for high swing speeds, seeking maximum stability, restricted twist, and flex into impact. These shafts deliver exceptional control to fast swingers who need zero ball speed and spin assistance.
Do Any PGA Pros Use Graphite Iron Shafts?
Yes, Brandt Snedeker and Matt Kuchar are two PGA Pros that use Aerotech Steel Fiber graphite iron shafts. Although no longer on the PGA Tour, Bryson DeChambeau and Abe Ancer also ply their trade with graphite shafts.
Do You Hit Farther With Graphite Shafts?
Yes, the average player will hit farther with graphite iron shafts. Their lighter construction helps accelerate clubhead speed, while the spring into impact optimizes energy transfer for increased ball velocity. As a result, you produce a consistent launch, distance, and control compared to a steel shaft.
Do Graphite Shafts Hit Ball Higher?
Yes, the average player does hit the ball higher with a graphite shaft because they are lighter, flexible, and optimizes energy transfer. This enables amateurs to launch the ball consistently higher for greater carry distance on approach.
Read more: Do Pros Use Graphite Irons?
Our best graphite iron shafts review for 2023 revealed that the material works for golfers of all skill levels. Despite having a reputation for use by slower swing speeds, professionals like Bryson DeChambeau, Abe Ancer, Brandt Snedeker, and Matt Kuchar even swing graphites.
In addition, graphite shafts range in flex, kick point, and torque to produce low, mid, and high-launching golf shots for optimal carry distance. While I suggest focusing on my pick for the best golf shaft for irons for your swing speed, you may consider testing our best overall design.
The UST Mamiya 460 ESX F3 shaft is our overall best graphite iron shaft for 2023. They stood out for their stability, maximum energy transfer, high launch, and moderate affordability.