Although many golfers take them for granted and don’t think much about them, golf club shafts have a significant impact on the performance and the quality of the swing.
They serve to transfer the power from your body to the club head and, eventually to the ball.
So, having the right shaft can help you become more consistent and accurate with your shots.
Also, it helps to have the shaft in perfect condition which brings us to the question do golf shafts wear out?
While it’s immensely popular, golf is not exactly a cheap sport, so the durability of the equipment is one of the primary concerns for many players, and this, of course, includes golf club shafts.
Below, I’ll explain how susceptible this part of the club is to wear and tear and what kind of durability you can expect from your shaft.
Do Golf Shafts Wear Out?
Modern golf shafts are made from either stainless steel or graphite.
Both types of shafts are designed to be very durable and will likely serve you without any issues for years.
So, if you take proper care of them they’re not likely to wear out, at least not in the traditional sense of the word.
This means that they’re not very likely to deteriorate, age, or loosen with time.
Chances are that the shaft will remain in the same condition as it was when you bought it even long after other components of the club, such as the head, fail.
Both stainless steel and graphite shafts will show signs of fatigue or being worn out only after extremely intense use where they’re repeatedly exposed to stress over a long time.
Otherwise, if you use them normally and properly care for them, they could easily serve you for over 20 years.
Common Issues with Golf Shafts
While they’re unlikely to wear out with normal use, you may run into other kinds of issues and problems with your shaft.
Both materials are used in manufacturing golf clubs are utilized because they deliver high resistance to corrosion, wear and tear, shrinkage, and similar threats.
Still, in certain circumstances, even that can suffer some kind of damage. Below, I’ll look into the main weaknesses of both types of golf club shafts.
Shafts made of stainless steel are not only highly resistant to wear, but may even get tighter over time and after a longer period of regular use.
While this is hardly noticeable by golfers using these shafts, scientific tests have proven it to be true.
Basically, the only way they may show signs of wear is if they’re stored in improper conditions or if they are repeatedly stressed past their yield point.
However, stainless steel shafts are not without weaknesses. The main one is the possibility of moisture getting inside them.
These shafts are covered with a thin layer of chrome protecting their surface from corrosion.
Nevertheless, their inside is not chromed, so the shaft can rust from the inside out.
Naturally, this is hard to notice and can result in the shaft snapping unexpectedly. This is why it’s important to always keep your golf clubs as dry as possible.
Similar to stainless steel shafts, loosening or wearing out of the graphite golf shaft should be the least of the golfer’s worries.
Even though it’s extremely light, graphite is a very resilient material. This is the reason why it’s used in aviation and similar industries.
Still, while not likely to wear out, graphite shafts don’t have a yield point like steel, so they may crack or break when overstressed.
Graphite shafts can sometimes develop small fractures due to different reasons that eventually damage the fibers and result in the shaft breaking in half.
This often happens as the shaft rubs against the dividers in the golf bag.
As soon as the fractures start to appear, a golfer should be able to sense that there’s a different feel on the impact.
In addition, graphite shafts may suffer when left in the sun for too long due to overexposure to UV rays.
How to Maximize the Lifespan of Golf Shafts?
So, golf shafts are not that prone to traditional wear and tear.
Still, this doesn’t mean that you should take them for granted and forego any care for them.
Considering how expensive golf clubs are any extra year you can get out of the shaft is more than a welcomed bonus.
Below are some of the things you can do to prolong the lifespan of your golf club shaft.
Proper Club Maintenance
If you want your golf club shaft to last longer, your priority should be its proper maintenance.
Taking care of your golf club is no rocket science and is, in fact, fairly simple and doesn’t take much of your time.
The main thing to pay attention to is keeping them dry.
If you’ve played golf in wet conditions, make sure you wipe the shaft with the cloth and let the whole club dry out before storing it in the bag.
Moisture is the biggest enemy of the shaft’s durability and it can create damage you won’t even notice until it’s too late.
Also, you should also avoid exposing the golf shaft to excessive heat for longer periods as it can be just as damaging.
Use Quality Golf Bags
In the bag, your shaft comes in contact with bag dividers and rubs back and forth against them.
Plus, in the bags without dividers, the shafts also rub against each other. This, over time, can damage the graphite fibers and cause fractures in the shaft.
However, all this can be easily prevented by using bags of higher quality, preferably the ones with padded dividers and long-neck covers.
Work on Your Technique
Even though they commonly play more golf, skilled players usually have their golf clubs and shafts last longer.
The main reason for this is that they have perfected their shot so the club doesn’t even touch the ground when swinging, let alone dig into it as it often happens with more inexperienced players.
The continuous contact with the ground on impact is very stressful for the shaft and could make the steel shaft bend or even break the graphite shaft.
So, if you have been hitting the ground too much, make sure you work on your technique to minimize this in the future.
In theory, golf shafts can wear out, but you shouldn’t be too concerned about it.
The natural wear and tear may become noticeable only after an extremely long period of intense use.
The shaft will easily outlast every other part of the golf club and probably still be in great condition when you move on to another club.
While the golf swing can create a rather strong force, it’s still nowhere near enough the critical stress for both stainless steel and graphite, the most commonly used shaft materials.
Therefore, you should expect that your shaft will sooner bend or break in half than simply loosen and wear out.
However, all this will only be true if you take proper care of the golf club.
Regular maintenance is the simplest and surest way to secure the longevity of the golf club shaft.