By: Matt Saternus
Will More Golfers Switch To Graphite Iron Shafts?
Coming out of the PGA Show, I knew that UST was really going all-in on their Recoil iron shaft. But in spite of all of the tech talk and marketing, I couldn’t shake my doubts about better players actually switching to graphite iron shafts. Then, as winter started to break and people headed to the course, I started seeing more and more posts about players gaming the Recoil. Is a true sea change underway? Are we headed towards a day when players will carry 14 graphite shafts in their bag?
SPECS, PRICE, & MANUFACTURER NOTES
The Recoil line encompasses three unique series of shafts.
:: The Recoil Prototype is designed for better players looking for great feel and the ability to work the ball. It has a lower balance and higher flex point. It comes in heavier weights (90-125 grams) with a firmer tip for lower ball flight.
:: The Recoil 800 Series is for players looking for a lighter weight option (50-94 grams). It features optimum weight and flex profiles to fit a wide range of golfers. A mid-balance, medium tip creates a medium ball flight.
:: The Recoil 600 Series offers great feel and lightweight options (68-84 grams) to increase club head speed for greater distance. This line favors a medium to medium high ball flight.
Prices for the Recoil line vary widely. The Recoil Prototype has an MSRP of $135. The Recoil 800 Series is $92, and the Recoil 600 Series is $53.
The Recoil Prototype and 800 Series are only available through UST TOURSPX dealers, but the 600 Series is available through all UST dealers.
LOOKS, FEEL, & MISCELLANEOUS
In terms of looks, UST took a safe middle road with the Recoil. From afar, no one would guess that these are graphite: they have a shiny silver look that is close enough to steel to fool the casual observer. They do have more branding than your typical steel shaft, but nothing gaudy; a nice clean white and silver graphic that can easily be hidden at address.
When you pick up the Recoil Prototype 125, there’s nothing about the feel that says “graphite.” It has plenty of heft and a nice even balance. During the swing, there’s a very minimal amount of load and kick; it’s a small but noticeable change from a Dynamic Gold. It’s at impact that you really sense the difference. Mishits have none of the sting and shock associated that you normally associate with missing the center of the club face. Centered hits feel even cleaner than normal, almost as if there was no impact at all.
For the Performance testing, I installed the UST Recoil Prototype 125 shafts into a set of Wilson FG Tour V2 heads. They were tested against a set of Dynamic Gold S300 shafts that were installed in the exact same heads. Testing was done on a FlightScope X2 launch monitor. All shafts were gripped with PURE Grips.
Testing was done at Golf Nation in Palatine, IL, one of the best indoor golf facilities in the country
The 2 biggest differences between the Recoil and Dynamic Gold, for me, were the peak height of my shots and the spin rates. With the Recoil, my shots were peaking an average of 10 feet higher than they were with Dynamic Gold. Interestingly, the spin rates with Recoil were higher with my long iron (compared to Dynamic Gold) and lower with the short irons. This combination of higher flight with better spin rates led to the distance gains that I saw.
When it comes to accuracy, Recoil and Dynamic Gold were essentially equal in dispersion. The FlightScope graphic shows a large numerical advantage for the Dynamic Gold in the 4 irons, but, looking at the shot pattern, my eye test disagrees.
All in all, I think that switching to the Recoil Prototype 125 would be a fairly easy transition for anyone playing any of the heavy weight steel shafts. When you consider that there are 19 different Recoil models, there’s probably one that would make for an easy transition, or, perhaps, a marked improvement, for almost any player. If you’re getting fit for new irons this season, do what an increasing number of players are doing, and see if your game wouldn’t be improved with UST’s Recoil iron shafts.
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