Removing steel shafts which broke off flush with the hosel

One task a club repairmen may encounter is when a steel shaft has broken off flush with the top of the hosel. There are a couple of ways to solve the problem in order to reshaft the club, but the last resort is to drill the shaft out, as will be explained later.

There are only a few tools that will be needed to complete the task. A screw extractor (or easyout), a padded vise to secure the head, hammer, crescent wrench (or vise grip or T-handle), electric hand drill, assorted drill bits and a propane torch.

First, secure the head in the vise pads so that the hosel is positioned at an upward angle in which to work on. It may be necessary to drill out
any foreign debris that might me in the hosel such as cork, swingweighting material or even dirt.

Once completely cleared out, heat the hosel with a propane torch to break the epoxy bond. This may require 30 seconds or more of heat depending
upon how old the club is. (Note: Make sure you or no one else is within line with the hosel should the shaft piece project outward from the hosel,
safety glasses should also be worn) A heat gun or a heat metal rod inserted into the shaft can be used as well, but will take much longer for the
heat to transfer. Should the head be a metal wood, then caution should be made not to discolor any painted or urethane covered portion of the

Next, place the appropriate sized easyout into the hosel and forcefully pound it into the shaft with a hammer until it becomes a force fit.

Place a crescent wrench, vise grip or T-handle securely on the square end of the easyout and turn counter-clockwise to loosen the shaft piece. If you are lucky enough because the hosel is parallel tipped or a relatively new clubhead, the broken shaft piece may come right out. However, if the shaft piece fails to come out or slip, remove the easyout and repeat the
last step. (Note: Never heat the hosel with the easyout inserted into the hosel as this can change the tempering of the easyout and possibly cause it to break off within the hosel)

Once the broken piece has been successfully removed from the hosel, take it off the easyout and allow it to cool. Do not throw the piece away as you will need to measure the tip diameter to determine the appropriate size for replacement.

In certain cases this method may not work as the shaft could be rusted inside the head, it might be a taper tip shaft that has been dimpled and driven in securely (like a lot of older Wilson clubs), or in the remote case a threaded shaft. You can try to soak the hosel overnight or squirt some WD-40 to penetrate between the shaft and hosel to loosen the shaft,
then retry the process.

In the event you still cannot remove the stubborn broken piece of shaft, then it might be advisable to drill the shaft out of the hosel. On many older irons, the hosels are tapered. It is difficult to tell this ahead of time as some heads that may be normally come equipped with a taper tip shaft could have been reshafted and rebored by another club repairman.
It is suggested that a drill press and some sort of ironhead boring fixture be used as trying to drill out the shaft with a hand-held drill is difficult at best. Because there is the potential that the hosel is tapered, it is suggested that you start out with an undersized drill bit (T-size or smaller). This will help to take a little bit out at a time as well as preserve the tapered hosel.

Repairing steel shafts that have been broken off flush with the hosel can be a crap shoot. In some cases it will take very little effort, while other times you may be working on it for an hour or more. Hopefully this has shown you the in’s and out’s of tackling this procedure in the future.

by Jeff Summitt
Hireko Technical Director


  1. tiger168 says:

    Thanks for the tips, I was able to remove/save a 2 year old head because the shaft has broken inside of it and it was cause by a PGA club master trying to fit a paralell steel shaft into a taper hosel and grind the shaft too thin. Even I ask him not to try. Who am I to tell a PGA Clib Master what to do… He has been apologetic for 2 years…

    However, I have a new problem.

    bought some used SteelFiber shaft, trying to clean them before I install onto some head, when I got to the shaft for the 7 iron. unlike all of the other shaft, which as just epoxy inside, which was easy to have a small drill to clean the residuals brush them, my drill bit hit something inside the hosel and broke. The drill bit is about 2 inch down the shaft, the broken piece is about 1 1/2 inches long.

    Pls advice the best way to get the drill bits out without damaging the Steel Fiber shaft…

    Thank you very much…

  2. Jeff Summitt says:


    What head do you have? The reason for asking is most irons only have a 1.25-1.375″ insertion depth so if the broken piece of drill bit is 2″ long, there is a different technique I would used than than if the drill bit broken down below the top of the hosel.

  3. ed sabo says:

    I have threaded shaft tip and hosel ….how do I remove this stubborn shaft….it’s not broken off…help!

  4. Jeff Summitt says:


    Is this an older Wilson or Walter Hagen iron with the fluid feel plug? If the shaft is not broken off, then it is a matter of heating and twisting. For a right handed head the threads were designed so a shot out near the toe would tighten the shaft, so you will need to turn the shaft/grip in the opposite direction. Those clubs are now 50 years old and could be tough to remove. You might even try putting some 3:1 penetrating oil and let it work its way down from the top of the hosel overnight.

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