If someone asks you “Do Touring Golf Pro’s play graphite shafts in their irons?” you can confidently say yes, some do.
In my position I take it for granted that the professional golfers play a lot of products or conceptual ideas that may not be available to the general public (at least yet). After all, this is the testing grounds for the manufacturers. I’d like to share with you a comment I received like the one early last week from a customer who said “Graphite iron shafts must only be for ladies or seniors, because I don’t seem them in stock irons or see the
pro’s using them on TV.” The fact is, we offer many men’s R, S and even X-flex graphite iron shafts and they sell too, just not as well as steel iron shafts.
Well, TV and print media can be very powerful and can imprint thoughts or ideas into the general public. If you see enough of something or not enough, you begin to take it as a fact. For instance, Congress can’t ever seem to work together. That is because the media only wants you to see the one side of the story that sells. I am sure there had to be at least one or two things in the past year or two our duly elected representatives did by working together. Maybe the media can report on that too.
Let’s look at golf for a moment. Belly putters were nothing new as they had been around for nearly 50 years. But a couple years ago, you started to see more and more pro’s on TV using these unorthodox looking belly putters and not only playing well, but winning with them too. All the sudden there was renewed interest from the media that boiled over into the general public. This is what we call a trend and they tend to come and go. Let’s face it, everyone (or company) is looking for the next big trend in order to capitalize on it financially.
However, certain trends tend to stick around and become a way of everyday life. How did we survive before we had computers and cell phones? In golf, we are fortunate to have rubber golf grips, metal and eventually titanium golf clubheads, graphite shafts for woods and hybrid golf clubheads to name a few. At one point in time those were trends too.
Recently at the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational (Colonial CC in Fort Worth, TX) a professional golfer did not only play Aldila graphite shafts in his irons, but he won with them. The following week, the winner of the Memorial also won with graphite-shafted irons. To be honest, it is not uncommon to see 5 – 10 pros play with graphite-shafted irons on a weekly basis, according to Mickey Uhlaender at UST. But if more and more do and they excel, the media is going to jump on that bandwagon.
The point I am trying to make is there are viable options for consumers that may not be totally mainstream. Heck, Hireko Golf falls in that category. I remember in the 1990’s that G. Loomis iron shafts became popular on tour for a while. Other companies had brief success on tour with graphite shafted iron as well like UST with their UST Tour Weight iron shafts. You can trust me that you will see more and more graphite-shafted irons put into play on tour. Back-to-back wins by two different golfers is a step in the right direction.
Who knows if this will be a trend that will continue to grow or become the standard of what we see sold in the future. That will all depend upon exposure from the media, affordability and most importantly tangible playability benefits a consumer can actually see and feel. But if someone asks you “Do any of the Pro’s play graphite shafts in their irons?” you can confidently say yes, some do.