The Best Shaft You’ve Never Heard Of

Aerotech’s SteelFiber shafts fly under the radar while consistently racking up high finishes.

There are two quite compelling reasons why I shouldn’t be featuring this week’s equipment blog product.

One, I live about a mile and a half from where it was designed and is now built, so I know the guy who owns the company. Conflict of interest? Yes, but I just happen to live very close to where a remarkable product that could very well help you become a better golfer is made.

Two, it certainly isn’t new out this month, nor is it scheduled to be launched next month. It first appeared 13 years ago and hasn’t changed a great deal since.

There are, however, a number of compelling reasons why you should be aware of this particular item.

The Aerotech SteelFiber shaft was designed by Chris Hilleary, who also worked on the first NHL-approved all-graphite hockey stick. If you’ve read about the SteelFiber before, you’ll know a number of top players use it, or have done in the past—Jack Nicklaus, Fred Couples, Rocco Mediate, Tim Clark, Mark O’Meara, and two world top-25 golfers who swear by the feel, consistency and power the shaft delivers.

Matt Kuchar (above) began using SteelFiber in 2008. Since then he has won six times on the PGA Tour including victories at the WGC Matchplay, the Memorial and, in 2012, the Players Championship. There are other factors behind his success of course, but Kuchar would surely give at least part of the credit for $30 million in earnings to his 95g SteelFiber shafts. “I was amazed at how easy they were to hit,” he told me a couple of years ago. “It felt like much less work was required to hit them.”

And, on Kuchar’s recommendation, Brandt Snedeker had his irons fit with the 95g SteelFiber in August 2011, and promptly finished tied for third at the Barclays after a final-round 61. Five of his seven Tour victories, and one FedEx Cup, have followed.

The SteelFiber is a graphite shaft with 59 miles of ultra-thin (about one-tenth the diameter of a human hair) steel wire wrapped around it, making it both lighter than a steel shaft (typically 120-130 grams), and more stable than graphite. Hilleary describes it as “the game’s first perimeter-weighted golf shaft—more consistent and forgiving on every shot.”

SteelFiber shafts are available as custom options in virtually every major brand of irons, but because Aerotech doesn’t yet have the budget to sponsor any big-name professionals, word of SteelFiber’s successes takes a while to circulate. Hilleary is restricted to sending out press releases which mention the “winner of last week’s PGA Tour event” or the ‘third-place finisher in last weekend’s US Open’, etc., rather than identify that player by name.

Those releases have been coming thick and fast of late.

“We have nearly 50 players on the PGA, Champions, and LPGA Tours playing SteelFiber now,” says Hilleary (pictured above). “I really haven’t felt the need to alter the design over the years, but have added to the product list with different weights. We now have 70g, 80g, 95g, 110g and 125g shafts available.”

Hilleary also tells us he has a new product in the works. The Volant will be an all-graphite shaft that weighs about 60g, and will therefore be suitable for golfers who have lost significant clubhead speed. “It’s modeled on the SteelFiber,” says Hilleary, “as strands of graphite will be wrapped around the core graphite shaft, making it light and far more consistent than today’s graphite shafts.”

Hilleary hasn’t planned a release date yet, but hopes it will be available before the end of the year. The Volant, like its now teenage predecessor, will enable a sizeable group of golfers to improve and enjoy the game for longer than they otherwise might. It’s an exciting time for a shaft company you really should know about.

There are four clubfitters/dealers in southeast Denver able to fit your SteelFiber shafts – D’Lance Golf in Englewood, Lenny’s Golf in Aurora, the PGA Tour Superstore in Greenwood Village, and Weitzel Golf in Littleton. 

aerotechgolfshafts.com

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