How Long Do Graphite Golf Clubs Last?

You’ve picked up a shiny new set of clubs only to read a few horror stories online that have you second guessing your choices. Your frantic Google searching has led you to this article. Today, we’ll help you answer the question ‘how long do graphite golf clubs last?’

In days of yore, graphite clubs earned something of a bad rap among golf enthusiasts both on and offline. Rightly or wrongly, a number of claims about their durability and strength were raised. On this page, we’ll explore whether they still hold up. 

Read on to find the best option for you.

What the Naysayers Claim

Before we can speak to the durability of graphite golf clubs, it’s necessary to explore some of the claims made by naysayers online. In this section, we’ll discuss some of graphite’s potential pitfalls. 

Quick Breaks

Graphite? You mean that material running through the center of my pencil? Surely that will just snap clean in two? The nature of graphite means that in certain contexts, it can be quite brittle and prone to breaks. The operative three words here are ‘in certain contexts.’

Just because your pencil lead breaks easily, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your graphite golf club will do the same. We explore this further down this page. 

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Poor Durability 

Another claim coming from the anti-graphite camp is that the material simply doesn’t endure the test of time as well as metals such as iron, steel, or titanium. After a handful of games, some people fear that their graphite set will already be showing signs of age. 

Fear not, dear reader; these concerns are largely unfounded. Far more significant in the durability of your clubs are your swinging technique, your frequency of play, and the environment in which you store your clubs. 

The places you play and practice matter too! 

Do Graphite Clubs Break More Easily?

In short, not really. Composite manufacturing processes have come leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades. It’s now possible to produce golf clubs that offer the lighter weight of materials like graphite without necessarily compromising on durability. 

As long as you’re treating your clubs well and using decent technique when playing, you have no real reason to worry about the durability of graphite over steel, iron, or any other material. 

Which Club are You Using? 

One question worth asking when discussing golf club durability is, ‘which club are you talking about?’ Drivers and wedges are usually the clubs in your bag that start to show their age more swiftly than the rest. 

The simple reason for this is that you’re likely to be using them far more often than the other clubs in your set. The amount of abuse your putter takes, for example, is orders of magnitude less than your sand wedge or primary driver. 

Keep this in mind when you’re next complaining about seeing a scratch or two on your most-used club. 

Do Graphite Clubs Degrade Faster than Steel Clubs? 

But what about long-term durability? Do graphite clubs show signs of age faster than materials like steel or iron? Again, not really no. A good set of modern clubs will come with the design, coatings, and considerations needed to help it go the distance. 

This is true of graphite clubs too. Case in point – composite graphite materials are used in space vehicles designed by agencies such as NASA. Would these institutions use graphite if it couldn’t last in the right context? 

Okay Then, So How Long do Graphite Clubs Last? 

How long is a piece of string? (Sorry!). Again, this truly depends on how much you’re abusing your clubs. Storing them poorly and swinging them around with reckless abandon? Don’t expect to keep them for a lifetime. 

With regular repairs like re-gripping and bending, however, a set of graphite clubs might last upwards of 20 years or more. It all comes down to how you’re treating your gear. This stuff costs money – look after it when you can! 

Why do People Choose Graphite Clubs? 

So, what makes graphite such a great material for golf clubs anyway? In this section, we’ll run through some of the main advantages of a graphite club. 

Lightweight

Ever tried swinging around an old-school iron? If so, you’d be forgiven for finding it a bit on the heavy side. One huge advantage of materials like graphite is that it’s super lightweight. This means that more people than ever can put power behind each and every swing. 

Faster Swings 

The more competently you’re able to swing your club, the better your chances of lowering your average score. When you don’t have to worry quite so much about strength or power, you can instead redouble your focus on the speed and technique of your swing. 

Availability 

A major reason that people use graphite clubs is, well, they’re everywhere! Their ubiquity and reputation as a more ‘premium’ option mean that they’re popular around the world.

What Causes Club Damage?

So, if graphite isn’t the enemy here, what does cause club damage most of the time? In this section, we’ll find out. 

Technique

Perhaps the number one reason for a swiftly degrading club is poor technique. A well-practiced swing will exert exactly the right amount of force exactly where it needs to be. A poorly trained swing can drive excess force down into the ground and gradually bend your club out of shape.

Training Environment 

While it won’t break your clubs overnight, training regularly on range mats can cause unwanted damage to your set. 

How You Store Them 

Proper golf club storage is essential if you want them to last a long time. It’s best to keep your clubs covered in a room that’s low in both moisture and salinity. A constant, moderate temperature also works best. 

How Long Do Graphite Golf Clubs Last? Final Thoughts 

The long and short of it is that graphite clubs aren’t necessarily going to break any faster than a steel, iron, or titanium club. It mostly comes down to how often you’re using them, how well you’re swinging, and how you choose to store them when not in use.

Barry