Steel or graphite? This question makes many golfers scratch their heads as to which is best for them. Picking the proper shaft is the most critical step in deciding which clubs to buy. The shaft is the "engine" of the golf club. It transfers the energy from your hands into the club head. Graphite shafts offer a wider variety of choices of weight, kick-point and torque. The greater selection allows golfers to be more accurately fit for custom clubs. If the shaft is not suited for your swing, it doesn't matter if you have the best club on the market, you will not play your best. Deciding on whether to play steel or graphite needs more consideration than price (graphite is more expensive).
Graphite shafts are considerably lighter than steel. This is probably the biggest differentiating feature between graphite and steel. The lighter weight will help increase club-head speed and produce greater distances.
The fibers in the graphite dampen the vibration of the club after a shot. You can normally feel this vibration in your hands when you mishit a shot with a steel-shafted club. Some golfers like the feedback this vibration provides. But for the average golfer who just wants a nicer feel, graphite is better.
If you are going to invest money on a new set of clubs, get fit. Don't just buy off the rack. Graphite really shines in the club-fitting department. There are more options of weight, kick-point, length and torque with graphite. These are important factors in maximizing your potential with your clubs. Steel shafts just don't accommodate as wide an audience as graphite.