Steel golf shafts are traditionally heavier than graphite shafts and the key benefit, according to the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation, is accuracy. Because of the weight, steel shafts are traditionally shorter than graphite shafts, making them easier to control. According to "Golfweek," steel shafts weigh up to 125 g and extra-heavy shafts weigh up to 139 g. Graphite shafts typically weigh up to 90 g.
Because a heavier shaft is usually shorter than a lighter shaft, the club should be easier to control and the end result is cleaner contact with the ball. But according to the U.S. Golf Teachers Federation, improved accuracy may come at the cost of distance. Heavier shafts also have less torque, which is the resistance to twisting on impact, so a heavier shaft helps prevent slices or hooks and keeps your ball flying straight.
Tempo is a key part of the golf swing. If you keep a consistent tempo throughout, you will make better contact with the ball, and the ball will go straighter. Heavier shafts help golfers to "feel" the club in their hands and can slow the tempo. Because of the slower tempo, golfers have time to think about cocking their wrists at the top of the swing and turning them over at impact, both which translate into a cleaner swing. A slower tempo, particularly with short irons and wedges leads to an improved result.
Though graphite is used by most recreational golfers, it is more expensive than heavier steel shaft or even the new "heavy" shafts. Steel is a less expensive material than graphite, which is manufactured, so steel-shafted clubs are less expensive than graphite. Steel is also a sturdier material and heavier clubs will have a longer life span. Graphite clubs can splinter.