Damaging Shaft Dings

Published in loving memory of Frank Thomas, a man who loved golf and dedicated his life to helping those who played it. 


I enjoy reading your informative column regularly.  Keep up the great work.

I have a question about my driver’s graphite shaft.  When I play, I take off the head cover for the entire round.  Others take it off and put it back on after each shot with the driver or other fairway woods.  I’ve been told that perhaps the banging of the iron heads in the bag against the shaft of the driver 3-4 inches above the head will weaken the shaft.  Should that really be a concern?  It seems that the shaft survives a great deal of stress and shock through normal use anyway.


As the inventor of the graphite shaft, here is my best advice.

If you play most of your golf in a cart and you remove the head covers unfortunately there will be some contact between the iron heads and the graphite shafts of your woods. Unless there is some visible damage you should not be too concerned however I do recommend that you leave one or two head covers on your woods and hybrids which will generally cushion any potential damaging blows.

If you are going to carry your bag then make sure that the clubs are in the designed “compartments” in which case iron heads will be away from any contact with the graphite shafts. If you have removed the head covers you will start sounding very much like a wind chime on your way down the fairway due to the synchronized contact between your wood heads and the cadence of your stride.

I do recommend you walk whenever you can and keep one or two head covers on your woods to avoid undue noise pollution on the course.

Thank you for your kind remarks and hope you continue to enjoy the web column.


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