Are graphite iron shafts the future? We test the new Fujikura Axiom
Fujikura's Axiom may be graphite, but it comes with a lot of the benefits that steel provides — and then some.
Before we get started, I want to be abundantly clear: both graphite and steel have a place when it comes to finding the right iron shafts for different golfers. But, when it comes to new options — especially for faster swing speed players, graphite iron shafts are pushing technology boundaries, and golfers are benefiting from performance.
The newest example of this is the Axiom iron shafts from Fujikura which are the first to incorporate their Velocore technology. This is the same Velocore stabilization technology that has helped make the Ventus series, which includes both the original and TR lines, one of the most popular driver and fairway wood shafts on the PGA Tour.
The Axiom graphite iron shafts were developed using Fujikura’s high-speed ENSO analytics, allowing engineers the ability to precisely monitor the shaft during the golf swing and specifically into impact. This gave Fujikura the ability to configure the materials and profile to build a comprehensive line of shafts and develop a weight and flex system to help golfers find the perfect fit. The shafts range from soft regular 75 grams all the way to 125-gram tour X-stiff.
The key technology and design of the Axiom shafts is a three-length system that creates specific weight and flex-matching for long, mid, and short irons, allowing club builders to tune shafts for an exact fit through the set for any golfer. Beyond its building and fitting benefits, the Velocore-powered iron shafts demonstrated increased ball speeds thanks to the tip stabilization, which also help create tighter down-range dispersion and ball flight windows.
Beyond being the golfer doing the testing, I am also a club builder with years of experience building clubs so testing the new Axiom gave me the opportunity to find out how they perform and stack up for product consistency from a build perspective — which is just as important, in my opinion.
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I am very happy to report that every shaft fell within an extremely tight 1-gram tolerance, making the final build process a lot easier compared to other graphite iron shafts that I have worked with in the past. It’s a testament to Fujikura’s quality control.
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The unique three shaft system for short, mid, and long irons also made the build process easy and straightforward, and considering these shafts are only available to the Fujikura charter dealer network, you should expect to see very tight specs for the end golfer.
Finally, to go along with the Fujikura Axiom shafts (105 stiff flex model), I paired them with a set of Miura’s MC-502 heads which seemed like a great fit considering both companies are known for their attention to detail and made-in-Japan heritage.
Rather than focus on comparative numbers, which are completely individualized, I believe it’s more important to focus on results found on the course and the 105 stiff flex Axion shafts I built have not disappointed. Considering my usual go-to iron shaft is in the 120-115 gram range, I was a bit worried that would feel too light. However, the balance point and swing weight resulted in a shaft and whole club that felt similar in weight to my heavier steel options but offered a little extra club head speed through the ball thanks to the lighter overall weight.
I found this particularly helpful with my 4 and 5 irons where a little extra speed has made longer approaches less taxing and given me more confidence to land longer approaches softer.
As for the crucial feel component, I really liked that the Axiom offered both a stable feel on solid shots and also really helped to dampen vibration on mishits — which for me and my usual lower face miss made a huge difference in providing constructive criticism to my bad strikes. Unlike many graphite shafts of the past that reduced feedback to the point they would feel “unresponsive,” the Axiom delivered my perfect blend of information without the sting, along with plenty of ball flight control.
Overall, if you are a golfer looking for a tour performance graphite shaft in both heavier and lighter weight options the Axiom is a graphite iron shaft that I would put high on my list of options to test during your next fitting.
Want to overhaul your bag for 2023? Find a fitting location near you at True Spec Golf.
Ryan Barath is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s senior editor for equipment. He has an extensive club-fitting and -building background with more than 20 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. Before joining the staff, he was the lead content strategist for Tour Experience Golf, in Toronto, Canada.