When you go for a custom golf fitting, you will start to learn all that is involved with the golf club fitting process.
Getting to see the different parameters and technology involved with this process is really quite impressive.
There are likely some things about golf club fitting that you never knew or heard of.
When your final recommendation for your new set of clubs includes soft stepping the irons, you may wonder what this means exactly.
This is one of the more advanced clubs fitting applications, but it can benefit a large majority of players.
Let’s take a look at what soft stepping is and how it could potentially help your golf game.
3 Benefits Of Soft Stepping Irons
There are three main benefits to soft stepping golf irons.
The first benefit is that you will get a higher ball flight.
Secondly, the fact that the shaft will not be as stiff will help to make things a bit easier to swing.
Last, the softer flex allows the slower swing speed players to get the launch and ball flight that they are looking for.
The benefits of soft stepping irons could be exactly what you need to get a set custom-fitted to your specifications.
Let’s take a deeper look into each of these benefits so that you can better understand the soft stepping process.
1. Higher Ball Flight
When you soft step a set of irons, you are putting the golf shaft of a nine iron into the pitching wedge.
This helps to make the club a bit longer, and it has a softer feel overall.
In turn, golfers are able to get a higher ball flight and more performance from their golf clubs.
The concept here is that those with slower swing speeds tend to struggle to get the ball flight that they need.
The faster you can swing, the easier it is to hit the ball high.
These golfers are capable of compressing the ball and launching it a bit more easily than the slower swinging player.
A higher ball flight in golf is a significant benefit.
Golfers can stop the ball on the green a bit more easily, and they can get backspin and control and eventually learn to get the ball to perform the way that they need it to.
There is no question that with iron shots, a high ball flight is a benefit, and using golf clubs to your advantage to achieve this is essential.
2. Easier To Swing
When you soft step a set of irons, you actually make them a bit easier for a golfer to swing.
This is because they have a much softer feel, and they can make it easier for the slower swing speed player to get the club around them and complete the full golf swing.
This is also an excellent option for those who have less power and tend to struggle to control the overall flight of the ball.
Many golfers are also torn between golf shafts when they are trying to decide about soft stepping.
When you soft step, you are essentially switching to a golf shaft that is a bit more flexible than the one you had initially.
This makes it much easier to swing and can therefore improve the results that you see.
3. More Controlled Ball Flight
Lastly, it is important to know that when you soft step your golf irons, you are also going to get a more controlled ball flight.
Those who need soft stepped irons often find that this process has helped them get to a point where they could start hitting fades and draws as opposed to just hitting the golf ball straight.
The more controlled ball flight is a result of the club being easier to work with.
Golfers who have a slower swing speed and felt as though they could not control the ball in the past are now able to feel as though the ball flight is something they have complete control over.
When you get to the point in your golf game where you can choose the types of golf shots you want to hit and control your results, you will see how much easier it is to score lower.
The only thing you need to know now is whether or not soft stepping your golf irons is the best choice for your game.
What Is Soft Stepping Golf Irons?
With the soft stepping process, the shafts in the clubs are switched up to ensure that they are a better fit for the slower swinging player.
Each club in the bag has a different shaft with a slightly different length.
Therefore, the shaft that you put in your soft stepped iron is going to be different than the standard option from the manufacturer.
In a soft stepped set of irons, the seven iron shaft will be placed in the eight iron, the eight iron shaft in the nine iron, and so on throughout the entire set.
After you have soft stepped the irons, the pitching wedge shaft would be left over.
In addition, the three iron would require you to purchase a new shaft in order to complete this process.
This, of course, assumes that you are playing a 3-PW golf set.
The soft stepping process will be adequate, especially for the slower swing speed player.
It also helps those who are undecided about which shaft they should use in their clubs.
It allows them to pick something that would be a smart and relevant option.
When you soft step irons, the length of each club will be a little bit longer than it would be in a club that has not been soft stepped.
This, of course, means that you will have to adjust the length manually if you prefer not to use a set of clubs whose lengths have been adjusted.
When you go for a custom fitting to determine if soft stepping is best for you, then you should ask specifically about how the length is handled in these sets.
What Is Hard Stepping Irons?
Now that you know what soft stepping a golf iron means, it pays to understand hard stepping as well.
As you may have already guessed, the hard stepping of golf irons is the exact opposite of the soft stepping.
For this process, you will take the pitching wedge shaft and put it in the nine iron, the nine iron shaft in the eight iron, and so on.
This process continues until the three iron shaft is left over.
The pitching wedge is going to need a new shaft that you will have to source to match your set.
Technically, you would put something like a gap wedge shaft in the pitching wedge.
The results of hard stepping golf irons are also the opposite of soft stepping.
When you hard step a golf iron, it becomes a bit stiffer, and the ball flight should be lowered a bit as well.
This means that a golfer who needs a bit more control of their ball flight is going to benefit from the hard stepped golf shaft.
For instance, if you are a player who has so much club head speed that the ball just launches in the air, the hard stepped golf shafts could help you fix this issue.
It’s also important to remember that the club lengths become shorter after you hard step golf shafts.
If you are a golfer who will not do well with the difference in the length of the clubs, you will have to adjust that manually.
However, naturally, the clubs are going to be shorter, and this can help to increase speed sometimes, but it can also get the speed a bit out of control.
Be very careful with the adjustments to club length that both hard stepping and soft stepping your golf irons can produce.
How Do I Know If I Should Soft Step My Irons?
As you saw from the benefits of soft stepping that we described, golfers with slower swing speeds tend to see the benefit of these irons the most.
When you soft step your golf irons, you will notice almost immediately that they are a bit easier to swing.
However, is it enough to say that only slower swinging players should look into soft stepping?
How do you know if you are considered a slower swinging player?
These are all good questions, and they need to be considered before starting this process.
For those who are good at tinkering with golf equipment, soft stepping may be something that you simply try out for a short time.
All that is really necessary is a transfer of the golf shafts from one club to another.
However, most average golfers do not have this type of club fitting ability.
Instead, the best way to know if you need to soft step your golf irons is to head to a custom golf fitting.
At a custom golf fitting, you can use a launch monitor to really dial in the results that you are getting from your golf game.
On a computer screen, you will see the precise ball flight, carry, launch, total distance, and even the spin that your iron shots are producing.
For all body types and handicap levels of golfers, there are ideal ranges that you would like to fit in with these numbers.
If you are able to soft step your irons and then achieve better launch conditions, then it is clearly a smart idea to get involved in.
If, however, you don’t see much difference in the soft stepping, then it is likely better to choose a different type of customization for your golf irons.
The results of a golf fitting are going to be very simple and straightforward.
You will get instantaneous feedback and be able to adjust very quickly to what you need.
If a club fitter wants to see the benefits of a soft stepped shaft for your swing, they will have configurations of the club there for you to hit.
The great thing about doing the custom club fitting before the purchase of your soft stepped irons is that you can really dial in the length issues associated with this process.
For instance, when you soft step your irons, each of them gets a bit longer.
If you are able to adjust this so that the lengths are still the proper fit for your game, you can order them directly from the manufacturer this way.
The length is something that shorter golfers need to pay close attention to.
The fact that your golf irons benefit from being soft stepped is something that golfers of all handicap levels and even professionals can benefit from.
This is one of those customizations that will not require you to be a certain player type because it’s simply more of a detailed analysis of your golf set and how it performs.
Does Soft Stepping Golf Irons Cost Me Distance?
Now that you understand the benefits of soft stepping irons, you may wonder if there are issues with the distance associated with doing this to your golf clubs.
The interesting thing about the soft stepping process is that for most people, it will actually increase the distance that you can hit the ball.
The same goes for hard stepping irons, but there is one primary consideration in this.
If you are not properly fitted for a set of soft stepped or hard stepped irons, then you will not see any distance benefits.
In other words, if you are a player who should have had your golf irons soft stepped and they were hard stepped instead, you will not see any distance benefits.
If anything, you could lose distance.
Don’t think of soft stepping or hard stepping golf irons as a way to gain or lose distance.
As long as your clubs are correctly fitted to your game, you should gain some distance.
However, the main reason behind this process is not the distance but the control and the ball flight that you get.