If you are interested in golf club fitting and golf club design, then you may have heard of soft stepping.
Understanding different options when you are building a set of golf clubs or trying to work on your golf set can be a bit difficult.
Custom club fitting has only gotten more complicated through the years, and you must work to ensure you stay on top of this.
The more you know about your clubs and how they work, the better your chance of pairing yourself with the proper equipment.
Soft stepping irons is an intelligent process to understand, especially for those who have a hard time getting enough clubhead speed.
If you want to step all of your irons soft, we have all the information you will need.
What Is Soft Stepping Golf Irons?
To understand how to soft step your irons, you should first know what it means to soft step golf irons.
The process of soft stepping essentially means that you will take the shaft from the nine iron and move it down to the pitching wedge.
The result is that you will have an easier time getting extra launch and ball flight from your shots.
The concept or process of soft stepping golf irons is not complicated, but you need to be prepared for the performance implications that will come from this soft stepping process.
The soft stepping of golf irons takes someone who has a bit of knowledge in working with golf clubs and taking them apart.
If you have never done anything like this in the past, you may want to invite over a friend who has some understanding.
How To Soft Step Irons (Step By Step Guide)
Now that you know what it means to soft step golf irons, let’s break down this process and all that is involved.
From here, you should be able to decide if this is something you should take on or something you need to leave to the experts.
1. Prepare The Tools And Workspace
You will need some basic equipment to make sure you are ready to start working on golf clubs.
One of the most important things that a golf club fitter is going to need is a vise.
A vise helps you to ensure that you have the club in the proper position when you are working on it.
The vise should also have rubber grips to make sure that you are not going to damage the club by having it in the vise.
In addition to the vise, it is a good idea to have a lie and loft machine when you are soft stepping irons.
You may be surprised by this, but sometimes you may put a shaft back in a bit wrong, and something is no longer sitting right with that particular club.
If you have a lie and loft machine with which you can check this all out, you can save yourself some frustration on the course.
In addition to these tools, make sure that you have a clean work area where you can keep track of all that you are doing.
These shafts are not going to be labeled, and you need to pay attention to which is which.
You will need some type of a heat gun to be better able to remove the shaft from the clubhead as well.
The clubhead is glued into the shaft, and when this glue heats up, it will allow for the shaft and clubhead to detach and become two separate pieces.
Of course, you will also need the glue to put the new shaft into the clubhead.
Luckily, when you soft step an iron shaft, it is not going to cost you a set of grips.
So many of the club modifications that we do will require you to change the grips out, but for this process, the grips can stay in place.
Once you have your basic tools set up, you are ready to move on to checking out the golf shafts that you will need for this process.
2. Ensure You Have The Proper Shafts
As we mentioned, when you soft step a golf shaft, you take the shaft from the nine iron and put it in the pitching wedge.
This entire process continues throughout the entire set of clubs to ensure that you have all of the golf clubs that you need with their appropriate shafts.
However, when you think about completing this process, you will quickly learn that you are going to be one golf shaft short.
Whatever your longest golf club is, it will be left without a golf shaft.
This means that you are going to have to order a matching shaft for this club, or you can simply stop playing with this golf club.
Many golfers find that the longest iron in their bag is the one that they used the least, and therefore, it’s not necessary to use.
If you are currently using a three iron or a four iron and you think you may no longer need this club in your bag, you can simply put the shaft in the next club down and then just save that clubhead for another time or sell it.
Once you are sure that you have all the shafts that you need in place to start this process, then you can begin.
3. Remove One Shaft At A Time
We have seen this soft stepping process go bad at times.
The reason is that people get confused by what they are doing because they take all of the golf clubs apart and then try and put them back together.
There are two steps that you can take to ensure this doesn’t happen.
We like to take a small piece of masking tape and mark each club with the shaft that it is.
For instance, a small piece of tape on the nine iron shaft could read “9 iron”.
This may seem like a simple thing, but when all the shafts are out, things can get a bit confusing.
Next, you are going to take only the pitching wedge and the nine iron shafts out.
Then you can take the nine iron shaft and place it in the pitching wedge clubhead.
If you follow this process the entire time that you are doing this project, you are going to only have one club head without a shaft.
This is the best way to ensure that nothing gets mixed up and there are no issues with the wrong shaft being put in.
As you probably know, each of these shafts is of a different length.
If you struggle with organization in the beginning, labeling the lengths of the shafts will help ensure that you have it right.
4. Replace Golf Shafts
The next step of the process is to replace the golf shafts.
Once you have the shaft removed from the pitching wedge and nine iron as we instructed, you will now take the nine iron golf shaft and put it in the pitching wedge.
You will want to glue the shaft and set it back into place so that it is out of the way and able to dry.
Typically, the glue will dry rather quickly, but we recommend giving it about 24 hours just to ensure that you have no issues.
You will then continue to work through the rest of the set of golf clubs.
It does get a bit tedious to go back and forth from removing golf shafts to replacing them, but luckily, there are usually only a few to work with.
Replacing golf shafts in clubs is not difficult once you get used to it.
You just have to know how to apply the proper amount of pressure and where to apply the glue as well.
Once you do a few of these, you will feel as though you can do several other sets with ease.
Club fitting and golf club work is not all that difficult, but it is something that most people don’t have a very deep understanding of.
5. Allow Time To Dry And Set Prior To Use Again
Lastly, you are just going to want to give that epoxy that you used on the clubhead some time to dry.
If you allow the club time to dry, you will find that it will form a stronger bond, and there will be less trouble getting the club to stay in this position for the long term.
Let your clubs dry, enjoy the afternoon off from golf, and take them out on the course tomorrow to see what you can do with this new technology.
Potential Impacts Of Soft Stepping Golf Irons
As you were soft stepping your golf irons, you probably noticed that there are some impacts of the technology that you must take into consideration.
It is important to realize that when you soft step a golf club, you are also going to make it a tiny bit longer.
Only when golf clubs are soft stepped from the manufacturer can you ensure that the lengths are exactly what you need.
If you are worried about this issue, then you may have to work on some alternative options.
In addition, when you soft step your golf irons, you will notice that they become a bit more flexible and easier to swing.
This helps golfers get more ball flight and some better results.
Although soft stepping is recommended for the slower swing speed player, it is not always the most highly recommended solution.
There are certain situations in which going with a more flexible or lighter weight shaft is going to be a better choice than soft stepping.
Golfers also find that they tend to hit the ball very high with a soft stepped golf shaft.
For those who struggle with ball flight, this is a great thing, but if you are someone who hits the ball rather high to begin with, the soft stepping could cause more problems than it is worth.
In the end, you have to really consider the implications of the soft stepping before you decide to do it.
This is a lot of work to go through to find out that soft stepping was not the process that you need for your golf irons.
What Is The Process Of Hard Stepping Golf Irons?
Once you know how to soft step golf irons, you won’t have much trouble learning how to hard step them either.
The hard stepping process is essentially the reverse of soft stepping.
With hard stepping, you start with the pitching wedge shaft and put it into the nine iron club.
This process leaves you with having to find a pitching wedge shaft to replace the one that you put in the nine iron.
You will also have the longest shaft available as an extra that you will have to find something to do with.
The hard stepping process will lower the ball flight of the shots that you are trying to hit, and most people find it is a better match for the faster swing speed players.
Overall, hard stepping golf irons should require the same basic steps of properly labeling, removing, and then replacing golf shafts.
If you are able to follow these steps, you should have no issues with getting your clubs properly hard stepped.
Again, this is a more advanced procedure, just like soft stepping, and you will want to make sure that it is completely necessary before you move to begin the process.
If it turns out not to be the best decision for your game, there is a lot of work left to do.
Remember, when you soft step or hard step golf irons, you are always going to need one extra grip and shaft to install on the clubhead that no longer has a shaft.
Other than this cost, the overall price to get this project done is not all that bad.
Should I Soft Step My Golf Iron Shafts?
Now that you understand the process and know all that is involved, you have to decide if this is something that will benefit your golf game.
It may make sense to go for a custom club fitting prior to taking your golf set apart.
The custom club fitting can tell you exactly how you need to change your golf clubs so that they will work for your game.
The information you receive will give you stats on distance, roll, carry, spin, and more.
The certified club fitter will be able to tell you if soft stepping your irons could lead to a good result for you.
Unfortunately, the process of having someone soft step your irons for you could be quite costly, but if you are able to learn to do this on your own, you can save quite a bit of money.
Simply follow our process, watch a few YouTube videos, and you can become your own master club fitter.
The only thing you have to watch out for is when the club fitting gets to be a bit much.
You have to work on your game, too, not just on adjusting your equipment.