For most of my formative years on the golf course, I had little to no knowledge of the impact of my shaft on my launch. Fortunately, I am older and wiser and have seen the light.
In this post, I pay homage to the best high-launching iron shafts in each category for 2023.
The best of the list features a range of graphite and steel shaft designs that cater to slow, mid and faster swing speeds, seeking a higher launch. I have also included the top pick for ladies and senior golfers in our ranks.
For golfers that just need a quick recommendation, here are our top choices:
Table of Contents
- What Types of Shafts Create The Highest Launch?
- 6 Top High Launching Iron Shafts
- 1. KBS Max Graphite – Best Overall Iron Shaft For High Launch
- 2. KBS Tour 90 – Best Steel Iron Shafts
- 3. UST Mamiya Recoil ESX – Best High Launch Graphite Shaft
- 4. Mitsubishi MMT Taper 105 – Best Feeling High Launch Golf Clubs Shafts
- 5. True Temper Project X Cypher Graphite – Best High Launch Iron Shaft for Seniors
- 6. Fujikura Vista Pro 50i – Best High Launching Iron Shafts for Ladies
What Types of Shafts Create The Highest Launch?
In my experience, the highest launching golf iron shaft features a low to mid kick point, a high degree of torque, and lightweight construction. In addition, high-launching golf shafts often feature a longer raw length than their mid-to-low-launch counterparts.
A low to mid kick point provides golfers with added spring into impact for consistent ball speed and spin to prompt a high launch. I also find that the higher degree of torque helps slower swing speeds accelerate the club head on the downswing for maximum velocity.
While the added clubhead speed improves your chances of a powerful strike, it can also cause you to leave your clubface open at contact. As a result, your shot dispersion chart features numerous misses to the right of the target.
6 Top High Launching Iron Shafts
1. KBS Max Graphite – Best Overall Iron Shaft For High Launch
- Elevated launch
- Helps slow swingers accelerate clubhead speed
- Produces ample flex into the impact
- The set includes 6 shafts
- Expensive for the average golfer
- The high torque can prompt slices or pushed shots
The KBS Max Graphite irons are the overall best iron shaft construction for high launch It tops the list for its wealth of shaft flex options, easy launch, and the consistent carry distance it helps a slow swing speed golfer produce.
A mid to high torque in the lite, senior and regular flex profiles promotes supreme flexibility on the downswing for a powerful strike. This encouraged consistent ball speed and initiated an improved launch and a soft landing on approach.
Further aiding my launch was a low kick point which helped the clubhead flex at a critical point of the swing to prompt rapid clubhead and ball speed for a high launch. Conversely, the regular + and stiff flex option has a higher kick point to induce a mid-to-high launch.
Overall, I found the graphite shafts easy to launch, stable and durable. A slow swing speed golfer should have no struggle launching their irons high and landing the ball softly on approach.
2. KBS Tour 90 – Best Steel Iron Shafts
- Lighter than standard steel irons
- Produces a consistent high launch
- Improves control compared to some graphite shafts
- Boosts clubhead speed
- Ideal for fast swing speeds
- The shaft’s stiffness may prove excessive for slow swing speeds
Golfers with fast swing speeds may prefer the heavier weight and added control provided by a steel golf iron shaft. The KBS Tour 90 tops the category, thanks to its lighter-than-usual design and the increased clubhead speed it produces.
I produced splendid velocity on my downswing, which often saw me impart it onto the golf ball for adequate speed and spin. This resulted in a high launch, consistent trajectory, and a soft landing on the dancefloor.
My buddy, Martin, who swings a 6-iron over 90 mph, felt the Tour 90 shafts enhanced his tempo compared to the graphite golf shaft options we tested. However, the slowest swingers in our game are advised to stay with graphite shafts for now.
KBS only constructed these shafts in regular and stiff shaft flex, making it best suited to faster swing speeds. Ultimately, I felt the lightness of the KBS Tour 90 golf shafts compared to other steel shafts and enjoyed maximum distance, speed, and control.
3. UST Mamiya Recoil ESX – Best High Launch Graphite Shaft
- Lighter mass than a steel iron shaft
- Encourages accelerated clubhead speed
- Soft feel
- The stiffer butt and midpoint boost control
- Ideal for medium to slow-swing-speed golfers
- Not ideal for the fastest swing speeds
- An expensive product
Modern high-handicap golfers often favor the lightweight, fast-swinging, and high-flexing graphite golf shaft material. The UST Mamiya Recoil ESX shafts are the best high-launch graphite shafts in 2022 for their maximum spring, easy lift, and high torque during the swing.
I pushed a few shots right of the target on mishits, which is attributed to the moderate torque of these shafts. However, I appreciated the impressive whip of the clubface at impact to boost energy transfer for accelerated ball zip at contact.
Next, I appreciated the soft feel on all shots created by the soft tip, which enhanced spring on the downswing. Furthermore, the stiffer butt and mid increased my control despite the higher torque.
In summary, the UST Mamiya Recoil ESX shaft springs well, feels soft, and amplifies your energy transfer at impact. In addition, a low kick point and moderate to high torque encourage a high launch for maximum carry distance.
4. Mitsubishi MMT Taper 105 – Best Feeling High Launch Golf Clubs Shafts
- Constructed with highly durable materials
- Exceptional feel
- Low torque for less whip during your swing
- Provides optimal stability
- Superb spin and ball speed control
- An expensive set of golf shafts
- No flex options for slower swing speeds
Golfers who desire a soft feel on every shot are best suited to a finely tuned, highly responsive shaft with optimal density. The Mitsubishi Taper 105 golf shaft ticked all these boxes to offer a pleasant touch, a mid-to-high launch, and consistent ball flight.
The super low torque in the stiff flex increased stability but was too much for my slow to moderate swing speed. However, I asked a 7 handicapper to give them a crack. He enjoyed their durability, ball speed, and spin consistency, which helped him deliver a controlled golf shot.
In addition, the individually braided strands of high-quality 304 stainless steel enhance the density and stability of the shaft during your swing. Plus, it allowed engineers to construct a thin composite wall, which produces a highly responsive golf shaft for a pleasant feel on long, mid, and short iron shots.
Finally, Mitsubishi only constructs these shafts in a stiff and extra stiff profile which is better for moderate to fast swing speed.
5. True Temper Project X Cypher Graphite – Best High Launch Iron Shaft for Seniors
- Built for a deliberate tempo
- Available in 4 shaft flexes
- Produces optimal spin
- Makes it easy to transition from fairway woods to irons
- Helps slower golfers launch high
- Not suited to faster swing speeds
- The high spin may cause some golfers to balloon their shots and lose yards
I often find seniors operating with a slow backswing and a smooth transition, which creates a deliberate tempo and a clean strike. The True Temper Project X Cypher Graphite works well for slower-swinging seniors as it helps accelerate clubhead speed for a powerful strike and high launch.
Besides its tendency to send your ball higher and longer, I also enjoyed the seamless transition between my fairway woods and long irons. The similar shaft constructions made it easy to replicate my setup and swing on every shot.
Next, I produced maximum spin off the face to help my ball land rapidly. Seniors will feel a greater sense of control in this area and deliver an improved green-in-regulation record.
True Temper offers the Project X Cypher Graphite shafts in ladies, senior, regular, stiff, and extra-stiff shaft stiffness, catering to slow, moderate, and fast swing speeds. Finally, these shafts fetch a lower price per set than most of their peers, which suits the average golfer.
6. Fujikura Vista Pro 50i – Best High Launching Iron Shafts for Ladies
- Produces maximum spin
- Improves energy transfer at impact
- Increased stability
- Generates faster clubhead speed
- Their lightweight design and high launch may cause golfers to balloon strikes
- Not ideal for super fast swing speeds
The Fujikura Vista Pro 50i completes our list of high-launching shafts this year. Its blend of stability, high energy transfer, and soft feel make it the best high-launching iron shaft for ladies.
Their lightweight construction, high torque, and low kick point cover all the necessary qualities to send your golf ball higher and longer. I felt the reduced handle stiffness prompted an extra degree of spring on the downswing, which accelerated clubhead speed and improved the power of your strike.
In addition, the maximum spin produced by these shafts makes it easier for the average lady to stop their ball rapidly on the green. Lastly, opposite to their improved launch factor is the attractive low price tag, which makes the Vista Pro 50i shafts accessible to the average golfer.