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Apollo Steel Shafts: A More In-Depth Look

A lot had been written on our Blog about the new Apollo steel shafts and rightfully so. Why? Low price, wide range of products and customer satisfaction had made the newer Acculite Series and Phantom an instant success. But let’s not forget about some of the other shafts in the Apollo line. Some of which have been fan favorites for many, many years. If you are not already familiar with these or this is your first experience with Apollo steel shafts, here is a brief skinny about each one of them.

Acculite/Phantom
These are the newest shafts which include the ultra-light series Acculite 75, 85 and 95, with the number denoting the approximate cut weight of a mid iron. For your reference, a standard weight steel shaft is roughly 110-115g and a popular weight in graphite irons is 75g.

Last but not least is the Phantom, which is the stepless ultra-light shaft with a slightly firmer tip than the Acculite 95. All of these shafts perform great and are at a price everyone can afford.

But let’s not forget about some of the other shafts in the Apollo line. Some of which have been fan favorites for many, many years. If you are not already familiar with these or this is your first experience with Apollo steel shafts, here is a brief skinny about each one of them.

Shadow
Introduced in the late 1980’s and then popularized in the 1990’s, notably by being the stock shaft in one of the most popular clubs of all time (King Cobra Oversize iron), the unique step pattern sets this shaft apart from the others. The Apollo Shadow Lite’s long parallel tip section followed by those 10 little ½” steps ensures a high ball flight pattern for a wide range of golfers.

The ladies and senior flexes are very well suited to the needs of the slower swinging golfer as they are probably the softest and most flexible steel shafts produced today. The R&S flexes are stiffer and heavier for control while the softer tip section serves to help square the face for those who suffer with pushing, fading or even slicing their irons.

One other note in particular is the A-flex version of the Shadow makes an excellent hybrid shaft for average strength male golfers. Yes, that’s right, this is not just a good senior iron shaft, but a hybrid shafts for lower lofted models for much stronger golfers.

Balistik
Originally designed to reduce inventory, it can be used to create L, A, R and S-flex with a single shaft. Its 44” raw length and 12.5” parallel tip sections gives custom clubmakers a lot of latitude. I feel that legitimately you can make a good senior flex and up to the X-flex range and everything in-between with some creative tip trimming. The Balistik is also a stepless shaft giving it a distinctive appearance.

Hump
The Hump is one of the most unusual steel shafts made. You either love it or you don’t. The people that love it are the ones that consistently pull or hook the ball with their irons. The stiffer tip section (the Hump feature) resists the shaft from turning the ball over. I feel where this shaft really shines is when combined with today’s hybrid. The Hump is a pretty lightweight steel shaft and the fade bias as seen in an iron is neutralized with the more rearward center of gravity locations of today’s hybrids. (Note: since this article originally was written, the Hump has since been retired)

Spectre Lite
The iron shafts are one of the stiffest shafts in their weight range and flex. There are still a number of golfers who want lighter weight steel yet don’t exactly have the smoothest of swings. The Spectre Lite satisfies the lighter weight they are looking for, but the added stiffness and shorter parallel tip length provides the added stability they really need. If you have a smooth swing tempo, look elsewhere in the Apollo line, but for those with quick tempos or compact swings will covet this model.

While most of you are looking at steel shafts for irons, wedges and even some hybrids, I want to talk about the wood shaft. Yes, manufacturers still do manage to manufacturer a few models these days. It is the lightest, most affordable steel wood shaft on the market and a great choice for consumers looking for a lightweight alternative to graphite in their fairway woods.

Standard Stepped
The Standard Stepped is the most economical shaft in the Apollo line. You would think that a heavier shaft would be more expensive to manufacturer as you have more material than a lighter weight shaft. But this isn’t always the case. The reason for being economical is there is no special alloys required, plus with the steps being 2” apart, there are fewer operations to perform in the manufacturing of them.

A few years ago the A/L version was redesigned. It is now softer and lighter weight making it a much more playable shaft for slower swinging golfers.

Standard Stepless
As the name would imply, the Standard Stepless is a stepless shaft. It is comparable weight to the Standard Stepped and a bit firmer making it an excellent economical choice for average to stronger-than-average male golfers.

As a synopsis, here are a couple of comparison charts to show how each shaft is positioned with in the line with regards to weight and stiffness. The first chart shows the relative weight of a cut shaft for a 5-iron for either the R-flex or A-flex in each model.

Model Cut Weight of 5-iron (grams)
Acculite 75 77
Acculite 85 84
Phantom 91
Spectre Lite A/L 94
Shadow A/L 95
Spectre Lite R/S 96
Shadow Lite R/S 97
Standard Stepped A/L 106
Balistik 108
Standard Stepless R/S 109
Standard Stepped R/S 111



This next chart shows the relative stiffness of each shaft in an assembled 5-iron based on one representative sample. Note that all this information can be found in the Dynamic Shaft Fitting Index for all shafts and brands Hireko sells, plus plenty more information you didn’t even know to ask about.

Assembled 5-iron Frequency (cpm) Comparison

Model / Flex L A R S
Acculite 75 265 275
Acculite 85 297 306
Acculite 95 286 295
Phantom 286 295
Hump 283 294
Balistik 293 298 305 313
Shadow Lite 271 277 302 313
Spectre Lite 287 291 312 324
Standard Stepless 306 316
Standard Stepped 282 285 292 302