By: Matt Saternus
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a high-end graphite shaft company has created a graphite iron shaft that they claim is better than steel.
Though in 2013 this is not a new story (see also: UST Recoil, Nunchuk xi), it’s a lot like companies claiming that their new driver is 10 yards longer: part of us knows that it isn’t true, but part of us (the bigger part, if you’re an equipment nerd) has to test it. With the equipment nerd at the controls, I set out to test whether or not the Fujikura MCI iron shaft really has what it takes to make steel a thing of the past.
Specs, Price, and Manufacturer Notes
The most unique thing about the Fujikura MCI is that it isn’t a purely graphite shaft: it’s actually a hybrid of steel and graphite. Fujikura claims that this gives them the ability to harness the best qualities of each material to make an unparalleled product.
Fujikura is offering the MCI in weights of 60, 80, 100, and 120 grams. The 60 and 80 are available in regular and stiff flex, the 100 and 120 in stiff and X-flex. All shafts are .370 tip only.
Consumers can expect to see the MCI in the same price range as the UST Recoil, around $100/shaft. For specific pricing information, contact your local Fujikura Charter Dealer.
Looks, Feel, and Miscellaneous
Much like the other high end graphite iron shafts, Fujikura’s MCI plays it safe on looks: a flat silver finish with very minimal branding of graphics. While some might think it’s overly safe, it makes sense: you’ve got a better chance of getting “serious” players to switch from steel if they don’t have to deal with crazy graphics and the stigma of playing graphite iron shafts.
Having now tested all of the major graphite iron shaft releases, I can safely say the following about feel: the Fujikura MCI is the best feeling iron shaft I’ve ever hit. When you pick it up, it feels head-heavy which will be very comfortable for any Dynamic Gold player. During the swing, it’s stable and solid, but there’s enough feel to let you know the shaft is working. In that regard, it’s much like another Fujikura product, the Fuel. At impact, the graphite cleans up the feedback just like you would expect: mishits aren’t bone-rattling, centered hits feel sweet and almost non-existent.
For the Performance testing, I put the Fujikura MCI up against a variety of iron shafts: Dynamic Gold, Project X PXi, and KBS Tour. The Fujikura MCI shafts were gripped with PURE Grips.
Testing for this review was done with the help of our friends at Club Champion.
DATA (click to enlarge)
Again, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the new graphite iron shafts can absolutely hang with the big dogs. Whether you’re looking at ball speed, dispersion, launch, or spin, the Fujikura MCI is right there with all the steel shafts you see on tour every week.
The one caveat I always have about iron shaft reviews is that it’s somewhat unfair to put something I’ve never used before up against the shaft I’ve been playing for years. I would attribute the slight dispersion advantage that Dynamic Gold enjoys to my comfort with it more than anything else.
The Fujikura MCI is a really really good iron shaft with some very interesting new technology. On performance, it holds its own against the longtime kings of the industry, and it beats them all on feel. The obvious hang up will be price, but that’s the case with all of this year’s new graphite iron shafts. I do think that as graphite becomes more accepted and more prevalent, shafts like this will start to be more accessible to the masses.
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