It's the Shaft
The golf shaft is the engine of the golf club. Tom Seldon, a wise old club maker put it best: "You can put a poorly designed club head on a good shaft and you will have a playable club. However, the best designed club head in the world on an inferior shaft will be junk." Most golfers that set out to save money when they purchase golf clubs end up with inferior commercial grade shafts.
What not everyone knows about their clubs
Commercial grade shafts are mass-produced, high tolerance products designed for low end golf equipment. All major shaft manufacturers have at least one commercial grade product line and some have several. Commercial grade shafts are sold under several misleading names. Finest Quality shafts are manufactured to tight weight and dimensional specifications. They are primarily sold to high-end golf equipment manufactures like Callaway and reputable custom club assemblers. The wholesale price for Finest Quality golf shafts is always significantly more expensive due to more complicated manufacturing techniques and rigorous inspection standards.
Do I need First Quality Shafts?
Not necessarily. If you play once or twice a year or just want a set of clubs of your own rather than renting, any shaft will do. However, if your intention is to play your best golf and want to improve you should spend the extra money for Finest Quality for the following reasons. First, weight variations between commercial grade shafts can be as much as 7 grams. The result is a collection clubs will not play together as a balanced set. You may be able to hit the 8 iron well but the 9 iron just is not the same. And, the shaft is the single most important component in a golf club. Getting the correct shaft will have be the single most important factor in determining you satisfaction with you new clubs.
True Temper Not Always True
For example, True Temper sells millions of commercial grade shafts a year. They have specific manufacturing tolerances regarding weight and diameter that Finest Quality shafts must meet. If a product falls outside the tight acceptable range it is rejected and sold to companies that make inferior golf equipment. These companies advertise their shafts as True Temper shafts or even True Temper TT shafts. But the shaft will not say "True Temper: Finest Quality" printed clearly on the shaft.
How Do I Know What I'm Getting
Shaft bands (the stickers that wrap steel shafts to identify the product) do not always tell the whole story. In the competition to offer the lowest possible price some companies cross the line and sell commercial grade shafts with Finest Quality stickers. The major shaft manufactures have tried to police this problem by silk-screening the product name onto their Finest Quality products. You know you have deceived if your golf club has a Dynamic gold sticker but does not have Dynamic Gold printed on the shaft. True Temper commercial quality shafts will have the words "True Temper" printed below the first step.