Interested in golf shafts, this site is a comprehensive collection of golf shaft reviews. It contains both objective measurements and subjective opinions of fitters and club testers. The reviewers are full time golf club fitters, many rated by Golf Digest as the best in the USA. The testers are are great ball strikers. The information here evolved from the need to know the golf shafts the authors fit with. Because there is no measuring standard for comparing golf shafts we developed our own from testing and measuring thousands of golf shafts.  All of the reviews here contain tables of measurements and charts for you to compare shafts to each other.

Use the category selections on the right to sort and filter the content. The Golf Shaft Technology section explains the terms used in the shaft reviews. What you see here is the tip of the iceberg of a knowledge base available now available to professional golf club fitters and builders.

Please contribute to this site, share your experience with a shaft in the comments. Ask your questions about the shafts to the community and the fitters that write here.  And don’t forget to let Google know you recommend this site to others. Follow us on Facebook at DevotedGolfer.tv to be notified when new reviews are posted.

Golf Digest 2013 Americas 100 Best ClubFittersRuss Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

Oban ISAWA Golf Shaft Review

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

ObanISAWAImage

Oban ISAWA Driver Shaft

A box of the new Oban ISAWA shafts arrived and as I was preparing them for measurement I was wondering just where Oban would go with a new design. They already have 5 shafts in the premium Kiyoshi family covering a wide range of profiles . They have the the Devotion in the in the high mid price range and the Revenge in the lower mid price range. Just what was the ISAWA going to bring to the party. The first thing I noticed was the MSRP, $199. Putting it in the same price range as the Devotion and the Revenge. It is a different profile from all the other Oban shafts. I see the typical Oban shaft to have been soft mid in relation to butt and tip. In the Oban line of shafts there are many variations on both ends. The ISAWA is the first of the Oban family to be mid stiff as seen below.
ObanISAWA_TbGr

Radial quality of these shafts averaged 99.2% with a 0.7% standard deviation. Like most quality shafts being brought to market for use in rotating hosels, orientation of this shaft will not matter. One might say that this shaft is in conformance with the USGA rules of golf, Appendix II, Rule 2b, Bending and Twisting Properties of the shaft:
“At any point along its length, the shaft must: (i) bend in such a way that the deflection is the same regardless of how the shaft is rotated about its longitudinal axis; and (ii) twist the same amount in both directions.”

Shaft Pureing was approved by the USGA as a method of getting the non-uniform shafts of the day to play in conformance to this rule. When you see me rate a shaft at over 99% radial consistency, there is nothing to be gained in the playability of that shaft from any form of alignment. They are round to start with. The Oban ISAWA, at an MSRP of $199 is round. Consistently round on all the review samples tested.

The ISAWA is slightly high balanced, the 70 gram version more than the 60 gram version. I have not yet seen the 50 gram models. Torque is in the range of most shafts at this price point. A little higher than one would see in premium models, but certainly in the range of playable for most. Overall stiffness is inline with averages. The small number of review samples I measured showed the 04 flex of both the 60 and 70 gram models to be identical. The 70g model having a slightly stiffer tip and higher balance.

This profile is a classic low launch design. I do not do comparisons between brands here. But, I know this profile. It is new for Oban, but it is not new in the business. This is a great addition to the design matrix offered by Oban fitters.

Loomis Golf Shafts Review

Loomis EPP Iron Shafts

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

Loomis2014EiTbDfGraphite golf shafts are reported to have been first introduced to golf in 1973. In the early days of graphite golf shafts some of the expertise in the graphite business was in the fishing rod business. And a few of those companies entered the golf business. One of those was G. Loomis, still a prominent brand of fishing rods.

Jeffery Meyer began designing graphite shafts with Aldila in 1987. He went to work for Gary Loomis as Director of Engineering in 1992 and the Loomis shafts he designed quickly developed a following on the PGA Tour. The company was sold to Aldila in 1966 and Jeffery went to work for Acushnet as Director of Golf Shaft Development and was later given the responsibility of developing Titleist’s metal woods. The Loomis brand is now back in the hands of Meyer Performance Composites. Loomis shafts are back, and the brand has Jeffery and Robert Meyer at the helm. Robert, is a professional player and a former tour rep.

I did measurements of both the EPP 95 and the EPP Tour models. The shafts are made for Loomis by Mitsubishi. That got my attention. What really got my attention was the use of the Mitsubishi TiNi wire in the tip of the shafts. It was introduced many years ago in the light weight Bassara Griffin. It is now used in the KuroKage Silver and KuroKage Tour driver shafts. It is a highly elastic thread woven into the tip of the shaft. In designs with similar profiles, the TiNi wrapped versions have less loss of stiffness in the tip area resulting in lower launch and spin. This is the first I have seen it used in an iron shaft. Looks like those 95S are going into my bag for a test drive.

The graphics shown above are big and bold. If you do not like them in your face, you can simply install them label down. The back side in a pleasant solid silver completely neutral to the eye. I like it. There is no concern with orientation of these shafts, the radial consistency was 99.5% with a standard deviation of 0.1%. Summary, it does not get any better than that, these shafts are round.

Loomis2014EiTbDf

My experience measuring countless sets of iron shafts has lead me to understand that you cannot compare iron shafts by simply looking at the 6 irons as many have traditionally done. Yes, the view of a single shaft in the set is a useful way to compare shafts, but irons sets are made with 8 different shafts. And they do not necessarily have the same bend properties throughout the set. “Flighted” was the descriptive term coined years ago with the Rifle brand. True Temper now coined a new word I like, “progressive launch”. And I am now revisiting the popular iron shafts in my database and adding measurements of the longest and shortest irons in the sets. As luck would have it, the Loomis 95 and the Tour models represent the two ends of this issue and illustrate why this is important.

The Loomis EPP 95 is a mildly progressive launch design. The wedge profile is ‘straighter’ than the 3 iron shaft. I discuss this at length in the article on Parallel Shafts. Not extremely so as some sets are, but you will get a higher launch in your long irons from the Loomis EPP 95. The mid 90 gram iron shaft is a weight range I find is a great fit for the average golfer. I am told the 125 version now in production will be much the same. The torque of both models is steel like. The 95’s are slightly low balance, the Tour’s slightly high balance.

Loomis90vs15That brings us to the Tour model. It is a radical design. All of the shafts in this set have identical bend profiles. They are discrete lengths, manufactured in discrete lengths. The weight descends in the set, with the weight ranging from 109 g wedge shaft to 118 g 3 iron shaft. Jeff Meyer had a set of the 90’s Loomis iron shafts sent to him and forwarded them to Golf Shaft Reviews for a comparison. The identical bend profile design is indeed the same as the the Loomis shaft of the 90’s. The bend profiles however are quite different. The 2015 Loomis Tour profiles is similar to what we currently see in composite irons shafts. The 1990’s design bears a resemblance to the KBS Tour V’s and the Nippon Modus3 130’s.

The idea is to create a set with a narrower butt frequency range that what is typical. I checked these with typical 3i, 6i and Pw heads at standard lengths and they do in fact exhibit that property. The butt frequency range is about half of what one would typically see. If you understand that stiffness and launch are interrelated, stiffer launching lower than softer on a good ball strike, you would then predict that the short end of the set in such a set would launch higher than a traditional build. And I am told that is indeed true.

 

 

Oban Tour Limited Golf Shaft Review

OBAN TOUR LIMITED DRIVER SHAFT

By Tony Curro  –  Tru-Fit Custom Clubs
Colonie – NY, Lenox – MA, Manchester – VT & Latham – NY

Kiyoshi Tour Limited Image

The latest model from Oban Composites is the Kyoshi Tour Limited.  Released in 2014, this high modulus composite shaft features a tip section that is stiffer than all of the other  Kyoshi models.  Looking at the EI bend profile of this shaft, the shaft maintains it’s stiffness to about the 15 inch mark, then drastically softens and maintains that softness through the shaft to the butt section where it stiffens again around the 33 inch section.  We used the 60 in 04 (stiff) flex.  This shaft in the 60 and 70 stiffens in the butt section to produce higher launch conditions without increasing spin rates.   We took the shaft to the range to test it out, and came back with some profound results.

Oban Tour Limited Test Results

Our tester is PGA Class A Professional Peter Girard Head Teaching Professional at Mill Road Acres Golf Course.

ObanTourTestThe data was taken from the Flightscope X2 prime unit which contains the latest upgrades to the software.  The Kyoshi Tour Limited was put in a Taylormade SLDR Driver at 9* with the weight moved towards the fade setting.  With a Swing speed that averages close to 103mph, Peter was able to generate ball speeds in excess of 150+mph and carry distances which consistently exceeded 250 yds.  Most notably,  this shaft performed as advertised enabling Peter to launch the ball higher (nearly 13* of launch on some of the swings) while maintaining lower spin rates. (as low as 1400 rpm)   This resulted in some roll outs as high as 30+ yards allowing Peter to reach total distances close to 300 yds.  (It is difficult to see from the pasted photo, but on his last swing he reached a total distance of 299 yards with a spin rate of 2070, not bad for a golfer approaching 60 years old)  I believe the higher launch angles really help Peter, because he doesn’t possess swing speeds approaching warp speed.  With his smooth tempo, and late release, this shaft accelerates and releases nicely for someone who fights the occasional hook.  Conditions on that day allowed for calm winds and average rolling fairways.  These conditions allow me to say that the results gathered while testing this shaft were very reliable with minimal outside variables influencing the results.

Conclusion

The Kyoshi Tour Limited was a perfect match for our tester, giving him anywhere from 15-20 more total yards off the tee when compared to what he was currently playing.    The increased stiffness in the tip section combined with the lower torque in that section  gives him sufficient stability enabling him to keep his spin rates at around 2000 rpm’s.  The increased stiffness of the Butt section combined with torque readings of 3.8* and a weight of 71g allowed him to keep his smooth tempo, and late release.  (and fight any tendency to release early resulting in the dreaded hooks)  His “old” driver setup was a “hand me down” from a friend who works on tour in an OEM tour van.   The ability for us to reach optimal distances while maintaining consistency in the fairway, further emphasizes the profound edge professionally fit equipment gives any golfer.   The Kyoshi Tour limited 60 in 04 flex proved to be an excellent match for Peter, and he continues to keep this club in his bag in some of the biggest tournaments of the year.

Kiyoshi_TourLimited_EiGjTbThe average radial consistency in our review samples was 99.3% with a 0.7% standard deviation. Excellent! That meets quality and consistency one would expect in a $490 MSRP shaft. This shaft is available only through Oban custom club fitters. Like the Kiyoshi Gold, the 50 gram version has a player profiled design. It is not stiffened in the 12 inch area as are the 60 & 70 gram versions. The 70 gram shaft is stiffened in the butt area, creating a higher balance point and a propensity to launch a little higher. In other designs, this creates a great fairway shaft. Kiyoshi Tour Limited StructureUnique to the Oban Tour Limited golf shaft is a 4 axis material wrapped the entire length of the shaft. This woven carbon fiber material is used by many shaft manufacturers, but rarely is it used the entire length of the shaft. The result is a shaft with more consistent torque along its entire length than we typically see.

Oban Kiyoshi Gold Golf Shaft Review

OBAN KIYOSHI GOLD DRIVER SHAFT

By Tony Curro  –  Tru-Fit Custom Clubs
Colonie – NY, Lenox – MA, Manchester – VT & Latham – NY

Kiyoshi Gold Image

The OBAN Kiyoshi Gold Driver shaft was introduced in 2014. It is the latest and perhaps the last we are told, of the Kiyoshi family of shafts from Oban composites.  This high modulus composite shaft features a tip section that is softer than all of the other  Kyoshi models.  Looking at the EI bend profile of this shaft, the shaft maintains it’s softness throughout the shaft into  the butt section when compared to the other Kyoshi models.  We used the 65 in 04 (stiff) flex when testing.  Although this shaft didn’t seem to be a perfect match for our tester, it did give us some interesting data to look at.

Oban Kiyoshi Golf Testing

Our tester is PGA Class A Professional Peter Girard Head Teaching Professional at Mill Road Acres Golf Course.

ObanGoldTest
The data was taken from the Flightscope X2 Prime unit which contains the latest upgrades to the software.  The Kyoshi Gold was put in a Taylormade SLDR Driver at 9* with the weight moved towards the fade setting.  With a Swing speed that averages close to 102 mph, Peter was able to generate ball speeds that approached 150 mph and carry distances approaching 250 yds.  Most notably,  this shaft performed as advertised giving the golfer more tip action which proportionally increased as the shaft approaches the butt region.   Though not a great match for our tester, the more active tip section resulted in higher launch angles, while maintaining lower spin rates. (as low as 1500 rpm)   This resulted in some roll outs as high as 30+ yards allowing Peter to reach total distances close to 280 yds.   I believe the higher launch angles really help Peter, because he doesn’t possess swing speeds approaching warp speed.  With his smooth tempo, and later release some swings were excellent.  Because this shaft possesses a softer butt section (in comparison to other Kyoshi models)  it was more difficult for him to maintain his later release at times.  On several of the swings, his forceful transition caused him to hook the ball resulting in a loss of distance.  This shaft would greatly benefit golfers with both smooth tempo’s and smoother transitions than Peter.  He better matches shafts that provide much more butt stiffness.   In looking at the EI curves for this shaft, the tip flexibility softens to the 18 inch mark, then proportionally  stiffens on almost a straight line to the butt region.  This allows the shaft to accelerate and release  consistently for a smoother swinging golfer.    Conditions on that day allowed for calm winds and average rolling fairways.  These conditions allow me to say that the results gathered while testing this shaft were very reliable with minimal outside variables influencing the results.

Conclusion

The Kyoshi Gold 65 S was not a perfect match for our tester,but played as advertised.    The softer tip section combined with the higher  torque in that section provided sufficient stability enabling him to keep his spin rates at around 2000 rpm’s.  The softness of the Butt section combined with torque readings of 3.0* and a weight of 68 g would benefit smoother transitioning golfers.  Radial consistency of the Oban Kiyoshi Gold was measured at 99% with a 0.5% standard deviation. Translation, the shafts are round and  play to an extremely high level of consistency.

The 50 gram version has a different profile than the rest of the designs. This is not uncommon among current shaft designs. The designers are looking for a particular feel and performance.   In the 50 gram light weight shafts this often means a profile designed for the slower swinger, or players with ultra-smooth transitions that can use a light weight driver shaft.  As this model gets heavier, the stiffness increases, but still proportionally in relation to the rest of the Kyoshi family of shafts.  Softer tip, where stiffness increases linearly throughout the shaft. (this made it more difficult for Peter to fight his tendency to release a bit earlier when he doesn’t put a good swing on the ball, resulting in the dreaded hooks)  His “old” driver setup was a “hand me down” from a friend who works on tour in an OEM tour van.   We were able to match Peter in a better shaft match as the fitting progressed, but his numbers still surpassed what he was playing in his bag.  This , further emphasizes the profound edge professionally fit equipment gives any golfer.   The Kyoshi Gold maintains the consistency of the Kyoshi family of shafts, and plays precisely as the shaft model was designed to play.  For the golfer who possess a smoother tempo and transition, this shaft can be a perfect match.

Kiyoshi_Gold_EiGjTb

Fujikura Pro Iron Golf Shaft Review

Fujikura Pro Iron Shaft

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

FujiProI_ImageThe 2014 Fujikura Pro iron shaft is a unique design. I like the graphics, the logo is filled with the darker tone of the top of the shaft on one side and the lighter tone of the bottom of the shaft on the other side. The uniqueness does not stop there.

FujiProEII recently wrote an article about the profile of typical parallel shaft design and how it develops into set profiles with collapsed tip strength differences. While I was writing that article I began measuring the Fujikura Pro shafts and recognized the uniqueness of this design. As you can see in this illustration, it is atypical for parallel shafts. The tip section does not flatten. Instead it continues to lose stiffness toward the tip. Because we measure the stiffness of the shaft in 10″ zones, these subtitles of design are apparent. When we compile the measurements of these zones into a composite image we see the shaft from a different perspective than systems that measure either the entire shaft or additive images of zones of increasing length from the tip toward the butt. While a fitter can work with either image, those that have access to this system have an insight blurred in additive zone systems. We will post a technical article shortly about this issue, so lets return to the Fujikura Pro Iron Shaft.

FujiProI_DfEiTbAverage radial quality of the shaft was 99.1% with a 0.8% standard deviation. Don’t worry about aligning these shaft, they are about as close to round as shafts get. As we move forward with iron shaft reviews we will start showing the profile of the 3i, the 6i and the wedge shafts from a set. On some sets the profiles change through out the set. It is important when looking for the set that works best for you that these difference be understood. And it is here that the Fujikura Pro is unique among parallel tip iron shafts. The design profile results in sets that have consistent tip stiffness progressions. There is a video discussion of this in an earlier review.

I am still working on the software to show iron set images. We can virtually trim zone profiled parallel iron shafts. The images at the right show the virtually trimmed shaft as a 0″ tip trim, a 2″ tip trim and a 4″ tip trim. Much like a set of constant weight taper shafts, the tip stiffness of the Fuikura Pro increases uniformly through the set. That is unique!

The images on the left show what you would see if you were to put these shafts on a deflection board. Notice how the subtlety of the zone measurements disappears in the overall bend of the loaded shaft. One of my fitting associates described it as being color blind. How does one explain the difference between red and blue to someone that is color blind.

The overall stiffness of the shafts is typical for this weight range of iron shafts. Looking at this profile I see a shaft that is butt soft in relation to the mid section. This is for a player with a smooth transition and a good loading pattern at the top of the downswing. That is discussed in this video.

Aldila Tour Blue – Aldila Tour Green Golf Shaft Review

Aldila Tour Blue and Green Driver Shafts

Golf Digest 2013 Americas 100 Best transparent.fwMeasurments By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

 

Testing by John Dranshak
Dead Solid Perfect Golf Clubs, Columbus Ohio

The Aldila Tour Blue and Aldila Tour Green have now been with us for about a year and this review was first published last year. It has been updated with testing by John Dranshak, a club fitter that has been using 3 point EI profiles to guide his fitting process. These shafts are noted by Aldila as being made from ultra thin carbon fiber. This technology was first introduced in the Aldila NV and was unique in its day. Most premium shafts are now made with multiple layers of thin sheets. In my memory, Aldila pioneered this technique and a look at the radial consistency of these shafts shows what can now be accomplished in the mid price range ($250) of premium golf shafts. The shaft to shaft bend profile consistency of the Aldila Tour shafts is very good. You can be confident your shaft will be a very good match to the shaft you were fit with.

Aldila Tour Blue

AldilaTourBlue_Image

The Aldila Tour Blue is an impressive classical design, soft mid in relation to tip and butt. Outstanding radial consistency, average 99.3% with a 0.5% standard deviation. This shaft is available as an option from most club companies.

AldilaTourBlue_EiGjTb

With help from my friend and technical mentor, Dave Tutelman, I have expanded our 3 point EI measurements to create illustrations of shaft deflection under load. This is the first published illustration of the new addition to my software. The EI database that is the foundation of the GolfShaftReviews now shows how a shaft bends when loaded. Different loads can be applied and compared. With this information a fitter has a foundation to compare the relationship between a shaft profile and a golfers loading and release patterns. The bumps you see in the EI data shown in  these reviews come out during the swing. What is left are subtle changes. Those subtle changes create the differences in feel, flight and dispersion that we recognize in different shafts.

AldilaTourBlue_Loads

Experience with this profile predicts a mid high launch.It will fit those with an aggressive transition. I like this profile in fairways.

Aldila Tour Green

AldilaTourGreen_ImageThe Aldila Tour Green was in play on the PGA Tour at the end of the 2013 season. I saw it often on video coverage. A low launch design created with a soft trough at 26 inches and a stiff bump at 18. Not an uncommon design but new in the Aldila lineup. The reinforcement you can see in the tip section creates flat deflection below the mid-high maximum bend point, creating a lower launch. The Aldila Tour Green is one of the stock options in the Titleist 913D2 and the Titleist 913D3 drivers and can be found in many of the Titleist fitting carts. 

AldilaTourGreen_EiGjTb99.2% average radial consistency, with a 0.4% standard deviation. Excellent for rotating hosels. Both the Aldila Tour Blue and the Aldila Tour Green are high balance point shafts.

AldilaTourGreen_DeflectThis is another illustration from the new deflection rendering software. The tip stiffening bump seen in the Aldila Tour Green is nowhere to be seen in the deflection of the shaft under load. Yet it is there, creating a change in the angle the shaft delivers the head at impact. What we see in this illustration is a comparison of deflection of the different models of the Aldila Tour Green with a 5 pound load. Using this information, an informed fitter has a guide to stiffness unlike any other method I am aware of. The illustration below shows the Aldila Tour Green 65 TX under different loads. The different EI profiles result in very subtle changes between the Green and Blue versions of this latest design from Aldila. AldilaTourGreen_Loads

Simulated Deflection Loading

The new addition to the Fit2Score software renders simulated deflection under load and unload as it might happen during a golf swing. It is a very unique tool for understanding the performance of a golf shaft. The ability to model performance of a golf shaft is created by the 3 point bending shaft instrument used by reviewers on this site.

AldilaTourBlueLoad

Performance Testing by John Dranshak

Player testing was performed at Golftec (Easton) in Columbus, OH by Joe Stago PGA Professional. Joe tested the Phenom Nasty Long, RIP NV, and standard NV shafts earlier this year and is familiar with the Aldila line of shafts. The shafts were paired with Adams XTD heads including Driver, 16.5* fairway metal and 20* and 23* hybrids.

AldilaTourTestData

The data shows that the Tour Blue will launch slightly higher than the Tour Green as expected from the EI profiles. The Tour Blue launched 1.2* higher with the driver and also had slightly higher spin numbers. Joe commented that both shafts felt very solid with the Tour Blue being much easier to get airborne with the hybrids and fairway metals. He particularly liked the Tour Blue in the 23* Adams XTD hybrid and commented that it was significantly longer than his current 23* hybrid. Joe praised both shafts for their stability and accuracy, and although he prefers a slightly lower spinning shaft for his swing with a driver, he was very impressed with the performance of both the Fairway Metal and hybrid shafts. Overall these shafts have excellent performance for the better golfer looking for the right combination of accuracy, distance and feel.

Fit2Score Golf Shaft Measuring Instrument

Measuring the Golf Shaft

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

Several years ago I learned the term EI from engineers in the business of designing shafts. The instrument most used was in the $10K+ range, therefore not affordable to most. Not even all shaft brands have these instruments. It took about 2 years to come up with the original affordable EI measuring design. This shaft review site shows measurements taken with the Fit2Score instrument.

After many years of use, I decided to redesign and improve the instrument. The improved version 7 of the Fit2Score EI shaft measuring instrument is now available. This animation show it cycling on a shaft.

EIv7_cycle_320x300

The gauge was re-positioned to improve accuracy and repeat-ability on measurements. Positioning pins are incorporated into a manufactured weight. The new press and weight design have been in use now on a retrofitted instrument for several months. Most of the original instruments have been upgrade with these assemblies. The newly designed self centering shaft support maintains the radius of the earlier design while eliminating the guide to center the shaft. The shaft naturally ‘falls’ to the bottom of the curve making readings faster and repeatable.

A hoop strength measuring fixture has been designed. It centers the shaft under the press and uses the 11kg weight and .0001 gauge to measure hoop strength. The new driver database structure includes fields for 7 hoop strength readings along the length of the shaft. This pulls aside another veil of shaft understanding. Hoop strength will now be shown in the reviews here. 

The instrument is now available for $2200. Excel based spreadsheets are included for gathering and analyzing profiles of shafts. Owner have the option of subscribing the the historical knowledge base that is at the core of the reviews on this site. Contact russ@fit2score.com if you are interested in this essential club making instrument.

Graphite Design YS Golf Shaft Review

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

Graphite Design YS Reloaded Golf Shafts

GraphiteDesign_YSReloaded_Image

The YS Reloaded is a updated version of the Graphite Design YS+ featuring better materials, 50 gram versions and new graphics. The profile, a classic, soft mid in relation to tip and butt is largely unchanged. This profile is available from every major shaft brand at many price levels. A bundle of YS+ shafts were in the shop that had never been reviewed. That presented the opportunity to compare the origional YS+ to the 2015 YS Reloaded.

Graphite Design YS+ Golf Shafts

GraphiteDesign_YSPlus_Image

In the YS Reloaded, the point of maximum bend in the shaft is moved up slightly toward the butt to accommodate the heavier heads that dominate the current market. Newer materials deliver slightly improved hoop strength as well as more consistent hoop strength down the length of the shaft.  In the 60 gram models the 2015 YS Reloaded has slightly lower torque. The 70 gram versions are much the same as the earlier YS+

GraphiteDesign_YS_EiDfTbMeasuring the radial integrity of Graphite Design shafts is always easy. They are marked with one of the FLO lines and the shaft graphics are on that line. Putting the label up or down orients the strong side of the shaft toward the face of the club. The radial quality of the YS Reloaded shafts was 98.8% with a 0.5% standard deviation. Translation, tour quality. During a visit to my shop last year by the Graphite Design executives, we discussed radial quality testing. Their factory procedure and mine test protocol were identical. Find a FLO, note the CPM, turn the shaft 90 degrees to find the second FLO, note the CPM. If the two are not within a few CPM of each other, scrap the shaft. I have yet to see a Graphite Design shaft I would not consider unacceptable for use.

I have been told by some readers of this site that they do not understand all this information. So, here is some help understanding the graphics. The chart shows the average bend profile of both the 50 gram and the 60 / 70 gram models. The hump in mid shaft stiffness in the 50 gram version is a characteristic I am seeing quite often in the light weight models of a design. The first time I saw it in ultra premium shafts I was surprised. I have seen it many times now and believe we are looking at something the designers are finding necessary to stabilize the 50 gram models we are seeing now in most shaft lines. Typically when I see a bump like that in a design I have found it creates lower launch. Of course, we must also remember that the ratio of stiffness to swing speed is a primary consideration in launch. As many of us, myself included, move toward lighter weight shafts, which as a function of weight are not as stiff as the heavier models, this mid shaft stiffness bump restores the launch pattern one would see in a heavier version of the same shaft. Having written this to help with understand the chart, and rereading what I just wrote, I am not quite certain I helped anyone understand anything, :-)

As you look at this graphic you will see a slight change in the intersection of the tip and butt loading average of the YS Reloaded 60 & 70 gram shafts and the earlier YS design. This indicates a slightly lower launch over the previous design as the tip to butt ratio is higher in the YS reloaded.

Graphite Design Tour AD MJ Golf Shaft Review

Graphite Design Tour AD MJ Driver Shaft

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas

GraphiteDesignADDJ_Image
The sixth version of the Graphite Design Tour AD driver shaft line releases shortly. We got an early look at the 10 shafts in the MJ series. They range from 53 grams to 87 grams uncut. The profile is consistent through out the weigh range, each weight/stiffness increment has exactly the same bend profile. They simply get heavier, stiffer and have lower torque.

Since the original Tour AD DI, the Graphite Design AD DI series has had a mid shaft stiffness ‘bump’. Each model has varied the degree and position of this mid shaft stiffness design.
GraphiteDesignADMJ_compareThey have all started with a relatively stiff butt section. This is the first to soften the handle. The overall design of the shaft is very similar to the 2014 Tour AD-MT design as you can see in this illustration. Is has a softer butt. In my fitting experience this design, soft butt / stiff mid is a good fit for a player that starts the downswing with a good hip move with a stable upper body. The soft butt loads for the golfer whose transition force is generally down the shaft. He takes this stored energy to a strong mid swing shoulder turn where the mid shaft stiffness stabilizes the shaft in preparation for the elbow and wrist uncocking. I would expect many good players that have been under whelmed with the Graphite Design AD family will find this one adds a little distance along with dispersion control.

GraphiteDesignADMJ EiDfTbLike all the Graphite Design Tour AD shafts, the radial consistency is excellent, averaging 99% with a 0.5% standard deviation. The softer butt stiffness in the profile is not reflected in the overall stiffness of the Tour AD MJ. I would have expected a mid low launch propensity from the butt to mid section design. However, the tip is a litte softer than other shafts with this butt/mid stiffness relationship. That will add to launch, especially with the bling load heavier driver heads that have become popular recently.

Mark Maness tested it at The Golf Center at the Highlands, one of the two DFW ranges where Fit2Score conducts club fittings. Before you watch Mark’s comments this is a summary of the FlightScope results:GraphiteDesignADMJFlightScope

MarkMSkyProDriverSwingStart

We are in the early days of using a SkyPro, a 6 degree of freedom, accelerator gyroscope that attaches to the golf shaft. Mark mentioned he tugs the club at the start of the downswing. His initial load on the shaft is down the length of the shaft as he get the club into motion with his body rotation. This is what that motion looks like on SkyPro. And it is this motion that I find best fits into shafts that have soft butts relative to the mid section of the shaft. The Tour AD-MJ brings that profile to the Graphite Design Tour AD lineup.

KBS C-Taper Lite Parallel Golf Shaft

KBS C-Taper Lite Parallel

By Russ Ryden, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
Fit2Score, Dallas Fort Worth, Texas
KBS CTLite Parallel Image

Parallel shafts have been a favorite of club builders with frequency machines for much of the time I have been engaged in club building. My involvement with a group called the PCS introduced me to the concept of frequency matched shaft sets. Before I developed an understanding of EI measurement, I was and avid practitioner of frequency matching. As I developed an understanding of the golf shaft through EI, I switched to using constant weight taper shafts exclusively. It is only recently, in the preparation of this review and another parallel shaft that I developed a new appreciation for the genre. For a full discussion, read the article Parallel vs Constant Weight Shafts.
KBS CTLiteParallelEISetLets take a look at the set profiles of the Parallel vs Taper versions of the KBS C-Taper Lite S flex. The factory trimed constant weight shafts ascend uniformly from tip to butt while the parallels are compressed at the tips and the butts.
KBS CTLite ParallelTipsLets take a closer look at the tips of these two sets.You can see the compression of tip stiffness that is common to most parallel shaft designs. As someone reminded me a few days ago, there was a time when a lot of the top PGA tour players played Rifle shafts. Another Kim Braly design.

As you look that the magnified tip sections you see that the profile of the constant weight set is the same on the 3 iron and on the wedge. The profile of the parallel set changes. The wedge shaft is straighter going to the tip, the 3 iron shaft is for want of a better term more curved. It is the difference near the tip that creates flighting in a set.

KBS CTLite ParallelvsRifleAs I mentioned the Royal Precision Rifle it ooccurred to me it would be interesting to compare the C-Taper Parallel to the Rifle. If you miss your Rifle’s, it looks like they are back. Not exactly, but very close.

KBS CTLite ParallelEiDfTbLike all the KBS shafts I have measured, the Radial Quality is exceptional. In the chart above the Butt Stiffness values were taken from the from the recommended 6 iron cut. The rest of the numbers are from the uncut 42″ shaft. With the exception of the R flex, the overall butt stiffness is similar to the taper tip version. If you build MOI matched iron sets, the parallels will require extra weight in the hosel than the tapers.