Aldila RIP Phenom Golf Shaft Review


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


The Aldila Phenom is a smoother version of the RIP Alpha. Like the RIP Alpha, the light version 50 gram model has a different profile than the 70 gram version. The butt stiffness of the 70 gram version is much stiffer that the 50 gram model. The torque ranges from 6.8 in the 50R to 4.1 in the 50g TX model. While that R flex number may seem high, the raw 46″ shaft actually weighs 47.6 grams and will build out at around 45 grams. One must be careful when looking at shaft labels on light weight shafts. The labels often understate the actual weights of the shafts. That is not the case with the Aldila Phenom. The RIP Phenom 70S torque is 3.4 and the Tour X is 2.9. The radial profiles are very good, the shaft can be installed in any orientation.

The balance point of the Aldila RIP Phenom moves toward the butt as the weight increases.  The 50g R is at 23″ and the 70g Tour X is at 25″.  This appears to be intentional as most other shafts from Aldila hold a consistent balance through weights and models.  This shafts is a mid-low launch design.  The Tour X designation on this shaft is new for Aldila.  That shaft is designed as the designation states, as a tour quality shaft.  The butt torque is 2.9, tip torque 2.1.  The EI profile is smoother, and by design, the butt is stiff.  The profile of the 70 Tour X is not that far from a Mitsubishi ‘ahina with half degree higher torque.  That small amount of torque difference will remove the sense of stiffness from this low launch design.

  • TravisAllanson

    Russ, I really like the feel of the Rip Phenom 70s in my 913 driver. I’m playing it at 44.5 and it seems to really allow me to get on plane with good tempo and find the center of the club face more consistently than a number of other shafts I’ve tried. The only problem is that I seem to get higher spin and less roll out with it. The launch is high and fairly flat, the ball carries nicely, but little roll most of the time. I’ve been working on adjusting ball position in an attempt to flatten the shot and lower the spin but can’t help thinking a slightly different shaft might help me get a little more roll. If I like the feel of the 70s, do you think the feel of the 70TX would be similar? And help with my roll out? Thank you.

    • DevotedGolfer

      The higher launch you are experiencing is from this shaft or in general. Have you checked your angle of attack. Things happen to our swing over time and it is not always the gear. Perhaps it is a different weight? Perhaps it is your interaction with the shaft.
      It is hard to say that the TX might give you a little lower launch. That is what typically happens with a stiffer shaft. The TX is overall stiffer a small amount, the biggest difference between the two shafts is in the 28″ – 34″ range, with the TX being significantly stiffer there. It is overall it is about a half degree lower torque.
      The Aldila Nasty Long 70R has a profile similar to the Phenom 70S but tighter in the midsection. That would be an interest shaft to try as an alternate.

  • TravisAllanson

    Thanks Russ. I haven’t had my angle of attack checked. Based on the ball flight I am seeing I would think it is a little on the high side and I’ve been making some small adjustments to ball position and tee height in an effort to get it under control. The Phenom NL is an interesting suggestion and I’ll look for an opportunity to try one. A side question to this: In general does a stiffer shaft (or perhaps a portion the shaft) give the sensation of a club having a heavier swing weight? Thanks again.

    • DevotedGolfer

      Stiffer almost always means heavier. That is how stiffness is achieved. Swing Weight, a 1920’s idea for measuring balance, is likely to be affected by heavier shafts. The sensation of a heavier club is more accurately measured by club MOI. That is a measurement taken by club makers that own the instrument. This device returns a number that corresponds to the dynamic force it takes to put a golf club in motion. I cannot quite figure out what Swing Weight measures. It is heavily influenced by the weight of the grip. And on an MOI scale of 2700 points the grip generally accounts for 8 of those points. That is about .3% of the dynamic load you feel when you swing a club. It is so easy to trick a swing weight scale it is a mystery to me why they continue to be used in a world where solid state instrumentation makes things possible that were not in the 20’s. Tradition dies hard in golf.
      I participated in testing some new shafts with a shaft company a few years ago. Their consultant golf pro was handed a swing weight matched 4i. He immediately declared it impossible to hit. I took his 4i and the test 4i into the shop and MOI matched the test club to his own 4i. His reaction to the club I handed him, ‘Thats more like it, its perfect now.’ And yet, swing weight building is the dominate practice in the golf business. Now we have counterweighted driver shafts. This is all about tricking the swing weight instrument. Sigh!