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. 

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

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.  

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

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. 

Testing information is available only to registered readers

Diamama Red Golf Shaft Review

Mitsubishi Diamana R – Third Generation

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

Diamana3Gen_R_Image

The last of the third Generation Mitsubshi Diamana driver shafts released in September 2014. The Diamana ilima, the second generation Diamana Red Board has long been my favorite fairway shafts. The expression, ‘if its not broken don’t fix it, applies the the third generation Diamana R. It changes very little over the second generation design. The butt stiffness is a little softer, allowing for a little more load at the start of the downswing. New material, high modulus 80 ton fiber is use in the hoop wraps in the shaft. In the butt, the hoop strength increases while the stiffness decreases. We are seeing more creative designs in carbon fiber golf shafts. Design is limited by the creativity of the shaft engineer and by the willingness of the golfing public to embrace these new products at ever increasing costs. At $400, the Diamana R, one of the greatest fairway shafts I know of, is beyond the typical $300 price of the off the rack fairway. You get what you pay for, and in this case, in the 70 and 80 gram models, you are paying for tip torque low enough to control the weight of a 3 wood head.

This is a high launch shaft. For those who hit their woods off the turf, where a downward angle of attack is all that is possible, a high launch shaft is a good thing. With a driver, and an upward angle of attack we would seek a lower launching design. But with a fairway, this is my design of choice.

MRC_DiamanaR_TbGr3gMDI

I checked 10 shafts, one of each weight and flex, the average radial consistency was 99.6% with a standard deviation of 0.2%. That is an example of the made in Japan tradition of excellence we have historically seen from Mitsubishi Rayon. This is the first shaft I know of to use 80 ton material. It is too stiff to be used in the linear and bias plies. It is used to create hoop strength. Because it is thin and has no open space like multi axis weaves it creates high hoop strength while leaving the shaft designer the space inside the multi layered wall to achieve the linear and torsional strengths he is seeking to achieve. All while creating a smooth lose of stiffness down the shaft and the unique Mitsubishi feel.

New to third generation Diamana R series are 50 gram shafts. The line between the ultra light driver shafts and light weight versions of standard shafts is getting blurry. The Diamana R series extends the profiles consistently into the 50 gram versions. Those with slower drive swing speeds that need launch and spin can get it without having to accept a high torque tip.

Now that the third generation Diamana release is complete, lets compare the three designs by looking at the 60 gram version of each shaft.

Diamana3Gen_60_RWBThese shafts are not as different as they once were. At least in the 60 gram versions. The Diamana B series was reviewed earlier as was the Diamana W. The profile of the Diamana W changes significantly in the 70 and 80 gram versions. But as you can see here, in the 60 gram version is it just a little higher launching than the Diamana W. The Diamana R is a different shaft. Softer handle, quicker loss of stiffness from mid to tip. All three shafts get stiffer as they approach the tip. If I want a stiffer shaft, I will always simply change to the next step on the stiffness progression, either getting the heavier of the stiffer model before I would consider tipping these shafts.

Graphite Design Tour AD SuperLite Driver Shaft Review

Graphite Design Tour AD SLII Driver Shaft

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

GD_TourAD_SLII_ImageGraphite Design added a light weight shaft to the popular Tour AD Line in 2014. This shaft, like many others in the light weight category, ranges from 50g to 60g, with stiffness corresponding to weight. In this weight range, we see higher torques, but not so high that I would be concerned about head stability. These shafts are designed for swing speeds in the 60 to 85 mile per hour range. The 60g SR flex extends to the 90 mph range. My swing speed in in the high 90’s with the occasional 102 showing up and I am playing an ultra premium 59g shaft. Light weight driver shafts, made out of high quality carbon fiber are the future of golf for many of us. That couple of grams I lost in my latest shaft change has given me a new range of control and feeling without any increase in dispersion. In fact, I am hitting more fairways than I ever have now that I changed to a sub 60g shaft.
GD_TourAD_SLII_EiTBGjFsHpTbRadial integrity of the Graphite Design Tour AD SLII is exceptional, the review samples averaged 98.5% with a 0.4% standard deviation. The hoop strength is high for this weight range, and distinctly different in the 4 vs 5 models. This measurement is new for my knowledge base.

This is a unique design, there is no close match in the database. The tip to butt ratio and the tip load and butt load deflection analysis shows it to be a high launch high spin design consistent with what Graphite Design is saying about the shaft. In the speed range it is designed for, that is what will optimize distance. Tip torque is tight. Butt torque is in the range that transmits adequate feel in light weight shafts. If your swing speed is below 90 mph and you are looking for a quality shaft this is one you should be testing.

Mitsubishi KuroKage Tour Edition TINI Driver Shaft Review

Mitsubishi KuroKage Proto TINI Driver

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

MRC_KuroKage_Tour

The KuroKage Proto TiNi is available only through selected Mitsubishi dealers. I briefly covered this shaft in an earlier review and did not give it the attention it deserves. It is currently in the driver of the #1 player on the PGA tour. His shaft is a custom made version, beyond the 7-XX available to Mistubishi dealers. My friend Biv Wadden has me continuously building drivers for his students with this shaft. When you have as many shafts as I do in my fitting system, some go unnoticed as I tend to fit what I know. Biv’s praise of this shaft got me to take a closer look and start testing the shaft myself.

“For the past year, I’ve been putting most of my competitive students into the KuroKage prototype tour edition shaft with its nickel-titanium tip – in both drivers and 3-woods. It consistently produces higher ball speeds and lower dispersion than any other premium shaft I use.”
Biv Wadden

The result, the Diamana ilima’s, which have had a 3 year run in my fairways have been replaced with KuroKage Proto’s. With a $400 price tag this is not likely to become a best seller. Unless of course you try it and it fits your swing. Here is a look at the shaft measurements from the latest version of the Fit2Score knowledge-base.

MRC__KuroKageProto_EiTBTbRadial integrity of the samples was 99.5% with a 0.3% standard deviation, excellent. Hoop strength was a little lower on the handle end of the 60 gram shafts. The balance is high like most driver shafts now being produced. The profile shows a soft handle, moderate mid, stiff tip design, with a maximum bend in the 14″ region. The lower 12″ of the shaft is wrapped with Titanium Nickel Wire touted by Mitsubishi as able to stretch then immediately regain its original shape. This material is used in the KuroKage Silver, but the Proto has a longer section of the impregnated with the TiNi wire. While both shafts incorporate the TiNi wire, the profiles are about as different as MRC profiles get.

The KuroKage Proto was the first of the heavier shafts to incorporate the TiNi wire that had been used in UltraLight Bassara series of shafts. It was also the first to use 40 ton fiber. Mitsubishi Rayon is now using 80 ton fiber in the hoop layers of the third generation Diamana’s. The Bassara UltraLite Phoenix, released in 2014 is a light weight version of this profile. It adds the lighter weights not offered in the KuroKage Tour Edition shaft.

The profile is very similar to the Diamana ilima. The butt a little stiffer the tip a little softer. It launched much the same for my swing with a little less spin, creating a more boring flight. The 70-XX in the hands of the +110 kids is delivering tight dispersion, with good trajectory and a little lower spin than would be expected for the launch. And that combination, as Biv tells me, equates to distance.

 

ACCRA Concept CS1 Golf Driver Shaft Review

ACCRA Concept CS1 Driver Shaft

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

ACCRAconceptCS!_ImagePremium Golf Management evolved from a Canadian distributor of golf shafts to a producer of the ACCRA brand of golf shafts. They have long term business relationships with most of the professional golf club fitter / builders in the world. The golf fitters that attend the annual PGA merchandise show in Florida all arrive a day early for ACCRA day. A day of golf hosted by ACCRA  gives them all a chance to renew relationships and exchange ideas.
ACCRAconceptCS!_S3Summary
The 2014 Concept CS1 is another step in the evolution of ACCRA. Shown to the right is a shaft summary document that comes wrapped around every Concept golf shaft.

Several years ago PGMC, purchased one of the Fit2Score shaft measuring instruments. It brought manufacturing consistency into focus as it has now for the several shaft companies that own the instrument. Through a partnership with Mark Timmes a fully automatic shaft measuring instrument was invented.

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Enjoy and Good Golf,
Russ


The ACCRA Concept CS1 is on the cutting edge of shaft design. Find an ACCRA fitting partner and take one for a test drive.

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