Graphite Design Tour AD TP Golf Shaft Review

Graphite Design Tour AD TP Driver Shaft

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

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The Tour AD TP is new for the 2017 season. It is designed and manufactured at the Graphite Design Japan factory. As I measured the bend profile of the shaft I knew immediately this shaft is a winner, it is a refinement of the Graphite Design Tour AD DI.

ftt-imageDesigned around new tooling, The Tour AD TP introduces a new technology called ‘Fast Taper Technology or FTT. The mandrel, the steel core the shaft is built on, has a faster taper rate from the mid to the tip of the shaft than other Graphite Design shafts.

t1100-g-side-imageThe Tour AD TP uses a new pre-preg from TORAYCA ®, T1100G. This new material is comprised of both High Modulus and High Tensile strength fibers. The resin system is contains NANOALLOY® Technology for added strength and vibration dampening. Premium golf shaft have come a long way from the early days of graphite shafts.

This video is an excellent discussion of some of the technologies used in Graphite Design golf shafts.

gd-tpvsdiLets compare the bend profile of the new Tour AD TP with the Graphite Design Tour AD DI. What I see is the knee point of the bend profile has moved up the shaft and the bend profile is smoother going into the tip. This is going to create a propensity to launch and spin a bit less than the Tour AD DI. The difference in feel will be the solid thump that is typical of a high density shafts compared to the sharper crack of lower density pre-preg.

You will notices as you look at the bend profiles progressions below that they change very little as the shaft weights and stiffness change. That makes club fitting with these simply a matter of finding the correct weight and flex. The bend profile does not change through the 50 to 80 gram ranges. It changes only slightly on the 40 gram designs.

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The radial consistency of the review samples was 99.2% with a 0.3% standard deviation. The shafts are round and suitable of insertion into rotating hosels. Alignment does not matter on a shaft that is round, the Graphite Design Tour AD TPs are round.

Lets here what Mark Maness, our shaft tester has to say about the Tour AD TP:

Here is a summary of the FlightScope data from our test:gd-adtp-flightscope

tpvs9003eiThe only difference of significance was the vertical launch. Looking at the bend profiles of these two shafts we see how the designers created launch. The TP loses more stiffness, getting significantly softer about 18 inches from the tip. Then it stabilizes, and loses very little stiffness toward the tip. The M9003 is stiffer through his region, but ends into a softer tip. I have always known Mark to work the head through impact. The softer tip of the M9003 gives him more responsiveness in this area. That is reflected in his sense that the AD TP is stiffer, or heavier as he called it.
And once again as we have mentioned many times, be careful of shaft recommendations made through others experience. There is no substitute for testing shafts with a knowledgeable fitter until you find your perfect fit.

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  • Mike Laycock

    Would the TP’s bend profile be similar to that of the CK Tensei Pro Blue?

    • They are close but not exact. The AD TP is stiffer in the high butt and low tip. Through the mid they are very, very similar. Thanks for subscribing.

      • Mike Laycock

        I’m trying to understand how the heavy tip feel factors in to the results; Mark got more ball speed from marginally less club head speed with the M9003. The ball flight was 10′ lower with the M yet descent angles were very close. Less than 200 rpm of spin between the shafts too. Mark is right at the same club head speed as I am however I wouldn’t consider X flex. Wouldn’t Mark be better suited in Stiff flex?

      • Mike Laycock

        Mark uses an X-flex 60G shaft however based on GDI’s recommendation for flex/clubhead speed, Mark is in the heart of the Stiff range. Wouldn’t Mark achieve better results with the softer flex or is this a personal preference/required due to how he swings the club?

        • ATLMetsfan

          In theory that would seem to make a lot of sense. I’m sure Mark has played them all though, so there’s gotta be a very good reason why he’s playing what he is. If you can swing a M9003 in X and make it perform that says a lot about what kind of stiffness he needs.

          Would love to hear from Mark about why he plays what he does. I’ve read in one of the reviews that he’s a hard loader, or at least has a sharp transition. I too am like this. Swing it a few miles faster but I’m no 110+ guy, at least not on average. X is all I’ve ever played.

  • Mike Laycock

    I’ve been a tip stiff shaft user from ages (757 TS, Motore 6.2 TS). Recently got fitted into the Tensei Pro Blue. It does not agree with my swing. From watching the large GD review, I see Mark and I have quite similar body builds and swing tendancies (head movement up and to the right and early release/flip) and swing speeds. I tried a Diamana M+ 60 shaft in a club recently. I loved the softness of the shaft. I didn’t feel like I had to make a hard rip at the ball to feel the shaft work. I did however hit a bigger but repeatable draw than I like and launched it way too high at 17*. Spin was acceptable. I’m left wondering if I need to stay away from tip stiff and mid stiff shafts and look more at softer tip shafts with firmer mid and butt sections. Would the M9003 bring the launch down but keep spin around 2500 rpm?