Graphite Designs AD Fairway Shaft Review

Graphite Designs Tour AD Fairway Golf Shaft Review

By Russ Ryden, Fit2Score, A Dallas Fort Worth Club Fitter & Club Maker
The Golf Center at the Highlands, Carrollton Texas

GDADFW_imageGolfers who first experience a fairway with a premium driver shaft universally have a jaw dropping experience. First at the performance then at the cost of the fairway club. There is sticker shock when they are told the shaft itself cost more than a retail fairway metal. Yet, when you see a tour player hitting a fairway you should realize, the shaft he is using is the same quality as his driver shaft. Heavier and perhaps stiffer, but it is an ultra-premium driver shaft.

The problem with the stock fairway shafts is there simply is not enough money at $250 to $300, the typical retail price of a fairway, to supply a decent shaft. In the price range we have come to expect at retail for a fairway, the manufacturer has a limited range of shaft options.  What gets delivered is a high launch design. That shaft will have a soft tip zone to help get the ball airborne. However at that price point it will also come with high torque. When you  watch your slightly off center ball strikes snap hook or block into the trees realize this, it’s not you, it’s the shaft. I have put a great many golfers into $550 to $600 fairways. Not all can or will make that level of investment into a fairway. Those that do have a rapid understanding of what shaft quality means.

Graphite Designs has joined Mitsubishi in offering a high quality fairway specific shaft at an approachable price. The Graphite Design Tour AD F-Series Fairway shaft has a MAP price of $250. That is 35% less than the price of a Tour AD driver shaft. The Tour AD FWY is painted to closely match this year’s Tour AD TP driver shaft. It is made with 40t carbon-fiber while the TP uses 50t material. Weights range from 72 to 95 grams. Let’s look at the measurements. 

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Enjoy and Good Golf,
Russ

  • Amit Singh

    Russ – your chart shows the 5lbs deflection increasing as the shaft stiffness increases. 85S has 4.8 and 85X has 5.3. Have you changed your methodology since your previous reviews? The older reviews had 5lbs deflection decreasing as stiffness increased.

    • There was a correction about 2 years ago on this number. I took a quick look at then numbers above and they are consistent. Compare the 5lb deflection with EI area and you will see a close correspondence.