Graphite Designs Tour AD Hybrid Golf Shaft Review

Graphite Design Tour AD Hybrid

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


The Graphite Design Tour AD Hybrid is the second hybrid shaft released in 2015. It follows the YS Reloaded, the YS has long been one of my favorites. The Tour AD HY is the fourth version of the Tour AD hybrids, but it is the first I have reviewed. Like most, my primary focus is driver shafts, then iron shafts. The hybrid in recent years is seen as an extension of the iron set. The early hybrids, were too long and did not gap properly into most golfers bags. Over the last few years the trend has moved toward shorter shafts lengths and a view toward integrating the gapping of the set from the longest irons you can hit well into hybrids. Most sets I build recently contain 2 or more hybrid style heads, both traditional hybrids as well as driving irons.

When do you take that step, breaking away from your iron set and blending in a hot faced driving iron or launch enhancing hybrid head? Its a simple answer actually. When you see your gaps collapse its time to get the next longest club built in a way to maintain consistent gapping between clubs. And there are many ways to do that which extend beyond the scope of this reviews. One aspect of getting more club head speed and higher launch is changing to a lighter, higher launching shaft. This is where we enter to world of hybrid shafts.

Higher launch is easy, make the tip softer. All to often, especially in stock shafts, this comes with higher tip torque. I have been playing exotic carbon fiber, low tip torque shafts for a very, very long time. The problem in this realm is the gag reflex I get from most golfers when they learn that a great hybrid shaft can be more than what they typically see hybrid clubs sold for. The Graphite Design Tour AD HY is one of those exotics, retailing at $175 uninstalled. Is it worth it?  Time after time, when I finish the fitting objective I am working on with a client I hand them my hybrid and ask them to try it. And time after time, the reaction is the same, the OMG moment. Then sticker shock.

A properly fit, high quality hybrid shaft is a long term investment. You might change heads as head technology evolves, but that properly fit hybrid shaft stays with you and moves into the next head. In my bag, that pair of hybrid shafts have been with me for going on 8 years.

What is special about a great hybrid shaft? Three aspects, high launch propensity, tip stability and weight. I will discuss each of these as it relates to the Graphite Design Tour AD HY measurements shown here.

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

This discussion about Graphite Design Tour AD shafts occurred at the PGA Merchandise show, January, 2015.  To see more video like this visit the DevotedGolfer Youtube Channel.

  • Leon

    Hi Russ. Great admires for your shaft reviews. I’m a single digit handicapper and I’m still improving. I’m now using Matrix 6Q3 X Flex for the driver at 45 inches, Tour AD DJ 7x for the 3 wood at 42.75 inches , Tour AD BB 7x for the 5 wood at 42.25 inches, NS 950GH S Flex for the #4 utility iron, Dynamic Gold S200 for 5-P irons. For the #3 hybrid (21 degrees), I’ve just got a quite cheap second hand RC BBD 506v with the Tour AD DI hybrid shaft 75x at 40 inches, and after hitting with numbers of balls, it feels fantastic and the ball is going almost head straight with a little high ball flight but I satisfied very much. The question is: I’ve heard a lot that generally the weight of the hybrid shaft should be between the longest iron and the fairway wood to become a “bridge”, but changing the hybrid shaft from 75x to 85x will cost quite much money, do you think 75x and 85x of the DI hybrid shaft means much difference? I saw the torque of 75x is 3.1 and torque of 85x is 2.4. Are they based on different design concepts? Probably 75x is more like a fairway wood shaft design and 85x is more like an iron shaft design? Thanks a lot! Leon (Beijing, China)

    • Leon, to quote and old expression, if it works, don’t fix it. I just fit the 85X into a local pro with a 115mph driver speed. I would not be concerned about how a hybrid shaft weight fits into the overall weighing scheme in your bag. I do look for some consistency in weighting progression, but when I find something that works for a client we stop there . There is so much more to a shaft than weight, or any other single property you might look at. It is the overall blend of those properties that makes some shafts work and others not work. You got lucky. Actually not that lucky, its a great shaft and you just discovered that with a second hand purchase.

      • Leon

        Thanks a lot Russ for your reply. You’re definitely correct, when it works, then that’s fine. Actually after hitting it for half a month, this hybrid becomes my favorite in my whole bag, and I just enjoy so much of the sound and feel and the ball is always going far and straight. The height of trajectory is more dependent on the weather condition. By the way, my driver speed is about 110mph currently, and I don’t have very much forward shaft lean at impact, the angle of attack of my hybrid shot is fairly shallow. If you look at the Tour AD GT UT hybrid official web page, I just found that the 75g is designed like wood profile and 85g+ is more like an iron profile. According to my attack angle, I think 75g might be the best fit for me. After all, I think my question is solved and thanks very much for your advice.

  • Leon

    Another question: do you know how much weight is cut if butt trimming 1 inch of a wood/hybrid shaft? For example, the original 42 inches Tour AD DI 75x hybrid shaft weights 78 grams, so what should be the shaft weight at 40 inches? Thanks!

    • Leon, this is not something I pay attention to. When I put a shaft like this into my fitting system it is generally 8 shafts, all the same length, one of each weight and flex. When I am working with a client I test until we find the fit. Then I build them a duplicate of what worked. The exact details of weight are not as important as ball flight and club feel.

      • Leon

        Thanks Russ. That’s absolutely correct. But have you measured that before? I’m just interested to know that.

  • George


    Thanks for hosting this website to inform us “golf geeks” about the latest in shafts.
    I’m a little confused about something? In your Graphite Design Tour AD Hybrid review, you stated that a 15 gram gap between your iron shaft weight and hybrid weight should be about right. And you tried a 95g GD hybrid shaft and liked it. But in the Oban Revenge Hybrid article below it , you personally use a Revenge hybrid 65/04, a 45g gap difference from you 110g iron shafts.
    I currently play the new KBS Tour 105 in my irons and love them. Wanted to experiment with some hybrid shafts but a little confused with the weights to try in the GD and the Oban revenge. I have a smooth swing and transition with a 88 mph driver speed.
    Thanks for any recommendations in weights to try in these two shafts.

    • The current bag, which is gathering dust at the moment waiting for a recent rotator cuff repair to heal, has 95g hybrids, 105g long irons, and 110g short irons. However, I just put the 95X AD HY into a local pro’s bag who has a 115mph driver swing speed. I am no were close to that ever before the shoulder came apart.
      What I said above was if the 95X does not work go to light weight steel. And/or, if the price of great graphite hybrid shafts is not in your budget, go to light weight steel. What I do avoid with my clients is light weight noodles in hybrids. If your swinging down and into the ground like you do with your irons, you need some beef in the tip. If your swinging at mid to high speeds and sweep the ball clean off the turf, you need radial strength (low torque) in the tip. Tip stability comes at a cost in carbon fiber. It steel, it is a property of the material.
      At your swing speed, look at the Graphite Design YS Reloaded, Probably the 85 S. It is a little higher launching design than the ADHY. With 105g steel that you love, a 65g hybrid might be a bit light. You might even try the KBS Tour 90 long iron shafts in your hybrids. Use the S and hard step it once. it will not be a very expensive test.

      • George


        Thanks for your reply.
        Just to confirm, 85 Stiff? With a 88 MPH driver speed, Pro’s Choice chart for the GD YS Reloaded says I’m in the middle of a regular flex. Just wanted to know before I order the shafts.
        Hope your shoulder gets better by spring so you can play some golf.


        • I tend to always fit on the stiff side. I value dispersion control over feel. Generally that is accomplished with a stiffer shaft.