Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue Golf Shaft Review

Mitsubishi Tensi CK Pro Blue Driver Shafts

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

It is no longer appropriate to use the word graphite to describe a golf shaft material. In fact, the term carbon fiber does not work either. Many of today’s golf shafts must be referred to a composites. They are blends of carbon fiber strands, carbon fiber weaves, metal wire, metal mesh, metal powder, kevlar, boron and glue. These exotic combinations are increasing strength at reduced weight. This creates a wider range of properties that can be created in the composite tapered tube we call a golf shaft. The Mitsubishi Tensi is a new blend of materials woven into a driver shaft.

Mitsubishi is vertically integrated. they make most all of the materials the go into a golf shaft including monomer, acrylic fiber, carbon fiber, resin and prepreg. Mitsubishi’s latest PR releases tell us what that means: 276 PGA Tour wins on the major tours since 2004, 80 more than the next closest competitor. $137 million in prize money in 2015, $40 million more than the closest competitor. If that does not get your attention, the feel of their shafts will. They use the name Thump on a few products. It is fitting. The high density material they use dampens vibration up the shaft. What gets to your hands is a thump, not a click. When you strike your driver center face, that thump is an exquisite feeling. You can sense the ball getting crushed.

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The 2016 Tensi CK Pro Blue is a multi-material design combining 11 different prepreg materials. The profile is very much like a Diamana B. As shown below, the difference between th 60, 70 and 80 gram versions of the TX profile is weight and torque. The stiffness and bend profiles are identical. This is different from Mitsubishi models in the past. Typically the weight and stiffness must be considered together, the heavier shafts are stiffer with the same flex designation.

The shafts covered in this review are the Boron tipped Pro version. They are not to be confused with the shafts that will be offered in OEM off the rack drivers. Those lack the boron tips and are available in a wider range of weights and flex. The Boron tip weave adds a little tip stiffness to the Diamana B profile.

A carbon fiber / Kevlar weave is used in the butt section of the shaft. It can be seen through the clear finish. While the bend profile of the shaft does not change from the classic blue design, the hoop strength in this area is significantly increased. That should result in a little tighter dispersion for an aggressive swing.
MRCTensiProTXEiGjTbAs you can see in the chart, these are high balance point shafts, but not as high as the third generation Diamana B. We are seeing driver head weights come do a few grams and the shaft designers have moved the balance points accordingly. Radial consistency of the Tensi Pro averaged 99.3% with a 0.4% standard deviation. Great numbers for a shaft not made in Japan as are the other premium Mitsubishi shafts.

The Mistubishi Tensi is a Diamana B with new materials. We will have to take it to the range to get sense of what these new materials do for feel and dispersion.

Mitsubishi Diamana Thump Fairway Review

Mitsubishi Diamana Thump Fairway

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


The Diamana Thump name has been used before in a line of iron shafts and in a hybrid shaft. The irons have been discontinued. The Diamana Thump Hybrid is still available, now a special order item. It is my all time favorite Hybrid shaft and has been in my bag for a very, very long time. When I saw the name thump applied to a fairway shaft I had high expectations, and the measurements of this shaft met them. Mitsubishi discontinued the Fubuki AX Fairway shaft in 2014. It occupied a unique niche, a fairway only shaft, 43″ long uncut, at $250 MSRP, with all the unique qualities of the premium Mitsubishi $400 driver shafts. The Diamana Thump Fairway once again fills this niche. At $250 it puts delivers premium quality at a more approachable price point.

As I worked my way through the measurement of this shaft I left torque for last. Everything looked very good, would the torque be low enough to compete with the premium Diamana’s I have been using in custom fitted fairways. The answer, yes. Tip zone torques of 2.3 in the 70 and 80 gram versions put it into that special class of shafts that can comfortably control the extra weight of a fairway and maintain club head alignment during a preimpact brush with the turf.

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Radial quality of the review samples was 99.6% with a 0.4% standard deviation. Translation: shafts don’t get any rounder, don’t bother with alignment and use this shaft without reservation in a rotating hosel fairway head. Look again at those torque numbers. This is a high launch design, something most of us want in our fairways. The typical shaft that delivers high launch is also high torque. If the stock shaft in your fairway has a tendency to create hooks when you lean on it, you should consider replacing it with the Diamana Thump Fairway. Replacing your stock fairway shaft with the Diamana Thump will create a club you can trust.Fairway_Diamana_MyFavorites

I have built countless numbers of custom fit fairway metals with the Diamama Red and the KuroKage Proto TiNi driver shafts. They launch high, with adequate spin to deliver drop and stop shots. The Diamama Thump Fairway, at about 60% of the price, has a very similar design. It is a bit stiffer in the butt section which for those with an abrupt transition is a good thing. The profile of these shaft from high mid to tip is hard to tell apart. And they all sit in the same torque range. The Thump Fairway and the KuroKage Tour Proto TiNi have much the same hoop strength.

Here is feedback from my first sale, “Went away to Atlanta for a golf weekend with the new Thump shaft in my 3 wood. I was embarrassed hitting it consistently 250 yards in the fairway and 10 yards past my partners’ driver tee shots. Didn’t bother pulling out my driver the last 36 holes. Too bad it can’t help my putting!”  Robert V.

Mitsubishi OT Iron Shaft Review

Mitsubishi OT Iron Shaft

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

MRCOTi Shaft

It is not often that we get to see truly new technology in the golf shaft business. The Mistubishi OTi series is something in my experience is truly new.

SheetWrappingLets start with the prepreg. Prepreg is typically the sheets of material, made of carbon fiber threads and resin, that are wrapped around a mandrel. The ‘sandwich’ is then wrapped with a retaining material, hung on a rack and baked. The cooked shaft is then unwrapped, the mandrel is pulled out and the process continues through sanding, trimming and finishing. The only exception I know of is AeroTech’s filament winding process.

MRCOTi_BradingMitsubishi Rayon has given us a new technology, braiding. it starts with a new form of prepreg they call Tow. The carbon fibers are arranged in bundles, the way a steel cable is made. The bundles are impregnated with resin and then woven into a braid. That braid bundle is then woven onto the mandrel. Yes, woven, I check on that. No spine. And the highest hoop strength I have seen on a graphite shaft. And given that heavy graphite hoop strength is lower than steel, the absolute lowest hoop strength in the business. The torque of all the models is about the same, 2.5 at the butt, 2.0 at the tip. Not as low as the same weight steel, but in the same range as other premium graphite iron shafts.

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Radial consistency is off the charts, average 99.9% with a 0.1% standard deviation. I never thought I would see those kind of numbers. Shaft manufacturing technology is improving and new standards are being written. You can absolutely disregard shaft alignment with the Mitsubishi OT iron shaft. They are as round as I can measure round. If you are familiar with past Mitsubishi iron profiles, you will know these shafts. The Fubuki AXi family, one of my long time favorites no longer available is very close to this design. A Blue board like profile, a bit soft in the middle by design.

MRCOTi_FlightingThese are parallel design. I virtually trimmed the review profiles and found the design creates sets with very little flighting. This seems to be a trend in some of the recent parallel graphite shaft designs.

A benefit of carbon fiber parallel shafts is consistency within the set. Constant weigh shafts require multiple mandrels and multiple designs within the set to create consistency from shaft to shaft. They are essentially 8 different shafts and require both design and manufacturing integrity to deliver consistency within a set. This is not so with parallels. One mandrel, one manufacturing procedure. With reasonable attention to manufacturing processing it is easier to deliver consistent sets. Yes, there will be some weight loss and balance change as the shafts get shorter. But, one has to balance that against set consistency. And on that issue, from my recent observations, the jury is still out.

For those fitters and players that were familiar with the Fubuki AXi, the replacement has arrived. Go to the Mitsubishi OT expecting the same flighting. The review samples are getting tipped and heading to the range for feel testing.

Mitsubishi KuroKage XT Shaft Review

Mitsubishi KuroKage XT

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

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The first version of this review was of a single shaft, others have arrived, prompting this update. There has been some buzz about the KuroKage XT. It quickly became popular on the PGA tour. Mitsubishi’s dealers have been snapping them up as soon as the shipments arrive.

TiNiThe KuroKage XT is another of the Mitsubishi shafts to incorporate highly elastic Titanium Nickel wire into the tip section of the shaft. The wire, shown here, is embedded into the prepreg and rolled into the tips section much like any other flag of prepreg would be.

In looking for a profile match, only Mitsubishi shafts were close. An interesting phenomena I never see. It hovers around the Diamana ‘ahina and the first generation Diamana white. The third generation Diamana White has moved on to a different design, which departs from the original profile. I see a variation on the ‘ahina. The flavor is there, the rough edges softened a bit, but if you were a fan of the original Diamana White Board or the second generation ‘ahina, you are going to like the KuroKage XT. The brittle hardness of the Diamana White and the ‘ahina have been softened by increasing the torque of the shafts. Yes, you heard that right, the overall GJ torque profile has been progressively increasing from the White to the ‘ahina and now to the KuroKage XT.

This video was shot at the 2015 PGA merchandise show. Meet Tsutomu Ibuki, the genius behind the Mitsubishi golf shafts. As we talk about this shaft late in the interview the feel of KuroKage XT design is discussed.

With the addition of the 60 gram shafts the consistency of the profiles in the model is confirmed.

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The radial consistency averaged 99.5% with a 0.2% standard deviation. The most noticeable difference between the X and TX version was a change in butt stiffness and torque. There was not a lot of difference in weight, so one must assume the layup of the shaft was oriented toward torque. There is a lot of similiarity between the KuroKage XT TiNi and the KuroKage Silver TiNi. The difference being a tightening of tip stiffness. That tip stiffness can be seen in the above graphic.

KKXT_TorqueAs I mentioned earlier, the KuroKage XT looks like a Diamana White. Here it is compared to the first and second generation Diamana White designs. The bend profile signatures are almost identical. The torque profiles INCREASE. This can only be the result of tour feedback. This is an evolution of design. Elastic Titanium Nickel wire in the tip and higher density graphite fiber. Player feedback is about feel, and we know that one way to get feel into a shaft is to add a little torque. Not much, but just enough to get the approval of the tour pros the Mitsubishi team works with.

Diamana D+ & Diamana S+ Driver Shaft Review

Mitsubishi Diamana S+ & D+ Driver Shafts – 2015

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

Diamana Blue S+ Driver

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The stock shafts in the 2015 Titleist 915 drivers include the Diamana Red, White and Blue models. This year, unlike last year, they have the same appearance as the original Diamana shafts, a silver background with the Red, White or Blue Diamana logo. And, with the exception of a very slight increase in torque, they are identical to the legacy design.  We have received review samples of the Blue and a few of the Whites. The remainder of the Whites and the Reds will be added to this review when they arrive.

The Blue Diamana is perhaps the most copied driver shaft design I have ever seen. It is a good fit for golfers with a quick swing and a hard transition. The profile has a soft mid in relation to the tip and butt. The Diamana + models are available as options from most companies in 2015. Many, at no upcharge.

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The average radial consistency of the review samples was 99.4 with a 0.3% standard deviation. Such numbers were not seen a few years ago, especially in stock shafts. The lighter weight models have slightly softer tips, with the tip stiffness increasing in the heavier models. The 60 gram models are in the Titleist 915 Stock drivers and the 70 gram versions in the Titleist 915 Fairways. You can find these in most retail fitting carts. The Diamana feel is unique. A good way to describe it is to clap your hands flat against each other, then again with them cupped. The Diamana feel is the thump you get from the cupped hand clap. It is addicting, and you will know by the sweetness of that feel when you struck the center face.

Diamana White D+ Driver

MRCDiamanaWhiteD+

The 2015 Diamana D+ resembles the Diamana White board is more than just looks. With the exception of 0.4 degrees of higher torque it is hard to tell them apart. If you have ever played the original Diamana White or the second Generation ‘ahina you will know this shaft.  It defines low launch, low spin design. Unless you have a positive angle of attach, stay away from this shaft. If you do, it is made for you.

MRCDiamanaWhiteD+_EiGjTbThe full set of weights and stiffness samples have yet to be arrive, this is what I have for now, The average radial consistency of the 4 review samples was 99.6 with a 0.1% standard deviation. That is beyond outstanding for a shaft made primarily for stock golf clubs. Mitsubishi sets a quality standard that others must follow. Why should you expect anything less in a $500 driver from Titleist? Why would a manufacturer compromise the play ability of their products with off spec shafts? The 915 drivers from Titleist are delivered with outstanding shafts.