Category Archives: Ultra Light Driver 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 Bassara Phoenix UltraLite Driver Shaft

Mitsubishi Bassara P UltraLite Driver Shaft

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

Bassara_Phoenix_Image

In 2013, Mitsubishi Rayon began the introduction of shafts that are available only from Authorized Mitsubishi ClubFitters. The UltraLight Bassara Phoenix released in 2014, is the third such shaft.. The color is dramatic, a burnt orange with a clear coat finish. The bend profile is a perfect match to the KuroKage Proto TINI, the first of the fitter only shafts. That profile is one of my favorites for a well trained swing. TINI stands for Titanium Nickel Wire. It was first use in the Ultralight Bassara “G” series shafts. It is now being added to many shafts. It is a high elastic material that can stretch and immediately regain its original shape. In addition to storing and releasing energy, it stabilizes the shaft tip.

TINI_illustrationTip stability results in tight dispersion. A consistent loss of stiffness makes this profile easy to load and many find it adds dramatic distance to their drives. The KuroKage Proto TINI is only available in 5 models ranging from 60S to 70XX. The Bassara Phoenix completes the range, starting with a  30 gram L flex and ascending to a 59 gram TS flex.

Bassara_Phoenix_EiGjTb

The radial consistency is excellent, averaging 99.4% with a 0.3% standard deviation. If we look for similar designs in iron shafts, the KBS Tour is the closest bend profile design. Both have a consistent loss of stiffness from butt to tip, Near the tip, the stiffness increases to stablize the head during impact. With such designs, tipping will actually remove some of the tip stiffness. With the Bassara Phoenix, if you want more stiffness, get a heavier, stiffer shaft. Tipping is not recommended for this shaft. Alignment of the Phoenix is not necessary nor will it be beneficial. The radial consistency of the Phoenix makes it excellent for rotating hosels.
Bassaras_EiGjA comparison of the current Bassara UltraLight models shows the Phoenix and the Wyvern to be quite similar. The Phoenix profile indicates a little more launch. The Phoenix is modeled after the ilima profile. In fitting after fitting, I put more ilima’s into fairways metals than all other shafts combined. The 53TS Bassara Phoenix is a great shaft if you are looking to build an ultralight fairway.