Mitsubishi TENSEI CK Driver Shaft Review

Mitsubishi Tensei CK Driver Shaft Review

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

TenseiCK_Images

The past focus of Golf Shaft Reviews had been aftermarket shafts. With this review I am creating a new category, OEM shafts. The typical market price of an aftermarket driver shaft ranges from $300 to $1000. Those shafts are not supplied in off the rack drivers. In the not to distant past we would see the notation “Made For” or “Engineered For” on these shafts. That notation came to be recognized by the golfer for what it was. Several years ago it disappeared and the labeling of the OEM ‘Made For” shaft became much more subtle. A reasonable person understands that he is not going to get a $400 ultra premium shaft in a $400 driver. Unfortunately, many of the clerks in the retail side of the golf business are unaware of the subtle changes in graphics now used to label aftermarket and OEM shafts.

This is not a condemnation of the shafts made for the club companies that are installed in off the rack drivers. A great many golfers play a lot of good golf with these shafts. And generally the quality of all shaft has improved over that last several years. The difference is in the materials used. Those differences are most easily seen in the measurements torque and hoop deformation. In my experience those two properties affect dispersion. It is not difficult to produce bargain shafts with the same linear stiffness properties of some of the premium shafts. It is impossible to reproduce the matrix of stiffness, weight, torque and hoop strength that comes with exotic materials and high density prepreg that is used in premium shafts.

BoronTipThe Tensei CK Pro BlueTensei CK Pro White and Tensei CK Pro Orange have been reviewed earlier. They feature a long section of Carbon Fiber Dupont Kevlar “CK” material woven into the butt section of the shaft. The Pro Blue and White feature Boron reinforced tips. The notation Boron Tip is printed on the tip of the shaft. The Boron material is not included in the tip of the non “Pro” version of the shafts. The Tensei Pro Orange has a material called MR70 which Mitsubishi states is stiffer than Boron. The EI profile of the Tensei CK Pro Orange validates that claim.  Let’s take a look at other subtle graphics and what the profiles of the Tensei driver shafts you will find in off the rack clubs. 

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Enjoy and Good Golf,
Russ

  • Mike Laycock

    Doesn’t the Pro Orange use MR70 in the tip instead of boron?

    • Mike,
      Thanks for the note. I will check on Monday when MRC opens. When I prepared for the review last week I asked why the Pro Orange did not have the Boron Tip notation on the shafts I just received. They said it was an oversite and would get added on the next production run. I just looked on their website and saw what you noted, MR70. I have a hand full of Oranges now in the shop and will make the corrections ASAP.

  • Bob Green

    The inclusion of “comparison of OEM shafts” is a helpful addition to your site. Thanks. Improvement in performance, especially dispersion, is something all golfers want and may be willing to “pay a premium” for if they understand the value of proper fitting and shaft selection. Keep up the good work.

    • Bob,
      Thanks for the encouragement. I continue to try to make this site more relevant to all golfers. Very few golfers seek out the truly professional fitters that have not only extensive shaft knowledge but also the investment in a matrix of premium shafts.

  • Afiq Hakim

    Greetings from Malaysia,

    Appreciate the review of the non pro CK series shafts. Over here in Malaysia the non-pro Tensei CK series is sold as an “aftermarket” along side the Tensei CK Pro series but with a more affordable price tag as compared to the CK Pro line. Also I have yet to find drivers sold here that comes with the Tensei CK’s as stock shafts.

    I bought both the CK Orange and CK Pro Orange both in 60 stiff. I ended up having to sell off the CK Pro Orange as I couldn’t seem to launch the ball up as easy as the CK Orange. I find that the CK Orange gave me the best result in terms of distance and consistancy as I don’t have the strength to actually swing the Pro as I find it extra stiff.

    I also find that the Tensei Orange performs better and tighter compared to my Fujikura Speeder Pro XLR8 even though this Fujikura is sold as a true aftermarket shaft.

    Was wondering if the Tensei Orange is made in the same factory as the Tensei Orange Pro. And is the Tensei Orange that much “inferior” as compared to the Tensei CK Pro?

    Appreciate your thoughts on this.

    Cheer!
    Afiq

    • I have reviewed the Tensei Pro series. Over the past few years the notation ‘Made For’ or ‘engineered for’ has disappeared but the lower cost shaft designs created for the OEM has not. Generally the difference is material quality which manifests in torque. And that is certainly the case of the Orange vs the Pro Orange. But there are other differences from what I see in the profiles. The Pro Orange has a high density material in the tip which significantly stiffens it. And that would validate your experience, the stiff tip was not a good fit for you.
      I do not have ready access to the Fuji line so I cannot comment there. I am working to solve that problem this year.

      • Afiq Hakim

        Thank you for the prompt reply. So would you say the standard Tensei Ck is comparable to the Fujikura Pro 63 since those are also offered as stock shafts from oem like Taylormade?

  • Miguel Garza

    Russ, I play a Rip Phenom 70 stiff and have since the 913 d3 now in the 917 d3. I have tried many other drivers and shafts but the phenom 70 has given me the best play out on the course. I am currently looking at the Taylormade M3 which comes with the Tensi shafts. Which Tensi shaft fits the Phenom 70 stiff profile? I asked Taylormade since the R11 came stock with the Phenom but they could not tell me. With demos limited to the shafts they come with, not being able to try them makes it hard to purchase. I wonder if the CK pro is more like the Phenom

  • Elijah Kim

    Great reviews! Thank you for this! I tried looking for a review for the Aldila Rogue Black but could not be found. I currently game the Rogue Black 60 (stiff) and average 3200rpm and am looking for something that gives me a lower rpm and a bit more distance. Would this be similar or a better fit than what I am currently gaming?

    • Elijah,
      I did not look to see if I reviewed the Rogue Black, but it is in my software. The Rogue Black is what I call a Blue Profile. The Tensei Pro Blue has a slightly stiffer tip which adds a few percent to the tip to butt ratio. That said, it is likely to reduce spin. Make certain you get the Pro model. I have them for sale at http://store.golfshaft.reviews Lifetime members get a discount. Two or three purchased will pay for the upgrade to becoming a lifer here.

  • Dan

    I know I’m a unicorn for even asking about this one, but have you tested the CK Pro Red yet? I’ve been playing the CK Pro White in my driver for the past six months. I recently put a CK Pro Red in my hybrid on a whim after hitting a demo at a trade show. It’s an absolute smash factory for me — it’s quickly become my favorite club. I’ve gained distance with better dispersion. It has a similar “snappy” feeling to the Modus 120 iron shafts that keeps me from swinging with my arms. Despite the “high launch, mid spin” hype, it feels more tip stiff to me than the Blue and is certainly much more butt-soft. Unfortunately, Red seems impossible to find for a demo except the Taylor Made OEM shaft. I really want to order one but I’m guessing at specs without a chart.

    • Dan,
      Good news, some Tensei Pro Red’s arrived with my last order.