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.

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Oban Revenge Hybrid Golf Shaft Review

Oban Revenge Hybrid Golf Shaft

Kirk James & Mark Vallier, Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
MK Golf Technologies,San Antonio, Texas

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

Revenge Hybrid ImageThese Revenge hybrid shafts do produce impressive dispersion results in real world testing, especially for shafts in these weight categories. The flight is mid-high to high, but they do not balloon, even in the Texas wind. The use of ultra premium graphite materials ensures a consistent bend profile, better performance and consistent shots. The low torque provides very tight dispersion. The moderately softer tip and butt sections of this shaft provide a responsive feel that never seems boardy.

The technical discussion and measurements are available only to registered readers

These hybrid shafts are highly recommended for the player with a smooth tempo. I personally play the Revenge 65\04 in two hybrids, and I can honestly say I have never played a more consistent, better feeling, or better performing hybrid shaft. I am constantly amazed at how tight the dispersion is and how flat the trajectory is with a 67 gram hybrid shaft. Consider looking at the Revenge 85 if you are a stronger, slightly more aggressive swinger. This is a very impressive shaft from Oban, and definitely worth your consideration if looking for a hybrid shaft.


The radial integrity of the review samples was 98.6% with a 0.5% standard deviation. Hoop strength is high indicating very little ovaling is going to occur. Tip/Butt ratios were consistent throughout the range of weights and stiffness.They indicate a mid high launch propensity, decreasing with both weight and stiffness. You must remember, your personal experience will be how your speed and swing characteristics are matched to the weight and stiffness of these shafts. The tip torque numbers are impressive. Certainly not the lowest we have ever seen, but very respectable for shafts in this weight range. In our fitting experience, low tip torque hybrid shafts create tight dispersion groups.


Nunchuck Golf Shafts Review

Nventix Nunchuck Driver, Nunchuck Hybrid, Nunchuck Iron

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

Nunchuck Driver Shaft

The Nventix folks are Dallas based as am I. The CEO, Mike McCall lives less than a mile from me. I have known about this shaft since its early days. The design idea comes from Bruce Devlin, a nine-time PGA Tour/PGA Senior Tour winner. Create a shaft with a stiff handle and tip, focusing all the flex in the middle of the shaft. An extensive discussion of the science is presented on the Nventix web site with a detailed explanation of the concept in the frequently asked questions tab.

The stiff tip facilitates less shaft related head movement as you approach impact. That is a good thing. A 103 gram driver shaft raises my eyebrows. But, for many, adding a counter weight to a shaft is going to accomplish much the same from a total weight perspective. And I and fellow fitters have put a great many players into counterweights.

Radial consistency is 99.4%, orientation in rotating hosels is a non issue. Before you look at the profile and wonder how such a severe change in stiffness will even be playable, look at this next image. This is the translation of EI into deflection.

Variations of this EI profile are seen in a few other shafts. Not exactly, but much closer than I had thought. What is rarely seen is the weight in a driver shaft. And that is something you will have to try for yourself. The butt stiffness is off the charts. That illustrates the inherent flaw in using butt stiffness to rate shafts. Feel comes from many factors. The rate and amount of loss of stiffness down the shaft as well as torque combine to produce feel.

It is fairly well known among radar equipped fitters that shaft stiffness reduces dispersion. To the degree that stiffness does not change your swing, it is a good thing. The Nunchuck driver shaft is stiff by all measurements, deflection, load, frequency. It has an EI profile that we are new seeing in a number of iron shaft designs. A rapid loss of stiffness in the middle of the shaft followed by a long stable tip. If you can handle the weight, it is now becoming a popular design.

Nunchuck Hybrid Shaft

The Nventix Nunchuck Hybrid shaft came along a year to two after the introduction of the driver shaft. The design is similar. The automatically enhanced graphic below does a bit of injustice to the actual design, but is comparable to the rest of the images on this site.


NunchuckHybrid_EITBTbRadial consistency is 99.7%, outstanding, orientation in rotating hosels is a non issue. Once again, remember, EI profiles show the sitffness of the 36 ‘springs’ we measure that constitute a golf shaft. When these springs are interconnected, the deflection profile is smooth. On this shaft, I see a weight range that is without question acceptable in many bags. The stiffness is in the range of many shafts I fit strong players into. The unique design is one of the lowest launch propensities I know of.

Nunchuck Iron Shaft




Like all the Nventix shafts, the radial consistency of the iron shaft is exceptional, 98.9%. It is an unusual design with a unique trim pattern. The typical shaft of this style, a single shaft often called parallel blanks get trimmed from the tip, creating increasing stiffness as the shafts get shorter in response to the heads getting heavier. The Nunchuck is a taper tip design, and a single shaft is used to create the set, trimmed from the butt. That is an unusual approach but I have build a few of these on request for some good ball strikers.

Aldila RIP Alpha Hybrid Golf Shaft Review

Aldila RIP Alpha Hybrid

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


This is not a new shaft from Aldila, it was released several years ago. It was the pioneering release of Reverse Interlaminar Placement in Aldila shafts. It has been used in all subsequent shafts. It has never been clear to me exactly what was done. Their illustrations show bias plies at both the inner and outer wraps of the shaft. Most premium shafts over the last few years have adapted to some variation of this layup design.

What brought the RIP to my attention was the release of the KBS Tour V and the Nippon Modus3 Tour 130 designs. Both have a long stable butt and mid with a rapid loss of stiffness toward the tip in the high tip section of the shaft. When working on my Hybrid fitting system I saw this pattern in the RIP Alpha Hybrid.

AldilaRIPHybridEiDfTbI secured a few more review samples from Aldila and took a hard look at the model. It has really low tip torque numbers and excellent radial consistency. If you are familiar with the table from other reviews you will notice that the format of the balance column has changed. It is now expressed in terms of the midpoint of the shaft. A positive number indicates the balance is above the midpoint, a negative number below the midpoint. This makes it easier to see the amount of counterbalance build into a shaft. What we see in the Alpha is a ‘balanced’ shaft.


In future reviews you will see deflection profiles The EI profiles I have been using may cause some confusion and consternation when looking at the charts. You can see unusual peaks and valleys is many designs. This is not how the shaft bends. That is how the designer tailored the stiffness of the shaft to create a bend profile. In this illustration you can see increasing and decreasing load applied to the EI numbers and watch how the shaft bends in response to loading and unloading.

The Aldila RIP Hybrid shaft profile, what one shaft company tour rep explained as convex vs concave when discussing two popular models, is seeing a lot of play recently. I found an example of two shafts with similar butt and tip stiffness and in my new bend modeling software applied increasing tip loads to the shafts to help me envision how these two extremes compare to each other. LoadingAnamation
This is new methodology, I am not aware of any other software implementation of load modeling based on EI profiles. What we clearly see here is the mid shaft stiffness creating a propensity for a lower launch. What you also see is the importance of matching the load you apply to a shaft. Shafts that are too stiff for you barely bend, giving you a boardy feeling. Shafts that are too soft, bend too much. As they recover from applied load during the reduced acceleration that happens just before impact, they add too much variation to head speed and orientation. That is why being properly fit into a shaft is a huge factor in shot dispersion.

When warm weather returns to Dallas we will get to reaction from the local golf professionals comparing the feel of these two designs.

Fujikura Motore Speeder Hybrid Shaft Review


By Kirk James & Mark Vallier, A Golf Digest America’s 100 Best Clubfitter
MK Golf Technologies,San Antonio, Texas


The Fujikura Motore Speeder Tour Spec hybrid shaft is an extension of the Tour Spec line of shafts from Fujikura. As with the Tour Spec driver and fairway shafts, these hybrid shafts are state of the art shafts designed for elite amateurs and tour players looking for the best performance available.

HB Speeder EiGjTbThe Tour Spec hybrid shafts are designed with a very stiff butt profile, a moderate mid section and a very stiff tip. Using very high modulus materials, the shaft design team at Fujikura is able to create a shaft with torque numbers approaching those of steel shafts. These low torque values combined with a stiff tip result in outstanding dispersion control and a lower controlled ball flight even for the strongest players.Our personal experience is that there is no greater pleasure than knowing you can count on your hybrid shafts to deliver greens in regulation consistently. And that comes from steel like control. The Fujikura Motore Speeder Hybrid is designed to deliver steel like control in a graphite hybrid shaft.

These Tour Spec hybrid shafts are highly recommended for the elite player or other stronger amateur players with high swing speeds and heavy shaft loads looking for control in vertical launch, ball flight and dispersion that can only come from the state of the art in graphite hybrid shafts.