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Aldila ‘Tour Blue’ and ‘Tour Green’ shafts

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When designing its newest line of shafts, the “Tour Blue” and “Tour Green,” Aldila sought inspiration from its most successful platform, the NV shafts it released to tour players more than 10 years ago.

The NV shafts were made using the company’s Mico Laminate Technology, which means that extremely thin, high-quality layers of graphite were stacked on top of each other to make a shaft that felt smooth and performed more consistently.

A lot has changed in the golf industry in 10 years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is golfer’s appreciation of consistent, smooth-feeling shafts.

For all the technology that went into the new shafts, their design differences are simple. The Tour Green shafts have a stiffer tip section, which creates the low-launch, low-spin conditions that tend to work well with today’s drivers. The Tour Blue shafts have a softer tip section that launches the ball higher and with more spin, making them a good fit for fairway woods.

So what has made the Tour Blue and Tour Green two of the most popular shaft models on tour in 2013? According to John Oldenburg, vice president of engineering for Aldila, it’s the same reason that the NV shafts were so popular on tour — high-quality materials that create smooth feel and consistency.

Alidla NV Shafts

Oldenburg said the Tour Blue and Tour Green shafts are the most consistent shafts his company has ever produced. They use what he said are the thinnest materials available, graphite fibers that are between three one-thousandths and five one-thousandths of an inch thick, which makes them better in two ways:

  1. Because graphite shafts are built in layers, their manufacturing always results in a bit of overlap (often referred to as a shaft’s seams). Using thinner materials allows the seams to stay thin. When those seams are balanced throughout the shaft, as Aldila does with its Micro Laminate Technology, it results in a shaft that has more consistent wall thicknesses.
  2. Since the graphite fibers are thinner, they also need less resin, or glue, to be held together. According to Oldenburg, resin is the weak link of graphite shaft design, because it is much more flexible than the graphite fibers it holds together. With less resin, Aldila can make shafts that are lighter, stiffer and lower in torque.

Aldila engineers also made the Tour Blue and Tour Green shafts with a balance point that is closer to the handle than its NV shafts, which helps balance out the heavier weight of today’s driver heads. It also allows golfers to play the longer-length shafts that have become more common in the industry, yet still keep the swing weight of the club in the D2-to-D5 range that most golfers are comfortable with.

“Before adjustable drivers … features that added weight to the head … drivers used to weigh between 198 and 202 grams, and measure between 44.5 and 45 inches long,” Oldenburg said. “Now they’re between 206 and 2012 grams, are are 45 to 46 inches long.”

Tour Green and Blue Close

The last, and maybe most important finishing thing for the sales of the Tour Blue and Tour Green shafts are the color-coded circuitboard graphics near the handle, which Oldenburg said he hopes communicate to consumers the high-tech materials and construction used to make the shafts.

“Technology stories like Micro Laminate are hard to tell,” Oldenburg said. “This is a very high-tech product, but unfortunately it still looks like a stick and it has to by the rules of golf. With the circuitboard look we’re saying, ‘Hey, there is technology in this.'”

The Tour Blue and Tour Green shafts will be released on Sept. 15 and carry an MSRP of $349. Aldila will initially release both models in a 65-gram version in R, S, X and TX flexes. In January, Aldila plans to release the 75- and 85-gram versions of the shafts.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. chris crawford

    Jul 17, 2013 at 9:48 am

    i used to have a adila 70x protopype but there hard to pick up these days with it being made in 2005, will the tour green play similar to the protopype?

  2. Pernell Stoney

    Jun 20, 2013 at 1:54 am

    I am looking for 5.5 rifle shafts ( project x)

  3. Joe Golfer

    Jun 15, 2013 at 1:37 am

    I wonder what it actually costs Aldila to make these shafts.
    One used to be able to purchase a high end shaft at a reasonable price.
    They talk about the original Aldila NV green shaft. I recall that shaft starting out at around $88. After about a year, the price had dropped to around $54 after newer models (not necessarily better) had entered the Aldila group.
    The UST ProForce (gold and purple) shaft was super popular for years, and it sold for around $34.
    The Grafalloy Prolite was the most popular shaft for several years, and it sold for $45.
    So what exactly makes these cost $350, other than that other companies are charging that much for some of theirs?
    Wonder how long it will be before we see a similar looking shaft in OEM drivers, but the shaft will say “designed exclusively for (insert name of company making driver)” rather than it actually being the “real deal” shaft.

    • Lyle

      Jun 18, 2013 at 9:29 pm

      You are so right. The specs may even be the same so what exactly is the reason the price has gone crazy? In some cases, OEM’s have the EXACT shaft in their stock equipment and you can buy an entire club for the same cost as the shaft. This has nearly totally eliminated reshafts. When they stop making some of those more reasonably priced shafts, we’ll just throw away a driver with a broken shaft. It will be silly to repair it when you can just buy a newer version.

  4. DenverB

    Jun 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Sad to hear they are designed to swingweight properly in 45-46 inch drivers. That is the standard now?

    Look at the guys on tour, they are almost all between 44 and 45 inches.

    • Brian

      Jun 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      While they’re deesigned to play in longer lengths, like all shafts they can be cut down to play shorter – you just need to add weight to the head to get the swingweight you desire. This can be done in many ways – shaft insert weights, adjustable / removable weights, or hot melt in the head. I’ve done all 3 – but usually not all on the same club!

      • naflack

        Jun 14, 2013 at 1:52 pm

        I have no interest in making the head even heavier and/or messing with the club heads center of gravity. If i’m dropping this kind of dough I think slapping tape in various areas should not be necessary.

  5. keith

    Jun 14, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Yeah, I was really hoping this would be like a $150 type of shaft. 3.5 bills is just way to much for a shaft IMO…Looks sweet though,kudos to Aldila.

  6. J

    Jun 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    And they join the 300$ shaft prices..

    Good for them… Bad for the public

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

Note: The comments below have been minimally edited for brevity and grammar. 

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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Equipment

True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Equipment

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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