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Aldila ‘Tour Blue’ and ‘Tour Green’ shafts

by   |   June 12, 2013
Aldila Tour Blue Spotlight

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.

About

Zak is the Managing Editor of GolfWRX.com.

He's been a part of the company since 2012, when he was hired to develop GolfWRX's front page. Since that time, GolfWRX has become the go-to destination on the web for golf equipment news, tour news, instruction and opinion.

Zak also developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers who want to improve their skills and allows established golf professionals to communicate directly with readers.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond, where he took too many strokes. Good thing he also studied journalism and creative writing.

You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss all the cool gear and insider info that's part of his job.


9 Comments

  1. chris crawford

    July 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

    June 20, 2013 at 1:54 am

    I am looking for 5.5 rifle shafts ( project x)

  3. Joe Golfer

    June 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

      June 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

    June 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

      June 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

        June 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

    June 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

    June 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    And they join the 300$ shaft prices..

    Good for them… Bad for the public

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