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Editor Review: Mitsubishi Diamana W-Series Shaft

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Pros: Mitsubishi’s Diamana W-Series has similar launch and spin characteristics to its predecessor, the ‘ahina. Its newly designed butt section that gives the shaft a smoother feel, and it’s is the first White Board shaft to be available in a 50-gram model.

Cons: Its $400 price tag will be a turn off to many golfers, but that’s what it takes to own a Diamana shaft.

Bottom Line: Most White Board customers are looking to reduce spin, making Mitsubishi’s decision to give the 3rd-generation White Board a slightly softer tip a little confusing. But we’re never going to knock a company for offering golfers a wider variety of premium aftermarket shaft options.

Overview

Mitsubishi Rayon is known to many golfers as the maker of some of the best shafts money can buy. Sure, the abundant usage of Mitsubishi’s shafts on the PGA Tour by golfers such as Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy and Zach Johnson has helped its reputation. But industry insiders also know that Mitsubishi Rayon’s parent company, Mitsubishi Chemical, makes the high-quality carbon fiber materials used not just for Mitsubishi shafts, but for several of its competitors as well.

Mitsubishi Rayon’s Diamana W-Series shaft is the third-generation of the company’s popular “White Board” shaft, which is used by many players who desire a premium-constructed shaft with low-launch, low-spin characteristics.

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The main difference between the W-Series and its predecessor, the ‘ahina, is the shaft’s stiffer butt section. That section of the shaft is reinforced with Mitsubishi’s Dialed material (also called “pitch fiber”), which is twice as strong as traditional shaft materials. The shaft also has a slightly softer tip section, giving it a more balanced overall feel than the stiff-tip ‘ahina. According to Mitsubishi, the stronger, stiffer butt section of the W-Series allows for more energy transfer, acting as a stronger “spring” as golfers approach impact.

Screen Shot 2013-10-05 at 5.58.26 PMScreen Shot 2013-10-05 at 5.59.16 PM

In the EI Charts above, notice how the W-Series (black line, left graph) has a stiffer butt section and a slightly softer tip section than the ‘ahina (green line, right graph). The mid-section of the W-Series shaft is also noticeably softer, providing a more balanced feel. 

The W-Series (MSRP $400) are also the first line of White Board shafts to be available in a 50-gram model, following the industry trend of offering light weight shaft options.

Screen Shot 2013-09-26 at 1.51.34 PM

Performance

We tested a 60S W-Series shaft against a 60S ‘ahina, cut to the same 45-inch length in a Nike Covert Tour driver head set to 8.5N. All three testers had high swing speeds, with a range of 105-to-116 mph on golf radar. With the W-Series shaft, the testers averaged a launch of 14.05 degrees, with 2603 rpms of spin. With the ‘ahina, the launch was actually slightly higher, 14.2 degrees, with slightly less spin, 2590 rpm.

The golfers also swung the ‘ahina slightly faster than the W-Series, averaging 111.1 mph with the ‘ahina and 110 mph with the W-Series.

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So what do those numbers mean? Basically, the performance differences between the shafts are too close to call. Golfers are more likely choose one shaft over another based on feel rather than performance differences. Changing driver heads and/or a driver’s settings will be much more impactful to launch monitor numbers than changing from the ‘ahina to the W-Series and vice versa.

Looks and Feel

Two of the three testers commented that the ‘ahina felt “more stable” to them than the W-Series, largely due to its stiffer mid and tip sections. But it should be noted that those golfers had the two quickest tempos. The tester with the slower tempo commented that the W-Series shaft felt “smoother” and “more balanced” than the ‘ahina.

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Like all of Mitsubishi’s Diamana White Board shafts, the W-Series features Mitsubishi’s classic white oval logo, as well as the company’s beloved “flower band” graphics. One of the testers commented that the W-Series shaft may have looked even better with the matte finish used for Mitsubishi’s Diamana D+ shafts, however, the overall feedback on the looks of the shaft was positive.

The Takeaway

Golfers in the “White Board” category are often looking for the lowest-spinning, smoothest-feeling shaft they can get their hands on. While the W-Series hits the mark for smoothness, Mitsubishi’s decision to give the shaft slightly more spin than the ‘ahina caused some concern.

According to Mitsubishi, the reason the W-Series was designed to offer slightly more spin has to do with the current trend of ultra low-spinning driver heads in the marketplace, which will no doubt continue in 2014 and beyond. Given that fact, the W-Series could be a winner for a lot of aftermarket shaft fittings in 2014.

We’re not sure the subtle differences between the W-Series and the ‘ahina are enough to drive golfers to spend $400 for an upgrade, but the shaft is a solid pairing with the company’s higher-launching, higher-spinning Diamana B-Series shaft. Like the W-Series, the B-Series uses pitch fibers to offer improved feel and the performance golfers expect from the company’s popular “Blue Board” family of shafts.

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Above: Tianlang Guan plays a Mitsubishi Diamana B-Series (Japanese version) shaft in his Callaway X Hot 4 wood.

We applaud Mitsubishi for giving golfers more high-end aftermarket shaft options, but we’re just not sure that many gearheads will be excited about a White Board with a softer tip. However, that could change if 2014’s crop of drivers prove to be as low spinning as major OEM officials have indicated.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Pingback: Callaway Golf Mitsubishi Diamana White

  2. Johan

    Nov 8, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I have the B-series 70X in my driver swinging around 115 – 117mph and love the results.
    The faster swingers in this test should really try a stiffer and/or heavier shaft if they are complaining about the shaft not beeing stable enough. If the shaft doesn’t fit your swing it doesn’t matter if it’s a 60 or 400$ shaft.

    Now I’m just pondering if I should put a 80X W- or B-series in my spoon 🙂

  3. jay

    Oct 16, 2013 at 12:32 am

    grab a pull on ebay or here for around $100. I have the original BB’s in my driver and 3w and I love em

  4. glenn kirk

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:51 am

    diamana

  5. glenn kirk

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:50 am

    sorry meant diamond

  6. glenn kirk

    Oct 12, 2013 at 4:49 am

    shaft is everything stock shafts are junk diamond after market shafts are awesome

  7. Dolph Lundgrenade

    Oct 10, 2013 at 5:19 am

    Save yourself $400 and just practice more often.

  8. BenDover

    Oct 7, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    save yourself $340 and get an x-caliber tour shaft for $60

    • paul

      Oct 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Really? Is the x caliber actually that good? I tried the ahina 70 (ish) gram shaft and loved it. felt so good.

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Accessory Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Uther Supply golf towels

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Product: Uther Supply golf towels

Pitch: Via Uther: “Uther cart towels use the highest quality material and construction which have been tested to perform season after season…Uther’s unique blend of moisturize wicking, soft microfiber is 3x more absorbent than cotton and 5x more durable…Waffle pattern to easily remove even the most stubborn dirt in club grooves and golf ball dimples…Uther is the creator of the fashionable golf towel. Features unique sublimated prints and designs that make a fun accessory for both men and women golf bags.”

Our take on Uther Supply golf towels

Most golfers have a “logo” towel hanging on their bag today. Typically you’ll see the name of a course the golfer has visited, or an OEM name. Uther Supply towels, however, are different. Uther (pronounced “other”) Supply Founder Dan Erdman described his inspiration for this unique line of golf towels in an interview with GolfWRX a few years back:

“When you work in the back shop and storage facility, you handle a lot of golf bags. I just noticed rows and rows of bags that all look the same and I thought it made a lot of sense to inject some personality into it. You know, people go crazy for how all the pros personalize their wedges and their bags. They buy towels and bag tags from courses like TPC Sawgrass and Pebble Beach to personalize their stuff, but in the end it all kind of blends together… I thought we could really add something to the marketplace.”

They have certainly succeeded in creating a new type of towel in the marketplace. We used them over several rounds of golf, in various conditions to put them to the test.

Meant to be shown off, Uther golf towel designs are creative and clever, with some of the most popular being the “Happy Gilmore inspired” Cart Towel and “90s coffee cup” Tour Towel. There of course, are many others to choose from.

Of course, let’s not forget that the primary function of a towel is to clean your golf equipment. That might seem easy but we at WRX have ordered some custom towels from other manufacturers in the past and were disappointed in the performance. Uther’s towels, however, succeed in both form and function. They’re stylish, but they also are an excellent functional towel. You’re like to be impressed at how light they are as well. These aren’t bath towels, but rather high-quality microfiber blends that Uther says are 3x more absorbent than cotton.

As far as cons, if we’re nitpicking, you may need to find a larger carabiner clip for some golf bags if you want to hang your towel in a more prominent place. These are made to show off, after all.

Prices range from $28-$35 USD and are available for purchase at uthersupply.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy in the US and Golf Town in Canada.

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

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Product: Air Jordan ADG golf shoes (available at Dick’s and Golf Galaxy). 

Pitch: Via Jordan: “Jump up the leaderboard in the Nike Men’s Air Jordan ADG Golf Shoes. Famed for its incredible comfort and lightweight feel, the ADG features a Zoom Air unit for responsive cushioning and an integrated lacing system for a secure, supportive fit. The Integrated Traction pattern offers you enhanced grip on every terrain and the signature Jumpman logos give you extra style on the course.”

Our take on Air Jordan ADG golf shoes

Confined to the feet of Keegan Bradley for years, the iconic sneaker brand seems to have proof of concept in the golf space, as evidenced by the growing roster of tour players (Pat Perez, Harold Varner III), and numerous retail offerings.

We got to test one of said retail offerings: the just-released spikeless Air Jordan ADG. Now, the Jordan style may not be for every golfer (can’t imagine them catching on in Tuesday morning senior leagues across the nation), but if you like the look of Js on the court or street, you’ll love the look of these. Indeed, you’ll probably love the look of all Jordan offerings for the fairway, as the company has done an excellent job of bringing its aesthetic to golf, rather than the opposite (if that makes sense…tacking the Jumpman logo on a pair of saddle shoes was never going to work).

So, appearance wise, the elephant print leather upper and other signature brand elements look great (and the translucent sole is an awesome touch). However, when it comes to golf shoes, particularly of the spikeless variety, we’re always concerned about stability during the swing (both in terms of contact with the ground and within the shoe internally) and appropriate support/comfort for the five-plus mile trek that is a round of golf.

On both of the aforementioned fronts, these shoes are superb. You can feel the comfort and support the instant your heel hits the Jumpan Golf logo on the insole, and the shoes do everything you’d ask a spikeless shoe to do on course. Highly recommended; we look forward to seeing what his Airness’ cordwainers come up with next.

A look at the white colorway, via Jordan, below. 

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Apparel Reviews

WRX Spotlight: Callaway Golf Apparel

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Callaway apparel?

Yes, apparel, seriously.

Go ahead you can admit it, as will I. When you think of Callaway what generally comes to mind is hard goods golf gear, things like Epic Flash drivers and Chrome Soft balls. Personally I never really thought too hard about their apparel before, BUT one encounter with the lineup and I can assure you that when you think of Callaway you will think of shirts and apparel being as high on your must-try list as Apex Irons.

In the golf apparel game, there are a lot of players. From boutique brands geared towards the extreme high end to more “value” offerings that hit the mark on price but have almost no chance of holding up over a full season of use. To gain traction and find your “zone” as an apparel company you have to separate yourself, whether it be through distinctive cuts, patterns & designs, fabrics, quality, or finding the right ways & places to distribute. For Callaway Golf Apparel whatever combination of these they are doing, they are doing it very right! From quality to distribution, they are crushing it. Seriously!

How much are they “crushing it” you might ask… How about to the tune of over 690 percent year over year. Yes, that’s NOT a TYPO – 690 percent! Thanks to a glowing Q1 report (something you can easily access since they are a publicly traded company) Callaway’s apparel is leaps and bounds ahead of where they used to be for a number of reasons:

  • High-quality fabrics
  • Great cuts
  • Attention to detail

Since this is a spotlight on the apparel, I’m going to focus on my favorite pieces in the line – the polos. As I have said before there are a few things I look for in a nice golf shirt; overall fit (this dad bod has still gotta look good on the course), style choices, and quality fabric — I’d rather spend a bit more money for a classically tailored well-made shirt than something that is inexpensive but won’t last five cycles through the wash.

The highlights for these shirts are in the variety of options, the quality fit, and little extra details that allow these to be placed alongside some of the most recognized brands in off-course retail and pro shops around the country. Sleeve length is perfect and comfortable — no need for the old shoulder hike before every shot. The fabrics have stretch but not too much that the shirt feels flimsy, which a big no-no for me. Flimsy fabrics and poor seems are the typical issue with very value friendly brands but there’s none of that here! The collars don’t have stays but the way they are designed, cut, and reinforced keeps them looking firm and right where they should be.

Last but not least, Callaway’s full lineup of apparel has a huge selection of sizes for both men and women to make sure no matter your measurements you can find the outfits that fit your shape so you can feel comfortable on and off the course. If you don’t have access to a retailer you can shop their website.

 

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