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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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Apparel Reviews

On the course? Off the course? Adidas’ new adicross line has you covered

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Furthering golfwear’s trend toward the more casual and versatile in a big way, Adidas today unveiled a new line extension: Adicross.

Urban inspired. Decidedly non-traditional. The Adicross line (styled “adicross”) leverages Adidas’ clothing and footwear styles from other arenas and reimagines them for wear on the fairway. Available December 1, the line brings Anorak jackets, henleys, hoodies, joggers, and even an Oxford to the golf course.

And before you clutch your saddle shoes in terror, remember, this is a line extension targeting a particular segment of the golfing population, not a total change of course for the entire Adidas Golf brand. If you’re wondering who represents the segment in question, think Erik Anders Lang: filmmaker, irrepressible golf enthusiast, and host of Skratch TV’s Adventures in Golf.

Lang hosted a launch event in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District warehouse space where he sat down with Adidas execs and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for a chat about the new line. He praised the performance aspects of the five-pocket pant and the footwear styles, in particular.

As for golf’s top-ranked player, regarding the Adicross line, DJ told us the line is much more in keeping with stuff he’d actually wear than the baggy shirts and khakis that were the uniform of golf when he started out on tour.

“This is a line that I’ll wear all the time,” Johnson said. “I can wear it to the course and then go meet some buddies for lunch, and I’m not a walking poster for golf.”

From the Stretch-Woven Oxford, to the jogger pant, to the Adicross Bounce footwear, every item Dustin Johnson wears in picture below is intended for both on- and off-course wear.

“Adicross is the lifestyle brand that golfers everywhere have been waiting for,” said the world No. 1. “This is something that I’ll wear when I’m traveling to a tournament, practicing at home, or even headed to the gym.”

The aforementioned versatility of the Adicross line is very much a function of the materials: No-show sweat wicking technology, nylon-spandex blends (featured in the five-pocket pant and short), Primeknit (featured in Icon Polo and Jacket). These are clothes that are ready to wear to the office, but stretch, are light enough, and offer enough comfort to play 18 holes in.

“We wanted to challenge ourselves to design a line that would aid in helping athletes in their game, their life and in their world,” said Chad Alasantro, senior designer, men’s apparel at adidas Golf. “adicross is a perfect blend of hidden technology, fused with a creative aesthetic.”

 

The Adicross line also boldly brings street-inspired footwear to the golf course, retooling Adidas’ ultrapopular Bounce design to support the foot and grip the turf during the golf swing (and resist water during dew-sweeping early morning rounds)

“Adicross was designed as a result of the feedback we were hearing from our core consumer,” said Dylan Moore, Creative Director, Adidas Golf. “Like everyone else, golfers live in a complex, busy world with many diverse interests. They expect more from less and demand performance out of what they wear.”

The centerpiece Bounce features an ergonomic fit, offset wrapped saddle with multiple eyelet rows for customizable lacing, and a non-marking adiwear rubber spikeless outsole that features 181 strategically-placed lugs for a green-friendly grip.

The Bounce will be released in January, and additional styles will follow in February.

Regarding said “additional styles,” you can spot a few in this promo video. 

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Accessory Reviews

Choose Your Tartan: Enter now to win a Sunfish Tartan headcover

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Sunfish, well known for its stylish headcover designs, is offering up free Tartan-style headcovers to five GolfWRX Members. All you have to do to apply is become a GolfWRX member, if you’re not already, and then reply in the forum thread with your favorite the Tartan pattern.

TartanPatternsSunfish

The five winners will receive a free headcover in the pattern that they select. Winners will be selected on Friday, so don’t wait.

Click here to enter into the giveaway and pick your favorite style.

Reminder: Commenting on this post WILL NOT enter you into the giveaway.

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Equipment

Member Reviews: Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Woods

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. In this Testing Thread, we selected six members to test a Callaway Steelhead XR fairway wood built to their specs.

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The Steelhead XR has a club face made of steel for that familiar Steelhead feel. The crowns are made from J-36 carbon fiber to lower center of gravity and move it more forward; that will help it produce lower spin like the original designs that sold 2.3 million units. According to Callaway, the crowns weigh just 6 grams — that’s 20 grams lighter than Callaway’s XR ’16 fairway wood crowns.

Full Tech Story: Callaway upgrades a classic, introduces Steelhead XR fairway woods

The Steelhead XR fairways also have a Hyper Speed Face Cup that produces more ball speed across the face, and Speed Step technology, or the raised portions on the crown, that were first introduced in Callaway XR ’16 metalwoods. They improve aerodynamics to help golfers produce higher swing speeds.

Each member completed a detailed analysis and rating of the club. You can see the full reviews here. Below, we pull quotes from the reviews to give you a feel for what this choice group of WRXers had to say. The responses have been minimally edited for brevity and style. Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

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  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR (13.5 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“I like almost everything about how this club looks. The color combination of the dark blue against the steel face gives a nice contract. I really like how the carbon fiber looks under the blue paint.”

“At times the ball appeared to have a little too much spin and would tend to climb to a height that would be above my current gamer off the tee. It would tend to go further because of the stronger loft, however, usually about 5-7 yards. Perhaps a different shaft could help the spin, but it would need testing. The Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65 Graphite X-flex is a great stock option. It has a good feel and a weight that I prefer, and I think it can keep up with higher swing speeds without issue.”

SDickenson642

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)
  • Shaft Tested: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue 65X

“The appearance of the Steelhead is amazing. The shape is perfect for my eye, as I prefer a smaller profile down by the ball in fairway woods. The face is pretty deep compared to my [Cobra] Fly-Z+ I’ve been playing for three years now. The sound is amazing off the head. I never had the privilege of playing the original Steelhead fairways, but it does remind me of the original woods I played as a kid, which I think where Tommy Armour 845’s.”

“With the deeper face of the Steelhead XR, I thought I would have issues launching the ball from the deck on par 5s, but I did not see any issue. Turf interaction with the Steelhead was great. I was able to try multiple lies from the fairway, rough, and even a bunker. From the fairway I could easily control it and actually get the ball up in the air enough and with enough spin to hold greens.”

MillerLowLife

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“The top of this club looks awesome at address. I really liked the look of the crown that is a dark blue and shows the carbon fiber underneath. That, coupled with the silver steel face, makes it easy to frame the ball. This is a steel club so the sound and feel will be a sharper metal sound that’s accustomed to the old Steelheads. Has great swing weight and feel. Felt really easy to hit this in the tee box, fairway, or rough.”

“I really enjoyed the versatility of the 4+ with the shorter playing length, heavier swing weight, and flatter lie angle. For me, it felt like a bomber off the tee box, but it was still something I could use to get me out of less-than-ideal lies outside of the fairway —  something I wouldn’t think about with my current gamer.”

Hackster

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 4+ (16 degrees)

“This club is all business. Longer than my 3-wood, flies higher and able to work the ball left and right. On the tee, the ball jumps forward when it hits fairway. Does not lose much distance on off-center hits.”

“Long off the fairway, just put on cruise control and fire away. I struggle in the rough with any fairway wood, so not much to compare to — that’s what hybrids are for. Love this club. Had concerns where it would fit in the bag, but easily able to replace my 14.5-degree 3-wood with the 4+. Much more versatile than my current 3-wood and longer.”

drifliboy

  • Club Tested: Callaway Steelhead XR 3+ (13.5 degrees)

“This club with the lower loft of the 3+ worked well for me off the tee. It was close to my driver on distance. It seemed to launch quickly and then maintain its height. It did not balloon for me. It also really seemed to want to go straight, a couple of times shots almost seemed to correct a little in the air, particularly if I had pushed it. This club at this loft is pretty much a driver replacement for me.”

“If you are looking for a very classy fairway wood that is solid, long, with some forgiveness and doesn’t look like it was developed by a “mad” scientist, this club should be on your short list. It works well off the tee and turf. Please test and get fitted for the right loft and flex. I think this club provides most golfers with very good options that should be considered if they are looking to upgrade any of their woods.”

Discussion: Read the full responses here.

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