Few graphite shaft makers can claim the success of Mitsubishi Rayon’s Diamana shafts, which have been used to win more than 100 events on golf’s major professional tours since 2004. That makes it a big deal when the company tests a new line of Diamana shafts, as it is doing this at the Quicken Loans National.
The most well-known of the company’s Diamana shafts are its original S-Series and D-Series models, known as a “Blue Boards” and “White Boards,” respectively, and they’re used by a staggering amount of the world’s best players.
Tiger Woods uses the original Blue Board shafts in his driver and fairway woods, while Gary Woodland plays the Diamana S+ Series shafts in his driver and fairway wood. Jordan Spieth, on the other hand, plays an original Blue Board shaft in his driver and a Diamana D+ Series shaft in his fairway wood.
The new models are the second-generation of the company’s Diamana +Plus Series that are played by Woodland and Spieth. They’re called the S+ and D+ Series, and use new technologies that make the shafts a viable option for everyone from the best golfers in the world to the weekend player.
The profiles of the first-generation and second-generation Diamana +Plus series shafts are similar, which means that they should produce close to the same launch and spin characteristics for most golfers. There are material differences between the shafts, however, which will make the second-generation shafts a better fit for many golfers.
Mitsubishi Rayon’s second-generation Diamana +Plus Series shafts have a matte gray finish, making them a better fit for many of today’s colorful driver, fairway wood and hybrid heads. The first-generation Diamana S+ and D+ shafts had matte blue and black finishes, respectively.
The second-generation Diamana +Plus shafts expand the company’s Multi-Dimensional Interlay (M.D.I.) technology throughout the length of the shaft, where it was previously only used in the tip. That allows each shaft to be made about 3-to-4 grams lighter without affecting the shaft’s bend profile, said Mark Gunther, Mitsubishi Rayon’s vice president of sales and marketing. Unlike the original Diamana shafts, it also allows Mitsubish to tune the torque of each shaft to a specific flex, giving softer-flex shafts a little more torque and stiffer-flex shafts a little less torque.
What’s also new is that the the second-generation S+ Series shafts are counterbalanced, which means that they have a higher balance point that allows today’s heavier driver, fairway wood and hybrid heads to be played at a standard length or a longer-than-standard length without a drastic affect on swing weight.
The S+ Series shafts are slated to be released in more flexes and more weight options than ever before as well, with an emphasis on going lighter. Golfers will be able to get a 52-gram S+ Series (R and S flexes) for the first time, as well as more standard-weight options: a 62-gram model (R, S, X, TX), a 72-gram model (R, S, X, TX) and an 82-gram model (X, TX).
TX-flex shafts, which are available in each 62-gram, 72-gram and 82-gram shaft model, use special 46-ton carbon fiber materials that allow the shafts to be stiffer and have less torque than X-Flex shafts.
The D+ Series, which launches lower than the S+ Series, will also be available in a 52-gram model for the first time (R, S and X flexes), as well as a 62-gram model (S, X, TX), 72-gram model (S, X, TX) and 82-gram model (X, TX). It will not be as counterbalanced as the S+ Series shafts, however, because of its target audience. Golfers who tend to be a fit for the D+ Series often want their woods to have either a shorter length, heavier swing weight or both, which generally negates the benefits of a counterbalanced shaft.
Golfers looking for an aggressively counterweighted shaft from Mitsubishi Rayon will be pleased to hear that along with the company’s recently-released Fubuki J shafts, it will release a new Diamana M+ Series shaft, which is inspired by Mitsubishi’s original Diamana M-Series “Red Board” shaft. It’s the highest-launching of the three shafts and is expected to hit the PGA Tour for testing in October. It will be available in a 52-gram model (R, S), a 62-gram model (R, S, X, TX) and 72-gram model (R, S, X, TX).
Like the rest of the line, the M+ Series will be available in limited quantities this fall and will sell for about $300.