Pros: A high-launching shaft that feels very smooth. Available for woods (50, 60 and 70-gram models) and hybrids (70 and 80-gram models).
Cons: They’re cheaper than Graphite Design’s Tour-AD shafts, but they’re still pricy. Wood shafts have an MSRP of $269. Hybrid shafts have an MSRP of $129.
Who’s it for? These shafts could fit a wide range of golfers, but they’ll be preferred by those who enjoy the feeling of the shaft loading and unloading during the swing.
Looking into a new shaft for your driver, fairway wood or hybrid? You’re in luck, or maybe not, because the amount of shaft options available in today’s market can be head spinning, even for educated golfers.
The good news? If you’re looking for the most premium and consistent shafts on the market — which means you’re willing to pay for the best — you’ve narrowed your list to a handful of companies, and one of those companies is Graphite Design.
Graphite Design, based in Japan, has a reputation for creating shafts that perform well and have an even better feel. The company’s shafts have been No. 1 on the Japan Golf Tour for more than 10 years and are also well represented on the PGA Tour — Jordan Spieth, Martin Kaymer, Lydia Ko and Ryo Ishikawa all have at least one Graphite Design shaft in their bag.
The YS NanoReloaded shafts are the latest version of Graphite Design’s YS shaft series, which has been popular with golfers since its release in 1999 — so popular, in fact, that the company re-released the series with updated graphics under the name YS+ in 2005.
The newest models have new graphics, too, but what’s more important is their new materials. Graphite Design added the same nano-alloy material to the YS NanoReloaded shafts that it uses in its pricier Tour-AD shafts. Graphite Design calls it “DI Technology,” and it allowed the YS NanoReloaded shafts to be made more stable than their predecessors in the tip and butt sections, yet maintain the smooth feel for which the YS shafts are known.
For Gear Heads: The biggest difference between the YS NanoReloaded and Tour AD shafts? The YS NanoReloaded shafts use a 46T carbon fiber material. The Tour-AD shafts use a 50T carbon fiber material that produce slightly less torque. The 50T material is more expensive, but remember that expensive shafts do not necessarily perform better than less expensive shafts.
So how did they test? I tried the YS NanoReloaded shafts at the Launch Pad at Carl’s GolfLand in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., in the following clubs:
- Callaway Big Bertha Alpha (10 degrees) — YS NanoReloaded Six X (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch)
- Callaway X2 Hot Pro (15 degrees) — YS NanoReloaded Seven X (43 inches, tipped 1.5 inches)
- Callaway X2 Hot Pro (18 degrees) — YS NanoReloaded 85X (40.5 inches, no tipping)
I generally play a 70X shaft in my driver, an 80X shaft in my three wood and a 90X shaft in my hybrid with the same lengths and tipping, but an 80X wood shaft and 90X hybrid shaft is not available in the YS NanoReloaded line. For that reason, I chose shaft models that were 10 grams lighter in each club.
All things being equal, lighter shafts generally create a little more spin than heavier shafts, which was a concern of mine. As a high-speed, high-spin player, I’ve relied on heavier shafts to reduce my spin rate and give me a feeling of more control over the club. To me, extra weight gives shafts more of the smooth feel that I prefer.
What’s nice about the NanoReloaded shafts is that I was able to get the smooth feel I like from a shaft that was 10 grams lighter and I didn’t lose anything in the way of performance. Both my launch angle and spin rate stayed in my desired range. You can see one of my best hits on the screenshot below.
Ideally, a properly fit shaft should create either:
- A jump in club head speed.
- An improvement in control.
When golfers see both, they know that the properties of a shaft are working with their swings instead of against it.
One of the perks of being the Managing Editor of GolfWRX is that I’ve been fit for many clubs, many times by many different fitters. It’s fair to say that my current shafts are about as dialed in as they can get. That’s why the YS NanoReloaded impressed me — I was able to maintain the club head speed that I create with my current shafts, and enjoyed the fact that they were a little easier to swing because of their lighter weight.
Would I make the change? In the driver and three wood, definitely. The smoothness of the shaft gave me confidence to lighten my grip pressure and swing a little easier than I otherwise would, and I saw no performance drop in the numbers.
The hybrid — not so much. It has a similar feel to the wood shafts, but I found that it was noticeably higher spinning. Golfers who like their hybrid shafts to feel and perform like heavier, more traditional steel shafts probably won’t like it, but the YS NanoReloaded Hybrid shafts could be a good fit for golfers who are looking for a higher flight.
The Bottom Line
My testing showed that even high-speed, high-spin players can get great performance from the YS NanoReloaded, which means they’ll fit a wide variety of players. The smooth feel and added stability to the shafts make them an attractive alternative to Graphite Design’s higher-priced Tour AD models, which have an MSRP of about $500, as well as other premium, high-launching shafts on the market.
If shaft feel is important to you, you’ll want to find a way to test these.