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Review: Graphite Design Tour AD MJ shafts

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When most equipment aficionados think of Graphite Design shafts, the first model that comes to mind is “the orange one,” officially known as the company’s Tour AD DI. It was the first of the company’s premium Tour AD series shafts, and has been used to win countless professional events worldwide — several by a golfer named Tiger.

For that reason, it’s the most widely known Graphite Design shaft, but it’s just one of the six Tour AD models the Japanese shaft maker currently offers.

Graphite Design’s Tour AD MJ shaft is the company’s newest model, and continues the company’s trend of releasing “complementary” shafts. In 2014, Graphite Design released the Tour AD MT (most golfers know it as “the yellow one”), which was designed with a softer tip section than most of the company’s Tour AD shafts to help golfers launch the ball higher — a response to today’s lower-spinning driver heads. The MJ, which will probably be known as “the “black and yellow one,” offers a lower bend point than the MT, with a slightly softer tip section to help golfers launch the ball even higher.

IMG_5953

Bill McPherson, vice president of Pro’s Choice shafts, Graphite Design’s U.S. distributor, calls the MJ “a step down in softness” from the MT. That makes it a good fit for golfers seeking a higher launch than the MT can provide with their driver, or as a fairway wood shaft that has a similar feel to the MT, yet offers the higher launch most golfers are seeking from their fairway woods.

Related: Our review of Graphite Design’s YS NanoReloaded shafts. 

The Tour AD MJ ($380) uses the company’s premium 50-ton carbon fiber material, as well as Graphite Design’s 3rd-generation Toray Nanoalloy material — called “DI Technology” — in the mid and tip section to improve stability. It’s available in five different flexes (R2, R1, R, S, and X) and four different weights (50, 60, 70 and 80 grams).

Comparing popular Tour AD-DI shafts

On GolfWRX, we talk a lot about certain shafts being lower-spinning or higher-spinning than other models, but it’s important to remember that results can (and probably will) vary depending on the individual.

If you look at my testing data below, which saw me hit 10 shots with four different Tour AD 7X shaft models (all 45.5 inches, tipped 0.5 inches) using the same adjustable driver head set to the same setting, you’ll see that I did not get the results that one would expect from the MJ. For some reason, I launched the MJ lower than the other Tour AD shafts.

Despite my “special case” status, however, I enjoyed the smooth feel of the MJ shaft, and preferred it to the BB and the MT.

TourAD_Shafts

10 shots hit with each shaft (7X, tipped 0.5 inches). Driver used was Titleist’s 915D3 (9.5 degrees, C1 setting).

The numbers also show that I also produced slightly more swing speed and ball speed with the MJ and DI, compared to the other shafts. When golfers see that, it’s a clue that they’ve found a shaft that works well with their swing.

Looking more closely at the numbers, you can see that I launched the DI shaft an average of 1.7 degrees higher than the MJ, and with 100 rpm less spin. That being said, is it any surprise to you that I have a new driver and fairway wood being built with Tour AD-DI shafts?

Remember, these are just my results. Go get fit to see what model works best for you.

Specs and Fitting Recommendations

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.36.10 PM

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.36.56 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 3.37.05 PM

 

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Golfprodave

    Aug 8, 2015 at 7:43 am

    The TOUR AD DI seems a good match. If you wanted to try something different and stay within the GD TOUR AD family I would recommend you try the tour ad dj. It has similar spin with slightly higher launch charactistics than the DI

    http://www.golfshaftreviews.info/index.php/graphite-design-tour-ad-dj-golf-shaft-review/

  2. Gary Rosenthal

    Jul 2, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    After months of demo-ing everything out there, I’ve had the AD MJ (in stiff regular) attached to my Taylormade R15 (10.5*) for a couple of weeks now.

    Had the shaft tipped to 44 and 3/4 inches. Wonderfully vibrant feel–noticeably better than the stock Speeder that came with the club–and the stock shaft was by no means bad. And though 3/4 inches shorter than the stock Speeder, distance with the AD MJ is a surprisingly 6 or 7 yards longer than the stock shaft on good hits of both.

    But aside from wonderful “feel,” the really great thing about this shaft/clubhead pairing is the accuracy: averaging 80% fairways hit, and even misses haven’t gotten me in trouble. This, plus the slightly shortened shaft, has resulted in a lot more confidence off the tee. So I’m loving the shaft, even though my driver swing speed would have suggested “regular” might have been a better fit.

  3. Ryan

    May 16, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    249 carry not right w/ those numbers

    • Eh

      May 28, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      But with the launch angle it seems about right

  4. OP

    May 16, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Reminds me of the Killer Bee driver from back in the day

  5. Mats B

    May 16, 2015 at 2:40 am

    Looking at the launch angles I would suggest moving the setting to: C4 or even B4, or else, get a 10.5 degree head and use B1, if you prefer playing with a slightly open club face. My SS is 10 mph less than yours, Smash Factor pretty much the same, AOA: 0 to +5 degrees, launch angle: 10.5 to 15 degrees. Spin: 2250 – 2680 rpm. On Trackman I get the same lenghts as you, or even slightly longer. You would improve on your lenghts of the Tee by increasing your launch angle and focus on getting a positive AOA (Angle of Attac). I would say that you are loosing 20-30 yards, just by reading your data. I use the same head, stamped 10.5 degrees, actual loft in the sweet spot: 10.8, setting A1. 😉 Shaft: Black Tour AD DI 6S….Sweet! You’ve got room for improvement, for sure…..-Good luck!

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      May 16, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks for reading and for the feedback, Mats. Just to clarify, this test was not performed to optimize my launch monitor numbers. It was done to show the differences in launch and spin between the shafts.

      • other paul

        May 16, 2015 at 11:30 pm

        I was going to comment the same as the other guys. My first thought when I saw the top of the chart was that launch angle must be 5 degrees or something. I launch at 13* with a 107 and 1.48 smash and I can break 300 the odd time (measured on flight scope and gc2 hmt). Good article though. Liked it.

  6. Joe Golfer

    May 16, 2015 at 1:32 am

    It’s good to see that they offer an in-between flex, the “stiff regular”.
    I almost always find the Regular flex to be too whippy, yet the stiff flex is usually a little bit too stiff, depending on brand.
    And my swing fits right in the middle of that recommended swing speed chart for that flex.
    Wish more companies had something like this.

  7. Ryan K

    May 15, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    249 max carry doesn’t seem to add up with 112SS. Anyone else?

    • matt_bear

      May 16, 2015 at 12:06 am

      Spin is really low and launch angle is kinda low…..good swing speed but the ball is falling out of the air.

  8. Barack

    May 15, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    What head did you use in the tests?

    • Obamer

      May 15, 2015 at 9:53 pm

      10 shots hit with each shaft (7X, tipped 0.5 inches). Driver used was Titleist’s 915D3 (9.5 degrees, C1 setting).

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Shaft & Grip Reviews

MRC Shaft Shootout: Tensei CK Pro White, Kuro Kage XT and Diamana BF-Series

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The Tensei CK Pro White is the latest release from Mitsubishi Rayon Composites (MRC), a low-launch, low-spin shaft with a multi-material design that the company says improves the performance and feel of the shaft. Whereas most golf shafts use between 3-6 different materials in their construction, the Tensei CK Pro White is made from 11 different materials, giving MRC engineers greater precision in the shaft’s design.

Like MRC’s Tensei CK Pro Blue shafts, which produce a slightly higher-launching, higher-spinning ball flight, the CK Pro White uses MRC’s Carbon Fiber DuPont Kevlar Weave in the handle section of the shaft. The company says it increases the strength and stability of that part of the shaft, leading to better feedback.

carbon-fiber-dupont-kevlar-weave

On the other end of the shaft, the tip section, MRC uses a boron-reinforced fiber. All low-launch, low-spin shafts have stiff-tip designs, but the addition of boron puts the Tensei CK Pro White in a class of its own when it comes to lowering launch angle and spin rate. The boron fiber also reduces torque, which can offer better energy transfer, more accuracy and better feedback — especially for skilled, high-swing-speed golfers.

Connecting and reinforcing those areas of the shafts is MRC’s low-resin content (LRC) prepreg. Prepreg is carbon fiber that’s been reinforced or “pre-impregnated” with resin, a glue that holds the material together when it’s formed into sheets and rolled into the form of a shaft. MRC says that its LRC has 15 percent more carbon fiber and 13 percent less resin than traditional prepregs, which allows MRC to make the Tensei CK Pro White stronger without adding extra weight to the shaft. MRC also uses high-modulus, 40-ton prepreg in the Tensei CK Pro White’s design, which like LRC is thinner, stronger and lighter than traditional prepregs.

The addition of boron helps MRC make the tip of Tensei CK Pro White shaft stiffer and lower in torque.

The addition of boron helps MRC make the tip of Tensei CK Pro White shaft stiffer and lower in torque.

In the EI chart below, you can see how the Tensei CK Pro White’s bend profile compares to the CK Pro Blue. The main differences are its slightly stiffer tip and mid sections, as well as its slightly softer butt section. That gives the CK Pro White a higher “kick point” than the CK Pro Blue. Generally, the higher the kick point of a shaft, the lower its launch conditions. That’s why the Tensei CK Pro White is a lower-launching, lower-spinning shaft than the Tensei CK Pro Blue.

Tensei_Ck_Pro_White_comparisonThe Shootout 

Just how much lower launching and lower spinning is the Tensei CK Pro White than MRC’s latest premium driver shafts? I put it to the test against the company’s Kuro Kage XT and Diamana BF-Series, which like the CK Pro White are PGA Tour-quality shafts that sell for about $400 each. All three shafts tested were built to my spec: 70TX, tipped 1 inch at a finished length of 45.5 inches.

I tested the three shafts on Trackman 4 at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. After warming up, I hit 10 drives with each shaft, and whittled my shots down to the most similar five to help illustrate the differences. Premium balls were used for the test, and results were normalized.

MRCShafts2016_ArrowAs expected, the Tensei CK Pro White was the lowest-launching, lowest-spinning shaft in the test. That’s impressive in its own right, but what will really excite golfers when they try a Tensei CK Pro White is the shaft’s feel. It’s noticeably smoother than the MRC White Board shafts I’ve played in the past. You could likely duplicate the launch conditions of the Tensei CK Pro White with similar products from other premium shaft makers, but I’m not sure its smoothness can be replicated in the category. It’s something special, and I expect a lot of serious golfers with above average club head speeds will be willing to pay a premium for it.

MRC’s Kuro Kage XT uses a stouter iteration of the company’s famed “Blue Board” bend profile, and in that regard it’s quite similar to the Diamana BF-Series. That’s what makes the shafts a little higher launching and higher spinning than the Tensei CK Pro White. The Kuro Kage XT has a much different feel than both, however, due to its use of an elastic wire made of Titanium and Nickel that MRC calls “TiNi” wire.

TiNi_Boron_Tip

Related: Learn more about the Kuro Kage XT

In the Kuro Kage XT, the TiNi wire is added to the bottom 13 inches of the shaft, where it adds stability, but it also serves another purpose. Its elasticity allows the bottom end of the shaft to better load and unload during the downswing to help improve energy transfer. That’s what gives the Kuro Kage XT its more active feel, at least compared to the boron-infused tip section of the Tensei CK Pro White, which by design offer no elasticity.

The Diamana BF-Series also uses boron in its tip section, and its combined with a new, aerospace-grade fiber called MR-70 to create what MRC says is a first-of-its-kind hybrid prepreg. MR-70, which is manufactured by parent company Mitsubishi Chemical, is 20 percent stronger and has 10 percent more modulus than similar fibers, MRC saysThe handle section of the BF-Series is reinforced with MRC’s Pitch Fiber, which functions to boost energy transfer like the CK Pro White’s Carbon Fiber DuPont Kevlar Weave.

Diamana_BF_logo

Related: Learn more about the Diamana BF-Series shafts

In terms of launch conditions, the best fit for me was the Diamana BF-Series. It launched the ball a little higher than the Tensei CK Pro White, and added a little spin to help keep my drives in the air. It was also easier to swing than the Tensei CK Pro White, helping me more easily hit a draw while offering an even smoother feel due to its less rigid tip and mid sections.

To recap, if you need to lower your launch conditions, the Tensei CK Pro White is one of the most intriguing new MRC options to help you do so. Need a higher ball flight? Try the Diamana BF-Series. And if you want a radically different feel, give the Kuro Kage XT a try.

Have a question? Let me know in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to answer as many as I can. 

Weights and Flexes

  • Tensei CK Pro White: 60 (R, S, TX), 70 (S, TX), 80 (TX)
  • Kuro Kage XT: 50 (R, S, X, TX), 60 (R, S, X, TX), 70 (S, X, TX), 80 (S, X, TX)
  • Diamana BF-Series: 50 (R, S, X), 60 (R, S, X, TX), 70 (S, X, TX), 80 (S, X, TX)

Related: GolfWRX Members review the Tensei CK Pro White

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Reviews

Review: KBS Tour FLT Shafts

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Pros: FLT shafts use a flighted design, which helps golfers launch their long irons higher and with more spin. The FLT short-iron shafts provide a more penetrating trajectory for more control.

Cons: FLT shaft flexes correspond with weight, so golfers may not be able to match their desired shaft weight with their desired flex.

Who They’re For: Golfers who need more spin or more launch from their long irons to optimize their trajectory. Everyone from beginners to PGA Tour players can use the shafts effectively, but they’ll be most popular with golfers with moderate-to-slow swing speeds, or any golfer who generates low-spin launch conditions.

Overview

Selecting the proper iron shafts is one of the most important equipment decisions golfers make. It’s an issue of quantity. Most golfers carry about 7-8 irons in their bag, so if they choose the wrong iron shaft, they’ve made the game harder than it needs to be with half or more of their clubs.

The good news is that there’s a wider selection of quality iron shafts than there has ever been, with recent growth in models that are designed to help golfers hit their iron shots higher and farther, while still maintaining PGA Tour-quality consistency and feel.

KBS is one of the leading steel shaft manufacturers, and already offered a wide variety of models prior to its newest shaft launch. Company representatives felt KBS was lacking a product for a particular segment of golfers, however, so it developed its new FLT shafts.

KBS_FLT

FLT shafts ($31.95 each) have a flighted design, which helps certain golfers optimize the performance of each iron their bag. The long irons shafts have progressively softer tip sections, which helps golfers increase their launch angle and spin rates with those clubs. For the right golfer, the design will help them hit their iron shots farther, and stop shots on the green more quickly. In the short irons, where height and spin are easier for golfers to generate, the FLT shafts are stiffer, which creates the flatter trajectory most golfers prefer with their scoring clubs. The crossover point between the higher-launching long irons and lower-launching short irons is the 7 iron.

Like all KBS shafts, FLT models have a constant weight, which means that long iron shafts and short iron shafts will be roughly the same weight through the set. Shaft weight is dependent on flex, however, as softer-flex models are lighter than stiffer-flex models. So if you’re looking for a really heavy, regular-flex shaft or a really light, extra-stiff-flex shaft, these aren’t for you.

FLT Specs

KBS_FLT_Shaft_Specs

Keep in mind that KBS shafts do not have reinforced tip sections like many other iron shafts, which gives them a slightly higher balance point and can decrease swing weight by 1-2 points. I personally like the feel of KBS shafts and their slightly higher balance point, but some golfers won’t.

The Test

For this review, I tested the new FLT shafts head to head against KBS Tour shafts of the same flex and weight (130X) in 4 irons, 6 irons and pitching wedges. Each of the shafts were installed in Callaway’s Apex Pro ’16 irons, and were built to my specifications (standard grips, standard length, 1-degree strong lofts, 1-degree flat lie angles).

KBSTour130Shafts

I performed my testing at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where I hit the 4 irons, 6 irons and pitching wedges on Trackman IV with premium golf balls. I hit 3-6 solid shots with each iron, and then removed the outliers from the final data in an attempt to compare only the most similar strikes. Results were normalized.

As you can see from the data, there was a significant difference in the flight of the 4 irons with the two different shafts, but less of a difference with the 6 irons and pitching wedges.

Apex_Pro_Test_heads

As expected, the FLT shafts caused 4 iron shots to launch higher (0.8 degrees) and with more spin (729 rpm) than the KBS Tour shafts. I’m not a low-spin player, which is one of the target audiences for this shaft, so the added launch and spin of the FLT shafts caused my 4 iron shots to fly shorter. Golfers who launch their irons too low or with too little spin, however, will likely see a distance increase when using the FLT shafts.

As I moved closer to the short end of the set, the two shafts started to perform more similarly. Theoretically, the 6 iron shots with the FLT shafts should have launched slightly higher and spun more than 6 iron shots with the KBS Tour shafts, but I actually saw a slightly lower launch angle (0.5 degrees) with the FLT. The spin was higher, though, by 211 rpm. With the pitching wedges, the results were again quite similar. The FLT launched 0.9 degrees higher, but actually spun 271 rpm less than the KBS Tour shafts.

Takeaways

KBS_Tour_KBS_FLT

Stepping back from the numbers, I was impressed with how similar the feel was between the KBS Tour and FLT shafts. Yes, I could feel that the FLT shafts were more active in the tip with the 4 irons, but they felt nearly the same in the 6 irons. By the time I got to the pitching wedges, the two shafts were indistinguishable. The KBS Tour is considered one of the better-feeling iron shafts currently available, so KBS’ ability to replicate that feel in the FLT will be a plus for the majority of interested golfers.

Looking more broadly, trends in shaft design tends to go hand-in-hand with trends in club head design, and the FLT shafts are no exception. Equipment manufacturers continue to strengthen the lofts of their distance irons; they have to in order balance the launch equation, as their faster ball speeds create a higher launch angle and more spin.

While the improvements to iron design have allowed golfers to hit their mid and short irons farther, many golfers continue to struggle to hit their long irons high enough or consistently enough for them to be effective. And based on my testing results, it’s clear that the FLT shafts can make long irons more playable for certain golfers, and maybe even keep long irons in a golfer’s bag that might otherwise be kicked out for higher-flying hybrids or fairway woods.

As always, I recommend that golfers get properly fit for iron shafts, which means visiting a reputable club fitter in your area. So if you’re in the market for new irons or iron shafts, you can get started by going through KBS’ Online Fit System, which upon completion lists KBS-certified dealers in your area.

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Review: Paderson Driver Shafts

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Pros: Four distinct driver shaft profiles are available in a wide range of flexes. Paderson’s filament-wound construction (used in three profiles) offers a unique feel. By premium shaft standards, these are a bargain at $199 each.

Cons: Limited weight options.

Who They’re For: Anyone can play a Paderson shaft.

The Review

Buying a golf shaft is like buying a new pair of running shoes. If the shoes don’t fit your foot, it doesn’t matter how good their technology is. You’re going to run slower, and you’re not going to be as comfortable as you could be.

A golf shaft is the same way. If it doesn’t fit your swing, you’re not going to hit shots as far or straight as you could. A mismatched shaft won’t give you blisters like mismatched shoes, but it will wear on your confidence. For golfers, that’s arguably even more painful. So the challenge for premium shaft makers like Paderson, which is targeting both professional and average golfers, is two-fold. The company has to create several types of shafts in an effort to fit as many golfers as possible, but also include technology that has its shafts stand apart from its competition.

While not a household name now, Paderson has the traits of a shaft company that could be. That’s thanks to its filament-wound manufacturing technique, which is used in three out of the four driver shafts the company produces. It’s unique to the industry, and also used in the company’s fairway wood, hybrid/utility and iron shafts. To learn more about Paderson’s claims and technologies, you can read this in-depth Q&A we did with company CEO Jason Horodezky. For the purposes of this review, however, I’ll do my best to explain the company’s technologies as simply as possible.

Paderson_Shafts_Feat_2

Most graphite shafts are made from several sheets of carbon fiber and resin, a glue that holds the fibers together. To create a shaft, these sheets, called “pre-preg,” are wrapped tightly around a steel rod called a “mandrel,” which sets a shaft’s geometry. Different types of pre-preg have different characteristics, and sometimes exotic materials are used to change those characteristics, which generally drive up the cost. It’s the thickness, stiffness, torsional qualities and orientation of the materials used that determine the weight, stiffness and bend profile of each shaft. Once the wrapping process is complete, the shafts are put in a special oven, where the sheets are laminated, or melded together, to create a graphite tube. The shafts are then sanded smooth and painted, creating the finished product.

Paderson’s shafts are formed on a mandrel, too, but the filament-wound process used for three of the driver shafts tested (KG860, KG860TP and the upper part of KG972) is much different. They are, in essence, “braided” from two continuous strands of carbon fiber and kevlar, which the company says allows its shaft to not only be more consistent, but create superior energy transfer when compared to other shafts. Paderson says it can actually “pre-load” tension in its shafts, harnessing the energy of the vibrations created during the swing to increase ball speed.

Paderson_Shafts_weave_1

The visible weave is evidence of Paderson’s filament-wound construction.

According to the company, one of its four driver shaft models will work for any golfer, as they’re available in a variety of flexes ranging from Ladies to XX-Stiff. Unlike many shafts on the market, however, golfers can’t pick the weight and flex of Paderson shafts independently. Each flex is constructed with a specific weight the company says optimizes ball flight, so weight options depend on shaft model and flex.

Bolstering Paderson’s consistency claims is that the filament-wound process does not require its shafts to be sanded, so the texture seen on its shafts is not cosmetic, but rather the actual appearance of a shaft’s fibers, sealed with a layer of clear-coat.

Paderson_Shafts_Weave_2

Both Paderson’s KG860TP and KG860 shafts are fully wound from butt to tip.

Paderson also makes shafts that aren’t fully filament-wound, and claims its lamination technique is superior to typical processes. Its KG972 shaft, for example, uses a filament-wound upper portion and a laminated lower portion. The company’s Amorphous shaft, on the other hand, is 100 percent laminated. What’s different about Paderson’s lamination process, according to the company, is that it uses vacuum-curing, a temperature-controlled process that pulls resin through the shaft to minimize resin content, which allows for more fine-tuned designs.

Intrigued? So was I, so I put Paderson’s shafts to the test.

The Testing Data

Paderson_Shafts_Testing_Data

I sent my launch monitor and swing profile information to Paderson, which in turn sent me four of its latest shaft models to test. My results are above, but I feel that the numbers don’t tell the whole story. For that reason, I’ve included an individual write up about each shaft below.

Dispersion

Paderson_shafts_dispertion

Testing Procedure: I took the four Paderson shafts, as well as my gamer shaft I was fit for in the fall of 2015, to Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I tested all five shafts at its Launch Pad custom-fitting facility on Trackman. I used a TaylorMade M2 driver (9.5 degrees, set to neutral) and each of the shafts tested measured 45.5 inches.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 860TP

IMG_9756

Right now, the graphite shaft market is trending toward the tip-stiff, low-torque designs shafts that are regularly finding the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour. If those shafts have worked successfully for you, then the 860TP could be the Paderson shaft that fits you best. It is the lowest in torque of any Paderson driver shaft, and has also has the stiffest tip section. That makes it a good fit for golfers with an aggressive transition, or those who tend to hook the ball.

I tested all the Paderson shafts in a D40 flex, which equates to an X-flex, and more than the others, the 860TP felt very stout and stable. I was impressed with how smooth and balanced it felt for a high bend-point shaft, though.

With the 860TP, I had the highest average swing speed, which gave it the greatest potential for maximum distance. I struggled to find the center of the face, however, which is why I didn’t generate as much ball speed with it. The shaft did create the highest launch angle, and like all the Paderson shafts, it outperformed my gamer, a low-torque, tip-stiff 70X shaft that was most similar to the 860TP.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 860

IMG_9753

The Kevlar Green 860 is Paderson’s “baseline” shaft. It fits the widest segment of the golfing population as a whole, and suited my swing better than the 860TP due to its slightly softer tip section and higher torque. I liked the way it felt, and as you can see in the dispersion graphic above, I hit it the most consistently.

My angle of attack was also the most up, or positive, with the 860, which helped me create the longest total distances with the shaft. If I was playing in a tournament tomorrow, this is the shaft I would play.

KINETIXX Kevlar Green 972

IMG_9755

To me, the the KG972 is Paderson’s most interesting shaft, with a filament-wound upper half and a laminated lower half. The multi-construction approach gives the shaft a slightly higher balance point than Paderson’s other driver shafts, or “counterbalancing” effect. It tends to fit golfers with a smooth transition, according to the company, and felt extremely easy to swing in testing.

While the 972 created the fastest ball speeds and longest carry distance, its comparatively softer-tip design didn’t suit my swing. I felt a lot of “kick” at the bottom, and I felt as though it had more draw bias than the others.

KINETIXX VMT Vacuum Cured KVMT870

IMG_9754

The 870 has gained traction in the long-drive community. It’s a fully laminated shaft, and does not use the company’s filament-wound technology.

The 870 has a dual kickpoint, according to Paderson, which causes the shaft to bend low in the butt and high in the tip to improve energy transfers for certain players. At 66 grams, it was also 5-10 grams lighter than the other Paderson shafts I tested. The 870 felt more active than all but the 972, however, and I preferred the heavier weight and more stable feel of the 860 and 860TP shafts.

The Takeaway

At $199 each, Paderson’s shafts are more affordable than most premium shafts, and my testing showed that one of the company’s shafts has the potential to meet, or in my case exceed the performance of your current shaft. If one of Paderson’s shafts suits your swing, and one likely will, it deserves serious consideration — even among shafts that cost hundreds more.

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