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Q&A: Aldila dominates with its Rogue shafts, the new Rogue I/O

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When it comes to Tour usage, few shafts can claim the popularity of Aldila’s Rogue, which became available to professional golfers just 18 months ago. In that short time, the shafts have been used to win a whopping 24 PGA Tour events, including two major championships and back-to-back FedEx Cups.

That’s impressive, but this stat is almost unheard of in today’s hyper-competitive golf shaft market. Aldila’s Rogue Silver 70 Tour X shaft was the most used model of driver shaft on the PGA Tour for 44 consecutive weeks.

Rogue_LE_70X_Silver

The Rogue Limited Edition 70 TX shaft has an extremely low torque, 2.5 degrees.

The success from the PGA Tour has carried down to regular golfers, whose demand for the shaft has resulted in it becoming a stock option for several major equipment manufactures, including Callaway, Exotics, TaylorMade and Titleist.

What makes the Rogue shaft a great fit for the best golfers in the world, as well as everyday golfers? What are the differences between the different Rogue shaft models? What do golfers need to know about Aldila’s new Rogue I/O shaft? We asked John Oldenburg, Vice President of Engineering for Aldila, those questions and more in the Q&A below.

WRX: Did it seem possible that Rogue shafts could become this popular 18 months ago? What made them so unbelievably successful?

JO: The success of the Rogue even took me by surprise. We knew we had a great product with exciting new technology, but the way it took off on Tour was unexpected. Because of the cost and availability of the unique Graphitic Carbon material used in the Rogue we initially planned a very, very limited run of the Rogue shafts even for Tour. But once the Tour demand and success skyrocketed, we made arrangements to increase our material supply. I can honestly say the Rogue shaft is our most successful Tour product ever in terms of wins in drivers. And it doesn’t seem to be letting up. Charl Schwartzl switched to the Rogue this fall and just won the Alfred Dunhill in South Africa. And where I had initially forecast that I would be able to sell 50 to 100 pieces of the $799 Rogue Limited Edition (Made in the USA) model, we actually passed 1,000 units sold over a month ago. 

Jordan Spieth uses an Aldila Rogue Limited Edition Black shaft (60X), which creates more spin than the Rogue Silver.

Jordan Spieth uses an Aldila Rogue Limited Edition Black shaft (60TX) in his Titleist 915D2 driver, which has a higher torque and creates more spin than the Rogue Limited Edition Silver.

I think the success of the Rogue can be pinned on three factors. First, the flex profile was based off of very successful profiles that were developed, tested, and played on Tour in the past going all way back to the NV. The second was the addition of the Graphitic Carbon, whose extreme stiffness allowed us to develop a product with a proven flex profile that was lighter and lower in torque than any of our previous products. And third is the fact that we counterbalanced the shaft. Modern driver heads with all their adjustable weighting and hosel features have been getting heavier and heavier. By counterbalancing the Rogue, Tour technicians could build a club with a heavier head and still get an acceptable swing weight for the player. Heavier heads allow greater inertial mass to be delivered to the ball, which is very good for performance. But, we didn’t simply counterbalance the Rogue and leave it at that. We adjusted the overall shaft frequency and tip stiffness to account for the increased inertial mass. More mass in the head makes a shaft play softer, so we stiffened the Rogue proportionally so that it would have the extraordinary performance characteristics of its predecessors when paired with today’s modern heavier driver heads. And, voila, it worked out awesome!

WRX: What’s the difference between the Rogue Limited Edition (Made in the USA) shafts and the other Rogue shaft models?

JO: The major difference between the Rogue Limited Edition and the Rogue Tour is where the shafts are made. The Rogue Limited Edition shafts are made in very small batches here in our R&D prototype facility in Poway, California. The Rogue Tour shafts are made in our manufacturing plant in Vietnam on our standard production lines. The Rogue Tour products also use a slightly different grade of Graphitic Carbon material then the Limited Edition models. This was done because we could not secure a large enough supply of the 125 MSI graphitic carbon for large scale production runs.

Aldila's Rogue Limited Edition shafts are made in the U.S., and use a 125 MSI "Graphitic Carbon" construction.

Aldila’s Rogue Limited Edition shafts are made in the U.S., and use a 125 MSI “Graphitic Carbon” construction.

The Rogue Silver Tour shafts use a graphitic carbon material with a modulus of 110 MSI, which is still nearly twice as stiff as any graphite material used in any of our other premium products or any products produced by our competitors. The Rogue Black Tour shafts use graphitic carbon with a stiffness of 95 MSI. This is done because the Rogue Black is a softer, slightly higher torque product designed for a slightly higher ball flight and more moderate spin than the Rogue Silver. Besides the point of manufacture and the change in the graphitic carbon, the rest of the design and materials are identical between the Rogue Limited Edition shafts and the Rogue Tour shafts. They are built on exactly the same tooling and all the Rogues — Limited Edition and Tour — incorporate Aldila’s NexGen Micro Laminate materials along with the Graphitic Carbon. The Rogue Tour products are in no way downgrades from the Rogue Limited Edition. They are simply adjusted to account for material availability and production capacity.

WRX: Due to the increased stiffness of the Rogue shafts, are you seeing players using softer flexes than they have in the past? Are Tour players tipping the shafts as much as they have previous products?

JO: We don’t really see any pros using softer flexes or really tipping the shafts much less.  Again, we adjusted the shaft stiffness to account for the increased inertial mass created by the heavier heads. So, although the Rogues may frequency stiffer on a frequency machine than most of our previous tour product, from a playing standpoint, the dynamic stiffness when accounting for the increased loading due to the increase in head weight, is very, very similar to previous Tour products. We made the adjustments necessary to offset the effects of the heavier heads so the pros and the folks in the Tour trailers wouldn’t need to do anything different.

WRX: How does the new Rogue I/O compare to the original Rogue shafts?

JO: The new Rogue I/O is a merger of the Rogue product with R.I.P. Technology. R.I.P., which stands for Reverse Interlaminar Placement, moves the torque core (bias plies) from the interior to the exterior of the shaft laminate stack in the tip section. Hence the name I/O, for Inside-Out. Moving the bias plies, which control shaft torque and aid in cross sectional stability, to the outside of the shaft makes more efficient use of the these fibers to lower the torque of the tip section (the highest torque part of a shaft) without adding weight by moving the material further from the shafts neutral axis — an engineering term, trust me it works. 

Rogue_IO_tip

Related: Enter to win an Aldila Rogue I/O shaft

R.I.P. technology also helps to stabilize the bending of the tip section of the shaft by providing additional cross-sectional stiffness to reduce lateral deformation. The Rogue I/O utilizes the same “Graphitic Carbon” technology, counterbalancing and inertial flex adjustment as the original Rogue products, combined with torque lowering and tip stabilizing R.I.P. technology. In Tour testing, the Rogue I/O Silver has a slightly lower launch and spin rate than the original Rogue Silver.

The Rogue I/O is already in play on the PGA Tour in the drivers of players in the top 50 of the World Golf Rankings and was used by one player for a top-5 finish in the Hero World Challenge.

WRX: Anything else, John?

JO: Keep your eyes open for some exciting new Rogue designs on Tour this coming year.

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19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. jaymehuron

    Dec 30, 2015 at 11:45 am

    Switched from the Rouge Silver 110 mis 70x to the Fujikura Fuel 70x Tour Spec. I did not dislike the Rouge, but the Fujikura just had a much tighter shot dispersion and better spin and lunch numbers for me. The Rouge was the stock offering in my 915 D2 and the first Aldila shaft I bought in a long time. I think their shafts are getting much better but still not to the level of the Fujikura’s in my option

  2. Bob

    Dec 22, 2015 at 5:40 am

    “The Rogue Tour products are in no way downgrades from the Rogue Limited Edition. They are simply adjusted to account for material availability and production capacity.”

    I don’t believe you.

  3. Droopy

    Dec 22, 2015 at 3:41 am

    Shaft tip droop. The heads are too heavy for us to hold it firm enough. We all need the blue pill for it. Or Cialis.

  4. Lowell

    Dec 21, 2015 at 8:32 pm

    I lover my Rogue Black. Have them in my driver and 3 wood.

  5. ph00ny

    Dec 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    Lower launch and spin than current Rogue Silver. Sounds like a music to my ears

    • ph00ny

      Dec 21, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      This is coming from someone who’s currently using Rogue Silver 70x in both E8 Beta 3 wood and M1 Driver

    • Jay

      Dec 22, 2015 at 3:27 pm

      Strange, because I personally found the I/O to feel a touch smoother than the standard Rogue Silver, and launch and spin just a smidgen higher. But there ya go, that’s what you get from a guy who stands on the other side of the ball!

      • ph00ny

        Dec 24, 2015 at 11:06 am

        Regular Rogue Silver 110MSI 70x is really smooth for me. I was just showing joy for the statement made by the gentleman from Aldila who said the I/O will spin and launch touch lower than Rogue Silver in tour testing

        So i/o spin and launch slightly higher than Rogue Silver? damn

      • ph00ny

        Dec 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

        Other shaft that i really want is the 125MSI.

        I was launching the M1 with 110MSI 70x at 16*+ even at 6.5* loft setting

  6. William

    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:56 am

    So are all 125msi Silvers made in USA, or are some made in Vietnam as well?

  7. Tom

    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:34 am

    I have been a fan of Aldila products for nearly a decade. They continue to amaze me with innovative and quality shafts. Thank you for the informative Q&A.

  8. Curt

    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:23 am

    I have the limited 125MSI in my D4 and my 915F. Spectacular, explains it all!!

    • JustTrying2BAwesome

      Dec 21, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      Rogue 125 & 915 D4. Heck of a combo right there. How do you like it? How long will it be in the bag?

      • Curt

        Dec 23, 2015 at 4:42 pm

        Its great, but like any good Wrx’r only until the next combo unseats it!

    • Droopy

      Dec 22, 2015 at 3:42 am

      I’ll bomb past you with my M1

      • Curt

        Dec 22, 2015 at 2:35 pm

        That keyboard gives you a lot of confidence. If you happen to be near me, let’s put it to the test!?!? BTW, can’t stand the look of the M1, just looks cheap like a toy.

      • Adam

        Dec 23, 2015 at 3:55 pm

        And next week it will be your M2 than M3……

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19th Hole

GolfWRX Spotlight: Evalu18 – ‘Evaluating golf architecturally’

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When it comes to course directories with an emphasis on past and present architects, Evalu18 is likely to be one of the most in-depth—for UK and Ireland golf courses—you’re ever likely to see—highlighted by the site’s wealth of information and user-friendly navigation.

Jasper Miners, a Canadian now living in London, is the brains behind Evalu18. He explained to me how the concept began as a map with courses that he wanted to play based on his extensive research, which was then added to based on the recommendations of others. Frustrated by the lack of an easy way to access the information in a modern format – he created Evalu18.

“After some time I shared a map with a good friend, an American from New York whom I worked with who was a very keen golfer. The map and my notes allowed him to find great golf wherever he was and to plan a trip easily. 

Everyone has heard of the Open rota courses and perhaps some of the courses which are intimately linked to the history and origins of the game. However, for every well-known course, there are 10-20 that may be just as good that we and even locals may never have even heard of. Evalu18 exists for those – sound golf is the criteria for being listed.” – Jasper Miners, founder of Evalu18

Beginning with the site’s interactive map the depth of research and information available is striking. The filter option, which has been crafted down to the minutest detail, puts the directory in a league of its own and allows golfers to plan for the perfect day out or golfing trip.

Whether you are looking for a particular golf course from a specific architect or consultant, to whether the track is dog-friendly. or is suited to trolleys or buggies, Evalu18 has you covered. The directory allows you to filter courses based on the level of difficulty their walkability is, what is available practice facility wise or if you’re looking for a course which has ever hosted a specific event as well as much more.

Another cool feature of Evalu18 is its “Collections” element. With taste and preference regarding golf courses being so vast amongst golfers, the site doesn’t separate courses by ranking but lets you home in on that ideal course in a simple fashion.

The Collection section showcases courses that are grouped according to identifiable characteristics. Featured in this area of the site are nine-hole courses, truly unique courses, bunker-less courses, hidden gems, bang-for-your-buck courses as well as so many more cool categories.

Each course on the site contains information that a typical guest would want to know, with plenty also featuring full reviews written to enhance the experience.

Additionally, a “discover” section of the site allows golf-enthusiasts to explore golf course architecture books, magazines and pertinent works with the company confidently claiming to have “the most thorough collection of GCA book reviews anywhere online.”

 

As for what’s next for Evalu18, international growth along with a unique travel guide, says Jasper

“We are working on improvements to the site and a unique travel section that will have substantial guides. Every course can also have included recommended accommodation, food and drink venues and tourist sites. We engage with the clubs and have them help us tell their story – what makes them unique and worth your time, attention and $.”

Whether you are already in the UK and Ireland or planning that dream golfing trip abroad, Evalu18 is a site that is a must for any golfer to check out. Once you do, it will likely place you on your ideal course—which before you may not have even known existed.

Check out Evalu18 here.

 

 

 

 

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Today from the Forums: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Today from the Forums shines the spotlight on new LA Golf Shafts featured at this week’s Honda Classic. The new shafts have gone down well with our members, who are excited about what the company has in store for 2020.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • QuigleyDU: “Nice! The mentioned during the discussion they did here that new stuff was coming. I have heard the TRONO is straight up rebar stout.”
  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I am so intrigued by the Trono since I saw it on one of TXG’s Videos.”
  • bfizzy: “I like how they are taking their time to bring out new products to retail and consumer-oriented channels. Will be cool to see what they come out with!”

Entire Thread: “New LA Golf Shafts at the 2020 Honda Classic”

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Top 5 modern glued-hosel drivers

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Modern adjustable drivers are a marvel of engineering and something we now take for granted—considering every OEM utilizes some type of adjustable system to assist with fitting and dialing in launch conditions.

However, as every WRXer knows, before we had these tools to our disposal, we had to rely on the good old-fashion glued-in shaft drivers.

These five models are among the best from the recent past.

TaylorMade Burner SuperFast TP

Released in the fall of 2010, the Burner SuperFast TP was the undisputed king of ball speed for a very long time. Many will default to thinking the R510 TP was one of TaylorMade’s best, but for both the average golfer and for tour pros, this 460cc driver offered a lot more forgiveness than the R510 thanks to its size and aerodynamics. For those who had one, it stayed in the bag for a long time if you got the shaft right.

Adams Insight Tech a4 Prototype 9015D

Adams. Really?

It was a question a lot of people asked when these started showing up in golfer’s bags.

The 9015D was the brother to the original Adams 9016D, which was specifically built for the long drive circuit when Adams Golf was the official sponsor. It had a high toe profile and sat open at address—something that was often hard to come by in the glued hosel era of driver design.

One fun thing to consider when looking back at this driver is the protruding mass towards the back of the head to lower the center of gravity—vaguely similar to the TaylorMade SIM’s Inertia Generator and Cobra’s SpeedBack—minus the multi-material construction. Those Adams engineers were onto something!

Titleist 905R

Titleist’s very first 460cc driver was introduced not long after the 400cc 905S and the 905T (made famous by the notorious old-club using Steve Stricker) hit the scene.

The 905R stayed in some player’s bag for an extended period of time, including the bag of Adam Scott, who didn’t switch until the 910 came along. Many golfers referred to the 905R as a big version of the famous 975J, and from address it’s hard to argue.

Callaway FT Tour

One of Callaway’s first “tour” style drivers. The original version of the FT Tour was called the FT-9 Tour Authentic and was Callaway’s attempt to compete with the popular Tour Preferred line from TaylorMade. The price tag was high but so was the performance.

The FT Tour was a workable low spin driver and the grandchild of the FT-5 TH—a tour only driver that offered Callaway’s very first traditional-style hosel and got them away from the S2H2 designs that built the brand in the 90s. At 460cc’s, it still looks small by today’s standards, but if you can find one give it a hit.

Bridgestone J33R 460

The J33R 460 will go down as one of the all-time best drivers of its era. Its popularity even made trying to find one more difficult than it should have been at the time because Bridgestone struggled to find brick and mortar stores to carry their hard goods (beyond golf balls) at a time when big-box was the king of golf retail. The J33R was the third generation of the J33 driver line that included the J33P (375cc) and the original J33R (420cc).

Stuart Appleby famously hit a 426-yard tee shot at the 2006 Mercedes Championships (Tournament of Champions in Hawaii) that nearly went over the green of the par-4 12th hole with the J33P—now imagine the punch of the 460 version!

What do you think of these selections, WRXers? Any drivers you’d add?

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