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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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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “New PXG putters”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases an array of new PXG putters. The flat-sticks have got our members talking, with the new look and weighting options proving to be popular amongst WRXers.

For lots more photos, check out the full thread here.

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.

  • nova6868: “These new putters look so much better than their first line.”
  • keto: “My eyes a popping out. I could roll most of those confident I would put a decent stroke on them. I haven’t checked $$, I imagine they are $$$$$, but I sure like the weighting options.”
  • chip75: “Look so much cleaner without the weights visible.”

Entire Thread: “New PXG putters”

 

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Forum Thread of the Day: “New Mitsubishi AV shafts”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases new Mitsubishi AV shafts which have caught many of our member’s interest. While speaking in the thread, Mitsubishi Chemical shared some details to WRXers on what they can expect to see soon:

“We are working on bringing 2nd Gen Tensei product to market – this is the first week of PGA Tour testing.

Be sure to stay tuned for more information towards the beginning of 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.

  • AdamStoutjesdyk: “I’m already a huge fan of the Pro White, I can’t wait to see how these look and perform in person!”
  • ForTourUseonly: “Please make an Orange!”

Entire Thread: “New Mitsubishi AV shafts”

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Honma launches new XP-1 Series driver, fairway woods, and hybrids for 2020

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new 2020 Honma Driver

For 2020, Honma Golf is launching the all-new XP-1 line of clubs comprised of an entire family holistically designed to help players maximize forgiveness and get the most out of their games with one set. The new Honma XP-1 drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids, all the way to irons, is a new direction for the premium Japanese company that brings together ultimate craftsmanship with performance.

The highlight of the XP-1 line from Honma is the fact that they were designed from top to bottom to work as a comprehensive set of tool to achieve maximum performance. The technology in the metal woods flows from the driver to the hybrids with a seamless transition that creates consistency for feel and looks for the player.

Honma XP-1 driver

new 2020 Honma Driver

New 2020 Honma Golf Driver

Honma is known for its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, and every part of the XP-1 line was developed with the golfer in mind to both look appealing and perform to the highest standards. The XP-1 driver packs a lot of technology into a very classic looking club, and we’re here to take you under the hood—or in this case, the carbon fiber crown—to show you how it can help you hit better shots.

2020 Honma XP1 Driver toe

Honma XP-1 Driver Toe

It starts with a tour-inspired look from address, designed to inspire confidence for any level of golfer. Underneath ther gloss black crown, there is a lot of technology to generate faster ball speeds around the entire face and help get you dialed into the right setting. Speaking to the crown, it’s made from ET-40 fiber, making it one the lightest in golf. This weight savings helps engineers relocate an additional 15g of mass around the head towards the heel for increased MOI and greater ability to help players close the club face more easily.

Flip the driver upside down, and we have a lot more going on with the sole than initially meets the eye. Honma is introducing a new double slot in the sole for increased ball speed across a much larger area of the face. What starts off smaller in the middle increases in width and depth as it reaches towards the heel and the toe of the club. These slots, along with improved MOI, keep ball speeds up and misses closer to the intended target. The last part of the equation: How these wider parts of the face, flex around the more narrow middle to also increase gear effect—think of it like one more way to help the bigger misses stay in play.

New 2020 Honma Driver XP1

2020 Honma XP-1 Driver sole and shaft adjustment connection

The last piece key piece of technology in the XP-1 driver head is exclusive to Honma—the adjustable hosel that changes face angle, lie, and loft, but never changes the orientation of the shaft. This gives the player or fitter the ability to truly dial in hosel settings without having to worry about the constantly changing of the grip orientation. This, according to Honma, also keeps the shaft spine in the ideal location for consistent performance.

Honma 2020 xp1 driver shaft

Honmq Vizard 43g shaft

Honma is the only manufacturer that produces its own shafts from start to finish in house, and the XP-1 is getting its own custom-designed and built shafts to complement the technology built into the heads. The Vizard stock shafts are engineered to produce a smooth feel that promotes faster clubhead speeds, yet also remain extremely stable. For the XP-1 driver, the matching Vizard shafts will come in weights of 43g, 53g, and 63g, and flexes from senior to stiff.

Honma XP-1 fairway woods

The XP-1 woods bring the same level of craftsmanship and technology as the drivers to a club designed for use both off the tee and off the fairway.

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

New for 2020 Honma XP-1 Fairway wood

The Honma XP-1 3-wood uses the same weight-saving ET-40 crown to position a large amount of the club’s total mass low and on the sole for greatest possible launch and spin consistency. The 3-wood is the second-lightest club in most players bags by total weight and head mass, and unless you are carrying a second driver, it’s also the second-largest by volume. By using the carbon crown designers get everything they can from the other technologies including the double slot sole and thin fast face without having to sacrifice the overall design of not just the head but the entire club.

New Honma XP-1 3 wood crown fairway

Honma XP-1 3 wood crown

The XP-1 fairways also include a 5  7-woods, but with the smaller volume of the heads and the reduced crown size, using a carbon crown would actually increase the mass higher in the head, so they instead utilize an extremely thin high strength steel crown.

New Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft XP1

Honma 53g Vizard Fairway Shaft

All of the fairway woods come with the same made-in-Sakata, Japan 43g, 53g, and 63g Vizard shaft options as the driver to help every player get the most of each club in the set. If might seem like a minor detail, but being able to design an entire club in house from head to grip is a big advantage for Honma versus other OEMs. This holistic approach to designing an entire club/set is a big benefit to the consumer looking to get the most out of each club in their bag and not feel like something may be working against them.

Honma XP-1 hybrid

With the Honma XP-1 hybrid, forgiveness and flow from the fairway woods is the number one consideration for these club. The flow includes a wood-like shape that keeps the club shallow and the center of gravity as low as possible for higher launch and approach shots that fly higher and land softer. Considering the target player for the XP-1 line, the wood-like shape is also very confidence-inspiring.

New 2020 Honma XP1 hybrid

Honma XP-1 Hybrid

Honma continues the design philosophy of keeping the XP-1 both forgiving and fast by utilizing the double slot sole all the way into these hybrids that go from a 19-degree 3-iron replacement to a 25-degree 5-iron replacement.

Honma XP-1 specs & availability

The Honma XP-1 driver, fairway wood, and hybrids will be available starting in October.

New 2020 Honma XP1 Driver fairway hybrid specs

Honma XP-1 line club specs

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