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Shaft Test: Graphite Design’s new Tour AD-TP versus the famous Tour AD-DI

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With a similar profile to the company’s famous Tour AD-DI shaft, and a few new technologies for a slightly different ball flight, Graphite Design’s new Tour AD-TP shaft will surely entice a legion of high-spin golfers.

The new shafts are made for a mid launch and low spin rates, according to Graphite Design’s website, while the Tour AD-DI shafts are made for mid/high to high launch angles and low to low/mid spin rates. Certainly, they are in the same wheelhouse, but for anyone looking to create a slightly more penetrating ball flight with lower launch and lower spin, the new shaft could be their winning ticket.

Tour_AD_TP_Hero

To accomplish its performance, the AD-TP shafts are made with a faster taper rate from the lower-mid section to the tip of the shaft, and use an all-new graphite material from Toray Industries called T1100G carbon fiber pre-preg. They also use Toray’s Nanoalloy technology in the tip section, which was first introduced in Graphite Design’s Tour AD-DI. It help golfers gain more control of the club face by resisting torque. Read more about the Tour AD-TP shaft’s tech here.

Here’s the bend profile of the Tour AD-TP shafts, according to Graphite Design’s website:

GraphiteDesignTourADshafts

And here’s how the Tour AD-TP shafts stack up versus the other Tour AD shafts:

Screen Shot 2016-10-26 at 12.13.37 PM

As you can see, the Tour AD-TP (top row) compared to the Tour AD-DI (bottom row) will have a firmer mid and butt section, but will also have the familiar stiff tip section.

Personally, I’ve tested just about every new mainstream driver shaft that’s come out in the past three years, and I just haven’t been able to find something that matches my swing like the Tour AD-DI. As a golfer who fights a nasty hook and too much spin, it’s the stiffness and stability of the tip of the shaft that makes me comfortable enough to “go at it.” I’m also a Mets fan, so I like the orange color.

Tour_AD-DI_ORange

But for whatever reason, my golfing brain finds other shafts to load and unload way differently, either forcing me to flip or block drives, leading to tragic results. So although I often test the latest and greatest golf shafts for you, the GolfWRX readers, I’ve all but given up on other shafts making it into my gamer driver. Yes, other shafts have given me “more optimal” numbers in a Trackman environment, but there’s nothing optimal about feeling like you’re going to duck hook the ball off the planet with OB stakes left.

When Graphite Design announced a new shaft with a similar profile that’s made to create a slightly more penetrating trajectory, however, I’ll admit I was excited to try it. Let’s see how the numbers played out.

The Numbers

AD_TP_DI_7X

I tested my Tour AD-DI gamer shaft (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch) against a Tour AD-TP shaft (45.5 inches, untipped) and a Tour AD-TP shaft (45.5 inches, tipped 1 inch) in a TaylorMade M1 460 head (10.5 degrees) set to neutral. Yes, I have a bit more swing speed in the tank than displayed below, but it’s also late October and I don’t want to have a blown out back all winter. I conducted my testing at the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland on TrackMan 4 using premium golf balls.

GDDriverShafts20162_arrows

GraphiteDesignTourADTP:DI

Magenta = Tour AD-TP (tipped 1 inch)

Observations

— Shots with the un-tipped shaft trended to the right. It felt like the face was opening on the downswing and I couldn’t turn my shots over. The data solidifies for me that performance matches my feel, and that I do indeed need a tipped shaft.

— The AD-DI shaft had the highest spin (2953 rpm), highest landing angle, most height (122.1 feet) and launched the highest (13.7 degrees).

— The AD-TP (tipped 1 inch) carried 4.9 yards shorter than the Tour AD-DI, but went 3.7 yards longer in total. This shows how much more penetrating the ball flight with a AD-TP shaft can be.

— Spin rate dropped from 2953 rpm with the Tour AD-DI (tipped 1 inch) to 2460 rpm with the AD-TP (tipped 1 inch).

— With nearly identical clubhead speed, ball speed and smash factors, it’s clear the Tour AD-TP was offering better numbers and tighter dispersion for me.

The Takeaway

Accuracy_and_Distance

The Graphite Design Tour AD-TP shaft is currently selling for $500 at retail. Based on the improvement I saw in my numbers, I would say that the new shaft is worth the value for my swing. The profile and new materials are a match for me in regards to ball flight characteristics and feel. I would describe the feel as “smooth-stiff, with a stable tip.”

Of course, it’s important to undergo a proper fitting, as you saw that the un-tipped version of the Tour AD-GP shaft was giving me fits. But, if you’re like me and struggle with high spin rates and inconsistency, the Tour AD-TP shaft may help you find more accuracy… and a bit more distance, too.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Golfandpuff

    Nov 21, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Confidence is worth a ton…so if the shoe fits….

    Bottom line find one for a song and play it!

  2. Mike

    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Andrew, the author of this review, comments about hitting duck hooks because that is his miss when he uses a shaft that doesn’t “fit” his swing style. It is the same issue I fight. The fact he has peppered the right side of the grid would be comforting for him. All in all, Andrew fits the new TP shaft pretty well.

  3. Matt

    Oct 30, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    Some shafts get progressively weaker to the tip (Rogue, AD-DI), many increase stiffness into the tip (most other GD tour AD models, Kuro Kage) To assume all shafts need to be tipped just seems uninformed. Tipping off stiffness in a shaft like a AD-BB is just going to lower the kick point and give you a softer tip; exact opposite of tipping a AD-DI.

  4. Jack

    Oct 30, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Wow the author tried really hard to say this is better. The chart looks pretty much the same for all three shafts as far as landing zone. Just one leftward (I’m guess more of a hook) shot skewed the oval left. Unless he’s a left hander, none of his shots were hooks, rather either push or slices. Strange for him to say that he’s fighting a hook when he didn’t hit any.

    The real difference does seem to be one offering more roll and one more carry due to launch angle changes I’m guessing due to the stiffer mid and butt sections. Worth it? The argument seems a bit thin.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Ricky Johnson Putters Wide Body Series No. 3

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Ricky Johnson is a man who loves the game of golf and has incredible skills working with metal. Johnson is a machinist and welder by trade and built his first putter in his machine shop for himself. He got requests from friends and soon a small hobby has now turned into a business. Johnson is proud to make all of his putters from the finest 303 stainless steel stock and machined right in the USA, Texas, to be exact. He takes pride in combining great materials, extreme precision, and attention to detail to make sure that every putter that leaves the shop is the best it can be for its new owner.

We got our hands on the Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 putter for our review. The Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 looks similar to a traditional Anser shape, but with a longer flange and double-stepped bumpers. When ordering your own Ricky Johnson putter you have a bunch of options, from finish to style of neck, as well as the standard loft, lie, and length you would expect. I went with the double bend neck so the putter would be face balanced, similar style to what I have been using for years.

Out of the box, you can tell that this is a quality putter with a great satin finish and minimal milling lines. Even without those milling marks, you can tell the putter is milled from the sharp, crisp lines and perfectly beveled edges. The face contains their “RJ” logo, a built-in Texas symbol, and their own GameFace technology milling. GameFace uses a combination of loft and geometry to help get the ball rolling immediately without the skidding and hopping of traditional putters. Keeping the alignment simple is what I like and Johnson nailed it with a single, thick site line on the elongated flange.

If you desire something different for alignment, or nothing at all, Johnson can customize a putter with pretty much anything you’re eye desires. The shape of the Wide Body No. 3 is very square with sharper corners and bumpers but for you who like a little softer shape, the Wide Body No. 2 is available as well. This putter came with the Pure Big Dog oversized putter grip and for me, it is a little too round and soft. Not a big issue at all since Johnson offers many other grip options when you order.

On the course, the Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 really performs well. I didn’t think much of the GameFace technology, but it performed as described and got the ball rolling smoothly right away. Even on these rougher fall greens, the GameFace created a smooth, consistent roll that was easy to dial in. Sometimes these technologies that help roll can make distance control a little more of a guessing game, but not with the Wide Body. Putts were very consistent and you never had one come off the face hot and roll past the hole more than expected. Alignment for me was point and shoot simple with the longer site line and the thicker top line. The combination of those two made it easy to line up the ball on my intended line, giving me more confidence that I could make the putt I was looking at.

The Five-O-Six Wide Body No. 3 is a really well-balanced putter, even for being on the slightly heavier side. Johnson’s putters are between 350 and 360 grams depending on options but it never felt too heavy, like you were having to control the putter during the stroke. Simply pull the putter back and let the well-balanced head do the work on its way through the ball. The feel on this putter is Goldilocks porridge perfect, not to firm and not too soft. Impact will give your ears a slight audible click while your hands feel the solid impact and the ball leave the face. This 303 stainless putter gives great responsiveness on all your putts, hit on center or not. Heel contact is actually pretty soft, just slightly more harsh than center, but the rollout and accuracy is close to spot on. Toe contact will give you a little more harsh vibration, letting you know you missed, and coming up just a bit short of your intended target.

Overall, the Ricky Johnson Putters Wide Body Series No. 3 is a great putter from a brand you probably haven’t heard of yet. I think they are really high-quality flatsticks, with lots of custom options, that you can tailor to fit your needs and wants. Make sure to check them out at rickyjohnsonputters.com.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: Shapland Sunday bag

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Product: Shapland Sunday bag

Pitch:Shapland Sports Co. is passionate about design, quality, and doing things right. We believe that quality design is built to last.  Whether it is a beautiful building, a classic car, a family heirloom, or a well-made sports bag, these things become more important to us as time goes on.  We have engineered all of our products so you can take pride in them for years to come. While our products gain inspiration from the great designs of the past, we will only make something if we believe we can improve upon it. Whether by using the best materials available or tailoring it to the modern age, our lightweight and water resistant products made from 14-oz canvas, top-grain leather accents and antique brass hardware will become a reliable addition to your life. When you buy a Shapland product, you know that you are not just getting the best made product money can buy, but the best designed product of its kind.”

Our Take on Shapland’s Sunday bag

Shapland’s Sunday bag is built for comfort and for those walkers out there on the course; it’s a detail which is impossible to overlook. One of the best features of this bag delivers that comfort through the two shoulder straps which are billed as “cushion-like” – a description which is a very accurate assessment. An added benefit of these straps is also the fact that these cushion straps are removable, which gives players options depending on the way they like to carry their bag on the course.

The bag’s lightness is a wonderful relief. Weighing in at just 3.5lbs, the Sunday bag is an excellent walker’s bag and combined with the cushion straps, really provides the low maintenance and practicality which walkers seek on the course.

The bag contains a 4-way cushioned divider which, like the entire bag, is very pleasing on the eye and the bag also boasts an impressive full-length spine rod, and the overall balance of the bag is on point. While lightweight is the priority of a bag such as this, the company have gone to extra lengths to deliver quality, and the premium leather trim enhances the style of the bag, while the actual feel of the bag is luxurious and of excellent quality.

The UV resistant and water-resistant canvas fabric provides you with ultimate protection against the elements which you might not expect to find in a lightweight bag such as this, while the waterproof zippers are another delightful addition of a bag which mixes nostalgia with modernity. The classic colors provided also add to the style, with navy, black, gray, burgundy, and green color codes available.

Generous storage areas on such a lightweight bag is another excellent element provided by Shapland, while the waterproof head comes in the same color as the bag keeping in line with the classic look. Shapland also offers custom embroidery on the bottom of the bag—if personalization is your thing.

Nailing everything you’d want in a lightweight bag while also being easy on the eye, the Shapland Sunday bag retails at $275 and is available to purchase at ShaplandBags.com.

 

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Equipment

Cuater by TravisMathew introduces two new golf shoes: The Moneymaker and The Legend

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New performance brand Cuater by TravisMathew marks its launch today with the release of two new golf shoes – The Moneymaker and The Legend.

Focusing on versatile, comfortable footwear, Cuater’s “The Moneymaker” is a lightweight spikeless golf shoe featuring a waterproof construction. The shoe features a fabric upper which has been treated with 3M Defender to keep stains at bay and to provide maximum durability.

The Moneymaker

The Moneymaker contains an ultra-light, foam midsole, designed to provide comfort and rebound while the TPU spikeless bottom bids to offer golfers extra stability and traction.

Finishing off the new shoe from Cuater is a molded, dual-density Ortholite sockliner and microsuede top cloth.

“The Legend” shoe features Sweet Spot technology throughout the midsole for ultimate comfort on the course and contains a 100% waterproof construction.

The shoe is constructed of premium, full-grain leather, which includes perforations to provide players with a shoe offering excellent breathability.

The company have also launched “The Daily” (Wool/Mesh), which is geared towards your everyday needs. Featuring a moisture-dispersing wool upper, The Daily is available in multiple color options and contains a lightweight feel.

The Moneymaker ($159.95), The Legend ($249.95) and The Daily (from $109.95) are all available to purchase now at travismathew.com/cuater.

 

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